Merlinus Ambrosius was struck to silence when Ransom told him that there was no Emperor to be called upon for help, even in Mankind's uttermost peril. Ransom explained:
"The poison was brewed in these West lands but it has spat itself everywhere by now. However far you went you would find the machines, the crowded cities, the empty thrones, the false writings, the barren beds: men maddened with false promises and soured with true miseries, worshipping the iron works of their own hands, cut off from the Earth their mother and from the Father in heaven. You might go East so far that East became West and you returned to Britain across the great Ocean, but even so you would not have come out anywhere into the light. The shadow of one dark wing is over all Tellus.".
I wonder if, in 1945, there were those who thought that Lewis had overstated his case. We know now how vastly he understated it. But he was a true prophet of the generations that were to follow, and not least in his description of "the Spirit of the Age ... like one of the stone giants, the size of a mountain, with its eyes shut ... They saw some of the guard coming towards them leading a great black stallion, and in it was seated a figure ... a woman in the flower of her age: she was so tall that she seemed to him like a Titaness, a sun-bright virgin clad in complete steel, with a sword naked in her hand. The giant bent forward in his chair and looked at her.
"'Who are you?' he said.
"'My name is Reason,' said the virgin.
"'Make out her passport quickly,' said the giant in a low voice. 'And let her go through our dominions and be off with all the speed she wishes.'
"'Not yet,' said Reason ... and set spurs in her stallion and it leaped up on to the giant's mossy knees and galloped up his foreleg, till she plunged her sword into his heart. Then there was a noise and a crumbling like a landslide and the huge carcass settled down: and the Spirit of the Age became what he had seemed to be at first, a sprawling hummock of rock."
I ask not whether the Woke know that they are part of the Zeitgeist ... simply whether they even know that there is such a thing as a Zeitgeist.