Economic Sophisms/149

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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"day, when it is not Sunday or holiday. I offer you my services at the same time as a Flemish carpenter offers you his, and, because he abates a halfpenny, you give him the preference.

But I desire to clothe myself; and if a Belgian weaver presents his cloth alongside of yours, you drive him and his cloth out of the country.

So that, being forced to frequent your shop, although the dearest, my poor fifteen pence go no further in reality than fourteen.

Nay, they are not worth more than thirteen! for in place of expelling the Belgian weaver at your own cost (which was the least you could do), you, for your own ends, make me pay for the people you set at his heels.

And as a great number of your co-legislators, with whom you are on a marvellously good footing, take each a halfpenny or a penny, under pretext of protecting iron, or coal, or oil, or corn, I find, when everything is taken into account, that of my fifteen pence, I have only been able to save seven pence or eight pence from pillage.

You will no doubt tell me that these small halfpence, which pass in this way from my pocket to yours, maintain workpeople who reside around your castle, and enable you to live in a style of magnificence. To which I will only reply, that if the pence had been left with me, the person who earned them, they would have maintained workpeople in my neighbourhood.

Be this as it may. Monsieur le Ministre-fabricant, knowing that I should be but ill received by you, I have not come to require you, as I had good right to do, to withdraw the restriction which you impose on your customers. I prefer following the ordinary course, and I approach you to solicit a little bit of protection for myself.

Here, of course, you will interpose a difficulty. "My good friend," you will say, "I would protect you and your fellow=workmen with all my heart; but how can I confer custom- house favours on carpenter-work? What use would it be to prohibit the importation of houses by sea or by land?"

That would be a good joke, to be sure; but, by dint of thinking, I have discovered another mode of favouring the children

of St Joseph; which you will welcome the more willingly, I