Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/32

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

eleven years which succeeded he achieved the intellectual feat which still commands astonishment. All the great novels had been produced in that brief period. While achieving this performance he was spending his new income with equal lavishness. If both the income and the expenditure had been in hard cash, the proceeding might have been justified. Unfortunately, neither was true. He received for some of his copyrights bonds which were never actually paid off; and he had to raise new loans in order to buy new land, build his house, and carry out improvements. The result was an intricate network of engagements, through which it is not wonderful that a man who was all the time regularly doing his official duties and engaged in every kind of social amusement, did not clearly see his way. It is a marvel that he found time for half his occupations, and no wonder if time was wanting for a clear appreciation of his financial position. Meanwhile, it is also clear that he might naturally raise some of the sums required upon the credit of the printing-office. It was entirely, as we have seen, his own concern from 1816 till 1822, and he had therefore a perfect right to raise money for his own purposes