"Do you know your little Vanya's with me, a clerk in the countinghouse
His satellites- the senior clerk, a countinghouse
clerk, a scullery maid, a cook, two old women, a little pageboy, the coachman, and various domestic serfs- were seeing him off.
Ratcliffe, the poor clerk and Eliza's brother, is the bearer of the old aristocratic cult of honor (given to Antonio in Shakespeare's play), for though now obliged to work in the countinghouse
as Bertram's "slave" to support his mother and sister, Ratcliffe is the descendant of a noble Jacobite family, which has "bled for [its] opinions" and been ruined by "the axe and the sword."
As a young man, he is installed as a clerk in a Venetian countinghouse
, but he leaves this mercantile career for the theater after falling in love with an actress.
Although the city never built more than half a dozen actual boats, the debate about Genoa's continuing ability to make a difference at sea (as opposed to in the countinghouse
) allowed for civic mythmaking as well as for political arguments.
By Merritt's count, more than two-dozen Knight Ridder editors and publishers left the company in the latter 1990's because they could not adapt to the new countinghouse
This is given a wonderfully droll articulation in Lamb's second Elia essay, "Oxford in the Vacation" (October 1820), in which Elia's India House work sends him home with "increased appetite" to his books, so that the "outside sheets, and waste wrappers of foolscap, do receive into them, most kindly and naturally, the impression of sonnets, epigrams, essays - so that the very parings of a counting-house are, in some sort, the settings up of an author." Cast-off scraps of paper or the shavings-down of the quill, these "parings" of the countinghouse