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Horace Walpole: I wish there were an excuse for not growing military mad

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

British writers on peace and war

Horace Walpole: Selections on war and peace

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Horace Walpole
From his correspondence

We are going to send many more troops thither; and it is so much the fashion to raise regiments, that I wish there were such a neutral kind of beings in England as abbès, that one might have an excuse for not growing military mad, when one has turned the heroic corner of one’s age. I am ashamed of being a young rake, when my seniors are covering their gray toupees with helmets and feathers, and accoutering their pot-bellies with cuirasses and martial masquerade habits.

I am much obliged for the notice of Sir Compton’s illness; if you could send me word of peace too, I should be completely satisfied on Mr. Conway’s account.

Till the campaign is ended, I shall be in no humour to smile. For the war, when it will be over, I have no idea. The peace is a jack o’ lanthorn that dances before one’s eyes….

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