Pleasures

“Pleasures are more beneficial than duties because, like the quality of mercy, they are not strained, and they are twice blest. There must always be two in a kiss, and there may be a score in a jest; but wherever there is an element of sacrifice, the favor is conferred with pain, and, among generous people, received with confusion.
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world, which remain unknown even to ourselves, or when they are disclosed, surprise nobody so much as the benefactor.”

 

from: An Apology for Idlers, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1881 (in: Tom Hodgkinson: How to be idle, p. 303/304) 

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