Sunday, October 22, 2017

"The habit of neglecting true books"

"IT is an interesting speculation by what means the Book lost its old position in this country. This is not only an interesting speculation, but one which nearly concerns a vital matter. For if men fall into the habit of neglecting true books in an old and traditional civilization, the inaccuracy of their judgments and the illusions to which they will be subject, must increase.

"To take but one example: history. The less the true historical book is read and the more men depend upon ephemeral statement, the more will legend crystallize, the harder will it be to destroy in the general mind some comforting lie, and the great object-lesson of politics (which is an accurate knowledge of how men have acted in the past) will become at last unknown."

~Hilaire Belloc: On the Decline of the Book.

Complete essay here.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Our society is dissolving"

"CULTURES spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it—we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines—the very structure of our society is dissolving."

~Hilaire Belloc: The Great Heresies, Chap. III.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"The value of Lepanto"

'Don Juan of Austria has gone by Alcalar.'

"That is from Lepanto, and it is a trumpet call! But indeed the whole of that poem Lepanto is not only the summit of Chesterton's achievement in verse but the summit of high rhetorical verse in all our generation. I have said this so often that I am almost tired of saying it again, but I must continue to say it. People who cannot see the value of Lepanto are half dead. Let them so remain."

~Hilaire Belloc: On the Place of Gilbert Chesterton in English Letters.

Lepanto by Chesterton

Monday, October 2, 2017


LOOK, how those steep woods on the mountain's face 
Burn, burn against the sunset; now the cold 
Invades our very noon: the year's grown old, 
Mornings are dark, and evenings come apace. 
The vines below have lost their purple grace, 
And in Forreze the white wrack backward rolled, 
Hangs to the hills tempestuous, fold on fold, 
And moaning gusts make desolate all the place.

Mine host the month, at thy good hostelry, 
Tired limbs I'll stretch and steaming beast I'll tether; 
Pile on great logs with Gascon hand and free, 
And pour the Gascon stuff that laughs at weather; 
Swell your tough lungs, north wind, no whit care we, 
Singing old songs and drinking wine together.

~Hilaire Belloc

Early October in the Pyrenees

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