Economic Sophisms/186

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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"Template:Hwe who educates them, and, lastly, your humble servant, who cannot be expected to work exactly for nothing.

J.: All right; service for service is quite fair, and I have nothing to say against it. I should like quite as well, no doubt, to deal directly with the rector and the schoolmaster on my own account; but I don't stand upon that. This accounts for the second tun—but we have still other four to account for.

L.: Would you consider two tuns as more than your fair contribution to the expense of the army and navy?

J.: Alas! that is a small affair, compared with what the two services have cost me already, for they have deprived me of two sons whom I dearly loved.

L.: It is necessary to maintain the balance of power.

J.: And would that balance not be quite as well maintained if the European powers were to reduce their forces by one-half or three-fourths? We should preserve our children and our money. All that is requisite is to come to a common understanding.

L.: Yes; but they don't understand one another.

J.: It is that which fills me with astonishment, for they suffer from it in common.

L. : It is partly your own doing, Jacques Bonhomme.

J.: You are joking, Mr Taxgatherer. Have I any voice in the matter?

L.: Whom did you vote for as deputy?

J.: A brave general officer, who will soon be a marshal, if God spares him.

L.: And upon what does the gallant general live?

J.: Upon my six tuns, I should think.

L.: What would happen to him if he voted a reduction of the army, and of your contingent?

J.: Instead of being made a marshal, he would be forced to retire.

L.: Do you understand now that you have yourself …

J.: Let us pass on to the fifth tun, if you please.

L.: That goes to Algeria.

J.: To Algeria! And yet they tell us that all the Mussulmans are wine-haters, barbarians as they are! I have often inquired whether it is their ignorance of claret which has made them infidels, or their infidelity which has made them ignorant