I always get back to the question, is it really necessary that men should consume so much of their bodily and mental energies in the machinery of civilised life? The world seems to me to do much of its toil for that which is not in any sense bread. Again, does not the latent feeling that much of their striving is to no purpose tend to infuse large quantities of sham into men's work?
William Allingham (1824–1889), Irish poet, diarist. A Diary, ch. 6, 1864 entry, eds. H. Allingham and D. Radford (1907).
"I have been an 'Official' all my life," Allingham wrote, "without the least turn for it. I never could attain a true official manner, which is highly artificial and handles trifles with ludicrously disproportionate gravity."