the next best thing

“his problem, how to eat your cake and yet reject it with scorn, is one of his own making and he seems to solve it in the usual way, deluding himself that the next best thing to renouncing a pleasure or a privilege is to accept it ungraciously.”

Hubert Butler, from his essay, Graham greene and Stephen Spender. Butler is a peculiar hero of Roy Foster’s, which is why I started to re-read him. It is not why I continued.

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