'I have felt that,' returned her father, after a slight pause to command his voice, that it might be suave instead of scornful. 'I greatly fear that I have made your life something of a martyrdom ----'
'Don't think I meant that, father. I am speaking only of the general question. I can't be quite so zealous as you are, that's all. I love books, but I could wish people were content for a while with those we already have.'
'My dear Marian, don't suppose that I am out of sympathy with you here. Alas! how much of my work has been mere drudgery, mere labouring for a livelihood! How gladly I would have spent much more of my time among the great authors, with no thought of making money of them! If I speak approvingly of a scheme for a new periodical, it is greatly because of my necessities.'
He paused and looked at her. Marian returned the look.
'You would of course write for it,' she said.
'Marian, why shouldn't I edit it? Why shouldn't it be your property?',
She checked a laugh. There came into her mind a more disagreeable suspicion than she had ever entertained of her father. Was this the meaning of his softened behaviour? Was he capable of calculated hypocrisy? That did not seem consistent with his character, as she knew it.
'Let us talk it over,' said Yule. He was in visible agitation and his voice shook. 'The idea may well startle you at first. It will seem to you that I propose to make away with your property before you have even come into possession of it.' He laughed. 'But, in fact, what I have in mind is merely an investment for your capital, and that an admirable one. Five thousand pounds at three per cent.--one doesn't care to reckon on more--represents a hundred and fifty a year. Now, there can be very little doubt that, if it were invested in literary property such as I have in mind, it would bring you five times that interest, and before long perhaps much more. Of course I am now speaking in the roughest outline. I should have to get trustworthy advice; complete and detailed estimates would be submitted to you. At present I merely suggest to you this form of investment.'
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