The things that bind them to other men…

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“That poet in the pussy-cat clothes wasn’t half bad. Lord Ivywood isn’t cruel; but
he’s inhuman. But that man wasn’t inhuman. He was ignorant, like most cultured fellows. But what’s odd about them is that they try to be simple and never clear away a single thing that’s complicated. If they have to choose between beef and pickles, they always abolish the beef. If they have to choose between a meadow and a motor, they forbid the meadow. Shall I tell you the secret? These men only
surrender the things that bind them to other men. Go and dine with a temperance
millionaire and you won’t find he’s abolished the hors d’oeuvres or the five
courses or even the coffee. What he’s abolished is the port and sherry, because
poor men like that as well as rich. Go a step farther, and you won’t find he’s
abolished the fine silver forks and spoons, but he’s abolished the meat, because
poor men like meat—when they can get it. Go a step farther, and you won’t find he
goes without gardens or gorgeous rooms, which poor men can’t enjoy at all. But you
will find he boasts of early rising, because sleep is a thing poor men can still
enjoy. About the only thing they can still enjoy. Nobody ever heard of a modern philanthropist giving up petrol or typewriting or troops of servants. No, no! What he gives up must be some simple and universal thing. He will give up beef or beer or sleep—because these pleasures remind him that he is only a man.”

– G. K. Chesterton, The Songs of the Car Club, The Flying Inn, 1914

Read more of the novel: They Flying Inn 

Read the lecture: The Flying Inn

Read a commentary from The American Spectator 

Image source: The Telegraph, UK

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