>Ruined City by Nevil Shute 1938

>in memory ofImage by Digiart2001 via Flickr

‘It’s like this. There’s really nothing wrong with the rates of relief. If you are careful, and wise, and prudent, you can live on that amount of money fairly well. and you’ve got to be intelligent, and well educated, too, and rather selfish. If you were like that you’d get along all right – but you wouldn’t have a penny to spare’

She paused. ‘But if you were human – well, you’d be for it. If you got bored stiff with doing nothing so you went and blued fourpence on going to the pictures – you just wouldn’t have enough to eat that week. Or if you couldn’t cook very well, and spoiled the food a bit, you’d go hungry. You’d go hungry if your wife had a birthday and you wanted to give her a present costing a bob – you’d only get eighty percent of your food that week. And of course, if your wife gets ill and you want to buy her little fancy bits of things…’

Miss MacMahon talking to Henry Warren

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