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judtce them. On the contrary, the more closely the Origin of Religion and Government are examined, the more clearly their Excellencies must appear. They come purified from the Fire. My Business is not with them* Having entered a Protest against all Objections from these Quarters, I may the more freely enquire from History and Experience, how far Policy has contributed in all Times to alleviate those Evils which Providence, that perhaps has designed us for a State of Imperfection, has imposed; how far our physical Skill has cured our constitutional Disorders; and whether, it may not have introduced new ones, curable perhaps by no Skill.
In looking over any State to form a Judgment on it; it presents itself in two Lights, the external and the internal. The first, that Relation which it bears in point of Friendship or Enmity to other States. The second, that Relation its component Parts, the Governing and the Governed, bear to each other. The first Part of the external View of all States, their Relation as Friends, makes so trifling a Figure in History, that I am very sorry to say, it affords me but little Matter on which to expatiate. The good Offices done by one Nation to its Neighbour [a] ; the Support given in publick Distress; the Relief afforded in general Calamity; the Protection
[a] Had his LordÆip lived to our Days, to have seen the noMe Relief given by this Nation to the distressed Portuguese, he had perhaps owned this Part of his Argument a little weakened ; but we do not think ourselves intitled to alter his lordship's Words, but that we are bound to follow him exactly.
Vol. II. C granted granted in immergent 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 j 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, fays Machiavell, ought to be the only Study of a Prince; and by a Prince, he means every sort of State however constituted. He ought, fays 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 fort of Virtue was unnatural and foreign to the Mind of Man.
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 the first Effect of the Combination, and indeed the End for which it seems purposely formed, and best calculated, is their mutual Destruction. All antient 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 Seso/lris, but that he led out of Egypt , an Army of above 700,000 Men; that he over-ran 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 sound in others, a people who knew the Value of their Liberties, and fold them dear.' Whoever considers the Army this Conqueror heaced, the Space he traversed, and the Opposition he frequently met; with the natural Accidents of Sicknels, 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 any thing, he must know, that even the Conqueror's Army must have suffered greatly; and that,, cf 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 fay, 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 reasonable 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 fee 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 un« certain,) 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 Jujiin 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 Stmiramis: 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 above three Millions employed by this martial
Queen 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 in various Success. This ends with 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 j 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 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 every body. 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 fame Place where his Predecestbrs had before, by a similar Madness, consumed the Flower of so many Kingdoms, and C 3 wasted