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In his distress, the idea occurred to him of selling
his discovery, and he proceeded to a gunsmith
of repute with a knife of his own
manufacture. The gunsmith put the knife into a vice,
and with another knife that happened to be
lying there deliberately cut the wonderful blade
exactly in two. Grand Godard lost his poor
knife, and found a friend in need. The old
gunsmith took such a liking to him that he received
him into partnership, not as a workman, but to
keep the books and take a general interest in
the concern.

Business went on so prosperously under his
managementGodard and Co.'s was such a
favourite and popular shopthat when the storm
of 1848 began to gather, the old gunsmith
declared to his partner that, at their present rate
of profits, it would not be long before he would

"Wait a while," replied Grand Godard, who
could not help learning from his numerous
acquaintances the way in which things were going
on. "Wait a little longer, my worthy partner.
Unless I am very much mistaken, the gun trade
is about to take a wonderful start; and when I
have put into execution a scheme which I have
long been meditating, I will allow you to retire,
as you so well deserve; but it must be into an
honourable and opulent retirement."

Grand Godard's expectations were speedily
realised; the revolution of February broke out.
The gunsmith's shop would have been laid under
contribution, as is customary in great popular
convulsions, but the African ex-brigadier was
too wide awake not to have taken his precautions.
The mob had no occasion to break into
the shop; it stood wide open, and the windows
were completely empty when the first band of
insurgents favoured it with a visit. Grand
Godard stood at the door.

"My friends," he said, "you have come too
late. Your comrades have been beforehand with
you, and all they have left me is this long
monkala, which I hope you will allow me to
retain, seeing that I took it with my own hands
from an Arab chief who gave me no more trouble

The troop swept on in search of a better
chance. Grand Godard, not caring to have to
repeat the same explanation all day long, stuck
an enormous bill inside the front window (of
which he was too wise to put up the shutters),
AND TAKEN AWAY; and then went and joined his
partner in their little parlour.

"Things promise admirably for my grand
commercial operation," said Grand Godard, as
he entered. "Certainly, it is a pity that so many
worthy people, soldiers as well as civilians,
should periodically slaughter one another in this
way, without knowing why; but I have served
my time, and I don't mean to meddle in the
matter, except to nurse the wounded, if needs
be. Listen, how sharply the firing begins. In
any case, we must not neglect business. My
scheme is this. Everybody just now carries a
gun of some sort or other; after fighting for a
while, there will be a general disarming. Almost
all the guns now in the hands of the people are
flint guns; and the government which will spring
from the revolution will not care to keep arms
the majority of which are out of repair, and
whose transformation into percussion guns would
cost more than the purchase of new ones. I
intend, therefore, my dear partner, to buy as
many as possible of the arms in question, to
take time by the forelock, and get them cheap.
I shall then pack them in convenient lots, and
take them myself to the best markets on the
west coast of Africa."

Accordingly, towards the close of 1848, Grand
Godard sailed from Havre in a fine vessel, a
quarter of which he had freighted himself; and
on the 1st of March, 1850, he brought back to
his old partner, who had remained firm at his
post, the sum of four hundred thousand francs
16,000), the net profit of his adventurous
expedition, during which he had been constantly
favoured by lucky chances, and which he had
pursued regardless of sun-stroke, poisoned
arrows, and yellow fevers.

Four hundred thousand francs sound very
fine, and to possess them is doubtless a very
fine thing; but, O Grand Godard, to whom did
you sell your quarter of a shipload of damaged
flint-guns? And to what uses did the purchasers
put them? Were they bought by European
settlers for self-defence, the destruction of
destructive animals, and the legitimate capture of
lawful game? Or were they bought up by
brutal savages, hunters of men, who would turn
the worn-out muskets to the employment of
driving together hordes of human prey, for the
supply of the Cuban and Carolinan markets?
If such were really the case, although Vespasian
said that money never smelt ill, the four
hundred thousand francs might be bought too
dear. If Grand Godard abetted the slave trade
only indirectly, methinks that, with a lighter
pocket, he would have a lighter load upon his
conscience. However, he was a gunsmith; his
business was to sell guns; it was not his business
to inquire what became of them afterwards.
And perhaps, after all, Grand Godard is only a
plausible myth.



THOSE who remember the rickety predecessor
of that symmetrical and massive structure
which now crosses the Thames between King
William-street and the Borough, are not yet
among our "oldest inhabitants." But only
from the descriptions of chroniclers, and from
quaint engravings, can we form a picture of the
bridge as it stood in the middle agesits twenty
stone arches, built upon wooden piles,
"compact and joined with vaults and cellars," as
Stow tells usits central drawbridge, its
houses on either side, its chapel and terminal
towers. The rude construction and contracted
span of the arches so intensified the force of the