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Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 420 - Volume 17, New Series, January 17, 1852 by Various
page 2 of 71 (02%)
been rendered, or at soonest, when a reasonable ground of hope has
been established that it will not be withheld or performed
slightingly. Only too much room there is to fear that, if these
questions were put and faithfully answered, the ordinary result
would be a conviction that the world had used us quite as well as we

Men are of course prevented from going through this process by their
self-love. Unwillingness to see or own their shortcomings, keeps
them in a sort of delusion on the subject. Well, I do not hope to
make an extensive change upon them in this respect; but perhaps it
may not be impossible to rouse one here and there to the correct
view, and thus accomplish a little good.

Let us address ourselves to commercial life first, for the labour by
which man lives is at the bottom of everything. Here we meet the now
well-recognised principle in political economy, that generally
wages, salaries, remunerations of all kinds, are in pretty exact
relation to the value of the services performed--this value being of
course determined, in a great degree, by the easiness or difficulty
of the work, the commonness or rarity of the faculties and skill
required for it, the risk of non-success in the profession, and so
forth. Many a good fellow who feels that his income is
inconveniently small, and wonders why it is not greater, might have
the mystery solved if he would take a clear, unprejudiced view of
the capacity in which he is acting towards the public. Is he a slave
of the desk, in some office of routine business? Then let him
consider how many hundreds of similar men would answer an
advertisement of his seat being vacant. The fatal thing in his case
evidently is, that the faculties and skill required in his situation
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