Clare's attitude to 'work'

"After I had done with going to school it was proposed that I should be bound apprentice to a shoemaker, but I rather disliked this bondage.   I whimpered and turned a sullen eye on every persuasion, till they gave me my will.  A neighbour then offered to learn me his trade -- to be a stone mason, but I disliked this too... I was then sent for to drive the plough at Woodcroft Castle of Oliver Cromwell memory; though Mrs. Bellairs the mistress was a kind-hearted woman, and though the place was a very good one for living, my mind was set against it from the first; ... one of the disagreeable things was getting up so early in the morning... and another was getting wetshod ... every morning and night -- for in wet weather the moat used to overflow the cause-way that led to the porch, and as there was but one way to the house we were obliged to wade up to the knees to get in and out... I staid here one month, and then on coming home to my parents they could not persuade me to return.  They now gave up all hopes of doing any good with me and fancied that I should make nothing but a soldier; but luckily in this dilemma a next-door neighbour at the Blue Bell, Francis Gregory, wanted me to drive plough, and as I suited him, he made proposals to hire me for a year -- which as it had my consent my parents readily agreed to."

from Clare's unfinished autobiography

No comments: