Everything that was interesting in Rebecca, and every evidence of power, capability, or talent afterwards displayed by her, Miranda ascribed to the brick house training, and this gave her a feeling of honest pride, the pride of a master workman
who has built success out of the most unpromising material; but never, to the very end, even when the waning of her bodily strength relaxed her iron grip and weakened her power of repression, never once did she show that pride or make a single demonstration of affection.
The grand master workman
was a devout Catholic named Terence Powderly, who was also mayor of Scranton, Pa.
As revealed in the 1595 edition of the Essais, Montaigne interposed between his references to "conscience" and "laziness" an appreciation of Plato's practice: "a master workman
(maistre ouvrier) in all political government [who] nevertheless abstained from it," as if to distinguish the possession of a skill from its application, or the ownership of a resource from its use, precisely the distinctions La Boetie made decades earlier when defining the conditions of freedom and servitude.
Laura Jean Libbey's novels, although formulaic, do frequently chronicle the lives of independent working girls in the city, but they do so, as The Master Workman
's Oath does, more in the tradition of popular romances.