Art and the strength of the former times

In 1824, Schubert wrote a letter to his friend Schober concerning a general complacency about the role of art at the time:

The idle time, which hinders the fulfillment of all greatness, destroys me too. Even golden verse is foolishly mocked by the people, no longer attentive to its powerful message. Only by the gift of sacred art can we still image forth the strength and achievements of former times, allay the pain which can never the reconciled with fate.”

Franz Schubert. Cited in: Reed, John (1997) Schubert. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.105.