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all the hospitality that such calamitous times would afford; but they were beggared for life. Meantime their country for many a league round displayed no other sight than that of black smoking ruins in the midst of silence and desolation.

Os. I hope, however, that such things do not often happen in war.

F. Not often, perhaps, to the same extent: but in some degree they must take place in every war.

A village which would afford a favourable post to the enemy is always burnt without hesitation. A country which can no longer be maintained, is cleared of all its

provision and forage before it is abandoned, lest the enemy should have the advantage of them; and the

inhabitants are left to subsist as they can. Crops of corn are trampled down by armies in their march, or devoured while green as fodder for their horses. Pillage, rob

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bery, and murder, are always going on in the outskirts of the best disciplined camp. Then consider what must happen in every siege. On the first approach of the enemy, all the buildings in the suburbs of a town are demolished, and all the trees in gardens and public walks are cut down, lest they should afford shelter to the besiegers. As the siege goes on, bombs, hot balls, and cannon-shot, are continually flying about; by which the greatest part of a town is ruined or laid in ashes, and many of the innocent people killed or maimed. If the resistance is obstinate, famine and pestilence are sure to take place; and if the garrison holds out to the last, and the town is taken by storm, it is generally given up to be pillaged by the enraged and licentious soldiery.

It would be easy to bring too many examples of cruelty exercised upon a conquered country, even in very late

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times, when war is said to be carried on with so much humanity ; but, in

i deed, how can it be otherwise? The art of war is essentially that of destruction, and it is impossible there should be a mild and merciful way of murdering and ruining one's fellow-creatures. Soldiers, as men, are often humane; but war must ever be cruel. Though Homer has filled his Iliad with the exploits of fighting heroes, yet he makes Jupiter address Mars, the God of War, in terms of the utmost abhorrence,

Of all the Gods who tread the spangled skies,
Thou most unjust, most odious in our eyes ;
In human discord is thy dire delight,
The waste of slaughter, and the rage of fight :
No bound, no law, thy fiery temper quells.

POPE.

Os. Surely as war is so bad a thing, there might be some way of prevent

ing it.

F. Alas! I fear mankind have been too long accustomed to it, and it is too agreeable to their bad passions, easily to be laid aside, whatever miseries it may bring upon them. . But in the mean time let us correct our own ideas of the matter, and no longer lavish admiration upon such a pest of the human race as a Conqueror, how brilliant 'soever his qualities may be; nor ever think that a profession which binds a man to be the servile instrument of cruelty and injustice, is an honourable calling.

64

TWENTY-THIRD EVENING.

THE CRUCIFORM - FLOWERED PLANTS.

Tutor-George-Harry.

George. How rich yon field looks with its yellow flowers ! I wonder what they can be.

Tutor. Suppose you go and see if you can find it out; and bring a stalk of the flowers with you. .

G. (returning.) I know now—they are turnips.

T. I thought you could make it out when you came near them. These turnips are left to seed, which is the reason why you see them run to flower. Commonly they are pulled up sooner.

Harry. I should not have thought a turnip had so sweet a flower.

G. I think I have smelt others like

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