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upwards of seventeen millions sterling; a sum
more than equal to one-third of the whole
official expenditure of this very expensive
and rather official country. Every day, an
interchange of small sums (each averaging in
England and Wales no more than one pound,
eighteen shillings, and ninepence) takes place
in the United Kingdom by the agency of
Money-order offices, to the amount of upwards
of fifty thousand pounds.

The revenue of the Money-order Office
exceeded its expenses, in the year 1851, by
more than seven thousand pounds of profit.
The same office, before the important improvements
of the last few years had been effected,
cost the country a loss of ten thousand six
hundred pounds.

Despite the prodigious increase in the business
of the department, which we have pointed
out, its efficiency has been doubled, and its cost
almost halved. By superseding seventy-eight
superfluous ledgers, the labour of sixty clerks
has been saved; by simply reducing the size
of the money-orders and advices, the expense
of paper and print alone has been diminished
by eleven hundred pounds per annum; while
the abolition of separate advices of each
transaction has economised the number of letters
by forty-six thousand, weekly. The upshot is,
that these economical reforms have effected a
saving in the Money-order Office, alone, equal
to seventeen thousand pounds per annum!


I HAVE often heard doubts expressed, and
conjectures hazarded, as to who and what
manner of people they may be that read the
Supplement of the Times newspaper. That
a very fair proportion of the subscribers and
readers of that journal do so, is a fact, I take
it, apparent to, and acknowledged by, the
frequenters of parlours, coffee-houses, club-
rooms, and hotel snuggeries. Admitting
always that it is read, it is not by any means
so certain who reads it. The advertisers
may do so, wishing, like careful men of
business, to make sure that they have had their
pennyworth for their penny. The proof
reader reads it bon gré, malgré, though, very
likely, while toiling down the dreary columns
of uninteresting announcements, he may say,
with Ancient Pistol, in the Great Leek
Consumption Case,—"I read and eke I swear."
But do you or I, reader, affect the
perusal of that portentous broad-sheet with
the halfpenny stamp? From time to time we
may glance at the Education near London
column; at the New Discoveries in Teeth;
at the Sales by Auction; and the
Horizontal Grand Pianofortes: but we know
that the really interesting "ads." are in the
body of the paper; that the profligate initials
are entreated to return to their parents, or
to send back the key of the tea-caddy in the
second or third column of the front page;
and that the unfathomable hieroglyphics hold
sweet converse in the same locality. In that
Pactolean front page, who knows, from
morning to morning, but that Messrs. Wouter,
Gribble, and Sharp, of Gray's Inn, may
publicly express their wish to communicate
something to our advantage to us? In that
front page, conscientious cabmen have found
the wearing apparel and jewellery we have
lost, or dog-fanciers (more conscientious still)
the dogs which have been st——well,
mislaid. In that same page we can put our
hands on all the announcements we want:—
the Steam Navigation, which is to waft us
to Rotterdam and the Rhine, or to Paris,
viâ Calais, in eleven hours; of the exhibitions
and dioramas we delight in witnessing;
of the charitable associations it so pleaseth
us (kind souls!) to subscribe to; of horses
and carriages, we buy or sell, and of the oats,
which good Mary Wedlake so pertinaciously
desires to know if we bruise yet. If we want
clerks or governesses, or, as clerks and
governesses, are ourselves wanted; if we wish to
borrow or to lend money, or to see what new
books or new music appeal to our taste,
literary or musical, we find them, if not in the
front page, still almost invariably in the main
body of the "Times;" it is only on special
occasionswhen the honourable Member for
Mugborough divides the house at two o'clock
in the morning; or the Crushclod Agricultural
Society holds a meeting, unusually
stormy or lengthy; or my Lord Centipede
gives a dinner, at which everybody drinks
everybody's health, and returns thanks into
the bargain,—that the really interesting
advertisements are crowded into the Supplement.
On other occasions, that document remains
a dreary acceptance for the education, teeth,
pianoforte, and auctioneer advertisements,
with the addition, perhaps, of a few camphine
lamps, liquid hair-dyes, and coals at
nine shillings per chaldron. Yet the Supplement
is read by thousands,—not merely by
that pale man in the brown cloak and the
discontented face opposite to me, who has
engaged the Times de facto after me,
and is only, I can plainly see, affecting to
read the de jure Supplement; having rage in
his heart, caused by the conviction (wherein
he is right) that I intend to keep the paper
till I have read the leaders through;—not
merely by him, but by the numerous and
influential class of persons who are interested
in a phalanx of advertisements, which I have
hitherto omitted to enumerate, as among the
contents of the dullest Supplement; and
which have reference to Houses to Let.
This is, at least, my theory. If ever I see
a man really immersed in the perusal of the
Times Supplement, and appearing to derive
any genuine interest therefrom, I make
pretty sure that he has either a House to
Let, or that he wants to take one.

Houses to Let! The subject is fraught
with speculative interest for those philosophers
who are content to leave the sun, the