„Work for them was joy itself and the deep root of their being. And the reason of their being. There was an incredible honor in work, the most beautiful of all the honors. … We have known this devotion to l’ouvrage bien faite, to the good job, carried and maintained to its most exacting claims. … Today, what remains of all this? How has … the only people that loved to work … been transformed into one which in the workyard takes the greatest pains not to lift a hand?“

Dans ce bel honneur de métier convergeaient tous le plus beaux, tous le plus nobles sentiments. Une dignité. Une fierté. Ne jamais rien demander à personne, disaient-ils. … Un ouvrier de ce temps-là ne savait pas ce que c’est que quémander. C’est la bourgeoisie qui quémande. C’est la bourgeoisie qui, les faisant bourgeois, leur a appris a quémander.
Quelle: Basic Verities, Prose and Poetry (1943), p. 81

Original

Dans ce bel honneur de métier convergeaient tous le plus beaux, tous le plus nobles sentiments. Une dignité. Une fierté. Ne jamais rien demander à personne, disaient-ils. … Un ouvrier de ce temps-là ne savait pas ce que c’est que quémander. C’est la bourgeoisie qui quémande. C’est la bourgeoisie qui, les faisant bourgeois, leur a appris a quémander.

Basic Verities, Prose and Poetry (1943)

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Charles Péguy6
französischer Schriftsteller 1873 - 1914

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„Happiness does not fall out of the blue and dreams will not come true by themselves. We need to be down-to-earth and work hard. We should uphold the idea that working hard is the most honorable, noblest, greatest and most beautiful virtue.“

—  Xi Jinping General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and paramount leader of China 1953

As quoted in "Xi Jinping meets model workers" http://english.cntv.cn/20130501/102444.shtml in cctv.com English (1 May 2013).
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„For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke Austrian poet and writer 1875 - 1926

Letter Seven (14 May 1904)
Letters to a Young Poet (1934)
Variante: For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.
Quelle: The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
Kontext: People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

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„The spectacle of the beauty which embodies itself in a living being is infinitely more touching than that of the work the most grandiose.“

—  Michel Henry, buch L'Amour les yeux fermés

L'amour les yeux fermés (1976)
Original: (fr) Le spectacle de la beauté qui s'incarne dans un être vivant est infiniment plus émouvant que celui de l'œuvre la plus grandiose.

Michel Henry, L'Amour les yeux fermés, éd. Gallimard, 1976, p. 48

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„Being an MP is the sort of job all working-class parents want for their children — clean, indoors and no heavy lifting.“

—  Diane Abbott British Labour Party politician 1953

Independent, 18 January 1994.
1990s, 1994

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„Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you; But of a good leader, who talks little, When his work is done, his aims fulfilled, They will all say, We did this ourselves.“

—  George S. Patton United States Army general 1885 - 1945

This is actually a translation of a statement by Lao Zi from the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing). Patton may have used a similar or identical expression, perhaps quoting the book.
Misattributed

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„Why don't people see what is new in my work, how in them, as is found only in Beethoven, the human being visibly plays a part in the work.“

—  Richard Strauss German composer and orchestra director 1864 - 1949

19th June 1949, in Willi Schuh, Strauss the early years, 1982, Cambridge University Press, page xiii.
Other sources

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