Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Good Reading for Pacifists

March 4, 1908.

You have recently been writing me about Dickens. Senator Lodge gave me the following first-class quotation from a piece by Dickens about “Proposals for Amusing Posterity”:

“And I would suggest that if a body of gentlemen possessing their full phrenological share of the combative and antagonistic organs, could only be induced to form themselves into a society for Declaiming about Peace, with a very considerable war-whoop against all non-declaimers; and if they could only be prevailed upon to sum up eloquently the many unspeakable miseries and horrors of War, and to present them to their own country as a conclusive reason for its being undefended against War, and becoming a prey of the first despot who might choose to inflict those miseries and horrors—why then I really believe we should have got to the very best joke we could hope to have in our whole Complete Jest-Book for Posterity and might fold our arms and rest convinced that we had done enough for that discerning Patriarch’s amusement.”

This ought to be read before all the tomfool peace societies and anti-imperialist societies of the present-day.