These remarks apply more or less to a jewellery, watch and clock shop next door, kept for many years by Mr. L.N. Hobday. Here again there is a look of quality rather than mere quantity. There is no ticketed crowded display of wares, but the look of the shop inspires a feeling of confidence and an assurance that the quality of what you purchase may be relied upon. I am not in the secrets of the proprietor of this establishment, and have no interest in it beyond being an occasional small customer, yet I should not wonder if he does not do a nice, steady, quiet trade among those who have found out the advantages of dealing with a trader who personally understands his business, and will give them good value for their money.
There are, as I have hinted, other shops that prefer adhering to well-established lines of business, rather than up-to-dating their trade past all recognition. There are a few drapers still left, who, like Turner, Son, and Nephew, do not go in for a general all round-my-hat sort of business, but who restrict themselves within certain limited lines and on them keep up a well-established connection. There are, however, others who prefer a more pushing, store-competing, Whiteley-emulating style of trade. They follow their bent and probably make it pay. It is, of course, well that we should have traders of all kinds to minister to the requirements of a large and varied community. For myself, however, I am glad that there are still some shopkeeper specialists left who limit themselves to dealing in such things as they understand, and know what they buy, and sell that they know.
SOME PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS.
Though reminiscences and recollections are rather overdone in these days, I may, perhaps, be permitted a few personal reflections in bringing my chapters to a close. And I shall not write a long, tedious tale, and why? Because, like the needy knife-grinder, I have no story to tell. Happy, we are told, is the country that has no history, and, if this is so, happy should be the man who is not burdened with too many reminiscences.
Still, there are just a few memories that I should like to jot down, which may, or may not, be of interest to my readers. Authors, I fancy, often write as much to gratify themselves as to please other people. I cannot boast that I have been personally intimate with many distinguished people. I have never been to Court, and, consequently, I am, according to Shakspeare’s clown, emphatically “damned.” I have known some few titled people, and have even sat at meat with a Duke in his palatial home, and did not fail to notice that his Grace was very easy and human in his tastes and manners, and was not above taking a glass of port wine with his cheese. I have just occasionally shaken hands with a lord of high degree, and even with a belted earl, but I am not of the Upper Ten, and am quite outside the gilded gate that encloses the noble of the land. I have seen few people that were particularly worth seeing, that is, for book-writing purposes, but I will take leave to reconnoitre in my memory those I have beheld in Birmingham during the course of my uneventful career.