or to any other of the neighbouring nations accustomed
to arms, but he resolved, like the prudent prince
he was, to rely on his own countrymen. And such
was his ability that, under his rule, the people very
soon became admirable soldiers. For nothing is
more true than that where a country, having men, lacks
soldiers, it results from some fault in its ruler,
and not from any defect in the situation or climate.
Of this we have a very recent instance. Every
one knows, how, only the other day, the King of England
invaded the realm of France with an army raised wholly
from among his own people, although from his country
having been at peace for thirty years, he had neither
men nor officers who had ever looked an enemy in the
face. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate with such
troops as he had, to attack a kingdom well provided
with officers and excellent soldiers who had been
constantly under arms in the Italian wars. And
this was possible through the prudence of the English
king and the wise ordinances of his kingdom, which
never in time of peace relaxes its warlike discipline.
So too, in old times, Pelopidas and Epaminondas the
Thebans, after they had freed Thebes from her tyrants,
and rescued her from thraldom to Sparta, finding themselves
in a city used to servitude and surrounded by an effeminate
people, scrupled not, so great was their courage,
to furnish these with arms, and go forth with them
to meet and to conquer the Spartan forces on the field.
And he who relates this, observes, that these two
captains very soon showed that warriors are not bred
in Lacedaemon alone, but in every country where men
are found, if only some one arise among them who knows
how to direct them to arms; as we see Tullus knew
how to direct the Romans. Nor could Virgil better
express this opinion, or show by fitter words that
he was convinced of its truth than, when he says:—
“To arms shall Tullus rouse
His sluggish warriors."
[Footnote 1: Residesque movebit Tullus in arma
viros. Virg. Aen. vi. 814.]
It was agreed between Tullus king of Rome, and Metius
king of Alba, that the nation whose champions were
victorious in combat should rule over the other.
The three Alban Curiatii were slain; one of the Roman
Horatii survived. Whereupon the Alban king with
all his people became subject to the Romans.
The surviving Horatius returning victorious to Rome,
and meeting his sister, wife to one of the dead Curiatii,
bewailing the death of her husband, slew her; and
being tried for this crime, was, after much contention,
liberated, rather on the entreaties of his father
than for his own deserts.