Page images

Witness the French officers, who, for love of liberty, conquered half Europe, now in the pay of the Pacha of Egypt and the Grand Sultan, and who had the human plunder, the women and children of ill-fated Missolonghi, shared among them, to satiate their lust; and last, though not least on the other side, the gallant Cochrane-not of Maine-but once a noble lord of England, convicted of an attempt to swindle on the stock exchange, who having been degraded from his lordly station, all at once, becomes enamoured of liberty and equality, and goes out to South America, to assist the republicans; and how well he fought, let our insurance offices tell. We next find him in the pay of the emperor of Brazil, and now won again, by the charms of liberty, with whom he seems to have acted the part of a male coquette, and by her dowry of 30,000 pounds sterling, equal to 133,000 dollars, (a pretty sum for a broken stock-jobber,) which he is to receive for his services, beside his plunder and glory. He must love the Greeks dearly, and the Greeks have dearly bought him. The Pacha of Egypt has offered 20,000, to whoever will

take him prisoner : he had better offer 200,000 dollars to Cochrane himself, if he wants him. Many similar instances of heroes changing sides for greater pay rush on my memory, but I forbear, lest my indignation get the better of my judgment-and I fear, I have already betrayed too much asperity, though, in all I have written,“ nothing is exaggerated, nor ought set down in malice;” and beside, it must be recollected, that I am now speaking only of military adventurers. If other military gentlemen choose to associate with them, and accept offices under them, they must share their disgrace : a man is known by the company he keeps.

Finally, to repeat the sentiment, that I have often avowed, I consider a mercenary soldier—whether lord or cobbler by tradewhether a field marshal or a bugler-who hires himself out to the highest bidder, no better than an assassin or a highway robber ; and that he never ought to be admitted within the pale of civilized society, and it would be well for the peace and happiness of mankind if all the world were of the same opinion.

NO. 28.


The following extract will shew the opinion of this eminent statesman and philanthropist, on the custom of war.

"By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishments of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death: a further step was the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery; another, to respect more the property of private persons


and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened between its several steps ; but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened ! Why should it not be agreed to as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following description of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments with security ?-viz.

1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labor for the subsistence of mankind.


2. Fishermen, for the same reason.

3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.

4. Artists and Mechanics inhabiting and working in open towns.

It is hardly necessary to add, that the hos pitals of enemies should be unmolested they ought to be assisted. It is for the inter est of humanity in general that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace, therefore, more likely to continue and be lasting

The practice of robbing merchants on the high seassa remnant of ancient piracy though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons; is far from being profita. ble to all engaged in it or to the nation that authorizes it. In the beginning of a war, some rich ships are surprised and taken.This encourages the first adventurer to fit out more armed vessels; and many

others do the same.

But the enemy, at the same

time become more careful, arm their mérchant ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken; they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subject to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished, so that many

cruises are made wherein the expenses overgo the gains; and as is the case - in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expense of fitting out all the privateers during the war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.

Then there is the national loss of all the labor of so many during the time they have been employed in robbing, who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness and debauchery, lose their habits of industry, are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and housebreakers. Even the undertakers who have been fortunate, are, by sudden wealth led into expensive living, the habit of which continues when the means ef supporting it cease, and finally ruins them;

« PreviousContinue »