Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Workmen of Merrie England

“It is easy to understand that workman would be profoundly merry at heart [in Merrie England], when they had the consciousness of accomplishing such good work.  Men must have almost tardily quitted their labor in the evening while they hoped and strove to accomplish something that would be worthy of the magnificent building in which so many of their fellow workman were achieving triumphs of handcraftsmanship.  Each went home to rest for the night, but also to dream over what he might be able to do and awoke in the morning with the though that possibly to-day would see some noteworthy result.  This represents the ideal of the workman’s life.  He has an interest quite apart from the mere making of money.  The picture of the modern workman by contrast looks vain and sordid.  The vast majority of our workmen labor merely because they must make enough money to-day, in order that they may be able to buy food enough so as to get strength for work to-morrow.  Of interest there is very little.  Day after day there is the task of providing for self and others.  Only this and nothing more.  Is it any wonder that there should be social unrest and discontentment?  How can workmen be merry unless with the artificial stimulus of strong drink, when there is nothing for them to look forward to except days and weeks and years of labor succeeding one another remorselessly, and with not surcease until Nature puts in her effective demand for rest, or the inevitable comes.” - From The Thirteenth: Greatest of Centuries by James J. Walsh

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I want to read this book now.

    I have read every post up till this point sir, and am greatly enjoying your blog. This suburban cubicle monkey is pining for the fields.