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Jules Janin: War needs blood and gold


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

French writers on war and peace

Jules Janin: War aborts orators and writers, bears soldiers


Jules Janin
From Summer in Paris
Translator unidentified

There had been a truce in the wars of the world, a necessary truce; for the world was weary, and could bear it no longer. War needs blood and gold, and in 1815 there was not in all Europe another drop of blood or another ounce of gold to be lavished in battle. We must therefore introduce here a delightful blank page of ten years, during which France paid her debts and healed her wounds.


There is nothing new, besides this, except that the minister of war blew his brains out yesterday evening. What! the minister of war? Perfectly true. He was accused of wearing the cross of a Knight of the Legion D’Honneur without authority. What! had not the minister of war a croix d’honneur? It seems not. – Nonsense; I have seen him with the grand cordon.”

Thus talk our two newsmongers, only they forget to name that it is the Belgian minister of war of whom they are speaking…

At this hour of the day, these money-hunters are still civilized men: they have the manners of the world; they salute each other with grace and politeness, with the grace and politeness of two professed duelists, who will very soon try to kill each other.

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