Economic Sophisms/214

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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"JOHN: Upon my honour, gentlemen, your philanthropy has quite made a convert of me.

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My mind is made up. I shall not be thought unworthy of my colleagues. Peter, this sparkling fire has inflamed your soul. Paul, this butter has lubricated the springs of your intelligence. I, too, feel stimulated by this piece of powdered pork; and tomorrow I shall vote, and cause to be voted, the exclusion of swine, dead and alive. That done, I shall construct superb sheds in the heart of Paris,

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I shall become a pig-driver and pork-butcher. Let us see how the good people of Paris can avoid coming to provide themselves at my shop.

PETER: Softly, my good friends; if you enhance the price of butter and salt meat to such an extent, you cut down beforehand the profit I expect from my wood.

PAUL: And my speculation will be no longer so wondrously profitable, if I am overcharged for my firewood and bacon.

JOHN: And I, what shall I gain by overcharging you for my sausages, if you overcharge me for my faggots and bread and butter?

PETER: Very well, don't let us quarrel. Let us rather put our heads together and make reciprocal concessions. Moreover, it is not good to consult one's self-interest exclusively—we must exercise humanity, and see that the people do not want fuel.

PAUL: Very right; and it is proper that the people should have butter to their bread.

JOHN: Undoubtedly; and a bit of bacon for the pot.

ALL: Three cheers for charity; three cheers for philanthropy; and to-morrow we take the octroi by assault.

PETER: Ah! I forgot. One word more; it is essential. My good friends, in this age of egotism the world is distrustful, and the purest intentions are often misunderstood. Paul, you take the part of pleading for the wood; John will do the same for the butter; and I shall devote myself to the home-bred pig. It is necessary to prevent malignant suspicions.

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