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paragraph from a newspaper of 1786 relates
to the same individual:—

"On the 17th of December, ten pounds was
paid into the Bank, for which the clerk, as usual,
gave a ticket to receive a Bank note of equal
value. This ticket ought to have been carried
immediately to the cashier, instead of which
the bearer took it home, and curiously added
an 0 to the original sum, and returning,
presented it so altered to the cashier, for which
he received a note of one hundred pounds. In
the evening, the clerks found a deficiency in
the accounts; and on examining the tickets of
the day, not only that but two others were
discovered to have been obtained in the same
manner. In the one, the figure 1 was altered
to 4, and in another to 5, by which the artist
received, upon the whole, nearly one thousand

To that princely felony, Old Patch, as will
be seen in the sequel, added smaller misdemeanors
which one would think were far beneath
his notice; except to convince himself and
his mistress of the unbounded facility of his
genius for fraud.

At that period the affluent public were
saddled with a tax on plate; and many
experiments were made to evade it. Among
others, one was invented by a Mr. Charles
Price, a stock-jobber and lottery-office keeper,
which, for a time, puzzled the tax-gatherer.
Mr. Charles Price lived in great style, gave
splendid dinners, and did everything on the
grandest scale. Yet Mr. Charles Price had
no plate! The authorities could not find
so much as a silver tooth-pick on his
magnificent premises. In truth, what he was too
cunning to possess, he borrowed. For one of
his sumptuous entertainments, he hired the
plate of a silversmith in Cornhill, and left the
value in bank-notes as security for its safe
return. One of these notes having proved a
forgery, was traced to Mr. Charles Price; and
Mr. Charles Price was not to be found at that
particular juncture. Although this excited no
surprisefor he was often an absentee from his
office for short periodsyet in due course and
as a formal matter of business, an officer was
set to find him, and to ask his explanation
regarding the false notes. After tracing a man
whom he had a strong notion was Mr. Charles
Price through countless lodgings and
innumerable disguises, the officer (to use his own
expression) "nabbed" Mr. Charles Price.
But, as Mr. Clarke observed, his prisoner and
his prisoner's lady were even then " too many"
for him; for although he lost not a moment
in trying to secure the forging implements,
after he had discovered that Mr. Charles Price,
and Mr. Brank, and Old Patch, were all
concentrated in the person of his prisoner, he
found the lady had destroyed every trace of
evidence. Not a vestige of the forging factory
was left. Not the point of a graver, nor a single
spot of ink, nor a shred of silver paper, nor a
scrap of anybody's handwriting, was to be met
with. Despite, however, this paucity of evidence
to convict him, Mr. Charles Price had
not the courage to face a jury, and eventually
he saved the judicature and the Tyburn executive
much trouble and expense, by hanging
himself in Bridewell.

The success of Mr. Charles Price has never
been surpassed; and even after the darkest era
in the history of Bank forgerieswhich dates
from the suspension of cash payments, in
February, 1797, and which will be treated of
in a succeeding paper—" Old Patch " was
still remembered as the Cæsar of Forgers.


A SPIRIT near me said, " Look forth upon
the Land of Life. What do you see?"

"Steep mountains, covered by a mighty
plain, a table-land of many-coloured beauty.
Beauty, nay, it seems all beautiful at first,
but now I see that there are some parts

"Are they quite barren ?— look more closely

"No, in the wildest deserts, now, I see some
gum-dropping acacias, and the crimson blossom
of the cactus. But there are regions that
rejoice abundantly in flower and fruit; and
now, O Spirit, I see men and women moving
to and fro."

"Observe them, mortal."

"I behold a world of love; the men have
women's arms entwined about them; some
upon the verge of precipicesfriends are
running to the rescue. There are many
wandering like strangers, who know not their
road, and they look upward. Spirit, how
many, many eyes are looking up as if to God!
Ah, now I see some strike their neighbours
down into the dust; I see some wallowing
like swine; I see that there are men and
women brutal."

"Are they quite brutal?—look more closely

"No, I see prickly sorrow growing out of
crime, and penitence awakened by a look of
love. I see good gifts bestowed out of the
hand of murder, and see truth issue out of
lying lips. But in this plain, O Spirit, I see
regionswide, bright regions,— yielding fruit
and flower, while others seem perpetually
veiled with fogs, and in them no fruit ripens.
I see pleasant regions where the rock is full
of clefts, and people fall into them. The men
who dwell beneath the fog deal lovingly, and
yet they have small enjoyment in the world
around them, which they scarcely see. But
whither are these women going?"

"Follow them."

"I have followed down the mountains to a
haven in the vale below. All that is lovely
in the world of flowers makes a fragrant bed
for the dear children; birds singing, they
breathe upon the pleasant air; the butterflies
play with them. Their limbs shine white
among the blossoms, and their mothers come
down full of joy to share their innocent delight.