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    Extreme Busyness by R L Stevenson

    While reading the above chapter, I found some sentences are difficult to understand. Please help:

    "It is no good speaking such folk: they cannot be idle, their nature is not generous enough and they pass those hours in a sort of coma, which are not dedicated to furious moiling the gold-mill."

    "As if a man's sould were not too small to begin with, they have dwarfed and narrowed theirs by a life of all work and no play; ..."

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 556

    Re: Extreme Busyness by R L Stevenson

    "Moil" means to work hard; it is a word not heard often nowadays outside of the expression "toil and moil." Stevenson is saying that these "folk" are not interested in any activity that is not productive; that for them an hour not spent doing something lucrative, something to earn money, is an hour wasted.

    "A man's soul were not too small to begin with..." We humans are already restricted by our nature. We must necessarily concern ourselves with the mundane and can obtain only occasional glimpses of the Divine, if I can put it that way. Instead of attempting to broaden themselves by contemplation of beauty, listening to music, discussing the arts, philosophy, etc., these money-grubbing people are making their "souls" smaller by focussing only on work.

    Does that help? I hope I haven't made things worse. :)

    [native speaker, not a teacher]

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