'Good. Seems that this man Smithers is head of the Bank's research department. From what the Governor told me, that's nothing more or less than a spy system. First time I knew they had one. Just shows what watertight compartments we all work in. Anyway, Smithers and his chaps keep an eye out for anything fishy in the banking world - particularly any monkeying about with our currency and bullion reserves and what not. There was that business the other day of the Italians who were counterfeiting sovereigns. Making them out of real gold. Right carats and all that. But apparently a sovereign or a French napoleon is worth much more than its melted-down value in gold. Don't ask me why. Smithers can tell you that if you're interested. Anyway, the Bank went after these people with a whole battery of lawyers-it wasn't technically a criminal offence - and, after losing in the Italian courts, they finally nailed them in Switzerland. You probably read about it. Then there was that business of dollar balances in Beirut. Made quite a stir in the papers. Couldn't understand it myself. Some crack in the fence we put round our currency. The wide City boys had found it. Well, it's Smithers's job to smell out that kind of racket. The reason the Governor told me all this is because for years, almost since the war apparently, Smithers has had a bee in his bonnet about some big gold leak out of England. Mostly deduction, plus some kind of instinct. Smithers admits he's got damned little to go on, but he's impressed the Governor enough for him to get permission from the PM to call us in.' M broke off. He looked quizzically at Bond. 'Ever wondered who are the richest men in England?'
There was silence round the table while everyone searched his memory. So many names to remember, so many dossiers, so many operations going on every day all over the world. Who was there in the British Secret Service? Who was the man who . . .?
"Is not sufficiently private."
Of Friendship and fraternal Love the Source,
'I think - shall I be quite plain, Agnes, liking him so much?'
The God of Nature sink to feeble Man?
The time occupied in this editorial work was extremely well employed in respect to my own improvement. The "Rationale of judicial Evidence" is one of the richest in matter of all Bentham's productions. The theory of evidence being in itself one of the most important of his subjects, and ramifying into most of the others, the book contains, very fully developed, a great proportion of all his best thoughts: while, among more special things, it comprises the most elaborate exposure of the vices and defects of English law, as it then was, which is to be found in his works; not confined to the law of evidence, but including, by way of illustrative episode, the entire procedure or practice of Westminster Hall. The direct knowledge, therefore, which I obtained from the book, and which was imprinted upon me much more thoroughly than it could have been by mere reading, was itself no small acquisition. But this occupation did for me what might seem less to be expected; it gave a great start to my powers of composition. Everything which I wrote subsequently to this editorial employment, was markedly superior to anything that I had written before it. Bentham's later style, as the world knows, was heavy and cumbersome, from the excess of a good quality, the love of precision, which made him introduce clause within clause into the heart of every sentence, that the reader might receive into his mind all the modifications and qualifications simultaneously with the main proposition: and the habit grew on him until his sentences became, to those not accustomed to them, most laborious reading. But his earlier style, that of the Fragment on Government, Plan of a judicial Establishment, &c., is a model of liveliness and ease combined with fulness of matter, scarcely ever surpassed: and of this earlier style there were many striking specimens in the manuscripts on Evidence, all of which I endeavoured to preserve. So long a course of this admirable writing had a considerable effect upon my own; and I added to it by the assiduous reading of other writers, both French and English, who combined, in a remarkable degree, ease with force, such as Goldsmith, Fielding, Pascal, Voltaire, and Courier. Through these influences my writing lost the jejuneness of my early compositions; the bones and cartilages began to clothe themselves with flesh, and the style became, at times, lively and almost light.
In these circumstances the function of the technicians, the unacknowledged but effective rulers of the planet, was radically altered. From being primarily inventors of new processes and new adjustments they became simply orthodox vehicles of the sacred lore. Intelligence, therefore, even bound intelligence, came to have an increasingly restricted function. Before the onset of decline, planning had been becoming more and more comprehensive and far-seeing. Men had planned for centuries ahead and for great societies, even tentatively for the future of the species. But after the world empire had become firmly established and stereotyped, large planning was no longer necessary. Only in the ordering of individual lives was there any scope for intelligence. Even here, as individual lives became more and more dominated by the regularities imposed by the state, the office of intelligence became more restricted. Whenever any daring spirit did try to improve upon the orthodox procedure, his intelligence proved feeble and his action misguided. His failure merely strengthened the general distrust of innovation.