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July. It is an age of liberality, indeed, when not to know an oak from a burdock is
no disqualification for sylvan minstrelsy. I am for truth and simplicity.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT.--Let him who loves them read Greek: Greek, Greek,
MR. MAC QUEDY.--If he can, sir.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT.--Very true, sir; if he can. Here is the Captain who can. But
I think he must have finished his education at some very rigid college, where a
quotation or any other overt act showing acquaintance with classical literature
was visited with a severe penalty. For my part, I make it my boast that I was not
to be so subdued. I could not be abated of a single quotation by all the bumpers
in which I was fined.
In this manner they glided over the face of the waters, discussing everything and
settling nothing. Mr. Mac Quedy and the Reverend Doctor Folliott had many
digladiations on political economy: wherein, each in his own view, Doctor Folliott
demolished Mr. Mac Quedy's science, and Mr. Mac Quedy demolished Dr.
Folliott's objections.
We would print these dialogues if we thought anyone would read them; but the
world is not yet ripe for this haute sagesse Pantagrueline. We must therefore
content ourselves with an echantillon of one of the Reverend Doctor's
"You have given the name of a science to what is yet an imperfect inquiry, and
the upshot of your so-called science is this: that you increase the wealth of a
nation by increasing in it the quantity of things which are produced by labour: no
matter what they are, no matter how produced, no matter how distributed. The
greater the quantity of labour that has gone to the production of the quantity of
things in a community, the richer is the community. That is your doctrine. Now, I
say, if this be so, riches are not the object for a community to aim at. I say the
nation is best off, in relation to other nations, which has the greatest quantity of
the common necessaries of life distributed among the greatest number of
persons; which has the greatest number of honest hearts and stout arms united
in a common interest, willing to offend no one, but ready to fight in defence of
their own community against all the rest of the world, because they have
something in it worth fighting for. The moment you admit that one class of things,
without any reference to what they respectively cost, is better worth having than
another; that a smaller commercial value, with one mode of distribution, is better
than a greater commercial value, with another mode of distribution; the whole of
that curious fabric of postulates and dogmas, which you call the science of
political economy, and which I call politicae aeconomiae inscientia, tumbles to
Mr. Toogood agreed with Mr. Chainmail against Mr. Mac Quedy, that the existing
state of society was worse than that of the twelfth century; but he agreed with Mr.
Mac Quedy against Mr. Chainmail, that it was in progress to something much
better than either--to which "something much better" Mr. Toogood and Mr. Mac
Quedy attached two very different meanings.