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Cold-water Supply Test
Durham Or Screw Pipe Work Pipe And Fittings
Gas Fitting Pipe And Fittings Threading Measuring And Testing
Hot-water Heaters Instantaneous Coil And Storage Tanks.
House Traps Fresh-air Connections Drum Traps And Non-syphoning Traps
Installing Of French Or Sub-soil Drains
Insulation Of Piping To Eliminate Conduction Radiation Freezing And Noise
Laying Terra-cotta And Making Connections To Public Sewers. Water Connections
Making And Care Of Wiping Cloths
Mixtures Of Solders For Soldering Iron And Wiping Care Of Solders Melting Points Of Metals And Alloys
More Preparing And Wiping Joints
Pipe Threading
Plumbing Codes
Plumbing Fixtures And Trade
Preparing And Wiping Joints
Soil And Waste Pipes And Vents Tests
Storm And Sanitary Drainage With Sewage Disposal
The Use And Care Of The Soldering Iron Fluxes Making Different Soldering Joints

Sophisms Of The Protectionists

A Chinese Story
A Negative Railroad
Absolute Prices
Abundance Scarcity
Balance Of Trade
Conflicting Principles
Dearness Cheapness
Discriminating Duties
Does Protection Raise The Rate Of Wages?
Effort Result
Equalizing Of The Facilities Of Production
Fourth Tableau
Human Labor National Labor
Inferior Council Of Labor
National Independence
Natural History Of Spoliation
Obstacle Cause
Obstructed Rivers Pleading For The Prohibitionists
Our Productions Are Overloaded With Taxes
Petition From The Manufacturers Of Candles
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Raw Material
Reciprocity Again
Robbery By Bounties
Salt Postage And Customs
Something Else
Supremacy By Labor
The Little Arsenal Of The Free Trader
The Right And The Left Hand
The Tax Collector
The Three Aldermen
The Two Hatchets
Theory Practice
There Are No Absolute Principles
Third Tableau
To Artisans And Laborers
Two Systems Of Morals
Utopian Ideas
Wonderful Discovery!

The Sack Of Corn

Mathurin, in other respects as poor as Job, and obliged to earn his
bread by day-labor, became, nevertheless, by some inheritance, the
owner of a fine piece of uncultivated land. He was exceedingly anxious
to cultivate it. Alas! said he, to make ditches, to raise fences, to
break the soil, to clear away the brambles and stones, to plough it, to
sow it, might bring me a living in a year or two; but certainly not
to-day, or to-morrow. It is impossible to set about farming it, without
previously saving some provisions for my subsistence until the harvest;
and I know, by experience, that preparatory labor is indispensable, in
order to render present labor productive. The good Mathurin was not
content with making these reflections. He resolved to work by the day,
and to save something from his wages to buy a spade and a sack of corn;
without which things, he must give up his fine agricultural projects. He
acted so well, was so active and steady, that he soon saw himself in
possession of the wished-for sack of corn. I shall take it to the
mill, said he, and then I shall have enough to live upon till my field
is covered with a rich harvest. Just as he was starting, Jerome came to
borrow his treasure of him. If you will lend me this sack of corn,
said Jerome, you will do me a great service; for I have some very
lucrative work in view, which I cannot possibly undertake, for want of
provisions to live upon until it is finished. I was in the same case,
answered Mathurin, and if I have now secured bread for several months,
it is at the expense of my arms and my stomach. Upon what principle of
justice can it be devoted to the realization of your enterprise
instead of mine?

You may well believe that the bargain was a long one. However, it was
finished at length, and on these conditions:

First. Jerome promised to give back, at the end of the year, a sack of
corn of the same quality, and of the same weight, without missing a
single grain. This first clause is perfectly just, said he, for
without it Mathurin would give, and not lend.

Secondly. He engaged to deliver five litres on every hectolitre.
This clause is no less just than the other, thought he; for without
it Mathurin would do me a service without compensation; he would inflict
upon himself a privation--he would renounce his cherished enterprise--he
would enable me to accomplish mine--he would cause me to enjoy for a
year the fruits of his savings, and all this gratuitously. Since he
delays the cultivation of his land, since he enables me to realize a
lucrative labor, it is quite natural that I should let him partake, in a
certain proportion, of the profits which I shall gain by the sacrifice
he makes of his own.

On his side, Mathurin, who was something of a scholar, made this
calculation: Since, by virtue of the first clause, the sack of corn
will return to me at the end of a year, he said to himself, I shall
be able to lend it again; it will return to me at the end of the second
year; I may lend it again, and so on, to all eternity. However, I cannot
deny that it will have been eaten long ago. It is singular that I should
be perpetually the owner of a sack of corn, although the one I have lent
has been consumed for ever. But this is explained thus: It will be
consumed in the service of Jerome. It will put it into the power of
Jerome to produce a superior value; and, consequently, Jerome will be
able to restore me a sack of corn, or the value of it, without having
suffered the slightest injury; but quite the contrary. And as regards
myself, this value ought to be my property, as long as I do not consume
it myself; if I had used it to clear my land, I should have received it
again in the form of a fine harvest. Instead of that, I lend it, and
shall recover it in the form of repayment.

From the second clause, I gain another piece of information. At the end
of the year, I shall be in possession of five litres of corn, over the
100 that I have just lent. If, then, I were to continue to work by the
day, and to save a part of my wages, as I have been doing, in the course
of time I should be able to lend two sacks of corn; then three; then
four; and when I should have gained a sufficient number to enable me to
live on these additions of five litres over and above each, I shall be
at liberty to take a little repose in my old age. But how is this? In
this case, shall I not be living at the expense of others? No,
certainly, for it has been proved that in lending I perform a service; I
complete the labor of my borrowers; and only deduct a trifling part of
the excess of production, due to my lendings and savings. It is a
marvellous thing, that a man may thus realize a leisure which injures no
one, and for which he cannot be envied without injustice.

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Previous: Capital And Interest

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