-Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
“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”
This passage states that work is only what we are forced to do and leisure is what we are not. I feel that many had not made that connection before they read Tom Sawyer. This is one of the reasons Tom Sawyer is a fantastic book, it not only is fun to read but it teaches you things you haven't even thought of.
Just before a very important Sunday School class where the county judge would be watching, Tom decided to trade all of the wealth he had received for selling the privilege of whitewashing his fence in exchange for tickets. The tickets he received were given to students at the school for memorizing verses of the bible. If you had enough tickets (what equaled 2,000 verses of memorization) then you could trade all your tickets in for a bible. At the end of class Tom marches up to the teacher and proudly presents the 2,000 verses worth of tickets. Everyone (including myself as I read this) was astonished. He is presented with a bible, but before he can go back to his seat - well I'll use a quotation to tell you what happened:
“Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish. He blushed, now, and his eyes fell. Mr. Walters' heart sank within him. He said to himself, it is not possible that the boy can answer the simplest question—why DID the Judge ask him? Yet he felt obliged to speak up and say:
"Answer the gentleman, Thomas—don't be afraid."
Tom still hung fire.
"Now I know you'll tell me," said the lady. "The names of the first two disciples were—"
"DAVID AND GOLIATH!"
Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene."
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a riveting book that I can hardly put down. If you haven't read it I encourage you to, and if you read it along time ago, pick the old book up again, I promise you, you wont be disappointed.