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of returning to England, for he was one of a class of old Indians who cared little about England, and never dreamt of returning to it. I recollect many of this extinct class, for India since that time has been considered only as a resting-place on the road to affluence; and the last of them were a triumvirate, each a man of real, or what is the same thing, of reputed wealth,-Jack Topping, Webb, and Westcott. The influence I speak of, was an almost universal persuasión he had contrived to diffuse every where, that, meaning to die at Madras, his dearest and best friends at that settlement would be his legatces. “I have no friends or relatives in England,” he used to say; “my last relation was a sixth cousin, who with great ingenuity made out what he called his affinity, and sent me over a table of consanguinity to put it beyond a doubt. The dog told me in his letter, that he was a cheesemonger, comfortable way, and hoped that, when I came home, I would make his house in Bishopsgate Street, and his cottage at Islington, my own, because it stands to reason that I should not go to a hotel, where the charges are so high, whilst my own blood and kin were willing and happy to see me. This relative died a year or two ago, as it stands to reason he should, and I have not been pestered with any of my family since.”

Now, to use the cheesemonger's phrase, “it stands to reason,” said certain of Jack Topping's bosom friends, that he should remember us in his will. We have always shewn him kindness. Always a place at our table-and we never got, up a party without sending him a card. “ Therefore, we shall get something.”. This was as much as each would acknowledge in words; but in the private recesses of the thought, there lurked day-dreams and night-dreams of affluence, which the mines of Potosi would hardly have realized. Yet the syllogism was imperfect, for avarice is by no means an expert logician. The defect lay in the premises. Jack Topping was not worth a rupee. But if this was overlooked

the inferior class of legatees, each of whom would have been satisfied with a few thousand pounds to add to the little nest-egg with which they hoped to retire to England-it was overlooked also by the select few-to whom, with injunctions of most religious secrecy, he had breathed confidential whispers of conferring the residue of his vast accumulations. Amongst these he had unlimited sway.". No magician could do such wonders with his agents as Jack Topping could with his three or four expectants. One of them, the most grasping of misers, opened his hoards, spreading all before him for his immediate use when a sudden emergency arose, that might put him to the trouble of drawing on Calcutta, or the Manillas, or Batavia, for a few thousand pagodas. They vied with mutual jealousy in their ministrations to his want or caprices, on the slightest hint that the service would be acceptable; for he had given every body to understand that his funds were dispersed in securities all over the world, by far the greater part being in the adamantine keeping of the three per cent. consols and long annuities of his native country.

“ I have waited on you, Mr. Topping, agreeably to your hospitable entreaty," said a thick, muddy-faced Armenian, who talked excellent English, but the richest as well as the most avaricious of that mercantile tribe, as he ascended the steps of Topping's garden-house, having just alighted from a dingy green palanquin, so crazy that it creaked even to dissolution, as Jacob Arathoon's heavy carcase freed its miserable complement of six bearers from his weight, Topping shook him by the hand, with a courtesy which none could resist, Jew, Turk, or Armenian; taking care, however, as Jacob's hand was greasy and fat, to sprinkle unobservedly over his own a few drops of rose-water, that stood on a table ready for use on like occasions,

“ Mr. Arathoon, I am rejoiced to see you," returned Topping, and as it is on business of a private nature, I have used the freedom of inviting you to my solitary repast, that we may talk it over quietly together.” Jacob, who loved good living, but had always an eye upon business, was for despatching the business first and then the dinner, He must have some large sum,” said he to himself," he does not know how to employ advantageously—and wants to invest it in piece-goods, or raw silk, or indigo;"—for Jacob, with the rest of the world, gave Topping credit for being by far the wealthiest capitalist in the settlement.

“No business yet," said Topping; “let us dine first ;" and Jacob sighed forth an internal amen to the proposal. So saying, he led the way to the saloon, where Jacob's eyes, instinctively attracted towards every thing that had value, lighted upon a 'sunnptuous sideboard furnished with a service of plate in the English fashion, whilst other senses were soothed with the fragrance of several covers, amongst which were two fine roeballs, the most delicious fish in the world, and a capon so exquisitely cooked, that, though at every other table common-place and uninviting, at Topping's it was a treat and rarity. The meal being concluded, the intervals of which had admitted occasional bumpers of some rare old Madeira, which were a proverb of excellence all round the settlement, Topping saw his guest making sundry attempts to introduce the business on which he had been so urgently sent for. “ Let us finish a cool bottle or two of claret”.(and Topping's was of a most delicious vintage)," and then it will be time to think of the cares of life.” Never had Jacob's unmeaning face more resembled a full harvest-moon than it did now. He had dined most luxuriantly, and without expense, a reflection that enhanced the luxury a hundred-fold. Topping, who knew where to stop, and could hit upon that precise moment when the heart is most expanded at the least expense to the intellect, at length began in this way:

“ Friend Arathoon, I have long known the worth and integrity of your character. They are sterling qualities, and they are almost peculiar to persons of your community. My own countrymen are vain, arrogant, unfeeling, and selfish.” Jacob assented with seeming sincerity to this remark, and indeed he had ample reason for doing so; and listened in still suspense and agonized curiosity to what was coming next.

“Do you remember,” continued Topping, my first commercial venture with your house, in the year 1780 ?”

“ I do,” said Jacob. “ It was in a bottomry on the ship Clive to the Manillas. And a good venture it was.”

“It was,” replied Topping ; " and it laid the foundation of the few thousand rupees I have been enabled to lay up—not for my own benefit, Jacob, for I am an old man, without relatives or connexions, and it is time for me-but take a bumper of claret whilst it is cool-to call for my night-gown and slippers, and bid the world good-night. A slight pause permitted Arathoon to indulge his astonishment at so singular a preface, and a thousand guesses as to what was coming next. Whatever he thought, it was an agreeable interlude to his reflexions to have the cool claret which Jack Topping had pushed towards him under his nose.

“ And now, Jacob, it is time to tell you," continued his host, “ why I sent for you. First to reveal to you something that has long pressed upon my mind, and which it imports you highly to know-besides that, the pleasure of your conversation, which is a great treat to me.”' This was nearly too much for Jacob himself—had he had the slightest idea of the ridiculous or farcical, he would have laughed himself at the compliment paid to him for an accomplishment he had never cultivated but to drive a bargain or cheapen an invoice, But the fact is, the satire that lurks in flattery is perceptible to gifted minds alone--and Jacob's was another guess sort of mind. He, however, could not forbear staring. “Yes, my friend, for the talk of the settlement is the prattle of fools-of folly giving itself the airs of wisdom. And then look, Jacob, at our members of council-is it possible to feel higher respect for such men, than for a conclave of robbers planning together their schemes of plunder ? Yes, Jacob, they have plundered this poor country, fattened upon its entrails, and are now picking the bones. Would you believe it? Whitwell has the assurance and credulity to suppose, on the strength of a few civilities, that he is to be the chief legatee of what I have scraped together. No, my good sir, I have seen enough of my own countrymen to be sick of them, and the grimaces of our women, pale, proud, cold as chunam frogs. But what I mean will be better explained by a document.” Topping took out from an escrutoire two papers, having the appearance of testamentary ones. One was in English, the other in the Armenian language. What astonishment did Jacob grunt when he read in his own tongue words to this purpose !

“To leave a monument that will endure beyond the passing hour of frail mortality, I bequeath twenty thousand star pagodas for the building and future repair of an Armenian church, to be dedicated to such saint or patron as to the majority of Armenian worshippers may seem good.” The clause went on appointing Jacob one of the trustees for carrying the religious dispositions of the will into effect.

Jacob was lost in wonder. The Armenian church had long been decaying, and a levy on the pockets of the rich Armenians was in agitation-of which Jacob's contingent would, in his estimation, be a heavy one. What pen, however, can describe the breathless stupor with which, after a few legacies and charitable bequests, Jacob read a clause to the following effect : “ And whereas I have long looked with disgust upon my own countrymen settled in India, their intrigues and dishonest contentions for emolument, their exactions from the natives whom they pillage and oppress, I do hereby revoke all former bequests by me made in behalf of any person or persons amongst them, and do bequeath and devise, subject to the trusts and legacies hereinbefore-mentioned, the whole of my property, of what kind soeyer, here and at Calcutta, and in the English four per cents. and three per cent, consolidated stock, to Jacob Arathoon; of the Black Town, Madraspatnam, &c. &c.”

“Let this be deposited in the chest of your church,” said Topping to the wonder-struck, credulous legatee. “I only enjoin you to the most religious secresy, Jacob put his finger to his lips in token of obedience, and leaped into his palanquin with an alacrity that astonished Topping himself, who could scarcely have expected such an effect on the squat, heavy carcase of Jacob. But the dream of wealth so near at hand—for Topping on these occasions took care at certain intervals to bring forth a hollow church-yard cough, the knell of immediate dissolution-made the Armenian as light and buoyant as a feather.

Joy is never uncommunicative. Jacob could not help imparting his good fortune to one or two of the presbyters of the church ; and particularly the kind disposition of his patron's will regarding the Armenian church. Next to the Moravians, the spirit of fraternity dwells with the Armenians more than with any other religious body. “ Mr. Topping is dying, Jacob,” they said,

Begin the church. The existing one is crumbling to the ground, and may

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crush us under its ruin. You will have ample sunds before the end of the year, if we contract for its completion by that time.” The builder, an honest Arme, nian was sent for. An agreement was executed on the guarantee of Jacob, and the foundation-stone laid with

pomp and

ceremony. After this, Jacob came frequently to soothe the lonely evenings of Topping, though Jacob in sooth was the dullest of created beings;, but such was the address of his testator, that the legatee began, on the faith of Jack's accustomed complimentary phrase, to believe himself to be a most entertaining companion, At these visits, Topping occasionally insinuated that, not wishing to disturb his securities, which bore a considerable interest, or that having just bought up a large quantity of Sir Thomas Rumbold's treasury-bills at an enormous discount, or some analogous pretext, he wished for the temporary use of a sum of money; and thus contrived to borrow of that credulous victim some considerable sums, seldom less than two or three thousand star pagodas, on no other security than his simple acknowledgment. Jacob considered this, in the language of Shakespeare, as an assurance doubly sure taking a bond of fate.” It will be seen, in due time, that in this respect fate was the worst security he could have relied on, for it was fated that not one fanam of the sums thus confidingly advanced was to be paid. It was, however, with singular complaçency that Jacob heard a deeper and deeper cough from the chest of Topping, a sound prelusive of the wealth that in common calculation would, at no great distance of time, be his own. The next morning, the sum was sure to arrive at Topping's garden-house, the peon being strictly charged to observe, with the utmost watchfulness, the state of his health, and to express Jacob's anxious inquiries as to that particular. The report of the peon administered increased satisfaction to the happy legatee, for he said that, whilst he was counting out to him the money, the old gentleman was seized with so vehement a paroxysm of coughing, that it was some time before he could write the chit which acknowledged the receipt of it.

In the mean time, the Armenian church rose magnificently from its foundations. The architect, on Jacob's security, had contracted to finish it in a year, at which time the cost of its erection was to be paid him. Jacob had run his testator's life against this most critical twelvemonth. How frequent, how anxious, during this period, were Jacob's inquiries of Topping's healthhow fixedly did he direct his heavy oyster-like eyes towards Topping, for some new token of approaching dissolution with what a doleful affectation of sympathy, but real gladness of heart, did he hear the hollow reverberation of the propitious cough! Topping, indeed, had heard of the new church, of its architectural splendour, so unusual in the ecclesiastical edifices of a moneygetting and parsimonious people. He laughed at Jacob's simplicity, but made no inquiries of Jacob relative to it; whilst the latter, either from delicacy, or more probably the fear of displeasing his munificent benefactor, kept his lips closed on the subject. At length the year expired. The church and its splendid portico were finished, and seemed to cast a smile of stately contempt on the meaner buildings by which it was surrounded. But it became necessary to consult Topping, by whose posthumous generosity it had been reared, as to recording his name as the benefactor of the church, on a space left for that purpose in the architrave. “No, Jacob,” said he, “ I seek for no reputation on this side the grave, to which I am now hastening with accelerated footsteps. (A deep cough.) As my executor, you will of course apply the funds I have specifically lest to its uses, It will be then time enough to record my name as the donor in what way you please. At present, let the donation lie

buried in honourable silence. Envious and disappointed expectants would set up a cry against me, as a heathen and unbeliever, and I know not what, for endowing a church belonging to a faith different from my own, when I might have done more honour to my own memory by leaving the funds specified in my wil! to the Protestant church of St. Mary's, in the fort, which has been long sink.. ing into the same decrepitude as yours. Keep the secret till my death. Alas, I feel it to be fast approaching (a deeper cough than usual), and as the disposition of the money will be in your discretion, let your own name stand forth as the sole patron by whose munificence the structure was accomplished. The truth is, Jacob, I have long had a leaning towards the leading doctrine of your church. I am, like yourself, a Monophysite. I hold, and shall do so at the day of judgment, the unity of Christ's nature, denying the doctrine of many of your Armenian churches, that his divine soul was invested with a human body.” Jacob, through whose theological twilight the truth of the Eutychian or Monophysite heresy had long since beamed-a heresy which had been crushed in Armenia in the reign of Justinian, and from that date had taken refuge in India and Upper Egypt-was delighted at' his testator's confession. He returned home more and more confirmed of the speedy probability of Topping's demise, though he must of course advance out of his own proper funds the large sum of 18,000 pagodas for the new church; and having mentioned to the pontiff and the elders, in strict confidence, Topping's wish that Jacob's name should be recorded as the sole founder of the edifice, a bait which bis vanity greedily swallowed, his name appeared, shortly afterwards, in Armenian and Roman characters :

A.D. 1788.
Hoc templum re-edificavit

E propriis sumptibus

: Jacobus ARATHOON. There it remains to this hour, a monument of“ Jacob's folly,” the designation it has retained ever since.

The few remaining old Indians, who recollect the Indian affairs of this period, and the discreditable courses of Sir Thomas Rumbold and his chiefsecretary, Whitwell, who administered the Madras government, are full of anecdotes of these personages. Whitwell was Rumbold's jackall, and played his game for him, with a dexterity and acuteness, that eluded the Argus-eyed jealousy of the numerous enemies whom disappointment and envy had raised against him. It was generally known and felt, that Whitwell was to all practicable purposes the governor. Every place of emolument and rank was at his disposition. He contrived,-at a time when the sepoys were unpaid, or paid only by what were called “Sepoy Chits," or promissory billets in the name of the paymasters, and which they were obliged to convert into cash at a devouring discount, to enable them to procure rice for the day, the public treasury being completely exhausted,—to have unceasing supplies of money pass through his hands from every quarter whence it could be procured. He lavished large sums upon his friends, or rather favourites, with the most undistinguishing profuseness. He placed the most rapacious and corrupt natives in the highest and most responsible offices, to which, by the Company's rules, they were eligible—nor did those rules stand in Whitwell's way when he had a purpose to answer. Nothing could be more glaring than the partiality and injustice with which promotions in both services were dispensed. His intrigues with Mahomed Ali, the then Nabob of Arcot, were the theme of general disgust :-yet Whitwell had a host of sincere and ardent friends, who would

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