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Jacob's Dream

"Jacob's Dream"
Oil on Canvas - 1817-1818
Washington Allston 

There is an art to make dreams, as well as their interpretation; and physicians will tell us that some food makes turbulent, some gives quiet, dreams. Cato, who doated upon cabbage, might find the crude effects thereof in his sleep; wherein the Egyptians might find some advantage by their superstitious abstinence from onions. Pythagoras might have calmer sleeps, if he totally abstained from beans. Even Daniel, the great interpreter of dreams, in his leguminous diet, seems to have chosen to advantageous food for quiet sleeps, according to Greek physic.

--Sir Thomas Browne, "On Dreams"


"He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church"

"He had been Tim's blood horse all the way from church"
Illustration from A Christmas Carol - C. 1905
George Alfred Williams 

There is only one thing in the modern world that has been face to face with Paganism; there is only one thing in the modern world which in that sense knows anything about Paganism: and that is Christianity. That fact is really the weak point in the whole of that hedonistic neo-Paganism of which I have spoken. All that genuinely remains of the ancient hymns or the ancient dances of Europe, all that has honestly come to us from the festivals of Phoebus or Pan, is to be found in the festivals of the Christian Church. If any one wants to hold the end of a chain which really goes back to the heathen mysteries, he had better take hold of a festoon of flowers at Easter or a string of sausages at Christmas.

--G.K. Chesterton, "Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickinson," Heretics

Woman Riding a Tractor

"Woman Riding a Tractor"
Oil on Canvas - 1961
Laurence Stephen Lowry 

I am moreover a Luddite, in what I take to be the true and appropriate sense. I am not “against technology” so much as I am for community. When the choice is between the health of a community and technological innovation, I choose the health of the community. I would unhesitatingly destroy a machine before I would allow the machine to destroy my community.

—Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace


The Enraged Musician

"The Enraged Musician"
Oil on Canvas - 1741
William Hogarth 

And certain moderns are thus placed towards exaggeration. They permit any writer to emphasise doubts for instance, for doubts are their religion, but they permit no man to emphasise dogmas. If a man be the mildest Christian, they smell "cant;" but he can be a raving windmill of pessimism, and they call it "temperament." If a moralist paints a wild picture of immorality, they doubt its truth, they say that devils are not so black as they are painted. But if a pessimist paints a wild picture of melancholy, they accept the whole horrible psychology, and they never ask if devils are as blue as they are painted.

--G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens

On the Brighton Road

"On the Brighton Road"
Oil on Canvas - 1950
Terence Tenison Cuneo 

The Friend who had driven me through the eastern suburbs of Vienna drew up under the barbican of Fischamend: “Shall we drive on?” he asked. “Just a bit further?” Unawares, we had gone too far already. The road ran straight and due east beside the Danube. It was very tempting; all horsepower corrupts. But rather reluctantly, I fished out my rucksack, waved to the driver on his return journey to Vienna and set off.
--Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts

“Today the internal combustion engine has come to destroy the world.” 
--Hilaire Belloc

To me personally, at least, it would never seem needful to own a motor, any more than to own an avalanche. An avalanche, if you have luck, I am told, is a very swift, successful, and thrilling way of coming down a hill. It is distinctly more stirring, say, than a glacier, which moves an inch in a hundred years. But I do not divide these pleasures either by excitement or convenience, but by the nature of the thing itself. It seems human to have a horse or bicycle, because it seems human to potter about; and men cannot work horses, nor can bicycles work men, enormously far afield of their ordinary haunts and affairs.
--G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

I number it among my blessings that my father had no car, while yet most of my friends had, and sometimes took me for a drive. This meant that all these distant objects could be visited just enough to clothe them with memories and not impossible desires, while yet they remained ordinarily as inaccessible as the Moon. The deadly power of rushing about wherever I pleased had not been given me. I measured distances by the standard of man, man walking on his two feet, not by the standard of the internal combustion engine. I had not been allowed to deflower the very idea of distance; in return I possessed “infinite riches” in what would have been to motorists “a little room.” The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it “annihilates space.” It does. It annihilates one of the most glorious gifts we have been given. It is a vile inflation which lowers the value of distance, so that a modern boy travels a hundred miles with less sense of liberation and pilgrimage and adventure than his grandfather got from traveling ten. Of course if a man hates space and wants it to be annihilated, that is another matter. Why not creep into his coffin at once? There is little enough space there.
--C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy