A quotation from “Causes of Felicity” (1883) by Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson copied and pasted from a PDF file

We
shut up
our
young
in closest rooms of close towns
; we shut up
our men and women
by
the millions in close
shops
and factories
;
some one million of us in Great Britain who call
ourselves, with
ignorant irony,
the
ruling classes,
shut up
some
twenty-five
millions of the
people, with their wives and
children,
in walled
up atmospheres, where
atmospheric purity
is
unknown; where
cold and heat
oppress ; where food is what can be
got ; where
drink is what can
supply
a false
felicity
for a certain sorrow
;
where marriage
reestablishes misery; where
good sleep
is im
possible ; where
physical strength
is so
impaired
that a
perfect
body
is not to be
found; where exhaustion from work is the
daily cross; where
things
and
objects
of
beauty
are rare as
angels’
visits
; where,
in the selfish race to
barely live, generosity
is
impossible ; where,
in
compressed homes, purity
of life is a
problem
the
purest
can
hardly solve;
where
variety
is re
placed by
the dead monotony
of
unchanging
sounds for the ear
to
hear, unchanging
scenes for the
eye
to
see; where fear
dominates over
courage; where
hope
has no
chance; where
prosperity
is so little known that the worn-out life has no
expectation
this side the
grave;
and where death is so
busy
that three die to one in more favored communities. We,
one million,
I
repeat,
shut up
our
twenty-five millions under
these
conditions,
and wonder why
those millions know
nothing
of
felicity; why they
are
peevish, reckless, melancholy
?
some
times
drunken,
sometimes
rebellious,
and
ready
to run after
any

leader who shall
promise
to lead them into some
happier sphere,
however little removed from that in which
they
are. Wonder !
The wonder is how human nature can bear such a famine of
felicity
and live as if it
only
lived to die.

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