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Horace Walpole: Peace and propagation


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

British writers on peace and war

Horace Walpole: Selections on war and peace


Horace Walpole
From his correspondence (1778)

The ministers do not know the strength they have left (supposing they apply it in time), if they are afraid of making any peace. They were too sanguine in making war; I hope they will not be too timid of making peace.


O, ye fathers of your people, do you thus dispose of your children? How many thousand lives does a king save, who signs a peace! It was said in jest of our Charles II., that he was the real father of his people, so many of them did he beget himself. But tell me, ye divines, which is the most virtuous man, he who begets twenty bastards, or he who sacrifices a hundred thousand lives? What a contradiction is human nature! The Romans rewarded the man who got three children, and laid waste the world. When will the world know that peace and propagation are the two most delightful things in it?

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