The Micawber Principle

In happiness, what i'm reading on July 29, 2009 at 8:57 am

The character Mr Micawber in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield is a good source of quotes on the subject of happiness. In the novel, Micawber, an eternal optomist in the employ of Uriah Heep,  is repeatedly convinced that ‘something will turn up’. His name is, therefore, used to refer to someone who lives in constant expectation of a better life.

For example, in chapter 11, he says: ‘I have no doubt I shall, please Heaven, begin to be more beforehand with the world, and to live in a perfectly new manner, if -if, in short, anything turns up.’

A Dickens quote has even given rise to the ‘Micawber Principle’, based on the character’s following observation:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six. Result happiness.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. Result misery.”

  1. Oh, How true! If only most of the population had listened to this very sound advise. Damn! who invented credit cards????

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