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The Wayfarers by Mary Stewart Cutting

The Wayfarers by Mary Stewart Cutting

'There is no sight more uninspiring than a ferry boat crowded with human beings at a quarter of six o’clock in the evening, when the great homeward rush from the offices and commercial houses sets in. At that time, although there are some returning shoppers and women type writers and clerks, the larger number of the passengers are men, sitting in slanting rows to catch the light on the evening paper, or wedged in an upright mass at the forward end of the boat. It is noticeable that, with a few exceptions, those who have gone forth in the morning distinct individuals, well dressed, freshly shaven, with clean linen, an animated manner, a brisk step, and an eager eyed disposition toward the labors of the day, seem, as they return at night, to be only component parts of a shabby crowd in indistinguishable apparel, and worn to a uniform dullness not only of appearance but of attitude and expression. The hard day’s work is over, but the rest is not yet attained. We all know that between the darkness and the dawn comes the period when vitality is at its lowest ebb, and in all transition periods there is a subtle withdrawing of the old force before the new fills its place. In that temporary collapse in the daily adjustment between two lives, the business and the domestic, many a man with overwrought brain and tired body feels that what he has been looking forward to as a happy rest appears to him now momentarily as an unavoidable and wearying need for further effort. The demand upon him varies in kind, but it is still there.'

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