10 MARCH 1900, Page 3

We wonder if there are many millionaires among us of

whom the world knows nothing. Experienced bankers say there are, and the receipts from the Death-duties look like it, while every now and then one hears of extraordinary incomes drawn by men who are scarcely noticed. Two un- usually quiet clergymen in Surrey, for example, are said to be richer than most Peers. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach in his Budget speech mentioned one such man, a Scotchman, at whose death last year his executors paid 2900,000 into the Treasury. He was known in the Reform Club as "Chicago Smith," because he made his money in Chicago, and his representatives say he gave away in his lifetime to relatives and others a million sterling. He must have possessed about ten millions, most of it invested at 6 and 7 per cent., but he never spent 2500 a year on himself, and was as unknown to London at large as any inmate of a workhouse infirmary. If society is not destroyed by some upheaval from below, there will be a great many such men before the century is out. The scale of incomes, especially business incomes, is rapidly enlarging itself, some of the money-makers care little for display, and nothing for social success, and the rich who live quietly to old age accumulate sums which in the last century would have seemed fabulous. There will be men before A.D. 2000 possessed of a hundred millions—one American must have nearly that amount already—and "wealth," which when Disraeli wrote "Sibyl began at 28,000 a year, will begin at 250,000.