Carl L. Becker的
“The Heaveny City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers”
There is thus a profound truth in Voltaire's witticism:"History is
only a pack of tricks we play on the dead."...... The kind of tricks we play is
therefore likely to depend on our attitude toward the present. If well enough satisfied with the present we are likely to pay our ancestors the doubtful compliment of approaching them with a studied and pedantic indifference; but when the times are out of joint we are disposed to blame them for it, or else we dress them up, as models suitable for us to imitate, in shining virtues which in fact they never possessed, which they would perhaps not have recognized as virtues at all.