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Lay Morals

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Each has to earn his daily bread: the one, because he has not yet got it to eat; the other, who has already eaten it, because he has not yet earned it.

Of course, what is true of bread is true of luxuries and comforts, whether for the body or the mind.  But the consideration of luxuries leads us to a new aspect of the whole question, and to a second proposition no less true, and maybe no less startling, than the last.

At the present day, we, of the easier classes, are in a state of surfeit and disgrace after meat.  Plethora has filled us with indifference; and we are covered from head to foot with the callosities of habitual opulence.  Born into what is called a certain rank, we live, as the saying is, up to our station.  We squander without enjoyment, because our fathers squandered.  We eat of the best, not from delicacy, but from brazen habit.  We do not keenly enjoy or eagerly desire the presence of a luxury; we are unaccustomed to its abs. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Stevenson makes some good points in this collections of essays along with some wrong ones. Not all the topics are equally interesting, but there is a good variety of them throughout the book, some more interesting than others. "Lay Morals," the first section and namesake of the books deals primarily