War is the great scavenger of thought. It is the sovereign disinfectant, and its red stream of blood is the Condy's Fluid that cleans out the stagnant pools and clotted channels of the intellect. We have awakened from an opium-dream of comfort, of ease, of that miserable poltroonery of the sheltered life. Our wish for indulgence of every sort, our laxity of manners, our wretched sensitiveness to personal inconvenience, these are suddenly lifted before us in their true guise as the specters of national decay; and we have risen from the lethargy of our dilettantism to lay them, before it is too late, by the flashing of the unsheathed sword.
Edmund William Gosse (September 21, 1849 May 16, 1928) was an English poet, author and critic, the son of Philip Henry Gosse and Emily Bowes. He worked as assistant librarian at the British Museum from 1867, and in 1875 became a translator at the Board of Trade, a post which he held until 1904. In the meantime, he published his first volume of poetry, On Viol and Flute (1873) and a work of criticism, Studies in the Literature of Northern Europe (1879). He became acquainted with the pre-Raphaelites and Algernon Swinburne.