To study something of great age until one grows familiar with it and almost to live in its time, is not merely to satisfy a curiosity or to establish aimless truths: it is rather to fulfil a function whose appetite has always rendered History a necessity. By the recovery of the Past, stuff and being are added to us; our lives which, lived in the present only, are a film or surface, take on body— are lifted into one dimension more. The soul is fed. Reverence and knowledge and security and the love of a good land— all these are increased or given by the pursuit of this kind of learning.
- Hilaire Belloc, The Old Road