I WONDER if, in an age when appreciation of public utilities is so ready and so keen, there can exist a Good Market Town in which the value of a Good Town Market fails of adequate comprehension—an otherwise healthy and progressive community which somehow is not quite seized of the attractiveness of the institution as a municipal investment proposition?
I would fain believe there is not. Moreover, I would fain believe that the advantages and real beneficence of the Good Town Market are everywhere grasped in a broad, philanthropic spirit, no less than view-ed frim the purely economic standpoint.
One of . our clergymen, w'ho makes a study of the market question from other than the cold, calculating dollars and cents look of it, argues thus: “Whatever develops the sociable instinct in the individual, naturally and
w’holesomely, makes for the common good. Marketing, I should say, has that effect. We all know that town and countryside relationships are not always of the most harmonious character. The tow nsman is prone to both ridicule and misjudge the agriculturist; wrhile the agriculturist seems to have been taught to dislike and distrust the townsman. They really should be better neighbors, aye, friends, each serving the other cheerfully and with mutually beneficial results. It only takes right acquaintanceship to bring this about. And the town market is the grand medium. There on the open square or under the friendly roof of the market building, the farmers meet the male citizens, and the farmers’ wives the wives of the other class. For I want our market attended by both men and women, boys and girls, young and old,' rich and poor. The more the merrier,
the wider-spread the influence and the surer the happy results of trading intercourse. A.good, well-established, well-attended town market, I am persuaded, makes more for the breaking down of the barriers between town and country and the placing on good terms of the farmer and his alleged natural enemy, the dweller in the town, than any other agency I can conceive of. Thus, say I, speed the market, and welcome the day when shall have vanished the last vestige of that individual hostility between these classes, and shall be witnessed the tiller of the soil and the town dweller, old animosities buried, old misapprehensions laughed over, clasping hands, exchanging, kind greetings, and honestly resolving for the future to be as good to each other and
themselves as frail human nature will admit and the market regulations allow.”
I overhead one lady say to another, as the two stood at a dairy table and helped make a clearance of the yellow, rich->looking butter: “Say, isn’t this marketing just splendid? I had no idea of it until I began coming. Why, do you know, I meet here friends that I owe calls to and friends that owe calls to me, as well as others, new people and some I’ve almost lost track of. It gives one a lot of pleasure and enables you to explain things so easily. Say, the market is just like a big AtHome, don’t you think—only that you can combine business with pleasure. Yes? Well, maybe things are a little dearer, but isn’t everything so good and fresh? And isn’t it lovely to be out ?”
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