My county

My County, it has been proved in the life of every man that though his loves are human, and therefore changeable, yet in proportion as he attaches them to things unchangeable, so they mature and broaden. On this account, Dear Sussex, are those women chiefly dear to men who, as the seasons pass, do but continue to be more and more themselves, attain balance, and abandon or forget vicissitude. And on this account, Sussex, does a man love an old house, which was his father’s, and on this account does a man come to love with all his heart, that part of earth which nourished his boyhood. For it does not change, or if it changes, it changes very little, and he finds in it the character of enduring things. In this love he remains content until, perhaps, some sort of warning reaches him, that even his own County is approaching its doom. Then, believe me, Sussex, he is anxious in a very different way; he would, if he could, preserve his land in the flesh, and keep it there as it is, forever. But since he knows he cannot do that, ** at least,” he says, ” I will keep her image, and that shall remain.” And as a man will paint with a peculiar passion a face which he is only permitted to see for a little time, so will one passionately set down one’s own horizon and one’s fields before they are forgotten and have become a different thing.

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