When the state has withered away and has even been nine-tenths forgotten
people will still be found who gather slightly self-consciously
and practise the arts of the state, slightly self-consciously,
drafting cogent memoranda to non-existent departments, twiddling
bits of that machinery where they find them sticking out of the grass.
Treat them, on the whole, with forbearance: we were nostalgic too,
and even our assemblies sometimes seemed little more than a pastime.