We may live without poetry, music, and art:
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope,—what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
—Owen Meredith, Lucile (1860)
Owen Meredith was the pen name of Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton; as Viceroy of India, Lytton counted on his résumé the Great Indian Famine of the late 1870s as well as the Pyrrhically expensive Second Anglo-Afghan War, the latter decisively contributing to the 1880 downfall of Disraeli’s second (and final) premiership. For his efforts, Lytton was created 1st Earl of Lytton. “Genius does what it must,” Lytton/Meredith famously wrote, “talent does what it can.”