146 SAMUEL JOHNSON
though it lies open on every side to invasion, where, in contempt of walls and trenches, every man sleeps securely with his sword be- side him: where all, on the first approach of hostility, came together at the call to battle, as at a summons to a festal show; and, com- mitting their cattle to the care of those whom age or nature has disabled, engaged the enemy with that competition for hazard and for glory, which operate in men that fight under the eye of those whose dislike or kindness they have always considered as the greatest evil or the greatest good.
This was, in the beginning of the present century, the state of the Highlands. Every man was a soldier, who partook of national confidence, and interested himself in national honour. To lose this spirit, is to lose what no small advantage will compensate.
It may likewise deserve to be inquired, whether a great nation ought to be totally commercial? whether amidst the uncertainty of human affairs, too much attention to one mode of happiness may not endanger others ? whether the pride of riches must not some- times have recourse to the protection of cour- age? and whether, if it be necessary to pre- serve in some part of the empire the military spirit, it can subsist more commodiously in