Household duties--Love-of work
Household dutiesLove of workThe old river hand, what he does and what he tells you he has doneScepticism of the new generationEarly boating recollectionsRaftingGeorge does the thing in styleThe old boatman, his methodSo calm, so full of peaceThe beginner PuntingA sad accidentPleasures of friendshipSailing, my first experiencePossible reason why we were not drowned.
We woke late the next morning, and, at Harriss earnest desire, partook of a plain breakfast, with non dainties. Then we cleaned up, and put everything straight (a continual labour, which was beginning to afford me a pretty clear insight into a question that had often posed menamely, how a woman with the work of only one house on her hands, manages to pass away her time), and, at about ten, set out on what we had determined should be a good days journey.
We agreed that we would pull this morning, as a change from towing; and Harris thought the best arrangement would be that George and I should scull, and he steer. I did not chime in with this idea at all; I said I thought Harris would have been showing a more proper spirit if he had suggested that he and George should work, and let me rest a bit. It seemed to me that I was doing more than my fair share of the work on this trip, and I was beginning to feel strongly on the subject.
It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me; the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.
You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me; my study is so full of it now, that there is hardly an inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon.
And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isnt a finger-mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of preservation than I do.
But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for more than my proper share.
But I get it without asking for itat least, so it appears to meand this worries me.
George says he does not think I need trouble myself on the subject. He thinks it is only my over-scrupulous nature that makes me fear I am having more than my due; and that, as a matter of fact, I dont have half as much as I ought. But I expect he only says this to comfort me.
In a boat, I have always noticed that it is the fixed idea of each member of the crew that he is doing everything. Harriss notion was, that it was he alone who had been working, and that both George and I had been imposing upon him. George, on the other hand, ridiculed the idea of Harriss having done anything more than eat and sleep, and had a cast-iron opinion that it was heGeorge himselfwho had done all the labour worth speaking of.
He said he had never been out with such a couple of lazy skulks as Harris and I.
That amused Harris.
Fancy old George talking about work! he laughed; why about half an hour of it would kill him. Have you ever seen George work? he added, turning to me.
I agreed with Harris that I never hadmost certainly not since we had started on this trip.
Well, I dont see how you can know much about it, one way or the other, George retorted on Harris; for Im blest if you havent been asleep half the time. Have you ever seen Harris fully awake, except at meal-time? asked George, addressing me.
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