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BY E. S. CREASY, M.A.
PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT AND MODERN HISTORY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON,
Those few battles, of which a contrary event would have essentially varied the drama
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
82 CLIFF STREET.
It is an honorable characteristic of the spirit of this age, that projects of violence and warfare are regarded among civilized states with gradually increasing aversion. The Universal Peace Society certainly does not, and probably never will, enroll the majority of statesmen among its members. But even those who look upon the appeal of battle as occasionally unavoidable in international controversies, concur in thinking it a deplorable necessity, only to be resorted to when all peaceful modes of arrangement have been vainly tried, and when the law of self-defense justifies a state, like an individual, in using force to protect itself from imminent and serious injury. For a writer, therefore, of the present day to choose battles for his favorite topic, merely because they were battles; merely because so many myriads of troops were arrayed in them, and so many hundreds or thousands of human beings stabbed, hewed, or shot each other to death during them, would argue strange weakness or depravity of mind. Yet it can not be denied that a fearful and wonderful interest is attached to these scenes of carnage. There is undeniable greatness in the disciplined courage, and in the love of honor, which makes the combatants confront agony and destruction. And the powers of the human intellect are rarely more strongly displayed than they are in the commander who regulates, arrays, and wields at his will these masses of armed disputants; who, cool, yet daring in the midst of peril, reflects on all, and provides for all, ever ready with fresh resources and designs, as the vicissitudes of the storm of slaughter require. But these qual