Economic Sophisms/148

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"Society must perhaps pass through this prosaic state of transition, in which men practise virtue from motives of prudence, in order to rise afterwards to that fairer and more poetic region where such calculating motives are no longer wanted.

 

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III.

 

THE TWO HATCHETS.

Petition of Jacques Bonhomme, Carpenter, to M. Cunin-Gridaine, Minister of Commerce.

Template:GapMONSIEUR LE FABRICANT-MINISTRE,

I AM a carpenter to trade, as was St Joseph of old; and I handle the hatchet and adze, for your benefit.

Now, while engaged in hewing and chopping from morning to night upon the lands of our Lord the King, the idea has struck me that my labour may be regarded as national, as well as yours.

And, in these circumstances, I cannot see why protection should not visit my woodyard as well as your workshop.

For, sooth to say, if you make cloths I make roofs; and both, in their own way, shelter our customers from cold and from rain. And yet I run after customers; and customers run after you. You have found out the way of securing them by hindering them from supplying themselves elsewhere, while mine apply to whomsoever they think proper.

What is astonishing in all this? Monsieur Cunin, the Minister of State, has not forgotten M. Cunin, the manufacturer—all quite natural. But, alas! my humble trade has not given a Minister to France, although practised, in Scripture times, by far more august personages.

And in the immortal code which I find embodied in Scrip0ure, I cannot discover the slightest expression which could be quoted by carpenters, as authorizing them to enrich themselves at the expense of other people.

You see, then, how I am situated. I earn fifteen pence a Template:Smallrefs