Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Terror, which is a sudden madness and paralysis of the soul"

"I HAVE much to say further on in this book concerning terror: the panic that haunts high places and the spell of many angry men. This horrible affection of the mind is the delight of our modern scribblers; it is half the plot of their insane 'short stories', and is at the root of their worship of what they call 'strength', a cowardly craving for protection, or the much more despicable fascination of brutality. For my part I have always disregarded it as something impure and devilish, unworthy of a Christian. Fear I think, indeed, to be in the nature of things, and it is as much part of my experience to be afraid of the sea or of an untried horse as it is to eat and sleep; but terror, which is a sudden madness and paralysis of the soul, that I say is from hell, and not to be played with or considered or put in pictures or described in stories. All this I say to preface what happened, and especially to point out how terror is in the nature of a possession and is unreasonable."

~Hilaire Belloc: The Path to Rome.

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