Dorothea: ‘It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it.’
‘I call that the fanaticism of sympathy,’ said Will, impetuously. ‘You might say the same of landscape, of poetry, of all refinement. If you carried it out you ought to be miserable in your own goodness, and turn evil that you might have no advantage over others. The best piety is to enjoy – when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth’s character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight – in art or in anything else. Would you turn all the youth of the world into a tragic chorus, wailing and moralizing over misery?’
George Eliot, Middlemarch, Penguin Classics, 2011, p. 219.