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ALL THINGS PERISH?

It is probable that nothing novr existing; m England will be m exlitenoe two thousand years hence, Louie B'ano'a bait melancholy, half oynloal aphorism, 'Edifices have only duration ; it Is ruins whioh have eternity,' must be true m unbalance, ihoagh the oldeßt building of whioh clvlltoed man Is cognisant, the Pyramid of Ohoopa, 1b an ed fiae and uot a ruin ; bat If daratlon is measured, as Egyptians measured it, by thousands of years, oar buildings will hord'y enjoy even duration. The national wealth will not last bo long, glliing away, as it mußt, to more produotiva land?, and 4 m the Absence of endleta repairs to balldtngs, ours la a fatal climate, York Minster Itsolf would bardly survive five centuries of negleot ; and exoapt a fgyr ohurohep, the oldest portion of the Tower of London, and a castle or two, what buildIng is there with ov<m a ohaooe of saoh a life! Fire wreoks the great houses one bf one, eg It wrecked most of the palaoei of antiquity ; end bf the homes m whioh we lodge great; Institution!', suoh, foi example, as the Museum and the Bank of England, not on a is intended to poivasi a seonler durability Even stone perishes here, witness he Westminister Palace; and though brick miy be m*da as solid as the hills— potsherds hay« outlived Babylon and a 1 ite succeeding Empires— we have either lost or >c disregard the art whioh manufacture! the br- oka of the Temple of Bains, and of the Roman wall ol Pevensey. The strongest thing we build, oat railway arches, would or amble In a few centuries if uarenewed ; we cannot dispense with timber or iron In our roofs ; and we nuke our floors of wood, or of stone so ill-cemented ihat tlm* dislodges the slabs. As for oar institutions, whioh, If only preserved, might Home ol them Ust like the Japanese throne, or the Papacy, or the Manlolpality of Ravenna, or the Althing of Iceland, we are rapidly destroying them one by one, till the most optimist of Tories would allow bat » oentory or two to the -Throne, or the Oaarob, be the House of Gammon*, or anything still living %od strong. There is no sound reason to believe that any corporate body, say, * Birmingham/ or the Bank of England, will endure for anything like tbe suggested period; while as to families— whioh m Asia are bo enduring that the house of Conf aoias is still ifter 2400 years, the most visible one m Chioa t and the de^oendanta of Rama, who were relgniog when Alexander died (2212 years ago), are reigning still— no one really expeo s that any one now illustrious will be visible m the year ad. 3800. ; Por more than fourteen hundred years, the descendants of Cedrio have been fi st m theae ial&nds, and their probable, though not proved, pedigreemay stretch baok centuries more $ but they do not hope even for them -elves that they will survive for aa equal length of forward time. Toe pace of the world is too rapid for that, and deatrnotivenesa grows into too strong an inefiaot.

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ALL THINGS PERISH? Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2182, 25 July 1889

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