Home > Uncategorized > Nathaniel Hawthorne: How glorious it would have been if our forefathers could have kept the country unspotted with blood!

Nathaniel Hawthorne: How glorious it would have been if our forefathers could have kept the country unspotted with blood!

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

American writers on peace and against war

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Selections on war

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Nathaniel Hawthorne
From Grandfather’s Chair

What with recruiting and drilling of soldiers, there was now nothing but warlike bustle in the streets of Boston. The drum and fife, the rattle of arms, and the shouts of boys were heard from morning till night….

“The people of New England were probably glad of some repose; for their young men had been made soldiers, till many of them were fit for nothing else. And those who remained at home had been heavily taxed to pay for the arms, ammunition; fortifications, and all the other endless expenses of a war. There was great need of the prayers of Cotton Mather and of all pious men, not only on account of the sufferings of the people, but because the old moral and religious character of New England was in danger of being utterly lost.”

“How glorious it would have been,” remarked Laurence, “if our forefathers could have kept the country unspotted with blood!”

“Yes,” said Grandfather; “but there was a stern, warlike spirit in them from the beginning. They seem never to have thought of questioning either the morality or piety of war.”

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