From their talk I gathered the notion of an eccentric personality, a man of great wealth, not so much solitary as difficult of access, a collector
of fine things, a painter known only to very few people and not at all to the public market.
Special careers, such as civil and military engineering, the navy, mining, and the professorial chair were all fenced about by strict regulations or to be obtained only by competition; whereas in the civil service the revolving wheel which turned clerks into prefects, sub-prefects, assessors, and collectors
, like the figures in a magic lantern, was subjected to no such rules and entailed no drudgery.
A similar superstition was once prevalent, as I have heard, in ancient Greece and Rome; not applying, however (as in India), to a diamond devoted to the service of a god, but to a semi-transparent stone of the inferior order of gems, supposed to be affected by the lunar influences--the moon, in this latter case also, giving the name by which the stone is still known to collectors
in our own time.
A few inquiries amongst the ticket collectors
and the porters of the two small railway stations would give additional details as to the appearance of the two men; the inspection of the collected tickets would show at once where they came from that morning.
For upwards of twenty years before this epoch, the independent position of the Collector
had kept the Salem Custom-House out of the whirlpool of political vicissitude, which makes the tenure of office generally so fragile.
Thou knowest, my friend, what my mother used to say, that one must live long to see much; I say it because I expect to see more if I live longer; for I don't expect to stop until I see thee a farmer of taxes or a collector
of revenue, which are offices where, though the devil carries off those who make a bad use of them, still they make and handle money.
After being first a notary's clerk, then in business, then in the customs, and a tax collector
, and having even applied for a position in the administration of woods and forests, he had at last, when he was thirty-six years old, by a divine inspiration, found his vocation: registrature
Soon after this," said Grandfather, "Sir William Phips quarrelled with the captain of an English frigate, and also with the collector
Her plants, her books-- of which she had been a collector
from the first hour of her commanding a shilling--her writing-desk, and her works of charity and ingenuity, were all within her reach; or if indisposed for employment, if nothing but musing would do, she could scarcely see an object in that room which had not an interesting remembrance connected with it.
Sillerton Jackson applied to the investigation of his friends' affairs the patience of a collector
and the science of a naturalist; and his sister, Miss Sophy Jackson, who lived with him, and was entertained by all the people who could not secure her much-sought-after brother, brought home bits of minor gossip that filled out usefully the gaps in his picture.
235 less than it had done nine months before when it was bought by the distinguished collector
whose sudden death had brought it once more under the hammer.
We sat down together by the bright fireside in his little library (Benjamin, as far as his means would allow, was a great collector
of books), and there I told my old friend, frankly and truly, all that I have told here.
He was the son of Richmond Thackeray, a collector
in the service of the East India Company, and was born in Calcutta in 1811.
At last, however, all the things that had to be got together were got together, and all the things that had to be got out of the way were got out of the way, and everything was ready, and the collector
himself having promised to come, fortune smiled upon the occasion.
He was in the East India Company's Civil Service, and his name appeared, at the period of which we write, in the Bengal division of the East India Register, as collector
of Boggley Wollah, an honourable and lucrative post, as everybody knows: in order to know to what higher posts Joseph rose in the service, the reader is referred to the same periodical.