15 December 2017

The March of Progress

Charles de Montalembert, quoted in Margaret Oliphant, Memoir of Count de Montalembert, Vol. I (Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons, 1872), pp. 242-243:
The ancient soil of our country, surcharged as it was with the most marvellous creations of the imagination and faith, becomes day by day more naked, more uniform, more bare — nothing is spared. The devastating axe attacks alike forests and churches, castles and hotels de ville. One would say that the intention of our contemporaries was to persuade themselves that the world began yesterday, and was to end to-morrow, so anxious are they to annihilate everything whose duration exceeds the life of a man.
The original can be found on page 7 of de Montalembert's Du vandalisme et du catholicisme dans l'art (Paris: Deb├ęcourt, 1839).

A related post: Witnesses to Destruction