Having left the sea breezes behind us, the weather had become oppressive; and as the current was stronger, and rapids more numerous, our labour was proportionably increased. We perspired to an astonishing degree, and gave up our oars after our turn at them, with shirts and clothes as wet as if we had been in the water.
It is the great achievement of American civilisation that in that country it really is not cant to talk about the dignity of labour. There is something that might almost be called the sanctity of labour; but it is subject to the profound law that when anything less than the highest becomes a sanctity, it tends also to become a superstition.
There is a great number of noblemen among you that are themselves as idle as drones, that subsist on other men's labour, on the labour of their tenants, whom, to raise their revenues, they pare to the quick.
But by degrees reports began to reach both Arkwright and his wife as to this new route, which made them uneasy. The wet season had been prolonged, and even though they might not be deluged by rain themselves, the path would be in such a state of mud as to render the labour incessant.
Dr. Johnson pointed out how comparatively rare it was for people who had manual labour to perform, and whose work lay in the open air, to suffer from hypochondriacal terrors. The truth is that we are made for labour, and we have by no means got rid of the necessity for it. We have to pay a price for the comforts of civilisation, and above all for the pleasures of inactivity.
A little whisky would strengthen him, revive him, and make it possible for him to bestir himself and undress and go to bed. But when he thought of rising and moving to pour the whisky out, he shrank from that effort as from an Herculean labour; no he was too tired.
Since the schooner Fair Hathaway, recruiting labour for the Queensland plantations, had been captured by the natives and all hands slain fifteen years before, no vessel, with the exception of the Arangi, had dared to venture into Su'u. And most white men condemned Van Horn's recklessness for so venturing.
This light repose, even without sleep, was of old enough to restore his energies, exhausted by hours of labour. Thenceforth he was once more alert, and ready for the remainder of the day. But already he is on his feet, bareheaded, in his waistcoat, his silk necktie carelessly fastened under the soft turned-down collar of his half- open shirt, his gesture, in the shadowy chamber, full of welcome.
What is happening to Labour is indeed, from one point of view, little else than the correlative of what has been happening to the more prosperous classes in the community.
I would have said of that meeting of the Labour Copartnership Association that it was a meeting of a Society for Defence and Protection of Longer Possible Religion on the Earth but the clergy out of all the invitations, did not seem very largely to have had time to be there. I wondered too a little about the papers, as I hunted through them.