“Mont Blanc can have no mystery for a man who has been up it half a dozen times. It’s like getting behind the scenes at a ballet, or making a conjuror explain his tricks. […] The poetry and mystery of the mountains are lost to those who make themselves familiar with their details, not the less because such familiarity may have useful results. In this world things are beautiful only because they are not quite seen, or not perfectly understood. Poetry is precious chiefly because it suggests more than it declares. Look in there, through that valley, where you just see the distant little peak at the end. Are you not dreaming of the unknown beautiful world that exists up there;—beautiful, as heaven is beautiful, because you know nothing of the reality? If you make your way up there and back tomorrow, and find out all about it, do you mean to say that it will be as beautiful to you when you come back?”

“Yes—I think it would,” said Alice.

“Then you’ve no poetry in you. Now I’m made up of poetry.” After that they began to laugh at him and were very happy.

– Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her? (1864)

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