It cannot be pretended that all this energy and enterprise were free in their operation from those evils which, it seems, must inevitably attend any extensive public speculation, however well founded. Many of the scenes and circumstances recalled the days of the South Sea Scheme. The gambling in shares of companies which were formed only in name was without limit. The principal towns of the north established for that purpose stock exchanges of their own, and Leeds especially, one-fifth of whose population had been authoritatively described in the first session of the new parliament as dependent on the poor-rates, now boasted a stock exchange which in the extent of its transactions rivalled that of the metropolis. And the gambling was universal, from the noble to the mechanic. It was confined to no class and to no sex. The scene which took place at the Board of Trade on the last day on which plans could be lodged, and when midnight had arrived while crowds from the country were still filling the hall, and pressing at the doors, deserved and required for its adequate representation the genius of a Hogarth. This was the day on which it was announced that the total number of railway projects, on which deposits nike air force heels had been paid, had reached nearly to eight hundred. What is remarkable in this vast movement in which so many millions were produced, and so many more promised, is, that the great leaders of the financial world took no part in it. The mighty loan-mongers, on whose fiat the fate of kings and empires sometimes depended, seemed like men who, witnessing some eccentricity of nature, watch it with mixed feelings of curiosity and alarm. Even Lombard Street, which never was more wanted, was inactive, and it was only by the irresistible pressure of circumstances that a banking firm which had an extensive country connection was ultimately forced to take the leading part that was required, and almost unconsciously lay the foundation of the vast fortunes which it has realised, and organise the varied connection which it now commands. All seemed to come from the provinces, and from unknown people in the provinces. But in all affairs there must be a leader, and a leader appeared. He was more remarkable than the movement itself. He was a London tradesman, though a member of parliament returned for the first time to this House of Commons. This leader was Mr. Vigo. Mr. Vigo had foreseen what was coming, and had prepared for it. He agreed with Mr. Neuchatel, what was wanted was a new channel.That channel he thought he had discovered, and he awaited it. He himself could command no inconsiderable amount of capital, and he had a following of obscure rich friends who believed in him, and did what he liked. His daily visits to the City, except when he was travelling over England, and especially the north and midland counties, had their purpose and bore fruit. He was a director, and soon the chairman and leading spirit, of a railway which was destined to be perhaps our most important one. He was master of all the details of the business; he had arrived at conclusions on the question of the gauges, which then was a pons asinorum for the multitude, and understood all about rolling stock and permanent ways, and sleepers and branch lines, which were then cabalistic terms to the general. In his first session in parliament he had passed quietly and almost unnoticed several bills cheap nike high heels on these matters, and began to be recognised by the Committee of Selection as a member who ought to be put onfor questions of this kind. The great occasion had arrived, and Mr. Vigo was equal to it. He was one of those few men who awake one day and find themselves famous. Suddenly it would seem that the name of Mr. Vigo was in everybody’s mouth. There was only one subject which interested the country, and he was recognised as the man who best understood it. He was an oracle, and, naturally, soon became an idol. The tariff of the ministers was forgotten, the invectives of the League were disregarded, their motions for the repeal of the corn laws were invariably defeated by large and contemptuous majorities. The House of Commons did nothing but pass railway bills, measures which were welcomed with unanimity by the House of Lords, whose estates were in consequence daily increasing in value. People went to the gallery to see Mr. Vigo introduce bills, and could scarcely restrain their enthusiasm at the spectacle of so much patriotic energy, which secured for them premiums for shares, which they held in undertakings of which the first sod was not yet cut. On one morning, the Great Cloudland Company, of which he was chairman, gave their approval of twenty-six bills, which he immediately introduced into parliament. Next day, the Ebor and North Cloudland sanctioned six bills under his advice, and affirmed deeds and agreements which affected all the principal railway projects in Lancashire and Yorkshire. A quarter of an hour later, just time to hurry from one meeting to another, where he was always received with rampant enthusiasm, Newcastle and the extreme north accepted his dictatorship. During a portion of two days, he obtained the nike heels sandals consent of shareholders to forty bills, involving an expenditure of ten millions; and the engagements for one session alone amounted to one hundred and thirty millions sterling. Mr. Neuchatel shrugged his shoulders, but no one would listen even to Mr. Neuchatel, when the prime minister himself, supposed to be the most wary of men, and especially on financial subjects, in the very white heat of all this speculation, himself raised the first sod on his own estate in a project of extent and importance. Throughout these extraordinary scenes, Mr. Vigo, though not free from excitement, exhibited, on the whole, much self-control. He was faithful to his old friends, and no one profited more in this respect than Mr. Rodney. That gentleman became the director of several lines, and vice-chairman of one over which Mr. Vigo himself presided. No one was surprised that Mr. Rodney therefore should enter parliament. He came in by virtue of one of those petitions that Tadpole was always cooking, or baffling. Mr. Rodney was a supporter of the ministry, and Mr. Vigo was a Liberal, but Mr. Vigo returned Mr. Rodney to parliament all the same, and no one seemed astonished or complained. Political connection, political consistency, political principle, all vanished before the fascination of premiums. As for Endymion, the great man made him friendly and earnest overtures, and offered, if he would give his time to business, which, as he was in opposition, would be no great sacrifice, to promote and secure his fortune. But Endymion, after due reflection, declined, though with gratitude, these tempting proposals. Ferrars was an ambitious man, but not too imaginative a one. He had a main object in life, and that was to regain the cheap nike heels position which had been forfeited, not by his own fault. His grandfather and his father before him had both been privy councillors and ministers of state. There had, indeed, been more than the prospect of his father filling a very prominent position. All had been lost, but the secret purpose of the life of Endymion was that, from being a clerk in a public office, he should arrive by his own energies at the station to which he seemed, as it were, born. To accomplish this he felt that the entire devotion of his labour and thought was requisite. His character was essentially tenacious, and he had already realised no inconsiderable amount of political knowledge and official experience. His object seemed difficult and distant, but there was nothing wild or visionary in its pursuit. He had achieved some of the first steps, and he was yet very young. There were friends about him, however, who were not content with what they deemed his moderate ambition, and thought they discerned in him qualities which might enable him to mount to a higher stage. However this might be, his judgment was that he must resist the offers of Mr. Vigo, though they were sincerely kind, and so he felt them  
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