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when I had done. "Now, I gather from
your exposition"—whereas I know he had
got it out of the Court Calendar before he
came—" that there are forty-seven clerks in
this Department, distributed through four
classes, A, B, C, and D. This Department
must be consolidated, by the reduction of
those forty-seven clerks to thirty-fourin
other words, by the abolition of thirteen
juniorsthe substitution of two classes and
a Remove for fourand the construction
of an entirely new system of check, by
double entry and countersign, on the issue
at the outports of fore-top-gallant-yards and
snatch-blocks to the Royal Navy. You will
be so good, Mr. Tapenham, as to furnish me
with the project you would recommend for
carrying this consolidation into effect, the day
after to-morrow, as I desire to be in a condition
to explain the consolidation I propose,
when the House is in committee on the Miscellaneous
Estimates." I had nothing for it but to
flounder through an impracticable plan that
would barely last Sir Jasper Janus's time
(which I knew perfectly well, was all he
cared for), and he made a speech upon it
that would have set up the Ministry,
if any effort could have made such a lame
thing walk. I do in my conscience believe
that in every single point he touched
arising out of our Department, he was as far
from accuracy as mortal man could possibly
be; yet he was inaccurate with such an air,
that I almost doubted my own knowledge of
the facts as I sat below the bar and heard
him. I myself observed three admirals
cheering vigorously when the fore-top-gallant-
yards and snatch-blocks came into play; and
though the effect of that part of the consolidation
was, that no ship in the Navy could
under any conceivable circumstances of emergency
have got rigged while it lasted, it
became so strong a card in Sir Jasper's
favour that within a fortnight after the
coming-in of the opposition, he gave notice of
his intention to ask his successor " Whether
Her Majesty's Government had abandoned
the system of check by double-entry and
countersign, on the issue at the outports
of fore-top-gallant-yards and snatch-blocks,"
amidst vehement cheering.

The next man of mark we got, was the
Right Honourable Mr. Gritts, the member
for Sordust. Mr. Gritts came to our Department
with a Principle; and the principle
was, that no man in a clerkship ought to
have more than a hundred a-year. Mr. Gritts
held that more did such a man no good; that
he didn't want it; that he was not a producer
for he grew nothing; or a manufacturer
for he changed the form of nothing;
and that there was some first principle in figures
which limited the income of a man who grew
nothing and changed the form of nothing, to
a maximum of exactly one hundred pounds
a-year. Mr. Gritts had acquired a reputation
for unspeakable practical sagacity, entirely on
the strength of this discovery. I believe it
is not too much to say, that he had destroyed
two Chancellors of the Exchequer by hammering
them on the head with it, night and
day. Now, I have seen a little jobbery in
forty years; but, such a jobber as Mr. Gritts
of Sordust never entered our Department.
He brought a former book-keeper of his with
him as his private secretary, and I am absolutely
certain, to begin with, that he pocketed
one-half of that unfortunate man's public
salary, and made it an exalted piece of
patronage to let him have the other. Of all
the many underfed, melancholy men whom
Mr. Gritts appointed, I doubt if there were
one who was not appointed corruptly. We
had consolidations of clerkships to provide
for his brother-in-law, we had consolidations
of clerkships to provide for his cousin, we had
amalgamations to increase his own salary, we
had immolations of juniors on the altar of the
country every daybut I never knew the
country to require the immolation of a Gritts.
Add to this, that it became the pervading
characteristic of our Department to do everything
with intense meanness; to alienate
everybody with whom it had to deal; to
shuffle, and chaffer, and equivocate; and be
shabby, suspicious, and huckstering; and the
Gritts administration is faithfully described.
Naturally enough, we soon got round to Lord
Stumpington again, and then we came to Sir
Jasper Janus again; and so we have been
ringing the changes on the Stumpingtons and
Januses, and each of them has been undoing
the doings of the other, ever since.

I am in a disinterested position, and wish
to give the public a caution. They will never
get any good out of those virtuous changes
that are severely virtuous upon the juniors.
Such changes originate in the cheapest
patriotism in the world, and the commonest.
The official system is upside down, and the
roots are at the top. Begin there, and the little
branches will soon come right.


THE stranger who should walk round by
Santa Lucia, in Naples, by night, would at
the present moment be astonished by seeing
the entire heavens in the direction of the
north lighted up by a blazing lire. The
little fishing-boats, indicated by the lights
at the bows, and which dart like fire-flies
across the tranquil sea, are lost; and
even the Lighthouse, with its revolving fires,
which give courage to the distant mariner,
is dimmed by that outburst of light which
sets the whole sky in a ruddy glow. A path
of fire lies across the sea, and curiosity rapidly
running along it, pierces the mystery, and
finds that Vesuvius has broken out, and is
filling the people with consternation. All
Naples quickly turns out to gaze on this wondrous
spectacle. Santa Lucia, the Mola, and
the Carmine, are thronged with anxious and

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