There is a thing which is often called progress, but which only occurs in dull and stale conditions: it is indeed, not progress, but a sort of galloping plagiarism. To carry the same fashion further and further is not a mark of energy, but a mark of fatigue. One can fancy that in the fantastic decline of some Chinese civilization one might find things automatically increasing, simply because everybody had forgotten what the things were meant for. Hats might be bigger than umbrellas, because every one had forgotten to wear them. Walking sticks might be taller than lances, because nobody ever thought of taking them out on a walk. The human mind never goes so fast as that except when it has got into a groove.
– The Living Age, 21 August 1909.