The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world.

—George Eliot, 1876

The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race.

—Eugene V. Debs, 1905

One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day, nor drink for eight hours a day, nor make love for eight hours.

—William Faulkner, 1958

Every man is worth just so much as the things he busies himself with.

—Marcus Aurelius, c. 175

“Work” does not exist in a nonliterate world. The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work.

—Marshall McLuhan, 1964

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

—Jerome K. Jerome, 1889

It is shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by, or to regard them merely as so much muscle or physical power.

—Pope Leo XIII, 1891

I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.

—Roald Dahl, 1984

Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

—Thomas Carlyle, 1836

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.

—Anatole France, 1881

The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.

—Nell Scovell, 1991

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.

—Billie Holiday, 1956

The most fitting occupation for a civilized man is to do nothing.

—Théophile Gautier, c. 1835