To Make Boys Want to Work.

My professional responsibilities, at the moment, as well as those of my wife, include making boys want to work. I thought this would be good for me and for her.

Mark Twain (1835–1910) wrote Tom Sawyer in  1876, at the age of 41, hoping that "it will not be shunned by men and women on that account [that it was written for boys and girls], for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in."

Mark Twain (1835–1910) wrote Tom Sawyer in 1876, at the age of 41, hoping that “it will not be shunned by men and women on that account [that it was written for boys and girls], for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.”

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Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Chapter 2.

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Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.

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About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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