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8922. WAR, Quixotic.—

War against
Bedlam would be just as rational as against
Europe, in its present condition of total demoralization.
When peace becomes more
losing than war, we may prefer the latter on
principles of pecuniary calculation. But for
us to attempt, by war, to reform all Europe,
and bring them back to principles of morality,
and a respect for the equal rights of nations,
would show us to be only maniacs of another
character. We should, indeed, have the merit
of the good intentions as well as of the folly
of the hero of La Mancha.—
To William Wirt. Washington ed. v, 595. Ford ed., ix, 319.
(M. May. 1811)