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XL. who shall fix the value?

In looking over various letters from women who seek employment, and especially literary employment, I find most of them to be tinged with this delusion, that those who produce anything for the market have the right to require somebody to take it, and at a price to be fixed by the maker. It would, no doubt, be very convenient to many of us if this were true — if somebody were provided whose clear duty it was to take the potatoes we raise, or the poems we write, at whatever price we set upon them. We could soon become rich by this process, like a certain tradesman of whom the story used to be told that he would go into his shop and make ten thousand dollars before breakfast by simply marking up the prices of all his goods. The question still remained whether this would increase their value when it came to the actual sale; and so it is plain that young people may go on thinking better and better of their own literary talents, and yet it will not help them one step towards success unless the public takes a similar view. What good does

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