Montaigne's Essays/Book I/Chapter XXI

Essays by Michel de Montaigne, translated by John Florio
The One and Twentieth Chapter: The profit of one man is the dammage of another

Demades the Athenian condemned a man of the Citie, whose trade was to sell such necessaries as belonged to burials, under colour, hee asked too much profit for them: and that such profit could not come unto him without the death of many people. This judgement seemeth to be i ll taken, because no man profiteth but by the losse of others: by which reason a man should condemne all manner of gaine. The Merchant thrives not but by the licentiousnesse of youth; the Hushandman by dearth of some; the Architect but by the ruine of houses; the Lawyer by suits and controversies betweene men: Honour it selfe, and practice of religious ministers, is drawne from our death and vices. 'No physitian delighteth in the health of his owne friend,' saith the ancient Greeke Comike: 'nor no Souldier is pleased with the peace of his citie, and so of the rest.' And which is worse, let every man sound his owne conscience, hee shall finde that our inward desires are for the most part nourished and bred in us by the losse and hurt of others; which when I considered, I began to thinke how Nature doth not gainesay herselfe in this, concerning her generall policie: for Physitians hold that the birth, increase, and augmentation of everything, is the alteration and corruption of another.

   Nam quodcunque suis mutatum finibus exit,
   Continuo hoc mors est illius, quod fuit ante. -- LUCRET. 1. i. 687, 813; 1. ii. 162; 1. iii. 536.
   Whatever from it's bounds doth changed passe,
   That strait is death of that which erst it was.