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troubled with." With this Bonelle opened
his door, shut it, and disappeared.

Ramin was transfixed on the stairs;
petrified with intense disappointment, and a
powerful sense of having been duped. When
he was discovered, he stared vacantly, and
raved about an Excellent Opportunity of
taking his revenge.

The wonderful cure was the talk of the
neighbourhood, whenever Monsieur Bonelle
appeared in the streets, jauntily flourishing
his cane. In the first frenzy of his despair,
Ramin refused to pay; he accused every
one of having been in a plot to deceive
him; he turned off Catherine and expelled
his porter; he publicly accused the lawyer
and priest of conspiracy; brought an action
against the doctor, and lost it. He had
another brought against him for violently
assaulting Marguerite in which he was
cast in heavy damages. Monsieur Bonelle
did not trouble himself with useless
remonstrances, but, when his annuity was refused,
employed such good legal arguments, as the
exasperated mercer could not possibly resist.

Ten years have elapsed, and MM. Ramin
and Bonelle still live on. For a house which
would have been dear at fifty thousand francs,
the draper has already handed over seventy

The once red-faced, jovial Ramin is now a
pale haggard man, of sour temper and aspect.
To add to his anguish, he sees the old man thrive
on that money which it breaks his heart to
give. Old Marguerite takes a malicious
pleasure in giving him an exact account of
their good cheer, and in asking him if he does
not think Monsieur looks better and better every
day. Of one part of this torment Ramin might
get rid, by giving his old master notice to quit,
and no longer having him in his house. But
this he cannot do; he has a secret fear that
Bonelle would take some Excellent
Opportunity of dying without his knowledge, and
giving some other person an Excellent
Opportunity of personating him, and receiving the
money in his stead.

The last accounts of the victim of Excellent
Opportunities represent him as being
gradually worn down with disappointment.
There seems every probability of his being the
first to leave the world; for Bonelle is heartier
than ever.


THE BANK NOTE. Oblong Octavo. London, 1850.
       The Governor and Company of the Bank of
       England. Price, from Five to One Thousand

THE object of this popular but expensive
pocket companion, is not wholly dissimilar from
that of its clever and cheaper contemporary
"Notes and Queries." As the latter is a
"medium of intercommunication for literary
men," so the former is a medium of
intercommunication for commercial men; and
surely there is no work with which so many
queries are constantly connected as the Bank
Note. Nothing in existence is so assiduously
inquired for; nothing in nature so perseveringly

This is not to be wondered at; for in whatever
light we view it, to whatever test we
bring it, whether we read it backwards or
forwards, from left to right, or from right to
left; or whether we make it a transparency
to prove its substantial genuineness and
worth, who can deny that the Bank Note is a
most valuable work?—a publication, in short,
without which no gentleman's pocket can be

Few can rise from a critical examination of
the literary contents of this narrow sheet,
without being forcibly struck with the power,
combined with the exquisite fineness of the
writing. It strikes conviction at once. It
dispels all doubts, and relieves all objections.
There is a pithy terseness in the construction
of the sentences; a downright, direct, straight-
forward, coming to the point, which would
be wisely imitated in much of the contemporaneous
literature that constantly obtains
currency (though not as much). Here we have
no circumlocution, no discursive pedantry, no
smell of the lamp; the figures, though wholly
derived from the East (being Arabic numerals),
are distinct and full of purpose; and if
the writing abounds in flourishes, which it
does, these are not rhetorical, but boldly
graphic: struck with a nervous decision of
style, which, instead of obscuring the text and
meaning, convinces the reader that he who
traced them when promising to pay the sum
of five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one
hundred, or a thousand pounds, means
honestly and instantly to keep his word:
that he will pay it to bearer on demand,
without one moment's hesitation.

Strictly adapted for utility, yet the dulcet
is not wholly overlooked; for, besides figures
and flourishes, the graces of art are shed over
this much-prized publication. The figure of
Britannia is no slavish reproduction of any
particular school whatever. She sits upon
her scroll of state utterly inimitable and alone.
She is hung up in one corner of the page, the
sole representative of the P. R. F. P., or pre-re-
issue-of-the-fourpenny-piece, school. Neither,
if judged by the golden rule of our greatest
bard, is the work wholly deficient in another
charm. As we have just explained, its words
are few: brevity is the soul of wit. And we
fearlessly put it to the keenest appreciator
of good things, whether a Bank Note (say for
a hundred) is not the best joke conceivable
except, indeed, a Bank Note for a thousand.

A critical analysis of a work of this
importance cannot be complete without going
deeply into the subject. Reviewing is, alas,
too often mere surface-work; for seldom do
we find the critic going below the superficies,

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