Non-fiction (?) ~ sketch
Published in Six Common Things, November 1893
(First read 16/07/2014)
An impressionistic portrait of London in the 1890s.
Benson flits from one disconnected subject to the next: the River Thames > London crowds > a drowned baby > an old chestnut-seller > the misery of child labour in a Christmas card factory > the profession of being 'disgusting' > Londoners' addiction to 'grinding' (hustle) > the therapeutic nature of paintings > the tragicomedy of London > a donkey-cart at Covent Garden > an act of charity, manqué. The only common theme would appear to be something like "London, especially for the poor, is horrible and miserable." The most incoherent bit of writing by EFB I've read to date.
See if you can make more sense of it yourself ~ it's available online here.