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government situations, or appointments in the lower courts of law, anxious to invest their savings in so lucrative and flourishing a concern; and with a laudable desire to benefit our species we admitted them. In the meanwhile, I had managed to have myself appointed manager, while my three confidants figured, one as treasurer, the others as trustees ; so that we had the whole affair in our own hands, besides being handsomely paid for holding office. Positively, when I think of the unbusiness-like conduct of these men-their facile gullibility and blind confidence, I take some credit to myself for having assisted in teaching them a great moral lesson, which, in spite of their natural obtuseness, the emptiness of their pockets will for some time remind them of. So well-conducted and profitable an establishment, managed by such honest and respectable men, caused quite a plethory of trustingness amongst them, and these sapient shareholders made nothing of agreeing to rules which they had never read, and signing accounts which they had never seen-relying on the authority of the auditor as a sufficient guarantee for their correctness. Meanwhile we, the manager, treasurer, and trustees, withdrew our original investments, sharing the poetical portion of them with great exactitude, and taking care to put fresh stock in the book ; which, I need hardly say, never found its way to the bank. This ruse, however, was perfectly successful: it encouraged the old speculators, and decoyed new : while from our imaginary capital we continued to draw solid dividends, adding each time to our traditional stock. In this way things flourished for nearly three years; when, as if to show that even the · Equitable Society' was not exempt from the mutations that characterise all human undertakings, one or other of the shareholders, roused by some horrid newspaper report or other alarmist, began to make some pertinent, or rather impertinent inquiries as to the amount of stock in the bank—the sum paid in from borrowers every week; -hinting, that though he had seen the monthly report he had not paid particular attention to it. Of course he was furnished with a satisfactory account ; but the man had, it seemed, suddenly cut his wisdom-teeth, for he absolutely made the discovery that the weekly receipts did not correspond with the amount of capital. How I wished that I was possessed of the eyepressure power the heroes of modern novels exhibit, fór then I would have annihilated him with a look.' As it was, I had nothing for it but to put on the very blandest expression, and explain away his little misconceptions. · He had been unfortunate in making his examination at a very dull time --if he waited till the next month, a number of bills were due, and he would find the money come in again ;' and so for a time his qualms were quieted. When, however, à few months had elapsed, the mistrust of the man's character broke out again, and what was worse, he inoculated the rest with his suspicions. In vain the advent of the promised bonus presented itself (perspectively); the shareholders grew clamorous for tangible possession, and insisted on withdrawing their money a scheme quite at variance with our rules, under a certain length of notice, and peculiarly awkward at any time, as half the stock extant on the Society's books had no other existence than a figurative one. In this dilemma it was hopeless to finesse ; therefore, during the month that elapsed between the form of giving notice, and its fruition in the shape of returned shares, we, the manager, treasurer, and trustees, declared the Equitable Loan Society' to be defunct ; and, divesting ourselves of all official accountableness connected therewith, retired into the quietude of private life, considerably enriched by the spoliation of these unconscionable speculators, whose rapacity had hitherto prevented them from discovering that throughout the affair they had been participating in illegal lucre, and that the percentage charged by the · Equitable Society' was considerably over that which is recognised by the Act of Parliament. Finding no legal redress left to them, they had the modesty to propose a compromise ; an invitation that of course I and my colleagues declined on principle, as involving the compromise of ourselves both in cash and character, neither of which we could afford. After this, I tried various projects, but with little success. Those horrid • Equitables !' everywhere they had spread the name of Baltimore Smith; and, because I happened to have managed the concern for them, threw the whole responsibility upon my shoulders, and in every public-house they entered, and throughout their clubs, morbidly attributed its failure to me. For some time, therefore, I remained in unprofitable seclusion, yainly racking my ingenuity for a scheme of comfortable maintenance at the smallest possible outlay of personal trouble and expense. At length I conceived the notion of an agency office, and had even prepared a number of the most eligible advertisements to be fairly copied on showy cards, and relieved by a crimson show-board, when the fellow with whom I was in treaty

for a front window insolently demanded if I was the man who had lately managed the Equitable Loan Society ? because, if so-but I did not wait to hear the remainder of his ill-bred jargon, but incontinently broke off my negotiation, determined to have nothing more to do with him. Foiled in my (by no means unprecedented) device of supporting myself on three-and-sixpenny and five-shilling subsidies extracted from cooks, clerks, ladies' maids, companions, governesses, &c., I remembered with gratitude a means that had not before struck me, and to which I immediately applied. Previous to the closing of the • Equitable’ I had, by an oversight consequent to the confusion of the establishment at the time, put paid to divers of the bills standing in the Society's books, at the same time transcribing them into one of my own, without this little memorandum attached ; and in my present exigencies (for I had got through a great part of my property in building and other speculations which I could no longer go on with) I determined to test the efficacy of this fortuitous arrangement. So, copying out two or three of the accounts, I dropped in upon the debtors, and where ten pounds were due I desired them to pay me eight; where eight, six, and so on, giving them a receipt in full, besides relieving them from the expense of fines, &c., consequent on not having kept their instalments regularly paid. In this way I contrived to live for some time ; but the · Equitables' having got hold of it, drove me from this resource also, and hurried, I have no doubt, the crisis of my disasters. With the power of drawing realities from idealism, had departed the means of paying workmen, or of purchasing materials for finishing the houses I had in hand ; besides being heavily in arrears with the architect, who, having found out how matters stood with me, seized upon the buildings the very day I had succeeded in mortgaging them, with the intention of taking a passage by the Great Western, and trying my fortune in the New World. Instead of which,” added Mr. Baltimore Smith, with a dolorous sinking-down of voice, and lengthy expression of countenance, “ I find myself an inmate of this objectionable place,-& German professor of the cornopean for my chum, and but small hopes of speedily obtaining my certificate_time, opportunity, and health, all wasting-for to a man of my active habits, this sedentary life is dreadful ; and though, to be sure, I have the option of taking exercise in the yard, there is no knowing who one might meet there ; and to be recognised hereafter as a Fleet prisoner- faugh!” And the gentleman's disgust shivered every fold of his well-worn

dressing-gown. “I cannot reconcile it to my prejudices. What is it to me, sir, that the nephew of my Lord Littlegood is my neighbour on the one hand, and an honourable lord himself on the other. That will not soften, in the estimation of honest men, the ill repute—the felonious sound—the name of prison carries with it. But I beg pardon," he continued, inserting a few slender sticks into the dirtiest of grates, beneath the foulest of tin coffee-pots, “ you will share my simple beverage ; I find the lightest diet the best adapted to my inactive habits.” And, on hospitable cares intent,' Mr. Baltimore Smith set forth two odd cups, and a pink packet, marked • soluble cocoa,' from a corner cupboard, and was about to ring for two rolls from the kitchen, when all unexpectedly to him, the sentence, “All out ! All out !' sounded through the gloomy length of the coffee gallery; and the attorney, who had offered not a single comment on the history he had heard, laid his hand (as in duty bound) on that of his client, and departed.

C. W.

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Come, this must be a hoaxe ;

Then I 'll snuffe if I may not smoke ; .
But a voyce came from yo boxe,

And thus these voyces spoke :-
“And would'st thou have a swimmie hedde,

A smokie breath and blacken'd toothe ?
And would'st thou have thy freshness fade,

And wrinkle up thy leafe of youthe?
Would'st thou have thy voyce to lose its tone,
Thy heavenly note, a bagpipe's drone ?
If thou would'st thy health's channels choke,
Then smoke-smoke-smoke!
The pipes of thy sweet musick stuffe,
Then snuffe-snuffe-snuffe!”
Thus spoke, and fledde they both.

Glasse, pipe, boxe, in a daye,
To lose them was I loath,

Yet I threw them alle awaye.
0, would we be alle health, alle lightnesse,
Alle youth, alle sweetnesse, freshnesse, brightnesse,

Seeing through everything,
With mindes like ye crystal springe !
0, would we be just right enough!
Not drinke—not smoke-not snuffe ;

Then would our forward course

To yo right be as naturall
As it is withouten force,
For stones downwarde to falle.

R. L.

THE RELIGION OF INDUSTRY. There is a religion in industry that if more recognised would sanctify and ennoble the working class, and exalt labour, as attractive, honourable, and sacred. An old prose poet writes truly : “ God is well pleased with honest works ; he suffers the labouring man who ploughs the earth to call his life most noble : if he is good and true he offers continual sacrifice to God, and is not so lustrous in his dress as in his heart.”

To labour is to pray. Industry is cultus, culture, worship. Works material as well as spiritual are acceptable to the common Father and Mother-God and Nature. The legislation of God

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