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On a Vulgar Error

It's an impudent falsehood.
Men did not Invariably think the newer way Prosaic mad, inelegant, or what not.
Was the first pointed arch esteemed a blot Upon the church? Did anybody say How modern and how ugly? They did not.
Plate-armour, or windows glazed, or verse fire-hot With rhymes from France, or spices from Cathay, Were these at first a horror? They were not.
If, then, our present arts, laws, houses, food All set us hankering after yesterday, Need this be only an archaising mood? Why, any man whose purse has been let blood By sharpers, when he finds all drained away Must compare how he stands with how he stood.
If a quack doctor's breezy ineptitude Has cost me a leg, must I forget straightway All that I can't do now, all that I could? So, when our guides unanimously decry The backward glance, I think we can guess why.

by C S Lewis
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