Quotation by Paul Theroux

"Mustn't grumble" was the most English of expressions. English patience was mingled inertia and despair. What was the use? But Americans did nothing but grumble! Americans also boasted. "I do some pretty incredible things" was not an English expression. "I'm fairly keen" was not American. Americans were showoffs—it was part of our innocence—we often fell on our faces; the English seldom showed off, so they seldom looked like fools.
Paul Theroux (b. 1941), U.S. novelist, travel writer. The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around Great Britain, ch. 1, p. 3, Houghton Mifflin (1983).
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