Text: F. E. F., “Marrying for Money,” the Dollar Newspaper (Philadelphia), vol. I, no. 25, July 12, 1843, p. 1, cols. 1-7:


­ ­ [page 1, column 1, continued:]







And for which the Third Premium of Forty Dollars was paid.



Then hey for a lass wi’ a tocher, then hey for a lass wi’ a tocher,

Then hey for a lass wi’ a tocher, the nice yellow guineas for me. — BURNS.

I heard it asserted most positively last evening, Hunter, that you were going to be married, but my informants differed as to the lady of your choice. One maintained that you were engaged to Miss Butler, the other that Miss Flemming was the bride elect. The first report I unhesitatingly contradicted on my own authority, although I could not quite answer for the other, as I believed it a little premature; but I knew you too well to be mistaken as to your taste, even if my own observation had not market your attentions to Miss Flemming. Am I not right?”

“You are partly right and partly wrong, Grattan. I admit that my attentions and intentions have not gone as closely together as they should have done, and that my tastes and necessities are more widely sundered than I could desire. I am not engaged to Miss Flemming, nor am I positive that I never shall be to Miss Butler.”

“You are not speaking seriously, Hunter?” asked his friend anxiously.

“I speak the words of truth and soberness — and sadness too, if you will,” replied Hunter, half sighing.

“Is it possible you can hesitate between youth and beauty, grace and loveliness, for ———”

“For their opposites and wealth — and with it, Grattan, don’t be afraid,” interrupted his friend. “Miss Butler is not more to my taste than she is to yours; and I frankly own that Miss Flemming is my beau ideal of loveliness, and that were I independent, or had she anything, I would address her at once. But, situate as we both are, the thing would be madness.

“I do not see that,” replied Grattan. “You have talent that in your profession will lead you to distinction, and win fortune. It only requires time, industry and economy.

Only time, industry and economy,” repeated Hunter, bitterly. “One would think you were setting forth the three greatest pleasures in life, and am I to ask a beautiful and high bred girl to wait my ‘time,’ and share my ‘industry’ and ‘economy?’ “ he continued impatiently.

“Miss Flemming is not the girl I suppose her, if she would hesitate to encounter, with cheerfulness, severe trials than those, for the man she loves,” said Grattan. “That she loves you, I cannot say — but,” he added, and his voice faltered a little as he said it, “that she prefers you, there can be no doubt, and, Hunter, I cannot conceive of a brighter future than may be yours. Yes, for such a woman, toil and economy were nothing, though time, I admit, is a greater trial. That she is beautiful, graceful and winning, is not all, no, not though she is pre-eminently so, these are not her greatest charms. There is a purity of heart, as elevation of mind, and an enthusiasm of feeling about her, that places her above any woman I ever met; and as the object of that enthusiasm, cheered by her smiles, and rewarded in her pride, I cannot conceive of a happier fate than would be yours.”

“Grattan,” said Hunter, half impatiently and half sadly, “distinction and wealth are not as easily won as you represent them. And you pain the future in glowing colors, without thinking of the present, and the many long and wearing years of toil and poverty that must intervene before that dazzling goal is reached, if indeed it is ever to be attained, which is most problematical. But let that pass. You know not all. I have to contend with. I am in debt. Harassed by the present, I own I have no courage to meet the future, under the pressure of evils of which I know so well the bearings. Grattan, I must have money, and I must have it at once. Miss Butler has her fortune in her own hands, and if my vanity does not mislead me, I can get her — and if I can, I will.”

“Do not act rashly, Hunter. Think of it, ere you decide. Think of all you abandon, of ——”

“Think of it!” interrupted his friend, as he paced the room with impatient strides; “do you suppose, Grattan, that I am hurried away by the impetuosity of my feelings, when I say I mean to marry Miss Butler? Do you suppose that I have turned my eyes now to the evils of my situation for the first time? ‘Think of it.’ Think of my debts and duns, and try, if you can to comprehend some of the mortification of my position.”

“Hunter,” said Grattan, looking pale, and scarce less agitated than his excited friend, who continued rapidly to pace the room, “your debts cannot be great, and you shall not blast your prospects, and dash the cup of happiness from your lips, for a trifle. I have but a few thousands. They are at your service. Take them, extricate yourself from your embarrassments, and then turn with vigor to your profession. A few years of labor will retrieve the past.”

Hunter grasped his friend’s hand, as he said hurriedly —

“No, no, Grattan, I cannot take advantage of your generosity.” And he added, more calmly, as he took his seat — “but, let us look the question fairly in the face. Suppose I win Helen Flemming, and she loves me with enthusiasm, as you say; and bright and beautiful and disinterest as I know she is, and lovely as I feel her to be, proud and happy should I be in the first moments of winning her. Love is a beautiful vision, and glowingly you have painted it. But, Grattan, ‘tis but the dream of a few ­[column 2:] years, or perchance months, and then come the stern realities of life, with its toils and cares, embittered by poverty, which, souring the temper, and chilling the affections, renders life a curse; and can I ask a feeling and sensitive creature like her to encounter trials like these of which she has no conception? I know what ou would say,” he continued, rapidly. “But if she can encounter them cheerfully, I cannot — and moreover, Grattan, I will frankly avow all, I cannot work. The drudgery of the bar I hate. My tastes are cultivated, my habits luxurious. A life of intellectual leisure and pleasure, only insured by a good income, is indispensable to me; and, surrounded by the things of this life, wealth, pleasure, consequence and ease, the early dream of love will soon be forgotten; and what matters it, after the first year or so, if my wife be neither so young nor so pretty as she might be? Miss Flemming,” he added, after a moment’s pause, “will, I trust, be more fortunate in meeting some one who can at the same time gratify her taste and supply her wants. I know all this sounds cold and worldly, but depend upon it, Grattan, that it is the common sense view of the question, and in deciding upon this course, I know what will be for the happiness of both better than you do.”

“Then you have definitively made up your mind?” asked his friend, with an anxiety of tone that surprised Hunter.

“I have, “ he replied.

Grattan changed countenance, and a gleam of pleasure shot from his eyes as he said earnestly —

“And now, Hunter, I will be equally frank with you . I love Helen Flemming with a love that surpasses yours, and will bend every energy of my nature to winning her. But, in fairness to me, and honor to yourself, Hunter, you must cease those attentions which you have made so marked for some time past.”

“You, Grattan,” said Hunter, in astonishment. “You! And yet you would have paid my debts and smoothed my difficulties, and yet you loved this girl! Grattan, you are a noble fellow, and worthy such a woman; and” he added, more reluctantly, “your request is no more than reasonable. I will withdraw my attentions,” he said slowly, and somewhat sadly, “if you think I am in your way, although I believe you overrate my influence. At any rate,” he added, quickly and decidedly, “it is but right I should. And, Grattan, Heaven prosper your suit. You deserve her, and will win her.”

“Not so fast,” said Grattan, smiling faintly. “You gave me more credit than I deserve, Hunter. Had I thought there could be any hope for me, with you in the field, I know not that I could have removed a pebble in your path. But, convinced of her indifference to me and preference for you, I merit no praise for what I would have done.”

The discussion becoming now somewhat painful for both young men, was here dropped, not to be resumed again by either, each having indicated his course to the other, was prepared to follow out his views.

Hunter and Grattan had been classmates at college, where an unity of tastes and pursuits had knit them in the closest bonds of friendship. Endowed with superior talents, they had afterwards embraced the same profession, and the college intimacy had lasted perhaps rather longer than is common to such friendships. During the last few years, however, the ties had become somewhat loosened by a difference of mental constitution, which, developing itself more fully as time progressed, separated those whose tastes and talents had once made almost inseparable. They still met with all their early warmth, and discussed these different views with familiarity, but they no longer sought each other as in days of yore, and the meetings had become rare and accidental. Hunter had soon wearied of a profession of which the labor was great and the rewards distant, and gifted with a brilliancy of address and grace of manner which, united with no ordinary personal attractions, made him courted by the gay and feted by the rich, he soon ceased to think of his profession as his path to independence, and had long since determined that an heiress should repair the wrongs of fate, and supply at once what it would take years of toil to wring from the bar. But, fastidious in his tastes as luxurious and careless in his habits, he had not yet been able to find that desideratum, a wife endowed by every gift of nature and education, with a fortune to her own hands. He worshipped beauty, and he loved pleasure, and he had thus wated, in careless devotion to the belles of the day and the amusements of the hour, time which may be trifled with impunity by no man, and now at the age of thirty, he found himself embarrassed by debt, harassed by creditors, wooing a woman who, by chance, he would, in other days, and under other circumstances, have scarce spoken to. Led away by his keen appreciation of all that is lovely in woman, he had followed Helen Flemming with an earnestness of devotion which might well have misled not only lookers-on, but the lady also, and he acknowledged to himself that it was as well that Grattan had forced him to a decision, or he might have been let to trifle with her, or perhaps worse — commit himself. He had now only to turn to Miss Butler, to whom from time to time he had paid attentions for the last two years; but, with his characteristic disklike for every thing that is disagreeable, he had not been able to make up his mind even to being worldly, untilthe pressure of his affairs compelled him to do so, and Susan Butler was a bitter does for him, even under the present circumstances. The deep and earnest eyes of Helen Flemming would cross his mind as he looked at the light orbs and white lashes of his intended; and it needed not the recollection of the small, classical head, with its dark, rich hair so gracefully set upon the falling shoulders of the one, to make the yellow curls and ungraceful form of the other peculiarly distasteful to him. But there seemed no help for it, or none of which he was willing to avail himself, and he set to work in earnest to his task. He was graciously received, for, as we have said, he was as handsome as he was agreeable, and beside, some years the lady’s junior, and his indecision had only served to heighten the value of his attentions in her eyes. But, courted and flattered from her youth by a host of friends and hangers on, Miss Butler was not one to yield at once. Not that he doubted, nor she hesitated as to her ultimate decision, but she had been too long accustomed to the power of wealth and pleasure of flattery, not to make poor Hunter pay the full measure that she deemed her due; and oh! the coquetries of an ugly woman, and the airs and graces of an awkward one! Hunter sometimes thought the toils of the office were nothing to the penance he was now obliged to undergo. But, meaning that the one should have an end which he knew the other could not, he pressed his suit with all the impatience, if not ardor, of a lover, internally resolving to cure her of her affectations, and make her hold her tongue, as soon as he was married.

This making love, (the phrase in appropriate for it was anything but feeling it,) was hard work, but it was successful in the end, and before many weeks were over, Miss Butler announced ­[column 3:] to her little court of friends and dependants that she had accepted Louis Hunter.


Wi’ steady aim, some fortune chase;

Keen Hope does every sinew brace;

Thro’ fair, thro’ foul, they urge the race,

And seize the prey:

Then cannie, in some cozie place,

They close the day. — BURNS.

When Harry Grattan separated from Hunter, after the conversation we have recorded in the preceding chapter, his spirit was stirred by a variety of emotions he could scarce have defined to himself. He had long loved Helen Flemming; but he had loved in the calm of perfect hopelessness, believing that against Hunter he had no shadow of a chance. But now that those pretensions were withdrawn, and the field clear, his heart throbbed alike with hope and fear, hope-sick of its own vanities.

The ten years that had passed so worse than idly by his friend, had made Grattan one of the most marked among the rising you men of the day. Conscious of possessing talents of no ordinary stamp, with a vigor of mind and energy of character that had placed him in a position very different from that of his friend, he yet knew that he was deficient in those graces of person and fluency of address, so conspicuous in Hunter, and which he believed essential to woman’s favor. He was diffident too, as well as proud, which conspired to render him embarrassed, particularly where he most wished to please, and silent where he most desired to shine — and, painfully aware of defects which he magnified to himself, he sometimes felt that it were presumption to hope and folly to expose himself to further pain and mortification.

It happened that while in this hesitation and doubtful state of mind, he and Hunter met Helen at a dinner, when the latter, as usual, took the lead in conversation, while Grattan was more than ordinarily silent and reserved. Hunter delighted in paradox, and in maintaining with brilliancy positions which he knew to be false, and on this occasion he advanced some theory which had expediency rather than right for its object, in which Grattan opposed him. He said but little, but that little was marked by an uprightness and elevation of mind that exposed the littleness of Hunter’s views, and as he caught Helen Flemming’s glance fixed upon him, kindling with interest, as she listened to the argument, his courage rose, and with it his enthusiasm and eloquence — and he marked her continued attention and answering looks of sympathy with a throbbing heart.

For the first time, in Helen Flemming’s presence, he put forth all his powers, and she was struck by the superiority of his genius, and the accuracy of his information, and she turned from Hunter to Grattan with an animation and deference of manner that nettled the one as much as it excited the other. Hunter had been so long in the habit of sporting the wrong, that he now scarcely knew it from the right; nor was he aware that false jewels do not sparkle with the brilliancy of true, and that he had thus given Grattan an advantage over him which, with one of her turn of mind, was great. He was eagerly pursuing the contest, when he caught Miss Butler’s eye, (for she too was of the party,) and there was something in that sharp and jealous glance that hold him he had better yield a victory even, than gain applause from Helen Flemming’s eyes, for it had already cost him many a weary hour of flattery and devotion to eradicate certain ideas she had imbibed with regard to his attentions to that young lady, and the timely warning of that look cooled him in a moment.

The results of this dinner, however, were inestimable to Grattan. The spell was broken that bound him in Helen’s presence, and success gave him courage, and courage lent him eloquence, and his heart throbbed with hope, and his cheek flushed, and eyes flashed with delight, as he marked the interest and pleasure with which she listened to his conversation.

“And so your friend, Mr. Hunter, is at last positively engaged to Miss Butler,” said Miss Harris, addressing Grattan, as he joined Helen and herself one evening at a small party. “I could not have believed it, had I not been assured that it was a fact.”

“And why not?” asked Helen Flemming, calmly.

“It is such a sacrifice,” answered the young lady.

“It is no such sacrifice to one who can make it,” replied Helen, while a flush of indignation passed her brow, and a slight expression of scorn lighted up her dark eyes. “But is it true, Mr. Grattan?” she asked, earnestly.

“It is,” he replied, in a low voice — and he watched her countenance as her friend continued to descant upon the worldliness of the choice, and though she changed color, and said but little, yet her voice was firm and her manner calm. She could not hear quite unmoved the strictures that she felt, more deeply than her who uttered them, were true, yet Grattan saw that though there had been a preference, it had been a preference only. It might, perhaps, and indeed did, render her more indifferent to others, even while passing away in a better knowledge of Hunter’s character; but Grattan felt that though his friend had been an obstacle in his path, and had added to the uncertainly of his success, yet that he was one which he dared to hope time and his own attention might overcome.


Yes, ready money is Aladdin’s lamp. — BYRON.

Hunter deemed himself now almost at the end of his labors, as he had prevailed upon Miss Butler to name the happy day, when lo! he was startled by a visit from her lawyer, with the marriage settlements already drawn, awaiting only his signature. He was confounded and indignant, for though he had played the part of the impatient lover to admiration, he was not prepared to undertake that of the disinterested suitor. Carelessly glancing his eye over them, however, he calmly told the man of business that he would see him the next day, and repaired under no small anxiety of mind to visit Miss Butler. He trembled lest she should persist in a resolution thus quietly announced as a matter of course, for he had seen that about the lady which told him that she did not undervalue her prosperity, and highly as she might value him, he felt that he should run a risk in throwing himself in the opposite scale, and then the ridicule, to say nothing of the embarrassments, he should draw upon himself by rupture at this late hour, and upon such a point too, were conflicting thoughts and interests that perplexed and tormented him with doubts and fears, and still undecided as to the course he should pursue, he reached her house, and was ushered into her presence. He entered somewhat haughtily, and in broaching the subject was prepared to take a lofty tone, but the lady’s eyes kindled, and there was a sharpness of voice and pertinacity of manner, that soon told him, that high as he might rise, she would yet rise higher, and he quickly changed his tone, and was hurt and wounded; mortified merely by the distrust that her course had indicated. Soothed and softened, she now explained and apologized, and he saw his power over her was great. She even wept, and was ready to give him every assurance of her confidence — except the only test he cared for; and, in short, after hours of fatiguing and humiliating ­[column 4:] converse, in returning again and again to the same subject, under every different possible point of view, he always found the lady of his love firm and unalterable in her first decision. She would trust him with her happiness — but not her purse. By this time he had come to the conclusion within himself, that the income being very large, and that in the double capacity of husband and agent he should have the full, control of all he wanted, and it were better to yield the point at issue than incur all the odium and inconveniences of throwing up the engagement at this late hour; and while he cursed her in his heart, he found it best to be satisfied with her assurances, and finish the play in the part of a disinterested lover. And when he quitted the house, no nearer his object than when he had entered it, wearied of spirit and chafed in temper, he doubted whether it were in the capacity of the whole law course, from Blackstone down, to inflict the tedium that he had undergone that morning. He drew a long breath, however, and put his signature to the settlements, and now all the preparations for the marriage went forward.

There is, perhaps, no point of view in which a young and lovely woman appears more interesting, or so touches the heart and the imagination, as when draped in the showy veil and crowned with bridal flowers; lovely in her conflicting emotions, she stands about to bid farewell to the glad and giddy years of girlhood, and quit her home of youth and irresponsibility for the new joys and sorrows, the graver calls and higher duties of married life. Nor do these feelings press less heavily at such an hour upon those whom time has robbed of youth, and to whom nature has denied loveliness. But oh! the magic of those gifts, the spells of youth and beauty.! The same feelings equally natural in both, call forth for the one the most romantic interests of our nature, and excite only for the other ridicule and mirth. An old bride. The very phrase brings smiles to every lip. Where is the sympathy for her smiles and tears, so readily yielded to those of the more youthful beauty. If she blushes, let it not be in public, and if she weeps, she will do well to let no one see her tears.

Hunter did not care to give himself in spectacle as a happy bridegroom, to amuse his friends, any more than he deemed it advisable that his lady should exhibit as the blushing bride, and he therefore counselled a small and quiet wedding, as in better taste and newer style. He was desirous, feeling the ridicule of the whole, to get over the affair with as little talk and fuss as possible, and wished that they might be allowed quietly to take their places in society like married people of some years standing. But this did not correspond at all with Miss Butler’s views of the eventful change. She was not accustomed to slight or hurry in anything; most particularly anything that concerned herself — and with the exaggerated idea of the importance attached to all her movements, in which narrow-minded and wealthy persons are apt to indulge, she delighted to expatiate in detail on all her arrangements, as if they must be of infinite interest to all who heard her. The being married, therefore, quietly in a corner, was not a thought to be entertained for a moment, and the invitations were issued accordingly for a gay and numerous assembly. The ceremony took place in all the pride and pomp of wealth, so suited to the taste of the bride, though little in accordance with the sentiments of the groom. The lady was as minute as she was prosy on small topics as on great. Could she fail to be trebly so upon a subject that engrossed all her mind and occupied all her heart? Hunter sometimes felt, when hearing her hold forht to some one of her numerous visiters, that he might think himself lucky that she did not undertake to give his declaration, amid the rest of the details, verbatim. However, he comforted himself with thinking that the ting soon must be at an end. Their marriage was already an old story, and the bridal parties nearly over. He only wished his wife’s bridal finery was an nearly at an end, for her corbeille was in even worse than her usual taste, and a woman’s toilet was one of the points on which he had been used formerly to be most fastidious.

As time wore on, however, he became more accustomed and reconciled to some of the peculiarities of his position, and beside, he was now in the receipt of what he had married for, a large income. ‘Tis true, the bulk of the estate was settled on his wife, but he did not suppose that he would be called upon to render a very strict account of his agencies, and freeing himself from former embarrassments, he began to feel some of the elevation and importance of a moneyed man. Time had been when Hunter’s high spirit and fine mind despised such littleness, but the weapon that is not polished by continual action will rust; and, moreover, the constant contact with coarser minds, and the eager pursuit of the one idol for years, will tell upon the most stubborn spirit, and their traces were marked in strong characters upon Hunter. In fact, had he been made of the sterner stuff that resists such influences, he had never been placed in the position in which he now found himself; and, indeed all the consolations he could derive from that, as well as other sources, to sustain him under exactions he had not been prepared to undergo. In marrying his wife, he was by no means done with her, as he had once fancied. The wooing was very far from over, for the lady was as exigeante as she was in love. Her former jealously, too, of Helen Flemming would break forth from time to time, as she saw, or fancied she saw, herself neglected; and the soothing a passionate and jealous wife, even when she is loved and pretty, is far from a pleasant task. Judge, then, whether, under present circumstances, Hunter was to be envied. He hoped, however, that time, which had smoothed so many of his troubles, would dispose of this one also. What, therefore, with money at command, the comforts of an elegant establishment about him, the pleasures of any exquisite table, of which he began to think much more than in former years, and the hope of more complete emancipation as the months rolled on, the first year glided away, and Hunter was not altogether an unhappy man.

The honeymoon was over now, however, and Mrs. Hunter began to look into her affairs; and her anger rose at the liberal outlays of her careless husband, as she found he had drawn in mortgages, and sold out stock, and played the agent in a manner she had never anticipated — and now high and bitter were the words that passed between them. It is galling to even a woman’s spirit to be called upon to render an account of her expenditures — but education, necessity and custom teach her to shroud her wounded feelings in the gracefulness of submission. To man, accustomed to no responsibility, the shock comes unsoftened by any such influences, and Hunter’s temper broke forth beyond all bounds. His wife was terrified; the spectacle was new to her — beside, she loved him passionately — and after a stormy scene, it ended in greater concessions on her part than he had dreamed of, and things resumed their usual course. A few months more, and the same causes produced new altercations, and now Mrs. Hunter, prepared by her first encounter, beside being alarmed for her property, stood her ground, and ­[column 5:] the power being hers, Hunter had to yield. And fatal was this victory of his wife to his former peace. Once more was she mistress, and no longer was he master. Power was withdrawn, and money withheld, and he was taken to task in a way that seldom fails to the lot of man, though often to that of woman. Not but that she loved him yet, and was liberal to him at times, but she was capricious and felt her power, and he was made to sue and flatter as in other days. Passion too, that crucible of the soul, will extract from the finest metal some alloy. What wonder then, that in their angry contests, words fell from his lips that were more than she could bear, and taunts came from her that were anything but refined and feminine; and when she said something of “beggars on horseback,” had he been a common man he would have struck her, but as he was a gentleman he only hated her — and mastering his temper, he quitted the house in silence. Bitterly at such times did he curse the hour he married, and gladly would he have welcomed, or thought he would, the drudgery of the office, to be freed from the bondage that enthralled him. And thus another year passed on.


Have squandered my whole summer while ‘t was May,

And feel no more the spirit to retort; I

Have spent my life, both interest and principal,

And deem not what I deem’d my soul invincible.


And what has become of our friend Grattan, during the years so painfully passed by Hunter? Steadfastly pursuing the same course of upright integrity and untiring industry that had ever marked his course from the commencement, he was adding to his reputation and gaining independence, and now had crowned the measure of his hopes by winning the lady of his love. And bright and beautiful and glowing in her perfect happiness was his lovely bride, as with equal trust and pride she placed her hand in his. And unutterable was the happiness of that shy, proud man, as he felt himself appreciated and beloved by a high-bred, intelligent and beautiful woman. Hunter warmly sympathized in his friend’s happiness, for all personal feeling had long since passed away, and would gladly have evinced that sympathy by treating the newly married pair with some attention. But this his wife refused. She had not yet forgiven Helen Flemming all the pangs she had cost her; beside that, she was in no mood to grant additional favors to her husband. The suspicion that had crossed her jealous mind, from time to time, in the earlier periods of their marriage, that she had been wooed and wed for lucre and not love, had gained strength until it amounted to something little short of certainty, and the irritability of wounded affection was now added to the exactions of a temper never sweet; and yielding to the bitterness of the moment, with the perversity natural to such a spirit under such trials, she thwarted her husband in trifles, and tyrannized over him in maters of moment. Mortified and nettled at being denied a privilege he deemed his right, taunts neither gentle nor gentlemanly fell from the lips of one who had once prided himself upon his tranquil equanimity and high-bred refinement, and thus one source or another of daily altercation and bickering was added to the great and never-failing cause of contest — money.

“How beautiful Mrs. Grattan looks to-night,” said Miss Harris, to a gentleman who stood beside her, at one of the wedding parties given for Grattan’s lovely bride.

“She is, indeed,” he replied. “There is such a singular union of sensibility and intelligence in her countenance.”

“Intelligence and sensibility are doubtless charms,” rejoined the young lady, gayly, “and never more strikingly so than when set off by the darkest eyes and softest skin and prettiest head that ever was set on woman’s shoulders; but ‘is beaute elle passe, la laideur ne passes pas,’ “ she added, glancing archly from Mrs. Grattan to Mrs. Huner, who stood near her.

The young man smiled as he replied, “Grattan is a lucky fellow, and how well he looks. I never saw a man so improved. He positively grows handsomer as he grows older. Some compensation that, Miss Harris, for the loss of youth.”

“It is one that ‘Time, the comforter,’ generally omits from among his gifts,” she added, laughing. “But I agree with you as far as regards Mr. Grattan. I always liked his looks, however. Happiness and self-confidence were all he wanted, and both are marked now in his animated countenance and composed manner, and he is very clever.”

“There is no doubt as to his abilities,” replied the gentleman. “I see his wife is dancing with her old admirer, Hunter.”

“Her admirer? True, now I do remember hi was quite devoted to her once upon a time,” answered Mrs. Harris.

“I used to think it would end in something,” rejoined the gentleman; “but it seems I was mistaken.”

“If there was ever anything in it,” continued Miss Harris, “how she must congratulate herself upon her escape, when she sees hin now, and compares him to her husband.”

“A few years have altered him greatly,” replied the other; “but at that time he was one of the spirited and handsome men I knew.”

As Miss Harris turned away to speak to some one else, a gentleman passing, who had caught the last few sentences, said —

“It is not time, so much as the life he leads, that has altered Hunter.”

“I do not know what has altered him,” continued the first speaker, “but he is sadly changed. He does not now look an hour older than his wife; and, to judge from his appearance, one might say he ate four hot meals a day.”

“That is just waht he does do,” rejoined the other, laughing. “He always was luxurious, but now he ahs become a regular bon vivant. I doubt, too, whether he is over happy in his marriage.”

“Certainly not,” replied the first speaker. “Fortune is not often won without some sacrifice. Happiness and independence are the price Hunter has paid for his;” and so saying he turned off carelessly, as if that was “neither here nor there,” as people do when they discuss the vital interests of others, that touch not themselves.

The wedding festivities over, Grattan and his sweet young wife were soon settled in a small and plainly furnished house; for, though he was a rising lawyer, he was yet far from rich, and the industry and economy he had formerly preached to Hunter, he was himself still called upon to practise. But Helen was too happy in her affections, and reasonable in her views, to ask for more; and to Grattan, the last few months of his life seemed a new existence. In the active discharge of an arduous profession, and fulfilment of quiet home duties, the years passed rapidly on, confirming them in their happiness and prosperity; and had it not been for the presence of a noble boy, some four years old, and his pretty little sister, one would scarcely have remembered, in gazing on the undiminished loveliness of Mrs. Grattan, that six years had elapsed since we beheld her a young and blooming bride. Leading a quiet and at the same time an active life, Grattan rarely met his ­[column 6:] early friend Hunter, and when he did, the meetings, being accidental, were generally brief and hurried. Rumors reached him from time to time of difficulties between him and his wife, and judging from his worn and harassed countenance, Grattan feared that he was not happy, when one day he met him in the street, and Hunter stopped with —

“Grattan, you are the very man I wanted. I must have some conversatin with you. Which way are you going?”

“Home,” replied Grattan. “Come with me, and after dinner we’ll talk your business over in my library.”

Quietly ensconced in that little study, the story was soon told. The insults and humiliations, the quarrels and bickerings, were alluded to but not dwelt upon, which had brought him to determine on a separation. But that was not all, for here he needed no advice; but, through certain inadvertencies in the drawing of the marriage deeds, he had been informed that there were portions of his wife’s property to which he could lay claim. It was, therefore, in his capacity of lawyer, and not friend, that he desired Grattan’s aid. Here Hunter drew a long breath, and as he was resuming the conversation, he was interrupted by the door opening, and a bright face looked in, saying —

“Are you home, Harry?” and in came Mrs. Grattan, leading by the had her little boy, and carrying a rosy infant in her arms. Not a little surprised at seeing who was her husband’s companion, she held out her hand to him with great cordiality as she said —

“I am very glad to se you, Mr. Hunter. It is long since we met.”

“Longer than I could believe while looking at you, Mrs. Grattan, were it not for these young strangers to remind us how time passes,” he replied, with equal truth and frankness; for, indeed, she had never been more lovely nor scarce more blooming than at that moment. Dinner was announced, and Hunter deferred his business under the afternoon. The dinner was small, but well cooked and neatly served, and the air of every thing around comfortable, and though nothing was expensive, there was yet that air of refinement and good taste in all Mrs. Grattan’s arrangements, that, fastidious as Hunter had always been, and luxurious as he had become, he saw nothing at which even his critical eye could cavil. He was struck with the freshness and vigor of Grattan’s conversation, which revived and called forth some of his almost forgotten tastes and feelings, and also by the joyous tone of happiness that seemed to pervade the little household; and, sighing as he looked around him, he felt that Grattan, at least, had not been disappointed in the fate he had carved out for himself.

The cloth being removed, Mrs. Grattan retired, and Grattan resumed the conversation by saying —

“Hunter, I have been thinking over all you’ve told me, and I hope matters may yet be differently arranged.”

“A reconciliation I suppose you mean,” replied Hunter. No, Grattan, that is out of —”

“No, Hunter, I do not interfere between you and your wife. But tell me, when you made those settlements, if I understood you rightly, she supposed and you meant to include the property we were speaking of in that deed?”

“Certainly,” he replied, “and I supposed it was bound as fast as the rest, until I was informed otherwise.”

“Then, Hunter,” answered his friend, “I cannot understand your business. But,” he said, earnestly, seeing the other was about to speak, “listen to me, and do not refuse hastily what I am about to propose. My business is great and profitable; I have more than I can attend to, and require a partner. Hunter, resume your profession; enter my office, and a few years will yet give you independence, and restore some portion of the past.”

For a moment, Hunter was visibly affected; but after the hesitation of a moment, he said —

“Grattan, you were ever my best friend, and had I listened to your counsels years ago, I should have been now a different man from what I am. But,” he continued, sadly, “if, Grattan, I had not the energy and resolution in those years of youth and hope to grapple with obstacles and encounter toil, think you that now, with habits confirmed and talents enfeebled by the indolence of the last ten years, I am equal to what I then rejected? No, I frankly and sadly avow that this would be the more noble and manly course; but the ease I sacrificed so much to gain then I cannot yield now. That you refuse my business does not surprise me. It is in keeping with all your past life. I must only procure some one less scrupulous, that’s all,” and he sighed heavily as he finished.

“Nay, Hunter,” pursued Grattan — but the other interrupted him, somewhat impatiently, with —

“Well, let it pass, Grattan; I know all you would urge, and he quickly spoke of something else and the subject dropped; and he soon took his departure, leaving Grattan with a painful feeling of disappointment and sadness, in seeing the deterioration and unhappiness of one for whom he still retained much of the affection of their earlier years.

His wife soon joined him, and as she noticed the departure of their guest, she said —

“Hunter seemed low-spirited. How strangely he is altered since I first knew him first. He was then so remarkable for the brilliancy of his conversation; but he seemed to me to-day to have lost rather than gained in information during the last ten years.”

“His was always rather an elegant than powerful mind,” replied her husband, “and not being forced by circumstances to exertion, and wanting the stimulus of congenial spirits, he has degenerated, and is no longer the man he once was. The case is not so uncommon as it is sorrowful.” He said no more, and his wife, perceiving that he was pained by dwelling on the subject, let it drop, and thought no more of Hunter until her lively friend, Miss Harris, said —

“And so Hunter is suing his wife for a separate maintenance.”

“A what?” said Mrs. Grattan, opening her large eyes in amazement.

“A separate maintenance,” repeated her friend, as she laughed heartily. Is it not delightful? Many a woman has done so before him — let a man now know how it feels.”

“Surely you must be misinformed,” continued Mrs. Grattan. “Hunter and his wife are not separated, are they?”

“Long ago. Where have you lived not to hear all about that?”

“But I thought she was so much attached to him?”

“Oh, she is almost broken-hearted — but so it is. Not that she loves her husband less, but money more.”

“And he — is willing?”

“Oh,” interrupted the lively girl, “as the Cuba slave says, ‘him’s a she.’ He is willing for anything, so he gets what he wants, and is off to Europe without her; and I am told he sails as soon as the question’s settled. So much for marrying of money. It is a hard fate for a woman, who can do nothing better for herself, but for a man, who has his destiny in his own hands —”

“Nay, Fanny, if a woman has not always the ­[column 7:] sensibility and delicacy that should place her above such considerations, do not wonder that men should sometimes forget them. But that both are punished, and bitterly punished, for their worldliness, there can be no doubt. Honor and truth cannot be trampled on with impunity, and when a woman sacrifices her affections, and a man his independence, it must end in the misery of both.”



This story was the winner of the third prize in the competition sponsored by the Dollar Newspaper (Philadelphia). Edgar Allan Poe won the first prize for his tale “The Gold-Bug.” The winner of the third prize was “The Banker’s Daughter,” by Robert Morris.

The identity of F. E. F. is described only as a lady from New York who regularly contributed under those initials to a variety of periodicals of the day. A collection of poetry titled Pebbles of Poetry, by F. E. F., was published in Boston, by Foster and Co., 1858. In an 1892 bibliography of works about Niagara Falls, Charles Mason Dow identifies this F. E. F. as Fanny Eliza Foster. The poem “The Poet’s Grave,” appears in this collection and was later printed in The Poets of Portsmouth, compiled by Aurin M. Payson and Albert Leigthon, Boston: Walker, Wise, and Company, 1865 (printed by Joseph H. Foster), where it is attributed to Fannie E. Foster. Whether or not these two authors are the same F. E. F. cannot be stated with certainty, and virtually nothing is known about Fanny (of Frances) Eliza Foster.

The story is heavy-handed, sentimental, and moralistic — precisely the kind of tale that filled the periodicals of the day, and that Poe regularly criticized. It is probably safe to say that few modern readers would agree with the assessment of the Daily Forum of July 13, 1843, which proclaimed: “The third prize tale of the Dollar Weekly, ‘Marrying for Money,’ is delightfully written. It is worth a whole library of such entomological productions as the Gold Bug. We have not seen Mr. Morris’ production, which took the second prize” (see The Poe Log, p. 425).


[S:0 - DN, 1843 (microfilm)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Other - Marrying for Money (by F. E. F., 1843)