"the labourer is worthy of his hire"
Portrait of H. M. Stanley from his book The Congo and the Founding of its Free State; A Story of Work and Exploration (1885)
Public DomainPortrait of H. M. Stanley from his book The Congo and the Founding of its Free State: A Story of Work and Exploration (1885) - Credit: H. M. Stanley

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire.

Luke 10:7 (King James Bible)

 

Stanley had also used this phrase in The Congo and the Founding of its Free State when he wrote that in advanced nations ‘every honest labourer is worthy of his hire’ and that ‘our principal aim is to open the interior [of the Congo] by weaning the tribes below and above from that savage and suspicious state which they are now in.’ That Marlow’s aunt also talks of ‘weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways’ suggests Conrad was drawing directly on Stanley.