400 we have the evidence of the Chinese pilgrims, who toiled through Central Asia into India as the birthplace of their faith.
He has indeed praised "the self-sufficing power of solitude" in almost the same phrase as Wordsworth, and from time to time would even in youth seclude himself for a season in complete intellectual absorption, as when he toiled among his.
In the Biographia Literaria (1817) he says that in Schelling's Naturphilosophie and System des transcendentalen Idealismus he first found a general coincidence with much that he had toiled out for himself, and he repeated some of the main tenets of Schelling.
At Megara he formed a life-long friendship with Asclepiades, with whom he toiled in the night that he might study philosophy by day.
He started work at the age of seven in a ropeworks, attending the wheel of a rope-spinner for ten hours a day, and on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings toiled in a barber's shop. He afterwards became a gasworker, and in 1889 he helped to found the National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers, becoming its general secretary.