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maundering about the good old times and the patterns of his grandmother. Talk of slavery, of cotton slavery! I say the real cotton slave is the calicoprinter. Ladies, I don't want to be hard with you; but, God knows, your charming sex is a trifle exacting. When we come to know you and love you, we like to wear your bonds, and own ourselves your slaves, and consult your veriest whim, and do your wildest bidding. But the veriest Ethiop has only one master at a time. How worse than an Ethiop, then, must be the slave of many mistresses? Now I say the calico-printer is that unfortunate man, the humble slave, the lorded-over, the unreasonably-worked chattel of a legion of mistresses. What did it signify to the unreasonable sex that French ultramarine would neither combine with cotton fabrics of itself substantively, nor could be bitten in with mordants? From some bigh court of fashion the decree went forth—"that ultramarine patterns do put in an appearance on cotton cloth forthwith.” The cotton-printer trembled. To argue the matter was bootless; he knew it:—if ladies had decreed to have silver moonbeams upon their dresses, he must do it. Well, after a fashion, he did conquer the ultramarine difficulty. Combine ultramarine would not; but a cement being used, it would perhaps stick. So the poor white Ethiop, — the man of many mistresses—every woman's slave,—dissolved Dutch cheese in hartshorn, making a paste of it. With that paste he stuck on the ultramarine. Ladies, you have the blue cerulean, but it won't wash. And if you have a gleam of pity beaming down upon your hearts, pray, don't, I implore you, bid the poor cotton-printer, your bumble slave, to make it washable. He never says he cannot do a thing, but that he could not do; and I fear the inability to oblige you would break his heart; or drive liim to quit this exacting world, perhaps after the manner of Mokanna, dissolved in one of his own cauldrons.
But very seriously, the cotton-printer's art is full of delicate expedients -processes which are fatiguing to write about, though pretty to see. Decidedly no lady can read such a word as "hypochlorite," or be made to understand the difference between a ferrocyanide and a ferridcyanide, without imposing a tax on her patience : wherefore the beautiful mysteries of cotton-printing must still be mysteries to the beautiful sex: but, feeling my labours almost at an end, pen blunted, ink thickened, midnight oil running low, and certain pet mice—I never kill them-noisy, let me improve the occasion of taking my discharge, by explaining the process of discharge as practised in cotton-printing. Ifa table-napkin be stained by spilt portwine, or the juice of a tart, a lady, after smiling outwardly, but inwardly protesting that some people are very clumsy, begins to think about removing the stain :-bleaching the napkin. Chloride of lime she will probably use, and it shall suffice-out comes the stain. But if the chloride of lime be touched in spots, the stain will only be removed in part, the bleaching being spotty. This, ladies, is the process of discharge in cotton-printing; and in this way are some of the white grounds accomplished on cotton-printed goods-notably on bandanna handkerchiefs.
The lark was up and loud with the morn,
The air was faint with the Summer blisses,
The Autumn leaves lay sere by the river, When false tongues drave us to cold farewells ; The evil angels were strong to sever, And the morning of life was lost for ever : “Gloria Deo," rang Barnewood Bells; “Gloria Deo, Gloria Deo, Gloria Deo,” rang Barnewood Bells.
Now I thrust, with too idle weeping,
The Seven Sons of Mammon.
THE FEET OF CLAY. THE walls of Beryl Court, like those of Balclutha, were desolate.
1 That feu d'enfer at Sebastopol, of which Menschikoff wrote such rueful accounts to bis Emperor, was a mere popgun cannonade compared with the devastating bombardment of Bankruptcy. A fiat from Basinghall Street is like a trumpet, blowing down the walls of Jericho, commercial and financial, in an instant. No pantomimic change that Farley or Bradwell ever dreamt of is half so rapid as that which takes place when a great merchant's house is turned out of windows. 'Tis the old story of Aladdin's palace over again. The inestimable old, albeit rusty, lamp has been incautiously exchanged—beware of people who cry things in the street-for a bran-new, tawdry, utterly worthless affair; and, presto, away goes palace, and down comes Aladdin, like Humpty Dumpty from the top of his wall.
It was speedily manifest that not all the king's horses nor all the king's men could ever set Sir Jasper Goldthorpe up again. His fall had been too violent; the Smash was too great. A wise man has said, that the success of the wicked resembles only the progress of some wretch urged towards the summit of the Tarpeian rock to be ruinously flung therefrom. I leave for the moment the question of Mammon's wickedness or virtue in abeyance. I only look at him as be lies, bleeding, mangled, crushed out of all solvent semblance, at the bottom of the precipice, to the brink of which he clomb so arrogantly.
Where Mammon had been only yesterday absolute,- supreme, wellnigh, in his earthly way, and among his earthly vassals omnipotent, VOL. III.
Messenger in Bankruptcy now held undisputed sway. The Emperor was nowhere. He had been beaten; he had abdicated; his throne was vacant. The Messenger was the Provisional Government. He appointed a provisional ministry, and took provisional command of the remaining finances. Le roi était mort; but the kingly line was extinct, and there was no new sovereign to shout “ Vive le roi !" for. The Messenger in Bankruptcy was a pleasant man in a Marseilles waistcoat, and with a bald pate so polished, thạt when he took off his hat the birds might have used his shining occiput for a mirror, and plumed themselves by its reflection. The Messenger netted a comfortable salary of two or three thousand a year by getting other people to execute his messages. He was a high Tory, and spent a portion of his earnings in the maintenance of a moribund, but highly orthodox, Church and State newspaper, of which the last proprietor had been a Unitarian, and the last but one a converted Jew. The Morning Mitre-thus was the Messenger's journal called-has since been sold, the True-Blue Club refusing to advance any more money for its support. It is now edited by a gentleman of Mormon tendencies, and is said to be the subsidised organ of the Turkish government,-since the black ambassador from Hayti wouldn't have any thing to do with it,—but it is as orthodox and as Conservative as ever.
So the Messenger put his merry men into Beryl Court, and accountants began to range through the extensive library of ledgers, cash-books, journals, and so forth, in which the prodigious transactions of Goldthorpe and Co. were recorded. I am advancing matters if I speak of meetings for the choice of assignees, certificate discussions, and similar preliminaries to the great five-act drama of fivepence in the pound. I am now but at the morrow of the disaster; but was it fivepence, or was it nothing at all in the pound, that Goldthorpe's estate, after seven years' delay, rendered to the creditors ?
Goldthorpe's estate! That now became the misty, hazy semi-entity into which the countless treasures of Mammon had resolved themselves. Every thing now belonged to the “estate," and seemed to wither and grow blighted under the baleful influence of Basinghall Street. The marblefronted palace in Beryl Court seemed suddenly afflicted with the same leprosy that is said to have attacked the stonework of the new Houses of Parliament. Of course the people whose business it was left off cleaning the windows, sweeping the door-step, and polishing the brass-plate. The muddy highlows of the Messenger's merry men made tesselations for themselves on the pavement of the entrance-hall. Bits of straw-how ever is it that bits of straw seem indissolubly connected with every case in bankruptcy ?-began to be noticed about the Court, and even in offices and ante-chambers. The merry men belonging to the Messenger chewed bits of straw continually. The trim servitors, who were wont to glide about so noiselessly and so obediently on the behests of Mammon and the heads of his departments, suddenly disappeared, and were replaced, no one knew how, or why, by an inconceivable female of great but uncertain age,
who had a face like an exaggerated Norfolk biffin, and the arrangement of whose costume was after the engraved portrait of Mother Bunch, and whose pattens were perpetual, and who wore a bonnet that may be said to have resembled the design of a Turkey carpet, for it was like nothing in the sky, or upon the earth, or in the waters under them. This phenomenon announced herself to be Mrs. Runt, laundress, and invariably soiled every article with which she came in contact. She was always sipping halfpints of porter, and always talking with indecorous glibness about the "estate" and the assignees. In all the catastrophes of life,--in childbirth, in bankruptcy, in captivity, in sickness, and in death,—these appalling women start up unbidden, and have dominion almost as great as that claimed by commissioners, by turnkeys, by doctors, and by undertakers. When they are not prattling about the “assignees," their theme is the “ trustees” or the “executors." They are all sisters. Mrs. Runt pervades Beryl Court, and Mrs. Bunt, when you are sick in chambers, administers to you, internally, the liniment instead of the draught. Mrs. Grunt comes to the lying-in, and Mrs. Hunt lays you out. Were they ever young, these standing protests against the laws on witchcraft? Had they ever good looks? Did they ever know what it was to be pretty, and cheerful, and honest, and sober? What were their husbands, if they ever had any, -mutes, or dissecting-room porters, or resurrection men, or watchmen? I think,' myself, that they were all born old, that they had the rheumatism in their cradles, and were suckled on beer and weaned on gin, and that their fathers were all Chelsea pensioners, and their mothers all workhouse nurses.
The clerks and other employés of the great House did not take the ruin of Mammon much to heart. There was something in having belonged to a firm that had smashed for so tremendous an amount. The sage heads of other City firms looked on a man out of Goldthorpe's as one whose experiences had been vast, whose knowledge of monetary ramifications must be prodigious, and who must necessarily be up, not to a thing or two, but to a thing or twenty. So when the brief notice accorded to them had expired, they readily found other engagements. The heads of departments were as undismayed. One gentleman positively married on the strength of Goldthorpe's bankruptcy. Another, as precautionary measures, immediately increased his tailor's bill, ordered some peculiar port from his wine-merchant, and took a house on a long lease. A third published a book on the History of Great Speculations, which had a rapid sale, and obtained for its gifted author the appointment of Secretary of the Imperial Clerical and General Purchase of Pawnbrokers' Duplicates Association (offices in Cannon Street and Pall Mall); and one gentleman, more aspiring than the rest, added another horse to his brougham, took a house in Tyburnia, went into business for himself, and was blithely bankrupt at the end of twelve months. He had so closely imitated the system of operations pursued by his great chief, that his Smash was the very image of Mammon's seen through the small end of an opera-glass.