I saw the wheels of the social machine go around, and I learned that the dignity of manual labour wasn't what I had been told it was by the teachers, preachers, and politicians.
So my new concept was that manual labour was undignified, and that it didn't pay.
Of the different sorts of the first are husbandmen, artificers, exchange-men, who are employed in buying and selling, seamen, of which some are engaged in war, some in traffic, some in carrying goods and passengers from place to place, others in fishing, and of each of these there are often many, as fishermen at Tarentum and Byzantium, masters of galleys at Athens, merchants at AEgina and Chios, those who let ships on freight at Tenedos; we may add to these those who live by their manual labour
and have but little property; so that they cannot live without some employ: and also those who are not free-born on both sides, and whatever other sort of common people there may be.
"The white man will always be unable to perform the manual labour
I had never done any hard manual labour
, or scullion labour, in my life.
I hardly think that any Socialist, nowadays, would seriously propose that an inspector should call every morning at each house to see that each citizen rose up and did manual labour for eight hours.
And as I have mentioned the word labour, I cannot help saying that a great deal of nonsense is being written and talked nowadays about the dignity of manual labour. There is nothing necessarily dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading.
The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour
, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed,the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women.
They unconsciously had imbibed the feeling that manual labour
was not the proper thing for them.
But to no fine gentleman born to hereditary opulence, does this manual labour
come more unkindly than to the luxurious Indian when thus robbed of the bounty of heaven.
"Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else."
"How did you know, for example, that I did manual labour. It's as true as gospel, for I began as a ship's carpenter."