Tevye the Dairyman
by Sholem Aleichem
Tevye the Dairyman Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Story Number.Paragraph
As they say, 'If the money comes, the schemes follow, and if you are rich, you're certainly clever.' (2.112)
There's always this sense in the book that money just brings a new set of problems. No one is ever content to just let it pile up in savings, but always needs to have some new scheme going.
Did the world show any interest in me when I was, may it never happen to a Jew, buried deep in poverty […but then when I got rich] Every person came with his own advice. This one said a dry-goods store, that one a grocery, another one said a house, a good lasting investment. […] God sent me a relative, Menachem-Mendl was his name—a fly-by-night, a who knows what, a wheeler-dealer, a manipulator, may he never find a resting place! He roped me in and spun my head around with dreams of things that never were and never could be. (3.2-3)
Tevye also just got an email from the son of the deposed king of Nigeria that he'd like to show you.
"And who is to blame [for the fact that the money was lost in a bad investment] if not myself, who let you talk me into striking it rich, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, empty dreams? Money, my friend, one has to earn by the sweat of one's brow. One must toil over it, slave over it. […] Wisdom and regret—always they come too late. It wasn't fated that Tevye become rich." (3.78)
This is actually one of the standard dealies about money in most of nineteenth-century literature—the weird panic that any money earned through stock trading is not morally sound because it didn't come from any actual goods and services being exchanged.