And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
__Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, "Book X: Pleasure and Happiness," translated by W.D. Ross
...the thoughtful excitement of lonely rambles, of gardening, and of other like occupations, where the mind has leisure to must during the healthful activity of the body, with the fresh and wakeful breezes blowing round it...
__Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
I think I should not go far wrong if I asserted that the amount of genuine leisure available in a society is generally in inverse proportion to the amount of labor-saving machinery it employs.
That Ireland that we dreamed of would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as the basis of right living, of a people who were satisfied with frugal comfort and devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit - a land whose countryside would be bright with cosy homesteads, whose fields and villages would be joyous with the sounds of industry, with the romping of sturdy children, the contests of athletic youths and the laughter of comely maidens, whose firesides would be forums for the wisdom of serene old age
__Eamon De Valera - St. Patrick's Day speech 1943