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shillings in the pound on their nominal | picion, and the document was acted on in
value. The forgers, thirteen in number, were arrested; and notes to the amount of ten thousand pounds were seized on the premises.
ordinary course. From this date up to 1824, the presentation of such powers by Messrs. Marsh & Co. became a matter of frequent occurrence, and very large sums were thus obtained. At last a crash came. Henry Fauntleroy was joint trustee with some other gentlemen of certain moneys
In the mean time, a fraud of even greater magnitude had been perpetrated within the bank itself by one of its most trusted servants. In 1803, a Mr. Bish, a stock-invested in the three per cents. One of broker, was instructed by Mr. Robert Astlett, cashier of the Bank of England, to dispose of some exchequer bills, which, from certain circumstances, Bish knew to be in the official custody of the bank. His suspicions being thus aroused, he communicated with the directors; and it was found that Astlett, who had charge of all exchequer bills brought into the bank, and should have transferred them, in parcels properly docketed, to the custody of the directors, had succeeded in diverting a large number of them to his own uses, his defalcations amounting to no less than three hundred and twenty thousand pounds. Astlett was tried for his offence, and was sentenced to death; but the sentence was never carried into effect. The prisoner remained in Newgate for many years; but whether he died in prison, we do not find recorded.
Passing over the great Stock Exchange frauds of 1814, as a matter in which the bank was only indirectly interested, we come to the forgeries of Fauntleroy, which, from their magnitude and the position of the offender, produced an extraordinary sensation. Henry Fauntleroy had succeeded his father as a partner in the banking firm of Marsh, Stracy & Co. The firm was unfortunate; and Fauntleroy speculated largely on the Stock Exchange in the hope of improving its fortunes, but actually involved himself thereby in still greater difficulties. To meet these, he forged powers of attorney enabling him to deal with funded securities belonging to various clients, from time to time replacing one fund by the proceeds of a later forgery. He began in May, 1815, with a power of attorney empowering Messrs. Marsh & Co. to sell out a sum of three thousand pounds consols. It is an every day occurrence for clients to give such powers to their bankers, and the one in question appeared to be in perfect or der. It purported to be executed by the fundholder, one Frances Young, of Chichester, and to be attested by two of the clerks of Messrs. Marsh & Co. The power was presented at the Bank of England. There was nothing to excite sus
the trustees chancing to call at the bank
For some years after this date, forgery continued to be a capital offence; but there was a growing feeling against the severity of the punishment. In 1832 a bill was passed abolishing the capital penalty in the case of all forgeries save those of wills and powers of attorney; and in 1837 these also ceased to be capital offences.
In 1844, a very ingenious fraud was perpetrated, with the curious result of restoring to the rightful owner a large sum of money of whose very existence she was not aware. In the year 1815, a Mr. Slack died, leaving a Mr. Hulme his executor. Mr. Hulme, in the course of his duties as such, transferred into the name of Ann Slack, of Smith Street, Chelsea, six thou
The last great fraud by which the Bank of England has been a sufferer was that of Austin Bidwell and his accomplices. On the 18th of April, 1872, Austin Bidwell called upon a tailor named Green, in Savile Row, and under the assumed name of Warren, gave him a handsome order. On May 4, he paid Mr. Green another visit. He was then professedly on his way to Ireland, and having about him a large sum of money, asked Green to take charge of it during his absence. Green hesitated to take the responsibility, but remarked that the branch Bank of England was in Burlington Gardens close by, and offered to introduce Warren there. This was done; and Warren opened an account by a deposit of twelve hundred pounds. He gave his name as "Frederick Albert Warren," and his address as Golden Cross Hotel. He paid in and drew out moneys to a considerable amount, and shortly began to offer bills for discount. They bore the best of names, and were discounted without hesitation. On the 17th of June, 1873, a bill of Rothschild's for four thousand five hundred pounds was offered, and was discounted in due course.
sand six hundred pounds consols, and three thousand five hundred pounds three per cent. reduced annuities. During Mr. Hulme's lifetime, he received the dividends on both funds, and Miss Slack drew on him for money as she needed it. Upon his death in 1832, Miss Slack resolved thenceforth to receive her dividends herself, but only did so as regarded the six thousand six hundred pounds consols, not being aware, apparently, that she was also entitled to the three thousand five hundred pounds. This state of things continued from 1832 to 1842, when the three thousand five hundred pounds reduced annuities, with ten years' dividends, were transferred, as unclaimed, to the commissioners for the reduction of the national debt. The fact of the transfer being known to a clerk in the bank, one William Christmas, he communicated it to one Joshua Fletcher, who forthwith concocted a scheme for possessing himself of the amount. With the aid of a solicitor named Barber, he ascertained that Ann Slack was still alive, and managed to obtain a specimen of her signature. He then registered Ann Slack as deceased, first, how ever, forging a will in her name purporting to bequeath the sum in question to a sup- Having thus gained, by transactions in posed niece, Emma Slack. This will was genuine bills, the confidence of the Bank duly proved, and the probate lodged at authorities, the supposed Warren comthe Bank of England. A woman named menced operations of another kind. Bills Sanders personated the supposed Emma came in thick and fast for discount, still Slack. The three thousand five hundred bearing the same first-class pounds was sold out, and the proceeds Rothschild, Blydenstein, Suse and Sibeth, paid to her, together with the unclaimed etc.; but they were now cleverly executed dividends, amounting to about eleven hun-forgeries. The Bank continued to disdred pounds. The conspirators had carried their plan through very cleverly; but they had overlooked one point. The will only professed to bequeath the reduced annuities, and consequently these only had been dealt with; but as the bank authorities knew that Ann Slack had also possessed a fund in consols, they, in accordance with their usual practice, placed "deceased" against her name in the title of that account. When an account is "dead" that is, stands in the name of a deceased person no addition can be made to it. Ann Slack, shortly afterwards, desiring to add more stock to this account, was informed, to her astonishment, that she was dead. To prove that she was not so, she presented herself at the bank with ample proof of her identity. Fletcher and Barber were tried, and found guilty. The money was gone; but Ann Slack notwithstanding received her full due, the loss being borne by the government.
count without suspicion. Naturally, however, it paid in its own notes, of which the numbers were recorded, and which, when it was discovered that the bills were forged, would be difficult to realize. Bidwell, in order to dispose of these and to diminish the chances of identification, opened an account in another name (Horton) at the Continental Bank. Here he paid in the notes received from the Bank of England, taking French and German money in exchange; Hills under the name of Noyes acting as his clerk. Sometimes, by way of variety, Hills changed notes into gold at the Bank of England itself, alleging that the coin was for export; but the gold so obtained was brought back again by Macdonnell, and exchanged for fresh notes, which, thus obtained, would have no obvious connection with the original fraud. George Bidwell undertook what may be called the manufacturing department, namely, the
preparation of the plates, and the printing of the bill-forms for the forgeries. By thus dividing their labors, and working each in a distinct department of the fraud, the gang hoped to evade discovery until they had made what they regarded as a sufficient haul, when they would doubtless have retired to foreign climes to enjoy the fruits of their labors. How much further they would have gone it is impossible to say, for they had already offered forged bills to the amount of £102,217, 19s. 7d., when a happy oversight led to their detec tion. Two bills for one thousand pounds each, professedly accepted by Messrs. Blydenstein, and payable three months after "sight," were not "sighted". that is, the date of acceptance was not inserted. A clerk of the Bank was sent to Messrs. Blydenstein's to get the omission rectified, and was met by the startling information that the bills were forgeries. With some little trouble, the whole of the gang were arrested, and after a trial lasting eight days, were convicted, and sentenced to penal servitude.
The cases we have described afford an unusually forcible illustration of the good old-fashioned maxim, that Honesty is the best policy." If dishonesty ever were a paying game, it should be in the case of such men as these, with so much ability employed, playing for such heavy stakes, and with schemes so carefully planned. And yet, what must the life of such a schemer be? Fauntleroy, we are told, did for years the work of three clerks, in order to conceal his frauds. Fare as sumptuously, entertain as lavishly as he may, the schemer must live with every nerve strained, in constant dread of detection, ever feeling the thief-taker's hand on his collar, the steel of the handcuffs upon his wrists. In most instances, he does not derive even a transient benefit from his crime. Where there is a temporary success, as in the case of Fauntleroy, the proceeds of one forgery are perforce devoted to make good another, or the money gained by fraud is squandered in unprofitable speculations. And sooner or later, the end is sure to come. The most watchful of men cannot be always on his guard. Some day, a little slip is made, perhaps the mere omission of a date, as in Bidwell's case, or an incautious remark, as in that of Mathison, and then the dock and a violent death, or, even under the present merciful régime, long years spent in the convict's garb, living on convict's fare, and herding with the very dregs of humanity.
From The Spectator.
GEORGE ELIOT'S HUMOR.
THE dramatic humor which has gained so much admiration for George Eliot's stories, and which is so conspicous by its absence from her letters and journals, seems to most readers to be of a kind which would have been likely to make itself visible in almost every hour and every personal action of her life. As a matter of fact, we now know that it was not so, - that it was a sort of latent heat which was given out chiefly under the conditions of creative fiction. In her ordinary life, the reflective and elaborate considerateness of the woman so predominated over all she did and thought, that you observe nothing else, no sparkling colors of prismatic imagination, no vision of the scenes she had herself observed in one aspect, under the manifold lights in which the various characters she could create would have observed them. When you turn to her books, and consider how, in "Silas Marner," the good-natured, husky butcher at the Rainbow mildly resents the imputations of the quarrelsome farrier, and limits himself to contending that the "red Durham" cow had turned out "a lovely carkiss," though he "would quarrel with no man;" when you remember in "Felix Holt " how Mrs. Holt, when she thought of the obstinacy of her son Felix in refusing to wear a cravat, and insisting on wearing a workman's cap, mentally refers to these grievances even in chapel time, “with a slow shake of the head at several passages in the minister's prayer; or recall in "The Mill on the Floss" how the sister who "holds by a spot" on her tablecloths looks down upon the sister who held by "big checks and live things" on her linen, you can hardly believe that in three volumes of such an author's letters there is not a trace of that pleasure in looking at the world through all sorts of grotesque media, which you naturally ascribe to a writer with so great a command of the varieties of human limitation and human caprice. The fact, however, appears to be, that not only was this great command of dramatic insight not habitually used, and certainly not the resource of every idle hour, but that it was not habitually even usable, that George Eliot needed the sense of pressure belonging to the constructive work of a particular plot, and of particular local and personal details, before she was able to summon up before her the vivid life with which she so often delights us. When she got her imagination to the exact point
"Magnificat anima mea" on small occasions; and writes in this fashion page after page, and letter after letter, till one feels it quite an unexpected relief when she comes out in a letter to John Blackwood with so homely a sample of her own wisdom as this, "An unfortunate duck can only lay blue eggs, however much white ones may be in demand." On the whole, we should say that, while George Eliot is an author of singularly large humor, this quality is more completely latent in her correspondence than it is at all easy to understand.
where a butcher's feelings about the "carkiss" of a "red Durham" are wanted, the butcher's feelings about that carcase came to her in the most vivid and complete way. When she had to ask herself how the pious widow of a quack medicine vendor would defend her husband for selling those quack medicines, and mix up irrelevant texts from the Bible with her pious commemoration of the deceased quack, George Eliot could reproduce the widow's feelings with a delightful fertility that gives one the highest sense both of her realism and of her humor. But, so far as we can judge, when the necessity If we were to hazard a very bold con. for calling up these figures, under the jecture, it would be that George Eliot's special conditions of time and place, was imagination was the real origin of her not upon her, George Eliot did not pos- humor; and that only through the exer sess a fancy that created them merely for cise of her imagination, which was delibher own behoof and amusement. She erate, and more or less a matter of will, had an imagination that required prepar- though, when she had made the effort, she ing by special effort, by a careful combi- had, as she herself said, no power to connation of concurrent elements, before it trol the play of her own faculty, — did her indulged her with these lifelike visions. humor come to the surface. When she She did not suddenly see a political situa- had got Mrs. Poyser well before her mind tion, as Mr. Brooke would have seen it, she could invent Mrs. Poyser's witty say and burst into laughter at his naïf slip-ings almost ad libitum; when she had shodness; she did not suddenly get a glimpse of life through the Dodson mind, and become convulsed at the spectacle of its grotesque narrowness and arbitrariness. She seems to have gone through life with a view not less monotonously individual and personal, — perhaps even somewhat more monotonously individual and personal, than other persons greatly her inferior in ability; while the magnificent humor which she could on occasions command, was almost as rarely put in requisition for ordinary purposes as is the spectroscope of the chemist or the telephone of the electrician. It appears from reading George Eliot's letters, that there was a want of life and variety in her ordinary view of the world; that she arranged her impressions too elaborately in certain uniform patterns; and that, barring the occasional use of a little labored irony, she wrote to all her friends in exactly the same style, on exactly the same class of subjects. For example, she talks of Anthony Trollope's "wholesome Wesen," though Anthony Trollope suggested noth-light which is cast on general views by ing less than a German word for "es- the large knowledge she has of the consence; she speaks of her own per. fusions and littlenesses of human nature. turbed health," as if "disturbed" were quite too common an adjective for her use; describes her favorite thoughts as "altars where I oftenest go to contemplate; " declares herself "completely upset by anything that arouses unloving emotions; " cries out "Ebenezer" or
got Mr. Brooke, with his hesitating and good-natured incoherence before her mind, she could make him blunder into stultifications of which only Mr. Brooke could have been capable; when she had Mrs. Pullet or Bob Jakin before her mind, she could prose about the medicine bottles or the keys, or boast of the advantages which a pedlar may derive from a broad thumb, as only these admirable characters could have done it; but she is dependent on a distinct vision of the figure itself for the humor which the figure brings with it; she has none of Charles Lamb's delight in the rapid interchange of associated ideas on her own account; she is not a humorist first and a dramatist afterwards, but a humorist only because she is a dramatist. And then she was a dramatist only when she had all her spells in full working order, and had distinctly realized the figures which she had to create. Then, and not till then, her humor flows in a large stream. But otherwise her humor appears only in the form of a pale irony, that is, in the
Thus it is perfectly characteristic of her own style when she remarks that "the Dissenters solemnly disclaimed any lax expectations that Catholics were likely to be saved;" or when she tells us that "the Independent chapel began to be filled with eager men and women to whom the
exceptional possession of religious truth | with the broad ties not the narrow-frilled was the condition which reconciled them uns — is the key o' the drawer in the Blue to a meagre existence, and made them Room, where the key o' the Blue Closet is. feel in secure alliance with the unseen but You'll make a mistake, and I shall niver be supreme rule of a world in which their worthy to know it. You've a memory for my pills and draughts wonderful, I'll always say own visible part was small." Again, she that of you; but you're lost among the keys.' is entirely in her own vein when she This gloomy prospect of the confusion that speaks of the "sense of that peculiar edi. would ensue on her decease was very affecting fication which belongs to the inexplicable." to Mrs. Pullet. But George Eliot's irony is not true humor. We may even say that there is in it a thin tone of triumph over the incon
sistencies of human nature which is in a
totally different key to the hearty laughter of the true humorist. And, therefore, we seldom enjoy that sensation of pins and needles with which she often regales us in the reflective portions of her novels, the openings of her chapters, certainly not as we do that large dramatic humor in which she soon loses herself when once she is speaking for characters which have laid a hold of her imagination. Take, for instance, Mrs. Pullet's gloomy reflections as to the incapacity of her husband to unravel the mystery of her keys, in case of her decease:
This reflection that Mr. Pullet would Mrs. Pullet, in her spiritual life, “would make a mistake about the keys, and that of humor in it that Shakespeare himself niver be worthy to know it," has the sort would have enjoyed to the utmost. the humor comes of the vision of Mrs. Pullet, and not Mrs. Pullet of the sense of humor. In George Eliot's own life it is only in the thinner irony with which she mocks at human limitations that we see the secondary effect of her dramatic feeling. She herself takes life gravely, monotonously, sometimes almost drearily; little value she attaches to the significance and certainly not the less drearily for the of most human convictions. Her dramatic power plays into the hands of her "I don't know what you mean to do, sister intellectual scepticism, and of her compreGlegg, but I mean to give him [Tom] a table-hensive forbearance with all the forms of cloth of all my three biggest sizes but one, besides sheets. I don't say what more I shall do; but that I shall do, and if I should die tomorrow, Mr. Pullet, you'll bear it in mind, though you'll be blundering with the keys, and never remember as that on the third shelf of the left-hand wardrobe, behind the nightcaps
human error; but otherwise her dramatic power does not play at all a conspicuous part in her own life. It does not even often succeed in breaking through the rather artificial sweetness and elaborate. ness of her journals and epistles.
THE YOUNG OF THE LOBSTER.
The early life history of the lobster is most interesting, The eggs are, upon extrusion, found attached to the "swimmarets" of the abdomen (the socalled tail of the lobster), and constitute what is generally known as the "berry" A single female lobster will have from twenty to thirty thousand eggs -as nearly as possible the same as the female salmon. Attached to this "berry" form, the eggs remain for some three or four months, and then the young are hatched. | "No nutritive or other than a purely mechanical relationship subsists all this time between the parent and its egg-clusters, the passing of its small brush-like claws among them to rid them of any extraneously derived substances, and the occasional fanning motion of its swimmarets to increase the stream of oxygenated water through and among the eggs, representing the sum total of attention they receive." The young animals that issue from the eggs of the lobster are distinct in every way from the adult. If, on the contrary, they were like their parents, they would at once sink to the bottom of the water in the immediate neighborhood
of their birthplace, and the area of their dis tribution would be extremely limited. Na. ture here, however, as in the case of the great majority of marine invertebrate animals, has provided her offspring with special facilities for becoming distributed to long distances, their bodies being so lightly constructed that their specific gravity scarcely exceeds that of the fluid medium they inhabit, while they are additionally provided with long, feather-like locomotive organs, with which they swim at or near the surface of the water. As such essentially free-swimming animals, they now spend the entire first month or six weeks of their existence, in which time, it is scarcely necessary to state, they may be carried by the tides and currents many miles away from their places of birth. During this interval, however, the little lobsters by no means retain their primitive shape; their delicate skin, the rudiment of the future shell, is constantly getting too tight for them, and is thrown off to give place to a larger and looser one that differs each time in many structural points from its predecessor.
Fisheries of the World.