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Full text of "Berkeley the banker, or bank notes and bullion; a tale for the times"

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BERKELEY THE BANKER 



BANK NOTES AND BULLION, 



TALE FOR THE TIME 




BY HARRIET MARTINEi 



HARTFORD: 

S. AXDRUS AND SON 

1843. 



^ V,( CONTENTS. 



^ CHAPTER I. 

The Haleham People - - - - 7 

CHAPTER n. 

The Pride of Haleham - - - - S3 

CHAPTER ni. 
The Haleham Riot - - - 55 

CHAPTER IV. 

i 

Wine and Wisdom . ■ - - 39 

CHAPTER V. 

Husbands and Wives - - - 1S2 

CHAPTER VI. 
Suspense ------ 159 

CHAPTER VII. 
^ . Certainty 176 

CHAPTER VHI. 
^ Market-Day ... - 203 

'^ CHAPTER IX. 

A Future Day - - - - . 223 

691555 



PREFACE. 



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 
to avoid. 

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 
1 * 



VI PREPACK. 

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. 

H. M. 



BERKELEY THE BANKER. 

PART I. 



^ 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 
new partnership. 

"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 
beginning." 

"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- 
table." 

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 
2 



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 

oflen." 

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 
attraction." 

" 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- 
ment." 

" 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 
deed." 



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 
watch. 

" 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 
family. 

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- 
talist." 

"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 
you henceforth." 

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 
change." 

" 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 
3 



^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 
any amount." 

"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 
notes." 

" 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 
for." 

"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 
very secure." 

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. 
3* 



30 THE Haleham people. 

" I wish you would ask Mr. Craig," observed 
Hester. 

" So I would, my dear; but he does not know 
the story." 

" 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 
of satisfaction. 

"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 
all alike." 

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- 
ination. 

" 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- 
eration. 

" 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 
we do.' 

" 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 
the shop. 

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. 
Parndon." 

" As she is not likely to go to sea, I suppose 
she determines to keep her guineas, and guard 
against fire." 

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. 
4 



38 THE PRIDE OF HALEHAM. 



CHAPTER II. 

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 
4* 



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 
court." 

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 
the door," 

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 
other day." 

" 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 
money." 

" 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 

o 

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 
him. 

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 
mark." 

" 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 
graciously accepted. 

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 
sighs ^ 



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- 
ey affairs. 

" 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 
6 



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 
alternately. 



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 
sefvants." 

" 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- 
mer." 

" 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," 



m 



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- 



m 



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 
arranged. 

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, 
7 



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, 
repiningly. 

" 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 
\ery hungry." 

" 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 
added triumphantly. 

" 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 
suppose.^" 

" 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 
at home." 

'• 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 
threatened? 

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. 
Longe. 

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- 
bility !" 



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 
feelings. 

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 
heroic. 

" 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 
home. 

'• 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- 
lings." 

"There must be some cheating there, how- 
ever," replied Mr. Berkeley; '" for you and I 
8 



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 
change." 

* "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- 
quentially. 

" 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 
street." 

"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 
Fanny. 

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- 
greeable consequences. 

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 



CHAPTER IV. 

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- 
8* 



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 
adept. 

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, 
as possible. 

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 
past." 

" 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- 
ning." 9* 



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 
wicker huts?" 

" 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 " 

" 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 
paper." 

" 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 
return." 

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 
out." 

" 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- 
clare this?" 

" Its declaration was pi;ecisely on this 
principle." 

" 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 
Fanny. 

"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- 
body?" 

" 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, 
Melea?" 

" 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.?" 

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 
means. 

" 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- 
10 



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- 
lable." 

" 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 
value remains." 

"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'. 
VoL.I-H 10* 



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 
paid?" 

" 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 
peace." 

" 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, 
till nov/r" 

"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- 
dred." 

*' 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- 
ey." 

" 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- 
posit." 

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," 
groaned Fanny. 

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. 

11 



122 Wine and wisdom. 

" But what is the consequence to the holders 
of the forged notes?" 

" Nothing. We pay them on demand with- 
out remark." 

" But what a loss to the bank, if the forgery 
is extensive!" 

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 
parties?" 

" 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 
will last.'" 

" 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 
neighbour's." 

" 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 
doctrine." 

" 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 
upon it." 

" 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!" 
exclaimed Melea. 

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 
question. 

" May one ask about the forgers," inquired 
Fanny, " who they are, and how you dealt with 
them?" 

" 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 
exist. 

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 
mornings. 



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. 



CHAPTER V. 



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- 
12 



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 
intimacy. 

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 
show." 

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 

gate. 

12* 



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 
there. 

"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- 
able." 

" Who? tiie Martins?" 

" I knew beforehand that they went unwil- 
lingly, so that it gave me no pleasure to see 
them there." 

"Well: old Enoch Pye—" 

" Went away almost before dinner was over, 
though he was put at the head of one of the 
tables." 

" He went away ! and what became of poor 



HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 139 

Mrs. Parndon ? Did she follow in time to take 
his arm?" 

" 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 
distress her." 

" O, what? What has happened?" cried all 
the ladies, who felt infinitelj more sympathy 
for Mrs. Parndon and Hester than for Mrs. Ca- 
vendish. 

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 
elbow. 



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 
not his." 

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 
married. 

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- 
sary. 

"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- 
don." 

" 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 
Hester!" 

" 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- 
ter!" 

" 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 
of disgrace?" 

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 
know. 

"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 
against Philip." 

13* 



150 HUSBANDS AND WIVES. 

"Philip has really been brought to justice, 
then?" 

" 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- 
ed." 

** 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 
Melea!" 

"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, 
Miss Melea?" 

" 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 
to be." 



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- 
man." 

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 
here." 

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- 
sibility. 

" 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- 
ter arrived. 

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 
happy issue. 



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- 
lows: — 

" 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- 
tionate daughter, 

" 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 
ones ? 

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 
heavy ones?" 

" 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 
one." 

"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 
14 



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 



SUSPENSE. 159 

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. 



CHAPTER VI. 



SUSPENSE. 



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. 



160 SUSPENSE. 

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 



I 



SUSPENSE, 161 

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* 



162 SUSPENSE. 

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 



SUSPENSE. 163 

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- 
cape remark. 

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 



164 SUSPENSE. 

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 



SUSPENSE. 165 

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 



166 SUSPENSE. 

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 



SUSPENSE. 167 

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- 
ringly. 

" ^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." 

"Mine, father!" 

" 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 
it." 

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 



168 SUSPENSE. 

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 
merest accident!" 

" 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 
alarm." 

"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 

j> 

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, 



SUSPENSE. 169 

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 
the back." 

15 



170 SUSPENSE. 

" 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 
the other. 

" Well carried off, child !" he cried. 

*' Take care, Sir. They are looking after 



SUSPENSE. 171 

"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 
sake." 

" 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 
it !" 

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. 



172 SUSPENSE. 

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 
another word. 

"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 
enough then." 

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 



SUSPENSE. 173 

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 
15* 



174 SUSPENSE. 

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 



SUSPENSE. 175 

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. 



176 CERTAINTY. 



CHAPTER VII. 



CERTAINTY. 



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. 



CERTAINTY. 177 

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 



178 CERTAINTY. 

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 



CERTAINTY. 179 

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 
seen him. 

*' And now, Horace, no more pretence," 
Mid Mr. Berkeley when he had sunk down on 



180 CERTAINXr. 

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 
are." 

"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 
a time. 

"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 



CERTAINTY. 181 

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. 
Berkeley inquired. 

" 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 
annoying us." 

" 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 

16 



182 CERTAINTY. 

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 
bank. 



CERTAINTY. IS"^ 

•' 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 
like me." 

" 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- 
ed,- 

"I trust, Sir, you support yourself pretty 



184 CERTAINTY. 

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,- — 
you " 

" 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 



certai?:ty. 185 

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 
thousand guineas." 

" 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, 
he needs." 

'•'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 
16* 



186 CERTAINTY. 

be in a condition to be glad of the credit of my 
friends." 

" 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, 



CERTAI?rTT. 187 

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 



188 CERTAINTY. 

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 
correspondent. 



CERTAINTY. 189 

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- 



190 CERTAINTY. 

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?" 



CERTAINTY. 191 

" 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 



192 CERTAINTY. 

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 



CERTAINTY. 193 

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 



194 CERTAINTY. 

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 



CERTAINTY. 19$ 

" 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 
affectionate daughter, 

" 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 



196 CERTAINTV. 

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.?" 



CERTAINTY. 197 

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 
17* 



198 CERTAINTY. 

no doubt it is true." And they walked on in 
silence. 

" 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 



CERTAINTY. 199 

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 



200 CERTAINTY. 

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 
appreciated." 

" 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 
Fanny. 

"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- 
ly paid. 



CERTAINTY. 201 

" 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 
will try." 

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 



202 CERTAINTY. 

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 



MARKET-DAY. 203 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MARKET-DAY. 

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- 
maining credit. 

Wednesday being the market-day, no time 
was to be lost. On Tuesday, therefore, (a 
clerk having been opportunely got rid of,) 



204 MARKET-DAY. 

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 



MARKET-DAT. 205 

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 
18 



206 MARKET-DAY. 

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, 



MARKET-DAY. 207 

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 



208 MARKET-DAY. 

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- 



MARXET-DAY. 

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* 



210 MARKET-DAY. 

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 
tears. 

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. 



MARKET-DAY. 211 

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 



212 MARKET-DAY. 

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 



MARKET-DAY. 213 

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- 



214 MARKET-DAY. 

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 



MARKET-DAT. 215 

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. 



216 MARKET-DAY. 

" 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 
each other!" 

" 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 
nothing." 

" Represents nothing! How is that possi- 
ble?" 



MARKET-DAY. 217 

" 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- 
signat system. 

" 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 
100 francs." 

" 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 
19 



218 MARKET-DAY. 

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- 
gant." 

"That seems an odd consequence of high 
prices." 

" 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 



MARKET-DAT. 219 

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 
assignats." 

" 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- 



220 MARKET-DAY. 

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 
danger.^" 

" 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 
bargains." 

" But what was done about the sale of bread 
and meat, and other articles of daily use.?" 



MAr.KET-rAT. 221 

■* 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- 
tine." 

19* 



222 MARKET-DAY. 

" 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. 



223 



Silence always ensued on the mention of com- 
mercial credit. It was indeed a sore subject in 
every house in Haleham. 



CHAPTER IX. 



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 
than I." 

" 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- 
spects 

"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 
more now." 

" 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 
Vol. I.-P 



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 
known " 

" 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 
mine." 

*' 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. 
Berkeley " 

*' 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 
this night. 

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 
the proof. 

END OP PART OF THE FIR5T 



















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