Commercial desires in a web of interest: Dutch discourses on (self-)interest, 1600-1830

Inger Leemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In 1778, the Dutch-Frisian nobleman Onno Zwier van Haren (Figure 6.1) gave his son Duco instructions for his future life in commerce. Duco had laid aside his aristocratic training in the military for a different line of service to his country, as a trader. According to his father, there was no shame in this career shift: No, Duco, there’s no need for shame That you, though trained in soldiery Play, in warehouses, a different game In equal service to our dear country. That you, of coffee, sugar, spice Help to determine the right price, Establish what place is most fit To grow the cotton. Better by far Than what you could do in the war. 1 Figure 6.1 Portrait of esquire, politician and author Onno Zwier van Haren, by Philippus Velijn (around 1800). A portrait of Onno Zwier van Haren” Source: Courtesy of Rijksmuseum Amsterdam RP-P-1911-2880.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistoricizing Self-Interest in the Modern Atlantic World
Subtitle of host publicationA Plea for Ego?
EditorsChristine Zabel
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781000363937
ISBN (Print)9780367901226
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Christine Zabel; individual chapters, the contributors.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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