We live too much in books and not enough in nature, and we are very much like the simpleton of a Pliny the Younger, who went on studying a Greek author while before his eyes Vesuvius was overwhelming five cities beneath the ashes.
A people living under the... threat of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It doesn't not haggle over armaments and military expenditures. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is a fine thing for the financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
If I were called upon to choose between beauty and truth, I should not hesitate; I should hold to beauty, being confident that it bears within it truth both higher and deeper than truth itself. I will go so far as to say there is nothing true in the world save beauty.