Education of a Christian Prince. Chapter 11: On Starting War

It is more difficult, and so more admirable, to build a fine city than to demolish one. We observe, however, that the most prosperous cities are built by private citizens, simple men, but are demolished by the wrath of princes. All too often we go to more trouble and expense to demolish a town than would be needed to build a new one, and we fight wars with such extravagance, at such expense, and with such enthusiasm and diligence, that peace could have been preserved for a tenth of all that.

By Erasmus of Rotterdam

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