The south-Sea House stands on the north side of Threadneedle Street, not far away from the Bank of England, and is a melancholy, looking, handsome, brick and stone edifice. It has magnificent portals revealing a grave courtyard, with cloisters and pillars. It was once a house of trade. Merchants used to assemble here and business was transacted. Now importance is gone, and it is no more than a magnificent relic.
The South-Sea House is of interest to lamb because it is so rich in past associations, now fallen into neglect, though situated as it is so rich in past associations, now fallen into neglect, though situated as it is in the very centre of business life. Its coolness, its silence and repose, and its indolence are now welcome to Lamb. Lamb was a clerk here for a short time before he went to Indian House, and remembers things of past, in which all his interest lies. Lamb is speaking of the South-Sea House forty years back.
The clerks of the South-Sea House were in the first place mostly bachelors, old-fashioned and with a speculative turn of mind. They were humorists of all descriptions, and having been brought together in their middle age, they could not certainly shed their angularities, ad formed, as Lamb says, a short of Noha’s ark. Yet they were quite pleasant fellows in their own way.
The Cashier was one Evans, a Welshman. He wore his hair powdered and frizzed out, the fashion known as Maccaronies. His melancholy face bent over the cash, he ever fumbled with it, fearing the every one about him was a defaulter, including himself too; his face seemed to brighten when he sat over his roast veal at Anderson’s at two. It was not till evening that he really came into life. Just on the stroke of six he would tap at the door. Over a muffin he would melt into talk, ranging over old and new London, and he seemed to have such a lot of information.
Thomas Tame was his deputy. He had the air and stoop of a gentleman. He seemed to...