Economic Sophisms/213

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"the commune to raise the duty to £4, £8, £12,—in short, sufficiently high to prevent the entry of a single log. Now, do you follow me ? If the good people are not to die of cold, they have no alternative but to come to my woodyard. They will bid against each other for my wood, and I will sell it for a high price ; and this act of charity, successfully carried out, will put me in a situation to do other acts of charity.

PAUL: A fine invention, truly ! It suggests to me another of the same kind.

JOHN: And what is that? Is philanthropy to be again brought into play?

PAUL: How do you like this Normandy butter?

JOHN: Excellent.

PAUL: Hitherto I have thought it passable. But do you not find that it takes you by the throat? I could make better butter in Paris. I shall have four or five hundred cows, and distribute milk, butter, and cheese among the poor.

PETER and JOHN: What ! in charity?

PAUL: Bah! let us put charity always in the foreground. It is so fine a figure that its very mask is a good passport. I shall give my butter to the people, and they will give me their money. Is that what is called selling?

JOHN: No; not according to the Bourgeois Gentilhomme. But, call it what you please, you will ruin yourself. How can Paris ever compete with Normandy in dairy produce?

PAUL: I shall be able to save the cost of carriage.

JOHN: Be it so. Still, while paying that cost, the Normans can heat the Parisians.

PAUL: To give a man something at a lower price—is that what you call beating him?

JOHN: It is the usual phrase; and you will always find yourself beaten.

PAUL: Yes; as Don Quixote was beaten. The blows will fall upon Sancho. John, my friend, you forget the octroi.

JOHN: The octroi ! What has that to do with your butter?

PAUL: To-morrow, I shall demand protection, and induce the commune to prohibit butter being brought into Paris from Normandy and Brittany. The people must then either dispense with it, or purchase mine, and at my own price, too.