THERE are "nefarious Professions"; and every one is so familiar with their names that it is needless to list them here. Years ago, in mediæval towns, those who practised them were confined to particular districts and compelled to wear insignia prescribed by law to distinguish them from other citizens. Nowadays, the insignia have been discontinued, but the professions are still tolerated, and even, as happened in bygone days, stimulated and encouraged.
But not enough attention has been given to the nature of the professions designated by this particular phrase, that is to say by a substantive, with an adjective modifying the substantive. The word "professions" suggests, on the one hand, trades that may be practised, and not anti-social activities like brigandage or other associations for delinquency. On the other hand, the word "nefarious" condemns
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Publication information: Book title: The Conduct of Life. Contributors: Benedetto Croce - Author, Arthur Livingston - Translator. Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1924. Page number: 79.