Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > Greek, Roman & Oriental
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vol. XV: Greek—Roman—Oriental
 
On Clothes and Comforts
By Kiokutei Bakin (1767–1848)
 
From “The Land of Dreams”

HOWEVER much money you have, you will not keep it long; it will leave you, just like a traveler who has stayed overnight at an inn. The only substantial things in life are food and drink. Any little house you can just crawl into is large enough. The only difference between an emperor’s palace and a straw hut is in their size and their situation, one being in town and the other in the country. A single room, with a mat long enough for you to stretch out your whole body, is quite sufficient lodging. As for the clothes which you dress your carcass in, the richest brocades and the commonest sackcloth differ only in being clean or dirty. After you are dead, no one can tell, from looking at your naked body, what sort of clothes you wore while alive. If these facts were to become recognized, our clothes would be patched with any sort of material or color. Now, however, a man will buy new, expensive garments which he does not really want, owe the money for them, strut about in these borrowed plumes, and finally pawn them.
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