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On August 19, almost three weeks after his birth, Herman Melville was baptized at home by a minister of the South Reformed Dutch Church. During the 1820s, Melville lived a privileged, opulent life in a household with three or more servants at a time. At four-year intervals, the family would move to more spacious and elegant quarters, finally settling on Broadway in 1828. Allan Melvill lived beyond his means and on large sums he borrowed from both his father and his wife’s widowed mother. Although his wife’s opinion of his financial conduct is unknown, biographer Hershel Parker suggests Maria “thought her mother’s money was infinite and that she was entitled to much of her portion” while her children were young.How well the parents managed to hide the truth from their children is “impossible to know”, according to biographer Andrew Delbanco.