Doesn’t an old thing always know when a new thing comes?”
“I suppose so. You sound as if you believe in spirits.”
“I believe in many things that were done, and there are evidence of these things on Mars. …Ask me, then, if I believe in the spirit of things as they were used, and I’ll say yes. They’re all here. All the things which has uses. All the mountains which had names. And we’ll never be able to use them without feeling uncomfortable. And somehow the mountains will never sound right to us; we’ll give them new names, but the old names are there, somewhere in time, and the mountains were shaped and seen under those names. The names we’ll give to the canals and mountains and cities will fall like so much water on the back of a mallard. No matter how we touch Mars, we’ll never touch it. And then we’ll get mad at it, and you know what we’ll do? We’ll rip it up, rip the skin off, and change it to fit ourselves.”
“We won’t ruin Mars,” said the captain. “It’s too big and too good.”
“You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury