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when all-powerful, expunged the old rule
long ago.

The frown of public opinion excepted, I do
not know of any punishment having ever
overtaken any of these men. The Briton is
extremely and in many respects justly proud
of his criminal jurisprudence; yet it ruins for
life the outcast infant who pilfers a trifle, and
gives impunity to men who bamboozle frugal
families out of their all. Sir Henry Dazzlem
had obtained betimes, in return for his votes
in Parliament, a colonial appointment; and if
I were to write to him, I dare say, I should
be obliged to address him as " His Excellency."
Three generations of the Bubbles
and the Bills enjoy themselves wherever life
is made most pleasant in Europe. Mr.
Drainem lives in one of the finest hotels in the
Champs Elysées at Paris, and the French
find him the type of an Anglais, and call him
Milor Drainem de Drainem.

I once went, after a few weeks' sojourn
in an English sea-side place, over to
Paris. Crawling in the sun and the sweet
air, I had often remarked at the sea-side
place a paralytic gentleman in a black,
old-fashioned hat and cloak, which had been worn
until they were a yellow brown. A physician
told me who he was. " That man is a
victim of Bubble, Bill, Dazzlem, Drainem,
and Company. That man, sir, is honour
itself. I have known him since his boyhood,
and they have made him a beggar,—a
paralysed beggar." I left Honour Itself, waiting
death impatiently in an English cellar; and
the first person I recognised in the Champs
Elysées was Dishonour Itself. Drainem and
his dames, magnificently attired, spurned the
bitumen proudly, and prostrated the passer-by
with their looks.

The poor paralytic gentleman was not
their worst victim. I knew in his youth
Beau Buttons. He was a showy young man,
always showily dressed. He was honourable
enough as a boy and as a youth, and had decided
commercial abilities. But, he was trained to
business by the great firm. He rose by his
abilities to be manager of a respectable
company. He was in this position when I
last saw him among the congregation of a
popular preacher. I had hoped he would
wait near the door for me, but when I got
out he had vanished.

The explanation soon appeared in the
newspapers. The reports of the Central
Criminal Court described a painful scene: the
condemnation of a gentleman who had been
highly esteemed and blindly trusted, to seven
years' transportation. It was Beau Buttons.
He had lived ostentatiously, and had speculated,
to keep up his style of living, with
thousands of pounds not his own. He had not been
trained by the great firm without learning
some of their arts. He might have concealed
and glossed over his dishonour; but he found
lying intolerable, and he made a clean breast
to the chairman and the committee, and
although they gave him time to escape, and
forced upon him the means of escape, after
surrendering everything he had, he delivered
himself up at the nearest police-office. Poor
Beau Buttons! The glitter on his coat
was the first sign of his insolidity, but he
did a solid thing when he preferred
transportation to lying always! Surely, by this
last act, he tore back at least a shred of his
shadow from the Grey Man.

Upon the whole, it may be said, there are few
things in life which are solid and lead to a solid
end; but the following maxim of wise men of
old, has stood well the tear and wear of many
ages: "He who has gold in his box is not rich,
but he who has gold in his conscience is rich."


DURING the time that I was a soap-boiler
in Queenhithe, and alderman of my ward in
Lower Thames Street, Her Most Gracious
Majesty paid a state visit to the City. I
was, of course, by virtue of my position in
the Corporation, one of the most prominent
of the group whose duty it was to receive
Her Majesty at the portals of the Guildhall;
and I received the honour of knighthood.
The empty badge of distinction was thrust
upon me without any wish expressed or
implied on my part. Consequently, when
I was duly created one of the sacred throng,
I walked about for several weeks, in a moody,
restless, uncomfortable state of mind. If I
had been a single man, I should most
assuredly have declined the honour; but my wife,
as I called her then; my lady, as I call her
now, with an amiable weakness (which she
shares with a multitude of important people),
begged that I would on no account miss the
opportunity; and I, therefore, submitted
without a murmur. She endeavoured to
fortify me in my new position by picturing to
me the behaviour of certain other noble
martyrs, who had exhibited great fortitude,
and patient endurance under a similar infliction.
Some there were, who went steadily
on in their old round of portrait-painting, or
statue-moulding, and still were knights.
Some there were, who gave lessons in music,
or performed surgical operations in back
parlours, and still were knights. Some there
were, who were skilful with the builder's rule
and trowel, or the chemist's retort and blow-pipe,
and still were knights. All this was
very cheering, as far as it went; but it did not
reconcile me to the absurdity of a real knight
sitting in a soap-boiler's counting-house in
Queenhithe. I fancied that the very porters
in my employment laughed at me when I
arrived of a morning; and that my chief
clerk looked with pity upon me, and the
honours which I wore so uneasily.

I soon made up my mind to a decided course
of action, and another week saw my business
transferred to a nephew and my chief clerk;
my comfortable middle-class, family mansion

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