Marginalia, no.219

………………………………He will make
Nature ashamed of her long sleep: when art,
Who’s but a stepdame, shall do more than she,
In her best love to mankind, ever could.

~ Ben Jonson, The Alchemist

Some people pride themselves on being “early adopters” of new technologies. I tend to be among the late-if-ever. True, I sometimes find myself coveting this or that fresh gadget. The feeling usually passes. The last thing I need is another screen to sink my eyes into, another wire to plug into my ears. What I do need are more trees and rocks and water. More living things. None of our digital alchemies equal even the most homely sparrow pecking through the trash or the worst imaginable winter afternoon. A napping mother is always better than a stepmom bearing Greekish gifts.

1 Comment

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One response to “Marginalia, no.219

  1. jacobus

    Fascinating quote. Compare Pietro Bembo’s epitaph of Raphael: “Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori.” Meaning: “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.” (wik.)

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