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Jules Barbey D’Aurevilly: The jackals of war

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

French writers on war and peace

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Jules Barbey D’Aurevilly
From Bewitched (1852)
Translated by Louis Collier Willcox

All wine has its dregs and every army its brutes. They were those horrible brutes which one finds in the slums of every war, belonging to the inevitable race of jackals who come to sully the blood they lap up after the lions have passed…

Despite the impostures of civilizations there is at the heart of man an eternal barbarism. Recent events have shown us that men are ever ready to recommence past horrors.

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[I]t is always what one understands the least that one explains best. The human mind avenges its ignorance by its errors.

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