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eral calamity; the protection granted in emergent danger; the mutual return of kindness and civility, would afford a very ample and very pleasing subject for history. But, alas! all the history of all times, concerning all nations, does not afford matter enough to fill ten pages, though it should be spun out by the wire-drawing amplification of a Guicciardini himself. The glaring side is that of enmity. War is the matter which fills all history, and consequently the only or almost the only view in which we can see the external of political society is in a hostile shape; and the only actions to which we have always seen, and still see all of them intent, are such as tend to the destruction of one another. "War," says Machiavel, "ought to be the only study of a prince"; and by a prince, he means every sort of state, however constituted. "He ought,” says this great political doctor, "to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans." A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine, that war was the state of nature; and truly, if a man judged of the individuals of our race by their conduct when united and packed into nations and kingdoms, he might imagine that every sort of virtue was unnatural and foreign to the mind of


The first accounts we have of mankind are but so many accounts of their butcheries. All empires have been cemented in blood; and, in those early periods, when the race of mankind began first to form themselves into parties and combinations, the first effect of the combination, and indeed the end for which it seems purposely formed, and best calculated, was

their mutual destruction. All ancient history is dark and uncertain. One thing, however, is clear, there were conquerors, and conquests in those days; and, consequently, all that devastation by which they are formed, and all that oppression by which they are maintained. We know little of Sesostris, but that he led out of Egypt an army of above 700,000 men ; that he overran the Mediterranean coast as far as Colchis; that in some places he met but little resistance, and of course shed not a great deal of blood; but that he found in others a people who knew the value of their liberties, and sold them dear. Whoever considers the army this conqueror headed, the space he traversed, and the opposition he frequently met, with the natural accidents of sickness, and the dearth and badness of provision to which he must have been subject in the variety of climates and countries his march lay through, if he knows anything, he must know that even the conqueror's army must have suffered greatly; and that of this immense number but a very small part could have returned to enjoy the plunder accumulated by the loss of so many of their companions, and the devastation of so considerable a part of the world. Considering, I say, the vast army headed by this conqueror, whose unwieldy weight was almost alone sufficient to wear down its strength, it will be far from excess to suppose that one half was lost in the expedition. If this was the state of the victorious, and from the circumstances it must have been this at the least; the vanquished must have had a much heavier loss, as the greatest slaughter is always in the flight, and great carnage did in those times and countries ever attend the first rage of conquest. It will, therefore, be very reason

able to allow on their account as much as, added to the losses of the conqueror, may amount to a million of deaths, and then we shall see this conqueror, the oldest we have on the records of history, (though, as we have observed before, the chronology of these remote times is extremely uncertain), opening the scene by a destruction of at least one million of his species, unprovoked but by his ambition, without any motives but pride, cruelty, and madness, and without any benefit to himself (for Justin expressly tells us he did not maintain his conquests), but solely to make so many people, in so distant countries, feel experimentally how severe a scourge Providence intends for the human race, when he gives one man the power over many, and arms his naturally impotent and feeble rage with the hands of millions, who know no common principle of action, but a blind obedience to the passions of their ruler.

The next personage who figures in the tragedies of this ancient theatre is Semiramis; for we have no particulars of Ninus, but that he made immense and rapid conquests, which doubtless were not compassed without the usual carnage. We see an army of about three millions employed by this martial queen in a war against the Indians. We see the Indians arming a yet greater; and we behold a war continued with much fury, and with various success. This ends in the retreat of the queen, with scarce a third of the troops employed in the expedition; an expedition which, at this rate, must have cost two millions of souls on her part; and it is not unreasonable to judge that the country which was the seat of war must have been an equal sufferer. But I am content to detract from this, and to suppose that the Indians lost only

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half so much, and then the account stands thus: in this war alone (for Semiramis had other wars) in this single reign, and in this one spot of the globe, did three millions of souls expire, with all the horrid and shocking circumstances which attend all wars, and in a quarrel, in which none of the sufferers could have the least rational concern.

The Babylonian, Assyrian, Median, and Persian monarchies must have poured out seas of blood in their formation, and in their destruction. The armies and fleets of Xerxes, their numbers, the glorious stand made against them, and the unfortunate event of all his mighty preparations, are known to everybody. In this expedition, draining half Asia of its inhabitants, he led an army of about two millions to be slaughtered, and wasted by a thousand fatal accidents, in the same place where his predecessors had before by a similar madness consumed the flower of so many kingdoms, and wasted the force of so extensive an empire. It is a cheap calculation to say, that the Persian empire, in its wars against the Greeks and Scythians, threw away at least four millions of its subjects; to say nothing of its other wars, and the losses sustained in them. These were their losses abroad; but the war was brought home to them, first by Agesilaus, and afterwards by Alexander. I have not, in this retreat, the books necessary to make very exact calculations; nor is it necessary to give more than hints to one of your lordship's erudition. You will recollect his uninterrupted series of success. You will run over his battles. You will call to mind You will give a glance

the carnage which was made. at the whole, and you will agree with me, that to form this hero no less than twelve hundred thousand

lives must have been sacrificed; but no sooner had he fallen himself a sacrifice to his vices, than a thousand breaches were made for ruin to enter, and give the last hand to this scene of misery and destruction. His kingdom was rent and divided; which served to employ the more distinct parts to tear each other to pieces, and bury the whole in blood and slaughter. The kings of Syria and of Egypt, the kings of Pergamus and Macedon, without intermission worried each other for above two hundred years; until at last a strong power, arising in the west, rushed in upon them and silenced their tumults, by involving all the contending parties in the same destruction. It is little to say, that the contentions between the successors of Alexander depopulated that part of the world of at least two millions.

The struggle between the Macedonians and Greeks, and, before that, the disputes of the Greek commonwealths among themselves, for an unprofitable superiority, form one of the bloodiest scenes in history. One is astonished how such a small spot could furnish men sufficient to sacrifice to the pitiful ambition of possessing five or six thousand more acres, or two or three more villages; yet to see the acrimony and bitterness with which this was disputed between the Athenians and Lacedemonians; what armies cut off; what fleets sunk and burnt; what a number of cities sacked, and their inhabitants slaughtered and captived; one would be induced to believe the decision of the fate of mankind, at least, depended upon it! But these disputes ended as all such ever have done, and ever will do; in a real weakness of all parties; a momentary shadow, and dream of power in some one; and the subjection of all to the yoke of a stran

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