"I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king--and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms--I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field."
"Armies, for the most part, are made up of men drawn from simple and peaceful lives. In time of war they suddenly find themselves living under conditions of violence, requiring new rules of conduct that are in direct contrast to the conditions they lived under as civilians. They learn to accept this to perform their duties as fighting men."
"Still, I'm much happier here, really in it than I've been for an age. People don't hate much at the front; there's no one to hate, except the poor devils across the way, whom they [the French soldiers] know to be as miserable as themselves. They don't talk hypocritical bosh about the beauty and manliness of war: they feel in their souls that if they weren't cowards they would have ended the thing long ago--by going home, where they want to be. And lastly and best, they don't jabber about atrocities--of course, everyone commits them--though about one story in a million that reaches our blessed Benighted States is true."
"How damned ridiculous it all is! The long generations toiling--skimping, lashing themselves screwing higher and higher the tension of their minds, polishing brighter and brighter the mirror of intelligence to end in this--My God what a time--All the cant and hypocrisy, all the damnable survivals, all the vestiges of old truths now putrid and false infect the air, choke you worse than German gas--The ministers from their damn smug pulpits, the business men--the heroics about war--my country right or wrong--oh infinities of them! Oh the tragic farce of the world."
"There's something wonderfully exciting about the quiet sing song of an aeroplane overhead with all the guns in creation lighting out at it, and searchlights feeling their way across the sky like antennae, and the earth shaking snort of the bombs and the whimper of shrapnel pieces when they come down to patter on the roof."
"The American people is out to get the kaiser. We are bending every nerve and every energy towards that end; anybody who gets in the way of the great machine the energy and devotion of a hundred million patriots is building towards the stainless purpose of saving civilization from the Huns will be mashed like a fly. I'm surprised that a collegebred man like you hasn't more sense. Don't monkey with the buzzsaw."
"Our young people have come to look upon war as a kind of beneficent deity, which not only adds to the national honor but uplifts a nation and develops patriotism and courage. That is all true. But it is only fair, too, to let them know that the garments of the deity are filthy and that some of her influences debase and befoul a people."