I don't dispute it. But the ornamental department, David; the inventive and poetical department--'
'Is entirely yours,' said his friend. 'No question of it. But with such a swell turnout as this, and all the handsome things you've got about you, and the life you lead, I mean to say it's a precious comfortable department too.'
'Does it gain the purpose? Is it Anglo-Bengalee?' asked Tigg.
'Yes,' said David.
'Could you undertake it yourself?' demanded Tigg.
'No,' said David.
'Ha, ha!' laughed Tigg. 'Then be contented with your station and your profits, David, my fine fellow, and bless the day that made us acquainted across the counter of our common uncle, for it was a golden day to you.'
It will have been already gathered from the conversation of these worthies, that they were embarked in an enterprise of some magnitude, in which they addressed the public in general from the strong position of having everything to gain and nothing at all to lose; and which, based upon this great principle, was thriving pretty comfortably.
The Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company started into existence one morning, not an Infant Institution, but a Grown-up Company running alone at a great pace, and doing business right and left: with a 'branch' in a first floor over a tailor's at the west-end of the town, and main offices in a new street in the City, comprising the upper part of a spacious house resplendent in stucco and plate-glass, with wire-blinds in all the windows, and 'Anglo-Bengalee' worked into the pattern of every one of them. On the doorpost was painted again in large letters, 'offices of the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company,' and on the door was a large brass plate with the same inscription; always kept very bright, as courting inquiry; staring the City out of countenance after office hours on working days, and all day long on Sundays; and looking bolder than the Bank. Within, the offices were newly plastered, newly painted, newly papered, newly countered, newly floor-clothed, newly tabled, newly chaired, newly fitted up in every way, with goods that were substantial and expensive, and designed (like the company) to last. Business! Look at the green ledgers with red backs, like strong cricket-balls beaten flat; the court-guides directories, day-books, almanacks, letter-boxes, weighing-machines for letters, rows of fire-buckets for dashing out a conflagration in its first spark, and saving the immense wealth in notes and bonds belonging to the company; look at the iron safes, the clock, the office seal--in its capacious self, security for anything. Solidity! Look at the massive blocks of marble in the chimney-pieces, and the gorgeous parapet on the top of the house! Publicity! Why, Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance company is painted on the very coal-scuttles. It is repeated at every turn until the eyes are dazzled with it, and the head is giddy. It is engraved upon the top of all the letter paper, and it makes a scroll-work round the seal, and it shines out of the porter's buttons, and it is repeated twenty times in every circular and public notice wherein one David Crimple, Esquire, Secretary and resident Director, takes the liberty of inviting your attention to the accompanying statement of the advantages offered by the Anglo- Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company; and fully proves to you that any connection on your part with that establishment must result in a perpetual Christmas Box and constantly increasing Bonus to yourself, and that nobody can run any risk by the transaction except the office, which, in its great liberality is pretty sure to lose. And this, David Crimple, Esquire, submits to you (and the odds are heavy you believe him), is the best guarantee that can reasonably be suggested by the Board of Management for its permanence and stability.
This gentleman's name, by the way, had been originally Crimp; but as the word was susceptible of an awkward construction and might be misrepresented, he had altered it to Crimple.