But, though of an unambitious and peace-loving temper, the very conditions of his empire made war inevitable.
It is perhaps easy to understand how, in the crisis of 1640, when the ethico-political system of Hobbes first took written shape, a peace-loving philosopher should regard the claims of individual conscience as essentially anarchical, and dangerous to social well-being; but however strong might be men's yearning for order, a view of social duty, in which the only fixed positions were selfishness everywhere and unlimited power somewhere, could not but appear offensively paradoxical.
The king (Kwaka Dua I.), who had succeeded Osai Okoto in 1838, was a peace-loving monarch who encouraged trade, but in 1852 the Ashanti tried to reassert authority over the Fanti in the Gold Coast protectorate, and in 1863 a war was caused by the refusal of the king's demand for the surrender by the British of a fugitive chief and a runaway slave-boy.
But his advice was neglected by the vacillating and peace-loving monarch, his proffered proclamation was put aside, and a weak, featureless production substituted in its place.
British visitors to Rome speak of him as a merry high-spirited boy with martial instincts; nevertheless, he grew up studious, peace-loving and serious.
It excited the suspicion of the Church, and a Jesuit, by name Baltus, published a ponderous refutation of it; but the peace-loving disposition of its author impelled him to leave his opponent unanswered.
It was very unlikely that that peace-loving Court would take up arms against its powerful neighbours on behalf of Napoleon, and his proceedings in the previous months had been so recklessly provocative as to arouse doubts whether he intended to invade England and did not welcome the outbreak of a continental war.
Bonaparte thus gained the good opinion of peace-loving Frenchmen; he partitioned Venetian territory with Austria, contrary to French interests but conformably with his own in Italy, and henceforward was the decisive factor in French and European policy, like Caesar or Pompey of old.