'But you are in doubt concerning the real man?'
'I'm not sure that I understand you. You say that you do really think as you speak.'
'So I do. I think that there is no choice for a man who can't bear poverty. I have never said, though, that I had pleasure in mean necessities; I accept them because I can't help it.'
It was a delight to Marian to observe the anxiety with which he turned to self-defence. Never in her life had she felt this joy of holding a position of command. It was nothing to her that Jasper valued her more because of her money; impossible for it to be otherwise. Satisfied that he did value her, to begin with, for her own sake, she was very willing to accept money as her ally in the winning of his love. He scarcely loved her yet, as she understood the feeling, but she perceived her power over him, and passion taught her how to exert it.
'But you resign yourself very cheerfully to the necessity,' she said, looking at him with merely intellectual eyes.
'You had rather I lamented my fate in not being able to devote myself to nobly unremunerative work?'
There was a note of irony here. It caused her a tremor, but she held her position.
'That you never do so would make one think--but I won't speak unkindly.'