A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Lábourer. n.s. [laboureur, French.]

  1. One who is employed in coarse and toilsome work.

    If a state run most to noblemen and gentlemen, and that the husbandmen be but as their work-folks and labourers, you may have a good cavalry, but never good stable foot. Bacon.

    The sun but seem'd the lab'rer of the year,
    Each waxing moon supply'd her wat'ry store,
    To swell those tides, which from the line did bear
    Their brimful vessels to the Belgian shore.

    Labourers and idle persons, children and striplings, old men and young men, must have divers diets. Arbuth. on Aliments.

    Not balmy sleep to lab'rers faint with pain,
    Not show'rs to larks, or sun-shine to the bee,
    Are half so charming, as thy sight to me.
    Pope's Autumn.

    Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed,
    Health to himself, and to his infants bread,
    The lab'rer bears.
    Pope, Ep. iv. l. 167.

    The prince cannot say to the merchant, I have no need of thee; nor the merchant to the labourer, I have no need of thee. Swift's Miscel.

  2. One who takes pains in any employment.

    Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat; get that I wear; owe no man hate; envy no man's happiness. Shakes.

            The stone that labours up the hill,
    Mocking the lab'rer's toil, returning still,
    Is love.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Shakespeare's As You Like It (40) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Dryden, John (788) · Granville, George (23) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Labourer." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 5, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/labourer/.

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