He invited capitalists not to speculate in the lottery, but to guarantee it for a certain sum. In the case of the lottery's losing, each guarantor would have to share in paying according to the sum named, and in like manner they would share in the profits.
I promised to give him my opinion in writing by the next day, and I substituted the following plan for his:
1. A capital of a million, would, I judged, be ample.
2. This million should be divided into a hundred shares of ten thousand crowns each.
3. Each share must be taken up before a notary, who would answer for the shareholder's solvency.
4. All dividends to be paid the third day after the drawing.
5. In case of loss the shareholder to renew his share.
6. A cashier, chosen by a majority of four-fifths of the shareholders, to have the control of all moneys.
7. Winning tickets to be paid the day after the drawing.
8. On the eve of a drawing the shareholders' cashier to have an account of receipts from the lottery cashier, and the former to lock the safe with three keys, one of which to remain in his hands, one in the hands of the lottery cashier, and one in the hands of the manager of the lottery.
9. Only the simple drawing, the ambe and the terne to be retained; the quarterne and the quine to be abolished.
10. On the three combinations a shilling to be the minimum, and a crown the maximum stake; the offices to be closed twenty-four hours before the drawing.
11. Ten per cent. to go to Calsabigi, the manager; all expenses of farming to be paid by him.
12. Calsabigi to be entitled to the possession of two shares, without a guarantee being required.
I saw by Calsabigi's face that the plan did not please him, but I told him that he would not get shareholders save on these terms, or on terms even less favourable to himself.
He had degraded the lottery to the level of biribi; his luxury and extravagance caused him to be distrusted; it was known that he was head over ears in debt, and the king could not banish the fear that he would be cheated in spite of the keenness of his comptroller- general.
The last drawing under the king's sanction made everyone in good spirits, for the lottery lost twenty thousand crowns. The king sent the money immediately by a privy councillor, but it was said, when he heard the result of the drawing, that he burst out laughing, observing,--
"I knew it would be so, and I am only too happy to have got quit of it so cheaply."
I thought it my duty to go and sup with the director to console him, and I found him in a state of great depression. He could not help thinking that his unhappy drawing would make the task of getting shareholders more difficult than ever. Hitherto the lottery had always been a gainer, but its late loss could not have come at a worse time.
Nevertheless, he did not lose heart, and the next morning the public were informed by printed bills that the office would remain closed till a sufficient number of guarantors were found.
Lord Keith--My Appointment to Meet the King in the Garden of Sans- Souci My Conversation with Frederick the Great--Madame Denis The Pomeranian Cadets--Lambert--I Go to Mitau My Welcome at the Court, and My Administrative Journey
The fifth day after my arrival at Berlin I presented myself to the lord-marshal, who since the death of his brother had been styled Lord Keith. I had seen him in London after his return from Scotland, where he had been reinstated in the family estates, which had been confiscated for Jacobinism. Frederick the Great was supposed to have brought this about. Lord Keith lived at Berlin, resting on his laurels, and enjoying the blessings of peace.
With his old simplicity of manner he told me he was glad to see me again, and asked if I proposed making any stay at Berlin. I replied that I would willingly do so if the king would give me a suitable office. I asked him if he would speak a word in my favour; but he replied that the king liked to judge men's characters for himself, and would often discover merit where no one had suspected its presence, and vice versa.