A GOVERNMENT OF CITIZENS IS INVULNERABLE. FROM HARRINCTON'S OCEANA.
ALL government, as implied by what has been already shewn, is of these three kinds: A go∣vernment of servants: A government of subjects; or A government of citizens. The first is absolute monar∣chy, as that of Turkey: The second aristocratical monarchy, as that of France: The third a common∣wealth, as those of Israel, of Rome, of Holland. Now to follow MACHIAVEL (in part) of these, the government of servants is the harder to be con∣quered, and the easier to be held: The government of subjects is the easter to be conquered and the harder to be held. To which I shall presume to add, that the government of citizens is both the hardest to be conquered, and the hardest to be held.
My author's reasons, why a government of ser∣vants is the hardest to be conquered, come to this, that they are under perpetual discipline and com∣mand, void of such interests and factions as have hands or power to hold upon advantages or innova∣tion; whence he that invades the Turk must trust to his own strength, and not rely upon disorders in the government, or forces which he shall be sure enough to find united.
His reasons why this government, being once broken, is easily held, are, that the armies once past hope of rallying, there being no such thing as families hanging together, or nobility to stir up their dependants to further reluctancy for the present, or to preserve themselves by complacence with the conquerors, for future discontents or advantages, Page 127he that has won the garland has no more to do but to extinguish the royal line, and wear it ever after in security. For the people having been always slaves, are such whose condition he may better, in which case they are gainers by their conqueror, but can never make a worse, and therefore they lose nothing by him. Hence ALEXANDER having con∣quered the Persian empire, he and his captains af∣ter him could hold it without the least dispute, except it arose among themselves. Hence MAHO∣MET the second having taken Constantinople, and put Palaeologus the Greek emperor (whose govern∣ment was of like nature with the Persian) together with his whole family, to the sword, the Turk has held that empire without reluctancy.
On the other side, the reasons why a government of subjects is easier conquered, are these: That it is supported by a nobility so antient, so powerful, and of such hold and influence upon the people, that the king without danger, if not ruin to him∣self or the throne (an example whereof was given in HENRY the seventh of England,) can neither in∣vade their privileges, nor level their estates; which remaining, they have power upon every discontent to call in an enemy, as ROBERT Count of Artois did the English, and the Duke of Guise the Spaniard, into France.
The reasons why a government of subjects being so easily conquered, is nevertheless harder to be held, are these: that the nobility being soon out of countenance in such a case, and repenting them∣selves of such a bargain, have the same means in their hands, whereby they brought in the enemy, to drive him out, as those of France did both the English and the Spaniards.
For the government of citizens, as it is of two kinds, an equal or an unequal commonwealth, the reason why it is the hardest to be conquered, are also of two kinds; as first, the reasons why a go∣vernment Page 128of citizens, where the commonwealth is equal, is hardest to be conquered, are, that the invader of such a society must not only trust to his own strength, insomuch as the commonwealth being equal, he must needs find them united, but in re∣gard, that such citizens being all soldiers or trained up to their arms, which they use not for the defence of slavery, but of LIBERTY (A CONDITION NOT IN THIS WORLD TO BE BETTERED); they have more especially upon this occasion, the highest soul of courage, and (if their territory be of any extent) the vastest body of a well disciplined militia that is possible in nature: wherefore AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH A ONE OVERCOME BY THE ARMS OF A MO∣NARCH, IS NOT TO BE FOUND IN THE WORLD. And if some small city of this frame has happened to be vanquished by a potent commonwealth, this is her prerogative, her towers are her funeral pile, and she expires in her own flame, leaving nothing to the con∣queror but her ashes, as Saguntum overwhelmed by Carthage, and Numantia by Rome.