Economic Sophisms/201

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"JOHN: And then?

JACQUES: He stamps the letters, and arranges them in ten parcels corresponding with the other post-offices with which he is in communication. He adds up the total postages of the ten parcels.

JOHN: And then? JACQUES: Then he enters the ten sums in a register, with counterfoils. JOHN: And then? JACQUES: Then he writes a letter to each of his ten correspondent postmasters, telling them with what sums he debits them. JOHN: And if the letters are prepaid? JACQUES: Then, I grant you, the service becomes somewhat complicated. He must in that case receive the letter, weigh it, and consign it to its proper category as before, receive payment and give change, select the appropriate stamp among thirty others, mark on the letter its number, weight, and postage; transcribe the full address, first in one register, then in a second, then in a third, then on a detached slip; wrap up the letter in the slip; send the whole, well secured by a string, to the correspondent postmaster; and enter each of these details in a dozen columns, selected from fifty other columns, which indicate the letter-bag in which prepaid letters are put.

JOHN: And all this for forty centimes (4d.)!

JACQUES : Yes, on an average.

JOHN: I see now that the despatch of letters is simple enough. Let us see now what takes place on their arrival.

JACQUES: The postmaster opens the post-bag.

JOHN: And then?

JACQUES: He reads the ten invoices of his correspondents.

JOHN: And after that?

JACQUES: He compares the totals of the invoices with the totals brought out by each of the ten parcels of letters.

JOHN: And after that?

JACQUES: He brings the whole to a grand total to find out with what sum, en bloc, he is to debit each letter-carrier.

JOHN: And after that ?

JACQUES: After that, with a table of distances and Template:Hws