A Haunted House (Timeless Classics) by Virginia Woolf

By Virginia Woolf

No matter what hour you woke there has been a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting right here, starting there, making sure—a ghostly couple. Stooping, keeping their silver lamp above us, lengthy they appear and deeply. lengthy they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops a bit. Wild beams of moonlight pass either ground and wall, and, assembly, stain the faces bent; the faces wondering; the faces that seek the sleepers and search their hidden pleasure.

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At being separated so far from his capital’, and routes the goods through Amsterdam, so that he may have ‘some part of his capital always under his own view and command’, rather than sending the goods directly between the cities (WN I, 454–5). To save himself from the necessity of a second loading and unloading, he ‘endeavours always to sell in the home-market as much of the goods of all those different countries as he can’, and thus converts his foreign trade into a home trade. Home is in this manner the center, if I may say so, round which the capitals of the inhabitants of every country are continually circulating, and towards which they are always tending, though by particular causes they may sometimes be driven off and repelled from it towards more distant employments.

And renders their understandings, in an extraordinary degree, both acute and comprehensive’ (WN II, 783). On the other hand, since philosophy is not labour, it produces no value and must be considered economically ‘unproductive’ along with the work of ‘churchmen’ and ‘opera-singers’ (WN I, 331). In this chapter I would like to focus on the dream of social visibility offered by Smith’s economic theory, which is the first systemic overview of the economic revolution that accompanied industrialism in Britain.

The viewpoint constructed by theory combines the sovereign’s ability to see the whole system with an understanding of the principles that drive individual self-interest. e. 35 In this case, the gap between selfish actions and the moral social order must be bridged by an appeal to our inability to know the vastness of the social order (which is not the same thing, to be sure, as an appeal to its providential order). The connection between the political and economic realms is posited, but it is not visible: no one human perspective can be imagined which can see both every individual transaction, and the whole social order.

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