The ideal embodied in Launcelot is ‘escapism’ in a sense never dreamed of by those who use that word; it offers the only possible escape from a world divided between wolves who do not understand, and sheep who cannot defend, the things which make life desirable.” ― “The knight is a man of blood and iron, a man familiar with the sight of smashed faces and the ragged stumps of lopped-off limbs; he is also a demure, almost a maidenlike, guest in hall, a gentle, modest, unobtrusive man.He is not a compromise or happy mean between ferocity and meekness; he is fierce to the nth and meek to the nth.
The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost, much less a nation.
For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.” ― “A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself.
“I am a democrat [proponent of democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man. The real reason for democracy is: Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows.
I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.” ― “When equality is treated not as a medicine or a safety-gadget but as an ideal we begin to breed that stunted and envious sort of mind which hates all superiority.
Our first week at school refuted this lie, along with its corollary that a truly brave man is always gentle.
It is a pernicious lie because it misses the real novelty and originality of the medieval demand upon human nature.
Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.” ― “Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters.
Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows.
When Launcelot heard himself pronounced the best knight in the world, ‘he wept as he had been a child that had been beaten’.2” ― “Let us be quite clear that the ideal is a paradox.
Most of us, having grown up among the ruins of the chivalrous tradition, were taught in our youth that a bully is always a coward.