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of reminding customers that life is short and debt is long and is suspiciously sartorial:—
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
iICHARD Guy returns thanks to all his good old Friends for their
kind Recommendation, which he will always acknowledge with gratitude, by being ready to oblige them on all occasions, but earnestly desires to settle Accounts, to pay and to be paid; which he hopes will be of satisfaction to both parties; for as it is fully observed, short Reckonings keep long Friends; so to preserve good friendship and prevent disputes in Accompts, he always pays ready Money, that is doing as he would be done unto.
N.B.—He courts neither Honour nor Riches, his whole and sole motive being to serve his good old Friends; the sin of Ingratitude he utterly abhors.
The shameless manner in which sinecures in Government offices were bought and sold even so late as 1781 is shown by the following specimen advertisement, which is taken from the Morning Herald of September 22 :—
A GENTLEMAN of Character who wishes for some Employ under Government merely for the sake of Amusement, would be willing to advance any Nobleman or Gentleman the sum of Three Thousand Pounds, upon Mortgage, upon legal Interest, provided the Mortgager will, thro' his Interest, procure a place in any genteel Department, where the emoluments are not less than two or three hundred Pounds per annum. The Advertiser flatters himself this will not be deemed an ineligible Offer, if compared with the present mode of raising Money upon Annuities; as a gentleman must be obliged to grant five hundred per annum out of his income to raise the like Sum. If any Gentleman who may be inclined to answer this Advertisement does not know of any Vacancy, the Advertiser will point out several, which may be easily procured by interest. A line addressed to S. X. to be left at the bar of the Chapter Coffee-house, St Paul's, will be attended to. Secrecy may be depended on. No Broker will be treated with.
Those were happy times, indeed, when no such vulgar thing as merit was allowed to interfere with a man's upward progress in life, provided he possessed capital, which could always secure him good interest in more ways than one. Money was at full value then, and the following, from the Morning Post of October 18, 1781, is one among many endeavours to obtain it in larger or smaller quantities :—
\\TANTED immediately, or as soon as can be met with, that
"* invaluable acquisition (when once gained) A Sincere Friend, by a person who in the early part of his life had many; but who, from the all-powerful hand of Death and other fortuitous incidents, has been deprived of all those whom he could once call by that sacred Name, and to whom he could apply either for Counsel or Assistance. The author of this Advertisement is a Middle-aged man, in a genteel situation of Life, a Housekeeper, has a decent Income, but yet, is so circumstanced as to have a particular occasion for Fifty OR Sixty Pounds, for a Year and a half or thereabouts. He wishes therefore to meet with a Person of liberal and generous Sentiments, who would assist him with the above trifling Sum. He flatters himself he can make the mode of payment quite agreeable to any Gentleman, Lady, or Tradesman of credit, who may be induced to answer this advertisement from a motive arising from the secret satisfaction there is in rendering a Service.— A line directed for S. E., and left at the Morning Post Office, will be immediately attended to.
In 1785 was established the Daily Universal Register, a paper which was, under a new title, adopted in 1788, to develop into the greatest and most powerful organ in the world. On the 1st of January, in the last-named year, the Hegister appeared with the following heading: The Times, or Daily Universal Register, printed Logographically. The price was threepence, and for many years the Times gave no promise of future greatness; but it was always fearless, and very early was fined, while its editor narrowly escaped imprisonment. In 1790 Mr Walter was actually incarcerated in Newgate, where he remained sixteen months, besides being fined £200, for a libel on the Dukes of York and Clarence. He was released eventually at the intercession of the Prince of Wales. The history of the Times has been told so often that particulars are hardly needed here; but as showing how its present eminence is due to nothing but perseverance and integrity, as well as the everpresent desire to be first wherever possible, we quote the following from a short notice of the life of one of its proprietors: "It was under John Walter II., born in 1784, that the Times rose to the place of the first newspaper in the world. Whilst yet a youth, in 1803 he became joint proprietor and sole manager of the Times, and very soon his hand became manifest in the vigour and independence of its politics, and the freshness of its news. Free speech, however, had its penalties. The Times denounced the malpractices of Lord Melville, and the Government revenged itself by withdrawing from the Walters the office of printers to the Customs, which had been held by the family for eighteen years. During the war between Napoleon and Austria in 1805, the desire for news was intense. To thwart the Times the packets for Walter were stopped at the outports, while those for the ministerial journals were hurried to London. Complaint was made, and the reply was given that the editor might receive his foreign papers as a favour; meaning thereby that if the Government was gracious to the Times, the Times should be gracious to the Government; but Walter would accept no favour on such terms. Thrown on his own resources, he contrived, by means of superior activity and stratagem, to surpass the ministry in early intelligence of events. The capitulation of Flushing in August 1809, was announced by the Times two days before the news had arrived through any other channel. In the editorship of the paper he spared neither pains nor expense. The best writers were employed, and wherever a correspondent or a reporter displayed marked ability, he was carefully looked after and his faculty utilised. Correspondents were posted in every great city in the world, and well-qualified reporters were despatched to every scene of public interest. The debates in Parliament, law proceedings, public meetings, and commercial affairs, were all reported with a fulness and accuracy which filled readers with wonder. What a visionary could scarcely dare to ask,