« PreviousContinue »
doubtless be admitted, that no nation Mrs. B.-But would it not make on earth has expended more property you very unhappy to reflect, that if it in preparations for war, than Britain. had not been for the war, the poor They have made an ample experi- men you were so kindly assisting ment of the doctrine that prepara- might be at home with their own fations for war are the best means of milies, neither wounded nor made preserving peace,' and have they not prisoners ! In the hour of victory, proved it to be false and pernicious ? the greatest victory that has been By acting on this principle- by being gained by the greatest General of our ever ready to revenge real or imagi- own times, these sad thoughts pressed nary wrongs, and by their efforts to heavily on the heart of the conqueror. excite and cherish the love of martial It would be impossible to give you glory, have they not been subjected an idea of the agitation and anxiety to the calamities of war more than endured by this great commander half the time for 1800 years ? Have during the latter part of the terrible they not sacrificed millions of their conflict. Thousands of brave men, own people, and murdered millions whom he had often led to battle, lay of their brethren of other countries ? lifeless before him. Though resolved Yet, it is to be feared, a great part of that himself, and every Englishman that nation still glories in her warring in the field, should die rather than character and destructive exploits; yield the contest, he felt that it and for her successes she is perhaps was an awful alternative. He was an object of envy to all surrounding anxiously expecting his allies to come countries.”
to his assistance; and often, it is said,
he prayed in agony for the Prussians Conversation on War.
on the night. When at last the thun
der of their artillery was heard ad[From Grecian Stories, by Maria Hack.) vancing, he exclaimed, “ There goes " But what most show'd the vanity of life,
old Blücher at last!" and burst into Was to behold the nations all on fire,
tears. Even the full assurance of In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife;
victory could not remove his sorrow: Most Christian kings inflam'd by black desire,
“ Believe me,” he afterwards said, With honourable ruffians in their hire,
Cause war to rage, and blood around to pow. " that nothing, excepting a battle lost, Of this sad work when each begins to tire, can be half so melancholy as a battle
They sit them down just where they were before, won. The bravery of my troops has Til for new scenes of woe peace shall their force
hitherto saved me from that greater restore."
evil; but to win even such a battle " The account we read of the as this of Waterloo, at the expence of Spartans last night surprised me the lives of so many gallant friends, very much, mamma, (said Harry;) I could only be termed a heavy miscould not have believed they would fortune, were it not for its results to use their poor slaves so shamefully; the public benefit.” for I thought that the truly brave were always humane.
Mrs. B.-If by the “truly brave” you mean those who excel in the art Kentucky Peace Association. of war, I am sure, Harry, that if they (From the Lexington (Ken.) Monitor.) are really humane they must be truly * The Citizens of Lexington con, miserable.
sider it a duty imperiously required Harry. It does not appear so to of them by recent events in this place, me, mamma. If I were an officer I to express their sentiments relative to should feel a great deal of pleasure in personal rencounters between citizens assisting the wounded, and taking in a sanguinary manner, thereby to care of prisoners.
prevent similar occurrences; being
unequivocally of the opinion, that no Those who have duly reflected on the circumstances can arise between our causes and effects of public war, can citizens, where their honour might not with great truth adopt the language of be better sustained by a reference to our Lexington brethren, and say, we the deliberate opinion of a few judi- are "unequivocally of the opinion, cious and pacific men, than by an that no circumstances can arise beappeal to deadly combat.
tween nations, where their honour “We hereby pledge ourselves to might not be better sustained by a discountenance, by all means in our reference to the deliberate opinion of power, such meetings; and do hereby a few judicious and pacific men, than declare, that it is our mature and de- by an appeal to deadly combat.” They cided opinion that it will evidence can also express it as their “ mature more magnanimity in thus submitting and decided opinion that it will eviany difference that may arise between dence more magnanimity in thus subindividuals, to such men to decide, as mitting any difference that may arise justice may require, and more com- between nations, to such men to decide, pletely preserve the honour of the as justice may require, and more comindividual, than a resort to arms, which pletely preserve the honour of the makes no discrimination between in- nation, than a resort to arms, which nocence and guilt, and which is often makes no discrimination between inoccasioned by a want of correct un nocence and guilt, and which is often derstanding, between the parties, of occasioned by a want of correct unthe cause of complaint, angry passions derstanding between the parties, -anhastening to an issue, when explana- gry passions hastening on to an issue, tions would reconcile." [Signed by when explanations would reconcile." George Trotter, and 84 others.] War, as well as duelling, “makes
This is good news from the West. no discrimination between innocence We had heard with deep regret, that and guilt;" and the method of settling the people of the Western States were differences, by referring them to "a in the habit of travelling armed, like few judicious and pacific men,” is Arabs, to be always ready to fight on equally applicable to national disthe shortest notice. We cannot there- putes and those between two indivifore wonder that duels had become so duals. Duelling and public war were frequent as to excite alarm. The both derived from the barbarous state formation of a Peace Society, or a of society in former ages, and their Civilization Society, was very need- present existence is a proof that the ful, and we doubt not that the effects nations in this age are but partiatly will be salutary.
If this Association civilized. can bring the barbarous custom into disrepute, it will of course be abolished; and we hope it will not be Review of the Practice of Retaliation. long before our western brethren will RETALIATION is the Christian name be ashamed of the savage practice of for revenge. It is so clearly repuggoing armed and prepared for mur nant both to the letter and spirit of dering one another. By assuming the gospel to revenge an injury, that this menacing attitude, men betray such conduct must have another name, a want of confidence in one another, or its antichristian character could a want of brotherly love, and expose not be concealed. To say of a ruler themselves to the worst of crimes. or a military commander, that he is a
But private war is public war in revengeful man, would be regarded as miniature, and we may reason from a serious accusation, or an unfounded the less to the greater. The supposed calumny. But to say of such men, necessity, the principles, and the that they distressed or destroyed prispirit, are the same in both customs. soners, or burnt towns or villages, to
retaliate similar wrongs on the part should be hanged in his stead.” Now of an enemy, would be thought by who does not see that this was a many to imply no charge inconsistent savage and unjust law? But is it not with justice, religion and benevolence. at least as reasonable as the modes
The ordinary modes of distressing of retaliation which are adopted by or killing people in war, are not christian nations ? These nations are generally known by the name of re seldom contented with retaliating by taliation or revenge. The most san an equal injury ; ten, twenty, or even guinary and horrible battles may be a hundred fold, is often regarded as fought, thousands may be killed and lawful; and, like the ancient barwounded; and still nothing may be barians of Scotland, they will inflict done which a warrior would regard as these retaliatory evils on persons who inconsistent with a declaration that never injured them. “ every man did his duty”-nothing If the gospel had required revenge which calls for retaliation. But it as positively as it has forbidden it, one of the parties steps aside from the what worse might have been exusual and honourable modes of mur- pected of christian nations, than they dering or distressing men, by refusing have usually done in retaliating inquarter to a captive, or killing an juries? That they should allow themofficer with a flag of truce, or wantonly selves to revenge wrongs, when it can burning a village-such things are be done on the guilty agents, is cersupposed to demand retaliation. tainly as much as would be reasonably
It requires no extraordinary powers expected of men, who hope for parof recollection to call to mind in don through a Mediator who has stances of retaliation, in which cap- absolutely prohibited rendering evil tives were held responsible for the for evil, and who has made a forgiving conduct of their general-over whom spirit in man, one towards another, a it was impossible that they should condition of their obtaining the forhave any control ; and, also, in which giveness of God. What then shall innocent people, men, women, and be thought of their conduct, in rechildren, had their habitations con- venging upon subjects the wrongs of sumed, to revenge wrongs of which
soldiers the wrongs they were not the agents.
of their generals, and upon the innoHowever just it may be to hold cent the wrongs of the guilty! generals as responsible for the wrongs It is said that among the aborigines done by soldiers under their control, of South America, revenge was one it is manifestly unjust to treat soldiers of the first things which the parents as responsible for the wrongs done by instilled into the minds of their chiltheir general ; or to inflict evil on the dren; and were we to examine iminhabitants of one territory, to revenge partially the history of Christian similar evils done to the same class of nations, should we not more naturally people in another. Yet such have been suppose that they were educated like the usual modes of revenge adopted these savages, than that they had by christian warriors !
been brought up as the disciples of In former ages of barbarity, when the Prince of peace! Nay, is it not the people of Scotland were divided an undeniable truth, that, among prointo claris, like the natives of America, fessed Christians, a meek, forbearing it is said they had “a law, that when spirit is branded with the name of a person belonging to one clan mur- pusillanimity, and that revenge is the dered a man belonging to another, very thing to which they attach the the murderer, if found, should be names of honour and glory? And hanged as he deserved; but if he has it not been esteemed a very could not be found, the first man of honourable thing to murder subjects the same clan that could be found, for the real or pretended faults of
their sovereigns, and to sacrifice sol are made, are the wrongs of rulers diers to atone for the sins of their themselves, and not of those who are generals !
doomed to suffer in the contest; and How much more magnanimous frequently he who declares the war, would a ruler appear, in boldly might very justly adopt the words of refusing to descend to such acts of David — Lo, I have sinned, I have
inhumanity, than in wreaking his ven- done wickedly; but these sheep, what geance on the innocent, for crimes have they done!' which they never committed, and which it was not in their power to Dr. Belknap's Testimony on Wars prevent.
with the Indians. Some, however, will plead, that “However fond we may have been rulers and their subjects form one body of accusing the Indians of treachery politic; that wrongs must be reta- and infidelity, it must be confessed liated on some part of the body, and that the example was first set them that as rulers do not choose to be by the Europeans. Had we always personally assailed, there is no way treated them with that justice and to retaliate but by striking the subjects. humanity which our religion inculSo then, rather than not violate the cates, and our true interest required, laws of Christ at all, you would have we might have lived in as much harthe ruler act the part of a barbarian, mony with them, as with any other by destroying the innocent for the people on the globe.” Hist. of N, H. offences of the guilty ?
vol. i. p. II. Suppose that similar modes of re Such is the testimony of one of the venge should be generally adopted in most impartial and respectable of our society--that when a man has re- historians. It was written in the last ceived an injury from the head of a century; but it is such a testimony as family, he should go and retaliate the we may expect will be given by imwrong on the children or servants of partial historians of what has more the offender, suffering his own ex- recently occurred. asperated spirit to dictate the measure The first part of Dr. Belknap's tesof vengeance to be inflicted. Would timony was grounded on a deplorable the state of society be improved by fact which occurred in 1614. One of such a custom? Or shall we say that the “ Voyagers,” by the name of rulers are the only Christians who Hunt, “who visited the northern have a right to adopt the inhuman coasts of America, decoyed about principles of savages
twenty Indians on board, and sold There are but a few of any civilized them for slaves at Malaga. This percommunity who will not, on serious fidious action excited a violent jeareflection, reprobate those acts which lousy in the natives, and bitterly are usually termed measures of re- enraged them against succeeding adtaliation. Let this point, then, be fully venturers.” p. 10. understood and admitted, that it is This event happened several years absolutely unjust and barbarous to prior to the arrival of our forefathers revenge the wrongs of rulers on their at Cape Cod. But such an outrage, subjects, or the wrongs of the guilty committed by an Englishman against on the innocent. Then a great point the Indians, would long be rememwill be gained, and the operations of bered, and the knowledge of it widely war will soon be circumscribed and extended among the roving tribes. limited. In that case rulers would be This occurrence very naturally precompelled either to renounce the cus- pared the Indians to look with a jeatom of war, or to fight their own lous eye on all adventurers from the battles. Nine times in ten the real same country. When, therefore, the or pretended wrongs for which wars natives saw our ancestors land on
their shores, armed and ready to fight, by whatever nation it is conducted. sed it was natural to regard them as hos- If this is doubted by any one, let him tile invaders, of a similar character read the following extract of a letter dar to the party which had committed the from one of our white Chiefs :
: Bi former act of perfidy and violence. “ Camp before St. Marks, April 9, 1818.
f] Those who are well acquainted with “The spy companies, supported by our histories can hardly entertain a the horse, were ordered forward: å doubt that the numerous and destruc- short and spirited conflict ensued : the tive wars with the Indians have com Indians soon gave way, and were mənly originated from the wanton pursued through their towns. The acts of adventurers, speculators, and three succeeding days were employed bite knaves.
in scouring their country, burning their phy The latter part of Dr. Belknap's towns, and securing their corn and testimony derives much support from cattle, of which were found a great the seventy years of peace between the abundance ;-upwards of three hun bruke first settlers of Pennsylvania and the dred houses have been consumed. natives ; and from the well attested Capt. M'Ewer having hoisted English fact, that the Indians have been as colours on board his boats, Francis remarkable for their attachment to the prophet, Hoemotchemucho, anda. benefactors, as for their revenge to two others, were decoyed on board: such as injured them.
these have been hanged to day!" That the Indians have in no instance If the Chief of our army can boast been the aggressors in our wars with of exploits like these, and be apthem will not be affirmed. But it would plauded by the people of the United be easy to collect a multitude of facts States, let us no more reproach the in the conduct of our ancestors, and in Indians for their revengeful and savage the conduct of our people in the pre- modes of warfare. sent age,
which were adapted to ex But do our Generals “ know what cite the enmity of the Indian tribes, manner of spirit they are of ?" Proand to produce war. Many more bably they do not, any more than the might probably have been collected if British Generals did, when they exour histories had always been written posed themselves to the reproach of by disinterested men, or if the Indians Gothic barbarity, by burning Charleshad written histories of the treatment town, and other towns in the revoluthey had received from the white tionary war. Our people could then people.
see much to blame in the conduct of The natives have generally been the Britons, but they can now boast regarded by our people as an inferior, of similar exploits. So fatally does savage race; and too many have been the spirit of war bewilder the minds disposed to treat them as having no rights, and but little claim to respect The solemn truths affirmed by Dr. or to justice; and so far as these sen- Belknap should be sounded throughtiments have been entertained, they out the land, and be made to reach, have operated like a deceitful mirror, at least by echo, the ears of every which diminishes the wrongs, on our man who has any concern in the own part, and magnifies those which government of our nation. We there be have been done by the natives. fore repeat them :
It is admitted that the Indians have “ However fond we may have been been cruel and barbarous in their of accusing the Indians of treachery modes of warfare; and this fact has and infidelity, it must be confessed had a powerful influence in exciting that the example was first set them by prejudice against the unfortunate Europeans. Had we always treated tribes. But it should be considered them with that justice and humanity that war is ever cruel and barbarous, which our religion inculcates, and our