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very Blue-book unfortunately prove that we have just as much roguery going on in our tight little island as can be found abroad. We have all heard, for instance, of an operation called “shaving the ladies," yet we doubt if any lady is aware of the very clean shave she is constantly undergoing. If she is accustomed to frequent “cutting shops," where the stock is periodically thrown into a state of convulsions in its efforts to sell itself off, of course she expects to be done ; but possibly she does not know that for years the trade in “small wares," as it is termed, has been losing its conscience in the most remarkable manner. There is, in short, a regular conspiracy to cheat between the manufacturers and the great wholesale dealers. If a lady, for instance, buys a reel of cotton marked a hundred yards, she imagines, possibly, that she gets that quantity. Miserable delusion! There are not more than seventy. All goods, again, that are sold in the piece, run short: "short-stick,” in fact, is a slang term for insufficient lengths.
Some of the wholesale middlemen will send up labels to the manufacturer indicating false lengths, and they are put on, as a matter of course, by many spinners. The Britisher is thus cheated out of 30 per cent. of his goods: but that is nothing to the way in which the Yankees plunder. Thus they will forge some well-known name, say in thread, and they will keep lowering the lengths on the reels from seventy until they touch thirty yards only, still retaining the hundred-yards label. In this manner a good name is “run to death.” Then a fresh one is selected, and brought into discredit in a similar manner.
Of old there used to be five hundred pins in a packet: now there are often only two hundred. Articles marked “worsted,” again, often have 95 per cent. of cotton in them. The loss, it must be observed, always falls on the ultimate purchaser, as many of the articles cannot be unwound to be measured without being spoilt.
We can understand a petty tradesman perpetrating these contemptible frauds; but what shall we think of the integrity of British merchants, when we find that it is not at all an uncommon thing for them to send up to the manufacturers labels imitating those used by excellent makers, and stipulating that they shall be affixed to inferior goods of other makers ? The Merchandise Marks Bill is aimed at this organized system of frauds perpetrated on our wives and daughters. . We may not be very deeply moved at the ladies being cleanly shaved, but the male Briton will not fail to feel indignant at the frauds perpetrated on his bitter beer. It will possibly be new to the public that Bass does not bottle his own ale, but sells it in barrels, and supplies his customers with a sufficient number of labels marked with his trade mark (a red triangle) for the quantity of bottles which the cask will fill. So far, good; but these labelled bottles henceforth become the vehicles for a series of frauds. The publican round the corner, who supplies you, good reader, with your daily pint of Bass, stipulates for the return of the empty bottles, that he may fill them again with salted, sugared, filthy Burton; and again and again it is done, as long as the famous “red triangle" will keep decently clean upon the bottles. This is a matter which touches the thirsty Briton, and he should see to it. Mr. Bass evidently is unwittingly lending himself to a most detestable cheat. ' Imagine, good reader, the basket from Bunkum & Pott's at your next picnic duly unpacked by the river-side in the charming month of June, and the tumblers held out by thirsty souls to John in attendance, only to receive, instead of the charming, sparkling pale ale, sweet and clammy public-house beer! Would transportation be sufficient punishment for the rascal who had done that thing? It seems to us that if the labels were pasted over the cork, instead of on the bottles, and if the forging of this label were made a misdemeanour, punishable with imprisonment, as the Merchandise Marks Bill proposes, we might still rest in security as to the integrity of our Bass. As it is, even your black servant in India knows that he can get more for an empty labelled bottle than for a plain one, and thus the swindle circulates round the world.
If we turn to arms, again, we find fraud pursuing us. Mr. Westley Richards complains that common rifles are stamped with his name, and sent into the market as genuine articles; and but too often the purchaser gets his hand blown off. It is always the English gentleman who has to pay the penalty of the fraud. We recommend this particular instance, therefore, to the attention of the sporting members of the House of Commons, and it will doubtless go some way towards obtaining their hearty concurrence in a measure which will put down a growing system of fraud which is sapping the integrity of the working and mercantile classes of the country.
ADVICE BY A RETIRED PHYSICIAN.
WHEN Rowland Hill invented the penny postagestamp, and put in circulation the smallest papermoney in existence, he little thought the evil uses to which his admirable idea would be turned. He little anticipated that ingenious gentlemen, who roam about seeking whom they may devour, would, through its agency, manage to live upon the public in princely style, their whole stock-in-trade being an advertisement in the paper! In an article published some time since we drew attention to the alluring advertisement of “ A Retired Clergyman ” who was anxious to make the public acquainted with a recipe for nervous disorders — the trifling sum of six postage-stamps being all he asked in return for his invaluable advice. But now the retired clergyman gives place to an aged figure, such as we used to see in the frontispiece of didactic volumes of a quarter of a century since in the form of a venerable hermit dispensing to youth the health-giving mountain herb, as thus
A RETIRED PHYSICIAN, whose sands of life have nearly
run out, discovered, while in the East Indies, a Certain Cure for Consumption, Asthma, Bronchitis, Coughs, Colds, and general debility. The remedy was discovered by him when his only child,