Economic Sophisms/238

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"sweet and innocent as those afforded by the mysterious urn of fortune. Deprived of all the enjoyments of life, when he, fortnight after fortnight, put a day's wages on the quaterne, how many delicious hours did he afford his family! Hope was always present at his fireside. The garret was peopled with illusions. The wife hoped to rival her neighbours in her style of living; the son saw himself the drum-major of a regiment; and the daughter fancied herself led to the altar by her betrothed.

"C'est quelque chose encor que de faire un beau rève!"

The lottery was the poetry of the poor, and we have lost it.

The lottery gone, what means have we of providing for our protégées? Tobacco-shops and the post-office.

Tobacco, all right; its use progresses, thanks to the distinguếes habits, which august examples have skilfully introduced among our fashionable youth.

The post-office! … We shall say nothing of it, as we mean to make it the subject of a special report.

Except, then, the sale of tobacco, what employment remains for your female subjects? Embroidery, network, and sewing,—melancholy resources, which the barbarous science of mechanics goes on limiting more and more.

But the moment your new law comes into operation, the moment right hands are amputated or tied up, the face of everything will be changed. Twenty times, thirty times, a greater number of embroiderers, polishers, laundresses, seamstresses, milliners, shirtmakers, will not be sufficient to supply the wants of the kingdom, always assuming, as before, the consumption to be the same.

This assumption may very likely be disputed by some cold theorists, for dress and everything else will then be dearer. The same thing may be said of the iron which we extract from our own mines, compared with the iron we could obtain in ex- change for our wines. This argument, therefore, does not tell more against gaucherie than against protection, for this very dearness is the effect and the sign of an excess of work and exertion, which is precisely the basis upon which, in both cases, we contend that the prosperity of the working classes is founded.

Yes, we shall be favoured soon with a touching picture of the

prosperity of the millinery business. What movement! What