Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECT. V.: How hard to put an End to a Civil War. The Tendency of One, to produce More. How it sharpens the Spirits of Men, shocks the Civil Constitution, and produces Tyranny. - The Works of Sallust (Gordon's Discourses, Cicero's Orations against Catiline)
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SECT. V.: How hard to put an End to a Civil War. The Tendency of One, to produce More. How it sharpens the Spirits of Men, shocks the Civil Constitution, and produces Tyranny. - 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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How hard to put an End to a Civil War. The Tendency of One, to produce More. How it sharpens the Spirits of Men, shocks the Civil Constitution, and produces Tyranny.
WHILST Civil War subsists, it must be conducted by Soldiers; and then, not the Laws, but the Soldiers govern, often against the Authority of their General, and the Laws of War, almost always against the Laws of the Land: And, when the Civil War ends, it must be ended too by the Soldiers, by their Power and Consent; and they, continuing the principal Power, as they must be, if they are not dismissed, will govern even in Peace, or suffer their Leader to govern, who must govern to their good Liking, or not at all: And then it is at their Option, whether Peace, or at least the Effects of Peace, shall continue or no. ‘Such, says Cicero, has been the constant Issue of our Civil Wars, that not only the Pleasure of the Conqueror was always complied with, but many Concessions were likewise made to those by whose Aid he conquered.’
If the Soldiery, or any great Number of them, be discharged, a Rebellion is to be feared, and thence a Renewal of the War. New Pretences, and new Leaders, will never be wanting. Thus the Prætorian Cohorts, dismissed by Vitellius, betook themselves again to Arms, joined themselves to Vespasian, and proved the Bulwark of his Party. Nay, not satisfied with being still employed, upon the bare Apprehensions of being neglected, or even suffering themselves to be tempted by a vile Price, the Roman Army warring under that brave Captain Vocula, against public Enemies, Foreigners, and Rebels, bargained to renounce their Allegiance to Rome, to swear Fealty to the Gauls, a Nation so often beaten and conquered by them; nay, to give earnest of an Iniquity so huge and flagrant, by shedding the Blood of their General Officers, or by delivering them up under Chains.
But suppose a Civil War totally concluded, the Army disbanded without Mutiny, or retained without Acts of Violence, (which are large Suppositions) with all the Appearances of general Peace; still it is a Miracle but the Constitution has suffered a violent Shock, such as a long Tract of Time is necessary to cure, if it be ever cured. A People, for some time inured to a Life of Licenciousness, to revenge their own Quarrels, to rob and kill one another, will not cordially submit to live in Peace, and under equal Law. Those who have gained Wealth by the War, will be afraid of having it resumed by the first Owners; as the latter will be sollicitous to have it restored. So that between the Plunderers and the Plundered, there must be constant Rancour, and a Bone of Contention. A Man, once of great Fortune, finds himself a Beggar, made so by one who was a Beggar before; but is now enriched, and swaggering in his Spoils. The first is enraged because he is ruined, and abhors the upstart Author of his Ruin: The other hates the Man whom he has ruined, whose Resentment he fears, and whose Scorn provokes him.
Men newly raised, will strive to have the Government modelled to their own Security and good Liking; and, being uppermost, will probably succeed, or try all Expedients, even the most desperate, to do so; and then insult and oppress, in proportion to their Power, or Indignation, or Wantonness. They will still see, or pretend to see, the same old Spirit of Malevolence, or Contumacy, or Resistance, (or whatever else they chuse to call it) in the subdued Party; and still want new Powers to curb and restrain them, perhaps to imprison, enslave, or even to cut them off; and thus prove Tyrants themselves, and oppress all others, for public Good and Tranquillity. Besides their own Strength and Security, and the Gratification of Revenge, they will be apt to relish the Sweets of Fines, Compositions, and Confiscations; and therefore carefully promote them. It will be easy to find Accusations.
If it be in a Commonwealth, they will be said to affect Monarchy. John Barnevelt was accused of a Design to restore the Spanish Government; that is, the best Protestant, and best Commonwealth’s-Man upon Earth, was meditating how to introduce, and live under, Spanish Revenge and Tyranny, and the horrible Cruelties of the Inquisition. Thus the Oliverians charged all whom they disliked, with a Passion for the Government of the Stuarts; that is, as they meant it, Government without Law, and against Law, though that of their Master Oliver was as absolute as his own Will and Passions could make it. Thus again, after the Restoration, all who displeased the hot-headed Cavaliers, were Oliverians; though these Cavaliers wanted to compliment the King with the same boundless Power, which Oliver, with much more Capacity and Attention, had possessed.
Thus the new prevailing Party will rule, or attempt to rule, after a Civil War, by new Laws, or rather by Violence forbidden by the old Laws; and whatever Power they like, will be found necessary. The Party vanquished, groaning under new Burdens, and berest of Protection, will look back with Regret to the old Laws, (which perhaps they too had violated in their turn) would be glad to see them restored, and even ready, perhaps, to lend Assistance towards restoring them. This is Treason, in the Eye of their lofty Rulers, who, construing their own Oppression to be just, as all Oppressors do, judge the Oppressed to be Rebels, because they complain, as all the Oppressed will; and therefore, by the Name of Law, doom them to Whips, and Chains, and Forfeiture, against Law. All this being fresh Oppression, will naturally beget Schemes and Efforts to destroy it, such as, if they are discovered, (for sometimes they presently succeed) will be encountered with other furious Efforts to defeat them; and then, if neither Party be at once disabled and ruined, the Civil War is rekindled.
As Faction implies Contention and Hate, Civil War infers Destruction and Revenge. Both Sides will do their best to prevail, and the prevailing Side to be fully avenged; and as Men in Prosperity are more apt to be wanton than cautious, and to provoke many of their own Party, and thence divide and weaken it, as well as to oppress the undermost, and thence unite and strengthen it, (for common Distress is an admirable Cement and Reconciler) the Weaker will be gaining from the Stronger; even their Sufferings will procure them Pity and Friends; Dissention amongst their Adversaries will increase their Numbers; Leaders, and Orators, and Motives, will soon be found to rouse them to attempt a Deliverance; which, if it succeed, will probably tempt them, in their turn, to the same Insolence, Oppression, Follies, Desertion, and Weakness, which gave them their present Superiority.
In these Struggles and Changes, both Parties proceed without Mercy or Sense, till one or both find, that, for one to get the intire Mastery of the other, it is absolutely necessary to raise up some one Leader to absolute Power, and thus become Slaves themselves to make their Opponents Slaves; as was exemplified in the Roman People, and their Darling Cæsar, to whom we may join Pompey and Crassus, two other Favourites of the Multitude. The Roman People meant not to exalt either of them into Tyrants, but, in the Heat of Faction and Opposition to the Senate, did it effectually; since from this popular Heat and Madness the first Triumvirate arose; a wicked and terrible Combination of Three Men to engross the Roman Power, and enslave the Roman World.
The Roman People, like other People, first blinded with Party-Animosities, then opening their Eyes, when their Sight served but to torment them, perceived into what infamous Bondage they had plunged themselves, and abhorred it. At the public Shews, Pompey was insulted, Cæsar affronted, and Curio, who then opposed both, received with a Thunder-clap of Applause. All Rome resounded with Murmuring, with loud Complaints, and even with bitter Reproaches upon the Administration. Cæsar was hated, his great Opponent Bibulus was adored: Nothing was ever so unpopular as these Three once popular Men. Yet all their Measures, however pestilent and detested, prevailed; nor could Cicero foresee how they could be opposed without risquing a general Massacre. For the Three grand Conspirators had introduced into the City, particularly Cæsar, from his Government of Narbon Gaul, great Numbers of Soldiers, thence to prevent, or conquer, all Opposition: Insomuch that Cæsar, I know not whether with more Impudence or Violence, ordered the great and virtuous Cato, though invested with the sacred Office of Tribune of the People, to be carried to Prison, for discharging the Duty of his Place, and that of a worthy Patriot, by opposing the Law of Vatinius, for continuing that terrible Man in his great Government now inlarged, at the Head of a great Army in the Neighbourhood of Rome, for Five Years longer.
The wretched People might now see Themselves, their Liberties, and their best Citizens, thus scorned, and despitefully used, and grieve, as they did, for it. They themselves had enabled him to do all this; and, having raised him so high, could not pull him down, even whilst he spurned them, and trod upon their Necks.
Thus Cromwell came by his Power; and, having by it got his Masters, who gave it, under his Feet, he kept them there. Their struggling in Chains served only to make their Chains sharper and heavier.