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Page:Chesterton - Alarms and Discursions (Methuen, 1910).djvu/83

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It would be really interesting to know exactly why an intelligent person--by which I mean a person with any sort of intelligence--can and does dislike sight-seeing. Why does the idea of a char-a-banc full of tourists going to see the birth-place of Nelson or the death-scene of Simon de Montfort strike a strange chill to the soul? I can tell quite easily what this dim aversion to tourists and their antiquities does not arise from--at least, in my case. Whatever my other vices (and they are, of course, of a lurid cast), I can lay my hand on my heart and say that it does not arise from a paltry contempt for the antiquities, nor yet from the still more paltry contempt for the tourists. If there is one thing more dwarfish and pitiful than irreverence for the past, it is irreverence for the present, for the passionate and many-coloured procession of life, which includes the char-a-banc among its many chariots and triumphal cars. I know nothing so vulgar as that contempt for