“Look. Can you bring yourself to believe that that brute is the lineal descendent of men who supposedly invented machines that flew, who traveled to the moon, harnessed the forces of Nature, built machines that could talk and seemed to think? Can you believe there were such men?”
Apollo was silent.
“Look at him!” the scholar persisted. “No, but it’s too dark now. You can’t see the syphilis outbreak on his neck, the way the bridge of his nose is being eaten away. Paresis. But he was undoubtedly a moron to begin with. Illiterate, superstitious, murderous. He diseases his children. For a few coins he would kill them. He will sell them anyway, when they are old enough to be useful. Look at him, and tell me if you see the progeny of a once-mighty civilization? What do you see?”
“The image of Christ,” grated the monsignor, surprised at his own sudden anger. “What did you expect me to see?”
This book is brilliant.