Thursday, December 19, 2019


Of Courtesy, it is much less
Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in my Walks it seems to me
That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.

On Monks I did in Storrington fall, 
They took me straight into their Hall; 
I saw Three Pictures on a wall, 
And Courtesy was in them all. 

The first the Annunciation; 
The second the Visitation; 
The third the Consolation, 
Of God that was Our Lady's Son. 

The first was of St. Gabriel; 
On Wings a-flame from Heaven he fell; 
And as he went upon one knee 
He shone with Heavenly Courtesy. 

Our Lady out of Nazareth rode― 
It was Her month of heavy load; 
Yet was her face both great and kind, 
For Courtesy was in Her Mind. 

The third it was our Little Lord, 
Whom all the Kings in arms adored; 
He was so small you could not see 
His large intent of Courtesy. 

Our Lord, that was Our Lady's Son, 
God bless you, People, one by one; 
My Rhyme is written, my work is done. 

~Hilaire Belloc

• See a copy of Belloc's original manuscript On Courtesy dedicated to 'The Prior of Storrington': On Courtesy

Annunciation, by Fra Angelico. Tempera on wood, A.D. 1433-34.
Museo Diocesano, Cortona

Saturday, December 14, 2019


“… Implicit Materialism―that is, an underlying, unexpressed, conception that material causes explain all things―survives. Men do not commonly say, nowadays, as many did not so long ago, that man is to be explained as a machine or a set of chemical formulae. They no longer, in any great numbers, deny flatly the presence the presence of immaterial factors in the universe. But when they speak of life or death, or when they propose an explanation of anything, they imply, often without knowing it, that all of which they talk is material: that life is a material process, death but the cessation of that process, and that any human occasion―for instance any social development―can be completely understood when it is stated in terms of material things.”

~ Hilaire Belloc: Survivals and New Arrivals

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Hoar Time about the house betakes him slow,
Seeking an entry for his weariness;
And in that dreadful company Distress
And the sad Night with silent footsteps go.
On my poor fire the brands are scarce aglow,
And in the woods without what memories press;
Where, waning in the trees from less to less,
Mysterious bangs the hornèd moon, and low.

For now December, full of aged care,
Comes in upon the yea and weakly grieves,
Mumbling his lost desires and his despair;
And with mad trembling hand still interweaves
The dank sear flower-stalks tangled in his hair,
While round about him whirl the rotten leaves.

~Hilaire Belloc

Photo: Hilaire Belloc, at his home in King's Land, Shipley, West Sussex.

Sunday, December 1, 2019


"WHERE then shall we look for the seed of a New Religion? I should reply, tentatively, in this: the satisfaction of that Messianic mood with which, paradoxically, the despair of the New Paganism is shot. The expectation of better things─the confident expectation of their advent─affects the vileness and folly of our time everywhere. Let an individual appear with the capacity or chance to crystallize these hopes and the enemy will have arrived. For anti-Christ will be a man."

~Hilaire Belloc: Survivals and New Arrivals

(Artwork: Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist, by Luca Signorelli. Fresco, 1499-1502. Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto)

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