A Survival: Gold and the Imperishable Rock

“A man never knows what tiny thing will startle him to such ancestral and impersonal tears. Piles of superb masonry will often pass like a common panorama; an on this grey and silver morning the ruined towers of the cathedral stood about me somewhat vaguely like grey clouds. But down in a hollow where the local antiquaries are making a fruitful excavation, a magnificent old ruffian with a pickaxe (whom I believe to have been St. Joseph of Arimathea) showed me a fragment of the old vaulted roof which he had found in the earth; and on the whitish grey stone there was just a faint brush of gold. There seemed a piercing and swordlike pathos, an unexpected fragrance of all forgotten or desecrated things, in the bare survival of that poor little pigment upon the imperishable rock.”

— G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, chap. 15, “The Gold of Glastonbury,” pp. 116-117. Reprinted in: The Quotable Chesterton, the Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton, ed. Kevin Belmonte (Nashville: Thomas Nelson c2011)

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About negxl1

Rocks interest me; some fascinate me.
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