I believe it is only necessary that England be fully awakened to a sense of her position, in order that she may right herself, especially as the weather will soon cease to be her foe. I wish I could believe that the cause in which you are embarked is the cause of the people of England. However, I have no sympathy with the idleness that would contrast this fighting with the teachings of the pulpit; for, perchance, more virtue is being practiced at Sevastopol than in many years of peace. It is a pity that we seem to require a war, from time to time, to assure us that there is any manhood still left in man.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 7, 1855, to Thomas Cholmondeley, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, pp. 249-250, Houghton Mifflin (1906).