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some suchlike disorder peculiar to just deluged with applications on the climate, crossed his threshold their behalf.” --it's by the Lord's appointment “But is he now satisfied that I am these plagues are sent, so we never the claimant ?" should repine, though we may take “Make yourself easy on that score. the chastisement to heart-wife, and The certificates are quite satisfactory, bairns, and a', were stricken down, and supersede the necessity for a serand the auld man found himself vice. Mr Poins, who, let me tell you, alone in the midst of strangers. It is a very sensible man- I'm to dine seems his wife was a Roman Catho- with him on Thursday—is prepared lic; so the priests gathered round to advise Mr Beaton to proceed to an him, doubtless with an eye to the immediate settlement.' siller. I have heard of such doings, “What a strange story this is !” Norman, even in a Protestant land; said I, half unconscious that I was but he was owre pawky a carle tó speaking aloud. “A cousin, of whose believe in their saints' miracles, or existence I was wholly unaware, ony nonsense o' the kind; and though leaves me a fortuve, in conjunction he could not help coming down with with the man whose goodwill I am a round sum for masses, which, con- most anxious to propitiate !" sidering all things, was but a reason. “I'm sorry to hear you say that, able concession, deil a dollar could Norman-very sorry indeed !” said they extract from him for candle- Mr Shearaway, earnestly. “What in sticks, or endowment for their nun- the world can you have to do with neries or convents. Maybe he ken'd such a character as Mr Beaton? better than I do what sort of hizzies Lordsake, laddie! don't walk by his they keep under lock and key. advice, else you'll have a toom purse
It's a poor pride that sets up men before you ken that it ever was full!" to found hospitals to the neglect of “ You need not be alarmed, Mr their kith and kin. This Mr Sin- Shearaway. I assure you I am in no clair knew of but two dear relations such danger.” that he had in the world, both of “Not alarmed! It's easy for you to them first cousins, though he had say that; but if I was to see you never set eyes upon either. One of venturing on the ice of Duddingston them was your father, Norman, and Loch before the frost was a day auld, the other was a Mr Richard Bea. I trow I would have reason to feel ton.”
alarmed—and yet it would be safer “Richard Beaton !” I exclaimed, for you to try that, than to trust “not surely the gentleman whose yourself on the slide of speculation. name is so well known in connection You might scramble out with a wet with railway enterprises ?"
jacket from the one, but the other “The very same,” replied Mr ends in a hole deep as perdition, into Shearaway, "and I mean no dispa- which you will cowp, head over heels, ragement to him when I say that I' and never more be seen! No danwish with all my heart that he were ger? I wonder, Norman, to hear you known for something better. Mony speak in that rash kind of way! a poor chield who crows crouse There's aye danger when you have to enough this day will live to curse the deal with a character that seeks to hour when he was tempted, by the beguile ye; as the piper of Bervie example of grand speculators like found to his cost when he supped Beaton, to meddle with the rails. sowens with the Water-Kelpie !" But that's neither here nor there. I “Why, Mr Shearaway," said I, was saying that these two were the “your extreme earnestness would alonly near relations of the Mexican most lead me to suspect that you had merchant; and to them and their suffered in your own person." heirs he left his fortune in equal “And did you ever hear me preshares, naming Mr Beaton as execu- tend to be ony wiser than my neightor. That is the secret of the adver- bours ?” replied Shearaway. “It's tisement, which seems to have cre- precisely because I know from sad ated a grand stir among the Sinclairs, experience what is the upshot of for Mr Poins tells me that he was speculation, that I speak so confi
dently this day; and thankful may I for increasing the national wealth, be that the tide did not run then so and all that was wanted was capital, strong as it does now, else I would which, he said, could easily be raised have been clean swept away alto- by the formation of joint-stock comgether. But this is no time for sic panies. Mines were to be drained, clavers. I'se warrant you would like canals dug, peats made into coal and to be left by yourself to think about candles, gas pumped into bottles the golden eggs."
and sold for so mu a gallon; and “I would much rather profit by heaven knows what more beside ; your experiences, Mr Shearaway. and for every such adventure the You can break oft
, you know, should return was to be at least twenty and you find me an inattentive listener.” sometimes fifty per cent.
“ Infandum jubes renovare dolor- “The English folk have a notion em ! It's like ripping up an old sore,” that we are very canny and cautious said Shearaway. “But lads like you in the north, and so we are in the can be none the waur of hearing of way of regular business; but when the misfortunes of their elders. One it comes to speculation, we can be reason why almost everybody has run just as daft as our neighbours. The mad just now, is because the public Darien project, that was started behave had a long rest from specula- fore the Union, was as wild a scheme tion; few remember what came of it as ever was set on foot; and I've at the last spurt, and even of them heard it said that there was not a some are none the wiser. The notion single man in Scotland, gentle or of making a fortune, by buying and simple, but suffered from that awful selling, in four-and-twenty hours, had failure. Thrift is a very good thing, clean gone out, at least with us in the and a praiseworthy, but it by no north. We were doubtless becoming means implies a want of appetite for a wealthier people than we were be- gain. fore, but that was by dint of work “ Money was plenty at the time of and saving, without which no country which I speak, and the banks ready can ever attain to prosperity. to give accommodation and discount
“However, about twenty years ago bills—maybe readier than they should there was got up a great cry for im- have been, for there was a hantle of provement. Folks began to think loose paper flying about-so a plausthat many things which their fathers ible fellow like James Divetts found neither missed nor wanted, were many a listener. I had saved two or downright necessaries of life ; and three thousand pounds ; but I began they were not far wrong either, for to be ashamed of myself for letting science has made most wonderful my money be at ordinary interest, discoveries, and doubtless will make when it might be fructifying tenfold many more. It's a silly thing to set if invested in some of the new proone's face against improvement - jects; so, like a fool as I was, I bethat's just the act of a savage—but gan to dabble a little, just by way of it's even sillier to run away altogether experiment, but not intending to go with the harrows, and to rush head- very far. long into new schemes without the “But it is the first dip that settles benefit of experience. Well, there the business. I went on from one came among us a set of projectors, thing to another, until I had drawn men who were always finding out ont my whole capital, which was a something of immense advantage to mad-like thing for a man in business the public, but never making any. to do; and in return for my hardthing for themselves ; indeed, I never won money I got shares in the Oilknew a projector yet but was as poor Gas, Stockbridge Market, and Caleas Lazarus. However, they had the donian Dairy Companies, besides gift of the gab; and one of them- some distilleries, and a grand nationhe came originally from Banff, and al concern for reclaiming the Muir of his name was James Divetts-was the Rapnoch. I was a director in some most wonderful creature for scheming of them, and had to attend board that I ever encountered. He had his meetings, which took up one half of pockets stuffed with all sorts of plans my valuable time; and when I was
alone, instead of thinking about my e'en go on a different errand, and look proper day's work, or taking up a after Jamie Littlewoo." book as I used to do, I found myself I believe that the announcement calculating contingent profits on the of any great change of fortune inbacks of old letters, and squaring duces a kind of torpor and stagnation accounts, as if I had direct dealings of the mental powers. As in a dream with the Old Enemy, and had to post the fairest visions are always accomup our transactions in my ledger. I panied by a certain sense of unreality, began to feel perfectly miserable. I so does any sudden event affecting very seldom went now to the Whist our future career perplex us by its Club, where we played for half-crown novelty, and throw us into a state of points; and as for a social supper- bewilderment. I seemed to have lost party, 'I was fit for nothing of the for a time the power of looking forkind.
ward. I hardly even thought of the To make a long story short, I amount of the fortune that had so had to pay for my folly. The crash unexpectedly devolved upon me. One came before there was even a pos- idea alone took possession of my sibility of a dividend ; and all our mind, and that was the reviving grand schemes melted into nothing, hope that I might yet approach like snow off a dike in February Mary Beaton and tell her of my love, Not one sixpence did I recover; on without at any rate incurring the the contrary, I was glad to escape charge of inordinate presumption. without bankruptcy, when many bet- For the distance between us, though ter men than myself went to the still great, was now materially lesswall. That's the reason why I dread ened. I was of her kindred; and speculation, and would warn you could her father, however arrogant against it.
or supercilious he might be, entirely “But I see by your eye, Norman, ignore that claim upon his notice ? that you are paying little attention To the habitual reader of romance, to what I say; and I surmise, from such an avowal as this may appear
Ι the motion of your fingers, that you utterly preposterous, because, accord. are calculating the probable interesting to the received dogma, there can of forty thousand pounds. Don't com- be no love without a certain amount mit a blunder, as the weaver did, who of love-making; and I have not venadded the year of the Lord at the top tured in the foregoing part of my of the page to the amount of his pro- narrative to assert that Miss Beaton fits. Lads of your age always reckon had distinguished me by even so slight upon five per cent, whereas four is a recognitior as a smile. She knew the outside you can get, if you wish nothing of my homage-she perhaps for perfect security. Now, laddie, hardly remembered my name; her good-bye. I've been talking to you affections, for anything I knew to this last half-hour about my own the contrary, might be bestowed upon affairs, to keep you from thinking too another. Therefore was I not a fool much at first about this accession to persist in such vain idolatry, and of wealth, just as one of these new- to indulge in such fantastic dreams? fangled doctors wraps his patient in I answer-No; for true love in its a wet sheet to keep down the symp- nature intrepid, and there is no obtoms of fever. And now that your stacle so serious that it will not enbusiness is so far disposed of, I shall deavour to surmount.
Printed by IFilliam Blackwool & Sons, Edinburgh.
THERE is much good parliamen- look for it "up-stairs," we may find tary work done every year, of which that much useful work has been done. the outside Public takes little ac- Of this it is no part of our present count. What is done, or left undone, business to take stock - we have only in the great national debating-hall by to do with one item in the account. gaslight, is matter of general noto A Select Committee, of which Lord riety--reported in every newspaper, Stanley was chairman, and Mr Monckand considered and discussed by ton Milnes,* Colonel Sykes, Sir W. every reader; but what is done Hayter, Sir Stafford Northcote, and quietly by daylight in close com- others, were members, sat at intervals mittee-rooms “up-stairs,” is known during the months of March, April, only to the few. As the hardest work, May, and June, to take evidence and however, of individual members is to report upon the subject of “Civil often done in those rooms, so, often, is Service Appointments;" and in July the aggregate utility of a session to their Report was given in. The Combe found rather in the growth of mittee " directed their inquiries to good work done in those rooms than two points." They“ endeavoured to
“ in the more ostentatious proceedings ascertain, first, what has been the of the “ House." The“ wool” is actual working of the system of often most plentiful where the “cry” junior appointments now in force, is least sonorous.
and its effect upon the public serThe past session, so famous for vice ; and, secondly, what proposals much cry, has not been wholly barren for its improvement have been sug
, of wool. If we will condescend to gested by those most competent to
Mr Milnes, since this article has been in type, has publicly repudiated, in a speech at Pontefract, all concern in the Committee's Report. He says that he had the honour to be in a minority. The following remarks are so much in accordance with what we have written on the subject of competitive examinations, that we are glad to give them a place here :—“During the late session I served upon several committees, one upon the question of opening the Civil Service to competition. I was in a minority in that committee, because I do not think it an enormous advantage to set every young man thinking how he may become an exciseman. (A laugh, and “ Hear, hear.") The effect of directing the attention of every family to the public service must have a tendency to extend that service, whereas we ought to do all we can to diminish its cost. I desire to see the work of every public office done diligently and honourably, but I do not wish to have this expensive machinery for the examination of the Civil Service. I believe, too, that the operation of the present VOL. LXXXVIII.-NO, DXLI.
form an opinion.” The witnesses is the only systematised part of the examined were some of the most dis matter. The rule of appointment tinguished members of the perma- under this condition appears to be nent Civil Service of the country, simple ministerial nomination, whilst Mr Maitland, Mr Horace Mann, Sir competition, either limited or general, Benjamin Hawes, Mr Trevor, Sir is the exception. “It appears,” says Thomas Freemantle, Mr Corbett, Mr the report before us, “that the total Timm, Mr Sargent, Major Graham, number of nominations to which the Mr Romilly, Mr Waddington, Mr order in council of 1854 has been apLingen, Sir R. Bromley, Mr Ham- plied was, up to the end of 1859, mond, Mr Waldrom, Mr Headlam, Mr 10,860. Of these nominations, 8039 Merivale, Mr Chester; and the Civil were of one candidate only. The Service Commissioners, Sir J. S. Le- competitors have been 2821 for 732 fevre and Sir E. Ryan. The Report appointments, or nearly four to one. of the Committee is now before us; In the last year, 1859, they were and as the subject is one in which 1179 for 259 appointments; but this we have on more than one occasion average includes 391 persons who endeavoured to interest our readers, competed for nine clerkships at the we need offer no apology for return- India Office, on the only occasion on ing to it and examining the contents which the principle of an entirely of a document of such great and open competition has been practi. growing public importance. cally tested.” This solitary excep
And, in doing so, we shall observe tion of open competition was an exas far as possible the two divisions periment inaugurated by the Chairof the subject to which the Commit- man of the Committee, whose report tee have confined their inquiries. we are considering, when that excelFirstly, the actual working of the lent and most conscientious young system of appointments now in force, statesman held the office of Secreand its effect upon the public ser- tary of State for India under Lord vice.” But here a difficulty at once Derby's Government. We speak, of presents itself in the fact that there course, with reference to the English really is no system at all. A candidate Civil Service ; for the principle of for civil employment in the service open competition has been for some of the State may be appointed on the years applied to the Indian Civil simple nomination of the responsible Service, with what results we are minister in whose gift the appoint- not yet in a position to declare. ment may be ; or he may receive not Nor can the results of the experian absolute appointment, but a no- ment of limited competition, so far mination to compete for an appoint- as the general efficiency of the serment with a limited number of com- vice is concerned, be said to have petitors; or the appointment may been rendered apparent by the few be thrown into the open market, and years of trial to which the competihe may compete for it without any tion system has hitherto been subnomination at all. The only general jected. But still there are indicacondition is, that the candidate for tions of the practical working of the public employment shall pass an exa- scheme, which, if not conclusive, are mination of some kind or other. This at least suggestive; and it does not condition of satisfactory examination appear that they are such as to
system causes great unhappiness in private families. The number of young men who do not succeed must be very great, and I consider it anything but an advantage that they should enter life with a sense of disappointment and failure. I know that this is not the opinion of some of the best of my contemporaries. Earl de Grey and Lord Stanley, for example, are most earnest advocates of this system. Indeed, to such an extent have these noblemen carried their advocacy, that a foreigner was induced to believe that both of them had attained their official position --the one as Under-Secretary for War, and the other as the late Secretary of Stato for India--by having shown in a public competition that they were better informed on these subjects than anybody else. (A laugh.) I am not sure whether the foreign gentleman did not also believe that members of Parliament were elected by the same process.” (Laughter.)