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"This is what you are doing with your scenery," said the lecturer, as he took his palette and brushes; he began to paint on the glass that covered the picture, and in a few minutes the scene was transformed.Instead of the beautiful bridge a hideous iron girder structure spanned the stream, which was no longer pellucid and clear, but black as the Styx; instead of the trees arose a monstrous mill with a tall chimney vomiting black smoke that spread in heavy clouds, hiding the sun and the blue sky.
We happily have some of it left still where factories are not, some interesting objects that artists love to paint.
It concerns us that we do not despise our birthright and cast away our heritage of gifts and of powers, which we may lose, but not recover." Every day witnesses the destruction of some old link with the past life of the people of England.
A stone here, a buttress there—it matters not; these are of no consequence to the innovator or the iconoclast.
Life is for ever changing, and doubtless everything is for the best in this best of possible worlds; but the antiquary may be forgiven for mourning over the destruction of many of the picturesque features of bygone times and revelling in the recollections of the past.
The half-educated and the progressive—I attach no political meaning to the term—delight in their present environment, and care not to inquire too deeply into the origin of things; the study of evolution and development is outside their sphere; but yet, as Dean Church once wisely said, "In our eagerness for improvement it concerns us to be on our guard against the temptation of thinking that we can have the fruit or the flower, and yet destroy the root....
Their degenerate sons must have an elaborate heating apparatus, which again distresses the old timbers of the house and fires their hearts of oak.
Our forefathers, indeed, left behind them a terrible legacy of danger—that beam in the chimney, which has caused the destruction of many country houses.
Now the wayside inns wake up again with the bellow of the motor-car, which like a hideous monster rushes through the old-world villages, startling and killing old slow-footed rustics and scampering children, dogs and hens, and clouds of dust strive in very mercy to hide the view of the terrible rushing demon.
In a few years' time the air will be conquered, and aeroplanes, balloons, flying-machines and air-ships, will drop down upon us from the skies and add a new terror to life. Forward, forward let us range, Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.
Historic mansions full of priceless treasures amassed by succeeding generations of old families fall a prey to relentless fire.
Old panelled rooms and the ancient floor-timbers understand not the latest experiments in electric lighting, and yield themselves to the flames with scarce a struggle.
The beauty of our English scenery has in many parts of the country entirely vanished, never to return.