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CAUSES OF WAR.
How various and how dreadful are the miseries of war! what horrid infatuation impels mankind! Their days upon the earth are few, and those few are evil : why then should they precipitate death, which is already near? Why should they add bit. terness to life that is already bitter ? All men are brothers, and yet they hunt each other as prey.-. The wild beasts of the desart are less cruel: lions wage not war with lions; and to the tiger the tiger is peaceable ; the only objects of their ferocity are animals of a different species. Man does, in opposition to reason, what, by animals that are without reason, is never done. And for what are these wars undertaken?
Some tyrant sighs for a new appellation : he would be called a conqueror; and for this he kindles a flame that would desolate the earth. Ruin must spread, blood must flow, fire 'must consume, and he who escapes from the flames and the sword, nust perish by famine with yet more anguish and horror, that one man, to whom the
miseries of a world is sport, may, from this general destruction, obtain a fanciful possession of what he calls glory:
Telemaque, liv. xvii. [I was asked, what were the usual causes or motives that made one country go to war with another? I answered, they were innumerable ; but I should only mention a few of the chief. Sometimes the ambition of princes, who never think they have land or people enough to govern. Sometines the corruption of ministers, who engage their master in a war in order to stifle or divert the clamour of the subjects against their evil administration. Difference in opinions hath cost many millions of lives : for instance whether flesh be bread, or bread be fresh ; * whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine ; whether whistling be a vice or a virtue ; no whether it be better to kiss a post or throw it into the fire; I what is the best colour for a coat, whether black, white, red, or grey; and whether it should be long or short, narrow or wide, dirty or clean, with many more. § Neither are any wars so furious and bloody, or of so long continuance, as those occasioned by differences in, opinion, especially if it be in things indifferent.
* Transubstantiation. + Church-music.
Kissing a Cross. The colour and make of sacred vestments, and dif. ferent orders of popish ecclesiastics.
Sometimes the quarrel between two princes is to decide which of them shall dispossess a third of his dominions, where neither of them pretend to any right. Sometimes one , prince quarrelleth with another, for fear the other should quarrel with him. Sometimes a war is entered upon because the enemy is too strong ; and sometimes because he is too weak. Sometimes our neighbours want the things which we have, or have the things which we want ; and we both fight till they take ours, or give us theirs. It is a very justifiable cause of war, to lovade a country after the people have been wasted by famine, destioyed by pestilence, or embroiled by factions aniong themselves. It is justifiable to enter into a war against our nearest ally, when one of his towns lie convenient for us, or a territory of land, that would render our dominions round and compact. If a prince sends forces into a nation, where the people are poor' and 'ignorant," he may lawfully put' half of them to death, and make slaves of the rest, in order to civilize and reduce them from their bárbarous way of living. It is a very kingły, honourable, and frequent practice, when one prince desires the assistance of another to secure hin against an invasion, that 'the assistant, when he hath driven out the 'invader, should seize'on't dominions himself, and kill,' imprison, or banish! the prince he cane to relieve. Alliance by blood or marriage is a frequent cause of war between princes; and the nearer the kindred is, the greater
thes England and France,
is their chisposition to quarrel. There is likewise a kind of beggarly princes in Europe, not able to make war by themselves, who hire out their troops to richer nations, for so much a day to each man, of which they keep three fourths to themselves, and it is the best part of their maintenance.
arf Gulliver's Travels, part. iv. ch.
21 The two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu* have been engaged in a most obstinate war for six and thirty moons past. : It began upon the following occasion : It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty's grand-father, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according tothe antient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor, his father, published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The pea. ple so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life and another his crown. § These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled the exiles : always fled for refuge to that empire. It is come: puted that eleven thousand persons have at several boord
1 Charles I.
* Primi ive Religion.
timés suffered death, rather than submit to break their
eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy; but the books of the Big-endians * have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of these, troubles, the emperors of Blefuscu did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion by offending against a fundamental doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the Blunderal (which is their Alcoran). This however is thought to be a mere straiņ upon the text; for the words are these: That all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end. And which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion, to be left to every inan's conscience, or at least in the power of the chief msgistrate to determine. Now the Big.endian exiles have found so much credit in the e:nperor of Blefuscu's court, and so much private assistance and encouragement from their party here at home, that a bloody war hath been carried on between the two empires for six and thirty moons, with various success; during which time we have lost forty capital ships, and a much greater number of smaller vessels, together with thirty thousand of our best seamen and soldiers; and the damage received by the enemy iş reckoned to be somewhat greater than ours. How