Age has extremely little to do with anything that matters. The difference between one age and other is, as a rule, enormously exaggerated.
A hot bath! I cry, as I sit down in it! Again as I lie flat, a hot bath! How exquisite a pleasure, how luxurious, fervid and flagrant a consolation for the rigors, the austerities, the renunciation of the day.
Each wrong act brings with it its own anesthetic, dulling the conscience and blinding it against further light, and sometimes for years.
Sleeping in a bed—it is, apparently, of immense importance. Against those who sleep, from choice or necessity, elsewhere society feels righteously hostile. It is not done. It is disorderly, anarchical.
They… threw themselves into the interests of the rest, but each plowed his or her own furrow. Their thoughts, their little passions and hopes and desires, all ran along separate lines. Family life is like this – animated, but collateral.
Work is a dull thing; you cannot get away from that. The only agreeable existence is one of idleness, and that is not, unfortunately, always compatible with continuing to exist at all.
Cranks live by theory, not by pure desire. They want votes, peace, nuts, liberty, and spinning-looms not because they love these things, as a child loves jam, but because they think they ought to have them. That is one element which makes the crank.
Only one hour in the normal day is more pleasurable than the hours spent in bed with a book before going to sleep, and that is the hour spent in bed with a book after being called in the morning.
News is like food: it is the cooking and serving that makes it acceptable, not the material itself
As to the family, I have never understood how that fits in with the other ideals—or, indeed, why it should be an ideal at all. A group of closely related persons living under one roof; it is a convenience, often a necessity, sometimes a pleasure, sometimes the reverse; but who first exalted it as admirable, an almost religious ideal?
It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Dorothy L. Sayers English Novelist, Playwright
- A. S. Byatt English Novelist, Poet
- Mary Shelley English Novelist
- Elizabeth Gaskell English Novelist
- Rosamond Lehmann English Novelist
- Ann Oakley English Sociologist, Feminist
- Penelope Fitzgerald British Novelist, Biographer
- Barbara Cartland English Romantic Novelist
- Joan Collins English Actress
- Anita Roddick English Businessperson