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Quotes

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

—Anatole France, 1881

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

—Aristotle, c. 330 BC

Plough deep while sluggards sleep.

—Benjamin Franklin, 1758

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

Hang work! I wish that all the year were holiday; I am sure that Indolence—indefeasible Indolence—is the true state of man.

—Charles Lamb, 1805

I am a friend of the workingman, and I would rather be his friend than be one.

—Clarence Darrow, 1932

A human being must have occupation, if he or she is not to become a nuisance to the world.

—Dorothy L. Sayers, 1947

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

—Eugene V. Debs, 1905

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

—George Eliot, 1876

Sick, irritated, and the prey to a thousand discomforts, I go on with my labor like a true workingman, who, with sleeves rolled up, in the sweat of his brow, beats away at his anvil, not caring whether it rains or blows, hails or thunders.

—Gustave Flaubert, 1845

I hate the present modes of living and getting a living. Farming and shopkeeping and working at a trade or profession are all odious to me. I should relish getting my living in a simple, primitive fashion.

—Henry David Thoreau, 1855

Man must be doing something, or fancy that he is doing something, for in him throbs the creative impulse; the mere basker in the sunshine is not a natural, but an abnormal man.

—Henry George, 1879

Toil is man’s allotment; toil of brain, or toil of hands, or a grief that’s more than either, the grief and sin of idleness.

—Herman Melville, 1849