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demands of restitution; and the Bank was
obliged to sustain the loss. It was discovered
afterwards that an architect having purchased
the Director's house, had taken it down, in
order to build another upon the same spot,
had found the Note in a crevice of the chimney,
and made his discovery an engine for robbing
the Bank."

Carelessness, equal to that recorded above,
is not at all uncommon, and gives the Bank
enormous profit, against which the loss of a
mere thirty thousand pound is but a trifle.
Bank-Notes have been known to light pipes, to
wrap up snuff, to be used as curl-papers; and
British tars, mad with rum and prize-money,
have not unfrequently, in time of war, made
sandwiches of them, and eaten them between
bread-and-butter. In the forty years between
the years 1792 and 1832 there were out-standing
Notes (presumed to have been lost or
destroyed) amounting to one million, three
hundred and thirty odd thousand pounds;
every shilling of which was clear profit to the

The superannuation, death, and burial of a
Bank of England Note is a story soon told.
The returned Notes, or promises performed,
are kept in "The Library" for ten years, and
then burnt in an iron cage in one of the Bank

A few words on the history and general
appearance of the Bank of England Note will
conclude our criticism.

The strong principle to insure the detection
of forgery is uniformity; hence, from the very
first Note issued by the Bank, to that, the merits
of which we are now discussing, the same
general design has been preserved,—only that
the execution has been from time to time
improved; except, we are bound to add, that of the
signatures, some of which are still as illegible
as ever. Originally, Notes were granted more
in the form of Bank post-bills,—that is, not
nominally to a member of the establishment,
but really to the party applying for them, and
for any sum he might require. If it suited his
convenience, he presented his Note several
times, drawing such lesser sums as he might
require; precisely as if it were a letter of credit,
after the manner of the Sailor mentioned in
the latest edition of Joe Miller. Jack,
somehow or other, got possession of a fifty-
pound Note; the sum was so dazzlingly
enormous that he had not the heart, on
presenting it for payment, to demand the
whole sum at once, for fear of breaking the
Bank. So, leaning confidentially over the
counter, he whispered to the cashier, that he
wouldn't be hard upon 'em. He knew times
were bad,—so, as it was all the same to him,
he would take five sovereigns now, and the
rest at so much a week. In like manner,
the fac-simile on the opposite page, while
it presents a specimen of one of the earliest
Bank Notes in existence, shows that the
holder took the amount as Jack proposed;—
by instalments. It was granted to Mr. Thomas
Powell, on the 19th of December, 1699, for
five hundred and fifty-five pounds. His first
draft was one hundred and thirty-one pounds,
ten shillings, and one penny; the second "in
gould," three hundred and sixty; the third,
sixty-three pounds, nine shillings, and eleven-
pence, when the note was retained by the
Bank as having been fully honoured.

With this curious specimen of the ancient
Bank of England Note, we take leave of the
modern onesonly, however, for a short time.
In a week or two, we shall change the topic
(as we have previously intimated) to one
closely bearing upon it. Circumstances,
however, demand that we should change the
subject of it at a much earlier date.


A BENEVOLENT old gentlemanthe late
Mr. Harcourt Brown of Beech Hallwas
plodding his way home to his hotel from a
ramble in the suburbs of London; and having
made a bold attempt at "a short cut," soon
found himself lost in a maze of squalid streets,
leading one into the other, and apparently
leading no where else. He inquired his way
in vain. From the first person, he received a
coarse jest; from another, a look of vacant
stupidity; a third eyed him in dogged silence.
He stepped with one foot into several wretched
little shops; but the people really seemed to
know nothing beyond the next street or alley,
except one man, a dealer in tripe, of a strange,
earthy colour, who called over his shoulder,
"Oh, you're miles out o' your way!" The
only exception to the general indifference,
rudeness and stupidity, was a thin sallow-
cheeked man, who had a fixed smile on his
face, and spoke in rather an abject cringing
tone of obsequiousness, and even walked up
one street and down a second to show Mr.
Brown the way. But it soon became evident
that he knew nothing about the matter, and
he slunk away with the same fixed unmeaning

In this state of affairs Mr. Brown buttoned
up his coat, and manfully resolved to work his
way out of this filthy locality by walking
straight forward.

Trudging onward at a smart pace, the
worthy gentleman presently heard the sound
of sobbing and crying, and behind the boards
of a shed at the side of a ruined hovel he saw
a girl of some nine or ten years of age, clasping
and unclasping her hands in a paroxysm
of grief and apprehension. "Oh, what shall
I do?—what shall I do?" sobbed the child.

She started with terror as Mr. Brown
approached, and hid her head in the folds
of her little apron; but on being assured by
the mild voice of Mr. Brown that he had
no thought of hurting her, she ventured to
look up. She had soft blue eyes, flaxen hair
of silvery glossiness, pretty features; and,
notwithstanding the stain of tears down a