Brad DeLong: John Maynard Keynes's Life, 1918-1936: At the Versailles peace conference the new democratic German government was treated as a foe rather than a potential ally. The object became to extract as much in plunder and reparations from Germany as possible. South African Prime Minister Jan Christian Smuts wrote about how he and Keynes sat up night after night and:
rail[ed] against the world and the coming flood. And I tell him that this is the time for Grigua’s Prayer (the Lord to come himself and not to send his Son, as this is not a time for children). And then we laugh, and behind the laughter is [Herbert] Hoover’s horrible picture of thirty million people who must die unless there is some great intervention. But then again we think that things are never really as bad as that; and something will turn up, and the worst will never be. And somehow all these phases of feeling are true and right in some sense… (Robert Skidelsky, Hopes Betrayed, page 373, quoting J.C. Smuts).
Why is this "Grigua's Prayer"?