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Jonathan Swift: Few of this generation can remember anything but war and taxes

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

British writers on peace and war

Jonathan Swift: Selections on war

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Jonathan Swift
From The Journal to Stella

I won’t tell you now; but the Ministers reckon it will do abundance of good, and open the eyes of the nation, who are half bewitched against a peace. Few of this generation can remember anything but war and taxes, and they think it is as it should be; whereas ’tis certain we are the most undone people in Europe, as I am afraid I shall make appear beyond all contradiction.

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The Whigs are still crying down our peace, but we will have it, I hope, in spite of them: the Emperor comes now with his two eggs a penny, and promises wonders to continue the war….

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I often advised the dissolution of that Parliament, although I did not think the scoundrels had so much courage; but they have it only in the wrong, like a bully that will fight for a whore, and run away in an army.

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