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China figures, landscapes, fire-arms, fire-irons,
portraits, mathematical instruments,
instruments of navigation, boots, shoes, umbrellas,
fenders, fishing-rods, saddles and bridles,
fiddles, books, key-bugles, and hearth-rugs.

Finally, he should come down-stairs again,
and have a talk with My Uncle. Then he
should learn how poor people, in buying articles
of sale from that part of My Uncle's mansion
in which such things are displayed, habitually
ask what such a thing would fetch if it were
offered in pawn; and frequently confess that
they are influenced in their choice by their
"handiness " in that regard. How this strange
forethought is conspicuous in costermongers
and fishwomen; the former often wearing
great squab brooches as convenient pledges,
and the latter massive silver rings.

Also, what wonderful things are offered in
pawn. How a child's caul is frequently
offered. How Bank of England notes are
often pawned for security's sake; especially
by hop-pickers, who have no settled home.
How gamblers have a superstitious idea that
pawnbrokers' money is lucky, and therefore
pawn bank-notes in order to get pawnbrokers'
cash to play with. How a thousand pound
note was once pawned by a gambler at a shop
near Charing Cross.

Further. How a German nobleman took
to a pawnbroker at the West End of London,
only three years ago, his wife's patent of
Spanish nobility. How the whole stock of an
apothecary's shop, including pills, perfumery,
draughts, bottles, ointments, counters, desks,
pestles, mortars, scales, and infinitesimal
weights, was once pawned, and remained
unredeemed for two years ; when it was taken
out to be started in business in a fashionable
neighbourhood. How there have been included
among pawnbrokers' pledges such extraordinary
articles as an immense dancing booth, well
known at fairs and races ; live parrots ; several
hundred-weight of human hair ; a travelling
carriage complete ; a horse and chaise ; and
some twelve thousand pounds worth (from one
place in one year) of manufactured silk. How
a thousand pounds was not long since lent
on Manchester goods, which it took My Uncle
and assistants four days to examine. But
most of these loans were not strictly
pawnbroking transactions ; being beyond the limits
set by the pawnbroking Act of Parliament,
and being effected under private agreement.

Likewise, how My Uncle, besides the
ordinary risks of his calling, occasionally
suffers from mistakes, not of his own
commission, as in the following case. One Saturday
night, a clergyman of the Church of
England having been dining with a friend
(which phrase we use in a perfectly innocent
and literal sense), found himself walking
home in a heavy rain with no money in his
pocket, and no one at his chambers of whom
to borrow any when he got home. In this
difficulty, he stepped into My Uncle's, and
there deposited his great coat. About a month
afterwards, he called to redeem it ; but,
on its being produced, most positively denied
that that coat was his. Being a gentleman of
undoubted respectability, his assurance was
readily believed ; some unaccountable mistake
was supposed to have arisen at My Uncle's,
and he received a full and proper compensation
for his loss. Within a short time afterwards,
two gentlemen called upon My Uncle,
to remind him of the circumstance, to repay
the money, and to inform him that it had
since transpired, that the clergyman (then
dead) had taken from his friend's house a
coat that was not his own, and had never
discovered his error.

My Uncle's business is by no means confined
to the poorer classes. To support our third
proposition concerning himnamely, that he
has had greatness thrust upon himit is only
necessary to mention that he is in the
ordinary habit of dealing with the upper classes
of society. Such transactions are not so
numerous as his dealings with the humbler
orders, but they involve nearly as much
capital. Neither are they so profitable; because,
for every loan above two guineas, the charge
for interest is only three pence per month;
and the pressure of pecuniary circumstances
does not drive the better class of borrowers
to pledge and redeem so frequently as the
poorer; and thus to pay interest upon short
terms. My Uncle numbers amongst his more
aristocratic customers, barristers, clergymen,
baronets, noblemen (he has some peers on
his books), editors, wholesale-warehousemen,
painters, and musicians. He confesses that
the most business is brought to him by the
last-mentioned classesexcept small
manufacturers, shop-keepers, and Irish members
of Parliament ; who are even better
customers. Contrary to popular prejudice, My
Uncle flourishes when trade is brisk and
times are prosperous ; for then, people not in a
very large way of business, yet giving credit,
have most need of ready-money capital.

My Uncle is an active and skilful tradesman,
who conducts the details of his business,
and keeps his books, on quite a model system.
There is a prejudice against him; and his
calling may (as other callings may, incidentally)
furnish the reckless and dissipated with
means of carrying on their career. But, no
social system can be framed with an exclusive
reference to its dregs; and it is a fair question
whether My Uncle be not, to some striving
people, a real convenience and an absolute
necessity. Those who have plenty of money,
abundance of credit, or as much discount
as they want, will probably say, No. But they
may not be qualified to sit upon the Jury.

There is a popular idea that My Uncle
grinds the faces of the poor. It is
indisputable, however, that his business is placed
under very stringent restrictions; that it
requires him to do a great deal for a
halfpenny; and that it does not return greater
profits than many other trades. It used to

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