Written in the midst of World War I.
Here they come:
All over England now, where the livery of mourning had been a rare thing to see, women and children went about in the October sunshine in new black clothes. Everywhere one met these fresh griefs, mothers who had lost their sons, women who had lost their men, lives shattered and hopes destroyed. The dyers had a great time turning coloured garments to black. And there was also a growing multitude of crippled and disabled men. It was so in England, much more was it so in France and Russia, in all the countries of the Allies, and in Germany and Austria; away into Asia Minor and Egypt, in India and Japan and Italy there was mourning, the world was filled with loss and mourning and impoverishment and distress.
And still the mysterious powers that required these things of mankind were unappeased, and each day added its quota of heart-stabbing messages and called for new mourning, and sent home fresh consignments of broken and tormented men. …
“No life is safe, no happiness is safe, there is no chance of bettering life until we have made an end to all that causes war….
“We have to put an end to the folly and vanity of kings, and to any people ruling any people but themselves. There is no convenience, there is no justice in any people ruling any people but themselves; the ruling of men by others, who have not their creeds and their languages and their ignorances and prejudices, that is the fundamental folly that has killed Teddy and Hugh – and these millions. To end that folly is as much our duty and business as telling the truth or earning a living….”
“…The world is weary of this bloodshed, weary of all this weeping, of this wasting of substance and this killing of sons and lovers. We want it soon, and to have it soon we must work to bring it about.”
See also here.