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It was said by the wise and witty SYDNEY
SMITH, that many Englishmen appear to have
a remarkable satisfaction in even speaking of
large sums of money; and that when men of
this stamp say of Mr. So-and-So, "I am told he
is worth TWO HUN-dred THOU-sand POUNDS,"
there is a relish in their emphasis, an unctuous
appetite and zest in their open-mouthed
enunciation, which nothing but the one inspiring
theme, Money, develops in them.

That this is an accurate piece of observation,
few who observe at all will dispute. Its
application is limited to no class of society,
and it is even more generally true of the
genteel than of the vulgar. The last famous golden
calf that disfigured this country, was set up
for worship in the highest places, and was
pampered to its face and made a standing-jest
of behind its back throughout Belgravia,
with an intensity of meanness never
surpassed in Seven Dials.

But I am not going to write a homily
upon that ancient text, the general deification
of Money. The few words that I wish to
note down here, bear reference to one
particular misuse of Money, and exaggeration of
its power, which presents itself to my mind as
a curious rottenness appertaining to this age.

Let us suppose, to begin, with, that there
was once upon a time a Baron, who governed
his estate not wisely nor too well, and whose
dependents sustained in consequence many
preventible hardships. Let us suppose that
the Baron was of a highly generous disposition,
and that when he found a vassal to have
been oppressed or maltreated by a hard or
foolish steward, who had strained against him
some preposterous point of the discordant
system on which the estate was administered,
he immediately gave that vassal Money. Let
us suppose that such munificent action set the
noble Baron's mind completely at rest, and
that, having performed it, he felt quite satisfied
with himself and everybody else; considered
his duty done, and never dreamed of
so adjusting that point for the future as that
the thing could not recur. Let us suppose
the Baron to have been continually doing this
from day to day and from year to yearto
have been perpetually patching broken heads
with Money, and repairing moral wrongs
with Money, yet leaving the causes of the
broken heads and the moral wrongs in
unchecked operation. Agreed upon these
suppositions, we shall probably agree in the
conclusion that the Baron's estate was not in a
promising way; that the Baron was a lazy
Baron, who would have done far better to be
just than generous; and that the Baron, in this
easy satisfaction of his noble conscience, showed
a false idea of the powers and uses of Money.

Is it possible that we, in England, at the
present time, bear any resemblance to the
supposititious and misguided Baron? Let us

A year or so ago, there was a court-martial
held at Windsor, which attracted the public
attention in an unusual manner; not so
much because it was conducted in a spirit
hardly reconcileable with the popular prejudice
in favour of fair play, as because it
suggested very grave defects in our military
system, and exhibited us, as to the training of
our officers, in very disadvantageous contrast
with other countries. The result at which
that court-martial arrived, was widely
regarded as absurd and unjust. What were
we who held that opinion, moved by our
honest conviction, to do? To bestir ourselves
to amend the system thus exposed? To apply
ourselves to reminding our countrymen that
it was fraught with enormous dangers to us
and to our children, and that, in suffering
any authorities whatsoever to maintain it, or
in allowing ourselves to be either bullied or
cajoled about it, we were imperiling the
institutions under which we live, the national
liberty of which we boast, and the very
existence of England in her place among the
nations? Did we go to work to point out to
the unthinking, what our valiant forefathers
did for us, what their resolute spirit won for
us, what their earnestness secured to us, and
what we, by allowing work to degenerate
into play, were relaxing our grasp of, every
hour? Did numbers of us unite into a
phalanx of steady purpose, bent upon
impressing these truths upon those who accept
the responsibility of government, and on
having them enforced, in stern and steady
practice, through all the vital functions of
Great Britain? No. Not quite that. We
were highly indignant, we were a little
alarmed; between the two emotions we were