Egotism exists everywhere, but it has a different flavor in England, where the tabloid culture goes much deeper. It's just the indulgence of vulgarity, the wallowing in vulgarity. As with everything English, there's a sort of irony to it. They write a great deal about these trivial people who have a certain eminence, always with a bit of, "Isn't it ridiculous that we are writing about this person?"
Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century: Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
The form of religion was always a trivial matter to me. . . . The pageantry of the Roman Church that first mothered and nurtured me touches me to this day. I love the Protestant prayers of the English Church. And I love the stern and knotty argument, the sermon with heads and sequences, of the New England Congregationalist. For this catholicity Catholics have upbraided me, churchmen rebuked me, and dissenters denied that I had any religion at all.