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Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh
78. CHAPTER LXXVIII (continued)
If anything had been wanting to complete his happiness it was this. Here, within three or four days he found himself freed from one of the most hideous, hopeless liaisons imaginable, and at the same time raised from a life of almost squalor to the enjoyment of what would to him be a handsome income.
"A pound a week," he thought, "for Ellen, and the rest for myself."
"No," said I, "we will charge Ellen's pound a week to the estate also. You must have a clear 300 pounds for yourself."
I fixed upon this sum, because it was the one which Mr Disraeli gave Coningsby when Coningsby was at the lowest ebb of his fortunes. Mr Disraeli evidently thought 300 pounds a year the smallest sum on which Coningsby could be expected to live, and make the two ends meet; with this, however, he thought his hero could manage to get along for a year or two. In 1862, of which I am now writing, prices had risen, though not so much as they have since done; on the other hand Ernest had had less expensive antecedents than Coningsby, so on the whole I thought 300 pounds a year would be about the right thing for him.
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