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has been matter of continuous astonishment
to me, during many years, that the public
never took me, when I was a junior, by the
nape of my neck, and dropped me over the
banisters down three stories into the hall.

However, Time was good enough without
any assistance on my part, to remove me
from the juniors and to hoist me upward.
I shed some of my impertinences as I grew
older (which is the custom of most men),
and did what I had to do, reasonably well.
It did not require the head of a Chief Justice,
or a Lord Chancellor, and I may even
say that in general I believe I did it
very well. There is a considerable flourish
just now, about examining candidates for
clerkships, as if they wanted to take high
degrees in learned professions. I don't
myself think that Chief Justices and Lord
Chancellors are to be got for twenty-two
pound ten a quarter, with a final prospect
of some five or six hundred a year in the ripe
fulness of futurityand even if they were, I
doubt if their abilities could come out very
strongly in the usual work of a government

This brings me to that part of my experience
which I wish to put forth. It is surprising
what I have, in my time, seen done in our
Department in thereforming waybut always
beginning at the wrong endalways stopping
at the small menalways showing the public
virtue of Two thousand a year M.P. at the
expence of that wicked little victim, Two hundred
a year. I will recal a few instances.

The head of our Department came in and
went out with the Ministry. The place was
a favourite place, being universally known
among place-people as a snug thing. Soon
after I became a Chief in the office, there was
a change of Ministry, and we got Lord Stumpington.
Down came Lord Stumpington on
a certain day, and I had notice to be in readiness
to attend him. I found him a very
free and pleasant nobleman (he had lately
had great losses on the turf, or he wouldn't
have accepted any public office), and he had his
nephew the Honourable Charles Random
with him, whom he had appointed as his
official private secretary.

"Mr. Tapenham, I believe?" said His
Lordship, with his hands under his coat-tails
before the fire. I bowed and repeated, "Mr.
Tapenham." "Well, Mr. Tapenham," said
His Lordship, "how are we getting on in this
Department? " I said that I hoped we were
getting on pretty well. "At what time do
your fellows come in the morning, now?"
said His Lordship. "Half-past ten, my
Lord." The devil they do! " said His
Lordship. " Do you come at half-past ten?"
"At half-past ten, my Lord." "Can't imagine
how you do it," said His Lordship.
"Surprising! Well, Mr. Tapenham, we must
do something here, or the opposition will be
down upon us and we shall get floored.
What can we do? What do your fellows
work at? Do they do sums, or do they
write, or what are they usually up to?" I
explained the general duties of our Department,
which seemed to stagger His Lordship
exceedingly. "’Pon my soul," he said, turning
to his private secretary, "I am afraid
from Mr. Tapenham's account this is a horrible
bore, Charley. However, we must do
something, Mr. Tapenham, or we shall have
those fellows down upon us and get floored.
Isn't there any Class (you spoke of the
various Classes in the Department just now),
that we could cut down a bit? Couldn't we
clear off some salaries, or superannuate a few
fellows, or blend something with something
else, and make a sort of an economical fusion
somewhere?" I looked doubtful, and felt
perplexed. " I tell you what we can do,
Mr. Tapenham, at any rate," said His Lordship,
brightening with a happy idea. " We
can make your fellows come at tenCharley,
you must turn out in the middle of the night
and come at ten. And let us have a Minute
that in future the fellows must know something
say French, Charley; and be up in
their arithmeticRule of Three, Tare and
Tret, Charley, Decimals, or something or
other. And Mr. Tapenham, if you will be so
good as to put yourself in communication
with Mr. Random, perhaps you will be able
between you to knock out some idea in the
economical fusion way. Charley, I am sure
you will find Mr. Tapenham a most invaluable
coadjutor, and I have no doubt that with
such assistance, and getting the fellows here
at Ten, we shall make quite a Model Department
of it and do all sorts of things to promote
the efficiency of the public service." Here
His Lordship, who had a very easy and captivating
manner, laughed, and shook hands
with me, and said that he needn't detain me
any longer.

That Government lasted two or three
years, and then we got Sir Jasper Janus,
who had acquired in the House the reputation
of being a remarkable man of business,
through the astonishing confidence with which
he explained details of which he was entirely
ignorant, to an audience who knew no more
of them than he did. Sir Jasper had been in
office very often, and was known to be a Dragon
in the recklessness of his determination to
make out a case for himself. It was our
Department's first experience of him, and I
attended him with fear and trembling. " Mr.
Tapenham," said Sir Jasper, " if your memoranda
are prepared, I wish to go through the
whole business and system of this Department
with you. I must first master it completely,
and then take measures for consolidating
it." He said this with severe official
gravity, and I entered on my statement; he
leaning back in his chair with his feet on the
fender, outwardly looking at me, and inwardly
(as it appeared to me), paying no
attention whatever to anything I said.
"Very good, Mr. Tapenham," he observed,