Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECT. IV.: The Soldiery, in a Civil War, only consider themselves: What low Instruments and Causes serve to begin and continue it. - The Works of Sallust (Gordon's Discourses, Cicero's Orations against Catiline)
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SECT. IV.: The Soldiery, in a Civil War, only consider themselves: What low Instruments and Causes serve to begin and continue it. - Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) 
The Works of Sallust, translated into English with Political Discourses upon that Author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline (London: R. Ware, 1744).
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The Soldiery, in a Civil War, only consider themselves: What low Instruments and Causes serve to begin and continue it.
THE Soldiery, in all Civil Wars, generally consider neither the Cause, nor the Commander; but only Themselves, and Licentiousness, and Rapine. When News were brought to the Army in Gaul, that Galba was murdered, and the Sovereignty devolved upon Otho, such News moved not the Spirit of the Soldiery, either with Grief, or Joy; for their Spirit was only intent upon War, without regarding for whom, or for what. Sometimes they committed the most horrid Mischiefs and Cruelties, even without View to Plunder, or any Provocation, or any Passion for Spoil, but from sudden Rage and Madness, and Causes unknown, and thence the harder to be remedied. At Dividurum, a City of Gaul, the Soldiers under Fabius Valens, General to Vitellius, though they were received into it with every Degree of Frankness and Complaisance, were seized with a causeless Frensy, and instantly grasped their Swords to massacre the unoffending Citizens; and, before they could be appeased, slaughtered Four Thousand.
It is always too easy to inflame a Croud; for, whether armed or unarmed, they are alike liable to be deceived, and consequently to commit Acts of Rage; as they are alike apt to listen more to Passion and Lyes, both soon raised, than to Truth and Reason, which, to be successful, require Time, and Temper, and Attention. Any miserable Knave, that can Speak loud, and Lye lustily, or even Whisper craftily, is capable of raising such Mutinies and Insurrections, (especially in Civil Wars) as the best Capacity, and highest Authority, cannot quell; whether he affrighten them with Apprehensions of severer Discipline, or the Want or Reduction of their Pay, or of harder Quarters, or of Stripes or Dismission, or that they are never to be dismissed, or that some of their Brethren, for being just to the Body, have been privately dispatched by the General, or with any other Grievance, however false and improbable, (for, to the Multitude, the most monstrous Absurdities, strongly asserted, appear true, as do the greatest Follies important) they will credit his Forgeries, because they think him their Friend, though he be indeed their worst Enemy, sooner than Truth from an honest Man, whom they are taught to esteem their Enemy, though in reality their Friend.
Any counterfeit Knave, who boldly personates any Prince, or Leader, slain or dead, finds presently Followers; these Followers daily increase; and, more zealous for Deceit than for true Information, will consequently be more eager to restore him, than to forsake him: And thus, for a miserable Lye, Civil Wars have begun, and been carried on with infinite Obstinacy and Blood. This Country, and many others, afford Instances of this Sort.
There can hardly be a greater Example, how easily, and from what small Causes, Civil Wars rise, even to the greatest Height, than the great Revolution which produced the dethroning of Edward IV. and the Restoration of Henry VI. It began from a little Story, in a remote Part of the Kingdom, about defrauding an Hospital of some Corn. The Populace, hearing this Story told, (perhaps maliciously, though truly) fell tumultuously upon the Officers employed to collect it; and their Resentment was so well improved, that what was at first a Riot, from private Passion, whether of Charity or Avarice, became an Insurrection against the State, and overturned it. The great Revolution in China, which brought that mighty State, in 1644 under the Dominion of the Tartars, where it has ever since remained, was so suddenly accomplished, that the capital City was taken, and even the outward Court of the Palace, before the Emperor knew a Word of his own Danger. Matters, indeed, and the Minds of Men, were well prepared by his oppressive Reign, which naturally produced sore Discontents, as these did strong Factions, and Factions did Revolts. An Incident, not great in itself, being altogether of a private Nature, contributed greatly to the first Triumvirate, so fatal to the Roman State. Cæsar intrigued with Mutia, Pompey’s Wife, whom therefore Pompey divorced. This so affronted her Brother Metellus Celer, the Consul, that he opposed all Pompey’s Views, especially of ratifying his Conduct in the War against Mithridates, and of obtaining Lands for his Soldiers. Under this Difficulty he fell into the ruinous League with Cæsar and Crassus.
Old Villeroy says, in his Memoirs, that one of the great Causes of the Mischiefs which befel Henry III. and France under him, his tragical End, the fierce Ligue, and the bloody Civil War, was his changing the Form of expediting Royal Grants and Donations, subject, before that, to be controuled by proper Officers, who could not pass them when not agreeable to old Forms and Regulations, which were an excellent Guard to the Crown, and a Security against the King’s being surprised into extravagant Concessions, to their own great Hurt and Impoverishing, as well as that of their Subjects, and against the Influence and sudden Rise of worthless Favourites and Flatterers. Yet these Favourites and Flatterers had too much Success with a young King, naturally generous, and fond of Rule without Restraint, when they told him, ‘It was beneath a Monarch, to have his Will and Commands controuled by his Subjects.’ The Consequence was, his Profuseness made him poor; his Poverty made him oppress his People: They grew uneasy and discontented. This encouraged ambitious Men, and Demagogues, to incite, and even begin, a Civil War.
Whatever alarms the Populace, and causes Insurrections, be it ever so absurd, or even impossible, such Alarms and Insurrections will rarely want busy Heads to foment, and able Hands to strengthen them. Wretches, too, who pretend to Intelligence from the Stars, or beyond the Stars, Dealers in the Nonsense of Astrology, and false Prophecy, are always of notable Influence, and prove successful Incendiaries, upon such Occasions; belying Heaven, and abusing and inflaming Men. As if the Divinity communicated himself only to Mischief-makers, and only for the Sake of Mischief. Yet, such as belye God, have often the greatest Credit with Men.
Mankind are always prone to Delusion, but most so upon great public Shocks, general Distress, and Changes, when their Hopes and Fears are greatly agitated, and thence continually disposed to gratify these Passions with false Objects; as they always are at the Beginning, and during the Progress, of a Civil War. This therefore is a rare Season for Monks, Astrologers, and all Spiritual Mountebanks and Fanatics, to thrive and multiply in, and to promote, and even perpetuate, Civil Rage. When they have once persuaded their Dupes, that such an Event will happen, it is easy to put them upon Expedients to bring it to pass; and in doing it, such as believe it to be God’s Decree, will thence be notably animated to fulfil it; nay, be proud of being his Instruments. Otho, when he was assured, that he should reign, found no Objection against murdering the reigning Prince. When the Almighty is thought to direct and to sanctify the End, the Means will always be sanctified too, by such as employ them.