CHAPTER VII I will mention here another habit which had grown upon me from still earlier years 鈥?which I myself often regarded with dismay when I thought of the hours devoted to it, but which, I suppose, must have tended to make me what I have been. As a boy, even as a child, I was thrown much upon myself. I have explained, when speaking of my school-days, how it came to pass that other boys would not play with me. I was therefore alone, and had to form my plays within myself. Play of some kind was necessary to me then, as it always has been. Study was not my bent, and I could not please myself by being all idle. Thus it came to pass that I was always going about with some castle in the air firmly build within my mind. Nor were these efforts in architecture spasmodic, or subject to constant change from day to day. For weeks, for months, if I remember rightly, from year to year, I would carry on the same tale, binding myself down to certain laws, to certain proportions, and proprieties, and unities. Nothing impossible was ever introduced 鈥?nor even anything which, from outward circumstances, would seem to be violently improbable. I myself was of course my own hero. Such is a necessity of castle-building. But I never became a king, or a duke 鈥?much less when my height and personal appearance were fixed could I be an Antinous, or six feet high. I never was a learned man, nor even a philosopher. But I was a very clever person, and beautiful young women used to be fond of me. And I strove to be kind of heart, and open of hand, and noble in thought, despising mean things; and altogether I was a very much better fellow than I have ever succeeded in being since. This had been the occupation of my life for six or seven years before I went to the Post Office, and was by no means abandoned when I commenced my work. There can, I imagine, hardly be a more dangerous mental practice; but I have often doubted whether, had it not been my practice, I should ever have written a novel. I learned in this way to maintain an interest in a fictitious story, to dwell on a work created by my own imagination, and to live in a world altogether outside the world of my own material life. In after years I have done the same 鈥?with this difference, that I have discarded the hero of my early dreams, and have been able to lay my own identity aside. The biggest challenge was buying health and beauty aids at low cost and staying stocked up on thembecause those items were really at the heart of almost every early discounter's strategy. I figured that outafter I went into the first Gibson's store. His whole concept was to buy direct at a lower cost thanindividual stores could buy, then charge $300 a month to run one of his franchises, and he would act asthe store's buying agent. The basic discounter's idea was to attract customers into the store by pricingthese itemstoothpaste, mouthwash, headache remedies, soap, shampooright down at cost. Those werewhat the early discounters called your "image" items. That's what you pushed in your newspaperadvertisinglike the twenty-seven-cent Crest at Springdaleand you stacked it high in the stores to callattention to what a great deal it was. Word would get around that you had really low prices. Everythingelse in the store was priced low too, but it had a 30 percent margin. Health and beauty aids were pricedto give away. 一本道99综合高清_人人玩人人添人人澡_噜噜色噜噜巴网中文网_中国最大色情网,4438x_性欧美长视频免费视频 All was finished. Neither Church nor law could do anything more towards making the lovers man and wife. The law might undo the bond for them in the time to come, but the part of the Church was done for ever. In the eye of the Church their union was indissoluble. I also started selling magazine subscriptions, probably as young as seven or eight years old, and I hadpaper routes from the seventh grade all the way through college. I raised and sold rabbits and pigeonstoo, nothing really unusual for country boys of that era. I soon became a member of other clubs. There was the Arts Club in Hanover Square, of which I saw the opening, but from which, after three or four years, I withdrew my name, having found that during these three or four years I had not once entered the building. Then I was one of the originators of the Civil Service Club 鈥?not from judgment, but instigated to do so by others. That also I left for the same reason. In 1864 I received the honour of being elected by the Committee at the Athenaeum. For this I was indebted to the kindness of Lord Stanhope; and I never was more surprised than when I was informed of the fact. About the same time I became a member of the Cosmopolitan, a little club that meets twice a week in Charles Street, Berkeley Square, and supplies to all its members, and its members鈥?friends, tea and brandy and water without charge! The gatherings there I used to think very delightful. One met Jacob Omnium, Monckton Mimes, Tom Hughes, William Stirling, Henry Reeve, Arthur Russell, Tom Taylor, and such like; and generally a strong political element, thoroughly well mixed, gave a certain spirit to the place. Lord Ripon, Lord Stanley, William Forster, Lord Enfield, Lord Kimberley, George Bentinck, Vernon Harcourt, Bromley Davenport, Knatchbull Huguessen, with many others, used to whisper the secrets of Parliament with free tongues. Afterwards I became a member of the Turf, which I found to be serviceable 鈥?or the reverse 鈥?only for the playing of whist at high points.