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ing to after ages of the vengeance of the Omnipotent on the mingled folly and wickedness of men who presumed to perpetrate, in the name of God, deeds of cruelty and rapine worthy of the most ferocious

beasts of prey.




WHETHER or not it be true, according to the remark of David Hume, that the world is yet too young to have a political philosophy, it is certainly yet too young to be able to boast of having civilization, in any high and extended sense of that term. Even in those communities which reckon themselves the most civilized in the world, we find that the old saying, “homo homini lupus” (man is a wolf to man), still holds true. For, though cruelty is not there found in the shape of that callousness to physical human suffering which we find in the actions of the Greeks and Romans and of our own ancestors, it is abundantly found in the copious use of falsehood as the means to self - aggrandizement, the triumph of political factions, and the consequent defeat of personal and political adversaries. As such defeat, thus brought about by means which a strictly humane and honourable man cannot employ,

may, and often does, reduce the opposite party to ruin and beggary, it proves the existence of an amount of cruelty showing that man is still a wolf to man, and disproves the existence of civilization, in its highest sense.

But whatever difference of opinion there may be on this point, the problem is one of which I shall not now attempt the solution. The progress of societyor, at least, of that portion of the world which calls itself civilized society–has long been, and still is, towards the use of truth and the disuse of falsehood; though, to judge from the grand results, falsehood is still considerably the stronger and more prosperous power of the two.

Still the world is advancing. The quaint remark of an old writer-I think it was Sir Walter Raleigh-that “a man might follow truth so near the heels, that it might at last dash out his teeth,” is not quite so extensively true now as it was two centuries and a half


And though following truth very near the heels is still not altogether free from peril, the chances are rather more in favour of the truth-seeker's teeth, and head too, than they were in the days of the Tudors and the Stuarts.

But there is another problem having reference to civilization, of which, at the present time, it may be useful to attempt the solution. And that question is, whether civilization can, to any considerable extent, be the result of conquest ?


Some of the most extensive conquests in the history of the world have been made by nations of shepherds, which are much more formidable than nations of hunters or nations of husbandmen.

An army of hunters, as Adam Smith has observed, and as we have seen exemplified in the case of the North American Indians, “ can seldom exceed two or three hundred men. The precarious subsistence which the chase affords could seldom allow a greater number to keep together for any considerable time. An army of shepherds, on the contrary, may sometimes amount to two or three hundred thousand.

A nation of hunters can never be formidable to the civilized nations in their neighbourhood; a nation of shepherds may. Nothing can be more contemptible than an Indian war in North America; nothing, on the contrary, can be more dreadful than a Tartar invasion has frequently been in Asia."

Adam Smith then proceeds to observe that the judgment of Thucydides,* that no nation, either of Europe or Asia, could resist the Scythians united, has been verified by the experience of all ages. “ The inhabitants," he adds, “ of the extensive but defenceless plains of Scythia and Tartary, have been frequently united under the dominion of the chief of some conquering horde or clan; and the havoc and devastation of Asia have always signalized their union. The inhabitants of the inhospitable deserts of Arabia, the other great nation of shepherds, have never been united but once-under Mahomet and his immediate successors. Their union, which was more the effort of religious enthusiasm than of conquest, was signalized in the same manner.”

* Adam Smith appears not to quote Thucydides quite correctly here. His words are, “ The judgment of Thucydides that both Europe and Asia could not resist the Scythians united;” whereas, the words of Thucydides are-ταύτη δε αδύνατα εξισούσθαι ουχ ότι τα εν τη Ευρώπη, αλλ' ουδ' εν τη Ασία έθνος έν προς εν ουκ έστιν ό, τι δυνατόν Σκύθαις ομογνωμονούσι πάσιν αντιστήναι.-Τhuc. ii. 97.

It will hardly be contended that civilization has been in any degree advanced by the conquests either of the Scythian or Arab nations of shepherds. In those cases, as the conquering nations were in a low state of civilization themselves-even on the

assumption that the conquered should acquire the civilization of the conquerors—such acquisition could not amount to much. But the result might, perhaps, be expected to be different in those cases where the conquerors possessed a considerable degree of civilization—at least, as compared with the condition of the natives they conquered. Let us take the case of the greatest nation, viewed

a nation extending its dominion by conquest, which has appeared in the history of the world, and endeavour to learn what were the effects of that spirit of conquest upon the civilization of themselves and those they conquered. With the Romans, at least in the later stages of their history, patriotism



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