This article has been transcribed from a copy of the Cardiff Times in the online collection of scanned Welsh newspapers 1804-1919 in the National Library of Wales, with grateful recognition of the free access accorded to all readers. A decorative initial has been added to the original text.
Gilead P. Beck: a millionaire and the central character in The Golden Butterfly by Walter Besant and James Rice (3 vols, 1876), who famously declares he has struck 'ile'.
Mr Mantilini: a poseur in Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), recently married to a dress-maker, and whose original name, Muntle, was changed because 'an English appellation would be of serious injury to the business' (chapter 10)
'sooner reign in Hell than serve in Heaven': 'Better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven' -- the words of Satan in Milton, Paradise Lost Book 1, l. 263. —— David Skilton
ne of the easiest things possible in this vale of tears and sorrow is to spend money. It is a thousand times easier than earning it. If you want to really grasp the perfect ease with which money can be spent notice the style of the man who has just come into a lot of money earned by someone else. His carelessness is appalling, while his contempt for details is enough to make his less fortunate fellows who have to earn their little bit stare with amazement. He simply dashes his money about as though he owned the Bank of England, or had, like Mr Gilead P. Beck, of immortal memory, 'struck ile' in a 'terrible large' way.
Good at Spending Money
Anything less than a five-pound note he does not consider of the slightest importance, and not even Mr Mantilini had the contempt for small change possessed by the man who is spending the accumulated wealth of another individual.
The principal danger surrounding this type of spender is that he spends too recklessly, and has no regard for the proverbial 'rainy day,' with, not unfrequently, the result that when it comes he is not prepared for it, having got through his fortune in an incredibly short space of time.
Yet, while he is spending his money he is perfectly happy, and so long as he can pose as a little king among his friends and acquaintances he is perfectly happy.
This kind of man is of the order who would 'sooner reign in hell than serve in Heaven[.]'
'His father allows him two hundred a-year, and he'll bet you a thousand to ten'
There are not many people who really know how to spend money. For the most part they merely get rid of it, and the return for their expenditure is far from being commensurate with their outlay.
Yet if you were to suggest to them that they did not know how to spend money judiciously they would stare at you in amazement and intimate that if they did not, no one else on earth did.
The desire to spend money is innate, and can be traced from the earliest age of humanity. If you give a child a copper it will go straight away and spend it — usually with results the reverse of pleasant so far as its internal organs are concerned.
Has Spent a Lot of Money
It is no use your telling the infantile spend-thrift to 'put it in the money-box,' for no notice is ever taken of the advice. As likely as not the money-box has been smashed up by frequent attempts to tabulate its contents, and, therefore, the child cannot, should it so desire, carry out your advice with strict integrity.
It is an old saying that whenever England is favoured with a fine day the ladies invariably remark, 'It is a fine day; let us go out and spend something,' which they straightway do.
Young ladies do not bother to think about details when they are spending money; they simply go on spending until supplies run short, and then they wonder where the money has all gone to. No ordinary woman has the least notion of cash accounts, and could not be relied upon to produce a satisfactory balance sheet if her life depended on it. Her idea of spending money is to purchase all the things she has seen advertised in her favourite paper, so long as the money runs out. When it is finished she can only regret that she had not enough to enable her to purchase a small heap of totally unnecessary articles she had in her mind's eye when she went out to shop with a well-filled purse and a partially empty head.
Never Spends Money if he can Avoid it
Provided she can return to her domicile with a large and varied assortment of parcels, the average woman is fairly well satisfied that she has got value for her money. The people who really know how to spend money are those whose charitable deeds come out by stealth, the people who see that the suffering of their fellows is alleviated, and the poverty of the world reduced. They do not, as a rule, make much show with their charity, and they do not care two straws whether their names figure in subscription lists or not. They are content to dispense their charities in an unostentatious manner, and to receive their reward in the heartfelt gratitude of its recipients.
If their example were more closely followed by those whose wealth is only equalled by their ostentation, there would be more well-spent money in the country, and less raving by the Socialist about the rights of property and the rights and possessions of the individual.
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Last modified 30 April 2022