Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

It was two or three days after the news of this reached London that Macalister came into the tavern in Beak Street and announced joyfully that things were looking brighter on the Stock Exchange. Peace was in sight, Roberts would march into Pretoria within a few weeks, and shares were going up already. There was bound to be a boom.

  这则消息传至伦敦两三天后,马卡利斯特一走进皮克大街那家酒菜馆,就高兴地嚷道,股票交易所的情况大有起色。战火不日就要平息,不出几个星期,罗伯兹就要开进比勒陀利亚,股票行情已经涨了,而且很快就会暴涨。

‘Now’s the time to come in,’ he told Philip. ‘It’s no good waiting till the public gets on to it. It’s now or never.’

  "好机会来了,"他对菲利普说。"可等到大家都抢购股票就不行了。功败垂成,就在此一举啦!"

He had inside information. The manager of a mine in South Africa had cabled to the senior partner of his firm that the plant was uninjured. They would start working again as soon as possible. It wasn’t a speculation, it was an investment. To show how good a thing the senior partner thought it Macalister told Philip that he had bought five hundred shares for both his sisters: he never put them into anything that wasn’t as safe as the Bank of England.

  马卡利斯特还打听到内部消息。南非的一座矿山的经理给他所在公司的一位高级合伙人打了一份电报,电报中说工厂未受丝毫破坏。他们将尽快复工。那可不是投机,而是一宗投资。为了表明那位高级合伙人也认为形势无限好,马卡利斯特还告诉菲利普,说那位高级合伙人为他两个姐姐各买进了五百股。要不是那个企业跟英格兰银行一样牢靠,他那个人是从不轻易向任何企业投资的。

‘I’m going to put my shirt on it myself,’ he said.

  "鄙人就准备孤注一掷,"马卡利斯特说。

The shares were two and an eighth to a quarter. He advised Philip not to be greedy, but to be satisfied with a ten-shilling rise. He was buying three hundred for himself and suggested that Philip should do the same. He would hold them and sell when he thought fit. Philip had great faith in him, partly because he was a Scotsman and therefore by nature cautious, and partly because he had been right before. He jumped at the suggestion.

  每份股票为二又八分之一至四分之一英镑。马卡利斯特劝菲利普不要太贪心,能涨十先令也该满足了。他自己准备买进三百股,并建议菲利普也买同样数目的股票。他将把股票攥在手里,一有合适的机会便把它们抛售出去。菲利普非常信任马卡利斯特,一方面因为马卡利斯特是个苏格兰人,而苏格兰人办事生来就小心谨慎,另一方面因为上一次他给菲利普赚了些钱。于是,菲利普二话没说,当场认购了同样数目的股票。

‘I daresay we shall be able to sell before the account,’ said Macalister, ‘but if not, I’ll arrange to carry them over for you.’

  "我想我们一定能够抢在交易冻结之前把股票抛售出去,"马卡利斯特说,"万一不行,我就设法把本钱交还给你。"

It seemed a capital system to Philip. You held on till you got your profit, and you never even had to put your hand in your pocket. He began to watch the Stock Exchange columns of the paper with new interest. Next day everything was up a little, and Macalister wrote to say that he had had to pay two and a quarter for the shares. He said that the market was firm. But in a day or two there was a set-back. The news that came from South Africa was less reassuring, and Philip with anxiety saw that his shares had fallen to two; but Macalister was optimistic, the Boers couldn’t hold out much longer, and he was willing to bet a top-hat that Roberts would march into Johannesburg before the middle of April. At the account Philip had to pay out nearly forty pounds. It worried him considerably, but he felt that the only course was to hold on: in his circumstances the loss was too great for him to pocket. For two or three weeks nothing happened; the Boers would not understand that they were beaten and nothing remained for them but to surrender: in fact they had one or two small successes, and Philip’s shares fell half a crown more. It became evident that the war was not finished. There was a lot of selling. When Macalister saw Philip he was pessimistic.

  对菲利普来说,这个办法再好也没有了。你尽可沉住气,直到有利可图时再抛售出去,这样自己永远也不必掏钱。他又开始怀着兴趣浏览报纸上刊登股票交易所消息的专栏。第二天,无论什么都往上涨了一点,马卡利斯特写信来说他不得不用二又四分之一英镑买一股。他说市况坚挺。不过,一两天之后,股票行情有所下跌。南非方面来的消息令人不安,菲利普不无忧虑地看到自己的股票跌了两成。可是马卡利斯特却充满了乐观,他认为布尔人撑不了多长时间,四月中旬以前,罗伯兹将挺进至约翰内斯堡,并为之跟菲利普赌一顶大礼帽。结帐时,菲利普得付出将近四十英镑。这件事把他的心弄得七上八下的,不过他觉得唯一的选择就是咬紧牙关坚持到底:照他的境况来说,这笔损失他可付不起呀。以后的两三个星期内,一点动静都没有。那些布尔人却不愿承认他们打输了,不承认他们目下别无他路只有投降这个结局,事实上,他们还取得了一两次小小的胜利呢。菲利普的股票又下跌了半个克朗。事情很明显,战争还未能结束。人们纷纷抛售手中的股票。在同菲利普见面时,马卡利斯特对前途悲观失望。

‘I’m not sure if the best thing wouldn’t be to cut the loss. I’ve been paying out about as much as I want to in differences.’

  "趁损失不大时,赶快撒手这个办法不知是否是个上策。我支付的数目跟我想得到的差额的数目一样儿。"

Philip was sick with anxiety. He could not sleep at night; he bolted his breakfast, reduced now to tea and bread and butter, in order to get over to the club reading-room and see the paper; sometimes the news was bad, and sometimes there was no news at all, but when the shares moved it was to go down. He did not know what to do. If he sold now he would lose altogether hard on three hundred and fifty pounds; and that would leave him only eighty pounds to go on with. He wished with all his heart that he had never been such a fool as to dabble on the Stock Exchange, but the only thing was to hold on; something decisive might happen any day and the shares would go up; he did not hope now for a profit, but he wanted to make good his loss. It was his only chance of finishing his course at the hospital. The Summer session was beginning in May, and at the end of it he meant to take the examination in midwifery. Then he would only have a year more; he reckoned it out carefully and came to the conclusion that he could manage it, fees and all, on a hundred and fifty pounds; but that was the least it could possibly be done on.

  菲利普郁郁不乐,忧心如焚,夜不成眠。为了要赶到俱乐部阅览室去看报纸,他三口两口就把早饭扒拉下肚。这些日子他早饭只是喝杯茶,吃上几片牛油面包。消息时好时坏,有时干脆什么消息都没有。股票行情不动则已,要动就是往下跌。他惶惶然不知所措。要是现在把股票脱手,那他实实足足要亏损三百五十英镑,这样一来,他手头就只剩有八十英镑维持生活了。他衷心希望当初他不那么傻,不到股票交易所去投机赚钱该有多好啊,尽管如此,目前唯一的办法就是硬硬头皮顶下去。具有决定性意义的事情随时都可能发生,到时候,股票行情又会看涨。眼下,他可没有赚钱的奢望,一心只想弥补自己的亏空。这是他得以在圣路加医院完成学业的唯一机会。夏季学期五月份开学,学期结束时,他将参加助产学的考试。此后,他再学一年就可以结业了。他心里仔仔细细地盘算了一番,只要有一百五十英镑,就足以付学费以及其他一切费用,但是一百五十英镑已经是最低限度的数字了,有了这笔款子,他才能学完全部课程。

Early in April he went to the tavern in Beak Street anxious to see Macalister. It eased him a little to discuss the situation with him; and to realise that numerous people beside himself were suffering from loss of money made his own trouble a little less intolerable. But when Philip arrived no one was there but Hayward, and no sooner had Philip seated himself than he said:

  三月初的一天,他走进皮克大街那家酒菜馆,一心想在那里碰上马卡利斯特。同他在一起议论战争形势,菲利普觉得内心会稍微宽松一些;当意识到除自己以外还有数不胜数的人们同遭拈据之苦,菲利普便感到自己的痛苦变得不再那么难以忍受了。菲利普走进一看,只见除了海沃德以外,旁人谁也没来。他刚坐下去,海沃德就开口说道:

‘I’m sailing for the Cape on Sunday.’

  "星期天,我要乘船去好望角了。"

‘Are you!’ exclaimed Philip.

  "真的!"菲利普惊叫了一声。

Hayward was the last person he would have expected to do anything of the kind. At the hospital men were going out now in numbers; the Government was glad to get anyone who was qualified; and others, going out as troopers, wrote home that they had been put on hospital work as soon as it was learned that they were medical students. A wave of patriotic feeling had swept over the country, and volunteers were coming from all ranks of society.

  菲利普万万没想到海沃德会上好望角。医院里也有许多人要出去。政府对凡是取得了当医生资格的人都表示欢迎。其他人出去都是当骑兵,可他们纷纷写信回来说上司一得知他们是医科学生,便把他们分配到医院去工作了。举国上下顿时掀起了一股爱国热浪,社会各阶层的人都纷纷自愿报名奔赴前线。

‘What are you going as?’ asked Philip.

  "你是以什么身分去的?"

‘Oh, in the Dorset Yeomanry. I’m going as a trooper.’

  "哦,我是去当骑兵的,被编在多塞特义勇骑兵队里。"

Philip had known Hayward for eight years. The youthful intimacy which had come from Philip’s enthusiastic admiration for the man who could tell him of art and literature had long since vanished; but habit had taken its place; and when Hayward was in London they saw one another once or twice a week. He still talked about books with a delicate appreciation. Philip was not yet tolerant, and sometimes Hayward’s conversation irritated him. He no longer believed implicitly that nothing in the world was of consequence but art. He resented Hayward’s contempt for action and success. Philip, stirring his punch, thought of his early friendship and his ardent expectation that Hayward would do great things; it was long since he had lost all such illusions, and he knew now that Hayward would never do anything but talk. He found his three hundred a year more difficult to live on now that he was thirty-five than he had when he was a young man; and his clothes, though still made by a good tailor, were worn a good deal longer than at one time he would have thought possible. He was too stout and no artful arrangement of his fair hair could conceal the fact that he was bald. His blue eyes were dull and pale. It was not hard to guess that he drank too much.

  菲利普认识海沃德已有八个年头了。他们俩青年时代的那种亲密情谊已消失得无影无踪。那种亲密情谊源于菲利普对一个能够给他谈论文学艺术的人发自内心的敬慕之情。但是取代这种亲密情谊的是礼尚往来的世俗习惯。海沃德在伦敦的时候,他们俩每个星期碰一两次面。海沃德依旧带着一种幽雅、欣赏的口吻谈论着各种各样的书籍,菲利普都听腻了。有时,海沃德的谈吐弄得他怪恼火的。菲利普不再盲目相信世间除了艺术别的都毫无意义的那种陈词滥凋了,还对海沃德轻视实践和不求进取甚为反感。菲利普拿起杯子,晃了晃杯中的混合酒。这当儿,他想起了自己早年对海沃德所怀的友好情谊以及他殷切地期待着海沃德有所作为的事儿。这一切幻想,早已像肥皂泡似的破灭了。他心里明白,海沃德除了夸夸其谈外旁的什么事也成不了。海沃德已是三十五岁的人了,他发觉每年三百英镑的进帐越来越不够开销,可这点钱他年轻时还觉得颇为宽裕的呢。他身上穿的衣服,虽说依然是高级裁缝师缝制的,但穿的时间要长得多了,这在过去他认为是不时能的事。他身材太高大了,那头浅色头发梳理得也不得法,未能遮盖得住秃秃的脑顶心。他那对蓝眼睛浑浊、呆滞。不难看出,他喝酒太多了。

‘What on earth made you think of going out to the Cape?’ asked Philip.

  "你怎么想起要上好望角的呢?"菲利普脱口问了一声。

‘Oh, I don’t know, I thought I ought to.’

  "噢,我也说不清楚,我想我应该这样。"

Philip was silent. He felt rather silly. He understood that Hayward was being driven by an uneasiness in his soul which he could not account for. Some power within him made it seem necessary to go and fight for his country. It was strange, since he considered patriotism no more than a prejudice, and, flattering himself on his cosmopolitanism, he had looked upon England as a place of exile. His countrymen in the mass wounded his susceptibilities. Philip wondered what it was that made people do things which were so contrary to all their theories of life. It would have been reasonable for Hayward to stand aside and watch with a smile while the barbarians slaughtered one another. It looked as though men were puppets in the hands of an unknown force, which drove them to do this and that; and sometimes they used their reason to justify their actions; and when this was impossible they did the actions in despite of reason.

  菲利普缄默不语,感到腌(月赞)极了。他心里明白,海沃德是在一种躁动不安的情感驱使下才上好望角的,而这种情感从何而来,海沃德本人也说不清。他体内有股力量在推着他奔赴前线去为祖国而战。他一向认为爱国热忱不过是一种偏见,又自我标榜笃信世界主义,他一直把英国视作一块流放之地,可又采取目下这一行动,此事简直令人不可思议。他的同胞们伤害了他的感情。菲利普心中不由得纳闷起来,究竟是什么促使人们做出跟他们的人生哲学截然相反的事情来的呢?要是让海沃德脸带微笑地袖手旁观野蛮人互相残杀,似乎显得更合理些。这一切似乎都表明,人们不过是被一种看不见的力量玩弄于股掌之上的傀儡而已,是它在驱使人们做出这样或那样的事情。有时,人们还凭借理智来为其行动辩护,要是做不到这一点,他们干脆悍然不顾理智,一味地蛮干。

‘People are very extraordinary,’ said Philip. ‘I should never have expected you to go out as a trooper.’

  "人真是特别,"菲利普说,"我万万没料到你会去当骑兵。"

Hayward smiled, slightly embarrassed, and said nothing.

  海沃德微微笑了笑,神色显得有些尴尬,但没有说话。

‘I was examined yesterday,’ he remarked at last. ‘It was worth while undergoing the gene of it to know that one was perfectly fit.’

  "昨天我体检过了,"海沃德最后说,"只要知道自己体魄很健全,就是受点ggne,那也还是值得的。"

Philip noticed that he still used a French word in an affected way when an English one would have served. But just then Macalister came in.

  菲利普发觉,本来完全可以用英语表达的意思,海沃德却矫揉造作地用了个法文字。就在这时候,马卡利斯特一脚走了进来。

‘I wanted to see you, Carey,’ he said. ‘My people don’t feel inclined to hold those shares any more, the market’s in such an awful state, and they want you to take them up.’

  "我正想找你,凯里,"他说。"我们那儿的人都不想继续抱着股票不放了,市况很不景气,所以他们都想叫你认兑股票。"

Philip’s heart sank. He knew that was impossible. It meant that he must accept the loss. His pride made him answer calmly.

  菲利普的心不由得一沉。他知道那样是不行的,因为那样做意味着他得承受一笔损失,但碍于自尊心,他还是操着平稳的语调回答说:

‘I don’t know that I think that’s worth while. You’d better sell them.’

  "我不晓得我的想法好还是不好。你还是把股票抛出去算了。"

‘It’s all very fine to say that, I’m not sure if I can. The market’s stagnant, there are no buyers.’

  "嘴上说说倒省劲,我还没有把握能不能把股票卖出去呢。市况萧条,一个买主也找不到哇。"

‘But they’re marked down at one and an eighth.’

  "对股票的价格已跌到了一又八分之一英镑了哇。"

‘Oh yes, but that doesn’t mean anything. You can’t get that for them.’

  "噢,是的,不过这也无济于事。就是卖出去也卖不到那个价呀。""

Philip did not say anything for a moment. He was trying to collect himself.

  菲利普沉吟了半晌,极力使自己的情绪镇静下来。

‘D’you mean to say they’re worth nothing at all?’

  "那你的意思是说股票一钱不值罗?"

‘Oh, I don’t say that. Of course they’re worth something, but you see, nobody’s buying them now.’

  "哦,我可没这么说。它们当然还是值几个钱的,不过,要知道,眼下没人来买呀。"

‘Then you must just sell them for what you can get.’

  "那你一定得把它们抛售出去,能得多少就得多少。"

Macalister looked at Philip narrowly. He wondered whether he was very hard hit.

  马卡利斯特眯缝着双眼瞅着菲利普,怀疑他是否被这个坏消息给震懵了。

‘The only thing I can do is to hang on somehow till he dies.’

  "实在抱歉,老伙计,不过我们俩是风雨同舟啊。谁料到战争会像这样子拖延下去呢。是我拖累了你,可我自己也搭在里头呀。"

Philip reckoned his age. The Vicar of Blackstable was well over seventy. He had chronic bronchitis, but many old men had that and lived on indefinitely. Meanwhile something must turn up; Philip could not get away from the feeling that his position was altogether abnormal; people in his particular station did not starve. It was because he could not bring himself to believe in the reality of his experience that he did not give way to utter despair. He made up his mind to borrow half a sovereign from Lawson. He stayed in the garden all day and smoked when he felt very hungry; he did not mean to eat anything until he was setting out again for London: it was a long way and he must keep up his strength for that. He started when the day began to grow cooler, and slept on benches when he was tired. No one disturbed him. He had a wash and brush up, and a shave at Victoria, some tea and bread and butter, and while he was eating this read the advertisement columns of the morning paper. As he looked down them his eye fell upon an announcement asking for a salesman in the ‘furnishing drapery’ department of some well-known stores. He had a curious little sinking of the heart, for with his middle-class prejudices it seemed dreadful to go into a shop; but he shrugged his shoulders, after all what did it matter? and he made up his mind to have a shot at it. He had a queer feeling that by accepting every humiliation, by going out to meet it even, he was forcing the hand of fate. When he presented himself, feeling horribly shy, in the department at nine o’clock he found that many others were there before him. They were of all ages, from boys of sixteen to men of forty; some were talking to one another in undertones, but most were

  "这没有关系,"菲利普说,"人总是要冒险的嘛。"

‘No,’ said Philip.

  菲利普说罢转身回到桌子边的座位上。他刚才是站着跟马卡利斯特说话的。菲利普惊得直发愣,脑瓜突然胀痛欲裂,然而他不想让在座的其他两位认为他懦弱,便又陪着坐了一个小时。不管他们俩说什么,他都发狂似的哈哈大笑。最后他离座告辞了。

Philip looked at the assistants. Some were draping chintzes and cretonnes, and others, his neighbour told him were preparing country orders that had come in by post. At about a quarter past nine the buyer arrived. He heard one of the men who were waiting say to another that it was Mr. Gibbons. He was middle-aged, short and corpulent, with a black beard and dark, greasy hair. He had brisk movements and a clever face. He wore a silk hat and a frock coat, the lapel of which was adorned with a white geranium surrounded by leaves. He went into his office, leaving the door open; it was very small and contained only an American roll-desk in the corner, a bookcase, and a cupboard. The men standing outside watched him mechanically take the geranium out of his coat and put it in an ink-pot filled with water. It was against the rules to wear flowers in business.

  "你对待这件事的态度非常冷静,"马卡利斯特在他握手的当儿说,"我想任何一个人损失了三四百英镑都不会像你这样处之泰然。"

[During the day the department men who wanted to keep in with the governor admired the flower.

  一回到那间狭小、简陋的卧室,菲利普便一头扑倒在床上,伤心绝望透顶。他对自己的愚蠢行为非常懊悔。尽管他不住地告诫自己懊悔是荒唐的,因为木已成舟,无法挽回,但是他还是情难自已,悔恨不已。他痛苦极了,怎么也合不上眼。前几年中,他白白地浪费金钱的种种情景,一股脑儿地涌现在他的脑海里。他头疼得仿佛要炸开似的。

‘I’ve never seen better,’ they said, ‘you didn’t grow it yourself?’

  第二天傍晚,邮差在递送当天的最后一批邮件时,给他送来了帐单。随即,他翻了翻自己的银行存折,发现付清一切帐目以后,仅落得七个英镑。七个英镑!谢天谢地,他总算还有钱付清这些帐目。要是他不得不告诉马卡利斯特,说自己没钱付帐,那该是多么可怕呀。夏季学期期间,菲利普在眼科病房当敷裹员。他曾从一位学生手里买得一副检眼镜。他还没有付钱呢,但是他又没有勇气去对那位学生说自己不再想买那副检眼镜了。再说,他还得买些书籍。他手头还有五英镑左右。他靠这点钱过了六个星期。随后,他给牧师大伯写了封信,他认为这封信完全是用一种谈公事的口吻写成的。他在信中说,由于战争的缘故,他遭受了重大损大,除非他大伯伸手拉他一把,否则他就不能继续他的学业。他在信中恳请大伯借给他一百五十英镑,在以后一年半中按月寄给他。对这笔钱他将付利息,并许诺在他开始挣钱以后,将逐步偿还本金。他最迟在一年半以后就可以取得当医生的资格了,到那时,他肯定能得到一个周薪为三英镑的助手职位。他大伯回信说他无能为力,并说在眼下一切都跌价的情况下,叫他去变卖些许财产的做法是不道德的。至于他手头现有的几个钱,为了对他本人负责起见,他觉得很有必要仍旧由他保管,以备万一生病时好用。在信写结束的时候,他还稍稍训诫了菲利普几句,说他过去曾一而再、再而三地告诫菲利普,可菲利普只是把他的话当作耳边风。他不能不坦率地说,他对菲利普目下的处境并不感到奇怪。因为他早就认为菲利普花钱一向大手大脚,入不敷出,最后落得这种结局本是在意料之中的。在读信的当儿,菲利普的脸一阵红,一阵白。他不曾料到他大伯竟会拒绝他的请求,顿时火冒三丈。但是,他又满腹惆怅。要是他大伯不肯资助他,他就不能继续呆在医院。突然,一阵恐惧感攫住了他的心。他也顾不得面子不面子了,提笔又给那位布莱克斯泰勃教区牧师写了封信,把他的困境描述得十分窘迫。可是,也许菲利普没有把话说清楚,他大伯并未意识到菲利普究竞困难到何种地步。他在回信中说他不能改变初衷,还说菲利普年已二十有五,也该自己挣饭吃了。他死后,菲利普虽可获得些许财产,但是,即使到那时,他也不愿给菲利普留下一个便士的现钱。菲利普感觉得出,信中字里行间流露出了一个多年来反对过他的所作所为而事实又证明反对正确了的人的得意心请。

‘Yes I did,’ he smiled, and a gleam of pride filled his intelligent eyes.]

He took off his hat and changed his coat, glanced at the letters and then at the men who were waiting to see him. He made a slight sign with one finger, and the first in the queue stepped into the office. They filed past him one by one and answered his questions. He put them very briefly, keeping his eyes fixed on the applicant’s face.

‘Age? Experience? Why did you leave your job?’

He listened to the replies without expression. When it came to Philip’s turn he fancied that Mr. Gibbons stared at him curiously. Philip’s clothes were neat and tolerably cut. He looked a little different from the others.

‘Experience?’

‘I’m afraid I haven’t any,’ said Philip.

‘No good.’

Philip walked out of the office. The ordeal had been so much less painful than he expected that he felt no particular disappointment. He could hardly hope to succeed in getting a place the first time he tried. He had kept the newspaper and now looked at the advertisements again: a shop in Holborn needed a salesman too, and he went there; but when he arrived he found that someone had already been engaged. If he wanted to get anything to eat that day he must go to Lawson’s studio before he went out to luncheon, so he made his way along the Brompton Road to Yeoman’s Row.

‘I say, I’m rather broke till the end of the month,’ he said as soon as he found an opportunity. ‘I wish you’d lend me half a sovereign, will you?’

It was incredible the difficulty he found in asking for money; and he remembered the casual way, as though almost they were conferring a favour, men at the hospital had extracted small sums out of him which they had no intention of repaying.

‘Like a shot,’ said Lawson.

But when he put his hand in his pocket he found that he had only eight shillings. Philip’s heart sank.

‘Oh well, lend me five bob, will you?’ he said lightly.

‘Here you are.’

Philip went to the public baths in Westminster and spent sixpence on a bath. Then he got himself something to eat. He did not know what to do with himself in the afternoon. He would not go back to the hospital in case anyone should ask him questions, and besides, he had nothing to do there now; they would wonder in the two or three departments he had worked in why he did not come, but they must think what they chose, it did not matter: he would not be the first student who had dropped out without warning. He went to the free library, and looked at the papers till they wearied him, then he took out Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights; but he found he could not read: the words meant nothing to him, and he continued to brood over his helplessness. He kept on thinking the same things all the time, and the fixity of his thoughts made his head ache. At last, craving for fresh air, he went into the Green Park and lay down on the grass. He thought miserably of his deformity, which made it impossible for him to go to the war. He went to sleep and dreamt that he was suddenly sound of foot and out at the Cape in a regiment of Yeomanry; the pictures he had looked at in the illustrated papers gave materials for his fancy; and he saw himself on the Veldt, in khaki, sitting with other men round a fire at night. When he awoke he found that it was still quite light, and presently he heard Big Ben strike seven. He had twelve hours to get through with nothing to do. He dreaded the interminable night. The sky was overcast and he feared it would rain; he would have to go to a lodging-house where he could get a bed; he had seen them advertised on lamps outside houses in Lambeth: Good Beds sixpence; he had never been inside one, and dreaded the foul smell and the vermin. He made up his mind to stay in the open air if he possibly could. He remained in the park till it was closed and then began to walk about. He was very tired. The thought came to him that an accident would be a piece of luck, so that he could be taken to a hospital and lie there, in a clean bed, for weeks. At midnight he was so hungry that he could not go without food any more, so he went to a coffee stall at Hyde Park Corner and ate a couple of potatoes and had a cup of coffee. Then he walked again. He felt too restless to sleep, and he had a horrible dread of being moved on by the police. He noted that he was beginning to look upon the constable from quite a new angle. This was the third night he had spent out. Now and then he sat on the benches in Piccadilly and towards morning he strolled down to The Embankment. He listened to the striking of Big Ben, marking every quarter of an hour, and reckoned out how long it left till the city woke again. In the morning he spent a few coppers on making himself neat and clean, bought a paper to read the advertisements, and set out once more on the search for work.

He went on in this way for several days. He had very little food and began to feel weak and ill, so that he had hardly enough energy to go on looking for the work which seemed so desperately hard to find. He was growing used now to the long waiting at the back of a shop on the chance that he would be taken on, and the curt dismissal. He walked to all parts of London in answer to the advertisements, and he came to know by sight men who applied as fruitlessly as himself. One or two tried to make friends with him, but he was too tired and too wretched to accept their advances. He did not go any more to Lawson, because he owed him five shillings. He began to be too dazed to think clearly and ceased very much to care what would happen to him. He cried a good deal. At first he was very angry with himself for this and ashamed, but he found it relieved him, and somehow made him feel less hungry. In the very early morning he suffered a good deal from cold. One night he went into his room to change his linen; he slipped in about three, when he was quite sure everyone would be asleep, and out again at five; he lay on the bed and its softness was enchanting; all his bones ached, and as he lay he revelled in the pleasure of it; it was so delicious that he did not want to go to sleep. He was growing used to want of food and did not feel very hungry, but only weak. Constantly now at the back of his mind was the thought of doing away with himself, but he used all the strength he had not to dwell on it, because he was afraid the temptation would get hold of him so that he would not be able to help himself. He kept on saying to himself that it would be absurd to commit suicide, since something must happen soon; he could not get over the impression that his situation was too preposterous to be taken quite seriously; it was like an illness which must be endured but from which he was bound to recover. Every night he swore that nothing would induce him to put up with such another and determined next morning to write to his uncle, or to Mr. Nixon, the solicitor, or to Lawson; but when the time came he could not bring himself to make the humiliating confession of his utter failure. He did not know how Lawson would take it. In their friendship Lawson had been scatter-brained and he had prided himself on his common sense. He would have to tell the whole history of his folly. He had an uneasy feeling that Lawson, after helping him, would turn the cold shoulder on him. His uncle and the solicitor would of course do something for him, but he dreaded their reproaches. He did not want anyone to reproach him: he clenched his teeth and repeated that what had happened was inevitable just because it had happened. Regret was absurd.

The days were unending, and the five shillings Lawson had lent him would not last much longer. Philip longed for Sunday to come so that he could go to Athelny’s. He did not know what prevented him from going there sooner, except perhaps that he wanted so badly to get through on his own; for Athelny, who had been in straits as desperate, was the only person who could do anything for him. Perhaps after dinner he could bring himself to tell Athelny that he was in difficulties. Philip repeated to himself over and over again what he should say to him. He was dreadfully afraid that Athelny would put him off with airy phrases: that would be so horrible that he wanted to delay as long as possible the putting of him to the test. Philip had lost all confidence in his fellows.

Saturday night was cold and raw. Philip suffered horribly. From midday on Saturday till he dragged himself wearily to Athelny’s house he ate nothing. He spent his last twopence on Sunday morning on a wash and a brush up in the lavatory at Charing Cross.