He looked up suddenly, and added:
'I am speaking as if to myself. You, of course, don't misunderstand me, and think I am accusing my wife.'
'No, I don't take you to mean that, by any means.'
'No, no; of course not. All that's wrong is my accursed want of money. But that threatens to be such a fearful wrong, that I begin to wish I had died before my marriage-day. Then Amy would have been saved. The Philistines are right: a man has no business to marry unless he has a secured income equal to all natural demands. I behaved with the grossest selfishness. I might have known that such happiness was never meant for me.'
'Do you mean by all this that you seriously doubt whether you will ever be able to write again?'
'In awful seriousness, I doubt it,' replied Reardon, with haggard face.
'It strikes me as extraordinary. In your position I should work as I never had done before.'
'Because you are the kind of man who is roused by necessity. I am overcome by it. My nature is feeble and luxurious. I never in my life encountered and overcame a practical difficulty.'