Page:Armatafragment00ersk.djvu/46

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¬firmed by their histories; because, when one or more superior dominions had been established by conquest, the lesser ones surrounding them having no common interest to unite them, nor any support from the great bodies of their people, were often overpowered and extinguish- ed : the most popular captains of fierce adven- turers becoming in another age the sovereigns of nations. ¬" One of those invaders once swayed by force and terror the sceptre of Armata; but con- quest and the tyrannical abuse of it may lay the foundation of a system of liberty which no courage could have conquered nor human wis- dom have contrived. — Perhaps in this short sen- tence you have a faithful though as yet an obscure account of the origin of that singular constitution which has raised Armata to the highest pinnacle of fame and glory. Great and invulnerable as she now is, she was once sub- dued, and all the monuments of her ancient wisdom overthrown ; but the dominion of one ¬man, ¬