Why I like nineteenth century historical writing

Here’s Samuel Griswold Goodrich on Europe after the Goths in A History of All Nations, from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time (1856):

When the wind had dispersed the dust of these countless armies; when the smoke of these blazing cities had ascended to the sky; when the vapors, arising from these murderous battlefields, had returned to the earth in fertilizing dews; when, in short, the eye could penetrate to this immense chaos through the veil of dust, smoke, and vapor that enveloped it, a young and renewed people were seen pressing around a few old men, who held the gospel in one hand and the cross in the other. These old men were the fathers of the church. These young people were our forefathers, as the Hebrews had been our ancestors–living springs which gushed pure from the earth at the very spot where the corrupted waters were ingulfed.

The only problem with this kind of stuff is that numerous politicians here and in other parts of Europe still regard it as a valid basis for policy.

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