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Henri Bosco: Man kills just for the sake of killing


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

French writers on war and peace


Henri Bosco
From The Farm Théotime
Translated by Mervyn Savill

“We have frightened the tribes of the air,” he declared.

“In the time of Monsieur Clodius, your predecessor,” he went on, “these little creatures could never have received any visitors. That is why our presence frightens them today. Man kills for a trifle, just for the sake of killing – you know that as well as I do. And the birds know it too. They are certainly watching us from the tops of the trees, and just waiting for our departure before they start singing again. But I am afraid that they will no longer sing in the same carefree manner: in future they will live in a state of uneasiness.” He sighed once or twice, and repeated sadly: “It’s a pity.”


There is peace in the pure alone, and it is probably only the solitary who are pure. This is the reason why I, who am stamped with mediocrity, aspire to my appeasement through the paths of solitude to which, alas! my savage nature alone and not a natural elevation of the spirit has disposed me. I know myself.


One does not attain to the peace of the heart, if it is of this world, except by untiring work, frequent disappointment, and the sentiment of a true humility.

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