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These Stories, which were first published, among a great number of others, in the Cheap Repository, under the signature Z, are here presented to the Reader, much enlarged and improved. Such of them as are comprised in this volume being adapted to persons in a superior station to those which are contained in the Fifth Volume, it was thought better to separate and class them accordingly. A brief account of the institution here referred to will be given in the subsequent volume.
Mr. Fantom was a retail trader in the city of London. As he had no turn to any expensive vices, he was reckoned a lober decent man, but he was covetous and proud, selfish and conceited. As foon as he got forward in the world, his vanity began to display itself, though not in the ordinary method, that of making a figure and living away; but still he was VOL. IV. B
tormented with a longing desire to draw public notice, and to distinguish himself. He felt a general sense of discontent at what he was, with a general ambition to be something which he was not; but this desire had not yet turned (itself to any particular object. It was not by his money he could hope to be distinguished, for half his acquaintance had more, and a man must be rich indeed to be noted for his riches in London. Mr. Fantom's mind was a prey to vain imaginations. He despised all those little acts of kindness and charity which every man is called to perform every day; and while he was contriying grand schemes, which lay quite out of his reach, he neglected the ordinary du. ties of life, which lay directly before him. Selfishness was his governing principle. He fancied he was lost in the mass of general society: and the usual means of attaching importance to insignificance occurred to him; that of getting into clubs and societies. To be connected with a