Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/40

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28
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

fidence is sufficiently explicable. When the publishing business collapsed Constable had come to his help; and in a short time the former rival had become a close ally. They had a genuine regard for each other. Although their alliance did not imply purely altruistic motives, their interests were identical. Constable saw in Scott's writings the best of all his speculations. The Waverley Novels and the Encyclopædia Britannica were apparently the backbone of his business. He very naturally wished to monopolise the most popular and most fertile author of the day. He looked upon Scott as a perpetual fountain of popular literature, which could be so directed as to make the fortunes of both. He did everything to stimulate Scott's natural disposition to write. Scott himself thought that his best things were those which came most easily, and was perfectly ready to be stimulated. He was delighted to pour out novel after novel, and to bargain for new novels, yet unwritten and even undesigned. When he wanted more money to buy land, he was ready to take advantage of this easy method of providing funds; and Constable did not discourage him. He could pay for them at least in credit, and was always ready to propose new enterprises. He gave Scott £1000