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Philip Massinger: Mustn’t change ploughshares into swords

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

British writers on peace and war

Philip Massinger: Famine, blood, and death, Bellona’s pages

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Philip Massinger
From The Maid of Honour

Let other monarchs
Contend to be made glorious by proud war,
And, with the blood of their poor subjects, purchase
Increase of empire, and augment their cares
In keeping that which was by wrongs extorted,
Gilding unjust invasions with the trim
Of glorious conquests; we, that would be known
The father of our people, in our study
And vigilance for their safety, must not change
Their ploughshares into swords, and force them from
The secure shade of their own vines, to be
Scorch’d with the flames of war; or, for our sport,
Expose their lives to ruin.

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