Oliver Goldsmith: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war

Oliver Goldsmith wrote about Europe in 1762 – over 250 years ago…

Antiwar literary and philosophical selections


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

Oliver Goldsmith on war: Hundreds of thousands killed without consequence

Oliver Goldsmith: War and its servile press


Oliver Goldsmith
From Citizen of the World (1762)


Now turn from this happy peaceful scene to Europe the theatre of intrigue, avarice and ambition. How many revolutions does it not experience in the compass even of one age; and to what do these revolutions tend but the destruction of thousands. Every great event is replete with some new calamity. The seasons of serenity are passed over in silence, their histories seem to speak only of the storm.

There we see the Romans extending their power over barbarous nations, and in turn becoming a prey to those whom they had conquered. We see those barbarians, when become Christians, engaged in continual wars with the followers of Mahomet; or more dreadful still, destroying each other…

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