“I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves”
please help me explain this sentence. Many thanks
“I have long been of the opinion that…” means “I have held the opinion I am about to describe for a long time”
“if work were such a splendid thing” means “if work was as good a thing as people tell me it is”
“the rich would have kept more of it for themselves” means “rich people would do more of it instead of leaving it for poor people to do”
Does that help?
The intention is satirical or, more probably, sarcastic. It is certainly humorous.