Voltaire: One country cannot conquer without making misery for another

For peace, against war: literary selections

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

French writers on war and peace

Voltaire: Selections on war

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Voltaire
From Philosophical Dictionary
Translated by H.I. Woolf

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Fatherland

A young journeyman pastrycook who had been to college, and who still knew a few of Cicero’s phrases, boasted one day of loving his fatherland. «What do you mean by your fatherland?» a neighbour asked him. «Is it your oven? is it the village where you were born and which you have never seen since? is it the street where dwelled your father and mother who have been ruined and have reduced you to baking little pies for a living? is it the town-hall where you will never be police superintendent’s clerk? is it the church of Our Lady where you have not been able to become a choir-boy, while an absurd man is archbishop and duke with an income of…

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