Imatges de pàgina

upon it,

the poor

• But say, my dear love,' (added he)

say you forgive me; and resume but


former cheerfulness, and affectionate regards to me; else I shall suspect the sincerity of your forgiveness : and you shall indeed go to Kent; but not without me nor your boy either; and if you


have wished so often and so generously to have, shall be given up absolutely to your disposal'

Do you think, Madam, I could speak any one distinct sentence ? No indeed I could not — Pardon, pardon you, dear Sir !'-and I sunk down on my knees, from his arms— All I beg—All I hope-Your pardon--my thankfulness.—0 spare me-spare me but words'--And indeed I was just choked with my joy; I never was so in my whole life before. And my eyes were in a manner fixed, as the dear man told me afterwards ; and that he was a little startled, seeing nothing but the whites ; for the sight was out of its orbits, in a manner lifted up to heaven-in ecstacy for a turn so sudden, and so unexpected!


About twenty years ago, SURR was a fashionable and popular novelist ; and it is but proper to give a specimen of him. His novels had the merit of being readable at a time when scarcely any thing but trash filled that department of literature. The titles of them are: Consequences, 2 vols.George Barnwell, 3 vols.— Splendid Misery' (his most popular one) 3 vols.—Magic of Wealth,' 3 vols.--and • Winter in London, 3 vols. These are still to be found in every circulating library. Our extract is from the last work, which was published in 1806, and although it is not quite characteristic of the author, we prefer it as a very clever piece of biography-resembling some of the spirited sketches of Miss Edgeworth.


MR Sawyer Dickens was universally known as one of the wealthiest commoners in England. There was not wanting, however, some persons

with strong memories who recollected that the origin of the wealthy banker was far from splendid. In truth, the first property acquired by the father of Mr Dickens was obtained by the application of his talents and industry to the useful employments of cleaning boots and shoes, and knives and forks at a public house in the neighbourhood of Newgate Market. Ned Dickens was indebted to Yorkshire for his birth, parentage, and education, and was a firm and sincere professor of that celebrated creed, that pence get shillings, and shillings get pounds. This faith enabled him to endure with patience and humility, many a cuff and kick, and cheered him under many a cloud

A penny

of brick-dast. Thus, a few years' devotion to these pursuits enabled Ned Dickens to become a creditor of the nation, to the amount of fifty pounds five per cent. stock, and promoted him to the rank of waiter. The same saving faith still urged him onward in the rich man's progress, and shielded him from all temptation to turn aside. saved 's a penny got,' often rang in his ears, as he cast his little eyes upon the spruce garments of a brother waiter at a neighbouring coffee-house, and then surveyed his own old suit of corderoy. To all this personal merit, Fortune added her blind boon, by rendering the existing circumstances precisely such as best agreed with his peculiar genius and disposition. His master died, and bequeathed all his right and title to the house and the good will of the trade, to his beloved widow, and his hopeful heir Tommy Jones.

Tommy was what at that period was termed a natty spark of eighteen, and the widow Jones was one of the numerous class of foolishly good-natured mothers. Ned was three years older than Tommy, and was at the death of his master, worth nearly two hundred pounds. Vauxhall, Saddler's Wells, and the Dog-and-Duck, became the exchequers into which Tommy Jones, assisted by certain fair friends, regularly paid the receipts of his mother's bar. These, however, were soon found inadequate to support the frolics of this spirited youth ; and Ned Dickens's coffers became the budget from which his young master, with due humility and at ample discount, drew his supplies. The thrifty Dickens kept a good account. Thus the idleness and folly of the master enriched the servant; and by the time that Tommy was two and twenty he had broken his mother's heart and spent his last shilling. He then enlisted himself as an East-India soldier, and Mr Edward Dickens succeeded him as landlord of that house, which, a few years before, he had entered a pennyless and almost naked boy.

With the attainment of such an eminence as this above the level of his ancestors, many a plodder would have been content. Not so Edward Dickens :

-He was destined to be the founder of a family, and this little elevation served only to open to him the brighter paths that still towered above him. He did not halt. At tive and twenty he considered that matrimony would have been an expensive clog in his progress, and he consequently resisted, with a Joseph's virtue, all the bewitching lures of widows and maids who

were daily surrounding him. To discover poor butchers, poor bakers, poor distillers, and poor excisemen, was Ned's constant study, from a persuasion that his own ready cash would produce more profit in proportion to the greater need of those with whom he bargained.

The scene of action now grew confined, in comparison with his stimulus to exertion. Fortune again befriending him, soon opened a wider field to his talents. Adjoining to his own house was that of Mr Barton, an eminent man in his trade, which was that of importing rum and brandy in puncheons and pieces, and retailing the same commodities, with a little British addition, in quarters of gills, to the gardeners, butchers, fish-mongers, and their fair assistants, who resorted to Newgate Market. In this traffic Mr Barton was rapidly acquiring wealth ; he was already a .common-councilman of the ward, and would, in all probability, have been lord-mayor of London, but for the carelessness of his housekeeper, who one night forgetting to take off his cravat after his return from a turtle feast, the poor man paid his life a forfeit for an inordinate indulgence of his appetite.

Next morning, no sooner was Edward Dickens informed why the shop of his neighbour was not opened, than he flew to the nephew, who was his heir at law; and who, being a thoughtless young man, then an ensign in the guards, very good naturedly promised that, if he had the power, Mr Dickens should have the lease and goodwill of his uncle's house at a fair valuation. This lucky hit, as some called it, but this quick foresight, as he himself justly thought it, proved a considerable advancement in the fortune of Mr Dickens ; for, as young Barton lived chiefly at an hotel in St James's Street, he knew nothing of the value of his uncle's concern, and very confidently left the regulation of the whole transaction to a fashionable auctioneer, who in his turn being engaged to sell some pictures and porcelain at the west end of the town, sent a young disciple of seventeen to value the concern, against a deep old practitioner in the city, whom Dickens had engaged. It is an axiom in mercantile morality, to buy as cheap and sell as dear as possible. Therefore, though the stock and business of Mr Barton was certainly worth three thousand pounds, it is not right to infer that any thing like a bribe was the cause of their being assigned over to Mr Dickens for one.

Such was the fact; and from that moment the thrifty Yorkshire


man acquired hundreds with more facility than he had before gained pounds.

On his fortieth birth-day Edward Dickens arose worth forty thousand pounds. His residence was then a small house on Garlick Hill; where, with an establishment consisting of a housekeeper, one man-servant, and a clerk whom he had taken from a charity-school as an apprentice, he transacted more business, and gained more thousands, than many of his fraternity who kept their country house and carriages, and left the cares of their business to sixteen careless clerks, and an idle fagging partner.

It was at that epoch of his life that business introduced Mr Dickens to the acquaintance of Hannah Sawyer, a welllooking woman, about his own age, the widow of the chief partner in a bank at Bristol. He soon discovered that her husband had died worth at least twice as much as he himself possessed, and he instantly persuaded himself that he had never seen so desirable a woman as this widow, Expensive as it was, he insisted upon lodging the fair prize in his own house during her stay in London, and, for more reasons than he confessed, persisted in accompanying her and one of the surviving partners to Doctors' Commons, with poor Mr Sawyer's will. His visage lengthened as he heard the clauses read, which condemned fifty thousand pounds of the widow's property to the strong boxes of the bank at Bristol, during the continuation of the present partnership, (which could only be dissolved by unanimous consent), and for which she was only to receive a proportionate rate of the profit arising from the bank. Still, how. ever, there remained thirty thousand pounds unappropriated, and the whole was at her own disposal, with only the above restriction. In vain the gentleman who accompanied the widow from Bristol crossed in between the object of his own hopes and the brandy merchant;-- the latter was the favoured admirer.

Mrs Sawyer had been advanced to the honours of a bride to the Bristol banker from the capacity of a menial servant. In one of those deliriums, which sometimes seize old bachelors, who have scoffed all the days of their youth at matrimony, old Sawyer, at the age of three score and ten, took Hannah his house-maid to wife. She had tenderly nursed the old man in his fits of the gout, for the space of twelve years, and was rewarded for her attention by a bequest of eighty thousand pounds. This fortune, and her own fair

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