Thursday, October 20, 2016

Current events & old literature

Edith.  It seems in the deep waters of social life, as in those of the sea, we should not be able to get the beautiful things they contained, if it was not that storms threw them on our shores. We can discern much, as you say, when they are clear, but their greatest treasures are only given up after agitation. The waters must be troubled before they heal.

Lyulph.  I am afraid our waters are as restless as the ocean, so they should at least be always healing. Human progression is a strange thing, such oscillations backwards and forwards, it is often most difficult to see that any advance is made....

Edith.  Antagonism and division seem ruling spirits of our age. We struggle for union and seek the wells of contentment, and find only the waters of strife; but let us have comfort and remember that when the waters are troubled it is only that they may heal.

—Henry James Slack, The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation XIII: A Rocky Lane in Summer," 1850

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