Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 6: No 2) >> The Philosophy of the Omnibus >> Page 23

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Page 23

Reviews/Essays | 1998
Transcription you will, but deface not the sublime sadness the imperial loveliness loveley
even in overthrow and ruin—of his once angelic face, and symmetric majesty of
proportion. Spare that which Time would spare. If he left the pyramids, let us not
destroy them. Let us discriminate between all things in our progress between
the merely useful, the necessary, the unavoidable in life, and that grace, drapery
and polish, which make society not less lovely than useful not less fascinating
than necessary not less the handmaid of choice spirits, and generous affections,
and high fancies, than the housewife who makes up the bed and airs all the
chambers. The era of the Omnibus is one that goes onward. It stops not for
meditation. It is the era of revolution—of that love of change which is the
delirium of unaccustomed license. It should not be suffered to go too far, for its
course is never backward. It has no conscience it knows not how to think. The
strong mind must watch to arrest its progress. It will need no propulsion. The
impetus once given, it has nothing of retrograde in any one of its thousand
tendencies. Let it not crush all things in its progress, burying itself, in the end,
amid the ruins of its own creation. Such must be its history, if it be not carefully
regulated. Let the wise let the strong let those, who ride often in the Omnibus,
look to it well. Let them be chary in their choice of drivers. One weak head—one
unsteady hand—one hasty feeling, or fear, or folly, and the vehicle is upon their
heads. It is not the sulky now not the chaise not the chariot. The car of the
prince, of yore, in its overthrow, hurt only himself;—what now must be the
crush how numerous the sufferers—when the Omnibus is the vehicle, when the
people are its occupants, and its driver is one, elevated in the madness of the
moment, and making the misery of years.