England's Ideal, and Other Papers on Social Subjects

By Edward Carpenter | Go to book overview

TRADE.

"He likewise engaged in a pursuit disgraceful even in a private individual -- buying great quantities of goods and selling them again to advantage." -- Suetonius concerning Vespasian.

I SUPPOSE the peculiar character of our commercial age -- its excellencies and its defects -- can be as well studied in the market as anywhere. The first time I stood behind my own goods, and spread out peas and potatoes, roses and raspberries of my own growing to the eye of the customer, I felt that I was passing behind a veil, many things were becoming clear! I had often been in the market as a buyer, and had, I am sorry to say, been accustomed to look upon a tradesman as the personification of artful wickedness -- one who combined with his fellows to defraud the public and to take advantage of its innocence. But now I had passed myself into that inner circle, and with what a different eye did I regard the situation! It seemed to me now that it was the public which was at fault. I seemed to see at a glance the original sinfulness of its disposition. How out of its naughty old heart it suspected you always and always of putting the bad stuff at the bottom of the basket; how it would beat you down shamelessly, if it could, to prices below the zero of any possible remuneration to the grower; how it would handle fruit and flowers

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England's Ideal, and Other Papers on Social Subjects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Works by Mr. Edward Carpent *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • England's Ideal. 1
  • Modern Money-Lending, And The Meaning of Dividends. 23
  • Social Progress And Individual Effort. 55
  • Desirable Mansions. 75
  • Simplification of Life. 95
  • Does It Pay? 121
  • Trade. 128
  • Private Property. 139
  • The Enchanted Thicket. 166
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