There is a certain type of British trader who, with pharisaic unction, lifts up his voice and deplores the unhappy condition of “the heathen in his blindness,” including all persons of other nationalities and any of his own who may happen to differ in opinion from himself. On these collectively it is his habit to bestow his contemptuous regard when from his elevated position he condescends to thank Providence that as far as the methods and conduct of business are concerned he is “not as other men.” Of course, most people recognise that the attitude assumed by this type of person is one for which it is difficult altogether to blame him. Born as he was in an atmosphere reeking with traditions of insular supremacy, and nurtured from his youth up on notions of commercial arrogance, it is no miracle that he arrives at maturity with singularly inflated ideas of the greatness of his powers and person. If there is one thing more than another in which he feels particular pride it is the possession of a superabundant stock of what he is pleased to call “business acumen,” and to hear him, it might be imagined that no one could approach him in enterprise and general commercial ability.
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