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consider her ways and be wise." Well, said I, that verse hits me hard ; and these poor little creeping things condemn 'me, for they know better how to take care of themselves than I do.
Here are they moiling and toiling all summer, to lay by something against winter; and I, like a fool, never think of saving a penny against a rainy day-I mean against old age or sickness, when I cannot work. with that, Ralph, I made a resolution in my own mind;--and, from that day to this, I have never sat down in an alehouse.
Ralph. Well, but how did you get so rich all on a sudden.
Will. Why, you know, I us'd to spend Three or Four Shillings a week, and sometimes more, at the Red Lion. I earn'd about Ten--and so, thought I to myself, as I was single, and had no family to do for, I might just as well lay by a few shillings, as throw them away, like a fool, as I had done. And so, you see, I soon got together a few comfortable things to wear; I gave my old rags to a beggar man, and I have ever since been able to go about quite tight and tidy.
Ralph. Aye, I see that plain enough ; and they tell me, besides, that you are quite a rich man.
Will. Nay, no great riches neither; I have, how.. ever, sure enough got between Eighty and Ninety Pounds of my own; and this. I call a nice little thing for a young man of five and twenty, to begin the world with, and marry, and settle.
Ralph. Why aye, man, I call it an estate.
Will. Well it's such an estate as any man may. have, if he goes the right way to work.
Ralph. I wish I could learn that way!
Will. Why did'nt I tell you the way? I just saved Four Shillings a week instead of spending it, - that's all. I began when I was eighteen years old, and now, as I told you, I am just five and twenty.
Ralph. Well, and that's just seven years. But
wilt Four Shillings a week come to all that money in seven years?
Will. Why, to be sure, if I had kept it in my box, it would only have come to about Seventy Pounds, but I put it out to Interest in the Saving Bank, and that's the way I made it grow so fast; besides if it had been in my box, I should have been apt to have finger'd it rather too often, or somebody else mighthave finger'd it for me.
Ralph. Aye, that's sure enough; but just tell me what you mean by a Saving Bank.
Will. Why, you see, à Saving Bank means a Bank to put a poor man's money in, if he should have sense enough to save a few shillings a week. I, for my part, was determined to save four, and so you see what I have made of it.
Ralph. You need say no more Will; I see how it is, and I must and will have a touch at the Saving Bank. But I suppose I must leave off the Red Lion. first.
Will. Why aye! if you put your money down your throat, you can't put it into the Saving Bank too, you know.
Ralph. No that's certain ; and I only wish I had thought of that seven years ago; for I see, in that time, I have swallowed down between eighty and ninety pounds.
Will. It's quite true Ralph.
Ralph. But they shan't catch me after that game again in a hurry.- But I say, Will, I shan't be able to lay by so much as four shillings a week. I shall want some clothes directly, for I long to go neat and tidy again; I can't bear to see my old rags, along side of your nice, whole, warm jacket.
Will. Well then if you can't put by four sbillings'. at first, begin with three, or two, or one.
Ralph. Wbat may I put in so little as one shilling at a time?
Ralph. Well but now, William, can you tell me how much I should have in five years, if so be I put in two shillings a week?
Will. Why yes, I can tell you to a farthing, be-. cause I have got the paper all about it in my pocket. Let me see! two shillings a week in five years comes : to just Twenty-eight Pounds, Three Shillings, and Three-pence.
Ralph. Well that's a pretty sum.
Ralph. What would a Shilling a week come to in seven years?
Will, Just Twerty Pounds, T'en Shillings, and Eight-pence.
Ralpk. Well then I suppose I may put in any thing I can save, little or much; and I may put it in just when I please, and take it out just when I please; or I may take a part of it out, if I please, just to buy me a new coat, or a pig, or to pay my half-year's rent.
Will. Ave, that's exactly the way of it; and you cannot be wronged of a balfpenny; for the money goes into the Bank of England, and I look upon't the money is pretty safe and snuġ there, eh boy!
Ralph. Yes, that's the best of security, to be sure ; but then if the money is in the Bank of England, how can they give me mine out just when I want it?
Will. Why, you see, the Gentleman Treasurer, as they call him, keeps a little by bim, to pay you your money if you should want it; but if you want to draw out much at one time, you must tell the genteman a little while before hand, that's all.
Ralph. Well, but now suppose this Gentleman Treasurer should have his house robbed, or lose the money, or, if he should break, what am I to do then ?
Will. Why, Ralph, suppose that it should happon, you can't be hurt then; for all the great, rich,
gentlemen about have bound themselves to be trustees, to see after these things; and they'll take care and see that you are not wronged if they know it, I'll warrant you.
Ralph. Why, what do these great gentlemen get by binding themselves in that fasbion ?
Will. Get! why nothing at all, only the pleasure of helping their poor neighbours, and shewing them the way to be almost gentlemen too. When I first began, there was only a Saving Bank here and there; but now there's one in almost every town in the kingdom.
Ralph. Well that's a fine thing; and a poor man, I see, may do bimself good if he please ; I see it all as clear as day-light. But I say William, just tell us, before we part, whether it's true, what the neighbours say, that you are just going to be married to Mary Manage. I heard that you two had alwayspa liking for one another, but they said that she would not have you, because you had taken to drinking.
Will. Why she did say so sure enough, Ralph, but that's some seven years ago; times are altered now, and so she has altered her mind ; and, between ourselves, I expect that we shall come together before it's long
Ralph. And they say she's got a good bit of money too, some Fifty or Sixty Pounds of her
Will. Why, they say true enough for once, Ralph.
Ralph. Well but how did she come by it all? I should'nt wonder if she'd been at the Saving Bank too.
Will. Aye, you've exactly hit it Ralph, she has been putting into the Saving Bank for this eight or nine years. Poor dear! when she first went to live with my Lady Allworthy, she was but quite a little thing, and so bad'nt much wages; so she could only
put in a shilling now and then, and sometimes only sixpence; but, after a while, as she grew bigger, my Lady made her place better ; for she said that Mary was such a careful, steady, girl, and never fung away her money in trumpery finery, and yet always went so neat and tight, that it did a body good to look at her. So then, when Mary's place was better, she laid up a little more in the Bank, and so, all together, she has got a matter of Fifty or Sixty Pounds of her own.
Ralph. Well you need say no more about it, for I see, as plain as a pike staff, that if a young man or a young woman will just put a trifle into the Saving Bank, and go on for a few years, they may be almost like gentlefolks when they come to marry.
Will. Why, my boy, I know it's so, because, you see, I've try'd. Only look at Richard Sober; he's been saving these ten years. He earned more than I did, and so he put, Six Shillings a week into the Bank, and now he's worth almost. Two Hundred Pounds.
Ralph. Why, what a mint of money that is! Richard was always a steady careful sort of man. To be sure how we used to make game of him and mob him for being so good, and so sober, and so quiet. How Tom Tagrag, and Bill Poacher, and Jack Riffraff, and Bob Shufle, and Sam Sneak, did one day set on him, and laugha at him.
Will. Let them laugh that win, say I, I don't think many of them have got Two Hundred Pounds by 'em, eh Ralph.
Ralph. No nor a shilling a piece neither, if you were to search their pockets. And if they were to pawn all their clothes, they'd hardly fetch eighteen. pence.
Will. And some of them are married men too, and their children look just as ragged and mean as themselves. A married man with a family, you see, cau't lay by much; but some of them might lay by a