28 December 2011

Vapouring and Fuming

John Ruskin, A Joy for Ever; And its Price on the Market (New York: John B. Alden, 1885), p. 31:

[F]rom all I can gather respecting the recklessness of modern paper manufacture, my belief is, that though you may still handle an Albert Durer engraving, two hundred years old, fearlessly, not one half of that time will have passed over your modern water-colours, before most of them will be reduced to mere white or brown rags; and your descendants, twitching them contemptuously into fragments between finger and thumb, will mutter against you, half in scorn and half in anger: "Those wretched nineteenth century people! They kept vapouring and fuming about the world, doing what they called business, and they couldn't make a sheet of paper that wasn't rotten."

True, the book's pages are yellow and brittle. But it will still last longer than the computer I am using to type this.