Study Guide

Egbert, Winsome's Apprentice in The Confidence-Man

By Herman Melville

Egbert, Winsome's Apprentice

Egbert is a no-nonsense businessman, and he would sooner let you die in the streets than loan you a buck. Can't allow money to meddle with the dignity of an honest friendship, right? Right?

Besides, Egbert makes it clear that if he knew one of his friends would be the type of person to ever need money, then he wouldn't have picked that guy as a friend.

Yeah. Egbert is a gross person.

He makes up for it (not really) by telling stories and playing pretend with Frank. Their chat is meant to reveal Winsome's philosophy of life: neither a borrower nor a lender be.