Babylonian Monuments

" Even to walk in the rich quarter of the town is depressing. . . .  But they [the rich] are powerful:  there is the compensation.  The life of the head of an industrial or commercial house can be compared to that of a princeling.  They have the capital sums, the large aims, the responsibilities and dangers, the importance and, from what I hear, the pride of a potentate . . . they are the generals and rulers of human toil.  Quarter of a million sterling, half a million sterling, such are the figures they deal in. . . .  The warehouses of finished cotton goods and other fabrics are Babylonian monuments.  One of them is two hundred yards long and the bales of cloth are handled by steam-driven machinery.  A cotton mill may contain as many as three hundred thousand spindles. . . ."  "Always the same impression: enormousness.  But are work and power all that is required to make a man happy?"

Source Hippolyte Taine describes Manchester in 1859
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