Barkerville, Williams Creek,
REVENGE ON A BANK
An interesting adventure is related as having happened at the Bank of England,
which had committed the great disrespect of refusing to discount a bill
of a large amount, drawn by Anselm Rothschild of Frankfurt, on Nathan Rothschild
of London. The bank had haughtily replied 'that they discounted only their
own bills and not those of private persons'. But they had to do with one
stronger than the bank.
"Private persons," exclaimed Nathan Rothschild, when they reported
to him the fact, "Private persons! I will make these gentlemen see
what kind of private persons we are."
Three weeks afterward Nathan Rothschild who had employed the interval in
procuring all the five pound notes he could procure in England and on the
continent presented himself at the bank, at the opening of the office, He
drew from his pocketbook a five pound note, and they naturally counted out
five sovereigns, at the same time looked quite astonished that the Baron
Rothschild should have personally troubled himself for such a trifle. The
baron examined one by one the coins, and put them into a little canvas bag,
then drawing but another note - a third - a tenth - a hundredth, he never
put the pieces of gold into the bag without scrupulously examining them,
and in some instances, trying them in the balances, as he said, "the
law gave him a right to do so."
The first pocket-book being emptied, and the first bag full, he passed them
to his clerk, and received a second, and thus continued until the close
of the bank. The baron had employed seven hours to change twenty-one thousand
pounds. But as he also had nine employees of his house engaged in the same
manner, it resulted that the house of Rothschild had drawn twenty-one thousand
from the bank, and that he had so occupied the teller that no other person
could change a single note.
Everything which bears the stamp of a electricity has always pleased the
English. They were therefore, the first day, very much amused at the pique
of Baron Rothschild. They however laughed less when they saw him return
the next day at the opening of the bank, flanked by his nine clerks, and
followed this time by many drays, destined to carry away the specie. They
laughed no longer when the king of the bankers said with ironic implicitly
"These gentlemen refuse to pay my bills, I have sworn not to keep theirs.
At their leisure only, I notify them that I have enough to employ them for
"For two months?"
"Eleven millions of gold drawn from the Bank of England which they
had never possessed."
The bank took alarm; there was something to be done. The next morning, notice
appeared in the papers that henceforth the bank would pay Rothschild's bills
the same as their own.