My story ends here. It is a fairly trivial story, and I can only
hope that it has been interesting in the same way as a travel diary
is interesting. I can at least say, here is the world that awaits
you if you are ever penniless. Some days I want to explore that
world more thoroughly. I should like to know people like Mario and
Paddy and Bill the moocher, not from casual encounters, but
intimately; I should like to understand what really goes on in the
souls of Plongeurs and tramps and Embankment sleepers. At present I
do not feel that I have seen more than the fringe of poverty.
Still I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by
being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken
scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny,
nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the
Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy
a meal at a smart restaurant. That is a beginning.
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933
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