Home > Uncategorized > Jean Paul Richter: The arch of peace

Jean Paul Richter: The arch of peace

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

German writers on peace and war

Jean Paul Richter: The fathers of war

Jean Paul Richter: The Goddess of Peace


Jean Paul Richter
From The Titan
Translated by Charles T. Brooks

“How will it be with us all,” said Linda, “when we meet again, and seek again the lovely soil?” Just then they espied a high-arched rainbow; that stood half on the island and half on the waves, which seemed to fling it out as a gay, arching water-column upon the shore. “We are going,” said Julienne, delighted, “to pass under the arch of peace.” At this word the rain and the wreath of colours disappeared, and the sun shone behind them.


“So,” said Albano to himself, as they passed through the long corso to the Tenth Ward, “thou art veritably in the camp of the god of war; here, where he grasped the hilt of the monstrous war-sword, and with the point made the three wounds in three quarters of the world.”


The Princess answered, that twelve thousand prisoners built this theatre, and a great many more had bled in it. “O, we too have building prisoners,” said he, “but for fortifications; and blood, too, still flows…”


“One learns to estimate military courage very moderately, when one sees that the Roman Legions, precisely when they were mercenary, bad, slavish, and half-freedmen, namely, under the Triumvirate, fought more courageously than ever. The citizens fought and died to the very last man for that insignificant incendiary, Cataline, and only slaves were made prisoners.”


[He] threw his iron body into the jaws of death, who could not immediately destroy it, – and intoxicated himself with the sorrow of a savage over his murdered life and hopes in the funeral bowl of debauchery; a league which sensuality and despair have often struck with each other on earth, on theatres of war, and in great cities.


Suddenly the flutes in the dell began, which the pious father caused to play at his evening devotions. Like tones of music on the battle-field, they called down murder…

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