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that he may excite exaggerated ideas of his force. But were an Officer, after agreeing to surrender a fortress, to cut off by an ambufcade the troops sent to take possession of it, or blow them up by springing a mine; or were he to call for quarter in battle, and then to shoot his antagonist whom he had thus thrown off his guard; his conduct, being utterly repugnant to all the established laws and usages of war, would be the height of treachery and baseness.
Our second general rule directs an Officer to conduct himself towards the
with every degree of forbearance and humanity compatible with the successful prosecution of
he should depart from it. Now it is universally known and admitted to be one of the laws of war, that an Officer is at liberty, within certain limits, to ufe signs of various forts without being pledged to their common meaning ; and to use them thus for the purpofe of leading the enemy to erroneous conclusions as to his force and intentions. He therefore who uses them in this manner is guiltless of deceit.
The Achæans, according to Polybius, b. xiii. p. 671, &c. appear to have rejected the use of stratagems, not merely as cowardly, but as immoral; and the historian himself seems inclined to that opinion.
When hostilities are actually commenced, they must necessarily be carried on with the spirit and exertions adapted to bring them to their proper termination - the attainment of
, redress for injuries received, and of reasonable security against fimilar attacks for the future.
hostile proceeding of an army, or of an individual, which is not essentially conducive to this end, whether it be the slaughter of troops who might as easily have been taken prisoners; needless rigour towards vanquished or captive adversaries; the wanton destruction of public buildings, and of the monuments of science and art ; or injury offered to the persons, and havock committed on the property, of unarmed citizens and peasants, is totally without excufe. A conscientious Officer, while he courageously discharges his duty to his country in the camp and the field, will rejoice in every opportunity which presents itself of mitigating the horrors, and alleviating the miseries of war, He will spare, whenever if is practicable, the blood of his enemies. He will remember that those who fall in the field of battle, to whatever nation or party they belong, are men like himself; and that the life of every single unit in the long sum of slaughtered thousands was of the utmost possible confequence at least to one person, if not to more. He will contain his troops within the strict bounds of discipline; he will inculcate on them constant regard to moderation and humanity; and will chastise with exemplary rigour every act of barbarity and unauthorised rapine, whenever and by whomsoever it may be perpetrated. He will never forget the common ties of human nature, by which he is inseparably united to his enemy; an enemy whom he is shortly to meet before the throne of their common Judge. Let the conquered foe, whether of high rank, or in the humbleft station, be treated as a brother. If he has fallen, let his remains be protected from insult. If wounded, or afflicted with fickness, let him receive that succour which the victor, were their situations reversed, would wish to experience. Let the prisoner be exchanged without unneceffary delay; or be permitted, as fpeedily as circumstances will allow, to return on his pa
role to his country and his friends. Let not baits be thrown out to allure him into crimes; to tempt him to desert and betray his country ; to make improper discoveries; or to enter into any engagements, or accede to any proposals, which a man of integrity ought to reject. If he must unavoidably be detained for a time in confinement, let not severity or neglect add to the distresses of a prison. Let the utmost tenderness and delicacy be shewn to those of the weaker sex, who are overtaken by the calamities of war. And above all things, when towns and forts are captured by storm, let no exertions be spared to protect persons of every description, particularly the old and the helpless, from the outrages of an unbridled foldiery, Alushed with victory and panting for spoil and devastation.
Among the many blessings which the introduction of Christianity has conferred on mankind, the change which it has wrought in the mode of conducting hostilities, and in the treatment of enemies and captives, is not the least considerable. This change is ascribed solely to the refinement of modern manners, VOL. I.
by by such as are not disposed to attribute much credit of any kind to Revelation. But they forget that this very refinement is principally due to the influence of the Gospel on those who believe it, and to the effect of their example on those who do not.
The duty of an Officer towards the subjects of neutral powers consists in respecting the rights and immunities of neutrality, whether established by the general laws and usages of pations, or by particular (192) treaties. He may
(m) There are some things not provided for by treaties, which custom and the practice of war seem to authorise. Treaties generally forbid neutral powers to supply an enemy with naval stores, or any kind of warlike weapon ; and commonly specify the particulars. But it sometimes, happens that many articles not within the letter of the treaty may be highly useful to an enemy, when in great want of more material stores; and this country, in such cases, through the superiority of her naval power, has feldom failed to bring ships having them on board into port, and to make a compulsory purchase of the articles in question. The public, through the medium of the Navy Board, has been the purchaser ; and the price given has been sufficiently good. If we had never proceeded further, neutral powers would probably have found no fault. But in the American war such ships, through useless forms and