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My next house is the firm of Messrs.
Ignes, Fatui and Company, the extensive and
eccentric shippers, of Skye Chambers, Old
Broad Street, who are always on the search
for new markets, and who have very peculiar
notions of the requirements of distant
countries. They are constantly sending large
cargoes of damask tablecloths and silver
toothpicks to the Sandwich Islands; ormolu
clocks to Tierra del Fuego; and pianos,
articles of vertu, and Birmingham idols to
the southern coast of Africa, They import,
in return, for the London market, tomahawks,
heathen gods and goddesses carved
out of stumps of trees, with occasionally a
Holy Family, painted by some intelligent
native Raffaele of Mozambique, in which the
mother and child, with very thick lips and
sable skins, are evidently doing well. Messrs.
Ignes, Fatui and Company are not so particular
as they might be about the nature of their
shipments, because they find great facilities
in obtaining loans upon paper, called bills of
ladinga system of pawning ships' cargoes
and if the goods should be returned unsaleable
a year hence, injured by time, sea-water,
and with the accumulated charges of freight
and interest upon their backs, what matter?
The loan has supplied funds to send out other
and equally well-assorted cargoes; so that, as
fast as one payment falls due another loan is
obtained, and the whole system is kept up
like the brass balls which the juggler tosses
in the air. Whenever a vessel is lost without
being properly insured; whenever an Australian
mail brings intelligence that heaps of
costly rubbish are rotting on the wet, glutted
wharves of Melbourne, we may guess in a
moment that both the vessel and the goods
are the property of Messrs. Ignes, Fatui and
Company, and look for a suspension of the firm
that will set all things right, and furnish
gossip for the Money Market for about
four-and- twenty hours.

Another well-known paper house is the
house of Strawboy and Rag, the Manchester
warehousemen, of Fustian Lane, Wood Street.
Strawboy had been a buyer in a large City
establishment, where he learned to regard
returns as of more importance than either
the quality of the business done, or the profits
derived from it. Strawboy therefore went in
for large returns. Rag had been chief-clerk
in the same establishment; and finding, after
deeply studying the theory of trade, that the
accommodation-bill entered so largely into
every transaction, he had come at last to
regard itlike some eminent financiers do
the inconvertible bank-noteas the basis of
all wealth, and had started the extensive
business of Strawboy and Rag, with nothing
but his own ingenuity, Strawboy's broad
chest, double-breasted waistcoat, and reputed
energy, and a pile of bill-stamps of all
denominations. Mr. Rag's calculations were based
upon a knowledge of how many small traders
in the outskirts of London, in London itself,
and throughout the country, were maintaining
a position that was not required by the
existing demands of trade or that they were
not qualified to fill, either by ability or
capital. It was with these small over-traders
that Messrs. Strawboy and Rag opened negotiations,
and in consideration of reviving
their languishing credit, founded about one
hundred and twenty drawing-posts or billstations,
with power to manufacture bills
upon them to an unlimited extend. The
demands of such business of course consumed
whole mountains of goods, and the
manufacturers were delighted; the discounts
of such a business of course required whole
mines of money, and the bankers were delighted.
Strawboywho always affected a
rough, hearty characterused to refer with
pride at public dinners to the excessive lowness
of his origin. He worked in a brickfield
when a boy, for twopence a-day, and he
dated his prosperity from the time when he
became an errand-boy and drudge in a City
warehouse at half-a-crown a week. Mr. Rag
was more reservedthe gentleman of the
firmand he put his views upon the currency
in the shape of a pamphlet, called Is Money
to be the Master or the Slave of the People?
It is a pity that such a promising state ot
things was not destined to endure. The
crash came at last; and, although they very
nearly persuaded the National Bank to
render them assistance, Messrs. Strawboy
and Rag were obliged to submit to the fall.

The next house that rises before me is that
of Messrs. Bibb and Tucker, of Consol Court,
Threadneedle Street. It is not easy to say
what the exact business of Messrs. Bibb and
Tucker is. I have known and watched them
for many years, and I profess myself totally
unable to form an opinion, unless I decide
that they are merchants who exist for the
purpose of failing every three years, under
circumstances that command the general
sympathy of their creditors. Bibb is a man
who gives you the impression of being a
remarkably simple and straightforward man;
in fact, so general is this impression, that he
is known in the money market as " honest
George Bibb." Tucker is a man who, according
to his own account, if his inclinations had
been consulted, would rather have been in
the church; but as his father desired to see
him enrolled in the ranks of commerce, he
obeyed his father, and took his place amongst
the merchants of the City, where he hopes
he always endeavours to do his duty.
When the periodical failures of Bibb and
Tucker take place, there is generally, for
such apparently quiet people, a rather large
amount of debts, and a very large amount of
liabilities; but, although a considerable quantity
of property is always unaccountably
sucked up, the dividend proposed never falls
below twelve shillings and sixpence in the
pound; and, as their transactions are always
rigidly confined to creditors who belong to