Sunday, January 01, 2012

Plus ça change

In skimming the pages of a volume I brought home from auction, I found these words:
Alas, my Friends, credulous incredulity is a strange matter.  But when a whole Nation is smitten with Suspicion, and sees a dramatic miracle in the very operation of the gastric juices, what help is there ?  Such Nation is already a mere hypochondriac bundle of diseases ;  as good as changed into glass ;  atrabiliar, decadent ;  and will suffer crises.  Is not Suspicion itself the one thing to be suspected as Montaigne feared only fear ?

The book?  Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution, bound in leather and marbled paper.  This copy has seen better days, as has France, but it certainly has an interesting few points... if you're inclined toward revolution.

On the plus side, I'm informed it was one book Samuel Langhorne Clemens read repeatedly throughout his years. On the minus side, the above paragraph was one of the few which were not so convoluted as to be incomprehensible to the modern reader.   I reckon it will take a few years to wend my way through it, in hope of finding a few more gems like the above.

And, now, a new earworm, too...

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