The view which regards man as a well, a reservoir full of possibilities, I call the romantic; the one which regards him as a very finite and fixed creature, I call the classical.
— T. E. Hulme
Pure geometrical regularity gives a certain pleasure to men troubled by the obscurity of outside appearance. The geometrical line is something absolutely distinct from the messiness, the confusion, and the accidental details of existing things.
Born with blue spectacles, you would think the world was blue and never be conscious of the existence of the distorting glass.
Man is an extraordinarily fixed and limited animal whose nature is absolutely constant. It is only by tradition and organisation that anything decent can be got out of him.
No history can be a faithful mirror. If it were, it would be as long and as dull as life itself. It must be a selection, and, being a selection, must inevitably be biased.
All conviction - and so, necessarily, conversion - is based on the motor and emotional aspects of the mind.
Here is the root of all romanticism: that man, the individual, is an infinite reservoir of possibilities, and if you can so rearrange society by the destruction of oppressive order, then these possibilities will have a chance, and you will get Progress.
All national histories are partisan and designed to give us a good conceit of ourselves.