or probation in them, before he can 
obtain the freedom in any corporation, or be 
allowed to set up any trade, either in a village 
or town corporate
It was in this manner, by facilitating the 
acquisition of their military and gymnastic 
exercises, by encouraging it, and even by imposing 
upon the whole body of the people the 
necessity of learning those exercises, that the 
Greek and Roman republics maintained the 
martial spirit of their respective citizens. They 
facilitated the acquisition of those exercises
by appointing a certain place for learning and 
practising them, and by granting to certain 
masters the privilege of teaching in that place
Those masters do not appear to have had either 
salaries or exclusive privileges of any 
kind. Their reward consisted altogether in 
what they got from their scholars; and a citizen
who had learnt his exercises in the public 
gymnasia, had no sort of legal advantage 
over one who had learnt them privately, provided 
the latter had learned them equally 
well. Those republics encouraged the acquisition 
of those exercises, by bestowing little 
premiums and badges of distinction upon those 
who excelled in them. To have gained
prize in the Olympic, Isthmian, or Nem├Žan 
games, gave illustration, not only to the person 
who gained it, but to his whole family and 
kindred. The obligation which every citizen 
was under, to serve a certain number of years
if called upon, in the armies of the republic
sufficient imposed the necessity of learning 
those exercises, without which he could not 
be fit for that service
That in the progress of improvement, the 
practice of military exercises, unless government 
takes proper pains to support it, goes 
gradually to decay, and, together with it, the 
martial spirit of the great body of the people
the example of modern Europe sufficiently 
demonstrates. But the security of every society 
must always depend, more or less, upon the 
martial spirit of the great body of the people
In the present times, indeed, that martial spirit 
alone, and unsupported by a well-disciplined 
standing army, would not, perhaps, be sufficient 
for the defence and security of any society. 
But where every citizen had the spirit 
of a soldier, a smaller standing army would 
surely be requisite. That spirit, besides, would 
necessarily diminish very much the dangers 
to liberty, whether real or imaginary, which 
are commonly apprehended from a standing 
army. As it would very much facilitate the 
operations of that army against a foreign invader
so it would obstruct them as much, if 
unfortunately they should ever be directed 
against the constitution of the state
The ancient institutions of Greece and 
Rome seem to have been much more effectual 
for maintaining the martial spirit of the great 
body of the people, than the establishment of 
what are called the militias of modern times
They were much more simple. When they 
were once established, they executed themselves, 
and it required little or no attention 
from government to maintain them in the 
most perfect vigour. Whereas to maintain, 
even in tolerable execution, the complex regulations 
of any modern militia, requires the 
continual and painful attention of government
without which they are constantly falling 
into total neglect and disuse. The influence
besides, of the ancient institutions, was 
much more universal. By means of them, the 
whole body of the people was completely instructed 
in the use of arms; whereas it is but 
a very small part of them who can ever be 
so instructed by the regulations of any modern 
militia, except, perhaps, that of Switzerland
But a coward, a man incapable either 
of defending or of revenging himself, evidently 
wants one of the most essential parts 
of the character of a man. He is as much 
mutilated and deformed in his mind as another 
is in his body, who is either deprived of 
some of its most essential members, or has 
lost the use of them. He is evidently the 
more wretched and miserable of the two; because 
happiness and misery, which reside altogether 
in the mind, must necessarily depend 
more upon the healthful or unhealthful, the 
mutilated or entire state of the mind, than 
upon that of the body. Even though the martial 
spirit of the people were of no use towards 
the defence of the society, yet, to prevent 
that sort of mental mutilation, deformity, and 
wretchedness, which cowardice necessarily involves 
in it, from spreading themselves through 
the great body of the people, would still deserve 
the most serious attention of government
in the same manner as it would deserve 
its most serious attention to prevent
leprosy, or any other loathsome and offensive 
disease, though neither mortal nor dangerous
from spreading itself among them; though, 
perhaps, no other public good might result 
from such attention, besides the prevention of 
so great a public evil
The same thing may be said of the gross 
ignorance and stupidity which, in a civilized 
society, seem so frequently to benumb the 
understandings of all the inferior ranks of 
people. A man without the proper use of the 
intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, 
more contemptible than even a coward, and 
seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still 
more essential part of the character of human 
nature. Though the state was to derive no 
advantage from the instruction of the inferior 
ranks of people, it would still deserve its attention 
that they should not be altogether uninstructed
The state, however, derives no 
inconsiderable advantage from their instruction
The more they are instructed, the less 
liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm 
and superstition, which, among ignorant nations 
frequently occasion the most dreadful