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French Thrift

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Jíeoi-ly every one in Frawce sarei inoney, and, as a conseqwence of this, uearly every one iu Franco has an income which he makes írom his labor. In England men lay by for oíd ago. They look f orwanl to a timo when they vvill have to leave oft work, and when theirability to do what they wish wül be determined by their preyious economies. The Frenchman seems to stand in no need of any such stimulus. If his maintenanco in oíd age were aasured three times over, ho would stlll go on aaving. The Time's correspondent mentions an instanco of this habit which ia almost beyond belief, or rather would be so if it were anything more than an unusually strikinirexamnleof sal tendency. He knows, he tys, a head servant In a private house in Paris who has savcd enough to bring him in L700 a year. As the period of saving was limited to twenty-five years, this implies an annual laying by of something like L200 at live per centum. oompound interest, which for an honest servant in a private house seems impossible. "We are told, however, that in order to achieve his savings, whatever they were, he denied himself ererything that he would have had to pay for out of his own pocket. With the tastos thus forraed he might long agohare left service and livod on his incoine. Instead of this he lias re malned in service in order to go on sn'ving. lf he had lived on his income there would have been nothing out of whieh to lay by. The great pleasure of Iiíb life would thus have disappeared. Instead oí looking with continually growing enjoyment on his continually growing store, he would have seen the store retnain the same, and have had only the satisfaction of living on the income of it To a man ivith wliom thrifb has becomo second uiture this would be pain rather than injoyment. He would have been thinkng as he spent each penny that if he ïad only remained in service there ivould have been no neefl to speud any;hing. Mr. Hamerton has mentioned eases svhere Frenchmen possessed of fair in;omes from accumulated capital have gjone on doing vrith perfect contentment work Wuich was at once irksome nd ill-paid, because the money thus gained was so rauch more to be laid by. The proeess in France 13 a never-ending one. The more a Frenchman saves, the more he feela that he raay save. Parents save for their children, and children save for themselves till they become parents in their turn. "Every child's future ts provided for at his eradle," for "the baby has hardly seen aaylight bef ore the parents are already saving for them." But the (act that his future i? provided for does not make the cliild indifferent to his own future. He provides for himself as though he had had no parenta to sparo liim the trouble. No doubt there is a bad side to all this. The intense devotion to small econornies develops a type of character whlcb, in the end, is not altogether favorable even to that national prosperity which, in the beginning, it Aoea so rnuch to promote. The abaorption of the mind in the procesa of putting together money, which regarda it as an end rather than as a mean9, does not leave rauch room for the qualities which make nations great. It may even tend to make the amount of money made in the country less than it Wüuld be i f thero was not so much money eaved. The ship may be spoiled for want of a pennyworth of tar, whether the penny which ought to have gone in the purchase is squandered or hoarded. Nothing is more ungratef ui to the economical man than the notion of risk, for risk means not only that there may be nothing more to add to the heap, but that something may have to be talten away from it. Yet without risk great commercial enterprises are impossible. If high interest ineana bad security, it is equally true that perfect security means investment in established undertakings, not in undertakings that have their fortunes to make.


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