Monday, October 05, 2020


The Charm of Mere Age

Samuel Butler (1835-1902), The Note-Books (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1917), pp. 150-151:
And then there is the charm of mere age. Any Italian picture of the early part of the sixteenth century, even though by a worse painter than Raffaelle, can hardly fail to call up in us a solemn, old-world feeling, as though we had stumbled unexpectedly on some holy, peaceful survivors of an age long gone by, when the struggle was not so fierce and the world was a sweeter, happier place than we now find it, when men and women were comelier, and we should like to have lived among them, to have been golden-hued as they, to have done as they did; we dream of what might have been if our lines had been cast in more pleasant places — and so on, all of it rubbish, but still not wholly unpleasant rubbish so long as it is not dwelt upon.

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