Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh

53. CHAPTER LIII (continued)

"The worst of it is that we have not enough money; I have, it is true, 5000 pounds, but we want at least 10,000 pounds, so Pryer says, before we can start; when we are fairly under weigh I might live at the college and draw a salary from the foundation, so that it is all one, or nearly so, whether I invest my money in this way or in buying a living; besides I want very little; it is certain that I shall never marry; no clergyman should think of this, and an unmarried man can live on next to nothing. Still I do not see my way to as much money as I want, and Pryer suggests that as we can hardly earn more now we must get it by a judicious series of investments. Pryer knows several people who make quite a handsome income out of very little or, indeed, I may say, nothing at all, by buying things at a place they call the Stock Exchange; I don't know much about it yet, but Pryer says I should soon learn; he thinks, indeed, that I have shown rather a talent in this direction, and under proper auspices should make a very good man of business. Others, of course, and not I, must decide this; but a man can do anything if he gives his mind to it, and though I should not care about having more money for my own sake, I care about it very much when I think of the good I could do with it by saving souls from such horrible torture hereafter. Why, if the thing succeeds, and I really cannot see what is to hinder it, it is hardly possible to exaggerate its importance, nor the proportions which it may ultimately assume," etc., etc.

Again I asked Ernest whether he minded my printing this. He winced, but said "No, not if it helps you to tell your story: but don't you think it is too long?"

I said it would let the reader see for himself how things were going in half the time that it would take me to explain them to him.

"Very well then, keep it by all means."

I continue turning over my file of Ernest's letters and find as follows -

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