Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Francis Poretto: Inheritances

From Liberty's Torch

There's a wealth of things I could write about usual. But in wandering among them, seeking a common theme, I happened upon one I would not have expected. The more I contemplated it, the more sense it made to me. I wonder if it will affect you, Gentle Reader, the same way.


It was once said of the French -- derogatorily -- that their core problem is that they think they built Paris, whereas they really only inherited it. Granted that, if we except the banlieues, they've done a decent job of preserving that patrimony. But it would be pathetically wrong to claim credit for originating it. I hope contemporary Frenchmen don't give themselves that particular air. But there are many inheritances in the world. Not all of them are acknowledged. Not all are appreciated and preserved. Some are treated with contempt:

They unwound and flung from them with rage, as a rag that defiled them
The imperial gains of the age which their forefathers piled them.
They ran panting in haste to lay waste and embitter for ever
The wellsprings of Wisdom and Strength which are Faith and Endeavour.
They nosed out and digged up and dragged forth and exposed to derision
All doctrine of purpose and worth and restraint and prevision:
And it ceased, and God granted them all things for which they had striven,
And the heart of a beast in the place of a man's heart was given

An inheritance of value is not to be treated in such a fashion. The great problem, of course, is that not all of us evaluate by the same standards. It gets worse when one surveys the changes in standards that have occurred over time.

Read the entire essay, and tell me, please...what civil response yet remains for good men who love life and liberty?

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