The ones who are always on your side, or so they think, are the ones who keep you down. Everything they do keeps you down. They'll forgive you for anything. Rob, rape, pillage, and kill, and they'll defend you to yourself. They understand all outrages, and all your failings and faults, too. Perfect! You can go on that way forever. What do they care? Excuse me: they do care. They want it that way. How would they make a living, these servants of the poor, if there were no poor? What enabled me to rise above all the people who don't know enough to come in out of the rain is that one day I looked face to face at a man who hated half of everything I was and had the courage to tell me so. I remember his very words. He said, 'What you're doing is hideous--a perfect way to die young. Unless you want to live sweetly only in the hereafter, you ought to learn how to do the right thing.'" The doctor stopped what he was doing, dropped his hand to his sides, and looked directly at Peter Lake. "I hate the poor. Look what they do to themselves. How could you not hate them, unless you thought that they should be like this.
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The ones who are always on your side, or so they think, are the ones who keep you down. Everything they do keeps you down. They’ll forgive you for anything. Rob, rape, pillage, and kill, and they’ll defend you to yourself. They understand all outrages, and all your failings and faults, too. Perfect! You can go on that way forever. What do they care? Excuse me: they do care. They want it that way. How would they make a living, these servants of the poor, if there were no poor? What enabled me to rise above all the people who don’t know enough to come in out of the rain is that one day I looked face to face at a man who hated half of everything I was and had the courage to tell me so. I remember his very words. He said, ‘What you’re doing is hideous–a perfect way to die young. Unless you want to live sweetly only in the hereafter, you ought to learn how to do the right thing.'” The doctor stopped what he was doing, dropped his hand to his sides, and looked directly at Peter Lake. “I hate the poor. Look what they do to themselves. How could you not hate them, unless you thought that they should be like this.

-Mark Helprin

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