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Chapter VI.: AN ARRANGEMENT. - Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy, vol. 5 
Illustrations of Political Economy (3rd ed) in 9 vols. (London: Charles Fox, 1834). Vol. 5.
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The purpose of Horace's visit to Haleham was to give his father the comfort of his assistance and sympathy respecting his affairs;—assistance and sympathy which were as much wanted now as they had ever been, from the peculiar condition of the monetary system of the country. There seemed to be no possibility of winding up the affairs,—no end to the hopes that this, and that, and the other incumbrance would be got rid of; and no fulfilment of the hope. The debts went on increasing in actual amount, in proportion to the pains taken to provide funds to pay them; and the recovery of these funds became, of course, more difficult, as those who owed them suffered under the same disadvantages as the partners of the D—— bank. Day after day, week after week, Mr. Berkeley came home to tell his wife that, after all he had paid, he was, in fact, as deep in debt as ever; while the calls upon the little income allowed him by his creditors were increasing perpetually. His rent, though nominally the same as three years before, was worth full one-third more to his landlord; and, as for taxes, they were exorbitant. There seemed great danger that Mr. Berkeley, loyal as he had always been, would soon be looked upon as a dangerous person in politics by the country gentlemen round, so vehement were his complaints of the excessive taxation of which the government was enjoying the fruits, now that there was no war to be maintained, and every reason for a reduction of the public burdens, from the difficulties which the agricultural and manufacturing classes were encountering in consequence of the sudden contraction of the currency. Mrs. Berkeley was not at all sorry to see his energy directed into the channel of politics. It was better than dwelling perpetually on his private troubles, and she took particular care to show no signs of weariness when Lewis was instructed every evening on the iniquity of double taxation without acknowledgment, or when Henry Craig came to talk about household preparations, and was held by the button for an hour at a time, while the case of tax-paying labourers was discussed. It pleased her to see her husband's look of satisfaction when Lewis asked sensible questions, or showed the expected degree of astonishment, or confidently pronounced the king's ministers to be good-for-nothing chaps; or when Mr. Craig had a case in point to relate which would do to travel round the neighbourhood, growing in pathos and wonder at each delivery. She did not even shrink from the prospect of hearing the whole list repeated to Horace when he should come, so much happier did her husband seem when he had something to rail about, ready made for use, instead of having to invent public grievances, or to brood over private ones. If she could have foreseen all that would arise to be talked about during Horace's visit, she would have feared that there would be too much instead of too little excitement for her husband's comfort,
Horace had not been many hours under his father's roof when Henry Craig came up to see him. This was, in itself, the most natural thing in the world, as they had now long been friends, and were soon to be brothers; but Henry was peculiarly grave; and this was not exactly the occasion on which to appear so. He soon told the reason. He had received a letter from London, inquiring into the moral character of his parish, and requesting to know whether it was at all probable that any family in Haleham was connected with a company of forgers; and if not, whether he could account for a considerable number of forged notes having been traced back to Haleham persons.
Horace knew something about this. He had more than once, as a Haleham man, had the circumstance mentioned to him in the Clearinghouse, where a very sharp scrutiny was exercised into all small notes, from the present extraordinary prevalence of forgery.
“Well, Craig; what do you think?” exclaimed Mr. Berkeley.
“I do not know what to think, sir, in the face of such facts as my letter gives. We have either guilty or deluded people among us, that is very certain; and who they are, and whether deluded or guilty, it must be my business to find out. I hope Horace will help me.”
“O, I will help you; and you must trust me to do your business thoroughly. I had some experience in this sort of thing when I was a young man. I got together a mass of evidence about a forgery case,—the completest you ever knew; and, though it was no use after all, as far as the offender was concerned, it was a fine piece of experience for me. If such a thing had to be done over again, you could not do better than put it into my hands.”
“How did your labours fail before? What made them useless ?”
“The banker was a shabby fellow, and let the rogue go. He did worse than that. He recommended him to a firm in New York; actually shipped him off with a purse of money in his pocket, and a letter of recommendation in his hand, in which not a hint was given of his delinquency, but his character was set forth in such a light as to induce the New York people to take him.”
“Is it possible? And was this to escape the odium and expense of a prosecution?”
“The ostensible reason was that the young man was penitent. And so he might have been for aught I know; but his master knows best how he found that out; for there were but three days to be penitent in. He was shut up with a Bible, after the proofs of his guilt had been shown to him in such a state of completeness as to induce him to confess: and from that solitary room he was taken on board ship at the end of three days; so, penitent or not penitent, his master was perfectly inexcusable in getting rid of him as he did. He turned out very respectably, I have heard, which is an argument against hanging in such a case; but which does not alter the character of his master's conduct. So do not you be wrought upon, Henry, to follow the same method. Even if you find the guilty person under the same roof with yourself, play fairly by the laws and the public safety.”
Henry sighed, and observed that it was a difficult and painful matter to be concerned in, disapproving as he did of the wholesale sacrifice of human life made by the law for that species of crime, and yet being fully aware of the guilt and folly of connivance. It was fearful to think of the yearly amount of executions for forgery; —for a crime whose nature was so little understood that the forgers themselves were undoubtedly in some cases convinced that they were rendering a public service in multiplying money, and that strong sympathy for such offenders was excited in the majority of those who witnessed their punishment.
“I know no place more likely than Haleham to share such a delusion,” observed Mr. Berkeley. “Every person in it has been talking for these three years of the want of more money; so that it would not be very surprising if somebody should at last have made bold to manufacture a little.”
“It will be more surprising, some people say,” observed Horace, “if such a manufacture does not go on at an increasing rate, as long as II. notes are permitted to circulate. I do not know how it is with you in the country, but in London we are now accustomed to hear half the evils of our present commercial state ascribed to the circulation of small notes. If a country bank fails, it is owing to the facility with which issues are made through the channel of a small-note currency. If a case of forgery is mentioned, it would not have taken place if there had been no small notes. Some even go so far as to regard the late fall of prices as an unmixed good, and to anticipate a further fall as one of the benefits to result from the prohibition of small notes.”
“How do they account for the failure of country banks previous to 1792, when there were no notes under 5” asked Mr. Berkeley. “And why should not the forgery of 1I. notes be made so difficult as to be no longer worth while? And how is it that your wise speculators do not see the difference between the cheapness which arises from plenty, and that which is caused by a scarcity of the circulating medium? I thought the days were past when any one supposed this kind of cheapness to be a good thing.”
“It seems a pity,” observed Mr. Craig, “to deprive the people of so convenient a kind of currency, if its dangers can be avoided without its abolition. The tremendous increase of forgery is a terrible evil, to be sure; but it is inconceivable that, while the art of engraving is improving every day, a better form might not easily be invented. The very largest of the country banks have suffered little by the forgery of their small notes, because more pains are taken with the engraving; and as it is more hazardous to imitate those of the Bank of England, it seems pretty clear that the practice would cease if the difficulty were brought into a better proportion with the temptation. Will this be done, Horace? or will the small notes be abolished?”
“I rather think they will soon be abolished; and I am very sure that such a measure will not give the expected stability to our country currency, without further precautions. As my father says, there were no notes under bl. in 1792, and yet full one-third of the country banks then in existence failed. Country bankers should be compelled to give security for their issues. There is no other way of keeping the provincial currency in a healthy condition.”
“And then,” observed Mr. Craig, “it would be as easy to give security for It. as for 1l. notes: and I own I dread the inconvenience to the working classes of withdrawing this part of the currency, let cash payments be resumed as quietly and easily as they may. I suppose there is illegible no doubt of this resumption.”
“It will certainly take place within the year, notwithstanding abundance of prophecies that it will not, and wishes that it may not. I am not among the evil-boders, though I see what scope for complaint the measure will afford to those who are determined to complain. I see that it will add in some degree to the burdens of the labouring classes, and that, for years to come, it will be cried out upon as having increased the amount of taxation, discouraged productive industry, and thus materially injured our public interests: but as these evils are already existing from other causes, and can be only slightly in creased by the return to cash payments, I thin this the most favourable opportunity for gelling back to a convertible currency. It prices were now high, and must be immediately lowered by this measure; if a superabundant currency must be instantly checked; if paper at a depreciation of thirty per cent, were to be suddenly brought to a par with gold, I should lift up my voice as loud as any one against a return to cash payments as the most unjust and the most disastrous measure that was ever meditated; but we all know——”
“We all know,” interrupted Mr. Berkeley, “that prices have long fallen, that the currency is already contracted, and that paper is only three per cent, cheaper than gold, and that these things would have happened if there had been no more talk of cash payments. No wonder corn is cheaper, when we get so much more from abroad since the war ended, and Ireland also has improved in productiveness. No wonder wool is cheaper, when Germany and New Holland have sent us so much more, and of so much better quality than formerly. No wonder our colonial products are cheaper under the change of system by which we are more abundantly supplied. Those who hold themselves in readiness to ascribe the fall of prices to a deficiency in the supply of bullion, and to argue thence against a return to a convertible currency at this time, should look about them and see how great a fail will exist at all events, and how much it will hereafter be fair to attribute to the new Bill.”
Horace observed on the difficulty of satisfying a public which bad suffered by alterations in the currency. Many of those who were now protesting against the resumption of cash payments were the very same who were clamouring to have the one-pound notes withdrawn, in order to make our provincial circulation more safe, and forgery less common. These were opposed by some who thought the establishment of branch banks would answer the first purpose, and by others who believed that competition would drive out forgery. Never were so many plans afloat for the rectification of the whole business of the currency; and each plan was thought to involve a remedy for all the evils which had taken place under former systems. The first thing necessary seemed to Horace to be the putting an end to an irresponsible system; the next, the taking care that this action on the currency should be the final one. It might afterwards be ascertained whether the Bank of England should retain any or all of its exclusive privileges, or whether the business of issuing notes should be left free and open to competition, under the natural checks of public and private interest, or any further responsibility to which, by general agreement, the issues should be subjected. It might be left to a period nearer the expiration of the Bank Charter to canvass the advantages of the Scotch banking system as applied to England, and whether the issues should be made from a great national bank, or from many joint-stock banks, or by a chartered company. There were still nearly fifteen years in which to consider these questions; and during which, further fluctuations might possibly arise to indicate new truths on this most important subject. The great present object was to get into a condition for making progress towards a perfect monetary system; and the first great step was, as he believed, to bring the Bank of England into a state of responsibility once more,
“I wish,” observed Mrs. Berkeley, “that it was made a part of the responsibility of the Bank of England, that it should not tempt the people to forgery. To be sure, its privileges themselves constitute the greater part of the temptation, as there must always be the strongest inducement to forge notes which have the widest circulation; but I do wish that to these privileges was appended a condition that its notes should be more difficult of imitation.”
Horace thought that such precautions were better left to the interest of the parties concerned. The degrees of complication which should be put into the engravings of notes were not subjects for legislation.
“But it is so painful,” observed Mrs. Berkeley, “not only to be afraid of the money that passes through one's hands, but to be made suspicious of one's neighbours, or to be confounded with the dwellers in a suspicious neighbourhood. I do not in the least believe that anybody whom we know in Haleham has been intentionally implicated with forgers; but it is very painful to have such an idea put into one's mind.”
“Are you aware,” asked Horace of Mr. Craig, “whether any strangers have come to live in Haleham, of late, either openly or covertly?”
Mr. Craig had heard of none. The letter he had received had charged the regular shopkeepers with having held bad notes, and he had a great mind to go to such as had been mentioned to him, and ask where they got such notes.
“Aye, do, without loss of time,” said Mr. Berkeley, “and I will go with you. Trust me for sharpening their memories, if they happen to be at a loss. I have a sad memory myself, as my wife will tell you; but I have a method of making the most of other people's.”
Mr. Craig at first felt that he would rather have been without his bustling companion; but it was presently proved that Mr. Berkeley was peculiarly apt at the business of collecting evidence. He was so ready with suggestions, saw so far by means of slight indications, and adapted himself so well to the peculiar humours of the persons he talked with, that he enabled them to remember and comprehend twice as much as they would have done without his help. The linen-draper, who had not till now been aware tliat he had had a bad note in his hands, was so stupified at learning that one had been traced back to him, that he could not for some time remember from whom he had taken notes within a month, though notes were seldom seen now on his counter. It was Mr. Berkeley who, by happy conjectures, and by frequent returns to one or two fixed points of proof, led him to remember under what circumstances he gave change, in return for what purchase he gave it, when he gave it, and, finally, to whom he gave it. The shoemaker looked back to his books, and by the assistance of Mr. Berkeley's suggestions about dates, brought home the fact to the same, person of having paid him in a forged note. The butcher was too confused in the head to be sure of anything; but his stirring, clever wife of her own accord mentioned the same person as having taken change from him that very day.
“There is one other testimony,” observed Mr. Craig, “which would end all doubt as to whence the bad notes have come. If Mr. Pye knows that Mrs. Parndon has been paying such away we need inquire no further.” L 2
“Will he own it, if he does know it?”
“Certainly. He is both too simple and too upright to conceal what it is important should be known, though no man is more discreet in a matter of confidence.”
“Of which kind you do not consider these transactions to be?”
“I assuredly conceive Mrs. Parndon to be as much of a dupe as her shoemaker and butcher. You cannot suppose her guilty of fraud?”
“Nay; I do not know. If she hoarded gold, as I have reason to believe she did, she might——”
“Impossible, my dear Sir. Mrs. Parndon is a selfish and thrifty, but not a fraudulent, person; to say nothing of her having far too little courage to involve herself with sharpers. Shall we hear what Mr. Pye has to say?”
Mr. Pye leaned across his desk, with his hand behind his ear (for he had got thus far in acknowledging his deafness), to listen to the inquiry whether there was much bad money afloat at this time. He had been told that a good deal had been passed in Haleham, though none had come in his way but one note, which had been changed, long ago, by the person who innocently tendered it. He had not the least objection to tell who this person was? O no, not the least, since that note was not one of the present batch of bad ones, and in fact came from London. It was brought down by Mrs. Edgar Morrison; and he wished it was as easy to account for the appearance of the rest.
When Enoch saw the gentlemen look at one another, and heard from them that all the bad money was in course of being traced back to Mrs. Parndon, he stood aghast. He was not so blind as not to see that the probabilities of the case involved either Philip or Edgar, or both; and was chiefly anxious that the women of the family should be exempt from all suspicion of connivance. To his great discomfiture, he was requested by Mr. Craig to undertake the task of ascertaining from Mrs. Parndon from whence she drew her supplies of Money, and whether she had any of the same batch remaining. He would not consent to hold a conversation of this nature without a witness, and wished that Mr. Craig alone should attend him, as the very sight of so unusual a visitor as Mr. Berkeley might impede the disclosure which he now saw to be necessary to the vindication of his old friend's character for honesty. Mr. Berkeley therefore gave up with some unwillingness his intended visit to the widow, and staid behind to write to London a report of proceedings thus far, and to collect whatever additional evidence the town would afford.
“Well, gentlemen,” exclaimed Mrs. Parndon, as she rose up from weeding her flower-bed at the approach of her visitors, “I am always so glad when I see you two together. To see one's oldest friend and the clergyman keeping company tells well for both; which I am sure Mr. Craig will excuse my saying, since there is such a difference of years between himself and Mr. Pye.
But you will walk in and rest yourselves. O yes, I must not be denied. I saw each of you in the street yesterday, and thought you were coming; and, as I was disappointed of your coming near me then, I cannot let you go now without a word.”
She did not perceive that they had no thought of departing without a word; and she continued to multiply her inducements to come in as her friends looked more and more grave in contrast with her cheerfulness. She had no new designs of Hester's to show; for poor Hester had not been very strong of late, and had found drawing make her head ache; but there was a message for Mr. Pye in her last letter, and some inquiries about Miss Melea, which Mr. Craig might like to hear. They would think that she never had anything to offer to her visitors but her daughter's letters, but they knew a mother's heart, and——”
“But do you never hear from your sons?” asked Mr. Craig. “Does your daughter write her husband's and brother's news as well as her own?“
“They write, I dare say,” said Mr. Pye, “when times of business come round. On quarter-days, or once in the half-year, perhaps, when remittances have to be sent, Hester gives up the pen to one or other of your sons.”
“Not exactly so,” replied the widow; “for they have nothing to do with the sending of my pension. That comes from quite another quarter; but on birth-days and Christmas-days——Bless me, Mr. Pye, what can I have said that delights you so? You look as if you were going to dance for joy.”
“So neither Edgar nor Philip sends you money ! You have taken a load off my mind, I can tell you. But I was not going to deceive you, I assure you; I was going to tell you what we came for, as soon as I could get courage. But it is all right if you get your remittances from quite another quarter, as you say. Now you have only to tell us what that quarter is, and you are quite safe; for nobody suspected you. Of course, nobody could suspect you.”
Mrs. Parndon looked from one face to the other, as she sat opposite to them, unable to make out anything from this explanation of Enoch's rapture. Mr. Craig said, cheerfully,
“So far from wishing to do you any hurt, we come to put you on your guard, and help you to justify yourself in a matter in which you have evidently been imposed upon.”
And he proceeded to inform her of several bad notes having been traced back to her, expressing his conviction that nothing more would be necessary to clear herself than to give the date of the arrival of her quarter's money. It was hoped too that she had some left, in order that the remaining notes might be compared with those already issued.
The widow said there must be some great mistake somewhere. Her quarter's money never came in bank-notes; and all that she had lately used came from the hands of her daughter; so that those who suspected anything wrong were completely out in their reckoning. If the notes were bad, they came, like other bad things, from London; and she supposed no one would take the trouble of tracing them there.
Mr. Craig said he believed it would be necessary for Mrs, Morrison to say where she got them.
“I can tell you that.” replied the widow. “She got them from one who takes more banknotes in a month than I spend in a year. She got them from her brother Philip, I know, on account of a little business she did for me with him. But I shall be very sorry if Philip has to bear the loss, just when his business is falling off, as the says. It would be ‘a great loss, and I should be sorry it should fall upon him now.”
“He must do as you do,—recollect and tell where he got the notes,” observed Mr. Craig. “Your wisest way will be to show us any that you may have left of the same parcel, and to make a list of their numbers, and of the numbers of those you have parted with. By the help of this list, Philip will be able to trace the whole, I dare say.”
Mrs. Parndon was terrified at the idea of being cheated of any of her hoard. She brought out her pocket-book in a great hurry, and produced the remaining notes. There was a ten, good; a five, also good; eleven ones, of which two were good, and all the rest counterfeit. Even she herself now began to see the improbability that Philip had taken so much bad money from chance customers. She turned very pale, and sat down without saying a word.
Enoch buried his face in his hands, and Mr. Craig walked about the room considering what should be done next. At length Mr. Pye gave vent to some of his feelings. He drew near his old friend, and in an agitated whisper declared that Philip must have been taken in by some villain.
“That is very likely,” observed his mother. “He never could learn to tell a wise man from a foolish one, or an honest man from a knave. He was always stupid, and unlike the rest of his family; and, now, we shall all have to pay for his dulness.”
Mr. Craig now stopped his walk between the door and the window to observe that it was not yet proved that the notes came from Philip.
“No doubt of that,” said the widow; “no doubt of that; and I brought this mischief upon him. Not that I knew anything about bad notes. God forbid! That Philip knows best about, and must take upon himself. But if I had but done as I should have done,—if I had but sold my guineas when they were at the highest! I have blamed myself many a time since, for putting that off till I got very little more than they were worth when I laid them by; but I little thought how much harm would come of the delay. O dear! O dear! to think that it is through his own mother that he has got into trouble; and that it might all have been prevented, if I had made a better bargain, and an earlier one! O dear! O dear !”
Enoch besought her not to reproach herself so bitterly. He could not bear to hear it. She that had been the best of mothers——Indeed he could not bear it. How could she foresee what gold would be worth? and if Philip had got into the hands of sharpers, he would have sent out bad notes through other channels, if his mother had had no remittances to receive. Indeed, indeed, she must not blame herself.
Mr. Craig, who could neither approve of the mixed remorse of one of his companions, nor enter into the flattering sympathies of the other, once more interposed his doubts whether Philip had ever touched the notes on the table; and suggested that as it was certain that the officers of the law were on the track of the forgers, and communications by post would be more tardy than the occasion required, the widow should go up to her children, to be a comfort to them in case of impending misfortune, and a witness of the transaction, as far as she was implicated in it. He was sure that thus only could she obtain any peace of mind while the affair was being investigated. He supposed she would go without delay.
“. I go! Bless you, Sir, what could I do? I should be nothing but a trouble to them and everybody. I never had anything to do with such a matter in my life; and to have Philip repenting, and Hester crying, and Edgar looking so angry at me for bringing him into trouble. Bless you, Sir, I am not fit for all this. I am only just fit to sit quiet at home, and think as little as I can of the troubles that are stirring abroad.”
“What is Mrs. Morrison fit for, then? There she is, in the very midst of all these troubles; and is she to look in vain for a mother's support and sympathy?”
“Why, to be sure, poor Hester has been sadly delicate of late, they tell me; and it seems as if she ought to have some one with her. But it cannot be me, because I am sure I could do her no good. I shall write, of course, very often; but still it seems as if she should have somebody with her.”
And this was repeated in a louder voice to Mr. Pye, who took the intended hint; assuring the widow that she must not for a moment think of going, and then offering to undertake the journey himself. He explained,—
“You know I am but a poor sort of person to send. The people in London are too much for me now.”
O, dear ! how could Mr. Pye be so much too modest!
“Besides that I am growing old and fond of quiet,” said he, “there is another difficulty that spoils me for a man of business. I find I do not hear quite so well as I did, and this makes me afraid that I am blundering about my business; and that very being afraid makes my ears ring worse than ever; so that I look like an old fool, I know, instead of being fit to be a help to anybody.”
This was the first time Enoch had been known to say a word about his deafness. He was now a little confounded at nobody assuring him that it was too trifling to signify. Instead of making a pretty speech like this, Mr. Craig came and sat down to say that he believed Enoch might be of essential service to the family of his old friend, if he would go prepared to do business in the best manner in his power. If he could not hear without a trumpet, why not use one rather than make blunders, and fancy that he was looking like an old fool?
Mrs. Parndon interposed to protest against such an idea as anybody taking Mr. Pye for an old fool.
“I agree with you,” said Mr. Craig, “that it is impossible such a notion should enter any one's mind, if Mr. Pye does himself justice. His trumpet would be a perfect security.”
Enoch, much hurt, muttered something about not being bad enough for that yet. He would go, however, and do his best to comfort Hester, to examine into the facts, and to estimate the evidence; and would write to Mrs. Parndon every day during his stay. As she began to melt at this proof of friendship, and to allude to the pains of separation, Mr. Craig thought it was time to leave the old folks to their unrestrained lamentations, and hastened to consult the Berkeleys on the steps which Enoch should be advised to take, on his arrival in London.
“Well, Mr. Pye, so you will write to me every day? Nothing else, I am sure, would support me during your absence and in the midst of affliction.” Thus sighed Mrs. Parndon.
Enoch was much gratified, but ventured to speak of the higher supports of which he hoped she was not destitute now, any more than on former occasions of sorrow.
Mrs. Parndon hoped not; but she felt now as if she had never known sorrow before. She had never before felt quite desolate; but her daughter, being married away from her, was little better than no daughter at all; and now, if her only son should be disgraced and lost, what would become of her, declining in the vale of years, and weary enough of loneliness without such cares as would henceforth embitter her solitude? These considerations were set forth so variously and so movingly, that the timid Enoch was impelled to do what seemed to him afterwards a very rash thing, though the widow was always ready to assure him that no act could be called rash which had been meditated (as she was sure this had been) for many years. He actually proposed to relieve her of her loneliness and half her cares, and after his long bachelor life, to venture upon a new state for her sake. He had always desired, he protested, to keep himself loose from earthly ties, the more as he felt himself growing older; though it had cost him a frequent struggle when he bad felt himself sensibly affected by Mrs. Parndon's kindness; but now it seemed as if heaven had appointed him a further work before he was called away; and he trusted that, in consideration of this, he should be forgiven for resigning himself into a new bondage to the things of this world. Mrs. Parndon enlarged greatly on the advantage of this affair being settled at the present time, as all talk about any impropriety in their corresponding would be obviated by the relation in which they now stood to each other.
At such a crisis as this, Enoch could not, for shame, be touchy or obstinate, even about using a trumpet. He was prevailed on,—not to go and buy one: this was more than was expected or asked,—but to let Mrs. Parndon bring him an assortment into his little back parlour, where he might choose one just to have in his pocket ready for use, if he should meet with any little difficulties on the road, or among the busy, inconsiderate people in London.
With what a swimming head and full heart did Enoch take his way home, to pack up his shirts, and appoint some able substitute to act in his shop, under Mrs. Parndon's eye, in his absence ! What a mixture of ideas crowded in upon her, when she had watched him from the door, and returned for a few moments to ruminate in her arm-chair ! Her object gained!— the object of so many years, and through the occasion of what she ought to be feeling as a great misfortune. She tried hard to feel it so, and to be melancholy accordingly; but the old proverb about the ill wind would come into her head every moment; and in turns with it occurred an idea of which she really was half-ashamed— that as Parndon and Pye both began with a P, she should not have to alter the marks of her clothes when she married. It was one of the suitabilities which had frequently struck her while meditating the match; and it was too congenial with her sense of aptness not to give her pleasure, even in the first hour of her new prospects.