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hand, Hannah, in less than a month, was prevailed upon to bestow on the discreet,' the sober,' the jolly-looking' Dickens, in preference to the conceited,' boyish,' “pragmatical' Mr Willis, the junior partner in the house of Sawyer and Co.

Thus invested with the privileges of a master, the bridegroom repaired to the bank at Bristol, and was in all due form introduced to the partners. Though the education of Mr Dickens had not extended beyond reading the catechism, he had taught himself to write the word "Received,' and could sign his own name. For a slight knowledge of figures be was indebted to his love of money, which rendered it indispensable to know how to keep or check his accounts. His interest in the banking concern now caused him to regret the want of a more liberal education, as it puzzled him exceedingly at first to comprehend the arcana of the innermost counting-house. So powerful, however, was his love of gain that his naturally keen penetration, and quickdess of apprehension, soon enabled him to form a just estimate of the value of the opportunity which fortune had thus again bestowed on him. The first use he made of his knowledge was to cajole the two junior partners of the house into an abandonment of their shares in his favour, for what appeared to them a splendid remuneration. The two others, he calculated, were old ; and though they both had children, he strenuously objected to the admission of any of their progeny into the Bristol bank.

In the meantime his bride, who was a woman of plain good sense, without any thing remarkably vicious or virtuous in her composition, brought this man of wealth a son and heir, who was baptized, in honour of his mother's first husband, by the name of Sawyer. In paying this compliment to his spouse, Dickens, however, had a latent motive; for, as the firm of the bank was still Sawyer & Co. he looked forward the fifth part of a century, when it might still be Sawyer Dickens and Co. with his son at the head of the house. The same cunning made him appear to yield to his wife, in consenting to retain the coach and black geldings, which old Sawyer had sported before him. \ For though the provender of coachman and horses often cost him a sigh, yet he understood enough of banking, to know that it would ensure hiş credit to put down an equipage, and he was therefore compelled to go to church in his coach. Similar motives induced him to retain the same household establish

ment, and to cultivate the same expensive connections which his predecessor had courted.

The experience of every day now brought fresh joy to Mr Dickens. Seated in his counting-house, with all the consequence of wealth, this Bristol Plutus, who, a few years back, had followed, almost barefoot, the York waggon to London, now received the bows and the cringing applications of merchants, peers, and even statesmen, for the loan of small parts of that wealth which he had accumulated and acquired. With what rapture did his keen eyes regale themselves upon the bonds, deeds, mortgages, and other securities, which the folly, the extravagance, or the misfortunes of others, poured into his coffers ! Every sigh which the embarrassed man breathed in his hearing was a plaudit to his prudence, and the tears which repentant prodigality shed in his sight, proved nutriment to the selfishness which had inspired him with the love of hoarding.

The climax of his prosperity, however, was yet to come. One of the oldest and wealthiest banking houses in the metropolis was reduced to the most imminent danger of bankruptcy, by the imprudent speculations of one of the partners, who had employed immense sums in a foreign concern, which sums accident prevented from recurring to the bank at the expected period. The same cause which occasioned this disastrous disappointment operated upon the mercantile interest in general, and money was not to be obtained at any premium or on any security. The expedient of the government becoming pawnbrokers had not at that time been thought of: no influence, however powerful, at that period, would have availed the unprincipled or unfortunate speculator, by procuring from the country at large a loan of commercial exchequer bills, to prop an individual's credit. The general dismay and distress of that period were, to men like Mr Dickens, subjects of self-gratulation, and sources of still further gain. He, among the few whose hoards enabled them to avail themselves of such an opportunity, and who had knowledge enough of money affairs to perceive it, aware that the gloom was temporary, purchased the national funds, then beyond all precedent depressed, at such prices as almost doubled his immense property. To crown the whole, the chief partner in the banking-house alluded to, as a last resource to save his tottering credit, applied to Mr Dickens. Estates in Cumberland, of far greater value than the amount of all their wants, were pledged as a secu

rity that the borrowers should replace, at a stated time, in the funds, as much stock, at whatever price it might be purchased, as was now disposed of to supply their need, and for the use of which a premium was given so infamously usurious that it was never named. By this transaction the credit of the banking-house was saved; and, while many of lesser note were shattered to irremediable ruin by the pressure of the times, the house of Darlington and Co. stood firm, or rose, if possible, more proudly eminent than it was before the general shock.

Mr Darlington was a man of worth and honour. He was descended from the younger branch of a noble family, and was in every respect worthy of his nobility. He had a son a partner in the bank, whose sanguine temper had been the

cause of their embarrassment, and he had a young and lovely į daughter. Time, in his ceaseless flight, soon stole away the

months between the day of borrowing and the day of payment. The younger Darlington, whose indiscretion had nearly proved fatal to the house, with a zeal honourable to his memory, determined to repair as much as possible the injury he had occasioned, by visiting, in person, the plantations he had purchased in the West Indies, and inspecting, with his own eyes, the accounts of his agents, which his hopes prompted him to believe exaggerated, if not false. These shadowy hopes, however, vanished before the fatal truth. He found his affairs even worse than they had been represented; still greater losses threatened him his ardent spirit could not submit to the blow of stern adversity-remorse was followed by despair-he sickened and died upon the plantation. This calamity in a moment dissolved for ever all the fond hopes of the unfortunate father. The bonds to Mr Dickens thus were forfeited ; the mortgaged lands, the mansion of his forefathers, and, in fact, the key to all the property which Darlington possessed, was thus in the custody of Dickens, for on his mercy the credit of the bank now poised. The Bristol banker was soon apprised of the state of Darlington's affairs. He felt no surprise : in fact, excepting the death of young Darlington, he had looked to just such a termination of the transaction. Without loss of time he repaired to London, taking with him his son Sawyer Dickens. Knowing by experience the importance of a good education, Dickens had determined to bestow upon this his only child as much learning as he had capacity to receive. For this purpose he had provided him, at home,

with the best tutors in all the branches of education, fearing that at a school he might imbibe habits of expense, and idle notions of generosity,-a danger from which he well knew he was secure at home.

Thus, at the age of eighteen, Sawyer Dickens was as well stored with acquirements as most boys of the same age educated even at the best public schools. His disposition was marked by nothing remarkably vicious, nor did it display. itself in any acts of generosity or kindness. If any trait of his mind was at that early period more conspicuous than another, it was that sort of feeling which has frequently been denominated purse-pride, and which, perhaps, cannot be more significantly expressed. From his father and his mother he received lessons upon the importance of wealth; and indeed, from all that he saw and heard around him under their roof, he could not fail to imbibe a conviction of the omnipotence of riches. Such was the youth whom Mr Dickens conveyed with him to town. Their chaise stopped at Mr Darlington's house, in Cavendish Square, just as the unfortunate man was endeavouring to console his daughter for the death of her brother, and the probable consequences of his debt to Mr Dickens. He heard the carriage draw up, and saw from the window his unwelcome visitors. Good God!' exclaimed the agonized father, drawing his trembling girl to his bosom, he is here : the wolf is already here, my child; he is come to devour your father! Ere he had recovered from the shock, the servant announced Mr Dickens. Politeness and delicacy were caviare to the Bristol banker : he followed the servant, and in a moment he and his son were in the room. Amelia clung round her father, and looked with terror on the intruders. Darlington held his hand to his forehead, and was dumb. Dickens, without ceremony, walked up to him, and taking the other hand, shook it in a friendly manner ; while Sawyer, riveted to the spot where he entered, was struck with awe at the sight of distress and beauty. Repulsing this freedoin, Mr Darlington, with an effort concealing his tenderer feelings, said, with dignity, You are here, Mr Dickens, rather unexpectedly.' • Mr Darlington, I am not a man of words,' replied Dickens ; : I know your situation, and I am come here on purpose to save the credit of your house.' Sir,' said Mr Darlington, with an emphasis full of meaning, and an expressive glance of the eye. . . You doubt,' said Dickens. Yes, Sir,' said Darlington, both your will and your power. Could the

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credit of a banker be sustained in London while his family domains are in the hands of his creditors ? • Certainly not," replied the other ; " but these are not subjects for children ;' looking on Amelia. My daughter's distress, Sir, is for a loss that can never be retrieved: my poor boy's zeal has cost him dear. He was compelled to cover his face with his handkerchief for a moment, then continued :-'Mr Dickens, you are a father, and—''I have my fee gs as well as others, as my actions shall prove; but, in this world, Sir, we all know feelings must submit to circumstances.” “Sir,' said Mr Darlington, with mingled sorrow and contempt. I would be plainer with you,' replied Dickens; but and again he cast his eyes on Amelia.

• Retire, my love, a few minutes,' said Mr Darlington, handing his daughter to the door.

Go into another room, Sawyer,' said Mr Dickens to his son; and the two fathers were alone. Mr Darlington,' said Dickens, smoothing his chin with his right hand, while he placed the other in his breeches pocket-Mr Darlington, as I said before, I am not a man of words : I know precisely your situation, Mr Darlington, and every twist and turn of your affairs, Mr Darlington. I grieve for the loss of your son, who was certainly a very promising young man, but for this unlucky business.—But to the point, Mr Darlington, you have still a daughter left, Mr Darlington, and a very fine young creature to be sure she is. Now, Mr Darlington, two hundred thousand pounds is not to be picked up in the streets; and if it not be forthcoming, why, you know, I may foreclose in a few days, and the thing would soon get wind; and then, I leave you to judge, Mr Darlington, what would be the consequence : bad news flies apace, and a run on the bank would be the upshot, as you must be aware, Mr Darlington. Now I have been calculating and reckoning these points, and what's the end on't? Why, this, to be sure : that if it was not necessary to raise this sum of two hundred thousand pounds directly, why, in time, things might come round : next year's crop in the West Indies might not be so bad as the last, and the year after that may be better still : *80 that, if appearances could keep as they are,—why people need be no wiser than they are, you know, Mr Darlington; and they will bring their money to your counter the same as if it was as safe as ever, Mr Darlington. The various emotions which this harangue created in the breast of Mr Darlington are indescribable. Frequently was he upon the point

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