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Love and Mr. Lewisham by H. G. Wells

LOVE AND MR. LEWISHAM

By

H. G. WELLS

[Illustration: "Why on earth did you put my roses here?" he asked.]

[Illustration]

CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCES MR. LEWISHAM II. "AS THE WIND BLOWS" III. THE WONDERFUL DISCOVERY IV. RAISED EYEBROWS V. HESITATIONS VI. THE SCANDALOUS RAMBLE VII. THE RECKONING VIII. THE CAREER PREVAILS IX. ALICE HEYDINGER X. IN THE GALLERY OF OLD IRON XI. MANIFESTATIONS XII. LEWISHAM IS UNACCOUNTABLE XIII. LEWISHAM INSISTS XIV. MR. LAGUNE'S POINT OF VIEW XV. LOVE IN THE STREETS XVI. MISS HEYDINGER'S PRIVATE THOUGHTS XVII. IN THE RAPHAEL GALLERY XVIII. THE FRIENDS OF PROGRESS MEET XIX. LEWISHAM'S SOLUTION XX. THE CAREER IS SUSPENDED XXI. HOME! XXII. EPITHALAMY XXIII. MR. CHAFFERY AT HOME XXIV. THE CAMPAIGN OPENS XXV. THE FIRST BATTLE XXVI. THE GLAMOUR FADES XXVII. CONCERNING A QUARREL XXVIII. THE COMING OF THE ROSES XXIX. THORNS AND ROSE PETALS XXX. A WITHDRAWAL XXXI. IN BATTERSEA PARK XXXII. THE CROWNING VICTORY

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCES MR. LEWISHAM.

The opening chapter does not concern itself with Love--indeed that antagonist does not certainly appear until the third--and Mr. Lewisham is seen at his studies. It was ten years ago, and in those days he was assistant master in the Whortley Proprietary School, Whortley, Sussex, and his wages were forty pounds a year, out of which he had to afford fifteen shillings a week during term time to lodge with Mrs. Munday, at the little shop in the West Street. He was called "Mr." to distinguish him from the bigger boys, whose duty it was to learn, and it was a matter of stringent regulation that he should be addressed as "Sir."

He wore ready-made clothes, his black jacket of rigid line was dusted about the front and sleeves with scholastic chalk, and his face was downy and his moustache incipient. He was a passable-looking youngster of eighteen, fair-haired, indifferently barbered, and with a quite unnecessary pair of glasses on his fairly prominent nose--he wore these to make himself look older, that discipline might be maintained. At the particular moment when this story begins he was in his bedroom. An attic it was, with lead-framed dormer windows, a slanting ceiling and a bulging wall, covered, as a number of torn places witnessed, with innumerable strata of florid old-fashioned paper.

To judge by the room Mr. Lewisham thought little of Love but much on Greatness. Over the head of the bed, for example, where good folks hang texts, these truths asserted themselves, written in a clear, bold, youthfully florid hand:--"Knowledge is Power," and "What man has done man can do,"--man in the second instance referring to Mr. Lewisham. Never for a moment were these things to be forgotten. Mr. Lewisham could see them afresh every morning as his head came through his shirt. And over the yellow-painted box upon which--for lack of shelves--Mr. Lewisham's library was arranged, was a "_Schema_." (Why he should not have headed it "Scheme," the editor of the _Church Times_, who calls his miscellaneous notes "_Varia_," is better able to say than I.) In this scheme, 1892 was indicated as the year in which Mr. Lewisham proposed to take his B.A. degree at the London University with "hons. in all subjects," and 1895 as the date of his "gold medal." Subsequently there were to be "pamphlets in the Liberal interest," and such like things duly dated. "Who would control others must first control himself," remarked the wall over the wash-hand stand, and behind the door against the Sunday trousers was a portrait of Carlyle.


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