This is the title of a work by 18th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya, and I first encountered these unsettling words  on the wall of an exhibit at the Baker Museum in Naples, Florida, last weekend.

The words struck me, not for the artist’s original meaning, but first in relation to a certain American Presidential candidate, then this morning again in relation to the latest blind bombing attacks at the Brussels metro and airport. We were there in that beautiful city and at that very airport counter just two years ago on vacation.

Civilization is a fragile institution.

It will require great strength, and a cartful of reason, to overcome the monsters who have taken root among us.

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