SIR PETER POLE'S DRAFT ON LAFITTE. BY WATERS.
The following story I give on the authority of Mr. Ppter Hollins, late of Uxbridge, where he died fourteen years ago; come September next; and now as all who knew him must humbly, hopefully trust with God. Mr Hollins had been a confidential clerk in the banking establishment of Sir Peter Pole, which, with yrry miny others, came to grief in consequence ofthe frightful panic in 1827. Sir Peter Pole's bank was closely connected with a large number of country banks—between thirty and forty, Hollins used to : say —all which, .with two exceptions, one at Bath, the other: at Bristol, were dragged down by Sir Peter's downfall. Headers of William Cobbett, who, thanks* to the man's malignant misuse of great natural powers, may now be counted on one's fingers, will remember his fierce, truculent exultation over Pole's downfall as brutal and savage; as the triumphant shout with with which he hailed the tidings .'of. Sir. Walter Scott's, pecuniary ruin. fi.. Tbanp,".^liejWr.ote'in:his Register, A l, thanks ty the/ d p's;nii!Qtife.spi;that phfied-oufcrag-rook (rag-rook wss Gobe&or,lij%ii&er) j 'tha^ksttoi-the downfall of that ■ jßnffed^u^a^^bok^-I.h'^v'e at *Jast beeii abletb sleep -inatown wliere;;thereis?hbi ragrr6ok;!'HThiscertainly has nothing to dd'.^K-:''VSif;-;P^fe'r:PblVs,cdrdf6 on Lafitte." My excuse is, that wheh^sit'tihg^ down, smoothing the paper, .nibbing the pen, for the purpose of relating aJ* |t6ry told ■' me; by. my excellent, kind- - hearted friend, ftfr? Peter Hollhis, I; almost, uriconscibusly divcTgeihto the gossip with which.fcisfetories were enlivened; Mr Peter Hollins, It is necessary to state, was thoroughly intimate with-everv jpeivon whom, in sketching this somewhat Striking", if con-flnediout-vlew into tha wilderness! of society, if shall have occasion tomention.i -yy-yfiy AA-Ayy.y..^,: ... ■"' m -Augustus -Dalyell Dalrymple, when arrivkiat the -i^e age of twenty-one years anda few-iaont& ove% found himself in possession,jhesidea-his/majority,-of about thirty pounds-; iti;cash, a sdedebt-warclrobe, a , handsome/prepossessinj?ipresence,,and a letter| of; introduction (to ' Sir: Peter*Po%jitiief?great:(lkondon banker;iAugustTO,Dalyeil Dalrymple^ -to-whicH gran-: :di6se*inames:inyifiiend:Hollins, hiistedtheyounjg man -could only have been entitled in a left-handed: Sinister way, through his mother, was a citizen of Glasgow,; and an orphan; his, for a long time, sole siiryiy^hg
\s&+m. reached legal ma^ooa: trait pintherjou^ man's olfeet^se^^ifflaifellcter, j!-was nptj so-inueh |,ovei^e?jp^ineaanre 6f>that;,as a^e^ta.be-tafen, C-a- e|^? las^^^ofidoh vpei-Tstaj&cbachj and) |f thoughibut S cantily.:iiicyd6d, travelled hiside.t Major r^oi^b^re%a*dne^fth^insides, andhe, during the S-WJ^^^ntracted quite.a diking for Augustus - Dalyell Dalrympla, who, the bearer''of. that distin?"'the^n^e allowed'to be understood, was a scion - of the Dairying family, an*about to be gazetted to a corneteym the Royal Horse Guards, Bin v Major Gonybeare, with reciproeative cordiality, gave the young man his card, and expressed a wish to see him at OcMk Foster at any time lhat h e> ;Augustus 'Dalyell Dalrymple, should feel inclined to fajror liim witb i ,8, Ccul. " . y ' fi'-' 'a ■■"":■'■'' ■ ' ■ . ■
£• f^ ris a v l lUaj?e about two miles distant ? w Wißarnet, through which passes what used to be the Great Northern road. A beautiful forest park is contiguous, the, Sunday' resort^) this day of shoals of cockneys. One of the firm of Messrs Bevan, Hankers, has a splendid mansion there. ■ The: youn« man, with ;all his 'silly pretence, must;. hava; been a shrewd, clever fellow, or he would scarcely have succeeded in- so rk r°^ h- y bam*>ob'?ling Major . Conybeare. The Major was . thoroughly bamooozled and after pleateouslv partaking of wine at the Saracen's Head, Snow .Hill, the gallant grey-headed Indian officer warmly renewed his invitation to Cock Foster .U he introduction to Sir Peter Pole by a Glasgow celebrity, with whom' Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple had m some way managed to ingratiate himself, was immediately successful, and the soaring young-gen-tleman was booked at once for seventy pounds per annum, and a future rise according to merit. He was placed under Mr Hollins, who had consequently ample opportunity for observing and reckoning the £>°f \m^ a iup' ,Rh im P^ssion was, that Augustus Dalyell Da rymple was a vain, feather-brained coxcomb } his head, such as it was, full of romantic rubbish ; but that in pecuniary matters he was a thoroughly honest person. One or two incidents, the particulars ot which! have forgotten, if they were told tome, stamped that conviction indellibly upon the mind of Hollins. •• •
George the third, many years before morally dead, expired at last in a legal sense, and George the i0 ™, reiP? d -his .stead' The coronation of The first gentleman in Europe" (into what a stinging sarcasm has time translated that once literally accepted phrase? the coronation of the first gentleman of Europe was a general holiday in London; a summer holiday, and Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple bethought him that it would be as well to take the opportunity for calling upon his stage-coach acquaintance, Major Conybeare, at Cock poster. He did so, arrayed in his best, and not having the slightest odor of the banking, or any other, shop about him. Major Conybeare received him very graciously. His sister and housekeeper being temporarily away in the north, the Major had accepted an invitation to dine with a Mrs Campbell a widow, and not very far off neighbor. He couki take his young friend with him: he would he cordially welcome; there was a daughter, Marion Campbell, a charming young person; they would be able to make up a pleasant party of whist, and so on.
Augustus Dalyell Dalyrmple, weakly, perhaps, I shonla write criminally, acquiesced, and was introduced to Mrs Campbell and daughter as as one of the Dalryraples, who, as soon as certain tedious re:-tape formalities bad been gone through would be gazetted cornet in the Blues.1 The voucher of Major Conybeare could not be questioned, and the young clerk was received upon a footing of perfect equality—rather, indeed, as if he, in making Mrs and Miss Campbell's acquaintance, had stooped somewhat. Marion Campbell, a fascinating, but according to Hollins, heartless young lady, spread all her lures to catch Augustus Dalyell Dalyrmple, nnd fatally succeeded in doing so. In less than a fortnight he had come to love her with wildering distracting passion. Marion Campbell, whilst exulting iv the conquest she had made, was anxious that it should not be bruited about. Mrs Campbell was much straitened in means, though she -kept up appearances, Marion's marriage into the Dalrymple family with the youthful scion of that house, whose mture was. so well assured, that the luxurious extravagance of acornetsy in the Household Troops wasnot denied to him, would be a grand stroke of fortune not to be jeapordized by giving occasion for the revival of scandals which malicious, envious neighbors had clared whisper not long since to Marion's prejudice. .
This being so, Marion Campbell affected the Lydia Languish dislike ot orthodox, regular,,humdrum mar-riages--a dislike which enraptured and blinded Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple. But for that romantic whim of hers, marriage with him was outof the question, but once married—fascinating, beautiful, rich Marion Campbell, his lawful, loving wife—why all difficulties^ would disappear, be smoothed over, the venial deception ot a man love crazed be forgotten, afc all events forgiven. Marion Campbell coyly yielded to her lover's proposal of an elopement and clandestine marriage. Kvevy detail was sat tied; one obstacle, unsuspected by the lady, alone remained to be overleaped Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple had not five pounds in the world ! In his extremity he applied to a relative of his presumed father, not of his mother—Adam Dalrymple, Esq., of North Audley-street, for a loan of one hundred pounds, and met with a contemptuous refusal.
In the sam* house with Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple lodged—Simon Craik, a middle-aged man, who, for some few years had been a clerk at Sir Peter Pole's. He was a specious, oily man this Craik; urbsinity, benevolence, the purest unskimmed milk of human kindness, seemed to be always welling up from his capacious heart, and overflowing at his lips. Young Dalrymple believed in Craik, and confided to him his hopes, fears, anxieties, aud tribulations Simon Craik listened with sympathetic interest; said he would speak with some froends of his and see what could be done.
Just two weeks afterwards, a letter came by post to Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple, in which were enclosed four fifty pound Bank of England notes. There was not a scrap of writing, but the overjoyed youMgman immediately took it for granted that the donor or lender was one of tli* friends of whom Simon Craik had spoken. But Simon Craik utterly repudiated that conclusion or conjecture. It had so chanced and the worthy man took blame upon himself that it had so chanced—it had so chanced that Simon Craik had not been able to inform his friends ofthe cruel, pressing necessity under which Mr Augustus Dalrymple was placed. There could be no doubt, he added, that the two hundred pounds must have been forwarded by a kind friend who had heard, directly or Indirectly, of the need the ardent young lover had of such a sum. No doubt, he or she would one day disclose his or her name, and, it might be, request payment of the loan. This, I must obse've, was Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple's statempnt. Simon Craik himself always denied that he was consulted by the young man respecting his marriage, or that he was told of the two hundred pounds forwarded by post— an assertion which when first made in Augustus Dalrymple's presence, threw him into convulsions, of angry rage. ■ ; . - . Possessed of the money, by whom sent was a minor consideration, the eager lover lost no time in carrying out the elopement projected. Pretending that a near relative in Glasgow was at the point of death, and wished.'to see him before she departed this life, he obtained a fortnight's leave of absence, posted to Gretna Green with Marion Campbell and was there married. : • . ; '
Meanwhile an incident occurred which caused much perturbation in Sir Peter Pole's banking establishment. A gentleman, Mr James Everard. who had a large balance in the bank, being at Paris, wrote, desirine that a draft for two thousand pounds on Lafitte should be forwarded to him by. post. This was punctually done,, or more correctly, intended to be done. My friend Hollins enclosed the draft in a letter which he sealed and directed, which,, with another, addressed to Lafitte and Compagnie advising them of the same, was placed in the usual receptacle in readiness tor the clerk whose duty it was to post them. ''" :*"*j-:;- " '•'■'.' •■,■ *. .-.
deafly three weeks passed when a letter was received from Mr Everard, stating; that he had not received the draft; upon o Lafitte for two, thousand pounds, but that to hisejctremeastonishinent he had discovered when calling at. the' great Paris banker's upon other business, that a draft drawn by Sir Peter Pole and Company for two thousand pounds in favor ■ of him, Mr Everard^ had: been presented and paid, partly in Bank of England notes, at the: request of the payee... The. endorsement was of ,00'ufse forged.' The number^ of the .'..holes both of theßank of England ;ahd that;of''..Frah'cei';'''m^:;which';tfiie;d^fhj_d'-* been paid,-were forwarded;1 and a hot; fierce inquiry was at once set on foot to discover the thief.- : ;,- v .'- inquiry seemed a hopeless one, till three days after; Mr Everard's letter reached'the firm*-At about iiobhion that; day in marched llrs Campbell, of CockFoster, supp6rted onthe arm, so tremulously agitated •didsheappeartd.be, of Major Conybeare. Thejady, who tightly clutched a crumpled, letter in her right \hahd; insisted upon seeiog the manager. ; She saw the macager^PeterHbljins heingpj-esent., 'A.,fifi.fiAfifi' fi fii I received; tMs^letter -a dtew?^ouri^^,*'said! Mrs Campbell,-; ,<f: Can the statements made'be '■ possibly; true ?^Xpok4;at JMteffi she added;;iasUhe took, the crumpled letter^ <t^. Look at this;. it is the likeness j;.an exact one, -of Augustus -Dalyell Dalrymple." j ifififiy fiy-y.Ayv .xXy-fiyy-A'xA^fififix'AyfiA. xx-yfi If that be sp,,";;replied::tbe manager, -^ there^aiv be no doubt that ;the;Augustus Iklyeh-Dal^oiple > spoken of in this letter Hour Augustus Daly^llffkii-^ rymple.MjAsihe writerstn^;hejis^ clerk iaVthe estabiishment—his saiar'h'seyenty pounds pei^i^mi;3 'ldo hotbelieve: there isi an^leg^l^^ionshjpbetweem ;bim hndiAe Dialrjrnaplesifeij fifi-x^*- fiyArlfiA^'ifixfixAfi; yy, Mrs : Ckaipbeifwas sliocked^ia^^h^)^?me^ sure,i appeared;? likely ftogfain^jM^jorv Cbhybeaie^ ?.asfbtfnded,r.pOT]^^^ Afifii. There must be some mistake If an^iicclaimed 3 the major; 'fi. I myself saw three Or four fifty pound fi Bank of England notes in his possession^'' |
U 7iH^ d > : ?*&lste with sMSI? kwdleili eyes -j^*' whm% ttfat?^ifet ' peoplenotw^ Cock'J^bster?" •• -! T\i nqywereriuomentarily expected when" we left,' .MjioLMajor Cohybeare*. -; *' : „.,■'.-; ; , : - r - , '. r^^hcii'l:: wiil?3igoita!meet^themj:; ?!hei-_aff_ur 'is a, serious i one,; and.:rmust.~becclearerd r ;np^- without; .y, i The.hour for aldsing was about to strike .when the manager, greatly agitated,; returned. " That unhappy youthi' he said/addressing: Mr Peter HdHihsT" that unhappy youth. Dalrymple, led, astray by nncohtrollable passion, stole the twa-j.houss.nd pounds draft. Une of the notes, $ fifty pounff Bank of England note, t found upon him. He is ia custody, of course Poor fellow ! added the manager, ■" I, in spite ofthe crime^ he has committed, heartily pitied him as he shrank, cowered beneath the pitiless vituperation, the fierce, measureless scorn, contempt, hurled at him by his bride and her mother. A couple of devils incarnate, -for whom I - have, no commiserationnot .the slightest. But I gfeel for the misguided lad. . ; ■,:.--• ...... a- ■■-•'.-'; -~... •-"
Yonng Dalrymple's protestations availed nothing. Simon Craik calmly, stolidly denied that the young man hadever spoken to him respecting. Miss Campbell, much less that he had told him of havins- received two hundred pounds in bank notes by post—a declaration which, as Before said, threw the accused into a paroxysm of fury. Augustus Dalyell Dalrymple did not live to he arraigned at the Qld Bailey. He died by his own act, —by poison, which he had procured,' nobody could say of whom; though Hollins believed it was furnished to him by a frail, sinful creature, with whom the misguided young man had associated previous to his acquaintance with Marion Campbell, a hundred times more sinful creature. In a scrawl, as far as ,the^ writing goes, which Hollins could never read without weeping, written as it was in the blood of his^ own heart, he vehemently protests his innocence of the crime imputed'to him; which accusation, he adds, has no sting like that inflicted by the discover y of the utter bareness of the woman he had so passionately loved, aud whose image would be the last that would fade from his darkening eyes—whose name would be uttered by his last breath. c Nine yeare afterwards, Simon Craik, Esquire, of Stamford Hill, by tlie accidental overturning of his carnage, m consequence ofthe fright of his pair of splendid bays, occasioned by the discharge of fireworks^oth November, 1862), was so severely injured that the professional centleman called in declared he could not by possibility live twenty-four hours. The first sentence uttered by Simon Craik, after recover - ing from the shock of such announcement, was— Send for Mr Peter Hollins, at Sir Peter's Pole's . ". .H°Hins," said the dying man, who was swiftly sinking, " you didn't know, did you, that I was a returned transport ? Ha ! ha ! You cunning ones! iiut that's not it. About that—Dalrymple : perhaps—l don't kuow—it may be so-and it's no use —throwing away a chance. Suppose I confess, that
_ Death was too quick and strong for the expiring felon. The confession, if he really meant to make one, was unspoken; and who stole Sir Peter Pole's draft upon Laftte is to this day an undiscovered crime.
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Otago Daily Times, Otago Daily Times, Issue 319, 27 December 1862
SIR PETER POLE'S DRAFT ON LAFITTE. BY WATERS. Otago Daily Times, Issue 319, 27 December 1862
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