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169
THE DAWN COMES

"No," said I, "I'll think it over!"

And as I went along the Embankment, the first effect was all against my uncle. He shrank—for a little while he continued to shrink—in perspective until he was only a very small shabby little man in a dirty back street, sending off a few hundred bottles of rubbish to foolish buyers. The great buildings on the right of us, the Inns and the School Board place—as it was then—Somerset House, the big hotels, the great bridges, Westminster's outlines ahead, had an effect of grey largeness that reduced him to the proportions of a busy blackbeetle in a crack in the floor.

And then my eye caught the advertisements on the south side of "Sorbers Food," of "Cracknell's Ferric Wine," very bright and prosperous signs, illuminated at night, and I realized how astonishingly they looked at home there, how evidently part they were in the whole thing.

I saw a man come charging out of Palace Yard—the policeman touched his helmet to him—with a hat and a bearing astonishingly like my uncle's. After all,—didn't Cracknell himself sit in the House? . . .

Tono-Bungay shouted at me from a hoarding near Adelphi Terrace, I saw it afar off near Carfax Street, it cried out again upon me in Kensington High Street and burst into a perfect clamour, six or seven times I saw it as I drew near my diggings. It certainly had an air of being something more than a dream. . . .

Yes, I thought it over—thoroughly enough. . . . Trade rules the world. Wealth rather than trade! The thing was true, and true too was my uncle's proposition that the quickest way to get wealth is to sell the cheapest thing possible in the dearest bottle. He was frightfully right after all. Pecunia non olet,—