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HOME > Short Stories > The Plain Man and His Wife > 第四小节
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 The machinery1 of his volition2, in all directions save one, has been clogged3, through persistent4 neglect, due to over-specialization. His mind needs to be cleared, and it can be cleared—it will clear itself—if regular periods of repose5 are enforced upon it. As things are, it practically never gets a holiday from business. I do not mean that the plain man is always thinking about his business; but I mean that he is always liable to think about his business, that his business is always present in his mind, even if dormant6 there, and that at every opportunity, if the mind happens to be inactive, it sits up querulously and insists on attention. The man’s mind is indeed rather like an unfortunate domestic servant who, though not always at work, is never off duty, never night or day free from the menace of a damnable electric bell; and it is as stale as that servant. His business is capable of ringing the bell when the man is eating his soup, when he is sitting alone with his wife on a warm summer evening, and especially when he wakes just before dawn to pity and praise himself.  
But he defends the position:
“My business demands much reflection—constant watchfulness7.”
Well, in the first place, an enterprise which demands watchfulness day and night from the same individual is badly organized, and should be reorganized. It runs contrary to the common sense of Nature. And, in the second place, his defence is insincere. He does not submit to the eternal preoccupation because he thinks he ought, but simply because he cannot help it. How often, especially just before the dawn, has he not longed to be delivered from the perfectly8 futile9 preoccupation, so that he might go to sleep again—and failed to get free! How often, in the midst of some jolly gathering10, has he not felt secretly desolate11 because the one tyrannic topic would run round and round in his mind, just like a clockwork mouse, accomplishing no useful end, and making impossible any genuine participation12 in the gaiety that environs him!
Instead of being necessary to the success of his business, this morbid13 preoccupation is positively14 detrimental15 to his business. He would think much more usefully, more powerfully, more creatively, about his business if during at least thirteen consecutive16 hours each day he never thought of it at all.
And there is still a further point in this connection. Let him imagine how delightful17 it must be for the people in the home which he has made, the loving people whom he loves and to whom in theory he is devoting his career, to feel continually that he only sees them obscurely through the haze18 emanating19 from his business! Why—worse!—even when he is sitting with his wife, he and she might as well be communicating with each other across a grille against which a turnkey is standing20 and listening to every word said! Let him imagine how flattering for her! She might be more flattered, at any rate more thrilled, if she knew that instead of thinking about his business he was thinking about another woman. Could he shut the front door every afternoon on his business, the effect would not only be beneficial upon it and upon him, but his wife would smile the warm smile of wisdom justified
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