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William Shakespeare: Soldier, a creature that I teach to fight

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

British writers on peace and war

William Shakespeare: Selections on war and peace

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William Shakespeare
From Julius Caesar

OCTAVIUS
You may do your will;
But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.

ANTONY
So is my horse, Octavius; and for that
I do appoint him store of provender:
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion govern’d by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so;
He must be taught and train’d and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On abjects, orts and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion: do not talk of him,
But as a property.

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From Measure for Measure

First Gentleman
There’s not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the petition well that prays for peace.

Second Gentleman
I never heard any soldier dislike it.

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