The Fortunate Pilgrim

Puzo, Mario

New English Library, 1978

p. 122

“Charity is salt in the wound. The state gives charity with the bitter hatred of a victim to his blackmailer. The receiver of free money is subjected to harassment, insult, and profound humiliation. Newspapers are enlisted to heap scorn on the arrogant bastards who chose to beg instead of starve or let their children starve. It is made clear that the poor seek charity as a great and sordid chicanery in which they delight. And there are some who do. As there are some people who delight in sticking hot needles deep into their abdomen or swallow pieces of broken bottles. It’s a special taste.”