Jerome notes that the prized momentos of antiquity are merely trinkets from the past and wonders if we value them simply because they're old. He goes onto wonder if the common household objects we use today will be seen in the same way.
"To go back to the carved-oak question, they must have had very fair notions of the artistic and the beautiful, our greatgreat- grandfathers. Why, all our art treasures of to-day are only the dug-up commonplaces of three or four hundred years ago. I wonder if there is real intrinsic beauty in the old soupplates, beer-mugs, and candle-snuffers that we prize so now, or if it is only the halo of age glowing around them that gives them their charms in our eyes."
"Will it be the same in the future? Will the prized treasures of to-day always be the cheap trifles of the day before?"
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)