"Now this," began Sir Thomas, "is to my liking. The sort of thing that really belongs in a
museum, unlike some of the other
things that we've seen."
"In all fairness," Mr. Flowers interjected, "the Greek idea of justice would be intolerably harsh by modern standards. It's all well and good to see an austere remnant such as this and say, 'That's art from when it was still art,' but to do so would discount the importance of the ideals - many of them quite alien to us - that the ancients held."
Bristling, Sir Thomas responded, "Considering how much of our mores is derived from the institutions of the great sages and philosophers of ages past, it hardly seems unreasonable that we should look to them for artistic inspiration as well. They understood what it means to be civilized in a way that we can at best hope to emulate."
"Come now," Miss Sunnington ventured hesitantly, "surely you don't mean to suggest that our suffrage, sanitariums, and railway-cars are no improvement upon the pastoral livelihood of the Greeks?"
"Let me put it this way," said Mr. Flowers. "The surviving parables clearly suggest that their world was quite harsh. One might argue that their awareness of life was rendered more acute by the sense of transience that pervaded it, but that doesn't change the fact that they had a lot to contend with; and, perhaps as a result, their gods were rarely loving or forgiving, at least in the myths that have survived."