Will Warburton is a young gentleman of means, a man of commerce, who, losing everything in speculation, is forced into the life of a grocer, a thing he finds, at first, enormoursly tragic. Will keeps his fate secret from his friends and his family... A truly outstanding novel, funny, and full to the brim with life.
"Yes, sir. I'm sure it's very kind of you, sir."
"Nothing as I can think of just now, sir."
Warburton knew from the woman's way of speaking that she had something still in her mind; but his pipe being well lit, and a pleasant lassitude creeping over him, he merely nodded. Mrs. Hopper cleared the table, and withdrew.
The window looked across the gardens of Chelsea Hospital (old-time Ranelagh) to the westward reach of the river, beyond which lay Battersea Park, with its lawns and foliage. A beam of the July sunset struck suddenly through the room. Warburton was aware of it with half-closed eyes; he wished to stir himself, and look forth, but languor held his limbs, and wreathing tobacco-smoke kept his thoughts among the mountains. He might have quite dozed off had not a sudden noise from within aroused him--the unmistakable crash of falling crockery. It made him laugh, a laugh of humorous expostulation. A minute or two passed, then came a timid tap at his door, and Mrs. Hopper
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