That weird moment when you discover that a poster for one of your favorite TV shows was a reference to a Gustave Dore drawing. Its title is “The Ice Was All Around,” and Dore completed it for an 1876 edition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
“Mary Magdalene In The Cave.” Oil on canvas.
That’s Edmund Burke speaking, or at least we think it is — the statement was attributed to him by John Stevens Cabot Abbott in 1876. It seems relevant with an eye towards Donald Trump’s apparent equivocation about the neo-nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.
There are two other Burke quotes that might spring to mind, too, after this past weekend’s alt-right rally and the murder of a 32-year-old counter-protestor, Heather Heyer.
The first is one I grew up hearing from my father, although today I discovered that it, too, may be apocryphal: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (I’ve read that there is no primary source citing Burke as the speaker here; he may have been paraphrasing John Stuart Mill.)
But Burke definitely penned a similar sentiment: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”