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many little vexations

In response to the current and virulent strain of memetic idiocy running through the American right-wing [yes, I know, it’s politics] I was instantly reminded of a favourite quotation from the greatest hatchet-job in the history of English letters, which deserves sharing just because it has the deliberate, cool fury of one who, having faced quite enough bullying and condescension, thank you, delivers the last word as a knockout blow. ‘Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed’, wrote Samuel Johnson in his Vanity of Human Wishes, or, demotically, ‘enough of that shit’; and thus:

‘The poor, indeed, are insensible of many little vexations, which sometimes imbitter the possessions, and pollute the enjoyments, of the rich. They are not pained by casual incivility, or mortified by the mutilation of a compliment; but this happiness is like that of a malefactor, who ceases to feel the cords that bind him, when the pincers are tearing his flesh.

Spare me, indeed, of the torments of choosing the correct umbrella stand.