Aldous Huxley: How are we to get rid of war when we celebrate militarists?
From Writers and Readers
Consult a library catalogue and you will find that more books have been written on the career of Napoleon than on any other single subject. This fact casts a strange and rather terrifying light on the mentality of modern European writers and readers. How are we to get rid of war, so long as people find their keenest bovaristic satisfaction in the story of the world’s most spectacular militarist?
There are plenty of pious churchmen who consider that God approves of men killing their fellows in war, but who would be horrified at the suggestion that fornication and adultery can ever be anything but detestable in His eyes.
From The Olive Tree
I like them [trees] all, but especially the olive. For what it symbolizes, first of all – peace with its leaves and joy with its olive oil. True, the crown of olive was originally worn by Roman conquerors at ovation; the peace it proclaimed was the peace of victory, the peace which is too often only the tranquillity of exhaustion or complete annihilation. Rome and its customs have passed, and we remember of the olive tree only the fact that it stood for peace, not the circumstances in which it did so.
Incertainties now crown themselves assur’d,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. (Shakespeare)