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A Treatise on Political Economy; Say, Jean-Baptiste
2 paragraphs found.
Bk.III,Ch.V
III.V.31

Moreover, when the desire of acquirement is stimulated by the love of display, how can the slow and limited progress of real production keep pace with the ardour of that motive? Will it not find a shorter road to its object, in the rapid and disreputable profits of jobbing and intrigue, classes of industry most fatal to national welfare, because they produce nothing themselves, but only aim at appropriating a share of the produce of other people? It is this motive, that sets in motion the despicable art and cunning of the knave, leads the pettifogger to speculate on the obscurity of the laws, and the man of authority to sell to folly and wickedness that patronage which it is his duty to dispense gratuitously to merit and to right. Pliny mentions having seen Paulina at a supper, dressed in a network of pearls and emeralds, that cost 40 millions of sestertii,*23 as she was ready to prove by her jeweller's bills. It was bought with the fruit of her ancestor's speculations. "Thus," says the Roman writer, "it was to dress out his grand-daughter in jewels at an entertainment, that Lollius forgot himself so far, as to lay waste whole provinces, to become the object of detestation to the Asiatics he governed, to forfeit the favour of Cæsar, and end his life by poison."

Note:
[About 140,000 dollars. Some English ladies wear jewels of greater value; but some read the passage in Pliny Quadringenties, instead of Quadragies Sestertium. This would make the jewels of Paulina worth 1,400,000 dollars; the more probable sum.] American Editor.