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[135]

Chapter 19: the problem of drudgery

It is a curious fact that, as society goes on, the very things that once stood for luxury come to be laid aside, and people revert to what is simpler. Feather-beds, for instance, were the former symbol of wealth and grandeur; the luxurious aristocrats of a former age were addressed as, “Now all you on down beds sporting,” and the like. Yet it is only the most rustic tavern that now offers one of these rather than a mattress, and only the newly arrived Irish woman who counts among her chief treasures her bulky feather-bed. So was white bread another symbol of social superiority; and yet now it is discovered that the snowier the bread the less its nourishment, and we resort to all sorts of admixtures in order not to lose the best parts of the wheat. In time we shall doubtless learn that complete indolence or self-indulgence is not the most

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