Quotation by Marcel Proust

Since the beginning of time, three-quarters of the mental energy and of the lies inspired by vanity have been expended for their inferiors by people who are only abased by such expenditure. And Swann, who was easygoing and unaffected with a duchess, trembled at the thought of being scorned and put on airs when he was with a housemaid.
Marcel Proust (1871–1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1913). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. I, Swann's Way, p. 192, Pléiade (1954).
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