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anybody supposed. In addition to what he had
suffered from the devouring element, he had
been largely robbed for years by dishonest
servants, without being able to make out a case for
prosecution; he had been forged upon, to a large
extent, by a heartless nephew, who had fled to
the Isle of Thanet, where he was lost in a tornado;
and he had had to pay a mass of debts
contracted without his knowledge by the
extravagant woman whom it was his misfortune to
call his wife. His family had suffered much
from sickness and feebleness of constitution, and
he had often had to pay five hundred pounds a
year for change of air and medical expenses. A
number of bad debts had been forced upon him
by the influence of people amongst whom, and
by whom, he lived; and he had lost four hundred
and fifty pounds at one blow, through
accepting an accommodation bill for a man who
had saved him from a watery grave when he was
quite a boy. The five thousand pounds he had
borrowed to extend his business from Mr. Dove
(a gentleman who acted as his head manager,
but who was connected with some distinguished
Irish capitalists) had thus been eaten away,
with other property. At the hour when he
thought he was, and certainly ought to have
been, a substantial tradesman, he awoke to find
himself a bankrupt and a beggar. His solicitor
also wished to mention (though, of course,
it would have no influence with the court) that
the unfortunate bankrupt was subject to fits,
brought on, no doubt, by the shock of so many

The commissioner, after a little confidential
communication with the official assignee,
declined to pay much attention to the feeble
opposition of certain creditors. He found that all
the expenses of the court were secured by the
property which the bankrupt had given up
(according to the official assignee's report), and
that there was a prospect of an early dividend of
at least a shilling in the pound. He was obliged
to rebuke the bankrupt for accepting an
accommodation bill, and also for giving a bill of sale
to Mr. Dove so short a period before his
bankruptcy; but, having done this in a
severe and fatherly manner, he thought the
justice of the case was satisfied by granting
Mr. Lilyseed an immediate third-class certificate.

Mr. Lilyseed returned to his establishment
hopeful and triumphant, with this new license
to trade in his pocket, and the faithful Mr.
Dove was there to receive him. He looked
round upon his six thousand five hundred pounds'
worth of stock, that had been so cleverly secured
from his creditors, and he looked forward to the
five hundred pounds and more, in cash, and in
Mr. Dove's tenacious keeping.

"We must have the place painted up," said
Mr. Lilyseed, addressing Mr. Dove, and at once
assuming the position of a master; "and I don't
like that slovenly arrangement of stock in the

"While I congratulate you upon your success
before the court, sir," returned Mr. Dove, firmly,
"I am afraid that our connexion must cease
from this moment."

"What!" exclaimed the clever and complete
tradesman, "you don't mean to say you want to
leave me? I was thinking of a junior partnership
for you."

"I'm much obliged to you, sir, I'm sure,"
said Mr. Dove, "but I must decline to accept

"Well," returned Mr. Lilyseed, resignedly,
"you'll credit me with having made the offer.
Have you got those bank-notes and documents
by you?"

"I have got the documents," replied Mr.
Dove, calmly, "but I've disposed of the money."

"Ehwhat?" exclaimed Mr. Lilyseed, in

"I've bought back the lease of these premises,
which you had mortgaged up to the neck with
Mr. Darky's invisible capitalist client, and I've
taken the liberty of putting my own name over
the doorway."

Mr. Lilyseed was not a fool, and he saw his
position. Mr. Dove was not a fool, but a wolf
in sheep's clothing. The first gentleman found
himself completely turned into the street, for
the second gentleman was determined to use all
the legal power which the bill of sale gave him.

"I am not wholly unprovided with means,"
said Mr. Lilyseed, accepting his defeat with
great self-command, "if you are disposed to
treat for a partnership."

"I think," said Mr. Dove, "we are better
apart. You are worthy of something far better
than I am prepared to offer."

And so they separated, like prudent traders,
each one adopting the course he thought best
suited to his worldly welfare. Mr. Lilyseed was
heard of, some years after, as a gigantic
contractor; but whether Our Mr. Dove was the
same Mr. Dove who, about the same time, was
heard of as laying the first stone of a gigantic
tabernacle, I am not positively prepared to

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