‘Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it. Beyond a competence it can afford no real satisfaction as far as self is concerned. ‘
Sense and Sensibility.
Here a competence means enough money. I discovered this by reading What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan. The chapter on money has been really useful in giving another dimension to one of my opera cape twirling bad guys.
He’s a younger son living of half army pay. He needs to get money through marriage. Until he secures himself a rich bride, gambling is the principle way he supplements his income.
This realisation helped give him a goal as he’s been bought up in wealth and now forced to try and make his own way in a world where respectable methods of earning money or making name for himself are drastically limited. Of course he is still self-interested, rather too fond of his own reflection and deluded about his own worth, but I know what truly makes him tick much better now. Essentially he’s a pretty, delicate, incredibly useless piece of decoration and he finds that frustrating.
I’ve also managed to finish the short story I mentioned on Sunday, so no more excuses for avoiding what I should be writing.
How’s everyone else doing?