“I pass to the greatest of all the play of plays, the greatest gentlemen’s game, which ladies like them best to play at the game of war. It is enchantingly pleasant to the imagination; we dress for it, however, more finely than for any other sport; go out to it, not merely in scarlet and gold, and all manners of fine colour of course we could fight better in gray, and without feathers; but all nations have agreed that it is good to be well dressed at this play. Then the bats and balls are very costly; our English and French bats, with the balls and wickets, even those which we do not make any use of, costing I suppose, now about fifteen millions of money annually to each nation; all which you know is paid by hard labour, who work in the furrow and furnace. A costly game not to speak of its consequences: I will say at present nothing of these. The mere immediate
cost of all these plays is what I want you to consider, they are all paid for in daily work somewhere, as many of us know to well. The jewel cutter, whose sight fails over the diamond, the weaver whose arm fails over the web, the iron forger whose breath fails before the furance they know what work is they, who have all the work and none of play, except a kind they have named for themselves down in the black north country, where “play” means laid up by sickness”.
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