An eighteenth-century English Whig landowner, who had put his treasure into the founding of a family, would plant avenues which even his grandchildren would not live to see with the eye of the flesh in the glory of the timber’s full-grown stature. A twentieth-century Ministry of Agriculture planted soft wood to replace the hard wood that it felled; and, in this greediness for quick returns, it was advertising its disbelief in its own immortality, however loudly it might shout Le Roi est mort! Vive le Roi! The business men who had taken over from the landowners the management of a British Conservative Party had restricted the horizon of politics to the range of their own myopic commercial vision. Après moi le déluge, if business is booming today.
The Spanish chestnut avenue, Croft Castle, Hereford-shire; Flickr credit: rowteight
A Study of History, Vol VII, OUP, 1954