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in his way. Perhaps he looked too much of a gentleman; perhaps his refined manners and tones told against him in the eyes of men of business, betraying that he might prove unfit for work: at any rate, he had not found any one to take him. Another impediment was that no sooner did a situation fall vacant, than a large number of applicants made a rush to fill it. Only one of them could be engaged: and it never happened to be Charles. Charles looked through the Times advertisements every morning, through the friendliness of a neighbouring newsvendor. He would read of a clerk being wanted in some place or other in the great mart of London, and away he would go, to present himself. But he invariably found other applicants before him, and as invariably he never seemed to have the slightest chance.

The disappointment was beginning to tell upon him. There were times when he felt almost maddened. His conscience had been awake these last many bitter