In the St. James Chronicle of 1772 was the following:
“Wanted, fifteen hundred or two thousand pounds, by a person not worth a groat; who, having neither houses, lands, annuities, or public funds, can offer no other security than that of a simple bond, bearing simple interest, and engaging, the repayment of the sum borrowed in five, six, or seven years, as may be, agreed on by the parties,” &c.
We do not know whether the advertiser obtained his pounds or not, but such an advertisement, now-a-days, would draw forth a laugh much sooner than the money; or, if “pounds” came, they would, most probably, fall upon the recipient’s shoulders, instead of into his pocket.
The Chinese are not behind the age in this business. The following is an instance in proof:
“ACHEU tea CHINCOEU, Sculptor, respectfully acquaints masters of ships trading from Canton to India that they may be furnished with figure-heads, any size, according to order, at one-fourth of the price charged in Europe. He also recommends, for private venture, the following idols, brass, gold and silver: The hawk of Vishnoo, which has reliefs of his incarnation in a fish, boar, lion, and bull, as worshipped by the pious followers of Zoroaster; two silver marmosets, with gold ear-rings; an aprimanes for Persian worship; a ram, an alligator, a crab, a laughing hyena, with a variety of household idols, on a small scale, calculated for family worship. Eighteen months credit will be given, or a discount of fifteen per cent. for prompt payment, on the sum affixed to each article. Direct, Canton-street, Canton, under the marble Rhinoceros and gilt Hydra.”
We subjoin another, in which self-exaltation is pretty well carried out.
“At the shop Tae-shing (prosperous in the extreme)—very good ink; fine! fine! Ancient shop, great-grandfather, grandfather, father and self, make this ink; fine and hard, very hard; picked with care, selected with attention. I sell very good ink; prime cost is very great. This ink is heavy; so is gold. The eye of the dragon glitters and dazzles; so does this ink. No one makes like it. Others who make ink make it for the sake of accumulating base coin, cheat, while I make it only for a name, Plenty of A-kwan-tsaes (gentlemen) know my ink-my family never cheated-they have always borne a good name. I make ink for the ‘Son of Heaven,’ and all the mandarins in the empire. As the roar of the tiger extends to every place, so does, the fame’ of the ‘dragon’s jewel’ (the ink). Come, all A-kwan-tsaes, come to my shop and see the sign Tae-shing at the side of the door. It is Seou-shwuy-street (Small Water-street), outside the south gate.”