Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. III.: Containing the Military Part of this Model, propos'd practicably. - The Oceana and Other Works
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CHAP. III.: Containing the Military Part of this Model, propos’d practicably. - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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Containing the Military Part of this Model, propos’d practicably.
THE military part, on which at present I shall discourse little, consists in the disciplin of the youth, that is, of such as are between eighteen and thirty years of age: and for the disciplin of the youth it is propos’d,
51. Disciplin of the youth.THAT annually upon Wednesday next insuing the last of December, the youth of each parish (under the inspection of the two overseers of the same) assemble and elect the fifth man of their number, or one in five of them, to be for the term of that year deputys of the youth of that parish.
52. Their troops, and sports.THAT annually on Wednesday next insuing the last of January, the said deputys of the respective parishes meet at the capital of the hundred (where there are games and prizes allotted for them, as has bin shew’d* elswhere) and there elect to themselves out of their own number, one captain, and one insign. And that of these games, and of this election, the magistrats and officers of the hundreds be presidents, and judges for the impartial distribution of the prizes.
53. Their squadrons, and exercises.THAT annually upon Wednesday next insuing the last of February, the youth thro the whole tribe thus elected, be receiv’d at the capital of the same, by the lieutenant or commander in chief, by the conductor, and by the censors; that under the inspection of these magistrats, the said youth be entertain’d with more splendid games, disciplin’d in a more military manner, and be divided by lot into sundry parts, or essays, according to the rules* elswhere given.
THAT the whole youth of the tribe, thus assembl’d, be the first essay. That out of the first essay, there be cast by lot two hundred horse, and six hundred foot: that they whom their friends will, or themselves can mount, be accounted horse, the rest foot.54. The second essay, or the standing army. That these forces (amounting in the fifty tribes to ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot) be always ready to march at a week’s warning: and that this be the second essay, or the standing army of the commonwealth.
55. Provincial guards.THAT for the holding of each province, the commonwealth in the first year assign an army of the youth, consisting of seven thousand five hundred foot, and one thousand five hundred horse. That for the perpetuation of these provincial armys or guards, there be annually, at the time and places mention’d, cast out of the first essay of the youth in each tribe ten horse, and fifty foot: that is, in all the tribes five hundred horse, and two thousand five hundred foot for Scotland; the like for Ireland; and the like of both orders for the sea guards: being each oblig’d to serve for the term of three years upon the states pay.
The standing army of the commonwealth consisting thus of forty thousand, not soldiers of fortune neither in body nor in pay, but citizens at their vocations or trades, and yet upon command in continual readiness; and the provincial armys each consisting of nine thousand in pay in body, and possess’d of the avenues and places of strength in the province, it is not imaginable how a province should be so soon able to stir, as the commonwealth must be to pour forty thousand men upon it, besides the sea guards. Nor coms this militia thus constituted, except upon marches, to any charge at all; the standing army having no pay, and the provinces,The eleventh parallel. wherof the sea thus guarded will be none of the poorest, maintaining their own guards. Such is the military way of a commonwealth, and the constitution of its armys, whether levy’d by suffrage, as in Rome; or by lot, as in Israel.Judg. 20. 9.
WE will go up by lot against Gibeah.
Standing forces being thus establish’d; for such as are upon emergent occasions to go forth, or march, it is propos’d,
56. The third essay, or army marching.THAT the senat and the people, or the dictator having decreed or declar’d war, and the field officers being appointed by the council of war; the general, by warrant issu’d to the lieutenants of the tribes, demand the second essay, or such part of it as is decreed; whether by way of levy or recruit. That by the same warrant he appoint his time and rendevouz: that the several conductors of the tribes deliver him the forces demanded at the time and place appointed. That a general thus marching out with the standing army, a new army be elected out of the first essay as formerly, and a new general be elected by the senat; that so always there be a general sitting, and a standing army, what generals or armys soever be marching. And that in case of invasion the bands of the elders be oblig’d to like duty with those of the youth.
57. Poena ἀ[Editor: illegible character]ϱατε[Editor: illegible character]ας, or the guardian of education and liberty.THAT an only son be discharg’d of these dutys without prejudice. That of two brothers there be but one admitted to foren service at one time. That of more brothers, not above a half. That whoever otherwise refuses his lot, except upon cause shown he be dispens’d with by the phylarch, or upon penitence be by them pardon’d and restor’d, by such refusal be uncapable of electing, or being elected in this commonwealth; as also that he pay to the state a fifth of his revenue for protection, besides taxes. That divines, physicians, and lawyers, as also trades not at leisure for the essays, be so far exemted from this rule, that they be still capable of all preferments in their respective professions, with indemnity, and without military education or service.
A commonwealth whose militia consists of mercenarys, to be safe, must be situated as Venice, but can in no wise be great. The industry of Holland is the main revenue of that state; whence not being able to spare hands to her arms, she is cast upon strangers and mercenary forces, thro which we in our time have seen Amsterdam necessitated to let in the sea upon her, and to becom (as it were) Venice. To a popular government that could not do the like, mercenary arms have never fail’d to be fatal; whence the last proposition is that which in every well-order’d commonwealth has bin look’d to as the main guard of liberty.
The twelfth parallelIn this Israel was formidable beyond all other commonwealths, with a kind of fulmination. Saul when he heard the cruelty of Nahash the Ammonit, at the leaguer of Jabesh-Gilead, took a yoke of oxen and hew’d them in pieces, and sent them throout the coasts of Israel,1 Sam. 11. 7.by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever coms not out afterSaul,and afterSamuel,so shall it be don to his oxen.Judg. 5. 23. Which amounted not only to a confiscation of goods (the riches of the Israelits lying most in their cattle) but to a kind of anathema, as more plainly appears, where it is said, Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants therof, because they came not forth to help the Lord against the mighty.Judg. 21. Nay this (ἀϛϱατεία) desertion of the military orders and services in Israel, was somtimes punish’d with total extermination, as after the victory against Benjamin, where the congregation or political assembly of that people, making inquisition what one of the tribes of Israel came not up to the Lord in Mizpeh (the place where before the taking of Jerusalem they held, as I may say, their parlaments) and finding that there came none to the camp from Jabesh-Gilead, sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead with the edg of the sword, and the women and the children: which was don accordingly.
But by this time men will shrink at this as a dreadful order, and begin to compute that a commonwealth, let her prerogatives for the rest be what they will, must at this rate be but a dear purchase: wheras indeed, if this way costs somthing, there is no other that dos not hazard all; forasmuch as discarding this order, play your game as you can, you are some time or other a prey to your enemys, or to your mercenarys. This certainly is that root in (the penetralia) the bowels of a commonwealth, whence never any court arts, or politeness, could attain to the gallantry or splendor of the education in popular governments. For let any man (remembring what it was to be a Gideon, a Miltiades, a Timoleon, a Scipio, or a magistrat in a commonwealth) consider if there should be no way with us to magistracy, but by having serv’d three years at sea, and three years at land, how the whole face and genius of education, both in the better and in the lower sort, would of necessity be chang’d in this nation, and what kind of magistrats such experience in those services must create to the commonwealth. Consider, whether the threaten’d punishments of this order, tho thro unacquaintance they may at first sight have som brow, would not, as they have don in other commonwealths of like structure, even with low spirits, expire in scorn and contempt, or thro the mere contemplation of the reward of honor, nay of the honor it self, in which point where right has not bin don, men, under governments of this nature, have bin much more apt to heats; as where the men of Ephraim fought against Jeptha, for an affront in this kind which they conceiv’d him to have put upon them.Judg. 12.Wherfore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? We will burn thy house upon thee with fire. Nor is this way so expensive of the purse or of blood. Not of the public purse, because it detests mercenarys; nor of the privat purse, because the ways of education thus directed, are all assisted with the states pay: so that a man in this road might educat three children cheaper, and to the most solid ends, than he could any one to trifles in those which among us hitherto have bin usual. And as to blood, there is nothing more certain, than that idleness, and its inseparable companion luxury, are excedingly more wastful as of the purse, so of health, nay and of life it self, than is war; which nevertheless this order is such as dos rather prevent than necessitat, in regard that to be potent in arms is the way of peace. But wheras in a martial commonwealth there may be men having exceded the thirtieth year of their age, who like those of Ephraim would yet take it ill to be excluded the lists of honor, and it must also be to the detriment of the commonwealth that they should; for these, whom we may call volunteers, it is propos’d,
58. Volunteers.THAT upon warrants issu’d forth by the general for recruits or levys, there be an assembly of the phylarch in each tribe; that such volunteers, or men being above thirty years of age, as are desirous of farther imployment in arms, appear before the phylarch so assembl’d. That any number of these, not exceeding one moiety of the recruits or levys of that tribe, may be taken on by the phylarch, so many of the youth being at the discretion of this council disbanded, as are taken on of the volunteers. That the levys thus made, be conducted by the conductor of the respective tribe to the rendevouz appointed. And that the service of these be without other term or vacation, than at the discretion of the senat and the people, or such instructions to the general, as shall by them in that case be provided.
Thus much for the military or defensive part of this model.Mat. 18. 7. For offences in general it is written, Wo unto the world because of offences; for it must needs be that offences com, but wo to that man by whom the offence coms. Among offences are offensive wars: now it being out of question, that for the righteous execution of this wo upon him or them by whom the offence coms, a war may be just and necessary, as also that victory in a just and necessary war may intitle one prince or one people to the dominion or empire of another prince or people; it is also out of question, that a commonwealth, unless in this case she be provided both to acquire, and to hold what she acquires, is not perfect: which consideration brings me to the provincial part of this model.
[* ]In Oceana.
[* ]In Oceana.