‘Put that brush down, you fool! You and I belong to proud races; we don’t work for nothing, like these damned Russian serfs. I tell you, to be cheated like this is torture to me. There have been times in my life, when someone has cheated me even of five sous, when I have vomited — yes, vomited with rage.
‘Besides, mon vieux, don’t forget that I’m a Communist. À bas la bourgeoisie! Did any man alive ever see me working when I could avoid it? No. And not only I don’t wear myself out working, like you other fools, but I steal, just to show my independence. Once I was in a restaurant where the patron thought he could treat me like a dog. Well, in revenge I found out a way to steal milk from the milk-cans and seal them up again so that no one should know. I tell you I just swilled that milk down night and morning. Every day I drank four litres of milk, besides half a litre of cream. The patron was at his wits’ end to know where the milk was going. It wasn’t that I wanted milk, you understand, because I hate the stuff; it was principle, just principle.
‘Well, after three days I began to get dreadful pains in my belly, and I went to the doctor. “What have you been eating?” he said. I said: “I drink four litres of milk a day, and half a litre of cream.” “Four litres!” he said. “Then stop it at once. You’ll burst if you go on.” “What do I care?” I said. “With me principle is everything. I shall go on drinking that milk, even if I do burst.”
‘Well, the next day the patron caught me stealing milk. “You’re sacked,” he said; “you leave at the end of the week.” “Pardon, monsieur,” I said, “I shall leave this morning.” “No, you won’t,” he said, “I can’t spare you till Saturday.” “Very well, mon patron,” I thought to myself, “we’ll see who gets tired of it first.” And then I set to work to smash the crockery. I broke nine plates the first day and thirteen the second; after that the patron was glad to see the last of me.
‘Ah, I’m not one of your Russian moujiks…’
-George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London