Home > Uncategorized > Eugene Field and Thorne Smith: Bacchus disables Mars

Eugene Field and Thorne Smith: Bacchus disables Mars


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Thorne Smith: Make statues of war’s wholesale butchers before they strike


Eugene Field
Let Us Have Peace


In maudlin spite let Thracians fight
Above their bowls of liquor;
But such as we, when on a spree,
Should never brawl and bicker!

These angry words and clashing swords
Are quite de trop, I’m thinking;
Brace up, my boys, and hush your noise,
And drown your wrath in drinking.

Aha, ‘t is fine, – this mellow wine
With which our host would dope us!
Now let us hear what pretty dear
Entangles him of Opus.

I see you blush, – nay, comrades, hush!
Come, friend, though they despise you,
Tell me the name of that fair dame, –
Perchance I may advise you.

O wretched youth! and is it truth
You love that fickle lady?
I, doting dunce, courted her once;
Since when, she’s reckoned shady!


Thorne Smith
From Night Life of the Gods (1931)


“Live and let live, say I.”

“That’s all very well for you…but with us, our span is so short it’s almost die and let die. What you meant to say is, drink and let drink.”

“Well, it comes to the same thing. There’re altogether too many crimes attributed to drink which rightly belong to natures that would be a lot more vicious without it. Drink doesn’t create crime. It modifies it.”

“Makes it more democratic,” suggested Hunter Hawk. “Spreads it over a wider area and reduces its velocity.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Ludwig with enthusiasm. “If the world kept itself staggering drunk for a couple of centuries there wouldn’t be any wars. Armies would fall down and go to sleep before they could reach each other.”

“And when they woke up,” Mr. Hawk amplified, “the soldiers’ hands would be so unsteady they wouldn’t be able to do much damage.”

“You’ve got it,” said the little man. “You’ve gotten my point exactly. Instead of going over the top the soldiers would barely be able to crawl along on their bottoms.”

“An inspiring picture.”

“War has no inspiring pictures that cannot find their counterparts in peace,” Mr. Turner looked exceedingly solemn when he brought forth this one.

“Them as I understand it,” summed up Hawk, “you hate war and love drink.”

“Exactly, sir. Exactly.”

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