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"I say put money in thy purse."
PERFECTLY true, Mr. Needy, all
you say is perfectly true, you are a member of society-a highly civilized society, abounding in all the conveniences and luxuries of life, capable of ministering to every human want, and indulging every itching fancy, we are short of nothing,
absolutely nothing,-indeed we have a great
deal more than we know what to do with. Such is the superfluity of things, that we are puzzled by their very names, and literally dumbfounded to conceive their use. There are manufactories and markets for everything, delectations and temptations for everybody, so that we may make ourselves as thoroughly comfortable or supremely ridiculous as we please. The social wealth is prodigious-it seems as if all the ingenuity and skill, all the industrial toil, all the natural and unnatural productions of this earth's soil, and this world's brains, had emptied their fulness into the capacious lap of our highly-favoured society. You have not exaggerated in the least the omnifariousness of our social opulence. English society is a perfect omnium gatherum of the comfortable utilities and exuberant perplexities of human
'What d' ye lack? What d' ye lack?'
Of 'prentices of yore,
As they trumpeted their wares
In the merry thoroughfares
Before their masters' door.
ye lack? What d' ye lack?'
Belongs to times long back,
When needful things were rare :
Now everything's sufficient,
In nothing we're deficient ;
There's plenty everywhere.
'What d' ye lack? What d' ye lack?'
We have now so much in store,
And notwithstanding this extravagance of material superfluity you can't manage to get even a very moderate share of the enjoyment of it. It's a hard case, we'll allow; but, like a good many of this comfortable world's comforters, that's all we can allow. Extremes meet, you know, and although your extremity is by no means the most agreeable end of the two, nevertheless such is the fact; extremes do meet, and we must take off our hats to a good many facts, as well as to a good many people that we don't particularly care to encounter. It is one of the many anomalies in a high state of civilization, that conveniences should be sub
jected to the commercial law of equivalent values,-in other words, that they should be purchasable quantities. It's a very old notion that of bartering one commodity for another. It may appear to you anomalous, but societies have found by the teaching of experience, that they can't get on without it. And please to understand that everything is not of marketable value-grumbling, for example, is worth nothing on the exchanges of this world;-it's not the least use putting that on the counter,—no one will give you so much as a barleycorn for your bitter complainings and abuse of the social institutions; you must bring something that human beings can feed on, or wear, or turn to some substantial or frivolous account, and as we have a representative value for all these things in the device of a metallic currency, there is no help for it, Mr. Needy, but to tell you in plain English, "Put money in your purse. "Money," as a prudential man of the old times has said, "answereth all things," therefore "put money in your purse."
Not another word, Mr. Needy, about how you are to do it, that's all we have to say to
you; there is money to be had-the mints have coined plenty for the common use, therefore, put money in your purse.
Honestly? of course honestly, Mr. Needy, pray understand us most distinctly as giving prudential counsel in strictest consistency with all that is upright in character and conduct. We know who it was who gave this advice about putting money in the purse, and to whom. Iago was a double-distilled villain, and Roderigo, his ridiculous tool, was the quintessence of amorous coxcombry. Both were playing a very abominable game with that money in the purse, but, as we just reminded you, money answereth all things," bad as well as good, and "things" of all shades of moral complexion between these two extremes; therefore just take our advice and don't trouble yourself and us with any moral criticism on the circumstances under which the advice was first given. Again we say, "go provide money— make all the money thou canst,-put but money in thy purse."
The fact is, society has become so intensely commercial of late years, that everything is now