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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Pearls

The Story Book of Science

Jean Henri Fabre

1923

Link

2017-05-06

'But before getting to the neck, [the pearl] must be fished for. The fishermen are in a boat. They descend into the sea, one after another, with the aid of a rope to which is tied a large stone that drags them rapidly to the bottom...The stone is thrown into the sea. The man sinks like lead. Hastily he fills the net with shells, and then pulls the rope to give the signal for ascent. Those in the boat pull him up. Half-suffocated, the diver reaches the surface with his fishing. The efforts he has made to suspend respiration are so painful that sometimes blood gushes from his mouth and nose. Sometimes the diver comes up with a leg gone; sometimes he never comes up. A shark has swallowed him.

"Some of those pearls that shine in a jeweler's windows cost much more than a fine bag of crowns: they may have cost a man's life."' - The Story Book of Science

Most things cost at least a portion of a man's life, although I suppose not all of labor under the same conditions or under labor containing the endpoint.