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The Original Rothschild

The Original Rothschild image
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William IX., the Landgrave of Hesso (as Elector he subsequently adopted tho title of William I.), chose ItothsehUd as his banker, aud laid the basis of the latter's wealth. William was a depositor worth having, albeit hia richos had not come to him, or rather to his father, in the most honurable way. It was his father, the Landgrave Frederic II, who furnished George III. with 17,000 Hessians to fight against our coloaial ancestors in consideration of $20,000,000. This vast sum, backed by as much more, Fredoric loft to his successor, who put it all iiito tae hands of the cunning knight of the Red Shiold. Frankfort was amazed at tb is step. The famous bankers could not understand why William should pass them by, and repose his entire trust in a banker comparatively unknown, ïhe cause was this. Baron Estorf, while adjutant-general to Duke Ferdinand in the Seven Years' War, became very intímate with Frederic and William. He also learned much of the shrewdness, sagacity, and trustworthiness of Kothschild when the latter was in the employ of üppeuheim, the baron's banker, and strongly recommended Mayer to the landgrave as an eminently proper person to leave money with. In consequence of such recommendation Mayer visited the palaoo of the prince in Cassel, and found him playing chess with the baron. Too tactful to iuterrupt the game, he stood behind the laudgrave's chair and held his peace, a mark of sense and sympathy whioh no sincere chess-player could fail to appreciate. The game was going against winiain, , who feit a deeper interest in it on that ( account. Af ter a long, uncertain what move to make uext, he suddenly ' turned to the banker with the question : " Do you understand chess ?" , Iiothschild, who hed been closely watching the board from his eutrance, returned this diplomatic reply : " Sufiiciently well, your Serene Highness, to induce me, were the game mine, to castle ou the king's side." That was a master-stroke : it turned defeat to victory, and bo delighted the prince that he put his hand on his adviser's shoulder, Raying: " You are a wise man. He who can extricate a chessplayer from such a difficulty as I was in must have a very clear head for business." He then talked for some time with his visitor, and appointed another interview for the next day. After the banker had gone he told the baron that Rothschild understood chess like Frederic the Great, and that a man with such a bruin must be capable of taking care of other persons' money. Knowledge of the game which had so charmed Haround-al-Raschid, Tamerlane and Charlemagne was never turned to more lucrativo advantage. The counsel to " ca8tle" secured to the banker the use of $40,000,000, and generations of


Old News
Michigan Argus