Saturday, February 7, 2009
I have been reading, for my delight and delectation, Robert Speaight's collection of Belloc's letters. They are a constant source of great quotes and wonderful descriptions of places that no longer exist, due to the horrors of war. I can't quote his description of his visit to the United States in case it upsets the delicate balance of the Universe (remember he married an American, so he loves you really!), but here are a couple of goodies:
On visiting the United States - to Mrs Raymond Asquith, March 11th, 1923:
"It is like living in an amiable and quite pointless lunatic asylum................the nightmare of false similarity." "In the United States the half incomprehensible language is the main shock: like a machine dressed in human clothes."
To Mrs Raymond Asquith, October 26th, 1922:
"There should be persecutions. The Faith never grows properly without them at due intervals."
Alternatives to the Faith - to Mrs Raymond Asquith, July 16th, 1921:
"The alternative to this doctrine is, for noble minds despair, and for ignoble, puerilities. Neither are true. Despair is false because the universe is one: it is an equation with roots, not a mere pluralism and chaos. Puerilities stand self-condemned."
To Major-General Guy Dawnay, March 8th, 1932:
"Our civilization will suffer grievously through the rapid division of men into Catholic and Pagan - especially as the Paganism will not be the glorious Paganism out of which we came, a Paganism of birth, but a Paganism of death."