A fat pension from the State after a career of sinecure is our brightest ideal. A strain of haughtiness ... Manual or mechanical jobs are esteemed inferior to office - work. An errand-boy is higher than a shoemaker; a petty office-clerk than a cabinet-maker. ... Marriage for a girl, more than elsewhere in the north of Italy, means to us islanders, as in almost all the towns in Sicily, the safest livelihood. ... Health may lose in the process (and how often it loses is the grim aspect of the question).