During the whole period characterised by the errors and misfortunes which formed the main subject of the previous chapter, the two classes of bankers–private and joint-stock–had existed side by side. But the one was steadily disappearing before the other, even as the red man vanishes before the white. The huge entities represented by the new joint-stock banks either established competing branches which supplanted the private institutions, or else absorbed them out and out. It will be necessary to retrace our steps in order to review the process, and in a later chapter we shall consider its significance. The survey of the weaknesses of the English banking, in priority to the description of the advent of the most effective of remedial agents, is a sequence of treatment which has been deliberately adopted as likely to be more vivid than the reverse order.