It was that topsy-turvy product – an ‘exclusive’ commercial enterprise. That is, it was a thing which paid, not by attracting people, but actually by turning people away. In the heart of a plutocracy tradesmen become cunning enough to be more fastidious than their customers. They positively create difficulties so that their wealthy and weary clients may spend money and diplomacy in overcoming them.
It is the combination of modern humanitarism with the horrible modern abyss between the souls of the rich and the poor. A genuine historic aristocrat would have thrown things at the waiter, beginning with empty bottles, and very probably ending with money. A genuine democrat would have asked him, with a comrade-like clearness of speech, what the devil he was doing. But these modern plutocrats could not bear a poor man near to them, either as a slave or as a friend. That something had gone wrong with the servants was merely a dull, hot embarrassment.
Ik meende een ontspannend verhaaltje over Father Brown te lezen, nu zit ik me af te vragen waarom deze zinnen uit Father Brown and The Queer Feet zoveel weerhaken bevatten. Zinnen uit 1911.
En is het werkelijk zo dat niemand ooit postbodes opmerkt? Dat zou kunnen verklaren waarom de jonge postbode in mijn straat er altijd zo ongelukkig uitziet.
G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown, Penguin Books, 26ste druk.