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able upon six months' notice, were formerly almost as available as bills at six months' sight. They have been rendered inconvertible by our recent legislation, whether it be considered right or wrong. The difficulty. does not arise from any defect in the definition of the term of payment, but in the inability of the acceptor to pay; and this default is caused by the unprofitable result of his cultivation.

In more favorable circumstances, it would be as justifiable in a merchant to invest a portion of his capital in colonial mortgages as in ships or factories. The fault is not in applying a certain amount of a merchant's capital to any one of these objects, but in applying too much; not in employing a part of it in a way that may be deemed "fixed,” but in not reserving enough so disengaged as to be “floating,” and always at his command, or in properly adjusting the “fixed” and the working” capital. If our Tropical possessions were really in a thriving condition, mortgages on good estates, bringing valuable mercantile business, would be as convertible as ships or factories. In that case, a merchant having £50,000 or £100,000 might, without any imprudence, nay, with perfect safety, invest a large portion of it, reserving the balance and all his credit as working capital. If, on the otner hand, he should venture to invest borrowed money-and credit is nothing else—which may be suddenly withdrawn, it is clear that he would be exposed to great danger. His risk would not, however, be from the nature of his business, but from its extent. Without advances partaking of a fixed or permanent character, the production of sugar, coffee, indigo, wool, timber, and other valuable commodities would be very limited. Those who become factors or planters are not capitalists; they seldom possess more at first than the enterprise which prompts them to emigrate; and if they were not assisted by the mercantile capital of the mother country, they could never become great producers.

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SPLENDOR WITHOUT MEANS.

From Chambers' Edinburgh Journal.

That one half of the world does not know how the other half lives, is a sweeping axiom, which, if not literally true, is near enough to truth for an adage. There is, however, a special small class, whose subsistence is a mystery to all the rest, even after every reasonable effort has been made to discover the secret. They are persons who keep handsome, if not magnificent establishments, and act in all respects as men of the first fortune, without

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visible means of obtaining the most humble subsistence.

In the lax court of Charles JI. there were several specimens of this sort of adventurer. The most conspicuous was the Count de Grammont, a banished courtier of France, who lived in great style; he, however,

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some part of his revenue may have been derived from home, though not enough to support the extravagant splendor with which he surrounded belonged to a good family, who were in affluent circumstances, so that himself

. A much more remarkable example is presented in Beau Wilson, who lived with a degree of magnificence rivalling that of Grammonty without possessing apparent means to the amount of a single penny.

Notwithstanding his efforts to conceal every circumstance connected with his private history, it was ascertained that Wilson was the younger son of parents who were sufficiently respectable to procure him a commission in the army. Accordingly, he went to Flanders, where hostilities were going on; but behaved with such cowardice, that he was cashiered, and was so poor, that he was obliged to borrow forty shillings of a friend to pay his passage back to England. From that time Wilson's history is under a cloud, till we find him bursting forth in London as the brightest star in the hemisphere of fashion. His house was furnished with splendor, and attended by a complete retinue of servants. His coaches were magnificent, his stud complete, being made up of saddle, harness, hunting, and race horses of the best breeds. His dress (then a formidable item of expenditure,) dinners, and parties, were the admiration of the town; whilst the sources of all this expenditure were equally its wonder. The most obvious conjecture is to refer such mysterious revenues to success in gaming; but Wilson seldom played, and if he did, it was for inconsiderable stakes. Though frequently set upon by the inquisitive, he kept a strict guard over his words, even in moments of excessive conviviality; and all the ingenious devices which were put in force against his prudence were not successful in making him reveal his secret. There was nothing mysterious in his manner; on the contrary, he was of a free and open disposition, and was accessible at all times, so that it was clear he had no secret meihod of making money either as a coiner or an alchemist; for he was accused of being both by persons who were unable to invent more plausible suppositions to account for his wcalth. A hundred other reports were set afloat. Some said that when in Flanders, he had robbed a Holland mail of an immense value in diamonds, and though another individual suffered for that crin.e, yet because that person denied it to the last, Wilson was pointed out as the real perpetrator. Others declared that he was supported by the Jews as a decoy to obtain advantageous money transactions with the nobility. At last these reports multiplied both in number and extravagance, till Wilson found it expedient to make an effort to put a stop to them. This determination led, unfortunately, to a tragical issue. Having traced one of the injurious rumours to a Mr. Law, he challenged him, and was found dead near the place appointed for the duel, having been, it was asserted, run through the body by Law before he had time to draw his own sword.Mr. Wilson lived in unabated splendour to the last; and what crowned the mystery of his munificent expenditure was the fact that after his death only a small sum of money was found amongst his effects. He had no debts, and the world was left in total ignorance of the funds out of which he supported his stately magnificence.

Another instance is of later date. In 1814-15, during the congress of princes and nobles at Vienna, a person nan.ed Reilly attracted general at

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tention by the frequency and splendour of his dinner parties. They must have been sumptuous indeed, to have caused remark amidst the most brilliant and magnificent series of entertainments which perhaps ever were given; for never before was such a galaxy of princes and plenipotentiaries assembled in one place. Though no person knew precisely his origin, yet it was evident from his manners—which were far from refined—ihat it was not noble. He had however, been met previously in the highest circles; one gentleman had encountered him in Calcutta at the table of the governor-general of India, then at Hamburgh, in Moscow, and in Paris after the peace of Amiens, when he stated he had just returned from Madrid. In Vienna he outdid the most opulent. He lived in a magnificent hotel—that belonging to the counts of Rosenberg-his furniture and equipages were of the first style, his servants wore the richest liveries, his dinners were on the grandest scale, and composed of the most exquisite dishes imaginable. His guests were the hereditary princes of Bavaria, the Duke of Baden, Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, several ambassadors and charges d'affairs, and other persons of high distinction. How all these expenses were supplied, remained a mystery; for though Reilly gamed deeply, and had an associate in a Mr. O'Bearn, who was doubtless a confederate, yet they could hardly have cheated to a sufficient extent to support his princely establishment.

In the end, however, it proved that Reilly's secret income was not of so enduring a character as Wilson's. In 1821 he appeared in Paris, a beggar and an outcast, his money, carriages, diamonds, all gone. To show the depth of poverty into which he was sunk, he called on the Count De la Garde, whom he had met in Vienna, declaring he had exhausted every thing, “except,' he added, “this bracelet, which contains my poor wife's hair. It would have followed everything else to the pawnbroker's shop, if I could have raised a five-franc piece on it, but I cannot.' De la Garde inquired why he did not address those illustrious persons whom he regaled so magnificently at Vienna? I have done so, replied Reilly, “but have received no reply. The wretched existence of this man was pro tracted for three years longer, at the end of which time he died of hurger in the streets!

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SURETISHIP.

From Chambers' Edinburgh Journal.

The unpleasant nature of the obligation called suretiship need not be enlarged upon: it is universally felt and acknowledged. Yet there is a vast number of offices and situations to which parties are not eligible, unless they can bring forward satisfactory security for the sums which may be entrusted to them. Individuals, seeing friends thus depending for the means of a livelihood, or of advance in the world, upon obtaining guarantees for their intromissions, are often induced by humane feelings to undertake such obligations; and how frequently they sufler loss through this friendly act is but too well known. On the other hand, individuals who might obtain certain situations if they could give proper sureties, often fail to do so, from either their inability to get security, or their honorable dislike to ask a friend to undertake such a hazard in their behalf.

The intellectual progress of our country has at length furnished a solution of this class of difficulties. It has been found that, however uncertain may be the contingency of a fall before temptation in an individual, there is a determinate and regularly recurring number of such lapses out

a of a wide number of cases—the same principle holding here as in the annual criminal statistics of a country, which are always nearly uniform, allowing for progressive conditions. The idea of founding upon this natural fact a society for making suretiship a matter of business, was first explained to the public in the Dublin Review for August, 1810, by the first writer of the day on this class of subjects, Augustus de Morgan. Ile showed that, if a thousand bankers' clerks were to club together to indemnify their securities, by the payment of one pound a-year each, and if each had given security for £500, two in each year might become defaulters to that amount, four to half the amount, &c., without rendering the guarantee fund insolvent;' also that, if it be tolerably well ascertained that the instances of dishonesty (yearly) among such persons amount to one in five hundred, this club would continue to exist, subject to being in debt in a bad year, to an amount which it would be able to discharge in good ones.' In 1842, these ideas were realised by the establishment, under favour of an act of parliament, of “The Guarantee Society, for providing security for the fidelity of persons in situations of trust, where securities are required, on payment of an annual premium; capital one hundred thousand pounds. There is something startling at first sight in such a society; but its advantages are readily discovered.

The first of these undoubtedly is its enabling a clerk or other salaried agent, of good character, to obtain at once, and without obligation to others, such security as he may require. To quote a pamphlet upon the subject,* which has fallen into our hands~"One or two instances of deserving individuals, debarred of their well-earned reward, may convince the reader of the serious hardship that the system of private suretiship often inflicts upon the deserving. They are selected from two very different ranks in life, and will be sufficient evidence of the truth of the position here laid down.

• First, with respect to the army. The reward for merit, accompanied with pecuniary advantage, is very limited in this branch of the public service. Suppose the officer to be educated in the military school, and immediately drafted into the army (which is a very common case,) his whole life will have been spent either on service or in the barrack. He may have distinguished himself on the field of battle, and obtained a company by exertion amidst the greatest dangers. To the veteran of this descrip

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* Suretiship: the Dangers and Deferts of Private Security, and their Remedies. By Charles Saunderson. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. 1844.

tion the paymastership is the only pecuniary reward that can be enjoyed while upon active duty with his regiment. He is shipped from colony to colony, and the war-oflice authorities, anxious to afford substantial reward may have the opportunity of offering him this appointment for services brought under their especial notice. In this case the most unexceptionable sureties are required to the amount of £2000, and hundreds of meritorious officers have reluctantly been forced to decline the office, which it would have greatly benefited them to accept, and gratified the authorities to have conferred. An example amongst officers of this standing is not wanting to acknowledge the importance of the honorable help to be obtained from the Guarantee Society, and the society itself is under obligation to the authorities of the war-office for the support given by them to the society in its infancy.

“The second case to which I would allude is of another class. A person who had entered the establishment of one of the large clubs, in the neighborhood of St. James' palace, upon daily pay, conducted himself with so much propriety, that he was gradually promoted to the office of assistant butler. The butler died, and as valuable articles were intrusted to his keeping, it was important that none but a trustworthy person should be appointed to the vacancy. The club was protected in this appointment by a bond to a considerable amount. The good character of the assistant-butler recommended him to the house committee, who unanimously selected him for the vacant office. The necessity of providing sureties, however, was an insuperable bar; the man had no friends of sufficient property to whom he could apply for such a favor. It was most

a desirable that his services should be secured, and as the Guarantee Society, which at that time had scarcely commenced business, offered the means of removing the difficulty, some members of the committee of management communicated with the society; inquiries confirmed the opinion of the good character of the man; the society became his sureties, and a deserving, well-qualified person obtained his reward for good and faithful services.

It also appears that the Guarantee Society furnishes security under circumstances which form a great improvement upon the private mode. It not only institutes a rigid investigation into the moral character of the applicant-rejecting him if there be any deficiency in this respect—but it exercises a care over the parties concerned, demanding that the employer shall exert due vigilance over the employed. Private parties, acting as securities, are usually prevented by delicacy from making any inquiry about the footing on which employer and employed may stand; and, when failure takes place, they are usually at a loss to ascertain how far the alleged defalcation is real; but the Guarantee Society is under no scruple on these points, and facts prove that it is well for them to be so. On the other hand, employers who conceive themselves to be amply protected by private sureties, often find that these either were fallacious at first, or in the course of time have become so, their minds being too much engros ed with other objects to admit of their exercising due care. society making suretiship a business, and possessing an ample capital, may be depended upon with absolute confidence.

Mr. De Morgan, in the able paper which has been quoted, anticipated in some degree the objection, that security obtained on commercial prin

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