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whom no men have better understood how to work upon the human mind: they enforced order and temperance, as well as ceremonious piety... humanity they did not think proper to inculcate in a war against heretics. That virtue was carefully required from his men by the great Gustavus, who would not have been so consummate a commander, unless he had been so good and pious a man. No army has ever equalled his in its moral constitution; therefore, none has ever surpassed it in military worth. He was followed in the general character of his discipline, as far as circumstances permitted, by Cromwell. There was more fanaticism among Oliver’s men, and less polity, for so that organization may be called which made the Swedish camp as orderly as the best regulated city: but this was not required in England, where it was not necessary to keep the field as in an enemy's country.
SIR THOMAS MORE. It is not difficult to introduce such discipline, if the commander has a true sense of its importance ; for in soldiers and sailors the habit of obedience is already formed by their profession, and the profession is not more likely to render them desperately flagitious under wicked leaders, than it is to call forth the natural piety of man when that characteristic instinct is strengthened by precept and encouraged by example. But for the leader of an army to entertain such views requires a considerate heart as well as a capacious mind; nor is the work, when effected, one that will maintain itself. In the moral, even more than in the military discipline of an army,* relaxation easily undoes all,.. as a neglected garden is presently overrun with weeds. Religious armies, therefore, are to be looked for only when they are raised among a religious people.
MONTESINOS. And among a religious people armies would not be needed.
SIR THOMAS MORE. Nay, my friend, are we not at this time talking of religious wars, .. wars of which religion, so called, was the professed object, and in some of them the real and sole cause ? But let us return to that subject from which the mention of these wars has caused us to diverge. The full effect of artillery had hardly been felt till
* Non est exercitus ex eo genere machinarum, quas multiplici rotarum serie mobiles si mane temperaveris, nullo per reliquum diem moderante, ipsæ se ordinate circumagunt, æquá horarum partitione ac pulsu : Solarium est, quod nisi sol adsit, ac perpetuo præsens umbras dirigat, nulli est usui.-Strada. dec. ii. 1. x.
the great struggle of religious principles was
Greater means, as well as larger bodies of men, were brought into the field in the age which followed; and now, when this system of warfare has been carried to its utmost extent, a new power has been discovered, by which gunpowder itself will be superseded. Your Society for the Abolition of War is instituted just in the very age when war is about to become more destructive than in all former ages.
Sir Thomas, I would fain believe that we have moral anticipations in this age, as our ancestors have had mechanical and chemical ones; ...that as Roger Bacon, and Ralph Babbard, and the Marquis of Worcester, had what Fuller would have called a Pisgah View of our scientific discoveries, so through the moral telescope we are looking into the horizon of futurity. I say nothing of the Society for the Abolition of War,.. (Heaven bless the mark !) it has not obtained sufficient notice even to be in disrepute. Nor can I build upon the extension of Christian principles, till I see more charity where there is most profession. But the novel powers, which, beyond all doubt, will be directed to the
purposes of destruction, are so tremendous, and likely to be so efficient, that in their consequences they may reasonably be expected to do more toward the prevention of war than any or all other causes. If, on the one hand, neither walls nor ramparts can withstand a continuous shower or rather stream of bullets impelled against them by steam, on the other, such modes of defence by the same agent are to be devised, that the open city may be rendered more secure from assailants than the strongest fortresses are at this time. Minds like that of Archimedes will now have means at command equal to their capacity, and to their desires. And men will not be induced by any motives to face such engines as may be brought into the field. This will first be felt in maritime war; in which there is reason to apprehend that a change as great, and not so gradual, as that which the introduction of cannon occasioned, will soon be brought about.
SIR THOMAS MORE.
Do you regard the result with alarm?
Not even with anxiety. The empire of the seas will be to be fought for; but the same qualities whereby we have won it in the old mode of warfare, will again win it for us in the
Bring into battle what weapons you may, it is by the arm of flesh and the heart of proof
that the victory must be decided. I fear nothing for England from foreign enemies! There is, however, an end to naval war, if it be made apparent that whenever two ships engage, one, if not both, must inevitably be destroyed. And this is within the reach of our present science. The chemist and mechanist will succeed where moralists and divines have failed.
SIR THOMAS MORE. Observe in this instance, how, in the order of Providence, all things have their due time appointed. You have been threatened with an invasion of gun-boats, and...(alarmed, shall I say, or amused?..) with tales of rafts * that were to work their way by wheels from the ports of France; and of balloons that, by means of condensed gas, were to transport armies across the Channel through the air. But if steam-navigation had been brought to its present state only
* Representations of these were common in the print-shops some three or four and twenty years ago. The balloon scheme also was gravely discussed in newspapers. Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Night Walker, allude to reports of the same kind, which were current in their days :“ A dainty book !-a book of the great navy,
Of fifteen hundred ships of cannon-proof,