The main character of this passage, William, copies and translates business-letters for a living. But, he is not satisfied with his occupation. He finds it annoying, dry and tedious. He had taken a resolution to become a tradesman, but he is regretting his choices now, and he wishes to have done things differently. On top of that, there is antipathy which has sprung up between himself and his employer, Edward Crimsworth. William thinks that his accent, education, punctuality, industry and accuracy irritated Edward and that Edward envied him because he thought that William should one day make a successful tradesman, too. William also knew that Edward believed that William had a mental wealth that he didn’t want to share. If Edward could have placed him in a ridiculous or mortifying position, he would, but William was cautious, tactical and he observed carefully, so Edward couldn’t do anything to him. After William had received his first quarter’s wages, he was returning to his lodgings and was thinking about how his life was intolerable and how he could change it.