Of Human Bondage eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about Of Human Bondage.
medical men was now great.  Except for his deformity he might have enlisted in one of the yeomanry regiments which were constantly being sent out.  He went to the secretary of the Medical School and asked if he could give him the coaching of some backward student; but the secretary held out no hope of getting him anything of the sort.  Philip read the advertisement columns of the medical papers, and he applied for the post of unqualified assistant to a man who had a dispensary in the Fulham Road.  When he went to see him, he saw the doctor glance at his club-foot; and on hearing that Philip was only in his fourth year at the hospital he said at once that his experience was insufficient:  Philip understood that this was only an excuse; the man would not have an assistant who might not be as active as he wanted.  Philip turned his attention to other means of earning money.  He knew French and German and thought there might be some chance of finding a job as correspondence clerk; it made his heart sink, but he set his teeth; there was nothing else to do.  Though too shy to answer the advertisements which demanded a personal application, he replied to those which asked for letters; but he had no experience to state and no recommendations:  he was conscious that neither his German nor his French was commercial; he was ignorant of the terms used in business; he knew neither shorthand nor typewriting.  He could not help recognising that his case was hopeless.  He thought of writing to the solicitor who had been his father’s executor, but he could not bring himself to, for it was contrary to his express advice that he had sold the mortgages in which his money had been invested.  He knew from his uncle that Mr. Nixon thoroughly disapproved of him.  He had gathered from Philip’s year in the accountant’s office that he was idle and incompetent.

“I’d sooner starve,” Philip muttered to himself.

Once or twice the possibility of suicide presented itself to him; it would be easy to get something from the hospital dispensary, and it was a comfort to think that if the worst came to the worst he had at hand means of making a painless end of himself; but it was not a course that he considered seriously.  When Mildred had left him to go with Griffiths his anguish had been so great that he wanted to die in order to get rid of the pain.  He did not feel like that now.  He remembered that the Casualty Sister had told him how people oftener did away with themselves for want of money than for want of love; and he chuckled when he thought that he was an exception.  He wished only that he could talk his worries over with somebody, but he could not bring himself to confess them.  He was ashamed.  He went on looking for work.  He left his rent unpaid for three weeks, explaining to his landlady that he would get money at the end of the month; she did not say anything, but pursed her lips and looked grim.  When the end of the month came and she asked if it would be convenient for him to pay something on account, it made him feel very sick to say that he could not; he told her he would write to his uncle and was sure to be able to settle his bill on the following Saturday.

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Of Human Bondage from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.