„[F]rom the earliest periods of time [man] alone has divided the empire of the world between him and Nature.... [H]e rather enjoys than possesses, and it is by constant and perpetual activity and vigilance that he preserves his advantage, for if those are neglected every thing languishes, changes, and returns to the absolute dominion of Nature. She resumes her power, destroys the operations of man; envelopes with moss and dust his most pompous monuments, and in the progress of time entirely effaces them, leaving man to regret having lost by his negligence what his ancestors had acquired by their industry. Those periods in which man loses his empire, those ages in which every thing valuable perishes, commence with war and are completed by famine and depopulation. Although the strength of man depends solely upon the union of numbers, and his happiness is derived from peace, he is, nevertheless, so regardless of his own comforts as to take up arms and to fight, which are never-failing sources of ruin and misery. Incited by insatiable avarice, or blind ambition, which is still more insatiable, he becomes callous to the feelings of humanity; regardless of his own welfare, his whole thoughts turn upon the destruction of his own species, which he soon accomplishes. The days of blood and carnage over, and the intoxicating fumes of glory dispelled, he beholds, with a melancholy eye, the earth desolated, the arts buried, nations dispersed, an enfeebled people, the ruins of his own happiness, and the loss of his real power.“
— Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Buffon's Natural History (1797) Vol. 10, pp. 340-341 https://books.google.com/books?id=respAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA340, an English translation of Histoire Naturelle (1749-1804).