The person charging this material is responsible for
..s return to the library from which it was\ithdrawn
on or before the Latest Date stamped below.
Theft, mutilation, and underlining of books are ru.nn. ... h .
nary action and may resul, in dlLiss^llr^m^e" ni«, " '^'''''■
To renew call Telephone Center, 333-8400 ""'"""V-
UNIVERSiTV OF ,LLmO,S LIBRARY AT URBANA-CHAMP^.r,.
Yt'^'4?-|,^M; '^i-;. iK'Vrf ;-'^/--''vT£''^V.,C:ig|^
■> if ■'^ V •■ '
i "^* "^'
V ^fi ' '^ V
1 iii* '..,■•■1 .■?■%<--;-■, '-i^
BERKELEY THE BANKER
BANK NOTES AND BULLION,
TALE FOR THE TIME
BY HARRIET MARTINEi
S. AXDRUS AND SON
^ V,( CONTENTS.
^ CHAPTER I.
The Haleham People - - - - 7
The Pride of Haleham - - - - S3
The Haleham Riot - - - 55
Wine and Wisdom . ■ - - 39
Husbands and Wives - - - 1S2
Suspense ------ 159
^ . Certainty 176
^ Market-Day ... - 203
'^ CHAPTER IX.
A Future Day - - - - . 223
No one can be more sensible than I am
myself of the shghtness and small extent of the
information conveyed in my Tales: yet I find
myself compelled to ask from many friendly
critics and correspondents the justice, — first,
of remembering that my object is less to ofier
my opinion on the temporar}' questions in po-
litical economy which are now occupying the
public mind, than, by exhibiting a few plain,
permanent principles, to furnish others with the
requisites to an opinion; — and, secondly, of
waiting to see whether I have not something to
say on subjects not yet arrived at, which, bear-
ing a close relation to some already dismissed,
my correspondents appear to suppose I mean
I trust, for example, that some of my read-
ers may not look altogether in vain for guidance
from the story of Berkeley the Banker, though
it contains no allusion to the Currency C/onrro-
versy at Birmingham, and no derJ-j'on as to the
Renewal of the Bank Charter; nwd lliat oihers
will give me time to show that! do not ascribe
all our national distresses to < »ver population,
but think as ill as they do of <",ertain monopo-
lies and modes of taxation.
My inability to reply by (elter lo all who
favour me with suggestions must be my apology
for ofFermg this short answer to I he two largest
classes ol my correspondents.
BERKELEY THE BANKER.
^ CHAPTER 1.
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
"The affair is decided, 1 suppose," said
Mrs. Berkeley to her husband, as he folded up
the letter he had been reading aloud. "It is
well that Horace's opinion is so boldly given,
as we agreed to abide by it."
*' Horace knows as much about my private
affairs as I do myself, and a great deal more
about the prospects of the banking business,"
replied Mr. Berkeley. " We cannot do better
than take his advice. Depend upon it, the con-
nexion will turn out a fine thing for my family,
as Horace says. It is chiefly for your sakes,
my dear girls."
"May I look again at Horace's letter?"
asked Fanny, as her father paused to muse.
8 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
" I did not understand that he thought it could
be more than a safe, and probably advanta-
geous, connexion. Ah! here it is. — ' I like the
prospect, as affording you the moderate occu-
pation you seem to want, and perhaps enabling
you to leave something more to my sistnrs than
your former business yielded for them. Times
were never more prosperous for banking; and
you can scarcely lose any thing, however little
you may gain, by a share in so small and safe
a concern as the D bank.' "
Fanny looked at her father as she finished
reading this, as much as to inquire where was
the promise of fine things to arise out of the
"Horace is very cautious, you know," ob-
served Mr. Berkeley: "he always says less
than he means — at least when he has to give
advice to any of the present company; all of
whom he considers so sanguine, that, I dare
say, he often congratulates us on having such
a son and brother as himself to take care of us."
"He yields his oflice to Melea only," ob-
served Mrs. Berkeley, looking towards her
younger daughter, who was reading the letter
once more before giving her opinion. "Tell
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 9
US, Melea, shall your father be a banker or still
an idle gentleman?"
"Has he ever been an idle gentleman?"
asked Melea. " Can he really want something
to do when he has to hurry from one commit-
tee-room to another every morning, and to visit
the workhouse here and the gaol at D ,
and to serve on juries, and do a hundred things
besides, that prevent his riding with Fanny and
me oftener than once a month?"
"These are all very well, my dear," said her
father; "but they are not enough for a man
who was brought up to business, and who has
been accustomed to it all his life. I would not,
at sixty-five, connect myself with any concern
which involved risk, or much labour; but I
should like to double your little fortunes, when
it may be done so easily, and the attempt can
do no harm."
"I wish," said Fanny, "you would not make
this a reason. Melea and I shall have enough
and if we had not, we should be sorry to possess
more at the expense of your entering into busi-
ness again, after yourself pronouncing that the
time had come for retiring from it."
"Well, but, my dears, this will not be like
10 THE IIALEIIAM 1»E0PLE
my former busmess, now up and now down; so
that one year I expected nothing less than to
divide my plum between you, and the next to
go to gaol. There will be none of these fluc-
tuations in my new business."
' ' I am sure I hope not, ' ' said Fanny anxiously.
"Fanny remembers the days," said her mo*
ther, smiling, "when you used to come in to
dinner too gloomy to speak while the servants
were present, and with only one set of ideas
when they were gone, — that your girls must
make half their allowance do till they could get
out as governess-es."
" That was hardly so bad," observed Fanny,
" as being told that we were to travel abroad
next year, and have a town and country-house,
and many fine things besides, that we did not
care for half so much as for the peace and quiet
we have had lately. Oh ! father, why cannot
we go on as we are?"
"We should not enjoy any more peace and
comfort, my dear, if we let slip guch an oppor-
tunity as this of my benefiting my family. An-
other thing, which almost decided me before
Horace's letter came," he continued, addressing
his wife, " is, that Dixon's premises are let at
tHE HALEHAM fEOPLE. l\
last, and there is going to be a very fine busi-
ness set on foot there by a man who brings a
splendid capital, and will, no doubt, bank with
us at D . I should like to carry such a
connexion with me; it would be a creditable
"So those dismal-looking granaries are to be
opened again," said Melea; "and there will be
some stir once more in the timber-yards. The
place has looked very desolate dl this year."
" We will go to the wharf to see the first
lighter unloaded," said Fanny, laughing. —
" When I went by lately, there was not so much
as a sparrow in any of the yards. The last
pigeon picked up the last grain weeks ago."
" We may soon have pigeon-pies again as
often as we like," observed Mr. Berkeley.
"Cargoes of grain are on the way; and every
little boy in Haleham will be putting his pig-
eon-loft in repair when the first lighter reaches
the wharf The little Cavendishes will keep
pigeons too, I dare say."
"That s a pretty name," observed Mrs.
Berkeley, who was a Frenchwoman, and very
critical in respect of English names.
'^Montague Cavendish, Esq. I hope, my
12 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
dear, that such a name will dispose you favour-
ably towards our new neighbour, and his wife,
and all that belongs to him."
" O yes; if there are not too many of them.
I hope it is not one of your overgrown English
families, that spoil the comfort of a dinner-
Mr. Berkeley shook his head, there being, at
the least, if what he had heard was true, half-a-
dozen each of Masters and Misses Cavendish;
insomuch that serious doubts had arisen whether
the dwelling-house on Dixon's premises could
be made to accommodate so large a family. The
master of the " Haleham Commercial, French,
and Finishing Academy" was founding great
hopes on this circumstance, foreseeing the pos-
sibility of his having four or five Masters Cav-
endish as boarders in his salubrious, domestic,
and desirable establishment.
The schoolmaster was disappointed in full
one-half of his expectations. Of the six Mas-
ters Cavendish, none were old enough to be
removed from under their anxious mother's
eye for more than a few hours in the day. The
four elder ones, therefore, between four and
nine years old, became day-scholars only ; bear-
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 13
ing with them, however, the promise, that if
they were found duly to improve, their younger
brethren would follow as soon as they became
unmanageable by the "treasure " of a gover-
ness, Mrs. Cavendish's dear friend, Miss Egg,
who had so kindly, as a special favour, left an
inestimable situation to make nonpareils of all
Mrs. Cavendish's tribe.
How these children were to be housed no
one could imagine, till a happy guess was made
by the work-people who were employed in
throwing three rooms into one, so as to make a
splendid drawing-room. It was supposed that
they were to be laid in rows on the rugs before
the two fire-places, the boys at one end and the
girls at the other. This conjecture was set
aside, however, by the carpenters, who were
presently employed in partitioning three little
rooms into six tiny ones, with such admirable
economy of light that every partition exactly
divided the one window which each of these
rooms contained. It was said that an opportu-
nity of practising fraternal politeness was thus
afforded, the young gentlemen being able to
open and shut their sisters' window when they
opened and shut their own, so that a drowsy
14 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
little girl might tyrn in her crib, on a bright
summer's morning, and see the sash rise as if
by magic, and have the fresh air come to her
without any trouble of her own in letting it in.
It was at length calculated that by Miss Egg
taking three of the babies to sleep beside her, and
by putting an iron-bedstead into the knife-pantry
for the servant boy, the household might be ac-
commodated; though the school-master went
on thinking that the straightforward way would
have been to send the elder boys to him, for the
holidays and all; the builder advising an addi-
tion of three or four rooms at the back of the
dwelling ; and everybody else wondering at the
disproportion of the drawing-room to the rest
of the house.
When the total family appeared at Haleham
Church, the Sunday after their arrival, the sub-
ject of wonder was changed. Every one now
said that the housing the family was an easy
question in comparison with that of housing
their apparel. Where could drawers ever be
found large enough for the full-buckramed fancy
dresses of the young gentlemen, and the ample
frocks, flounced trousers, huge muslin bonnets
and staring rosettes of the little ladies, who
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 15
walked up the aisle hand in hand, two abrejist,
tightly laced and pointing their toes prettily?
Their father's costume had something of the ap-
pearance of a fancy dress, though it did not
take up so much room. He was a very little
man, with shoes and pantaloons of an agonizing
tightness, and a coat so amply padded and col-
lared to convert the figure it belonged to into
as strong a resemblance to the shape of a carrot
as if he had been hunchbacked. A little white
hat perched on the sununit of a little black head,
spoiled the unity of the design considerably; but
in church this blemish disappeared, the hat
being stuck under one arm to answer to the wife
on the other side.
Mr. Berkeley, who was disposed to regard
in a favourable light every one who caused an
accession of prosperity to the little tovm of Hale-
ham, would not listen to remarks on any dis-
putable qualities of his new neighbours. He
waited in some impatience the opportunity of
learning with what bank this great merchant
meant to open an account; and was in perpetu-
al hopes that on the occasion of his next ride to
D , whither he went three times a week
to attend to his new business, he might be ac*
16 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
companied by Mr. Cavendish. These hopes
were soon at an end.
Mr. Cavendish was going to open a bank at
Haleham, to be managed chiefly by himself, but
supported by some very rich people at a dis-
tance, who were glad to be sleeping partners in
so fine a concern as this must be, in a district
where a bank was much wanted, and in times
when banking was the best business of any.
Such was the report spread in Haleham, to the
surprise of the Berkeleys, and the joy of many
of the inhabitants of their little town. It was
confirmed by the preparations soon begun for
converting an einpty house in a conspicuous
situation into the requisite set of offices, the
erection of the board in front with the words
Haleham Bank, and the arrival a clerk or two
with strong boxes, and other apparatus new to
the eyes of the towns-people. Mr. Cavendish
bustled about between his wharf and the bank,
feeling himself the most consequential man in
the town; but he contrived to find a few mo-
ments for conversation with Mr. Berkeley, as
often as he could catch him passing his premises
on the way to D . This kind of intercourse
had become rather less agreeable to Mr. Berk-
THE IIALEHAM PEOPLE, 17
eley of late; but as he had admitted it in the
earliest days of their acquaintance, he could
not well decline it now,
"I understand, my dear sir," said Mr. Ca-
vendish, one day, crossing the street to walk by
his neighbour's horse, " that you have but lately
entered the D bank. It is a thousand
pities that the step was taken before I came; I
should have been so happy to have offered you
a partnership. So partial as we both are to the
business, we should have agreed admirably, I
have no doubt."
Mr, Berkeley bowed. His companion went
on: " There would have been nothing to do,
you see, but to step down a quarter of a mile,
on fine days, just when you happened to be in
the humour for business, instead of your having
to toil backwards and forwards to D so
Mr. Berkeley laughed, and said that he nev-
er toiled. He went when it suited him to go,
and stayed away when it did not.
" Aye, aye; that is all very well at this time
of year; but we must not judge of how it will
be in every season by what it is at Midsum-
mer, When the days get damp and dark, and
Vol. I— B 2*
18 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
the roads miry, it becomes a very pleasant thing
to have one's offices at hand."
" And a pleasanter still to stay by one's own
fireside, which I shall do on damp days," coolly
observed Mr. Berkeley.
*' You have such a domestic solace in those
sweet daughters of > ours!" observed Mr. Cav-
endish: " to say nothing of your lady, whose
charming mixture of foreign grace with true
English maternity, as Miss Egg was saying
yesterday, (there is no better judge than Miss
Egg,) would constitute her a conspicuous orna-
ment in a far more distinguished society than
we can muster here."
Again Mr. Berkeley bowed. Again his com-
panion went on.
"Talking of society, — I hope you will think
we have an acquisition in our new rector.
Perhaps you are not aware that Longe is a re-
lation of my wife's, — a first cousin; and more
nearly connected in friendship than in blood.
An excellent fellow is Longe; and I am sure
you ought to think so, for he admires your
daughter excessively, — Miss Berkeley I mean;
— though your little syren did beguile us so
sweetly that first evening that Longe met you.
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 19
He appreciates Miss Melea's music fully; but
Miss Berkeley was, as I saw directly, the grand
" You have made Chapman your watchman,
I find," said Mr. Berkeley. " I hope he will
not sleep upon his post from having no sleep at
present ; but he is in such a state of delight at
his good fortune, that I question whether he has
closed his eyes since you gave him the appoint-
" Poor fellow I Poor fellow ! It affords me
great pleasure, I am sure, to be able to take
him on my list. Yes; the moment he mention-
ed yout recommendation, down went his name,
without a single further question."
" I did not give him any authority to use my
name," observed Mr. Berkeley. " He merely
came to consult me whether he should apply;
and I advised him to take his chance. Our pau-
per-labourers have taken his work from him, and
obliged him to live upon his savings for a twelve-
month past, while, as I have strong reasons for
suspecting, he has been more anxious than ever
to accumulate. You have made him a very
happy man; but I must disclaim all share in the
20 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
" Well, well: he took no improper liberty, I
assure you. Far from it; but the mention of
your name, you are aware, is quite sufficient in
any case. But, as to sleeping on his post, —
perhaps you will be kind enough to give him a
hint. So serious a matter, — -such an important
charge — "
Mr. Berkeley protested he was only joking
when he said that. Chapman would as soon
think of setting the bank on fire as sleeping on
" It is a misfortune to Longe," thought he,
as he rode away from the man of consequence,
" to be connected with these people. He is so
far superior to them ! A very intelligent,
agreeable man, as it seems to me; but Fanny
will never like him if he is patronized by the
Cavendishes, be his merits what they may. He
must be a man of discernment, distinguishing
her as he does already: and if so, he can hardly
be in such close alliance with these people as
they pretend. It is only fair she should be con-
vinced of that."
And the castle-building farther bestowed al-
most all his thoughts for the next half-hour on
the new rector, and scarcely any on the curate,
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 21
who was an acquaintance of longer standing,
and an object of much greater interest in the
This curate was at the moment engaged in
turning over some new books on the counter of
Enoch Pye, the Haleham bookseller. Mr.
Craig was a privileged visiter in this shop, not
only because Enoch could not exist without re-
ligious ministrations, given and received, but
because Enoch was a publisher of no mean con-
sideration in his way, and was a very desirable
thing to have his own small stock of learning
eked out by that of a clergyman, when he stum-
bled on any mysterious msffters in works which
he was about to issue. He put great faith in
the little corps of humble authors with whom he
was connected; but it did now and then happen
that the moral of a story appeared to him not
drawn out explicitly enough; that retribution
was not dealt with sufficient force; and he was
sometimes at a loss how to test the accuracy of
a quotation. On this occasion, he would
scarcely allow Mr. Craig to look even at the
frontispiece of the new books on the counter,
so eager was he for the curate 's opinion as to
what would be the effect of the establishment of
XX THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
the bank on the morals and condition of the peo-
ple of Haleham.
" The effect may be decidedly good, if they
choose to make it so," observed Mr. Craig.
" All fair means of improving the temporal con-
dition are, or ought to be, means for improving
the moral state of the people; and nothing gives
such an impulse to the prosperity of a place like
this as the settlement in it of a new trading capi-
"Aye, sir; so we agreed when the brewery
was set up, and when Bligh's crockery-shop was
opened: but a bank. Sir, is to my mind a differ-
ent kind of affair. K banker deals not in neces-
sary meats or drinks, or in the vessels which con-
tain them, but in lucre, — altogether in lucre."
" By which he helps manufacturers and trades-
men to do their business more effectually and
speedily than they otherwise could. A banker
is a dealer in capital. He comes between the
borrower and the lender. He borrows of one
and lends to another "
" But he takes out a part by the way," inter-
rupted Enoch, with a knowing look. " He
does not give out entire that which he receives,
but abstracts a part for his own profit."
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 23
" Of course he must have a profit," replied
Mr. Craig, " orhe would not trouble himself to
do business. But that his customers find their
profit in it, too, is clear from their making use
of him. They pay him each a little for a pro-
digious saving of time and trouble to all."
" Yes, yes," replied Enoch; " a man cannot
have been in such a business as mine for so
many years without knowing that banks are a
great help in times of need; and I am willing to
see and acknowledge the advantage that may
accrue to myself from this new bank, when I
have payments to make to a distance, and also
from a great ease which, in another respect, I
expect it to bring to my mind."
" I suppose you pay your distant authors by
sending bank-notes by the post,"
"Yes; and sometimes in bills: especially
when there is an odd sum. There is risk and
trouble in this, and some of my fair correspon-
dents do not know what to do with bills when
they have got them. See, here is one actually
sent back to me at the expiration of the three
months, with a request that I will send the mon-
ey in notes, as the young lady does not know
24 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
any body in London whom she could ask to
get it cashed for her."
" Henceforth she will be paid through the
bank here and the bank nearest to her, instead
of putting the temptation in your way to throw
the bill into the fire, and escape the payment."
Enoch replied that he was thankful to say, it
was no temptation to him; and Mr. Craig per-
ceived that he was waiting to be questioned
about the other respect in which the bank was
to bring him ease of mind,
" Far be it from me," replied the bookseller,
*' to complain of any troubb which happens to
me through the integrity for which it has pleas-
ed Providence to give me some small reputation ;
but I assure you, Sir, the sums of money that
are left under my care, by commercial travel-
lers, Sir, and others who go a little circuit, and
do not wish to carry much cash about with
them, are a great anxiety to me. They say the
rest of the rich man is broken through care for
his wealth. I assure you, Sir, that, though not
a rich man, my rest is often broken through
such care; — and all the more because the wealth
is not my own."
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 25
" An honourable kind of trouble, Mr. Pye;
and one of which you will be honourably reliev-
ed by the bank, where, of course, you will send
your commercial friends henceforth to deposit
their money. There also they can make their
inquiries as to the characters of your trading
neighbours, when they are about to open new
accounts. You have often told me what a deli-
cate matter you feel it to pronounce in such
cases. The bank will discharge this office for
Enoch replied shortly, that the new banker
and his people could not know so much of the
characters of the townsfolks as he who had lived
among them for more than half a century ; and
Mr. Craig perceived that he did not wish to turn
over to any body an office of whose difficulties
he was often heard to complain.
" Do not you find great inconvenience in the
deficiency of change?" asked the curate. " It
seems to me that the time of servants and shop-
keepers is terribly wasted in running about for
" It is, Sir. Sometimes when I want to use
small notes, I have none but large ones; and
when I want a 203/. note to send by post, I may
^6 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
wait three or four days before I can get such a
thing. I can have what I want in two minutes
now, by sending to the bank. After the fair,
or the market day, too, I shall not be overbur-
dened with silver as I have often been. They
will give me gold or notes for it at the bank, to
"If there were no banks," observed Mr.
Craig, " what a prodigious waste of time there
would be in counting out large sums of money!
A draft is written in the tenth part of the time
that is required to hunt up the means of paying
a hundred pounds in guineas, shillings, and
pence, or in such an uncertain supply of notes
as we have in a little town like this. And, then,
good and bad coin "
"Aye, Sir. I reckon that in receiving my
payments in the form of drafts upon a banker, I
shall save several pounds a year that I have been
obliged to throw away in bad coin or forged
" And surely the townspeople generally will
find their advantage in this respect, as well as
yourself But a greater benefit still to them may
be the opportunity of depositing their money, be
it much or little, where they may receive interest
THE HALEHA3I PEOPLE. 27
for it. Cavendish's bank allows interest on small
deposits, does it not?"
" On the very smallest," replied Mr. Pye
" People are full of talk about his condescension
in that matter. He even troubles himself to ask
his work-people, — aye, his very maid-servants,
— whether they have not a little money by them
that they would like to have handsome interest
"Indeed!" said Mr. Craig, looking rather
surprised. " And do they trust do they ac-
cept the offer?"
"Accept it! aye, very thankfully. Who
would not ? There is Chapman that is appointed
watchman: he had a few pounds of his savings
left; and he put them into the bank to bear in-
terest till Rhoda Martin's earnings shall come
to the same sum; so that they may have some-
thing to furnish with."
" And where will she put her earnings?"
" Into the bank, of course. You know she
has got the place of nursemaid at the Caven-
dishes; and she would not be so unhandsome,
she says, as to put her money any where but
into the same hands it came out of So she
began by depositing ten pounds left her as a
28 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
legacy. It is quite the fashion now for our work-
people to carry what they have, be it ever so
little, to the bank; and Mr. Cavendish is very
kind in his way of speaking to them."
" Well; you see here is another great advan-
tage in the establishment of a bank, if it be a
sound one. In my country, Scotland, the banks
are particularly sound, so as to make it quite
safe for the people to lodge their small deposits
there, and society has the advantage of a quan-
tity of money being put into circulation which
would otherwise lie dead, as they call it, — that
is, useless. Many millions of the money depos-
ited in the Scotch banks are made up of the
savings of labourers; and it would be a loss to
the public, as well as to the owners, if all this
lay by as useless as so many pebbles. I wish,
however, that there were some places of deposit
for yet smaller sums than the Scotch bankers
will receive.* They will take no sum under 10/.
*' If one man is kind-hearted enough to take
the trouble of receiving such small sums," ob-
served Enoch, "I think others might too. I
was very wrong to hint any doubts about Mr.
♦Savings-banks were not instituted when this was said:
viz., in 1814.
THE UALEHAM PEOPLE. 29
Cavendish's trading in lucre, when it is so clear
that he thinks only of doing good. I take shame
to myself, Mr. Craig."
" At the same time, Mr. Pye, one would not
be urgent with the people to trust any one person
with all their money. In Scotland, there are a
great many partners in a bank, which makes it
Enoch looked perplexed; and while he was
still pondering what Mr. Craig might mean, his
attention was engaged by a young woman who
entered the shop, and appeared to have some-
thing to show him for which it was necessary to
choose an advantageous light. Mr. Craig heard
Enoch's first words to her, wliispered across the
counter, — "How's thy mother to-day, my
dear?" and then he knew that the young woman
must be Hester Parndon, and began again to
look at the new books till Hester's business
should be finished.
He was presently called to a consultation, as
he had been once or twice before, when Mr. Pye
and the young artist he employed to design his
frontispieces could not agree in any matter of
taste that might be in question.
30 THE Haleham people.
" I wish you would ask Mr. Craig," observed
" So I would, my dear; but he does not know
" The story tells itself in the drawing, 1
hope," replied Hester.
"Let me see," said the curate. "O yes!
there is the horse galloping away, and the thrown
young lady lying on the ground. The children
who frightened the horse with their waving
boughs are clambering over the stile, to get out
of sight as fast as possible. The lady's father
is riding up at full speed, and her lover "
" No, no; no lover," cried Enoch, in a tone
"Mr. Pye will not print any stories about
lovers," observed Hester, sorrowfully.
" It is against my principles, Sir, as in some
sort a guardian of the youthful mind. This is
the heroine's brother. Sir, and I have no fault
to find with him. But the young lady, — she is
very much hurt, you know. It seems to me,
now, that she looks too much as if she was think-
ing about those children, instead of being re-
signed. Suppose she was to lie at full length,
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 31
instead of being half raised, and to have her
hands clasped, and her eyes cast upwards."
" But that would be just like the three last 1
have done," objected Hester. "The mother
on her death-bed, and the sister when she
heard of the sailor-boy's being drowned, and
the blind beggar-woman, — you would have
them all lying with their hands clasped and
their eyes cast up, and all in black dresses, ex-
cept the one in bed. Indeed they should not be
So Mr. Craig thought. Moreover, if the
young lady was amiable, it seemed to him to be
quite in character that she should be looking
after the frightened children, with concern for
them in her countenance. Enoch waxed obsti-
nate on being opposed. He must have the riding
habit changed for a flowing black robe, and
the whole attitude and expression of the figure
altered to the pattern which possessed his imag-
" What does your mother say to this drawing,
Hester?" inquired Mr. Craig, when he saw the
matter becoming desperate.
" She thinks it the best I have done; and she
desired" me to study variety above all things;
32 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
and it is because it is so unlike all the rest that
she likes it best."
Enoch took the drawing out of her hands at
these words, to give the matter another consid-
" Do persuade him, " whispered Hester to the
curate. " You do not know how people begin
to laugh at his frontispieces for being all alike;
all the ladies with tiny waists, and all the gen-
tlemen with their heads turned half round on
their shoulders. Do not be afraid. He is so
deaf he will not know what we are saying."
*' Indeed! I was not aware of that."
*' No, because he is accustomed to your voice
in church. He begins to say, — for he will not
believe that he is deaf, — that you are the only
person in Haleham that knows how to speak dis-
tinctly, except the fishwoman, and the crier, and
my mother, who suits her way of speaking to
his liking exactly. But, Sir, the people in Lon-
don laughed sadly at the frontispiece to ' Faults
acknowledged and amended.' "
'' What people in London?"
" O! the people, — several people, — I know a
good deal about the people in London, and they
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. 33
understand about such things much better than
" Then I wish that, instead of laughing at
you for drawing as you are bid, they would em-
ploy you to design after your own taste. You
are fit for a much higher employment than this,
and I wish you had friends in London to procure
it for you,"
Hester blushed, and sparkled, and looked
quite ready to communicate something, but re-
frained and turned away.
" I like this much better, the more I look at
it, my dear," said Enoch, relieving himself of
his best spectacles, and carefully locking up the
dra\ving in his desk: " stay; do not go without
your money. I shall make you a present over
and above what we agreed upon; for, as your
mother says, it is certainly your best piece
Now, I don't mean to guess what you are going
to do with this money. There come times when
girls have use for money. But if you should just
Oe going to give it to your mother to lay by, I
could let you have a guinea for that note and
shilling. Guineas are scarce now-a-days; but I
have one, and I know your mother is fond of
keeping them Will you take it for her?"
Vol I— C
M THE IIALEUAM PEOPLE.
Hester was not going to put her money into
her mother's hands. Into the new bank per-
haps? — No, she was not going to lay it by at
all. And she blushed more than ever, and left
Enoch sighed deeply, and then smiled dubi-
ously, while he wondered what Mrs. Parndon
would do when her daughter married away from
her to London, as she was just about to do. It
was a sad pinch when her son Philip settled in
London, though he had a fine goldsmith's busi-
ness; but Hester was so much cleverer, so much
more like herself, that her removal would be a
greater loss still.
" Why should she not goto London too.?"
Mr. Craig inquired.
O no, Enoch protested; it was, he believed,
he flattered himself, he had understood, — quite
out of the question. He added, confidentially,
that it might be a good thing for the new bank
if she would lodge her money there, for she had
a very pretty store of guineas laid by.
'' Does she value them as gold, — I mean as
being more valuable than bank-notes, — or as
riches?" asked Mr. Craig. " If the one, she
will rather keep them in her own hands. If the
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE 35
otheij she will be glad of interest upon them."
" She began by being afraid that the war
would empty the country of money; and now
that less and less gold is to be seen every day,
she values her guineas more than ever, and
would not part with them, I believe, for any
price. As often as she and I get together to
talk of our young days, she complains of the
flimsy rags that such men as Cavendish choose
to call money. ' Put a note in the scale,' says
she, ' and what does it weigh against a guinea?
and if a spark flies upon it out of the candle,
where is It?' — Many's the argument we have
had upon this. I tell her that there is no real
loss when a bank note is burned, as there is if
an idle sailor chucks a guinea into the sea."
" If a magpie should chance to steal away a
five-pound note of yours," said the curate, " or
if you should chance to let your pocket-book fall
into the fire, you will have Mrs. Parndon com-
ing to comfort you with assurances that there is
no real loss."
" To me, there would be. Sir. I do not deny
that. I mean that no actual wealth would be
destroyed, because the bank note I hold only
promises to pay so much gold, which is safe in
30 THE HALEHAM PEOPLE.
somebody's hands, whether there be a fire or
not. When gold is melted in a fire, it may be
worth more or less (supposing it recovered) than
it was worth as coin, according to the value of
gold at the time. If the enemy captures it a1
sea, it is so much dead loss to our country, and
so much clear gain to the enemy's. If a cargo
of precious metals goes to the bottom, it is so
much dead loss to everybody. So I tell Mrs.
" As she is not likely to go to sea, I suppose
she determines to keep her guineas, and guard
Enoch whispered that some folks said that
fire would improve the value of her guineas
very much, if she put them into a melting-pot.
Guineas were now secretly selling for a pound
note and four shillings ; and there was no doubt
that Philip, the goldsmith, would give his mother
as much for hers : but she hoped they would grow
i^oarer yet, and therefore still kept them by her.
The curate was amused at Enoch's tolerant
way of speaking of Mrs. Parndon's love of lucre,
while he was full of scrupulosity as to the moral
lawfulness of Mr. Cavendish's occupation. The
old man acknowledged, however, by degrees,
THE HALEHAM PEOPLE. S7
that it could do the Haleham people no harm to
have their time saved, their convenience and
security of property promoted, their respecta-
bility guaranteed, their habits of economy en-
couraged, and their dead capital put in motion.
All these important objects being secured by
the institution of banking, when it is properly
managed, prudent and honourable bankers are
benefactors to society, no less, as Mr. Pye was
brought to admit, than those who deal directly
in what is eaten, drunk, and worn as apparel.
The conversation ended, therefore, with mutual
congratulations on the new bank, always sup-
posing it to be well managed, and Mr. Caven-
dish to be prudent and honourable.
38 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
Before the summer was much further advanc-
ed, a new interest arose to draw off some of the
attention of the people of Haleham from the
great Mr. Cavendish, and the gay Mrs. Ca-
vendish, and the whole tribe of charming
Masters and Misses Cavendish. A favourite
of longer standing was in everybody's thoughts
for at least three weeks. Hester's marriage
was evidently at hand; and besides a wedding
being a rare thing in Haleham, at least any-
thing above a pauper wedding, — the Parndons
were an old-established and respected family,
and Hester in particular was looked upon as an
ornament to the little town. Her father had
been engaged in some public service in which
his talents as a draughstman had distinguished
him, and which secured a small pension for his
widow. As he found no capabilities in his son
Philip which could serve as qualifications for
assisting or succeeding him in his office, he
bestowed his chief attention on his little girl^
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 39
who early displayed a talent for drawing which
delighted him. He died, however, before she
had had time to make the most of his instruc-
tions; and she stopped short at the humble
employmerit of designing frontispieces for Mr
Pye's new books. Her mother liked the ar-
rangement, both because it enabled her to keep
her daughter with her without preventing Hes-
ter from earning money, and because it afford-
ed much occasion of intercourse with Mr. Pye,
whom she liked to continue to see every day,
if possible. Hester's townsmen were very
proud of her achievements, as well as of her
sprightliness and pretty looks.
Every one felt as if he had heard a piece of
family news when it was told that the young
man who had come down with Philip, the sum-
mer before, and had been supposed to be a
cousin, was going to carry off Philip's sister.
All were ready to believe it a very fine thing
for Hester; — so well-dressed and handsome as
Edgar Morrison was, — such a good place as
he had in the Mint, — and such an intimate
friend of her brother's as he had long been.
Hester was told twenty times a day that her
firiends were grieved to think of losing her, but
40 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
that they would not be so selfish as not to re-
joice in her engagement. No engagement
ever went on more smoothly. Everybody
approved; Edgar adored; Hester loved, con-
fidently and entirely. There were no untoward
delays. Just at the time fixed long before,
Edgar came down to Haleham, and people
said one to another after church, that as it was
not probable he could be long spared from the
Mint, the wedding would most likely be in the
course of the week. On Tuesday, it got
abroad that Philip was come ; and as he had,
no doubt, in virtue of his occupation, brought
the ring, it was no sign that Thursday was not
to be the day that John Rich had sold no plain
gold rings for more than a month.
Thursday Was indeed to be the day; and as
it was found, on the Wednesday morning, that
everybody knew this by fiome means or other,
no further attempt was made to keep the secret.
Hester's friends were permitted by her vain
mother to understand that they might come and
bid her farewell. Wednesday was the market-
day at Haleham; and the present was a partic-
ularly busy market-day; that is, out of the twelve
people who from time to time sold things in
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 4l
general on either side the main street, all were
present, except a gardener whose pony was
lame, and a tinman, mop and brush-seller,
whose wife had died. This unusually full at-
tendance was caused by a notice that the new
notes of Cavendish's bank would be issued this
market-day. Some came to behold the sight
of the issuing of notes, with the same kind of
mysterious wonder with which they had gone to
hear the lion roar at the last fair. Others ex-
pected to suit their convenience in taking a new
sort of money; and most felt a degree of ambition
to hold at least one of the smooth, glazed, crack-
ling pieces of engraved paper that everybody
was holding up to the light, and spelling over,
and speculating upon. The talk was alternate-
ly of Edgar and 3Ir. Cavendish, of the mint
and the bank, of Hester's wedding clothes and
the new dress in which money appeared. A
tidy butter and fowl womaji folded up her cash,
and padlocked her basket sooner than she would
have done on any other day, in order to look in
at Mrs. Parndon's, and beg Hester to accept
her best bunch of moss-roses, and not to forget
that it was in her farm-yard that she was first
alarmed by a turkey^ock. A maltster, on
42 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
whose premises Hester had played hide and
seek with a lad, his only son, who had since
been killed in the wars, hurried from the mar-
ket to John Rich's to choose a pretty locket, to
be bestowed, with his blessing, on the bride;
and others, who had less claim to an interview
on this last day, ventured to seek a parting
word, and were pleased to perceive every appear-
ance of their being expected.
Mrs. Parndon, in her best black silk and af-
ternoon cap, sat by her bright-rubbed table,
ready to dispense the currant wine and seed-
cake. Philip lolled out of the window to see
who was coming. Edgar vibrated between the
parlour and the staircase ; for his beloved was
supposed to be busy packing, and had to be
called down and led in by her lover on the ar-
rival of every new guest. It is so impossible
to sit below, as if she expected everybody to
come to do her homage ! and Edgar looked so
partfcularly graceful when he drew her arm un-
der his own, and encouraged her to take cheer-
fully what her friends had to say!
"Here is somebody asking for you," said
Edgar, mounting the stairs with less alacrity
than usual. ** She hopes to see you, but would
THE FRIDE OF HALEHAM. 43
be sorry to disturb you, if others did not; but
she will not come in. She is standing in the
Hester looked over the muslin blind of the
window, and immediately knew the farmer's
wife who had let her try to milk a cow, when
she could scarcely make her way alone through
the farm-yard. Edgar was a little disappointed
when he saw how she outstripped him in run-
ning down stairs, and seemed as eager to get
her friend properly introduced into the parlour
as if she had been Miss Berkeley herself
" You must come in, Mrs. Smith; there is
nobody here that you will mind seeing, and you
look as if you wanted to sit down and rest."
" It is only the flutter of seeing you. Miss
Hester. No; I cannot come in. I only brought
these few roses for you, and wished to see you
once more. Miss Hester."
" Why do you begin calling me ' Miss.'" I
was never anything but Hester before."
" Well, to be sure," said Mrs. Smith, smil-
ing, "it is rather strange to be beginning to
call you ' Miss,' when this is the last day that
anybody can call you so."
*' I did not remember that when I found fault
44 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
with you," said Hester, blushing " But come
in; your basket will be sa^e enough just within
While Mrs. Smith was taking her wine, and
Hester putting the moss-roses in water, the
maltster came in, with his little packet of silver
paper in his hand.
"Why, Mr. Williams! so you are in town!
How kind of you to come and see us! I am
sure Hester did not think to have bid you good
bye, though she was speaking of you only the
" None but friends, I see," said the laconic
Mr. Williams, looking round: " so I will make
bold without ceremony."
And he threw over Hester's neck the delicate
white ribbon to which the locket was fastened,
and whispered that he would send her some hair
to put into it: she knew whose; and he had
never, he could tell her, given a single hair of
it away to anybody before. Hester looked up
at him with tearful eyes, without speaking.
" Now you must give me something in re-
turn," said he. " If you have the least bit of
a drawing that you do not care for You
know I have the second you ever did; your
THE PRIDE OF IIALEHAM. 45
mother keeping the first, as is proper. I have
the squirrel, you remember, with the nut in its
paw. The tail, to be sure, is more like a feath-
er than a tail ; but it was a wonderful drawing
for a child."
" Shall I do a drav/ing for you when I am
settled?" said Hester, "or will you have one
of the poor things out of my portfolio ? I have
parted with all the good ones, I am afraid."
"You will have other things to think of when
you get to London than doing drawings for me,
my dear. ISo: any little scratch you like to
part with, — only so that it has been done lately."
While Hester was gone for her portfolio,
Philip took up the silver paper which was lying
on the table, and began to compare it with the
paper of one of the new notes, holding both up
to the light.
" Some people would say," observed Edgar
to him, " that you are trying to find out whether
it would be easy to forge such a note as that."
" People would say what is very foolish then,"
replied Philip. " If I put my neck in danger
with making money, it should be with coining,
not forging. We shall soon have notes as plen-
tiful as blackberries, if new banks are set up
46 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
every day. Golden guineas are the rare things
now; and the cleverest cheats are those that
melt every guinea they can lay their hands on,
and send out a bad one instead of it."
" But it is so much easier to forge than to
coin," remarked Edgar: "except that, to be
sure, people seem to have no use of their eyes
where money is concerned. You never saw
such ridiculous guineas as our people bring to
the Mint sometimes, to show how easily the
public can betaken in."
" Every body is not so knowing as you and I
are made by our occupations," observed Philip.
" But a man who wishes to deal in false money
may choose, I have heard, between coining and
forging ; for both are done by gangs, and sel-
dom or never by one person alone. He may
either be regularly taught the business, or make
his share of the profits by doing what I think
the dirtiest part of the work, — passing the bad
" Don't talk any more about it, Philip," said
his mother. "It is all dirty work, and wicked
work, and such as we people in the country do
not like to hear of Prices are h,igher than
ever to-day, I understand, Mrs. Smith."
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 47
** If they are, ma'am," replied the simple Mrs.
Smith, " there is more money than ever to pay
them. I never saw so much money passing
round as to-day owing to the new notes, ma'am."
"I am sure it is very well," observed the
widow, sighing. It makes mothers anxious to
have their children marrying in times like these,
when prices are so high. Edgar can tell you
how long it was before I could bring myself to
think it prudent for these young folks to settle.
I would have had them wait till the war was
over, and living was cheaper."
"We should make sure first, ma'am," said
Edgar, " that the high prices are caused mainly
by the war. The wisest people think that they
are owing to the number of new banks, and the
quantity of paper money that is abroad."
" How should that be?" inquired the widow.
" The dearer every thing is, you know, the
more money is wanted. So let the bankers put
out as many notes as they can make it conven-
ient to give us, say I."
"But ma'am," pursued Edgar, " the more
notes are put out, the faster the guineas go
away. I assure you. Sir," he continued, ad-
dressing himself to Mr. Williams, "we go on
48 THE PRIDE OF HALEHA^I.
working at the Mint, sending out coin as fast
as ever we can prepare it, and nobody seems
the better for it. Nobody can tell where it goes,
or what becomes of it."
" Perhaps our friend Philip could tell some-
thing, if he chose," observed Mr. Williams;
" such dealings as he has in gold. And per-
haps, if you servants of the Mint could see into
people's doings, you might find that you coin the
same gold many times over."
" One of our officers said so the other day.
He believes that our handsome new coin goes
straight to the melting-pot, and is then carried
in bars or bullion to the Bank of England, and
then comes under our presses again, and so on.
But much of it must go abroad too, we think."
"And some, I have no doubt, is hoarded;
as is usually the case during war," observed
Mr. Williams ; whereupon the widow turned her
head quickly to hear what was passing. " But
what waste it is to be spending money continu-
ally in coining, when every week uncoins what
was coined the week before!" x
"Waste indeed!" observed the widow. " But
if it has anything to do with high prices, I sup-
pose you do not object to it, Mr. Williams, any
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 49
more than Mrs. Smith; for the high prices must
be a great gain to you both,"
" You must remember, Mrs. Parndon, we
have to buy as well as sell ; and so far we feel the
high prices like other people. Mrs. Smith gets
more than she did for her butter and her fowls;
and even her roses sell a half-penny a bunch
dearer than they did; but she has to buy coals
for her house, and shirting for her husband;
and for these she pays a raised price."
"Those are the worst off," replied Mrs.
Parndon, sighing, "who have every-thing to
buy and nothing to sell. I assure you, sir, my
pension does not go so far by one-fourth part
as it did when I first had it. And this was the
thino- that made me so anxious about these
young people, Edgar has a salary, you know;
and that is the same thing as a pension or an-
nuity, when prices rise."
"True. Those are best off just now who
sell their labour at an unfixed price, which rises
with the price of other things. But for your
comfort, ma'am, prices will be sure to fall some
day ; and then you will like your own pension
and your son-in-law's salary as well as ever."
"And then," said Edgar, "you and Mrs.
Vol. I.— D 5
60 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
Smith will be reducing the wages of your ser-
vants and labourers, and will buy your blankets
and fuel cheaper, and yet find yourselves grow-
ing poorer because your profits are lessened.
Then," he continued, as Hester came into the
room, " you will leave off giving lockets to your
young friends wher. they marry."
" I shall never have such another young friend
to give one to, — never one that I shall care for
so much," replied Mr. Williams, who found him-
self obliged to rub his spectacles frequently be-
fore he could see to choose between the three
or four drawings that Hester spread before
When the pathos of the scene became deep-
er; when Mr. Williams could no longer pre-
tend to be still selecting a drawing; when
Hester gave over all attempts to conceal her
tears, when her lover lavished his endeavours
to sooth and support her, and Mrs. Smith look-
ed about anxiously for some way of escape,
without undergoing the agony of a farewell,
Philip, who seemed to have neither eyes, ears,
nor understanding for sentiment, turned round
abruptly upon the tender-hearted market-wo-
man , with —
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 51
"Do you happen to Iiave one of the new
notes about you, Mrs. Smith? I want to see
if this mark, — here in the corner, you see, — is
an accident, or whether it may be a private
" Mercy! Mr. Philip. I beg pardon, sir, for
being startled. Yes, I have one somewhere."
And with trembling hands she felt for her pock-
et-book. " Let's just go out quietly, Mr.
Philip. She won't see me go, and I would not
pain her any more, just for the sake of another
look and word. I shall find the note presently
when we are in the court, Sir."
Philip looked on stupidly when he saw his
sisters tears, and undecidedly, when Mrs. Smith
was stealing out of the room. At last, he be-
thought himself of saying,
" I say, Hester — would you like to bid Mrs.
Smith good bye or not ? You need not unless
you like, she says."
Hester turned from the one old friend to the
other; and now the matter-of-fact Philip was
glad to shorten the scene, and let Mrs. Smith
go away without putting her in mind of the
note. As he had a great wish to see as many
notes and as few scenes as possible, he left
52 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
home, and sauntered into the market, where he
found people wh3 had not yet set their faces
Homewards, and who were willing to chat with
him, while packing up their unsold goods.
Mrs. Parndon's chief concern this day, ex-
cept her daughter, had been Mr. Pye. She
wondered from hour to hour, first, whether he
would come, and afterwards, why he did not
come. She concluded that he would use the
privilege of an old friend, and drop in late in
the evening, to give his blessing. She had
been several times on the point of proposing
that he should be invited to attend the wedding ;
but scruples which she did not acknowledge to
herself, kept her from speaking. She liked the
appearance of intimacy which must arise out
of his being the only guest on such an occasion ;
but behind this there was a feeling that the
sight of a daughter of hers at the altar might
convey an idea that she was herself too old to
stand there with any propriety : an idea which
she was very desirous should not enter Enoch's
mind, as she was far from entertaining it her-
self As it was pretty certain, however, that
Mr. Pye would be present, she settled that it
would be well for her to be at his elbow to mod-
THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 53
ify his associations, as far as might be practica-
ble; and she suggested, when the evening drew
on, that, as poor 3Ir. Pye (who was certainly
growing deaf, hov/ever unwilling he might be
to own it) could hear the service but poorly
from a distance, and as his interest in Hester
was really like that of a father, he should be
invited to breakfast with the family, and accom-
pany them to church. Everybody being will-
ing, the request was carried by Philip, and
By noon the next day, when the post-chaise
had driven off with the new-married pair from
the widow Parndon's door, there was no such
important personage in Haleham as Mr. Pye.
He was the only one from whom the lonely
mother would receive consolation; and when he
was obliged to commend her to her son's care,
and go home to attend his counter, he was ac-
costed on the way by everybody he met. It was
plain, at a glance, by his glossy brown coat,
best white stockings, and Sunday wig, pushed
aside from his best ear in his readiness to be
questioned, that he had been a wedding guest;
and many times, within a few hours, did he tell
the story of what a devoted lover Edgar was,
54 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM.
and what a happy prospect lay before Hester,
both as to worldly matters and the province of
the heart; and how she was nearly sinking at
the altar; and how he could not help her be-
cause her mother needed the support of his arm;
and what a beautiful tray of flowers, with pres-
ents hidden beneath them, had been sent in by
the Miss Berkeleys, just when the party were
growing neivous as church-time approached;
and how Mr. Cavendish had taken his hat
quite off, bowing to the bride on her way home;
and how finely Mr. Craig had gone through the
service; and how but Enoch's voice failed
him as often as he came to the description of
the chaise driving up, and Philip's superintend-
ence of the fastening on the luggage. He
could get no further; and his listeners departed,
one after another, with sympathizing sighs.
When was there ever a wedding-day without
THE HALEIIAM RIOT. 55
CHAPTER III. '
THE I1ALEHA.M RIOT.
Haleham had never been apparently so pros-
perous as at this time, notwithstandino: the war,
to which were referred all the grievances of com-
plainers, — and they were few. Prices were cer-
tainly very high; much higher since Mr. Berke-
ley had joined the D Bank, and ]Mr. Ca-
vendish opened the Haleham concern ; but mon-
ey abounded, taxation was less felt than when
purses were emptier; and the hope of obtain-
ing high prices stimulated industry, and caused
capital to be laid out to the best advantage. At
first, the same quantity of coin that there had
been before circulated together with Cavendish's
notes; and as there was nearl) twice the quan-
tity of money in the hands of a certain number
of people to exchange for the same quantity of
commodities, money was of course very cheap,
that is, commodities were very dear. As gold
money was prevented by law from becoming
cheap, like paper money, people very naturally
hoarded it, or changed it away to foreign coun-
56 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
tries, where commodities were not dear as in
England. Even in the little town of Haleham,
it was soon discovered that several kinds of for-
eign goods could be had in greater variety and
abundance than formerly ; Haleham having its
share of the larger quantity of foreign commodi-
ties now flowing into England in return for the
guineas which left it as fast as they could be
smuggled out of the country in their own shape,
or as bullion. If the quantity of money had now
been let alone, prices would have returned to
their former state as soon as the additional quan
tity of money had been thus drained away: but,
as fast as it disappeared, more bankers' notes
were issued; so that the whole amount of money
went on increasing, though the metal part of it
lessened day by day. The great bank of all,
— the Bank of England, — had obtained leave,
some years before, to put out notes without
being liable to be called upon to exchange them
for gold upon the demand of the holder of the
note. The Bank was now making use of this
permission at a great rate; and for two years
past had put out so large a number of notes, that
some people began to doubt whether it could
keep its "promise to pay" in gold, whenever
THE HALEHA3I RIOT. 57
the time should come for parliament to withdraw
its permission; which, it was declared, would
be soon after the war should be ended. So
other banks had the same liberty. They were
not allowed to make their purchases with prom-
ises to pay, and then authorized to refuse to pay
till parliament should oblige them to do so at the
conclusion of the war. But the more paper
money the Bank of England issued, the more
were the proprietors of other banks tempted to
put out as many notes as they dared, and thus
to extend their business as much as possible;
and many were rather careless as to whether
they should be able to keep their " promise to
pay;" and some cheats and swindlers set up
banks, knowing that they should never be able
to pay, and that their business must break in a
very short time; that hoping to make something
by the concern meanwhile, and to run off at last
with some of the deposits placed in their hands
by credulous people. So many kinds of bankers
being eager at the same time to issue their notes,
money of course abounded more and more; and,
as commodities did not abound in the same pro-
portion, they became continually dearer.
There would have been little harm in this, if
58 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
all buyers had felt the change alike. But as they
did not, there was discontent, — and very reason-
able discontent, — in various quarters; while in
others, certain persons were unexpectedly and
undeservedly enriched at the expense of the dis-
contented. If it had been universally agreed
throughout the whole kingdom that everybody
should receive twice as much money as he did
before, and that, at the same time, whatever had
cost a guinea should now cost two pound notes
and two shillings, and that whatever had cost
sixpence should now cost a shilling, and so on,
nobody would have had to complain of anything
but the inconvenience of changing the prices of
all things. But such an agreement was not, and
could not be, made; and that the quantity of mo-
ney should be doubled and not equally shared,
while prices were doubled to everybody, was sure
to be called, what it really was, very unfair. The
government complained that the taxes were paid
in the same number of pounds, shillings, and
pence as before, while government had to pay
the new prices for whatever it bought. There
was, in fact, a reduction of taxation: but, before
the people had the satisfaction of perceiving and
acknowledging this, the government was obliged
THE HALEHAM RIOT. OV*
to lay on new taxes to make up for the reduction
of the old ones, and to enable it to carry on the
war. This set the people complaining again; so
that the government and nation were actually
complaining at the same time, the one of a re-
duction, the other of an increase of taxation; and
both had reason for their murmurs.
None had so much reason for discontent as
those classes which suffered in both ways, —
those who received fixed incomes. To pay the
new prices with the old amount of yearly money,
and to be at the same time heavily taxed, was
indeed a great hardship; and the inferior clergy,
fund-holders, salaried clerks, annuitants and oth-
ers were as melancholy as farmers were cheer-
ful in regarding their prospects. Servants and
labourers contrived by degrees to have their
wages, and professional men their fees, raised:
but these were evil days for those whose incomes
were not the reward of immediate labour, and
could not therefore rise and fall with the com-
parative expense of subsistence. In proportion
as these classes suffered, the productive classes
enjoyed; and the farmers under long leases had
as much more than their due share as the land-
lord, the public servant, and creditor, had less.
60 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
This inequality led to some curious modes o;
management, whereby some endeavoured to re
cover their rights, and others to make the mos
of their present advantages; and in Haleham
as in more important places where the state ol
the currency had been affected by the establish-
ment of a bank, or by some other inlet of a floo(
of paper money, instances were witnessed of i
struggle between those who were benefited anc
those who were injured by the new state of mon-
" You complain of my never having time tc
ride with you, Melea," said Mr. Berkeley to hi.'
younger daughter, one fine October morning
"I am not going to D to-day, and w(
will ride to Merton Downs, if you can prevai
upon yourself to lay aside your German Diction
ary for three hours."
Melea joyfully closed her book.
" Nay, I give you another hour. I must go
down to the workhouse, and see the paupers
paid off: but that will not take long."
"Then, suppose you meet us at Martin's
farm," said Fanny. " It is on your way, and
will save you the trouble of coming home again.
Melea and I have not been at the Martin's this
THE HALEHAM RIOT. 61
long while ; and we want to know how Rhoda
likes her place."
" Not for a long while indeed," observed their
mother, as the girls left the room to prepare for
their ride. "It is so far a bad thing for the
Martins that Mr. Craig lodges there, that we
cannot go and see them so often as we should
like. It is only when he is absent for days to-
gether, as he is now, that the girls can look in
at the farm as they used to do,"
" The Martins do not want anything that we
can do for them, my dear. They are very flour-
ishing; and, I am afraid, will soon grow too
proud to have a daughter out at service. Did
not I hear somebody say that Rhoda is growing
discontented already? "
" Yes; but there may be reason for it."
"All pride, depend upon it, my dear. Her
father holds a long lease, and he may gather a
pretty dower for his daughter out of his profits,
before prices fall. I wish Craig would take a
fancy to the daughter and dower together, if it
would prevent his running after my girls in the
way he does. I shall forbid him the house soon,
if I find he puts any fancies into their heads, as
62 THE HALEHAM RIOT
I am afraid he does, to judge by this prodigious
passion for German."
" Mr. Craig and Rhoda Martin ! " exclaimed
Mrs. Berkeley, laughing. " That is a new idea
to me. However, Rhoda is engaged to Chap-
man, you know."
' ' True ; I forgot. Well ; we must mate Craig
elsewhere; for it would be intolerable for him to
think of one of my daughters. Miss Egg might
do. Mrs. Cavendish speaks very highly of her.
Cannot you put it into his head? You remem-
ber how well the Cavendishes speak of her."
" No danger of my forgetting; — nor of Mr.
Craig's forgetting it, either. You should see him
take off the two ladies in an ecstacy of friend-
ship. Nay, it is fair; very fair, if anybody is
to be laughed at; and you will hardly pretend to
any extra morality on that point."
"Well; only let Craig keep out of Fanny's
way, that's all: but I am afraid Mr. Longe is
too open, — too precipitate — "
" Fanny!" exclaimed Mrs. Berkeley, " I do
not think Henry has any thoughts of her."
" Henry!" repeated Mr. Berkeley, impatient-
ly. " The young man grows familiar at a great
THE HALEHA3I RIOT. 63
rate, I think. So you think it is Melea. Well ;
that is not quite so bad, as it leaves more time,
more chance of preferment before him. But I
wish he had it to-morrow, so that it might pre-
vent our seeing any more of him."
" I am very sorry " Mrs. Berkeley began,
when her daughters appeared, and it was neces-
sary to change the subject. After leaving orders
that the horses should be brought down to Mar-
tin's farm in an hour, the young ladies accom-
panied their father as far as Sloe Lane, down
which they turned to go to the farm, while he
pursued his way to the workhouse.
A shrill voice within doors was silenced by
Fanny's second tap at the door. The first had
not been heard. After a hasty peep through the
window, Rhoda appeared on the threshold to
invite the young ladies in. Her colour was
raised, and her eyes sparkled; which it gave
Fanny great concern to see; for no one was
present, but Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Ca-
vendish's baby, which the latter was dandlincr;
and Rhoda had never been the kind of girl who
could be suspected of quarrelling with her pa-
rents. Mrs. Martin seemed to guess what was
in Fanny's mind, for she restored the baby to
64 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
the young nursemaids' arms, bade her go and
call the other children in from the garden, as it
was time they should be going home, and then
pointing to some curious matters which lay upon
the table. These were fragments of very dark
brown bread, whose hue was extensively varie-
gated with green mould. Melea turned away
in disgust, after a single glance.
'' Miss Melea has no particular appetite for
such bread," observed Mrs. Martin. " Ladies,
this is the food Mrs. Cavendish provides for her
servants, — aye, and for the children too as long
as they will eat it. The grand Mrs. Cavendish,
ladies; the great banker's lady."
" There must be some mistake," said Fanny,
quietly. " It may happen "
"There lies the bread. Miss Berkeley; and
my husband and I saw Rhoda take it out of her
pocket. Where else she could get such bread,
perhaps you can tell us, ma'am."
" I do not mean to tax Rhoda with falsehood.
I mean that it is very possible that, by bad man-
agement, a loaf or two may have been kept
too long "
" But just look at the original quality,
ma'am." And the farmer and his wife spoke
THE HALEHAM RIOT 65
" You should see the red herrings they dine
off five days in the week."
" And the bone pies the other two."
" Sacks of bad potatoes are bought for the
" The nursemaid and baby sleep under ground,
with a brick floor."
" The maids are to have no fire after the din-
ner is cooked in winter, any more than in sum-
" The errand-boy that was found lying sick
in the street, and flogged for being drunk,
ma'am, had not so much as half a pint of
warm beer, that his mother herself gave him
to cheer him; but his stomach was weak, poor
fellow, from having had only a hard dumpling
all day, and the beer got into his head. Rhoda
can testify to it all."
Fanny was repeatedly going to urge that it
was very common to hear such things, and find
them exaggerated ; that Rhoda was high-spirit-
ed, and had been used to the good living of a
farmhouse; and, as an only daughter, might be
a little fanciful: but proof followed upon proof,
story upon story, till she found it better to en-
deavour to change the subject.
Vol. I.— E 6*
66 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
"If it was such a common instance of a bad
place as one hears of every day," observed
Martin, " I, for one, should say less about it.
But here is a man who comes and gets every
body's money into his hands, and puts out his
own notes instead, in such a quantity as to
raise the price of everything; and then he
makes a pretence of these high prices, caused
by himself, to starve his dependents; the very
children of those whose money he holds."
' ' He cannot hold it for a day after they
choose to call for it."
" Certainly, ma'am. But a bank is an ad-
vantage people do not like to give up. Just
look, now, at the round of Cavendish's dealings
He buys corn — of me, we will say — paying me
in his own notes. After keeping it in his gran-
aries till more of his notes are out, and prices
have risen yet higher, he changes it away for
an estate, which he settles on his wife. Mean-
time, while the good wheat is actually before
Rhoda's eyes, he says, ' bread is getting so
dear, we can only afford what we give you.
We do not buy white bread for servants.' And
Bhoda must take out of his hands some of the
wages she lodged there to buy white bread, if
she raust have it."
THE HALEHAM RIOT 07
Fanny had some few things to object to this
statement; for instance, that Cavendish could
not float paper money altogether at random;
and that there must be security existing before
he could obtain the estate to bestow upon his
wife : but the Martins were too full of their
own ideas to allow her time to speak.
" They are all alike, — the whole clan of
them," cried Mrs. Martin: " the clergyman no
better than the banker. One might know Mr
Longe for a cousin; and I will say it, though
he is our rector."
Fanny could not conceal from herself that
she had no objection to hear Mr. Longe found
fault with ; and she only wished for her father's
presence at such times.
" It has always been the custom, as long as I
can remember, and my father before me," ob-
served Martin, " for the rector to take his tithes
in money. The agreement with the clergyman
has been made ii-om year to year as regularly
as the rent was paid to the landlord. But now,
here is Mr. Longe insisting on having his
tithe in kind."
" In kind! and what will he do with it?"
" It will take him hdf the year to dispose of
68 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
his fruits," observed Melea, laughing. " Fan-
cy him, in the spring, with half a calf, and
three dozen cabbages, and four goslings, and
a sucking pig. And then will come a cock of
hay; and afterwards so much barley, and so
much wheat and oats ; and then a sack of ap-
ples, and three score of turnips, and pork, dou-
ble as much as his household can eat. I hope
he will increase his house-keeper's wages out
of his own profits: for it seems to me that the
trouble must fall on her. Yes, yes; the house-
keeper and the errand-man should share the
new profits between them."
"It is for no such purpose. Miss Melea, that
he takes up this new fancy. He has no thought
of letting any body but himself profit by the
change of prices. As for the trouble you
speak of, he likes the fiddle-faddle of going
about selling his commodities. His cousin,
Mrs. Cavendish, will take his pigs, and some
of his veal and pork, and cabbages and apples:
and he will make his servants live off potatoes
and gruel, if there should be more oats and po-
tatoes than he knows what to do with."
*' Let him have as much as he may, he will
never send so much as an apple to our lodger,"
TH£ HALEHAM RIOT. G9
observed Mrs. Martin. " He never considers
Mr. Craig in any way. If you were to propose
raising Mr. Craig's salary, or, what comes to
the same thing, paying it in something else than
money, he would defy you to prove that he was
bound to pay it in any other way than as it was
paid four years ago."
" And it could not be proved, I suppose,"
said Melea. " Neither can you prove that he
may not take his tithe in kind."
" I wish we could," observed Martin, " and
I would thwart him, you may depend upon it.
Nothing shall he have from me but what the
letter of the law obliges me to give him. But
what an unfair state of things it is, ladies, when
your rector may have double the tithe property
one year that he had the year before, while he
pays his curate, in fact, just half what he agreed
to pay at the beginning of the contract!"
While Melea looked even more indignant
than Martin himself, her sister observed that
the farmer was not the person to complain of
the increased value of tithes, since he profited
by precisely the same augmentation of the val-
ue of produce. The case of the curate she
thought a verv hard one; and that equity re-
70 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
quired an increase of his nominal salary, in pro-
portion as its value became depreciated. She
wished to know, however, whether it had ever
entered the farmer's head to offer his landlord
more rent in consequence of the rise of prices.
If it was unfair that the curate should suffer by
the depreciation in the value of money, it was
equally unfair in the landlord's case.
Martin looked somewhat at a loss for an an-
swer, till his wife supplied him with one. Be-
sides that it would be time enough, she observ-
ed, to pay more rent when it was asked for, at
the expiration of the lease, it ought to be con-
sidered that money was in better hands when
the farmer had it to lay out in improving the
land and raising more produce, than when the
landlord had it to spend fruitlessly. Martin
caught at the idea, and went on with eagerness
to show how great a benefit it was to society that
more beeves should be bred, and more wheat
grown in consequence of fewer liveried ser-
vants being kept, and fewer journeys to the
lakes being made by the landlord.
Fanny shook her head, and said that this had
nothing to do with the original contract between
landlord and tenant. Leases were not drawn
THE HALEHAM RIOT. 71
out with any view to the mode in which the re-
spective parties should spend their money. The
')oint now in question was, whether an agreement
should be kept to the letter when new circumstan-
ces had caused a violation of its spirit ; or whether
the party profiting by these new circumstances
should not in equity surrender a part of the ad-
vantage which the law would permit him to hold.
The farmer was not at all pleased to find himself
placed on the same side of the question with Mr.
Longe, and his favourite Mr. Craig, whose rights
he had been so fond of pleading, holding the
same ground with Martin's own landlord.
The argument ended in an agreement that
any change like that which had taken place
within two years, — any action on the currency,
— was a very injurious thing; — not only be-
cause it robs some while enriching others, but
because it impairs the security of property, —
the first bond of the social state.
Just then, Rhoda and the children burst in
from the garden, saying that there must be
something the matter in the town; for they had
heard two or three shouts, and a scream; and,
on looking over the hedge, had seen several
men hurrying past, who had evidently left their
72 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
work in the fields on some alarm. Martin
snatched his hat and ran out, leaving the young
ladies in a state of considerable anxiety. As
the farmer had not said when he should come
back, and his wife was sure he would stay to
see the last of any disaster before he would
think of returning home, the girls resolved to
walk a little way down the road, and gather
such tidings as they could. They had not pro-
ceeded more than a furlong from the farm gate
before they met their father's groom, with their
own two horses and a message from his master.
Mr. Berkeley begged his daughters to proceed
on their ride without him, as he was detained
by a riot at the workhouse. He begged the
young ladies not to be at all uneasy,'as the dis-
turbance was already put down, and it was on-
ly his duty as a magistrate which detained him.
The groom could tell nothing of the matter,
further than that the outdoor paupers had be-
gun the mischief, which presently spread within
the workhouse. Some windows had been bro-
ken, he believed, but he had not heard of any
one being hurt.
" You have no particular wish to ride, Me-
lea, have you?" inquired her sister.
THEIIALEHAM RIOT. 73
" ?fot at all. I had much rather see these
children home. They look so frightened, I
hardly know how Rhoda can manage to take
care of them all."
" The horses can be left at the farm for half
an hour while George goes with us all to Mr.
Cavendish's," observed Fanny: and so it was
As the party chose a circuitous way, in order
to avoid the bustle of the town, the young la-
dies had an opportunity of improving their ac-
quaintance with five little Miss Cavendishes,
including the baby in arms. At first, the girls
would walk only two and two, hand in hand, bolt
upright, and answering only "Yes, ma'am, "iVo,
ma'am, " to whatever was said to them. By dint of
perseverance, however, Melea separated them
when fairly in the fields, and made them jump
fi"om the stiles, and come to her to have flowers
stuck in their bonnets. This latter device first
loosened their tongues.
" Mamma says it stains our bonnets to have
flowers put into them," observed Marianna,
hesitating. " She says we shall have artificial
flowers when we grow bigger."
Melea was going to take out the garland,
74 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
when Emma insisted that mamma did not mean
these bonnets, but their best bonnets.
'' O, Miss Berkeley!" thej all cried at once,
*' have you seen our best bonnets?"
" With lilac linings," added one.
" With muslin rosettes," said another.
" And Emma's is trimmed round the edge,
because she is the oldest," observed little Julia,
" And mamma will not let Julia have ribbon
strings till she leaves off sucking them at
church," informed Marianna.
" That is not worse than scraping up the
sand to powder the old men's wigs in the aisle,"
retorted Julia; " and Marianna was punished
for that, last Sunday."
" We do not wish to hear about that," said
Fanny. " See how we frightened that pheas-
ant on the other side the hedge, just with pul-
ling a hazel bough!"
^s soon as the pheasant had been watched
out of sight, Emma came and nestled herself
close to Melea to whisper,
" Is not it ill-natured of Rhoda? I saw her
mother give her a nice large harvest cake, and
she will not let us have a bit of it."
THE HALEHA3I RIOT. 75
*' Are you hungry?"
" Why, — yes; I think I am beginning to be
" You cannot be hungry," said Emma. —
'^ You had a fine slice of bread and honey just
before Miss Berkeley came in. But Rhoda
might as well give us some of her cake. I
knov/ she will eat it all up herself."
" I do not think she will; and, if I were
you, I would not ask her for any, but leave her
to give it to whom she likes; particulaJy as
her mother was so kind as to give you some
bread and honey."
" But we wanted that. Mamma said we
need not have any luncheon before we came out,
because Mrs. Martin always gives us something
to eat. I was so hungry!"
" If you were hungry, what must 3Iarianna
have been? Do you know, Miss Berkeley,
Marianna would not take her breakfast. She
told a fib yesterday, and mamma says she shall
not have any sugar in her tea for three months;
and she would not touch a bit this morning.
Miss Egg says she will soon grow tired of
punishing herself this way ; and that it is quite
time to break her spirit."
76 THE IIALEHAM RIOT.
Marianna overheard this last speech, and
" Tom is not to have any sugar, any more
than I, Miss Berkeley; and he was shut up
half yesterday too. He brought in his kite all
wet and draggled from the pond; and what did
he do but take it to the drawing-room fire to dry,
before the company came. It dripped upon
our beautiful new fire-irons, and they are all
rusted wherever the tail touched them."
" The best of it was," interrupted Emma,
" the kite caught fire at last, and Tom threw it
down into the hearth because it burned his hand;
and the smoke made such a figure of the new
chimney-piece as you never saw, for it was a
very large kite."
" So poor Tom lost his kite by his careless-
ness. Was his hand much burned.^"
" Yes, a good deal: but Rhoda scraped some
potatoe to put upon it."
" You will help him to make a new kite, I
" I don't know how," replied one, carelessly.
"I shan't," cried another. " He threw my
old doll into the pond."
" Miss Egg said that was the best place for
THE HALEHAM RIOT. U
it," observed Emma; " but she said so because
Tom was a favourite that day." And the little
girl told in a whisper why Tom was a favourite.
He had promised to come up to the school-room
and tell iMiss £22 whenever Mr. Lonore was in
the parlour, though his mamma had expressly
desired him not. But this was a great secret.
" How shall we stop these poor little crea-
tures' tongues?" asked 3Ielea. " There is no
interesting them in any thing but what happens
'• I am very sorry v,e have heard so much of
that, indeed," replied Fanny. "I do not see
what you can do but run races with them, which
your habit renders rather inconvenient."
The few poor persons they met on the out-
skirts of the town afforded occEision for the dis-
play of as much insolence on the part of the little
Cavendishes as they had before exhibited of un-
kindness to each other. The Miss Berkeleys
had no intention of paying a visit to Mrs. Ca-
vendish, but vrere discerned from a v.-indow while
taking leave of their charge, and receiving
Rhoda's thanks outside the gate; and once hav-
ing brought Mrs. Cavendish out, there wa.s no
retreat. — They must come in and rest. Mr.
78 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
Cavendish was gone to learn what was the mat-
ter, and they really must stay and hear it. She
could not trust them back again unless one of
the gentlemen went with them. Terrible dis-
orders indeed, she had heard: the magistrates
threatened, — and Mr. Berkeley a magistrate !
Had they heard that the magistrate had been
Melea believed that this was the case once a
week at the least. But what else had happened ?
O ! they must come in and hear. There was
a friend within who could tell all about it. And
Mrs. Cavendish tripped before them into the
drawing room, where sat Miss Egg and Mr.
The one looked m.ortified, the other de-
lighted. As Mr. Longe's great vexation was
that he could never contrive to make himself of
consequence with Fanny, it was a fine thing to
have the matter of the conversation completely
in his own power to-day. Fanny could not help
being anxious about her father, and from Mr.
Longe alone could she hear anything about him :
and the gentleman made the most of such an
opportunity of fixing her attention. He would
have gained far more favour by going straight
THE IIALEIIAM UIOT. 79
to the point, and telling exactly what she "\vant<
ed to know; but he amplified, described, com-
mented, and even moralized before he arrived
at the proof that Mr. Berkeley was not, and had
not been, in any kind of danger. — When this was
once out, Mr. Longe's time of privilege was
over, and it was evident that he was not listened
to on his own account. Then did Miss Egg
quit her task of entertaining Mclea, and listen
to Mr. Longe more earnestly than ever.
" I am so glad to see you two draw together
so pleasantly," said Mrs. Cavendish to Melea,
nodding to indicate Miss Egg as the other party
of whom she was speaking. " I feel it such a
privilege to have a friend like her to confide my
children to, and one that I can welcome into my
drawincr-room on the footing of a friend !"
" I have heard that Miss Egg is devoted to
her occupation," observed Melea.
" O, entirely. There is the greatest difficul-
ty in persuading her to relax, I assure you. And
all without the smallest occasion for her going
out, except .her disinterested attachment to me.
You should see her way with the children, — how
she makes them love her. She has such sensi-
80 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
"What is the peculiarity of her method? "
inquired Melea. " She gives me to understand
that there is some one peculiarity."
" O yes. It is a peculiar method that has
been wonderfully successful abroad; and indeed
I see that it is, by my own children, though 1
seldom go into the school-room. Great self-
denial, is it not? But I would not interfere foi
the world. — O," — seeing Melea waiting for an
exposition of the system, — " she uses a black
board and white chalk. We had the board
made as soon as we came and fixed up in the
school-room, — and white chalk. — But I would
not interfere for the world; and I assure you I
am quite afraid of practising on her feelings in
any way. She has such sensibility I"
Well, but, — the peculiarity of method. And
Melea explained that she was particularly
anxious to hear all that was going on in the
department of education, as a boy was expected
to arrive soon at her father's — a little lad of ten
years old from India, who would be placed part-
ly under her charge, and might remain some
years in their house.
Indeed ! Well, Miss Egg questioned the
children very much. So much, that Mr. Ca-
THE HALEHA:.! RIOT. 81
venJish and herself took particular care not to
question them at all, both because they had
quite enough of it from Miss Egg, and because
the papa and mamma were afraid of interfering
with the methods of the governess. And then,
for what was not taught by questions, there was
the black board and white chalk. — But, after all,
the great thing was that the teacher should have
sensibility, without which she could not gain the
hearts of children, or understand their little
All was now very satisfactory. Melea had
obtained the complete recipe of education: —
questions, sensibility, and chalk.
Mr. Longe was by this time hoping that the
Miss Berkeleys would offer to go away, that he
might escort them home before any one else
should arrive to usurp the office. Mortifying
as it was to him to feel himself eclipsed by his
curate, he was compelled to acknowledge in his
ovrn mind that he was so as often as Henry
Craig was present, and that it was therefore pol-
itic to make such advances as he could during
Henry's absence. Mr. Longe 's non-residence
was a great disadvantage to him. Living fifteen
miles off, and doing duty in another church, he
Vol T— F
82 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
was out of the way on many little occasions of
ingratiating himself, and could never be invested
with that interest which Henry Craig inspired
in a peculiar degree as a religious teacher and
devotional guide. The only thing to be done
was to visit Haleham and the Berkeleys as often
as possible during Henry's absence, to obtain the
favour of Fanny's father, and to show the lady
herself that an accomplished clergyman, who
could quote the sayings of various friends who
moved in "the best society," who knew the
world a thousand times better than Henry Craig,
and could appreciate herself as well as her little
fortune, was not to be despised. He was at this
moment longing to intimate to her what en-
couragement he had this very day received from
her father, when, to his great disappointment,
Mr. Berkeley and Mr. Cavendish came in to-
gether, — just in time to save Fanny's call from
appearing inordinately long.
" All over ^ All safe ? How relieved we are
to see you !" exclaimed the clergyman.
" Safe, my dear Sir? Yes. What would you
have us be afraid of?" said Mr. Berkeley,
who, however, carried traces of recent agitation
in his countenance and manner.
THE HALEHA.-M RIOT. 83
*' Father I" said Melea, "you do not mean
to say that nothing more has happened than you
meet with from the paupers every week."
" Only being nearly tossed in a blanket, my
dear, that's all. And Pye was all but kicked
down stairs. But we have them safe now, —
the young ladies and all. Ah ! Melea; you have
a good deal to learn yet about the spirit of
your sex, my dear. The women beat the men
hollow this morning."
Mr. Cavendish observed that the glaziers
would be busy for some days, the women within
the workhouse having smashed every pane of
every window within reach, while the out-door
paupers were engaging the attention of magis-
trates, constables, and governor.
"But v.'hat was it all about?" asked Fanny.
" The paupers have been complaining of two
or three things for some weeks past, and they
demanded the redress of all in a lump to-day;
as if we magistrates could alter the Avhole state
of things in a day to please them. In the first
place, they one and all asked more pay, because
the same allowance buys only two-thirds what it
bought when the icale was fixed. This they
charged upon Cavendish and me. It is well you
84 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
were not there, Cavendish; you would hardly
have got away again."
" Why, what would they have done with me?"
asked Cavendish, with a constrained simper, and
a pull up of the head which was meant to be
" In addition to the tossing they intended for
me, they would have given you a ducking, de-
pend upon it. Heartily as they hate all bank-
ers, they hate the Haleham banker above all.
Indeed I heard some of them wish they had you
laid neatly under the workhouse pump."
" Ha ! ha ! very good, very pleasant, and
refreshing on a warm day like this," said Ca-
vendish, wiping his forehead, while nobody else
was aware that the day was particularly warm.
" Well, Sir; and what did you do to appease
these insolent fellows?"
"Appease them! O, I soon managed that.
A cool man can soon get the better of half a
dozen passionate ones, you know."
The girls looked with wonder at one another;
for they knew that coolness in emergencies was
one of the last qualities their father had to boast
of. Fanny was vexed to see that Mr. Longe
observed and interpreted the look. She divined
THE HALEHA3I RIOT. 85
by his half-smile, that he did not think her fa-
ther had been very cool.
" I desired them to go about their business,"
continued Mr. Berkeley, " and when that would
not do, I called the constables,"
" Called indeed," whispered Mr. Longe to
his cousin. " It would have been strange if
they had not heard him."
" But what were the other complaints. Sir?"
inquired Fanny, wishing her father to leave the
rest of his peculiar adventure to be told at
'• Every man of them refused to take dollars.
They say that no more than five shillings' worth
of commodities, even at the present prices, is to
be had for a dollar, notwithstanding the govern-
ment order that it shall pass at five and sixpence.
Unless, therefore, we would reckon the dollar at
five shillings, they would not take it."
" Silly fellows !" exclaimed Cavendish. " If
they would step to London, they would see no-
tices in the shop-windows that dollars are taken
at five and ninepence, and even at six shil-
"There must be some cheating there, how-
ever," replied Mr. Berkeley; '" for you and I
86 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
know that dollars are not now really worth four
and sixpence. Those London shopkeepers
must want to sell them for the melting-pot; or
they have two prices."
" Then how can you expect these paupers to
be satisfied with dollars?" inquired Melea.
" What can we do, Miss Melea?" said Ca-
vendish. " There is scarcely any change to
be had. You cannot conceive the difficulty of
carrying on business just now, for want of
* "The dollars have begun to disappear since
the goverment order came out, like all the rest
of the coin," observed Mr. Berkeley: " but yet
they were almost the only silver coin we had:
and when these fellows would not take them, for
all we could say, we were obliged to pay them
chiefly in copper. While we sent hither and
thither, to the grocer's and the draper's "
" And the bank," observed Cavendish, conse-
" Aye, aye: but we sent to the nearest places
first, for there was no time to lose. While, as
I was saying, the messengers were gone, the
paupers got round poor Pye, and abused him
heartily. I began to think of proposing an ad-
THE HALEHAM RIOT. 87
journment to the court-yard, for I reallj expect-
ed they would kick him down the steps into the
"Poor innocent man! What could they
abuse him for?" asked Melea.
" Only for not having his till full of coin, as
it used to be. As if it was not as great a hard-
ship to him as to his neighbours, to have no
change. He is actually obliged, he tells me, to
throw together his men's wages so as to make
an even sum in pounds, and pay them in a lump,
leaving them to settle the odd shillings and
pence among themselves."
" With a bank in the same street !" exclaimed
Cavendish declared that his bank issued
change as fast as it could be procured, but that
it all disappeared immediately, except the
halfpence, in which, therefore, they made as
large a proportion of their payments as their
customers would receive. People began to use
canvass bags to carry their change in; and no
wonder; since there were few pockets that
would bear fifteen shillings' worth of halfpence.
The bank daily paid away as much as fifteen
shillings' worth to one person.
88 THE HALEHAM RIOT.
Mr. Berkeley avouched the partners of the
D bank to be equally at a loss to guess
where all the coin issued by them went to. Mrs.
Cavendish complained of the difficulty of shop-
ping and marketing without change. Miss Egg
feared Mr. Longe must be at great trouble in
collecting his dues of tithes; and the rector
took fidvantage of the hint to represent his re-
quiring them in kind as proceeding from con-
sideration for the convenience of the farmers.
All agreed that the present state of the mon-
ey system of the country was too strange and
inconvenient to last long. Though some peo-
ple seemed to be growing 'rich in a very extra-
ordinary way, and there was therefore a party
every where to insist that all was going right,
the complaints of landlords, stipendiaries, and
paupers would make themselves heard and
attended to, and the convenience of all who
were concerned in exchanges could not be long
thwarted, if it was desired to avoid very disa-
So the matter was settled in anticipation by
the party in Mr. Cavendish's drawing-room,
immediately after which the Berkeleys took
their leave, attended by Mr. Longe.
WI.VE AND WISD031. 89
WINE AND WISDOM.
A CHANGE was indeed inevitable, as Mr. Cav-
endish well knew; and to prepare for it had
been the great object of his life for some time
past. To make the most of his credit, while
the credit of bankers was high, was what he
talked of to his wife as the duty of a family
man; and she fuily agreed in it, as she well
mio;ht. since she had brought him a little fortune,
which had long ago been lost, partly through
speculation, and partly through the extrava-
gance which had marked the beginning of their
married life, 3Irs. Cavendish had not the
least objection to getting this money back again,
if it could be obtained by her husband's credit ;
and she spared no pains to lessen the family ex-
penses, and increase, by her influence, the dis-
posable means of the bank, on the understand-
ing that, as soon as the profits should amount
to a sufficient sum, they should be applied to
the purchase of an estate, which was to be set-
tled upon herself Thus she would not only re-
90 WINE AND WISDOM.
gain her due, but some resource would be se-
cured in case of the very probable chance of a
crash before all Mr. Cavendish's objects were
attained. Economy was therefore secretly
practised by both in their respective depart-
ments, while they kept up a show of opulence;
and the activity of the gentleman in his various
concerns procured him the name of Jack of all
trades. Nobody could justly say, however,
that he was master of none; for in the art of
trading with other people's money he was an
When he opened his bank, his disposable
means were somewhat short of those with which
bankers generally set up business. He had,
Hke others, the deposits lodged by customers,
/vliich immediately amounted to a considerable
sum, as he did not disdain to receive the small-
est deposits, used no ceremony in asking for
them from all the simple folks who came in his
way, and offered a larger interest than common
upon them. He had also the advantage of
lodgments of money to be transmitted to some
distant place, or paid at some future time; and
he could occasionally make these payments in
the paper of his bank. Again, he had his own
WINE AND WISDOM. 91
notes, which he circulated very extensively,
without being particularly scrupulous as to
whether he should be able to answer the de-
mands they might bring upon him. One class
of disposable means, however, he managed to
begin banking without, — and that was, capital
of his own. The little that he had, and what
he had been able to borrow, were invested in
the corn, coal, and timber concern; and upon
this concern the bank v/holly depended. He
undersold all the corn, coal, and timber mer-
chants in the county, which it was less imme-
diately ruinous to do when prices were at the
highest than either before or after; and, by thus
driving a trade, he raised money enough to
meet the first return of his notes. This ner-
vous beginning being got over, he went on flour-
ishingly, getting his paper out in all directions,
and always contriving to extend his other busi-
ness in proportion, by a greater or less degree
of underselling, till he began to grow so san-
guine, that his wife took upon herself the task of
watching whether he kept cash enough in the
bank to meet any unexpected demand. The
money thus kept in hand yielding no interest,
while every other employment of banker's cap-
92 WIXE AND WISDOM. ,
ital, — the discounting of bills, the advance-
ment of money in o^ erdrawn accounts, and the
investment in government securities, — does
yield interest, bankers are naturally desirous of
keeping as small a sum as possible in this un-
productive state; and never banker ventured to
reduce his cash in hand to a smaller amount
than Cavendish. His wife perpetually asked
him how he was prepared for the run of a sin-
gle hour upon his bank, if such a thing should
happen? to which he as often replied by ask-
ing when he had ever pretended to be so pre-
pared? and, moreover, what occasion there
was to be so prepared, when nobody was dream-
ing of a run, and when she knew perfectly well
that the best thing he could do would be to stop
payment at the very commencement of a panic,
having beforehand. placed all his property out
of the reach of his creditors.
Such were his means, and such the principles
of his profits; — means which could be success-
fully employed, principles which could be plau-
sibly acted upon, only in the times of banking
run mad, when, the currency having been des-
perately tampered with, the door was opened to
abuses of every sort; and the imprudence of
WIXE AND -WISDOM. [)S
some parties encouraged the knavery of others,
to the permanent injury of every class of socie-
ty in turn.
As for the expenses of the Haleham bank,
they were easily met. The owner of the house
took out the rent and repairs in coals; and
Enoch Pye was paid in the same way for the
necessary stationary, stamps, Sec; so that there
remained only the taxes, and the salaries of the
people employed — a part of the latter being de-
tained as deposits. Thus Mr. Cavendish
achieved his pDlicy of having as many incom-
ings and as few outgoings, except his own notes,
It is not to be supposed but that Cavendish
suffered much from apprehension of his credit
being shaken, not bv anv circumstances which
should suggest the idea of a run to his confid-
ing neighbours, but through the watchfulness
of other banking firms. As it is for the inter-
est of all banks that banking credit should be
preserved, a jealous observation is naturally
exercised by the fraternity, the consciousness
of which must be extrem(?ly irksome to the un-
sound. The neighbourhood of the Berkeley
family was very unpleasant to the Cavendishes,
94 WIN! AND WISDOM.
though no people could be more unsuspicious
or less prying: such, at least, was the charac-
ter of the ladies; and Mr. Berkeley was,
though a shrewd man, so open in his manner,
and, notwithstanding a strong tinge of world-
liness, so simple in his ways of thinking and
acting, that even Mr. Cavendish would have
had no fear of him, but for the fact of his hav-
ing a son of high reputation as a man of bu-
siness in a bank in London. Cavendish could
not bear to hear of Horace; and dreaded,
above all things, the occasional visits of the
young man to his family. Never, since he
settled at Haleham, had he been so panic-
struck, as on learning, in the next spring, that
Horace had been seen alighting at his father's
gate from the stage-coach from London.
Horace's sisters were little more prepared
for his arrival than Mr. Cavendish. There
was some mystery in his visit, as they judged
from the shortness of the notice he gave them,
from its being an unusual time of year for him
to take holiday, and from their father's alterna-
tions of mood. Yet it seemed as if Horace
had never been so much wanted. Fanny, es-
pecially, needed his support in her rejection of
WINE AND WISDOM. 95
Mr. Longe, whom her father was disposed not
only to favour, but almost to force upon her.
In his gloomy moods, he told her that she little
knew what she was about in refusing such an
establishment, and recurred to the old intima-
tion, that his daughters had better prepare
themselves for a reverse of fortune. When in
high spirits, he wearied Fanny with jests on
Mr. Longe 's devotion to her, and with exhibi-
tions of all his accomplishments; and when
prevailed upon to quit the subject, he let her
see, in the midst of all his professions about
leaving perfect liberty of choice to his children,
that he meant never to forgive Mr. Longe 's
final rejection. Melea, and even Mrs. Berke-
ley, could do nothing but sympathize and hope:
Horace was the only one who could effectually
interfere. Did he come for this purpose? the
sisters asked one another; or was it, could it
be, to interfere with some one else, who was as
much less acceptable than Mr. Longe to their
father, as he was more so to themselves?
Could Horace be come, Melea wondered, to
call Henry Craig to account for being at the
house so often?
It was a great relief to her to find Horace's
96 WINE AND WISDOM.
head so full of business as it appeared to be.
She would have complained of this, if such
had been his mood during his last visit; but
now she had no objection to see him turn from
his favourite bed of hepaticas and jonquils, to
answer with animation some question of his
father's about the price of gold; and when, for
the first time in her life, she had dreaded riding
with him between the hawthorn hedges, and
over the breezy downs which they used to haunt
as children, her spirits actually rose, because,
at the most interesting point of the ride, he
woke out of a reverie to ask what proportion
of Cavendish's notes, in comparison with oth-
er kinds of money, she supposed to be in the
hands of the poorer sort of her acquaintance
in the town.
In fact, nothing was further from Horace's
thoughts, when he came down, than any inter-
vention in favour of or against either of the
clergymen, however much interest he felt in
his sister's concerns, when he became a witness
of what was passing. The reason of his jour-
ney was, that he wished to communicate with
his father on certain suspicious appearances,
which seemed to indicate that all was not going
WINE AND WISDOM. 97
on right at Cavendish's; and also to give his
opinion to the partners of the D bank as to
what steps they should take respecting some
forged notes, for which payment had lately been
demanded of them. When two or three ex-
cursions to D had been made by the father
and son, and when, on three successive days,
they had remained in the dining-room for hours
after tea was announced, the ladies began to
grow extremely uneasy as to the cause of all
this consultation, — of their father's gravity and
Horace's reveries. Horace perceived this,
and urged his father to take the whole of their
little family into his confidence, intimating the
comfort that it would be to him to be able to
open his mind to his daughters when his son
must leave him, and the hardship that it was to
his mother to be restrained from speaking of
that which was uppermost in her mind to those
in whose presence she lived every hour of the
day. It was difficult to imagine what could be
Mr. Berkeley's objection to confidence in this
particular instance, while it was his wont to
speak openly of his affairs to all his children
alike. He made some foolish excuses, — such
as asking what girls should know about bank-
VoL. I— G 9
98 WINE AND WISDOM.
ing affairs, and how it was possible that they
should care about the matter ? — excuses so fool-
ish, that his son was convinced that there was
some other reason at the bottom of this reserve.
Whatever it was, however, it gave way at
length ; and Horace had permission to tell them
as much as he pleased.
" Must you go, mother?" he asked that af-
ternoon, as Mrs. Berkeley rose to leave the
table after dinner. " We want you to help us
to tell my sisters what we have been consulting
about ever since I came."
The ladies instantly resumed their seats.
" How frightened Fanny looks!" observed
her father, laughing; " and Melea is bracing
herself up, as if she expected to see a ghost.
My dears, what are you afraid of?"
" Nothing, father; but suspense has tried us
a little, that is all. We believe you would not
keep bad news from us; but we have hardly
known what to think or expect for some days
" Expect nothing, my dears; for nothing par-
ticular is going to happen, that I know of; and
it may do me a serious injury if you look as if
you believed there was. The bank is not going
WINE AND WISDOM. 99
to fail; nor am I thinking of locking up Fanny,
because she will not accept Mr. Longe. Fan-
ny shall have her o\sti way about that; and I
will never mention the fellow to her again."
Fanny burst into tears; and her father, in-
stead of showing any of his usual irritation on
this subject, drew her to him, and said he was
sorry for having teased her so long about a
shabby, boasting, artful wretch, who deserved
to be posted for a swindler.
" Father !" exclaimed Melea, who thought
this judgment upon Mr. Longe as extravagant
in one direction as the former in another.
" I would not say exactly that," interposed
Horace; "but there is no question about his
being unworthy of Fanny; and I would do all
I fairly could to prevent his having her, if she
liked him ever so well. As she does not like
him, there is no occasion to waste any more
words upon him."
As Horace laid an emphasis on the last word,
Melea's heart rose to her lips. Henry's name
was to come next, she feared. The name, how-
ever was avoided. Her father put his arm
round her as she sat next him, saying, —
*' As for you, my little Melea, we shall lot
100 WINE AND WISDOM.
you alone about such matters for some years to
come. When you are five-and-twenty, like
Fanny, we may teaze you as we have been
teazing her; but what has a girl of eighteen to
do with such grave considerations as settling in
life ? You are too young for cares, dear. B«
free and gay for a few years, while you can;
and remember that it is only in novels that girls
marry under twenty now-a-days. Trust your
best friend for wishing to make you happy, and
helping you to settle, when the right time and
the right person come together."
Melea smiled amidst a few tears. She owned
that this was very kindly said; but she did not
the less feel that it was not at all to the purpose
of her case, and that she could not depute it to
anybody to judge when was the right time, and
who was the right person.
" Fanny is longing to know what has so sud-
denly changed your opinion of her suitor," ob-
served Mrs. Berkeley, in order to give Melea
time to recover. " Unless you explain yourself,
my dear, she will run away with the notion that
he has actually been swindling."
Mr. Berkeley thought such transactions as
Longe's deserved a name very nearly as bad as
WIXE .VXD •U-;:-D03I. iJl
swindling. Horace, who had for particular rea-
sons been enquiringlately into the charactc-s of
the whole Cavendish connexion, had learned that
liOnge had debts, contracted when at college, and
that he had been paying off some of them in a
curious manner lately. He had not only insisted
on taking his tithe in kind, and on being paid
his other dues in the legal coin of the realm, —
which he had an undoubted right to do; but
he had sold his guineas at twenty-seven shil-
lings, and even his dollars at six shillings; while
he had paid his debts in bank-notes; — in those
of his cousin's bank wherever he could contrive
to pass them.
" Shabby, very shabby," Horace pronounced
this conduct, and, as far as selling the coin went,
illegal ; but it was no more than many worthier
people were doing now, under the strong tempta-
tion held out by the extraordinary condition of
the currency. Those are chiefly to blame for
such frauds who had sported with the circulat-
ing medium, and brought the whole system of
exchanges into its present ticklish state.
" How came it into this state?" asked Melea.
' ' Who began meddling with it .'' We shall never
understand, unless you tell us from the begin-
103 WINE AND WISDOM.
" From the very beginning, Melea? From
the days when men used to exchange wheat
against bullocks, and clothing of skins against
" No, no. We can imagine a state of bar-
ter; and we have read of the different kinds of
rude money in use when people first began to
see the advantage of a circulating medium; —
skins in one country, shells in another, and
wedges of salt in a third: and we know that
metals were agreed upon among civilized poeple,
as being the best material to make money
of; and that to save the trouble of perpetually
examining the pieces, they were formed and
stamped, and so made to signify certain values.
" And do you suppose they always keep the
same value in reality; supposing them of the
due weight and fineness?"
*' No, certainly. They become of less and
greater value in proportion to the quantity
of them; in the same way as other commodi-
ties are cheap or dear in proportion to the sup-
ply in the market. And I suppose this is the
reason why money is now so cheap, — there
being a quantity of paper money in the market
WINE AND WISDOM. 103
in addition to the coin there was before. But
then, I cannot understand where the coin is all
gone, if it be true that we have too much money
in consequence of its circulating together with
" The coin is gone abroad, and more paper
still has taken the place of it. This is proved
by two circumstances; first, that all commodities
except money have risen in price ; and secondly,
that we have more foreign goods than usual in
the market, notwithstanding the war."
'' To be sure, less of every thing being given
in exchange for one thing proves that there is
more of that one thing to be disposed of. And
the foreign goods you speak of pour in, I sup-
pose in return for the gold we send abroad."
" Yes. A guinea buys nearly as much
abroad as it bought three years ago, while it
buys much less at home, — (unless indeed it be
sold in an illegal manner.) Our guineas are
therefore sent abroad, and goods come in
Fanny thought it had been also illegal to ex-
port guineas. So it was, her father told her;
but the chances of escaping detection were so
great that many braved the penalty for the sake
104 VVINi; l\D WISDOM,
of the speculation ; and, in fact, the greater part of
the money issued by the mint was so disposed of.
He took up the newspaper of the day, and
showed her an account of a discovery that had
been made on board a ship at Dover. This ship,
— the New Union, of London — was found on the
first search to contain four thousand and fifty
guineas; and there was every reason to believe
that a much larger sum v/as on board, concealed
in places hollowed out for the reception of gold.
Horace told also of a ship being stopped on
leaving port, the week before, on board of which
ten thousand guineas had been found.
" What an enormous expense it must be to
coin 30 much money in vain!" exclaimed Fanny.
" It seems as if the bankers and the government
worked in direct opposition to each other; the
one issuing paper to drive out gold; and the
other supplying more money continually to de-
preciate the value of that which the banks put
" And in putting out paper money," observed
Melea, "we seem to throw away the only regu-
lator of the proportion of money to commodi-
ties. While we have coin only, we may be
pretty sure that when there is too much of it, it
WINE AND WISDOM. 105
will go away to buy foreign goods; and when
too little, that more will flow in from foreigners
coming to buy of us: but our banker's notes
not being current out of England, we may be
flooded with them and find no vent."
"And then," observed Mrs. Berkeley, sigh-
ing, as if with some painful recollection, "comes
a lessening of the value of money; and then
follow laws to forbid the value being lessened;
and next, of course, breaches of the law "
" A law !" exclaimed Melea. " Was there
ever a law to prevent an article which is par-
ticularly plentiful being cheap .^ It seems to me
that the shortest and surest way for the law-
makers is to destroy the superabundance, and
thus put cheapness out of the question."
Horace laujjhed, and asked what she thought
of a government that first encouraged an un-
limited issue of paper money by withdrawing
the limitations which had previously existed, and
then made a solemn declaration that the notes
thus issued were and must remain, in despite
of their quantity, of the same value as the
scarce metal they were intended to represent.
Melea supposed this an impossible case; a
caricature of human folly.
106 WINE AND WISDOM.
" Do you mean," said she, " that if where
there had been a hundred pounds in gold to ex-
change against commodities, eighty of them dis-
appeared, and a hundred and eighty pound notes
were added, those two hundred notes and pounds
were each to buy as much as when there was
only one hundred? Did the government de-
" Its declaration was pi;ecisely on this
" How very absurd ! It is only condemning
half the money to remain over, unused, when
the commodities are all exchanged."
" It might as well have been thrown into the
fire before the exchanging began," observed
"If it had been held in a common stock,"
replied her brother: "but as long as it is pri-
vate property, how is it to be determined whose
money shall be destroyed?"
" Or whose to remain unused," added Melea.
" Is it not to be supposed," asked Horace,
" that the buyers and sellers will make any kind
of sly and circuitous bargain which may enable
them to suit their mutual convenience, or that
the buyers will, if possible, avoid buying, rather
WINE AND WISDOM. 107
than submit to have half their money rendered
useless by an interference which benefits no-
" The buyers and sellers will come to a quiet
compromise," observed Fanny. " The seller
will say, ' You shall have thirty shillings' worth
of goods for two pound notes, which will be bet-
ter worth your while than getting nothing in ex-
change for your second note, and better worth
my while than letting you slip as a customer,
though I, in my turn, shall get only thirty shil-
lings' worth for these two notes. ' And the buyer
agreeing to this, the notes will continue to cir-
culate at the value of fifteen shillings each."
" In defiance of the punishment of the law,"
added Mrs. Berkeley, again sighing.
" One would think," observed her husband,
"that there are crimes and misdemeanours
enough for the law to take notice of, without
treating as such contracts which, after all, are
as much overruled by the natural laws of distri-
bution as by the will of the contractors. It
would be as wise to pillory by the side of a
sheep-stealer, a man who sells potatoes dear
after a bad season, as to fine a man for getting
a little with his depreciated money, rather than
108 WINE AND WISDOM.
get nothing at all. Your mother could tell you
of something worse than any fine that has been
inflicted for such a factitious offence."
"Melea gives us up, I see," said Horace.
" She can never esteem us again, father, while
we are aiding and abetting in circulating this
horrible paper money. She would make a bon-
fire of all the bank notes in Great Britian as they
are returned to the bankers. Would not you,
" I do not see why I should run into such an
extreme," she replied. " If there were no means
of limiting the quantity of paper money, I might
speculate on such a bonfire ; but if a moderate
amount of bank notes saves the expense of using
gold and silver, I do not see why the saving
should not be made."
" If white ware and glass answered all the
purposes of gold and silver plate," observed Fan-
ny, " it would be wise to set apart our gold and
silver to make watches, and other things that are
better made of the precious metals than of any-
thing else. — What do you suppose to be the ex-
pense of a metallic currency to this country,
Horace believed that the expense of a gold
WIXE AVD WISDOM, 109
currency was about one million to every ten mil-
lions circulated: that is, that the 10 per cent,
profit which the metal would have brought, if
employed productively, is lost by its being used
as a circulating medium. This, however, is not
the only loss to the country, the wear of coin,
and its destruction by accidents, being cr-nsid-
erable; besides which, much less employment is
afforded by coining, than by working up gold for
other purposes. Supposing the gold currency of
the country to be thirty millions, the expense of
providing it could scarcely be reckoned at less
than four millions; a sum which it is cert duly
desirable to save, if it can be done by fair
" The metals being bought by our goods,"
observed Fanny, " it seems to be a clear loss to
use them unproductively. The only question
therefore appears to be whether bank notes make
a good substitute. They might, I suppose, by
good management, be made sufficiently steady
in value. They might, by common agreement,
be made to signifyany varietyof convenient sums.
They may be much more easily carried about ; a
note for the largest sum being no heavier than
for the smallest. There is not the perfect like-
110 WINE AND WISDOM.
ness of one to another that there is in coins of
the same denomination, but the nature of the
promise they bear upon their faces serves as an
equivalent security. As to their durability and
their beauty, there is little to be said."
" As to their beauty, very little," replied Hor-
ace; " for, if a new bank note is a pretty thing,
few things are uglier than a solid, and pasted,
and crumpled one. But, with respect to their
durability, you should remember that it signifies
little in comparison with that of a medium which
is also a commodity. If a bank note is burned,
the country looses nothing. It is the misfortune
of the holder, and a gain to the banker from
whose bank it was issued."
" Like a guinea being dropped in the street,
and presently picked up," observed Melea. —
" It is not lost, but only changes hands by ac-
cident. Yet it seems as if there must be a loss
when a lOOl. bank note goes up the chimney in
smoke, leaving only that below with which child-
ren may play ' there goes the parson, and there
goes the clerk.' "
" Nay," said Horace, " consider what a
bank note is. What are the essentials of a
bank note, Melea?"
WINE AND WISDOM. Ill
" It would be strange if we did not know
what a bank note was, would it not, father,
when you have been spreading them before our
eyes continually for this twelvemonth? First
comes ' I promise to pay -' "
" Never mind the words. The words in
which the promise is made are not essential."
" A bank note is a promissory note for a defi-
nite sum; and it must be stamped."
" And payable on demand. Do not forget
that, pray. It is this which makes it differ from
all other promissory notes. — Well, now: what is
the intrinsic value of a bank note r Its cost of
production is so small as to be scarcely calcu-
" It is, in fact, circulating credit," observed
Melea; "which is certainly not among the
things which can be destroyed by fire."
"It is only the representative of value which
goes off in smoke," observed Horace. "The
"Where? In what form?"
" That depends upon the nature of the paper
currency. Before bank notes assumed their
present form, — when they were merely promis-
sory notes, which it occurred to bankers to dis-
112 WINE AND WISDOM.
count as they would any other kind of bills, the
property of the issuers was answerable for them,
like the goods of any merchant who pays in
bills; and the extent of the issue was determined
by the banker's credit. Then came the time
when all bank notes were convertible into coin,
at the pleasure of the holder; and then the val-
ue, of which the notes were the representatives,
lay in the banker's coffers, in the form of gold
and silver money. As for the actual value of
the Bank of England notes issued since the
Restriction Act passed, you had better ask some-
body else where it is deposited, and in what
form, for I cannot pretend to tell you. I only
know that the sole security the public has for
ever recovering it lies in the honour of the
managers of the Bank of England."
" What is that Restriction Act.?" asked Me-
lea. "I have heard of it till I am weary of the
very name; and I have no clear notion about it,
except that it passed in 1797."
" Before this time," replied her brother, " by
this 9th of May, 1814, every banker's daughter
in England ought to be familiar with the cur-
rency romance of 1797."
" In order to be prepared for the catastrophe,"
WINE AND WISDOM. lllj
muttered Mr. Berkeley, who had forebodings
which made the present subject not the most
agreeable in the world to him.
" First, what is the Bank of England?" asked
Fanny. " It is the greatest Bank of deposit and
circulation in the world, I know; but to whom
does it belong, and how did it arise?"
" It came into existence a little more than a
hundred years before the great era of its life, —
the period of restriction. Government wanted
money very much in 1694, and a loan was
raised, the subscribers to which received eight
per cent, interest, and 4000/. a-year for mana-
ging the affair, and were presented with a char-
ter, by which they were constituted a banking
company, v/ith peculiar privileges."
" No other banking company is allowed to
consist of more than six persons; this is one of
their piivileges, is it not?"
Yes; it vras added in 170S, and has done a
vast deal of mischief; and will do more, I am
afraid, before it is abolished.* — The very cir-
cumstances of the origin of the Bank of Eng-
* Some years after the date of this conversation, i. e. in
1S26, permission was given for banking companies, not with-
in 65 miles of Zone/on, to consist of any number of partners'.
114 WINE AND WISDOM.
land brought it, you see, into immediate con-
nexion with the government, under whose pro-
tection it has remained ever since. Its charter
has been renewed as often as it expired; and
has still to run till a year's notice after the first
of August, 1833. The government and the
Bank have helped one another in their times of
need; the bank lending money to government,
and the government imposing the restriction we
were talking of in the very extremity of time
to prevent the Bank stopping payment. It also
afforded military protection to the establishment
at the time of the dreadful riots in 1780."
" Well: now for the Restriction Act."
" At that memorable time, from 1794 to 1797,
the Bank had to send out much more money
than was convenient or safe. We were at war;
there were foreign loans to be raised; heavy
bills were drawn from abroad on the Treasury;
and the government asked for large and still
larger advances, till the Bank had made enor-
mous issues of notes, and was almost drained
of the coin it had promised to pay on demand.
It was just at this time that the French inva-
sion was expected; every body was seized with
a panic, and a general rush was made to the
WINE AND WISDOM. 115
country banks, several of which could not an-
swer so sudden a demand for cash, and failed.
The panic spread to London, and the Bank of
England was beset on every side. On Satur-
day, the 25th of February, 1797, the coffers of
the Bank had very little money in them; and
tliere was every prospect of a terrible run on
the Monday. This was the time when govern-
ment made its celebrated interference. It is-
used an order, on the Sunday, that the Bank
sliould not pay away any cash till parliament
had been consulted; and this was the news with
which the tremendous throng of claimants was
met on the Monday morning."
" I wonder it did not cause as fierce a riot as
that of 1780," observed Fanny. " It is such
an intolerable injustice to induce people to take
promissory notes on condition of having cash
whenever they please, and then to get govern-
ment to prohibit the promise being kept!"
" There would have been little use in riot-
ing," replied Horace. " Things were brought
to such a pass that the Bank must either fail
that day, or defer the fulfilment of its engage-
ments; and as things were at this pass, the re-
striction was perhaps the best expedient that
116 WINE AND WISDOM.
could have been adopted. Nobody, however,
supposed that the prohibition would have been
continued to this day. Here we are, in 1814,
and the Bank has not begun to pay off its pro-
missory notes yet."
" Then what security is there against an in-
undation of promissory notes that may never bo
" None whatever, but in the honour of the
Directors of the Bank of England. There ap-
pears to be good ground for trusting in this
honour; but a better security ought, in a mat-
ter of such paramount importance, to have been
provided long ago. — But we have not spoken
yet of the Act of Restriction ; only of the Or-
der in Council. — As soon as parliament met, a
committee inquired into the affairs of the Bank,
and found them in very good condition; and
parliament therefore decreed the restriction to
remain till six months after the conclusion of
" But there has been peace since that time."
" Yes; and there will be another, very likely,
before the Bank pays cash again. It is much
easier to quit cash payments than to resume
them; the temptation to an over-issue is so
WINE AND WISDOM. 117
great when responsibility is destroyed, and es-
pecially when moderation at the outset has pro-
pitiated public confidence."
" Then there was moderation at first .^"
" For three years after the restriction, the
issues were so moderate, that the notes of the
Bank of England were esteemed a little more
valuable than gold, and actually bore a small
premium. Then there was an over-issue, and
their value fell; afterwards it rose again; and
it has since fluctuated, declining on the whole,
"And vvhat are Bank of England notes
worth now ?"
" Less than they have ever been. So long
ago as ISiO, parliament declared that there had
been, an over-issue, and recommended a return
to cash payments in two years; but four years
are gone, and cash payments are not begun,
and the depreciation of the Bank notes is great-
er than ever."
' That is partly owing, I suppose," said
Fanny, "to the increase of country banks.
Melea and I could count several new ones
within our recollection."
' At the time of the restriction, there were
118 WINE AND WISDOM.
fewer than three hundred country banks in ex-
istence; there are now more than seven hun-
*' And are so many wanted?"
" We shall soon see," muttered Mr. Berke-
ley. " I much doubt whether there will be
two-thirds the number by this day twelvemonth.
— Aye, you may well look frightened, girls.
Confidence is shaken already, I can tell you;
and even you can see what is likely to follow
when banking credit is impaired."
•' If these terrible consequences happen, fa-
ther, will you attribute them to the Bank of
England being excused from paying cash?"
" That first destroyed the balance of the cur-
rency, which will have much to do to right it-
self again. Formerly, the Bank and its cus-
tomers were a check upon each other, as are
paper and gold, when the one is convertible
into the other. As the profits of the Bank de-
pend on the amount of its issues, the public is
always sure of having money enough, while
affairs take their natural course. — On the other
hand, the public was as sure to make the Bank
lose by an over-issue; since an over-issue rais-
es the price of gold, which makes people eager
WI.VE AND WISDOM. 119
to have gold for their notes, which again, of
course, obliges the Bank, to buy gold at a loss
to coin m tney to pay for their own over-issues.
Now, by this penalty being taken from over
their heads, the balance of checks is destroyed.
The people are more sure than ever of having
money enough; but there is no security what-
ever ao-ainst their havino- too much. Witness
the state of our currency at this hour."
" If we could but contrive any security
against over-issue," observed Melea, " we
might do without coin (or at least gold coin)
entirely: but, as there does not appear to be
any such, I suppose we must go on with a mix-
ed currency. What a pity such an expense
cannot be saved!"
"And it is the more vexatious when one
thinks of the loss by hoarding," observed Fan-
ny. " No one would think of hoarding paper."
*' Certainly; if it was the only sort of moa-
" Weil; many do hoard gold,-— besides Mrs.
Parndon. How many years will her guineas
have been lying by when she dies! — (and I do
not believe she will part with them but in death.)
They might have doubled themselves by thia
120 WINE AND WISDOM.
time, perhaps, if they had been put to use in-
stead of being buried in her garden, or under
the floor, or among the feathers in her feather-
bed, or wherever else they may be."
"I was going to ask," said Horace, " how
she comes to make public such an act as hoard-
ing: but you seem not to know the place of de-
Fanny explained that not even Hester knew
more than that her mother had a stock of hoarded
guineas; and she had mentioned it only to such
particular friends as the Berkeleys.
"The Cavendishes are not on the list of
particular friends then, I suppose," observed
Horace, " or there would have been an end of
the hoardinjj; before this time, Mr. Cavendish
does not approve of any reserves of guineas
within twenty miles of his bank."
Melea was struck by her brother's counte-
nance and manner, whenever he mentioned Mr.
Cavendish. There was now something more
conveyed by both than the good-humoured con-
tempt with which the whole family had been
accustomed to regard the man.
"Horace," said she, "I never suspected
you of hating any body before; but now I do
WINE AND WISD03I. 1"21
believe you hate Mr. Cavendish. I wish you
would tell us why; for I had rather think worse
of him than o»f you."
"Yes, dear, I will tell you why; and this
was what you were to hear this afternoon."
Mr. Berkeley moved uneasily in his chair,
and his wife stole anxious glances at him,
while Horace related that the proprietors of
the D bank had been for some time aware
that forgeries of their notes were circulating
pretty extensively; that inquiries had in conse-
quence been secretly made, under Horace's
direction, in order to the fraud being put a stop
to; that these inquiries had issued in the deed
being brought home to the parties.
" O, we shall have a trial and execution,"
No such thing, her brother assured her. In
times when banking credit did not, at the best,
keep its ground very firmly, there was every in-
ducement to a bank not to shake it further by
publishing the fact that notes circulating in its
name were not to be trusted. The fact of this
forgery had been kept a profound secret by the
partners of the D bank.
122 Wine and wisdom.
" But what is the consequence to the holders
of the forged notes?"
" Nothing. We pay them on demand with-
" But what a loss to the bank, if the forgery
Mr. Berkeley observed gloomily that he had
given cash payment for two forged 5/. notes,
and one of lOZ. this very morning. Yet this
loss was preferable to exposing the credit of the
bank to any shock; at least, when there were
the means of stopping the forged issue.
" Then you have certainly discovered the
" I saw the principal shipped for America the
day I left London," replied Horace; "and
the rest know that we have our eye upon them.
The only doubtful thing now is whether we may
take their word for the amount they have is-
sued. Another month will show."
" Do all your notes come back to you within
a few weeks, father?" asked Melea "I
thought they remained out for years. I am
sure I have more than one note of the D
bank that is above a year old."
WI.VE AND WISD03r. 123
" Yes; some are now circulating that belong-
ed to the first issue after I became a partner;
but these have been re-issued. We reckon that
most of cur notes come back within six weeks."
" You did not surely suppose," said Horace,
" that new notes are issued every time.? Whj
should not the old ones be used as long as they
" 1 did not kno'.v that the stamps were allow-
ed to serve more than one turn."
'•' This is provided for by the issuers being
obliged to purchase a license, which costs 30/.,
and which must be annually renewed. The
Bank of England is the only exception to this
rule; that establishment being permitted to com-
pound for the stamp-duties by paying so much
per million on its issues. It is on this point,
(of the ^renewal of the license,) that we hope
to catch Cavendish. He has not renewed with-
in the given time."
" But why should you?" cried Fanny, with
some indignation. " What affair is it of yours?
Let the Stamp-office look to it; and let us mind
our own business, instead of meddling with our
" Besides," added Melea, ''what becomes
124 VvINE AND WISDOM.
of the banking credit which needs to be taken
such extraordinary care of just now? Shake
Cavendish's credit, and you shake that of other
banks in some degree, according to your own
" If he had never meddled with our credit,"
said Mr. Berkeley, "he might have cheated
the Stamp-ofnce to his heart's content, for any-
thing we should have done to prevent it. But
having acted the part that he has by us "
Fanny and Melea looked at each other with
sorrow in their faces; which their brother ob-
served, and quietly said,
' It is not in a spirit of retaliation that we
are going to act against Cavendish. It is ne-
cessary, for the public safety, that his bank
should be closed while there is a chance of its
discharging its obligations. If it goes on
another year, — I say this in the confidence of
our own family circle, — it must break, and ruin
half the people in Haleham. If Cavendish
can be so timely beset with difficulties, — which,
remember, he has brought on himself, — as to
be induced to give up the bank, and confine
himself to his other business, it is possible that
those who have trusted him may get their dues,
AViNE AND WISDOM. 1:^6
and that banking credit may be saved the shock
which his failure must otherwise soon bring
" But what is the penalty:"
" A fine of 100/. for every act of issue after
the term of license has expired. I am now
employed in discovering what Cavendish's is-
sues have been since the expiration of his li-
cense. I hope we may find him liable for just
so much as may make him glad to close his
bank for the sake of a composition; and not
enough to ruin him; though 1 fancy it would
not require a very heavy liability to do that."
" What a hateful business to be engaged in!"
Very disagreeable indeed, Horace admitted;
but Cavendish's offences tov/ards the D — ■ —
bank deserved the worst punishment they could
bring upon him. He had known of the forge-
ries of their notes longer than they had; and
not only had he given them no warning, but he
had whispered the fact elsewhere in every quar-
ter where it could injure their credit just so far
as to make people shy of taking their notes,
without causing an abrupt shock, in which he
might himself have been involved. He insin-
126 WINE AND WISDOM.
uated no doubts of the stability of their house;
but told several people in confidence that forge-
ries of their notes were abroad, so well execut-
ed, that it was scarcely possible to distinguish
the true notes from the false.
" How came he to know sooner than the
partners themselves?" inquired Melea: but
neither father nor brother appeared to hear the
" May one ask about the forgers," inquired
Fanny, " who they are, and how you dealt with
" No; you may not ask," replied her broth-
er, smiling. " We are bound not to tell this,
even to our own families. Be satisfied in your
ignorance; for it is a very sad story, and it
would give you nothing but pain to hear it."
The whole party sat in silence for some min-
utes, the girls gazing in reverie on the green
lawn over which the evening shadows were
stretching unnoticed. Both were meditating
on Cavendish's connexion with the affair of the
forgery. The absence of all answer to Melea's
question looked as if he had something to do
with the guilty parties; and yet, nothing was
more certain than that it is the interest of all
WINE AND WISDOM. 1-27
bankers, and more especially of unstable ones,
to wage war against forgery wherever it may
Fanny thought it best to speak what was in
her mind, declaring beforehand that she did so
out of no curiosity to know what ought to be
concealed,, and without any wish for an answer,
unless her brother chose to give her one.
Horace was glad she had spoken, since he
could assure her that any banker must be as
much fool as knave who had any amicable con-
nexion with forgers; and that, if Cavendish
had been proved to have maintained any such,
he would have been treated in a very different
way from that which was now meditated against
him. Fanny also was glad that she had spoken
what was in her mind. The charges against
Cavendish seemed to be, carelessness in his
banking management, and shabby spite against
his rivals at D .
" Xow, promise me," said Horace to his sis-
ters, " that you will not fancy that all kinds of
horrible disasters are going to happen vrhenev-
er you see my father and me consulting togeth-
er without taking you immediately into our
councils. Promise me "
1*28 WINE AND WISDOM.
He stopped short when he saw Melea's eye3
full of tears.
"My dear girl," he contmued, "I did not
mean to hurt you. I did not once think of
such a thing as that either Fanny or you could
be jealous, or have vanity enough to be offend-
ed. I only meant that you were both too easily
alarmed in this case, and I should be sorry if
the same thing happened again. Do you know,
you have scarcely looked me full in the face
since I came, and I am not quite sure that you
can do so yet."
Melea replied by bestowing on her brother
one of her broadest and brightest smiles, which
revealed the very spirit of confidence. She
liad, in turn, her complaint to make; or rather,
her explanation to give. Hov»^ was it possible,
she asked, for Fanny and herself to avoid spec-
ulating and foreboding, when Horace had not
answered above half the questions they put to
him, or inquired after half his former acquaint-
ance, or taken any interest in his old haunts,
or in the four-footed or vegetable favourites
which had been cherished for his sake during
his absence ? Fanny also pleaded her mother's
anxious looks and long silences during the
WINE A\D \VISD03I. 129
*' And now, what fault have you to find with
me?" asked Mr. Berkeley. '^ Have you
counted how many times I have said ' Pshaw'
within the last week?"
" It would have been much easier to count
how many times you have smiled, papa," said
Melea, laughing. " But if you would only
" She stopped.
"I know what she would say," continued
Horace. " If you would only open your mind
to your daughters as far as you can feel it right
to do so, it would cause them less pain to know
from yourself the worst that can ever happen,
than to infer it from your state of spirits; and,
indeed, sir, you would find great relief and
comfort in it."
"They used to complain of me for telling
them sometimes that they must prepare to pro-
vide for themselves."
" Not for telling us so, sir. There is noth-
ing but kindness in letting us know as soon as
possible, but — "
" But you never knew when to believe me, —
is that it.? Out with it, Fanny."
"We should like to know the extent of
changes, when changes take place, if you have
Vol. I— I
130 WINE AND WISDOM.
no objection to tell us. We could prepare our-
selves so much better then."
" You seem to have been preparing at a vast
rate lately, both of you. One at her German
and Italian, and the other at her music; and
both studying education with might and main."
This was a subject on which Horace could
never endure to dwell. He writhed under it,
even while he persuaded himself that his father
was not in earnest, and that the girls were so
far like other girls as to have their heads filled
fuller with a new idea than reason could justify.
It was not enough that Melea sagely observed
that the diligent study which occupied them at
present could do them no harm, whatever for-
tune might be in store for them: he was not
quite at his ease till she mentioned Lewis, the
East Indian boy who was expected over; .and
explained how much Fanny and herself wished
to contribute towards educating him. All the
family desired to keep Lewis at Haleham, and
to have him domesticated with them; and if
he could be so assisted by his cousins at home
as to profit to the utmost by what he should gain
at a day school, it would be much better for
every body concerned than that he should be
WINE AND WISDOM. 131
sent to a boarding-school a hundred miles off.
This plan accounted for the eagerness of Fan-
ny's study of German; but how Lewis was to
benefit by Melea's music was left unexplained.
This evening was the brightest of the whole
spring in the eyes of Fanny and Melea. The
bank had only sustained a loss, instead of being
about to break. There was an end of Mr.
Longe, and Horace hinted no intention of quar-
relling with Henry Craig. The sunset was cer-
tainly the softest of the year; the violets had
never smelled so sweet, and even Mr. Berkeley
acknowledged to the daughter on either arm
that the rosary which he had planned, and they
had tended, was the most delicious retreat he
had buried himself in since the days of the
green walk in his mother's garden, of which he
spoke with fond eloquence whenever led to
mention his childhood. To Mrs. Berkeley
and her son every thing did not look so sur-
passingly bright this evening. From them no
painful load of apprehension had been suddenly
removed; such fears as they had had remained:
but it was a May evening, mild and fragrant,
and they lingered in the shrubberies till yellow
gleams from the drawing-room windows remind-
ed them that they were expected within.
132 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
Mr. and Mrs. Cavendish were at this time
seized with a not unreasonable panic lest they
should lose their popularity — and with it, all else
that they had. They knew that the inhabitants
of a country town are quick in discovering when
friendships cool, and mutual confidence abates;
and they feared that, when it should be perceived
that the rector no longer rode over two or three
times a-week to Mr. Berkeley's, and that the two
bankers were now never seen chatting in the
street, conjecture might begin to be busy as to
the cause of these changes; and they had little
hope that their reputation would stand in any
instance in which it should be brought into op-
position witli that of the long resident and much
respected Berkeley family. Mrs. Cavendish
made the most she could of the intercourse be-
tween the ladies of the two households. Where-
ever she dropped in, she was sure to be in a par-
ticular hurry, because she was going to the
Berkeleys to show Mrs. Berkeley this, or to tell
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 133
Miss Berkeley that, or to ask dear Melea the
other. From every point of view she was sure
to see the Berkelejs going towards her house,
and she never went out but she expected to find
on her return that they had called. The children
were encouraged to watch for every shadow of
an invitation, and were not children when they
gave broad hints that they liked gathering roses
in the rosary, and were very fond of strawber-
ries, and very clever at haymaking, and quite
used to pluck green pease; or that they wanted
flower-seeds, or anything else that could be had
within the Berkeleys' gates. They were very
frequently invited, as Fanny and Melea liked to
give pleasure even to disagreeable children, and
would not be deterred from doing so by their dis-
approbation of the parents, or dislike of the gov-
erness. If, however, they let a week slip away
without an invitation, on the eighth day a pro-
cession was sure to be seen winding up towards
the house, viz. Miss Egg, bearing a little basket
or bag, with some pretence of a present, — a
cream-cheese, or a dozen smelts fresh from the
wherry, or a specimen of some fancy in knit-
ting, or perhaps a quite new German waltz: on
either side of Miss Egg, various grades of tip-
134 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
pets and bonnets, bespeaking the approach of a
large body of strawberry-eaters; and behind,
poor Rhoda, toiling on in the heat, with a heavy,
crying baby, hangijig half over her shoulder,
and the pleasant idea in her mind that when she
had taught this member of the family to use its
legs a little more, and its lungs a little less, it
would only be to receive another charge, M'hich
would soon grow as heavy, and must inevitably
be as fretful. The majority of the party were
invariably offended by seeing how Rhoda was the
first to be taken care of; — how she was made to
sit down in the hall, the baby being taken from
her by Melea, and a plate of fruit brought by
Fanny, while the other visiters were supposed
capable of making their way into the dining-
room to pay their respects to Mrs. Berkeley, and
talk about the heat and the sweet prospect, till
the young ladies should be ready to lead the way
into the shrubbery and kitchen-garden. These
visits were made the more irksome to the Berke-
leys, from the certainty that every thing that each
of them said would be quoted, with their names
at full length, twenty times during the first day;
and that every body in Haleham would have
heard it before the time for the next meeting
HUSBiJ»IDS AND WIVES. 135
should have come round. They were patient,
however; too patient and good-natured, as it
soon appeared; for the Cavendishes built upon
their kindness to the children a hope that they
would visit the parents on terms of seeming
Mr. and Mrs. Cavendish agreed, that the pres-
ent time, while 3Ir. Berkeley was absent for a
few days, when Horace was not likely to ap-
pear, and before the affair of the license should
come out, afforded a good opportunity for a bold
stroke for popularity. Mr. Cavendish had settled
a pretty little estate on his wife: their wedding-
day approached; and it would be charming to
give a rural fete, in the midst of which, and in
the presence of everybody in Haleham, this
estate should be presented by the fond husband
to the gratified wife, the children standing round
to witness thismoraldisplay of conjugal affection.
The idea was charming in every way; for, as it
was Mrs. Cavendish's party, it was not supposed
possible that Mrs. Berkeley and her daughters
could refuse to go, it being conveyed to them
that Mr. Longe was at Brighton,
It was, however, found possible for the Berke-
leys to refuse, and for many who did not decline
136 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
the invitation to be unavoidably prevented, by-
various devised accidents, from attending. The
whole thing was a failure ; and up to the hour of
the poorer part of the company showing them-
selves, it Vv'as undecided whether the scheme
should not, after all, change its entire character,
and the display be transformed from one of con-
jugal gallantry to one of rural beneficence. The
dinner for the poor folks was boiling in the cop-
pers, and the tables were spread under the trees;
and the barn was dressed up for the shop-
keepers' sons and daughters to dance in. These
two parts of the scheme must go forward. But
the marquee, pitched for the higher guests, was
too likely to be empty; and there was little
pleasure in a man presenting his wife with an
estate on her wedding-day, when there were only
poor and middling people to look on. Mr. Craig,
however, was sure to come, and as sure to relate
to the Berkeleys what passed; and certainly it
was the sort of thing v/hich must tell well. This
consideration decided the matter. The gift was
proffered with tenderness, and received with rap-
ture. The husband bestowed the kiss, the wife
shed her tears, the children wondered, the people
for the most part admired, and those who did not
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 137
admire, applauded ; — all as planned. As he was
desired, Mr. Craig delivered Mrs. Cavendish's
message of love to the Berkeleys, and of sorrow
that their kind hearts should have lost the plea-
sure of sympathising with her on this happy day.
Mr. Craig added, of his own accord, that they
might sympathize with her still, if they desired
it; the affair being not yet over. He had left
the fete early, and gone round by the Berkeleys',
on pretence of delivering his message, instead of
proceeding straight home.
" How long must we sympathizer" inquired
Fanny. " Does she mean to keep up her happi-
ness till twelve o'clock?"
' ' The dancers will keep up theirs till midnight,
I should think," replied Henry. " The barn is
really a pretty sight, and the whole place is well
lighted. If you will come Avith me, Melea, only
as far as the gate, you will see the lights between
the trees, red and green and purple. It is not
often that Haleham has coloured lamps to
Melea thanked him, but coloured lights, how-
ever pretty on some occasions, were too artifi-
cial in a landscape like that seen from the white
138 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
" Then, come and admire some that are not
coloured. The stars are out overhead, and I
never saw the glow-worms so bright."
" Glow-worms! are there glow-worms?" cried
Melea. But Mrs. Berkeley wanted to hear more
about the fete. She supposed every body was
"No, ma'am; nobody."
Fanny here observed, that this was the first
time that she had ever known Henry reckon the
ladies and gentlemen as everybody. "Who
was dancing in the barn," she asked, " If no-
body was there?"
' ' Even that part of the affair was very flat to
me, " said Henry. ' ' Those that I take the most
interest in were either absent or uncomfort-
" Who? tiie Martins?"
" I knew beforehand that they went unwil-
lingly, so that it gave me no pleasure to see
"Well: old Enoch Pye—"
" Went away almost before dinner was over,
though he was put at the head of one of the
" He went away ! and what became of poor
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 139
Mrs. Parndon ? Did she follow in time to take
" She was not there; and I fancy that was
the reason of his leaving. I believe a neigh-
bour told him that something had happened to
" O, what? What has happened?" cried all
the ladies, who felt infinitelj more sympathy
for Mrs. Parndon and Hester than for Mrs. Ca-
Henry knew no more than that some sort of
bad news had come from London by this day's
post. He would learn the next morning what it
was, and whether he could be of any service,
unless Melea, who was more in the widow's con-
fidence, would undertaJie the task. Henry was
sure that Melea would make the better comforter ;
and he would come up in the course of the
morning, and hear whether his consolations and
assistance were wanted. This was readily agreed
to, as it was an understood thing that there was
DO one but her daughter whom Mrs. Parndon
loved, and could open her mind to so well as her
dear Miss Melea, — always excepting her old
friend, Mr. Pye.
Mrs. Parndon was eilone, and at work as usual,
140 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
when Melea entered her little parlour, now no
longer dressed up with flowers, as it used to be
while Hester lived there. The room could not
be without ornament while the drawings of the
late Mr. Parndon and his daughter hung against
the walls: but, with the exception of these,
everything indicated only neatness and thrift.
The floor-cloth looked but a comfortless substi-
tute for a carpet, even in the middle of summer;
the hearth-rug, composed of the shreds and snip-
pings from three tailors' boards, disposed in fancy
patterns, was the work of the widow's own hands.
The window was bare of curtains, the winter
ones being brushed and laid by, and the mistress
seeing no occasion for muslin hangings, which
had been only a fancy of Hester's: so the muslin
was taken to make covers for the pictures, and
the mirror and the little japanned cabinet, that
they might be preserved from the flies in summer,
and from the dust of the fires in winter. Even
the widow's own footstool, pressed only by par-
lour shoes, which were guiltless of soil, was
cased in canvass. Everything was covered up,
but the work-basket, crammed with shirts and
worsted stockings, which stood at the mistress's
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 141
She looked up eagerly as the door opened;
but a «hade of disappointment passed over he
countenance when she saw that it was Melea,
whom, however, she invited, in a kind but hur-
ried manner, to sit down beside her.
"Now, you must proceed with your work, just
as if I was not here," said Melea. The widow
immediately went on seaming, observing, that
she had indeed a great deal of work on hand.
" As much, I think, as when your son and
daughter were in frocks and pinafores, and wear-
ing out their clothes with romping and climbing.
Does Hester send down her husband's shirts
for you to make and mend?"
" She might, for that matter," replied the
widow ; "for she is kept very busy at her draw-
ing; but I cannot persuade her to do more than
let me work for Philip, who should be no charge
on her hands, you know. She lets me make
for Philip, but not mend. These things are
Melea's look of inquiry asked whose they
were: to which the widow bashfully replied,
that Mr. Pye had no one but his washerwoman
to see after his linen, and so had been persuad-
ed, as he was very neat and exact, to let an old
142 HUSBANDS AND WIVES
friend go once a week, and look out what want-
ed mending. She was sure Melea would think
no harm of this.
None in the world, Melea said. It was
pleasant to see old friends pay kind offices to
one another, — especially two who seemed to be
left alone to each other's care, like Mr. Pye
and Mrs. Parndon. She did not know what
would become of Mr. Pye without Mrs. Parn-
don, and she had no doubt he did friendly ser-
vice in his turn. The widow smiled, and shook
her head, and observed, that indeed Enoch did
need somebody to watch over him. He was
growing very deaf, though, poor man, he did
not like to allow it ; and it was very desirable
to have some one at his elbow, to set him right
in his little mistakes, and to give customers and
strangers a hint to speak up if they wished to
have their business properly done.
" It is a pity you cannot carry your work-
basket to his counter, these fine mornings, in-
stead of sitting here for hours all by yourself,"
observed Melea. " I have no doubt, Mr. Pye
would thank you for your company."
Mrs. Parndon had no doubt either; but the
thing was quite out of the question. It would
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 143
be highly improper. What would not all Hale-
ham say, if she began such a practice.'
Melea begged pardon, and went on to ask
about Hester. She had not been aware that
Hester had gone on drawmg much since she
The widow sighed, and observed, that times
were worse for people in Edgar's line of em-
ployment than any one would suppose who saw
how the farmers were flourishing. The higher
some people rose, the lower others fell: as she
had good reason to knov/; and could, therefore,
bear testimony that there was now little real
prosperity, however some might boast. The
Martins, for instance, were growing rich at a
mighty rate, and would have laid by quite a lit-
tle fortune before their lease was out ; while
she, an economical widow, with what every-
body once thought a pretty provision for life,
found her income worth less and less every year,
just when, for her children's sake, she should
like it to be more: and heaven knew she was
likely to have use enough for it now. Melea
did not venture to ask the meaning of this, or
of the heavy sigh which followed. She merely
inquired whether Edgar did not retain his situ-
144 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
ation at the Mint. *' O, yes; but salaries were
nothing now to what they were ; and it was ex-
pensive living in London, even though the young
people lived in the upper part of Philip's house,
for mutual accommodation; that Philip, poor
Philip, might have a respectable-looking, showy
shop, and Edgar and his wife have rather less to
pay than for a floor in a stranger's house."
Melea was very sorry to find that the young
people had to think so much about economy:
she had hoped that that would never be neces-
"Why, Miss Melea, young men have ex-
penses: and they don't think so much as their
wives about suiting them to the times. And so
the wives, — that is, such wives as my Hester, —
feel that they should help to fill the purse, if
they can. So, she says, she was far from being
hurt when Edgar gave her notice, some months
ago, that he should wish her to look for employ-
ment again, of the same sort that she had be-
fore her marriage. The only thing that hurt
her was, that it was so long before she could
get any thing that would pay; for the publishers
are overrun with artists, they declare. She
would fain have worked for Mr. Pye, as before;
HUSBANDS A.VD WIVES. 145
but I would not let her say anything about that;
nor Philip either: for people here all have the
idea of her having made a fine match, (as in-
deed it is, when one thinks of Edgar,) and it
would not look well for her to be taking money
from Mr. Pye, as if she was still Hester Parn-
" O, poor Hester!" thought Melea, who
could scarcely restrain her grief at this series
of unexpected disclosures. *' With an expen-
sive husband, a proud brother, a selfish mother,
you are driven to seek the means of getting
money, and thwarted in the seeking! O, poor
" She tried at the bazaars," continued Mrs,
Parndon; '' but most of her beautiful drawings
only got soiled and tossed about, till she was
obliged to withdraw them; and those that were
sold went for less by far than her time was
worth. But now slie does not want Mr. Pye's
help, nor anybody's. She has got into high
favour with a bookseller, who publishes chil-
dren's books for holiday presents, full of pic-
tures. Look! here is the first she did for him;
(only, you understand, I don't show it here as
hers.) This, you see, was a pretty long job,
Vol I — K ^ 13
146 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
and a profitable one, she says; and she has so
much more to do before the Christmas holidays,
that she is quite light of heart about the filling
up of her leisure, she tells me. To save her
time,Iwould have had her send me down her hus-
band's making and mending, as I said: but she
has many candle-light hours, when she sits up
for Edgar, and cannot draw; and she likes to
have plenty of needlework to do then, and that
nobody should sew for her husband but herself."
" Many candle-light hours in June," thought
Melea. " Then, how many will there be of
candle-light solitude in winter? O poor Hes-
" Perhaps her brother spends his evenings
with her?" she inquired of the widow.
" Why, one can scarcely say that Philip has
any evenings," replied Mrs. Parndon. " Phil-
ip was always very steady, you know, and more
fond of his business than anything else. He
keeps to it all day, till he is tired, and then goes
to bed, at nine in winter, and very little later in
summer. Besides, you know, they don't pro-
fess to live together, though they are in the
same house. Edgar has some high notions,
and he would soon put an end to the idea that
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 147
he and his wife have not their apartments to
themselves. — But, is it not stiange, Miss Me-
lea, that my son Philip, so uncommonly steady
as he is, should have got into trouble ? Is it not
odd that he, of all people, should be in danger
Melea did not in her own mind think it at all
•trange, as his stupidity was full as likely to
lead him into trouble as his steadiness to keep
him out of it. She waited, however, with a
face of great concern, to hear what thij threat-
ened disgrace might be.
" You are the only person, Miss Melea, that
I have mentioned it to, ever since I heard it yes-
terday morning, except Mr. Pye, who missed
me from the feast yesterday, and kindly came to
hear what was the matter, and spent the whole
evening with me, till I was really obliged to
send him away, and pretend to feel more com-
fortable than I was, to get him to leave me.
But I dare say people are guessing about it, for
everybody knew that I meant to be there yester-
day, and that it must be- something sudden that
prevented me: for Mrs. Crane was here, and
saw my silk gown 'laid out ready, before the
post came in: and they could hardly think I
148 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
was ill, the apothecary being there to witness
that he had not been sent for. But I thought I
would keep the thing to myself for another post,
at least, as it may all blow over yet."
Melea looked at her watch, and said she now
understood why Mrs. Parndon seemed disap-
pointed at seeing her. She had no doubt taken
her knock for the postman's. — O dear, no! it
was scarcely post-time yet; but, though Mr.
Pye had not exactly said that he should look in
in the morning, she supposed, when she heard
the knock, that it might be he ; (she could not get
him to walk in without knocking;) and she had
prepared to raise her voice a little to him; and
she was a little surprised when she found it was
not he; — that was all.
But what was the matter ? if Melea might
dsk; — if Mrs. Parndon really wished her to
"Why, Miss Melea nothing more, — Philip
has done nothing more than many other people
are doing in these days; but it so happens that
punishment is to fall upon him more than upon
others. A little while ago, Edgar introduced a
young man into Philip's .shop, — (whether he
was a friend of Edgar's, Hester does not say)—
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 149
telling Philip that he would find it worth while
to be liberal in his dealings with this gentle-
man; and that they might be of great mutual
accommodation. Xobodv being in the shop,
the gentleman, upon Philip's looking willing,
produced a bag of guineas to sell."
" But selling guineas is unlawful, is it not.^"
" That is the very cause of all this trouble:
but they say there is not a goldsmith in all Lon-
don that does not buy guineas; so that it is very
hard that one should be picked out for punish-
ment. Well; they agreed upon their bargain,
Edgar standing by seeing them weighed, and
being a v.itness to the terms. Just before they
had quite finished, somebody came into the shop,
and the stranger winked at Philip to sweep the
guineas out of sight, and whispered that he
.vould call again for the Money. It so happen-
ed that when he did call again, and was putting
the notes he had just taken into his pocket-book,
the very same person came in that had inter-
rupted them before. He pretended to want a
seal; but there is no doubt that he is a common
informer; for it was he who swore the offence
150 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
"Philip has really been brought to justice,
" O dear, Miss Melea! what an expression
for me to hear used about one of my children!
Yes; he was brought before the Lord Mayor;
but he was allowed to be bailed; and Edgar
will move heaven and earth to get him off; as,
indeed, he ought to do, he having been the one
to lead him into the scrape. I am trusting that
the letter I expect to-day may bring news of
its having taken some favourable turn."
" If not," said Melea, " you must comfort
yourself that the case is no worse. Though
Philip has fairly brought this misfortune upon
himself by transgressing a law that everybody
knows, it is a very different thing to all his
friends from his having incurred punishment for
bad moral conduct. The offence of buying and
selling guineas is an offence created for the
time by the curious state our currency is now
in. It is not like any act of intemperance, or
violence, or fraud, which will remain a crime
long after guineas cease to be bought and sold,
and was a crime before guineas were ever coin-
** That is very much the same thing that Mr.
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. l5l
Pye said. He tells me not to think of it as I
would of coining or forging. Yet they are
crimes belonging to the currency too, Miss
"They are direct frauds; robberies which
are known by those who perpetrate them to be
more iniquitous than common robberies, be-
cause they not only deprive certain persons of
their property, but shake public confidence,
which is the necessary safeguard of all proper-
ty. Buying guineas to make watch-chains of
the gold puts the government to the expense of
coining more; and this is a great evil; but
much blame rests with those who have made
gold so valuable as to tempt to this sale of coin,
and then punish the tempted. This sort of of-
fence and punishment cannot last long."
"And then my poor son's error will not be
remembered against him, I trust. How soon
do you suppose this state of things will change,
" People say we are to have peace very soon
indeed; and presently after, the Bank of Eng-
land is to pay in cash again; and then gold coin
will cease to be more valuable than it pretends
153 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
" So soon as that!" exclaimed Mrs. Parndon,
laying down her work.
" Yes. I should not wonder if all tempta-
tion to trade in guineas is over within a year."
The widow did not look at all pleased to hear
this, anxious as she had seemed for the time
when the kind of offence her son had commit-
ted should be forgotten.
While she was in a reverie, there was a knock
at the door.
" The postman! the postman!" cried Melea,
as she ran to open it.
Though it was not the postman, Mrs. Parn-
don looked far from being disappointed — for it
was Mr. Pye.
" Why, now, Mr. Pye," said she; " if you
would only have done what I asked you, — come
in without knocking, — you would not have put
us in a fluster with thinking you were the post-
Mr. Pye was sorry, looked bashful, but did
not promise to open the door for himself next
time. He spoke of the heat, pushed back his
wig, pulled it on again, but so as to leave his
best ear uncovered; and then sat, glancing ir-
resolutely from the one lady to the other, while
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 153
the widow looked as if waiting to be sympathiz-
ed with. Finding herself obliged to begin,
she said, —
"You may speak before Miss Melea, Mr.
Pye. She knows the whole; so you need not
keep your feelings to yourself because she is
This intimation did not put Enoch at his ease;
while Melea could not help waiting to see what
would ensue on this permission to indulge sen-
" Have you seen Mr. Craig?" asked Enoch.
'' I know him to have a message of peace,
which may support you while waiting for that
which I hope will come in another way. You
should hear what a comforter Mr. Craig is!"
Melea was sure Mr. Craig would come as
soon as he should know that Mrs. Parndon
wished to see him. The widow conveyed, how-
ever, that she had been so piously comforted the
night before, that she had rather chosen to de-
pend on a renewal from the same source than to
send for the clergyman, though, if matters went
worse instead of better, she should need all the
supports of friendship and religion. And poor
Mrs. Parndon 's tears began to flow. Enoch
154 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
could never bear to see this. He walked
about the room, returned to take his old friend's
hand, tried to speak, and found that his voice
would not serve him. Melea began to think
she had better be going, when the expected let-
Instead of opening it, the widow handed it to
Mr. Pye, with a sign of request that he would
read it first. Such a confidence embarrassed far
more than it flattered poor Enoch, whose scru-
pulosity had never before been so directly in-
vaded. He offered the letter beseechingly to
Melea, who, of course, would not receive it;
and, at length, finding that the widow's tears
went on to flow faster, he took courage to break
the seal, put on his glasses, and read. A crow
of delight from him soon told the ladies that the
news was good. Melea started up ; the widow's
handkerchief was lowered, and Enoch cast a
wistful look at her over his spectacles, as if
wondering whether she was strong enough to
bear what he had to impart. A sweet, encour-
aging smile made him redden all over, and has-
ten to say that Philip was safe, the whole affair
settled, and Edgar the immediate cause of this
Ht'SBANDS AND WIVES. 155
"But how? Did not he buy the guineas,
after all? Was it not against the law? Or,
oh! were guineas no longer more valuable than
paper?" This last question was asked with
considerable trepidation, and answered by
Melea's reading the letter, which was as fol-
" My dear Mother, — I am almost sorry I
wrote to you at all yesterday, as my letter must
have made you more uneasy than, as it turns
out, there was occasion for. It struck my hus-
band, as soon as he had time to think the mat-
ter over quietly, that there were a good many
light guineas among those that Philip bought.
He established the fact so clearly, (having
them brought from the very drawer that the in-
former saw them swept into,) that Philip was
discharged without any more difficulty ; and the
informer is very ill pleased with the turn the
affair has taken. You may suppose Philip will
use particular care henceforth, knowing that he
has this informer for an enemy; and I am
afraid the man will be Edgar's enemy too. But
it is a great satisfaction, as I hope you will
feel, that Edgar has got him off; and I hope
they will both keep clear of any more such dan-
156 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
gers. It is near post-time; so I will only add
that we suppose nobody need know, down at
Haleham, anything about this business, unless
it should happen to be in the newspapers; and
then, if they should ask, you may be able to
make light of it.
" Love from Philip, (who is in his shop as if
nothing had happened,) and from your affec-
" Hester Morrison."
Melea did not understand the case, happy
as she was at its termination. What made it
more a crime to sell heavy guineas than light
Enoch informed her that a guinea which
weighs less than 5 dwts. 8 grs. is not a guinea
in law. It may pass for twenty-one shillings,
but the law does not acknowledge that it is
worth so much.
" I wonder how much Edgar got for such an
one," said the widow, " and how much for the
" The heavy ones sell, under the rose, I un-
derstand, for a £1 bank-note, four shillings, and
sixpence, while those who thus exchange them
for more than a £1 bank-note and one shilling are
HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 157
liable to fine and imprisonment. But a man
may sell a light guinea for twenty-four shillings
and threepence, and nobody will find fault with
him; — a single half grain of deficiency in the
weight making the coin nothing better in the
eye of the law than so much gold metal."
" Then a light guinea, unworthy to pass, is
actually more valuable in a legal way just now
than a heavy one," said Melea. " How very
strange! How very absurd it seems!"
" Moreover," observed Enoch, " if you melt
a light guinea, you may get from it 5 dwts. 7 J
grs. of bullion. But you must not melt heavy
guineas, — and each of them will legally ex-
change for no more than 4dwts., 14 grs. of gold.
So a light guinea is worth, to a person who keeps
the law, 174 g**^- ^^ S^^^ more than a heavy
"How could they expect my son to keep
such law?" sighed the widow, — not for her son,
but for her own long-standing mistake in con-
gratulating herself on the good weight of the
guineas she had hoarded for many months. It
was a sad blow to find, aTter all, that they had
better have been light. She resolved, however,
under the immediate pain which Philip had
158 HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
caused her, to keep her coin, in hopes that times
would once more turn round, and that, without
breaking the law, she might not only get more
than a note and a shilling for each heavy guinea,
but more than for one despised by the law.
Another knock! It was Henry Craig, — come,
partly to see whether he could be of service to
Mrs. Parndon, but much more for the purpose
of telling Melea that Lewis had arrived, and
of walking home with her. He at once took
Melea's hint not to seem to suppose that any-
thing was the matter, and to conclude that the
widow would be interested in the fact and cir-
cumstances of the young East-Indian's unlock-
ed for arrival. It was not many minutes before
Melea accepted his arm and departed, seeing
that Mrs. Parndon was growing fidgetty lest
they should outstay Mr. Pye.
"Well, Mrs. Parndon, good morning. I
am glad I came to see you just when I did. I
shall not forget our conversation."
" Must you go. Miss Melea? and Mr. Craig?
Well; I would not think of detaining you, I
am sure, with such hn attraction as Master
Lewis awaiting you at home. It was truly kind
of you to stay so long. Pray, Mr. Pye, be so
kind as to open the door for Miss Melea. My
respects at home, as usual, you know, Miss
Melea; and many thanks to you, Mr. Craig,
for your goodness in calling. Mr. Pye, pray
nave the kindness to open the door."
Mr. Pye, not hearing, stood bowing; and
Henry Craig was found all-sufficient to open
the door. The last glimpse Melea had through
it, was of the widow drawing an arm-chair
cosily next her own, and patting it with a look
of invitation to Mr. Pye. As he was not seen
following them by the time they had reached
the end of the street, the young folks had no
doubt that he had surrendered himself prisoner
for another hour.
Lewis soon became a more important person
in the Berkeley family than any member of it
had anticipated, or than it would have been at
all good for the boy himself to have kno^^^l.
Anxieties were multiplying; the banking busi-
ness was in a very doubtful state ; and the most
sagacious practical men could not pretend to fore-
see what v/as likely to follow the transition from
a long and burdensome war to peace. The far-
mers had begun to complain some time before.
After several unfavourable seasons, during
which they had been growing rich, their fields
began to be as productive as they had ever been ;
and the difficulties in the way of the importa-
tion of corn were, about the same time, lessened
by the peace ; so that the prices of corn fell so
rapidly and extensively as to injure the landed
interest, and cause ruin to some, and a very
general abatement of confidence.
The banks, of course, suffered immediately
by this; and there was too much reason to fear
that the last days of many were at hand. Bank
paper was now at its lowest point of deprecia-
tion the difference between the market-price of
gold and the legal value of guineas being thirty
per cent. ; and there was no prospect of a safe
and quiet restoration of paper to the value of
gold, by a gradual contraction of its issues on
the part of the Bank of England. If there had
been no law to prevent its notes passing at their
true value in the market, the Bank would have
been warned by what was daily before its eyes
to regulate its issues according to the quantity
of money wanted. When its notes were at a dis-
count, its issues could have been quietly con-
tracted; or, on the other hand, cautiously en-
larged, if its notes should have happened to bear
a premium. But this had been put out of the
question some time before by the law which or-
dained bank notes to bear a fixed value in rela-
tion to gold; which law was occasioned by the
just demand of a great landholder to be paid his
rents in an endepreciated currency. If all other
parties to a contract had insisted on the same
thing, inconvertible bank paper would have been
everywhere refused; therefore the law was
passed that Bank of England notes must neither
be refused in payment, nor taken at less than the
value they professed to bear. This law encour-
aged the Bank to put out more notes than
could safely circulate ; and so one evil brought
on another, — all of which might be traced back
to the Restriction Act, but whose results it was
not so easy to anticipate.
That the Bank and the Government were
aware of the decrease in the value of their paper,
Vol. I — L 14*
was evident by their sending it abroad whenever
a favourable opportunity offered for passing large
quantities of it in distant places, where it was
not expected that people would be too curious
about its value. The Irish proved impractica-
ble. They were too near home, and knew very
well what ought to be thought of Bank of Eng-
land paper in comparison with guineas, which
were openly bought and sold, till the law above
referred to was extended to that country. The
Canadians were tried next, bundles of paper-
money being sent out to pay the army, and
everybody else with whom Government had to
do. But, instead of taking them quietly, as
Englishmen were compelled to do, they consult-
ed together upon the notes, appraised them, and
used them in exchange at a discount of thirty
per cent. This being the case in any part of
the world, was enough to render any other part
of the world discontented with bank paper; and
set the people in England looking about them to
see how many banks they had, and what was the
foundation of their credit. There was little
comfort in the discovery that, while scarcely any
gold was forthcoming, the number of banks had
increased, since Bank of England notes had
been rendered inconvertible, from about 280 to
above 700; and that a great many of these were
watching the fortunes of the farming interest
with a nervous anxiety which did not tell at all
well for their own.
IVIr. Berkeley now never missed going to
D on market days; and the girls found
themselves more interested than they could once
have conceived possible in the accounts Henry
Craig brought them of what was said of the
state of the times in the farm-houses he visited,
and by Mr. Martin when he returned from
making his sales in the county. It appeared
that there was quite as much speculation abroad
respecting the stability of the banks as about
the supply of corn; and the bank at D and
Mr. Cavendish's concern did not, of course, es-
Mr. Cavendish had, to Horace's surprise, get
over his difficulties about the license. He had
quietly paid the lines, and gone on ; being observ-
ed, however, to undersell more and more, and
drive his business more quickly and eagerly
every day; so as to afford grounds of suspicion
to some wise observers that he was coming to
an end of his resourses. It was impossible but
that he must be carrying on his business at a
tremendous loss, and that a crash must therefore
be coming. — Mr. Berkeley's disapprobation and
dislike of this man and his doings grew into
something very like hatred as times became
darker. He knew that Cavendish's failure must
cause a tremendous run on the D bank;
and these were not days when bankers could
contemplate a panic with any degree of assur-
ance. As often as he saw lighters coming and
going, or stacks of deals being unbuilt, or coals
carted on Cavendish's premises, he came home
gloomy or pettish; and yet, as Melea sometimes
ventured to tell him, the case would be still
worse if there was nothing stirring there. If
busy. Cavendish must be plunging himself deep-
er in liabilities; if idle, his resources must be
failing him: so, as both aspects of his affairs
must be dismal, the wisest thing was to fret as
little as possible about either. — These were the
times when Lewis's presence was found to be a
great comfort. His uncle was proud of him, —
his aunt fond of him; the occupation of teaching
him was pleasant and useful to his cousins; and
there was endless amusement to them all in the
incidents and conversations which arose from
his foreign birth and rearing. None of them
could at present foresee how much more impor-
tant a comfort this little lad would soon be.
Rather late in the autumn of this year, Fanny
left home for a week to pay a long-promised
visit to a friend who lived in the country, ten
miles from Haleham. This promise being ful-
filled, she and Melea and Lewis were to settle
down at home for a winter of diligent study, and
of strenuous exertion to make their own fire-side
as cheerfiil as possible to the drooping spirits of
their father and mother. If they could but get
over this one winter, all would be well; for Mr.
Berkeley had laid his plans for withdrawing from
the bank at Midsummer, preferring a retreat with
considerable loss to the feverish anxiety under
which he was at present suffering. His pride
was much hurt at his grand expectations of his
banking achievements having come to this; but
his family, one and all, soothed him with reason-
ings on the sufficiency of what he expected to have
remaining, and with assurances that his peace
of mind was the only matter of concern to them.
He believed all they said at the time ; but present
impressions were too much for him when he was
at business; and whatever might be his mood
when his daughters parted from him at the gate
in the morning, it was invariably found, when
he came back to dinner, that he had left his phi-
losophy somewhere in the road, and was griev-
ously in want of a fresh supply. Mrs. Berkeley
already began to count the months till Midsum-
mer; and Melea's eyes were full of tears when
Fanny was mounting her horse for her little
journey. Melea did not think she could have
so dreaded one week of her sister's absence.
The first day passed pretty comfortably, no
news having arrived of the stoppage of any bank
in town or country, and nothing reaching the
ears of the Berkeleys respecting any transactions
of the Cavendishes. On the next, Lewis, who
had been amusing himself with sweeping away
the dead leaves to make a clear path for his
uncle up to the house, came running in, broom
in hand, to announce that Mr. Berkeley was
coming, full gallop, by the field way from D .
Before Mrs. Berkeley knew what to make of
this strange news, her husband burst in, in a state
of nervous agitation from head to foot.
" What is the matter?" cried everybody.
" Lewis, go and finish your sweeping," said
his uncle, upon which the dismayed boy was
withdrawing. — " Lewis, come back," was the
next order, *' and stay with your aunt all day.
Have nothing to say to the servants."
" The bank has failed?" said Melea, inqui-
" ^o, my dear; but there is a run upon it,
and to-morrow is market-day. I must be off to
town instantly; but no one must see the least
sign of alarm. — Get on your habit, Melea. Your
horse will be at the door in another minute."
" Yes. We go out for our ride; — leisurely,
you know, leisurely, till we are past Cavendish's,
and out of sight of the town; and then for a
gallop after the mail. I think I may overtake
When Melea came down, dressed in a shorter
time than ever horsewoman was dressed before,
her mother had stuffed a shirt and night-cap into
INIr. Berkeley's pocket, replenished his purse,
promised to be at D to meet him on his re-
turn from town in the middle of the next day,
and summoned a smile of hope and a few words
of comfort with which to dismiss him.
The groom was ordered to fall back out of
earshot; and during the tedious half mile that
they were obliged to go slowly, Mel ea learned a
few particulars. She asked the nature of the
alarm, and whether the old story of the forg-
eries had anything to do with it.
"Nothing whatever. It is pure accident.
The most provoking thing in the world! The
" People's minds are in a state to be acted
upon by trifles," observed Melea. " I hope it
may soon blow over, if it is not a well-founded
"No, no. Such a hubbub as I left behind
me is easy enough to begin, but the devil knows
where it will end. It was that cursed fool, Mrs.
Millar, that is the cause of all this."
" What ! Mrs. Millar the confectioner?'
*' The same, — the mischievous damned old
The rest was lost between his teeth. Melea
had never thought Mrs. Millar a fool, or mis-
chievous, and knew she was not old, and had no
reason fo^- supposing the remaining word to be
more applicable than the others. Perceiving,
however, that they were just coming in sight of
Cavendish's premises, she supposed that her
father's wrath might bear a relation to them,
while he vented it on the harmless Mrs. Millar.
He went on: —
" A servant boy was sent to Mrs. Miller's
for change for a £o note of our bank; and the
devil took him there just when the shop was full
of people, eating^their buns and tarts for lun-
cheon. The fool behind the counter — "
" And who was that.'"
" Why, who should it be but 3Irs. Millar? —
never looked properly at the note, and gave the
boy a pound's worth of silver. When he showed
her that it was a five, she took it up between her
hands, and with her cursed solemn face said,
'Oh, I cant change that note.' The boy
carried home the story; the people in the shop
looked at one another; and the stupid woman
went on serving her buns, actually the only
person that did not find out what a commotion
she had begun. The bun-eaters all made a
circuit by our bank in their walk, and one of
them came in and gave us warning; but it was
too late. In half an hour, the place was be-
sieged, and to avoid being observed, I had to
make my way out through Taylor's garden at
" Poor Mrs. Millar!" said Melea. " I am
as sorry for her as for anybody."
" O, you never saw any one in such a taking
— as she deserves to be. She came, without her
bonnet, into the middle of the crowd, explaining
and protesting, and all that; with not a soul to
mind what she said now, though they were ready
enough to snap up her words an hour before.
She caught a glimpse of me, when she had made
her way up the steps, and she actually went
down on her knees to ask me to forgive her;
but I swore I never would."
" O father !" cried Melea, more troubled than
she had yet been. At the moment, she received
a signal to look as usual while the Broadhursts'
carriage passed, but on no account to stop to
speak. Whether her father, with his twitching
countenance, could look as usual, was Melea's
doubt. Doubting it himself, he teazed his horse,
and made it bolt past the carriage on one side,
while his daughter saluted the Broadhursts on
" Well carried off, child !" he cried.
*' Take care, Sir. They are looking after
"Aye; pronouncing me a wonderful horse-
man for my years, I dare say ; but I must put
that matter to the proof a little more before I get
quietly seated in the mail. — Well; I may be off
now, I think; and here we part. God bless
you, my dear ! Thank God we have not met
Cavendish or any of his tribe ! I should have
rode over the children, depend upon it. Fare-
well, my love !"
" Not yet,^^ said Melea, settling herself as if
for a feat. " I can gallop as' well as you, and I
must see you into the mail, — for my mother's
" You will soon have had enough; and when
you have, turn without speaking to me. George,
follow your mistress, and never mind me, or
where I take it into my head to go. 'Sow for
The gallop lasted till George wondered whether
master and young mistress were not both out of
their right minds. At length, the mail was seen
steadily clearing a long reach of hill before them.
George was shouted to ride on and stop it ; a
service which he could scarcely guess how he
was to perform, as it had been all he could do to
keep up with his charge for the last four miles.
The mail disappeared over the ridge before the
panting horses had toiled half way up the long
hill; but it was recovered at the top, and at last
overtaken, and found to have just one place
vacant inside. Mr. Berkeley made time for
"I charge you, Melea, to let Fanny know
nothing of this. Not a syllable, mind, by mes-
sage or letter, before she comes home. Time
Romonstrance was impossible ; but Melea was
much grieved. She mourned over the prohibition
all the way home; but she was particularly glad
that Henry had not been mentioned. She was
sure her mother would desire that he should
come to them, and help them to support one
another during the inevitable suspense, and the
misfortunes which might follow.
When Melea reached home, she found her
mother preparing to set off for J) , where
(as the run would probably continue for some
days, requiring the presence of all the part-
ners) it was her intention to take a lodging, in or-
der that the few hours of rest which her husband
would be able to snatch might be more undis-
turbed than they could be in a friend's house
Melea begged hard that Mrs. Miller might be
allowed to accommodate them, in sign of for-
giveness and regard; and as her dwelling was
conveniently placed with respect to the bank,
and she was known to have everything comfort-
able about her, Mrs. Berkeley had no objection
to make the first application to the grieved and
penitent cause of all this mischief
Melea and Lewis must stay at home. Painful
as it v/as to seperate at such a time, the effort
must be made ; for, besides that it was better for
Mr. Berkeley to have no one with him but his
wife it was necessary that no diiference in the
proceedings of the family should be perceived
in Haleham. The house must be seen to be open,
the family on the spot, and allgoingon, as nearly
as possible, in the common way. — The mother
and daughter did not attempt to flatter each other
that all would end well. They were both too
ignorant of the extent of the alarm, as well as of
the resources of the bank, to pretend to judge.
They were firm, composed, and thoughtful; but
self-possession was the best thing they at present
wished and hoped for. When the silent parting
kiss had been given, and the sound of wheels
died away in the dusk, Melea sank down on the
sofa, and remained motionless for a time which
appeared endless to poor Lewis. He stood at
the window, looking out, long after it was too
dark to see anything. He wished Melea would
bid him ring for lights. He was afraid the fire
was going out, but he did not like to stir it while
Melea had her eyes fixed upon it. He could
not steal out of the room for his slate, because
he had been bidden to stay where he was for the
rest of the day. When he was too tired and un-
easy to stand at the window any longer, he crept
to the hearth-rug, and laid himself down on his
face at full length.
Melea started up, stirred the fire into a blaze,
and sat down beside Lewis, stroking his head,
and asking him whether he thought he could be
happy for a few days with only herself to be his
companion after school hours; and whether he
could keep the secret of his aunt's absence, and
of his uncle's not coming home to dinner sm
usual. While Lewis was conscientiously mea-
suring his own discretion, patience, and forti-
tude, previous to giving his answer, Mr. Craig
was shown in.
Henry did not come in consequence of any
alarm, as Melea saw by the lightness of his step
and the gaiety of his manner of entering the
room. He presently stopped short, however, on
seeing only two of the family, sitting by firelight,
at an hour when music and merry voices were
usually to be heard in the bright, busy room.
*' Is any body ill r'' " What then is the matter?"
were questions which led to a full explanation. —
Henry was very sorry that Fanny could not be
sent for. He thought the prohibition wrong;
but, as it existed, there was nothing to be done
but to obey it. He would, however, do all he
could to supply Fanny's place to Melea. After
a long consultation about matters of minor mo-
ment, the most ample review of past circum-
stances, and the steadiest mutual contemplation
of what might be in prospect, the friends parted,
— Henry uncertain whether there was most joy
or sorrow in his full heart, — (joy in Melea, and
sorrow for this trial,) — and Melea, relying upon
the support that his promised visits would afford
her. She would see him, he had told her, two
or three times a day while the suspense lasted;
and he should not set foot out of Haleham while
there was a chance of her sending him notice
that he could be of the slightest service.
Mrs. Millar was only too happy in being per-
mitted to atone, by her most devoted attentions,
for the evil she had caused by an expression, in-
advertently dropped and completely misunder-
stood- Her lodgings happened to be empty;
but, if they had not been so, she would have
given up her own sitting-room, and all the ac-
commodation her house could afford, to secure to
Mr. Berkeley the repose he would so much
want, after the fatigues he was undergoing. She
left the shop to the care of her servants while she
herself assisted Mrs, Berkeley in the needful
preparations for Mr. Berkeley's comfort, on his
return from his journey ; a return which was
made known by strangers before the anxious
wife heard of it from himself.
The streets of D were full of bustle from
an hour before the bank opened in the morning.
News was brought by customers into Mrs.
Millar's shop of expresses which had been seen
going and returning, it was supposed, from the
other banks which must necessarily be expecting
a run. Everybody had something to tell; —
what a prodigious quantity of gold and silver
there was in large wooden bowls on the bank-
counter; how such and such carrier had left
the market early to elbow his way into the bank,
and demand cash, being afraid to carry home
notes to his employer; how there was no use in
going to market without change, as a note
might travel the whole round of butcher's stalls
without finding a hand to take it; how some of
the folks would receive Bank of England notes,
and others would be content with nothing short
of gold. There were many laughs about the ig-
norance of certain of the country people respect-
ing the causes and nature of the panic: of the
young woman who carried Bank of England
notes to be changed for those of the D bank;
of the old woman who was in a hurry to get rid
of her guineas for notes, because she was told the
guinea-bank was in danger; and of the market-
gardener who gladly presented a note of a bank
which had failed a year before, expecting to get
ca^ for it. Later in the day, remarks were
Vol. I — M
heard on the civility and cheerfulness of the
young gentlemaUj the son of one of the partners,
just arrived from London, it was said, and who
seemed to understand the thing very well, and
to be quite easy about everybody having his
own. With these were coupled criticisms on the
young gentleman's father, who was fidgetting
about, trying to joke with the country people,
but as cross as could be between times: to which
somebody answered that he might well be cross
when an old friend and business connexion, from
whom he might have expected some considera-
tion and gratitude, had sent his porter with two
10/. and one 5/. note to be cashed. No wonder
Mr. Berkeley said, loud enough for everybody to
hear, that Mr, Briggs ought to be ashamed of
himself: for it was true that he ought. — A new
comer explained that Mr. Briggs had nothing to
do with it; and that he had, on learning what a
liberty his porter had taken w^ith his name, sent
a note to Mr. Berkeley, explaining that he had
issued strict orders to all his people, early that
morning, not to go near the bank the whole day;
and that the porter was dismissed his service,
and might obtain employment, if he could, from
the persons who had no doubt sent him to get
change for their notes, because they did not
choose to appear in the matter themselves.
From the moment that 3Irs, Berkeley heard of
the arrival of her husband and son, she endeav-
oured to persuade herself that all would be well,
and that the great danger was over, since the
bank did not stop before supplies could be ob-
tained from town. She sat by the window, and
counted the hours till six o'clock, the time when
the bank usually closed^ Half-past six came,
and the street appeared fuller of bustle than
even in the morning; a circumstance which she
could not understand, till Mrs. Millar came up
to tell her that the bank was kept open an hour
later than usual. This looked well, and did
more to compose the anxious wife than all the
slips of paper she had had from her husband
during the afternoon, each of which assured her
that there was no cause for uneasiness. As her
spirits were thus somewhat raised, it was a
grievous disappointment to see her husband
come in with a miserable countenance, and even
Horace looking more grave than she had ever
*' And now, Horace, no more pretence,"
Mid Mr. Berkeley when he had sunk down on
a sofa, apparently transformed by the events
of the last twenty-four hours into a feeble old
man. "We have been hypocritical enough
all day; now let us look as wretched as we
"Some tea, mother," said Horace. "My
father's hard day's work is done; but I must go
back to the bank, and possibly to London.
They keep us terribly short of gold. We must
get more out of them before noon to-morrow,
or I do not know what may have become of us
by this time in the evening."
Mrs. Berkeley began to protest against the
cruelty of stinting the supplies of gold at such
"They cannot help it, mother," replied
Horace. " They are hourly expecting a run
themselves — "
" A run on the London banks ! Where will
all this end?" Horace shook his head. He
then observed, that if they could get through
the next day, he should be tolerably easy, as it
was not probable that the mistrust of the people
would outlast a well-sustained run of two days
and a half. If they had none but small amounts
to pay, he shouid have little fear; — if it was
certain that no more rich customers would come
driving up in carriages to take away their seven
thousand pounds in a lump.
Why, who could have done that? Mrs.
" Who !" said her husband. " Who should
it be but the sister of that fellow Longe ! There
he was with her in the carriage grinning and
kissing his hand when he caught a glimpse of
me within. It was his doing, I'll answer for it.
He would not let pass such an opportunity of
" The sister is evidently an ignorant person,
who does not perceive the mischief she is
doing," observed Horace " I should not won-
der if it strikes her, and she brings her seven
heavy bags back again to-morrow."
" Then she may carry them away a second
time," said Mr. Berkeley. " I am longing to
write to tell her, when this bustle is over, that
we have closed accounts with her for ever."
Horace wished they might be justified in
spurning the seven thousand the next day.
Nobody would enjoy the rejection more than
himself, if they could safely make it; but seven
thousand pounds would go a good way in pay-
ing small demands."
'' I suppose your bank is solvent?" timidly
asked Mrs. Berkeley. "You are quite sure
of this, I hope."
Before there was time for an answer, the door
was jerked open; and Mr. Cavendish appeared,
cursing his white hat, and apologising for the
rudeness of finding his own way up stairs,
against the will of Mrs. Millar, who was not
aware what an intimate friend he was, and how
impossible it was to him to keep away from the
Berkeleys at such a time.
Horace made a rapid sign to his father to
command himself, and then coolly took a cup of
tea from his mother, sugaring it with great ex-
actness, and leaving it to Mr. Cavendish to be-
gin the conversation. Mr. Berkeley saw the
necessity of behaving well, and kept quiet also.
**1 hope you enjoy your sofa, Sir," observed
Cavendish. " It must be very acceptable,
after having been on your legs all day."
At another time, Mr. Berkeley might have
criticised the grammar; but he now vented his
critical spleen on the accommodations at the
•' By the way, Horace," said he, " there's a
confounded draught from under those doors.
One does not mind it in common; and I have
really forgotten it since last winter, till to-day.
But the eternal opening and shutting of the out-
er door caused a perpetual stream of air going
and returning. It is that which has made my
ancles ache so to-night."
" And the fatigue , ni doubt," added Caven-
dish. " You must have had a very busy, — an
extremely harassing day, Sir."
"Very indeed, and." — yawning, — "as we
are Jikely to have just such another to-morrow,
I must go to bed presently. It is a great com-
fort, (for wxiich I am obliged to my wife,) that
I have not to ride as far as you have to-night, or
to be up particularly early in the morning. We
shall open an hour earlier than usual, but this
leaves time enough for sleep, even to lazy folks
" An hour earlier ! Indeed ! Well, Sir, I
hope you will sleep sound, I am sure,"
"It will be odd if I do not," said Mr, Berke-
ley, yawning again. Mr. Cavendish proceed-
"I trust, Sir, you support yourself pretty
well. There is something so harassing in a
bustle of this nature ; so provoking ; — so, if I
pay say so, exasperating ! I hope this has no
effect upon you; — you keep yourself calm,- —
" I, Sir ! Lord bless you, I am as cool as a
cucumber. ' ' Seeing an exchange of glances be-
tween Horace and Mrs. Berkeley, he went on,
" There was I behind the counter, you know.
That was my place."
" True: so I understood."
" Behind the counter, where I could talk with
the country people as they came in; and, upon
my soul, I never heard any thing so amusing.
To hear what they expected, and how they had
been bamboozled ! To see what a hurry they
were in to squeeze their way up to the counter,
and, after talking a minute or two, and handling
their gold, how they thought the notes were more
convenient to carry, after all; and they would
have them back again, with many apologies for
the trouble they had given us."
" Ha ! ha ! very good. Apologies indeed !
They ought to apologise, I think. And do you,
really now, open accounts again with them ?"
" With such as knew no better, and will
know better another time; but not with any who
ought to keep ten miles off on such a day as
this, and come clamouring for their five or seven
" Is it possible? You dont say so !"
" I do, though. And they may go and seek
a beggarly banker who cares more for their
trumpery bags than we do. We will not blister
our fingers any more with their cursed gold.
We will teach them "
" No more tea, thank you, mother," said Ho-
race, rising and buttoning up his coat. '*' Mr.
Cavendish, will you walk? I have just to go
down the street, and it is time we were leaving
my father to rest himself, which, as you observe,
'•'With pleasure, Mr. Horace; but I have
first a little matter to speak about, — a little sug-
gestion to make, — and I am glad, I am sure,
that you are here to give us the benefit of your
opinion. It occurs to me, you see, that one
fi-iend should help another, at a time of need.
There is no knowing, you perceive, what may
happen in these extraordinary times to any of
us, — bankers especially. Even I myself may
be in a condition to be glad of the credit of my
" Very probably," observed Mr. Berkeley.
" Well, then, my dear sir, allow me to make
use of my credit on your behalf It will give
me the greatest pleasure to bring you through."
Though Mr. Berkeley looked as if he would
have devoured him on the spot, Cavendish went
on pressing his offers of service, of patronage,
of support, and ended with a pretty broad hint
that he would take charge of Mr. Berkeley's
estate on condition of raising the funds needful
at present. In the midst of his rage, Mr.
Berkeley was for a moment disposed to take
him at his word, for the amusement of seeing
how Cavendish would contrive to back out of a
bargain which all parties were equally aware he
could not fulfil; but having just discretion
enough to see the mischief which such a joke
must bring after it, he adopted a different air;
bowed his haughtiest bow, was very sensible of
Mr. Cavendish's motives, would ask for the
patronage of the Haleham bank when he need-
ed it, and was, meanwhile, Mr. Cavendish's
very humble servant.
When Horace and the tormenter were gone,
and Mr Berkeley had vented his spleen against
the impudent upstart, the coxcomb, the swindler,
and whatever pretty terms besides he could ap-
ply to Cavendish, Mrs. Berkeley obtained some
account of the events of the day, and was glad
to find that there were instances of generosity
and delicacy to set against the examples of Mr.
Longe's sister and of Cavendish. A merchant
had appeared at the counter to pay in a large
sum; and a servant-maid, who had nursed Miss
Melea, came to the bank in search of her hus-
band, and carried him off without the change he
went to seek. These, and a few other heroes
and heroines, furnished Mr. Berkeley with sub-
jects for as vehement praise as others of blame;
and he retired to his chamber at war with not
much more than half his race.
The most urgent messages and incessant per-
sonal applications failed to procure such a supply
of gold from the corresponding bank in London
as would satisfy the partners of the D bank
of their ability to meet the run, if it should con-
tinue for some days. It did so continue; relax-
ing a little on the third day, becoming terrific
on the fourth, and obliging the partners to hold
a midnight consultation, whether they should
venture to open their doors on the fifth. The
bank did not this day remain open an hour after
the usual time: it was cleared almost before the
clock struck six; and though some of the people
outside were considerate enough to remember
that the clerks and partners must all be weary,
after so many days of unusual toil, and that this
was reason enough for the early closing of the
shutters, there were others to shake their heads,
and fear that the coffers were at length emptied
of their gold.
For the first two hours in the morning, the
partners congratulated themselves on their reso-
lution to take the chance of another day. The
tide was turned: people were ashamed of their
panic, and gold flowed in. A note to say this
was sent to Mrs. Berkeley, who immediately be-
gan her preparations for returning home before
night. The messenger who went to and fro be-
tween D and Haleham, was charged with
good news for Melea; and all seemed happy
again, when the fearful tidings arrived that the
corresponding banking-house in London was ex-
posed to a tremendous run, and required all the
assistance it could obtain, instead of being in
any condition to send further funds to its country
Ail attempts to keep this intelligence secret
were vain. Within an hour, everybody in D
had heard it, and it was impossible to obviate
the effects of the renewed panic. The partners
did not defer the evil moment till their coffers
were completely emptied. As soon as the tide
had once more turned, and gold began to flow
out a second time, they closed their bank, and
issued a notice of their having stopped payment.
Horace was the main support of his family at
this crisis. When he had communicated the in-
telligence to his mother, silenced the lamenta-
tions of the miserable Mrs, Millar and brought
his father home to his lodging after dusk, he
went over to Haleham for an hour or two, to
give such poor satisfaction to his sisters as might
be derived from full and correct intelligence.
Fanny had not yet returned; and as she was not
there, with her matured and calm mind, and
greater experience of life, to support her young
sister under this blow, Horace could scarcely
bring himself to communicate to his little Melea
tidings so completely the reverse of those which
she evidently expected. Though many years
younger, Melea was not, however, a whit behind
her sister in strength of mind. She also under-
stood more of the nature of the case than her
brother had supposed possible; so that she was
capable of as much consolation as could arise
from a full explanation of the state and pros-
pects of the concern, and of the family fortunes
as connected with it.
Melea would have enquired into all these cir-
cumstances if only for the sake of the relief
which it appeared to afford to Horace to fix his
attention upon them; but she was also anxious
to qualify herself to satisfy Fanny in every par-
ticular, on her return the next day: for her
brother brought a message from Mrs. Berkeley,
requesting that Melea would not think of joining
her parents at D , but would stay to receive
Fanny, and to prepare for the return of the rest
of the family, whenever Mr. Berkeley might
feel himself justified in seeking the retirement
of his own house.
" Is there anything else that I can do?" asked
Melea. " Any letters to write, — any invento-
ries to make out?" she continued, casting a
glance round her at the bookshelves, the piano,
and the Titian which had long been her father's
pride. " Anything which can best be done be-
fore my mother comes home?"
" If you think, dear, that you can write let-
ters without too much effort, it would be very-
well that three or four should be dispatched be-
fore my mother returns. There is no occasion
for anything more, at present. Be careful, 3Ie-
lea, about making too much effort. That is the
only thing I fear for you. Remember that you
must reserve your strength for our poor father's
support. He will need all you can afford him;
and we" must expect even my mother to give
way when he no longer depends wholly on her.
Do not exhaust yourself at once, dearest."
Melea could not realize the idea of her being
exhausted, though she made no protestations
about it. She supposed that there might be
something much worse in such a trial than she
could at present foresee, and she therefore re-
ft ained from any talk of courage, even to her-
self; but, at present, she did not feel that she
had anything to bear, so insignificant did her
relation to the event appear in comparison with
that which was borne by her parents and broth-
er. She was full of dread on her father's ac-
count, of respectful sorrow for her mother, and
of heart- wringing grief for her manly, honour-
able brother, to whom reputation was precious
above all things, and who was just setting out
in life with confident hopes of whatever might
be achieved by exertion and integrity. For
Horace she felt most; for Fanny and herself
least: for Fanny, because she was another self
in her views of life, in capacity for exertion,
and in preparation for that reverse of fortune
with which they had occasionally been threat-
ened from the days of their childhood,
" Can I do nothing for you, Horace?" asked
Melea. " While we are all looking to you, we
should like to think we could help you. Is
there nothing to be done?"
" Nothing, thank you. Whatever responsi-
bility rests upon me cannot be shared. Only
make me the bearer of some message to my
mother, and of any little thing you can think of to
show her that you are calm and thoughtful. Such
a proof will be better than anything I can say."
" I am going to write while you eat these
grapes," said Melea, who had observed that her
brother was teazed with thirst. While Horace
ate his grapes, and made memoranda, Melea
wrote to her mother.
" Dearest Mother, — The news which Horace
has brought grieves me very much. My great
trouble is that I am afraid Fanny and I know too
little at present what will be the extent of such a
trial to feel for my father and you as we ought.
We are aware, however, that it must be very
great and long-continued to one who, like my
father, has toiled through a life-time to obtain
the very reverse of the lot which is now appoint-
ed to him. There is no dishonour, however,
and that, I think, is the only calamity which
we should find it very difficult to bear. Your
children will feel it no misfortune to be impelled
to the new and more responsible kind of exertion
of which their father has kindly given them fre-
quent warning, and for which you have so di-
rected their education as to prepare them. Fan-
ny and I are too well convinced that the great-
est happiness is to be found in strenuous exer-
tion on a lofly principle, to repine at any event
which racikes such exertion necessary, or to
dread the discipline which must, I suppose, ac-
company it. I speak for Femny in her absence
as for myself, because I have learned from her
to feel as I do, and am sure that I may answer
for her; and I have written so much about our-
selves, because I believe my father in what he
has so often said, — that it is for our sakes that
Vol I.-N 17
he is anxious about his worldly concerns. I as-
sure you we shall be anxious only for him and
you and Horace. Horace, however, can never
be long depressed by circumstances; nor do I
think that any of us can. I mean to say this in
the spirit of faith, not of presumption. If it is
presumption, it will certainly be humbled: if it
is faith, it will, I trust, be justified. In either
case, welcome the test !
" I expect Fanny home by the middle of the
day to-morrow; and I hope we shall see you in
the evening, or the next day at farthest. My
father may rely on pe'^fect freedom from dis-
turbance. I shall provide that nobody shall
come farther than the white gate, unless he
wishes it. I send you some grapes, and my
father's cloth shoes, which I think he must
want if he has to sit still much at his writing.
I shall send you more fruit to-morrow; and the
messenger will wait for any directions you may
have to give, and for the line which I am sure
you will write, if you should not be coming
home in the evening.
" Lewis, who has been a very good and pleas-
ant companion, sends his love, and his sorrow
that anything has arisen to make you unhappy
" Farewell, my dear father and mother.
May God support you, and bring blessings out
of the misfortune with which He has seen fit to
visit you! With His permission, your children
shall make you happy yet. — Your dutiful and
" Melea Berkeley.
" P. S. — Xo one has been so anxious about
you as Henry Craig. If he thought it would
be any comfort to you to see him, he would go
over to D on the instant. He said so when
we were only in fear. I am sure he will now
be more earnest still. As soon as Horace is
gone, I shall write, as he desires, to Reading,
and Manchester, and Richmond. If there are
any more, let me know to-morrow. I hope you
will not exert yourself to write to anybody at
present, except Fanny or me."
When Fanny turned her face homewards the
next morning, ignorant (as it grieved her sister
to think) of all that had happened during the
week, she was charged by the friends she was
leaving with two or three commissions, which
she was to execute on her way home through
Haleham, in order that the servant who attend-
ed her might carry back her purchases. She
accordingly alighted from her horse at the en-
trance of the town, in order to walk to some
shops. The first person she met was Mr.
Longe, walking arm-in-arm with a young man,
whom she did not know. She saw a significant
sign and whisper pass between them, such as
she had observed on sundry occasions of meet-
ing the rector since her rejection of him; but
she was not the less taken by surprise with the
rudeness which followed. Of the two gentle-
men, one — the stranger — took up his glass to
stare, the other gave no sign of recognition but
a laugh in her face; and both resolutely turned
her off the narrow pavement, — looking back,
as the servant declared, as if to find out what
she thought of the manoeuvre. She thought
nothing but that it was very contemptible, till
she saw Henry Craig coming towards her in
great haste, and beckoning as she was about to
enter the shop.
"Let me help you upon your horse. Miss
Berkeley," said he, much out of breath from
haste or some other cause.
" Thank you; but I must go to a shop first.
Have you seen my family this morning } And
how are they all.?"
Henry answered that they were all well; that
he was going there with her now; and that he
wished she would dismiss the groom, with the
horses, and walk with him by the field way.
Fanny was about to object, but she saw thai
Henry was earnest, and knew that he was never
so without cause. She let him give such or-
ders to the servant as he thought fit, draw her
arm within his own, and turn towards the field-
path. When she looked up in his face, as if
wishing him to speak, she saw that he was pale
and agitated. She stopped, asking him so firm-
ly what was the matter, that he gave over all
idea of breaking the intelligence gradually.
"It is said," he replied, — "but I do not
know that it is true, — it is said that there is some
derangement in your father's affairs, — that the
D bank has stopped payment."
" You do not know that it is true?"
" Not to this extent. I know that there has
been some doubt, — that there have been diffi-
culties during the last week; but of the event
I have no certain knowledge. Alarm yourself
as little as you can."
" I have no doubt it is true." replied Fanny
" Such an event is no new idea to us. I have
no doubt it is true." And they walked on in
" One thing, Henry, I must say before I
know more," continued Fanny, after a long
pause. " Let what will have happened, I am
certain that the honour of my father and broth-
er will come out clear. If it were not for this
confidence in them "
" And I," said Mr. Craig, " am equally cer-
tain that there will be but one opinion among
all who have ever known you; — that no family
could have less deserved such a reverse, or
could be more fitted to bear it well. No fami-
ly — "
He could not go on. When he next spoke,
it was to tell her that her parents were absent,
and to give her a brief account of the events
of the week, as far as he knew them; that is,
up to the previous afternoon.
" You have not seen Melea or Lewis to-day,
then? Not since they heard the news?"
"No. I left Melea cheered, — indeed re-
lieved from all anxiety, yesterday afternoon,
and did not hear till this morning the report of
a reverse. I have not ventured to go, knowing
that she would probably be fully occupied, and
that you would be with her early to-day. I did
walk up as far as the gate ; but I thought I had
better meet you, and prevent your going where
you might hear it accidentally. I sent in a
note to Melea, to tell her that I should do so."
" Come in with me," said Fanny, when they
had reached the gate, " you know you will be
wretched till you have heard what the truth is.
You must come in and be satisfied, and then
you can go away directly."
Melea heard their steps on the gravel, and
appeared at the parlour-door when they entered
the hall. She looked with some uncertainty
from the one to the other, when the sisterly
embrace was over.
" Xow, love, tell me how much is true,"
said Fanny. " We^know there is something.
Tell us what is the matter I"
"Nothing that will take you by surprise.
Nothing that will make you so unhappy as we
used to imagine we must be in such a case. In-
deed, we could not have imagined how much
hope, how many alleviations there would be
already. I have had such a letter from my mo-
ther this morning! Very few will suffer, she
hopes, but those who are best able to lose ; and
even they only for a short time. They have
great hopes that every thing will be paid. And
such generosity and consideration they have
met with! And every body seems to honour
Horace. I had no idea he could have been so
" And when may we be all together again?"
"My father cannot come home for two or
three days yet ; and my mother thinks it will be
better to reserve our society for him till he set-
tles down here. Indeed he is too busy to be
much even with her."
" I wonder what we ought to do next," said
"I will tell you," replied Melea, "all I
know about the affairs, and then you will be
better able to judge. Nay, Henry, stay and
listen. If all this was a secret, I should not
have known it. You must not go till you have
heard from us what any body in Haleham could
tell you before night."
And she gave a brief and clear account of
the general aspect of the affairs, as viewed by
Horace. It was certainly very encouraging as
to the prospect of every creditor being ultimate-
" If that can but be accomplished!" said
Fanny. " Now, Melea, now the time is come
that we have talked of so often. Now is the
time for you and me to try to achieve a truer
independence than that we have lost. I have a
strong confidence, Melea, that energy, with
such other qualiiications as our parents have
secured to us, will always find scope, and the
kind of rev/ard that we must now seek. We
Henry Craig started up, feeling that he was
more likely to need comfort than to give it.
He bestowed his blessing, and hurried away.
There was little for the sisters to do previous
to Mr. and Mrs. Berkeley's return. Melea
had already taken measures to prevent a situa-
tion as governess — in which she believed her
services would be acceptable, and which offer-
ed many advantages — from being filled up:
though without mentioning the name, or com-
mitting herself till she should have consulted
her family. She had been at a loss about v/hat
to say to the servants, one of whom seemed,
through her long service, to bo entitled to con-
fidence, while the others could not, she thought,
be trusted to behave well upon it. Fanny had
no doubt that they knew all by this time ; not
only from the affair being generally talked of
in the town, but through the messenger who
had brought Mr. Berkeley's letter. It proved
not to be so, however. The servant who had
been to D had had no heart to tell the tidings ;
and the astonishment of the domestics was as
complete as their dismay, when they were at
length made to understand the fact. Melea
blamed herself for injustice to some of them
when she found neither threats nor murmurs,
nor even questionings about what was to be-
come of them.
The next day was Sunday; anything but a
day of rest to those of the Berkeleys who re-
mained at D . Of the Haleham people,
some were touched, and others (especially the
Cavendishes) were shocked to see Fanny and
Melea at church, and filling their places in the
Sunday-school as usual. While, in the eyes
of some people, it was unfeeling, unnatural,
altogether too like defiance, the young ladies
did not perceive why their own anxieties should
make them neglect an office of benevolence, or
exclude them from those privileges of worship
which they needed more instead of less than usual
The Cavendishes were not long at leisure to
wonder at the Berkeleys. It would have been
wiser to prepare to imitate them. But Mr. Ca-
vendish, who had no hope of long maintaining
an apparent superiority over them, determined
not to sink so quietly and simply as they had
done, but to cause a sensation before his catas-
trophe, as well as by means of it, and thus to
finish with a kind of eclat.
The introduction of foreign corn on the con-
clusion of the war had been for some little time
hastening his ruin; and, knowing that it must
be accomplished by the shock given to commer-
cial credit, through the stoppage of the D
bank, he thought he would forestall the conclu-
sion, and, by attributing his failure to an acci-
dent, keep as much as he could of his little re-
Wednesday being the market-day, no time
was to be lost. On Tuesday, therefore, (a
clerk having been opportunely got rid of,)
all Haleham was thrown into consternation by
he news of an embezzlement to an unheard-of
extent, which had been perpetrated by the de-
parted clerk. Bills were presently in every
window, and on all the walls. Mrs. Cavendish
was understood to be in hysterics, Mr. Longe
gone in pursuit of the knave, the children run-
ning wild, while the governess was telling the
story to everybody; and Mr. Cavendish talking
about justice, and hanging the fellow; and
everything but the facts of the case; — for he
could not be brought to give any such informa-
tion respecting the nature of the embezzled
property, as could enable the magistrates to
help him to recover it, Mr. Berkeley and
Horace, hearing the news on their return to
Haleham on the Tuesday night, pronounced
it too coarse a device, — one which would
deceive nobody; and prophesied that not
only would the bank be shut as soon as the
market opened in the morning, but that nothing
whatever would remain to pay any creditor.
It seemed as if Enoch Pye was, for once, as
shrewd as many a fonder lover of lucre ; or per-
haps it was the union of Mrs. Parndon's world-
ly wisdom with his own which caused him to be
on the alert this Wednesday morning. Before
the bank opened he was lingering about the
street, and was the first to enter the doors to
present a check for thirteen pounds, which he
desired to have in gold, troubling himself to
assign various reasons for coming so early, and
wishing for gold. Almost before the clerk had
told over the sum on the counter, a voice which
Enoch did not find it convenient to hear, shout •
ed from behind him, " Stop, there, stop! Make
no payments. The bank has stopped. Make
no payments, I say!"
The clerk snatched at the gold, but Enoch
was too expert for him. He had crossed his
arms over the money at the first alarm, and
now swept it into his hat, which he held be-
tween his knees, looking all the time in the
clerk's face, with,
"Eh? What? What does he say? I won't
detain you any longer. Good day, sir."
"I'll detain you, though," muttered the
clerk, swinging himself over the counter, and
making for the door. Enoch brushed out of it,
however, turning his wig half round by the
way. Cavendish, coming up, caught at the
skirt of his coat, but Enoch could now spare a
hand to twitch it away. He ran on, (the school-
boys whom he met supposing him suddenly gone
mad, to be hugging his hat while his wig cover-
ed only half his head,) and never stopped till he
stood panting in Mrs. Parndon's presence.
The only thought he had had time for all the way
was, that the widow would, he really believed,
marry him within the hour for such a feat as
this, if he had but the license ready, and could
summon courage to ask her. Enoch was far
too modest to perceive what everybody else saw,
that the widow was quite ready to have him at
any hour. He was much gratified at present
by her soothing cares. She set his wig straight,
examined the flap which had been in danger, to
see if it had lost a button or wanted a stitch;
shook and turned out the lining of his hat, lest
a stray coin should be hidden, and setting her
hot muffin and a fresh cup of tea before him,
tried to tempt him to a second breakfast. It
was not to be expected, however, that he could
stay while such news was abroad: he had come,
partly by instinct, and partly to be praised for
his feat; and now he must go and bear his
share of the excitements of the day. The
widow persuaded him to wait two minutes,
while she swallowed her cup of tea and threw
on her shawl, leaving the muffin, — not as a
treat to her cat or her little maid, — but to be set
by and warmed up again for her tea, as she
found time to direct before she took Mr. Pye's
arm, and hastened with him down the street as
fast as his ill-recovered breath would allow.
The excitement was indeed dreadful. If an
earthquake had opened a chasm in the centre
of the town, the consternation of the people
could scarcely have been greater. It was folly
to talk of holding a market, for not one buyer
in twenty had any money but Cavendish's notes;
and unless that one happened to have coin, he
could achieve no purchase. The indignant peo-
ple spurned bank-paper of every kind, even
Bank of England notes. They trampled it
under foot; they spat upon it; and some were
foolish enough to tear it in pieces; thus de-
stroying their only chance of recovering any of
their prc.perty. Mr. Pye, and a few other
respected townsmen, went among them, ex-
plaining that it would be wise at least to take
care of the " promise to pay," whether that
promise should be ultimately fulfilled or not;
and that it would be fulfilled by the Bank of
England and many other banks, he had not the
smallest doubt, miserably as the Haleham bank
had failed in its engagements.
The depth of woe which was involved in this
last truth could not be conceiv»cd but by those
who witnessed the outward signs of it. The
bitter weeping of the country women, who pro-
pared to go home penniless to tell their hus-
bands that the savings of years were swept
away ; the sullen gloom of the shop-keepers,
leaning with folded arms against their door-
posts, and only too sure of having no customers
for some time to come: the wrath of farmer
Martin, who was pushing his way to take his
daughter Rhoda from out of the house of the
swindler who had plundered her of her legacy
and her wages in return for her faithful service ;
and the mute despair of Rhoda's lover, all of
whose bright hopes were blasted in an hour; —
his place gone, his earnings lost, and his mis-
tress and himself both impoverished on the eve
of their marriage: the desperation of the honest
labourers of the neighbourhood on finding that
the rent they had prepared, and the little pro-
vision for the purchase of winter food and
clothing, had all vanished as in a clap of thun-
der; the merr"ment of the parish paupers at
being out of the scrape, and for the time better
off than better men; — all these things were
dreadful to hear and see. Even Mrs. Parndon's
curiosity could not keep her long abroad in the
presence of such misery. She went home,
heart sick, to wonder and weep; while she told
the sad tale to her daughter in a letter of twice
the usual length. Enoch Pye retired behind
his counter, and actually forgot to examine his
stock of bank notes till he had paid his tribute
of sorrow to the troubles of those who were
less able than himself to bear pecuniary losses.
Henry Craig was found wherever he was most
wanted. He had little to give but advice and
sympathy; but he had reason to hope that he
did some good in calming the people's minds,
and in showing them how they might accommo-
date and help one another. Under his encour-
agement, a limited traffic went on in the way
of barter, which relieved a few of the most
pressing wants of those who had entered the
market as purchasers. The butcher and gar-
dener did get rid of some of their perishable
stock by such an exchange of commodities as
enabled the parents of large families to carrv
Vol. I.-O 18*
home meat and potatoes for their children's
dinners. Seldom has traffic been conducted so
languidly or so pettishly; and seldom have
trifling bargains been concluded amidst so many
Cavendish found the affair even worse than
he had anticipated. The confusion within doors
actually terrified him when he took refuge
there from the tumult without. His wife's
hysterics were as vigorous as ever. Miss Egg
had packed up her things and departed by the
early coach, in high dudgeon with her dear
friends for owing her a year's salary, and hav-
ing, as she began to suspect, flattered her of
late with false hopes of her winning Mr. Longe,
in order to protract their debt to her, and fur-
nish their children with a governess on cheap
terms. Farmer Martin had carried off Rhoda,
allowing her no further option than to take with
her the poor little baby, whom there was no one
else to take care of. The other servants had
immediately departed, helping themselves pret-
ty freely with whatever they hoped would not
be missed, telling themselves and one another
that these were the only particles of things in
the shape of wages that they should ever see.
Finding his house in this forlorn and deserted
state, with no better garrison than a screaming
wife and frightened children, while he was in
full expectation of a siege by an enraged mob,
the hero of this varied scene took the gallant
resolution of making his escape while he could
do it quietly. He looked out an old black hat,
and left his white one behind him; buttoned up
some real money which he found in his wife'|R
desk; threw on a cloak which concealed his
tight ancles, and sneaked on board one of his
own lighters, bribing the only man who was
left on the premises to tow him down the river
for a few miles, and tell nobody in what direc-
tion he was gone.
Among the many hundreds whom he left be-
hind to curse his name and his transactions,
there were some who also cursed the system
under which he had been able to perpetrate
such extensive mischief. Some reprobated the
entire invention of a paper currency; in which
reprobation they were not, nor ever will be,
joined by any who perceive with what economy,
ease, and dispatch the commercial transactions
of a country may be carried on by such a me-
dium of exchange. Neither would any degree
of reprobation avail to banish such a currency-
while convenience perpetually prompts to its
adoption. Others ascribed the whole disaster
to the use of small notes, urging that, prior to
1797, while no notes of a lower denomination
than 5Z. were issued, a run on a bank was a
thing almost unheard of Others, who esteem-
ed small notes a convenience not to be dispens-
ed with, complained of the example of incon-
vertibility set by the Bank of England; and
insisted that methods of ensuring convertibility
must exist, and would be all-sufficient for the
security of property. Some objected to this,
that mere convertibility was not enough without
limitation; because though convertibility en-
sures the ultimate balance of the currency, —
provides that it shall right itself from time to
time, — it does not prevent the intermediate fluc-
tuations which arise from the public not being
immediately aware of the occasional abundance
or dearth of money in the market. Notes usu-
ally circulate long before the holders wish for
the gold they represent: so that fraudulent or
careless issuers of convertible paper may have
greatly exceeded safety in their issues before
the public has warning to make its demand for
gold; and thus the security of convertibility
may be rendered merely nominal, unless ac-
companied by limitation. Others had a theory,
that runs on banks were themselves the evil,
and not merely the indications of evil; that all
would be right if these could be obviated , and
that they might be obviated in the provinces
by the country bankers making their notes pay-
able in London only. These reasoners did not
perceive how much the value of notes, as
money, would be depreciated by their being
made payable at various and inconvenient dis-
tances; so that there would soon be as many
different values in notes of the same denomina-
tion as there are different distances between
the principal country towns and London. All
agreed that there must be something essen-
tially wrong in the then present system, under
which a great number of towns and villages
were suffering as severely as Haleham.
The tidings of distress which every day
brought were indeed terrific. The number of
banks which failed went on increasing, appar-
ently in proportion to the lessening number of
those which remained, till every one began to
ask where the mischief would stop, and wheth-
er any currency would be left in the country.
Before the commercial tumult of that awful
time ceased, ninety-two country banks became
bankrupt, and a much greater number stopped
payment for a longer or shorter period.
In proportion to the advantage to the moral
and worldly condition of the working classes
of having a secure place of deposit where
their savings might gather interest, was the
injury then resulting from the disappointment
of their confidence. Savings-banks now exist
to obviate all excuse for improvidence on the
plea of the difficulty of finding a secure method
of investment, or place of deposit: but at the
period when this crash took place, savings-
banks were not established; and then was the
time for the idle and wasteful to mock at the
provident for having bestowed his labour and
care in vain, and for too many of the latter
class to give up as hopeless the attempt to im-
prove their condition, since they found that
their confidence had been abused, and their
interests betrayed. There were not so great a
number of working-people who suffered by the
forfeiture of their deposits as by holding the
notes of the unsound banks, because few banks
received very small deposits ; but such as there
were belonged to the meritorious class who had
been cheated in Haleham by Cavendish. They
were the Chapmans, the Rhodas, — the indus-
trious and thrifty, who ought to have been the
most scrupulously dealt with, but whose little
store was the very means of exposing them to
the rapacity of sharpers, and of needy traders
in capital whose credit was tottering.
After the pause which one day succeeded
the relation of some melancholy news brought
by Mr, Craig to the Berkeleys, Melea wonder-
ed whether other countries ever suffered from
the state of their currency as England was now
suffering, or whether foreign governments had
long ago learned wisdom from our mistakes.
Her father replied by telling her that the
Bank of Copenhagen had been privileged,
before the middle of the last century, to issue
inconvertible paper money; that the king, wish-
ing to monopolize the advantage of making
money so easily, had some years afterwards
taken the concern into his own hands; and that,
at the present moment, his people were wishing
him joy of his undertaking, a dollar in silver
being worth just sixteen dollars in paper.
" How very strange it seems," observed Me-
lea, "that none of these governments appear
to see that the value of all money depends on
its proportion to commodities; and the value of
gold and paper money on their proportion to
" Catherine of Russia seems to have had
some idea of it," observed Mr. Berkeley, " for
she was very moderate in her paper issues for
some time after she gave her subjects that kind
of currency: but at this time, the same denomi-
nation of money is worth four times as much in
metals as in paper. Maria Theresa went wrong
from the first. Presently after she introduced
paper money into Austria, a silver florin was
worth thirteen florins in paper. All the subse-
quent attempts of that government to mend the
matter have failed. It has called in the old pa-
per, and put out fresh; yet the proportionate
value of the two kinds of currency is now
eight to one. But the most incredible thing is
that any government should institute a repre-
sentative currency which, in fact, represents
" Represents nothing! How is that possi-
" Ask your mother to tell you the history of
the Assignats. I know it is painful to her to
recur to that terrible time; but she will think, as
I do, that you ought to be aware what were the
consequences of the most extraordinary curren-
cy the world ever saw."
Mr. Craig could now account for Mrs. Berke-
ley's gravity whenever the subject of a vicious
currency was touched upon in the remotest man-
ner. He supposed she had suffered from family
misfortunes at the time when all France was
plunged into poverty by the explosion of the as-
" How could a representative currency actu-
ally represent nothing?" inquired Melea again.
" The assignats were declared legal money,"
replied Mrs. Berkeley, "but there was nothing
specified which they could represent. Their
form was notes bearing the inscription 'National
Property Assignat of 100 francs.' The ques-
tion was first, what was meant by national pro-
perty; and next, what determined the value of
" And what was this national property.^ '
" In this case, it meant the confiscated estates
which had fallen into the hands of the govem-
mentj and were sold by auction: and the reast^n
why this new kind of money was issued was be-
cause the revolutionary government, however
rich in confiscated estates, was much in want of
money, and thought this might be a good way of
converting the one into the other. You see,
however, that whether these slips of paper would
bear the value of 100 francs, depended on the
proportion of the assignats to the purchasable
property, and of both to the existing currency,
and to the quantity of other commodities."
" And, probably, the government, like many
other governments, altered this proportion con-
tirmally by new issues of paper money, while
there was no corresponding increase of the pro-
perty it represented?"
" Just so. More estates were confiscated, but
the assignats multiplied at a tenfold rate ; driving
better money out of the market, but still super-
abounding. Prices rose enormously; and in
proportion as they rose, people grew extrava-
"That seems an odd consequence of high
" If prices had been high from a scarcity of
<*ommodities, people would have grown eco.no-
mical , but the rise of price was in this case only
a symptom of the depreciation of money. Every
oae, .^emg afraid that it would fall still lower, was
anxious to spend it while it remained worth any-
thing. I well remember my poor father coming
in and telling us that he had purchased a chateau
in the provinces with its furniture. ' Purchased
a chateau!' cried my mother. * When you have
no fortune to leave to your children, what mad-
ness to purchase an estate in the provinces!'
' It would be greater madness,' my father re-
plied, ' to keep my money till that which now
purchases an estate will scarcely buy a joint of
meat. If I could lay by my money, I would:
as I cannot, I must take the first investment
that offers.' And he proved to be right; for the
deplorable poverty we soon suffered was yet a
less evil than the punishment which my father
could scarcely have escaped if he had kept his
" Do you mean legal punishment?"
"Yes. The government issued orders that
its own most sapient plan should not fail, Theic
was to be no difference between metal money
and assignats, under pain of six years imprison-
ment in irons for every bargain in which the
one should be taken at a greater or less value
than the other."
" How stupid I How barbarous!" excldim-
ed everybody. " Almost the entire population
must have been nnprisoned in irons, if the law
had been executed: for they had little money but
assignats, and no power on earth could make
paper promises valuable by calling them so."
" Yet, when the law was found inefficient, the
punishment was increased. Instead of six
years, the offenders were now to be imprisoned
twenty. As this expedient failed, more and
more violent ones were resorted to, till the op-
pression became intolerable. All concealment
of stock, every attempt to avoid bringing the
necessaries of life to market, to be sold at the
prices fixed by the government, every evasion
of an offered purchase, however disadvantage-
ous, was now made punishable by death."
" Why then did not everybody refuse to buy,
rather than expose sellers to such fearful
" There was soon no occasion for such an
agreement. The shops were for the most part
closed; and those which were not, displayed
only the worst goods, while the better kinds still
passed from hand to hand by means of secret
" But what was done about the sale of bread
and meat, and other articles of daily use.?"
■* I'he baiter's shop opposite our windows had
a rope fastened from the counter to a pole in
the street: and customers took their place in
the line it formed, according to the order of
their coming. Each customer presented a cer-
tificate, obtained from the commissioners ap-
pointed to regulate all purchases and sales;
which certificate attested the political principles
of the bearer "
" What ! could not he buy a loaf of bread
without declaring his political principles?"
" No; nor without a specification of the quan-
tity he wished to purchase."
" What a length of time it must have taken to
supply a shop full of customers !"
" I have often seen hungry wretches arrive at
dusk, and found them still waiting when I look-
ed out in the morning. Our rest was frequent-
ly disturbed by tumults, in which the more ex-
hausted of the strugglers were beaten down,
and trampled to death. The bakers would fain
have closed their shops ; but every one who did
so, afler keeping shop a year, was declared a
suspected person; and suspected persons had at
that time no better prospect than the guillo-
" This system could not, of course, last long
How did it come to an end?"
" The government called in the assignats
when they had sunk to three hundred times less
than their nominal value. But this was not till
more murders had been committed by the paper
money than by their guillotine."
" You mean by distress, — by starvation."
" And by the suicides occasioned by distress.
My poor father was found in the Seine, one
morning, after having been absent from home
for two days, endeavouring in vain to make the
necessary purchases of food for his family."
Mr. B. added, that people flocked down to
the river side every morning, to see the bodies
of suicides fished up, and to look along the
shore for some relative or acquaintance who
was missing. As Melea had observed, this
could not go on long; but the consequences
were felt to this day, and would be for many a
day to come. Every shock to commercial cred-
it was a national misfortune which it required
long years of stability to repair.
This was the point to which Mr. Berkeley's
conversation now invariably came round, and
none of his family could carry him over it.
A FUTURE DAY.
Silence always ensued on the mention of com-
mercial credit. It was indeed a sore subject in
every house in Haleham.
A FUTURE DAT.
" Is it all settled ? — completely settled ? " asked
Henry Craig of Horace, just when the latter
was about to mount the coach to London, after
a short visit of business, a few weeks after the
stoppage of the D bank. " And your sis-
ters both leave us immediately?"
" Certainly, and immediately. But ask them
about it; for they can bear the subject better
" I knew their intentions from the beginnings
but so soon, — so very soon. I did not wish to
believe it till I heard it from one of yourselves.
I am grieved for you, Horace, almost as much
as for Mr. and Mrs. Berkeley."
"And for yourself," thought Horace, who
was now fully aware of Mr. Craig's interest in
one member of his family. " Do not think,
224 A FUTURE DAY.
Henry," he continued, " that I blame my sis-
ters for what they have done. They took this
step as a matter of course, — as a necessary con-
sequence of my fatht r's misfortune; and though
I do not think I could have encouraged them to
it, I cannot bring myself to say they are wrong.
Yet if I had known "
" I thought you always knew. I was fully
aware what they would do."
" If I had thought them in earnest "
It was indeed true that Horace's sisters could
bear this subject better than he. If they had
been less grateful for his brotherly pride and
affection, they would have called him weak for
regretting that they should, like him, wish and
work for independence.
"We leave Lewis behind, you know," said
Melea, smiling at the grave boy who was timidly
listening to what Mr. Craig was saying, the next
day, about his cousins going to live somewhere
else. ' ' Lewis has made his uncle and aunt very
fond of him already; and when he is son and
daughters and nephew to them at once, they will
have more interest in him still. Lewis's being
here makes us much less uneasy in leaving home
than anything else could do."
While Melea went on to show how wrong it
A FUTURE DAY. 223
would be to remain a burden upon their father in
his old age and impaired circumstances, Lewis
stole out of the room to hide his tears.
"And now, Melea," said Henry Craig,
" Lewis is out of hearing of your lesson, and
you know how perfectly 1 agreed with you long
ago about what you are doing. Do not treat
me as if I had not been your friend and adviser
throughout. Why all this explanation tome.'"
" I do not know; unless it was to carry off
too strong a sympathy with Lewis," replied
Melea, smiling through the first tears Henry
Craig had seen her shed. " But do not fancy
that I shrink. I am fond of children, I love
teaching them; and if I could but form some
idea of what kind of life it will be in other re-
"You know, Melea," Henry continued, after
a long pause, " you know how I would fain have
saved you from making trial of this kind of life.
You have understood, I am sure "
" I have, Henry. I know it all. Say no
" I must, Melea, because, if we are really
destined to be a support to each other, if we love
so that our lot is to be one through life, now is
226 A FUTURE DAT.
the time for us to yield each other that support,
and to acknowledge that love."
" We cannot be more sure than we were
before, Henry. We have little that is new to
tell each other."
' ' Then you are mine, Melea. You have long
known that I was wholly yours. You must have
" Very long; and if you knew what a support
— what a blessing in the midst of everything —
it makes me ashamed to hear any thing of my
share in this trial."
Henry was too happy to reply.
*' It is only a delay then," he said at length.
" We are to meet, to part no more in this world
You are mine. Only say you are now already
*' Your own, and I trust God will bless our
endeavours to do our duty, till it becomes our
duty to . But it will be a long, long time
first; and my having undertaken such a charge
must prove to you that I am in earnest in saying
this. I would not have said what I have done,
Henry, nor have listened to you, if I had not
hoped that our mutual confidence would make us
patient. We shall have much need of patience."
A FUTURE DAY. 227
" We shall not fail, 1 trust. I feel as if I
could bear any thing now: — absence, suspense,
— whatever it may please Heaven to appoint
us. But I feel as if I could do every thing too ;
and who knows how soon Oh, Melea, is
there really no other difficulty than our own
labours may remedy? Your father — Mrs.
*' Ask them," said Mclca, srnilmg. " I have
not asked them, but I have not much fear."
Though Henry and Melea had long been
sure that they had no reserve.s from each other,
they now found that there was a fathomless
depth of thoughts and feelings to be poured out;
and that it was very well that Fanny was de-
tained in the town, and that Lewis was long in
summoning courage to show his red eyes in the
dining-room. Its being Saturday was reason
enough for the young clergyman's going away
without seeing the rest of the family; and that
Monday was the day fixed for her departure
accounted for Melea's gentle gravity. She in-
tended to open her mind fully to her mother
before she went; but she must keep it to herself
Every one was struck with the fervour of
spirit with which the curate went through the
228 A FUTURE DAY.
services of the next day. Melea alone knew
what was in his heart, and understood the full
significance of his energy.
It was not till Fanny and Melea were gone,
and there was dullness in the small house to
which their parents had removed, and it was
sometimes difficult to cheer Mr. Berkeley, and
wounding to hear the school-children's questions
when the young ladies would come back again,
that Henry Craig could fully realize the idea of
the necessity of patience. He was still too
happy when alone, and too much gratified by
Mrs. Berkeley's confidence in him as in a son
to mourn over the events which had taken place
as if they involved no good with their evil. Some
of the dreariness of the family prospects belong-
ed to his; but he had, in addition to their steady
and lively hope of the due recompense of hon-
ourable self-denial and exertion, a cause of
secret satisfaction which kept his spirit poised
above the depressing influences of suspense and
loneliness. He still believed that, happen what
might, he could, without difficulty, be patient.
According to present appearances, there was
every probability that this faith would be put to
END OP PART OF THE FIR5T