Economic Sophisms/205

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"Here I ceased to listen to the two interlocutors. It turned out, however, that Jacques Bonhomme was entirely converted; for some days afterwards, the Report of M. Vuitry having made its appearance, Jacques wrote the following letter to that honourable legislator:—


"MONSIEUR,—Although I am not ignorant of the extreme discredit into which one falls by making oneself the advocate of an absolute theory, I think it my duty not to abandon the cause of a uniform rate of postage, reduced to simple remuneration for the service actually rendered.

"My addressing myself to you will no doubt be regarded as a good joke. On the one side appears a heated brain, a closet-reformer, who talks of overturning an entire system all at once and without any gradual transition; a dreamer, who has never, perhaps, cast his eye on that mass of laws, ordinances, tables, schedules, and statistical details which accompany your report,—in a word, a theorist. On the other appears a grave, prudent, moderate-minded legislator, who has weighed, compared, and shown due respect for the various interests involved, who has rejected all systems, or, which comes to the same thing, has constructed a system of his own, borrowed from all the others. The issue of such a struggle cannot be doubtful.

"Nevertheless, as long as the question is pending, every one has a right to state his opinions. I know that mine are sufficiently decided to expose me to ridicule. All I can expect from the reader of this letter is not to throw ridicule away (if, indeed, there be room for ridicule), before, in place of after, having heard my reasons.

"For I, too, can appeal to experience. A great people has made the experiment. What has been the result? We cannot deny that that people is knowing in such matters, and that its opinion is entitled to weight.

"Very well, there is not a man in England whose voice is not in favour of postal reform. Witness the subscription which has been opened for a testimonial to Mr Rowland Hill. Witness

the manner in which John Bull testifies his gratitude. Witness