Employment & Labor Quotations

 

A man at work on the Ledum Pool, draining it, says that, when they had ditched about six feet deep, or to the bottom, near the edge of this swamp, they came to old flags, and he thought that the whole swamp was ounce a pond and the flag grew by the edge of it.—Journal, 22 October 1858
As for your high towers and monuments, there was a crazy fellow once in this town who undertook to dig through to China, and he got so far that, as he said, he heard the Chinese pots and kettles rattle; but I think that I shall not go out of my way to admire the hole which he made. Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East—to know who built them. For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them—who were above such trifling.—Walden
But education ordinarily so called - the learning of trades and professions which is designed to enable men to earn their living, or to fit them for a particular station in life- is servile.—Journal8 December 1859
But what is the use in trying to live simply, raising what you eat, making what you wear, building what you inhabit, burning what you cut or dig, when those to whom you are allied insanely want and will have a thousand other things which neither you nor they can raise and nobody else, perchance, will pay for?—Journal, 5 November 1855
Every important worker will report what life there is in him.—Journal, 6 May 1854
Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation.—Walden
For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.—Walden
For myself I found that the occupation of a day-laborer was the most independent of any, especially as it required only thirty or forty days in a year to support one. The laborer’s day ends with the going down of the sun, and he is then free to devote himself to his chosen pursuit, independent of his labor; but his employer, who speculates from month to month, has no respite from one end of the year to the other.—Walden
I am surveying, instead of lecturing, at present. Let me have a skimming from your "pan of unwrinkled cream."—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 31 December 1856
I hate the present modes of living and getting a living.—Journal, 1 November 1855
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