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In fact, she was the perfect antipodes his floating capital in profitable speof her husband. Mr Dudleigh was culations. The brokers, for instance, a humble, unobtrusive, kind-hearted came about him, and he leagued with man, always intent on business, be- them. By and by the world heard yond which he did not pretend to of a monopoly of nutmegs. There know or care for much. How could was not a score to be had anywhere such a man, it will be asked, marry in London, but at a most exorbitant such a woman?-Was he the first price—for the fact was, that Mr Dudwho has been dazzled and blinded by leigh had laid his hands on them all, the blaze of a large fortune ? Such and by so doing cleared a very large was his case. Besides, a young widow sum. Presently he would play simiis somewhat careful of undue expo- lar pranks with otto of roses ; and as sures, which might fright away pro- soon as he had quadrupled the cost mising suitors. So they made a match of that fashionable article, he would of it; and he resuscitated the expiring let loose his stores on the gaping business and connexion of his pre- market-by which he gained as large decessor, and conducted it with a a profit as he had made with the nutskill and energy, which in a short megs. Commercial people will easily time opened upon him the floodgates see how he did this. The brokers, of fortune. Affluence poured in from who wished to effect the monopoly, all quarters; and he was everywhere would apply to him for the use of his called by his panting, but distanced capital, and give him an ample incompetitors in the city, the “ fortu- demnity against whatever loss might nate” Mr Dudleigh.
be the fate of the speculation; and, One memorable day, four of his on its proving successful, awarded vessels, richly freighted, came, al- him a very large proportion of the most together, into port; and on the profits. This is the scheme by which same day he made one of the most many splendid fortunes have been fortunate speculations in the funds raised, with a rapidity which has which had been heard of for years; astonished their gainers as much as so that he was able to say to his as- any one else! Then, again, he negosembled family, as he drank their tiated bills on a large scale, and at healths after dinner, that he would tremendous discounts; and, in a not take a quarter of a million for word, by these, and similar means, what he was worth! And there, amassed, in a few years, the enorsurely, he might have paused, nay, mous sum of half a million of money! made his final stand, as the possessor It is easy to guess at the concomiof such a princely fortune, acquired tants of such a fortune as this. At with unsullied honour to himself, the instigation of his wife-for he and, latterly, spent in warrantable himself retained all his old unobtrusplendour and hospitality. But no: sive and personally economical haAs is and ever will be the case, the bits-he supported two splendid esmore he had, the more he would tablishments—the one at the “ West have. Not to mention the incessant End" of the town, and the other near baiting of his ambitious wife, the Richmond. His wife-for Mr Duddazzling capabilities of indefinite in- leigh himself seemed more like the crease to his wealth proved irresiste hired steward of his fortune than its ible. What might not be done by a possessor-was soon surrounded by man of Mr Dudleigh's celebrity, with swarms of those titled blood-sucka floating capital of some hundred ers that batten on bloated opulence and fifty thousand pounds, and as which has been floated into the sea much credit as he chose to accept of? of fashion. Mrs Dudleigh’s dinners, The regular course of his shipping suppers, routes, soirées, fetes chambusiness brought him in constantly pêtres
, flashed astonishment on the magnificent returns, and he began town, through the columns of the to sigh after other collateral sources obsequious prints. Miss Dudleigh, of money-making; for why should an elegant and really amiable girl, nearly one-half of his vast means lie about seventeen, was beginning to unproductive ? He had not long to get talked of as a fashionable beauty, look about, after it once became and, report said, had refused known that he was ready to employ coronets by dozens! While "young.
Harry Dudleigh” far out-topped the sight of any deserving object he had astonished Oxonians, by spending once served. about half as much again as his noble A far different creature Mrs Dudallowance. Poor Mr Dudleigh fre- leigh! The longer she lived, the more quently looked on all this with fear she had her way, the more frivolous and astonishment, and, when in the and heartless did she become the city, would shrug his shoulders, and more despotic was the sway she exspeak of the “ dreadful doings at the ercised over her husband. WhenWest !" I say, when in the city- ever he presumed to “ lecture her," for as soon as he travelled west- as she called it, she would stop his wards, when he entered the sphere mouth, with referring to the fortune of bis wife's influence, his energies she had brought him, and ask him were benumbed and paralysed. He triumphantly, “ what he could have had too long quietly succumbed to done without her cash and conher authority to call it in question nexions !" Such being the fact, it now, and therefore he submitted to was past all controversy that she the splendid appearance he was com- ought to be allowed to have her pelled to support. He often said, fling, now they could so easily afhowever, that he could not under- ford it!” The sums she spent on stand what Mrs Dudleigh was at ;" her own and her daughter's dress but beyond such a hint he never pre- were absolutely incredible, and alsumed. He was seldom or never to most petrified her poor husband be seen amid the throng and crush when the bills were brought to him. of company that crowded his house Both in the articles of dress and parevening after evening. The first ar- ty-giving, Mrs Dudleigh was actuarival of his wife's guests, was his ted by a spirit of frantic rivalry with usual signal for seizing his hat and her competitors; and what she wantstick, dropping quietly from home, ed in elegance and refinement, she and betaking himself either to some sought to compensate for in extravasedate city friend, or to his country- gance and ostentation. It was to no house, where he now took a kind of purpose that her trembling husband, morbid pleasure in ascertaining that with tears in his eyes, suggested to his gains were safe, and planning her recollection the old saying, “ that greater, to make up, if possible, he fools make feasts, and wise men eat
“ for Mrs Dudleigh's awful them;" and that, if she gave magniextravagance.” He did this so con- ficent dinners and suppers, of course stantly, that Mrs Dudleigh began at great people would come and eat last to expect and calculate on his them for her; but would they thank absence, as a matter of course, when- her? Her constant answer was, that ever she gave a party; and her good they “ ought to support their station natured, accommodating husband too in society”—that " the world would easily acquiesced, on the ground, as not believe them rich, unless they his wife took care to give out, of his shewed it that they were,” &c. &c. health's not bearing late hours and &c. Then, again, she had a strong company. Though an economical, plea for her enormous expenditure in and even parsimonious man in his the“ bringing out of Miss Dudleigh," habits, Mr Dudleigh had as warm in the arrayment of whom, panting and kind a heart as ever glowed in milliners “ toiled in vain." In order the breast of man. I have heard many to bring about this latter object, she accounts of his systematic benevo induced, but with great difficulty, Mr lence, which he chiefly carried into Dudleigh to give his bankers orders effect at the periods of temporary to accredit her separate cheques ; relegation to the city, above spoken and so prudently did she avail herof. Every Saturday evening, for in- self of this privilege for nonths, stance, he had a sort of levee, nume- that she completely threw Mr Dudrously attended by merchants' clerks leigh off his guard, and he allowed a and commencing tradesmen, all of very large balance to lie in his bankwhom he assisted most liberally with ers' hands, subject to the unrestrictboth“ cash and counsel,” as he good- ed drafts of his wife. Did the readhumouredly called it. Many a one er never happen to see in socieof them owes his establishment in ty that horrid harpy, an old dowlife to Mr Dudleigh, who never lost ager, whose niggard jointure drives
zy for «
her to cards ? Evening after even- lic dinners of the great companies, ing did several of these old creatures and elsewhere, when his own tastes squat, toad-like, round Mrs Dud- would have led him, in every case, leigh's card-table, and succeeded at to pitch upon “port, beef-steaks, and last in inspiring her with such a fren. the papers," as fare fit for a king!
a PLAY," as the most ample The dazzling topic, therefore, in fortune must melt away under, more which his wife held forth with unrapidly than snow beneath sunbeams. wearied eloquence, was beginning to The infatuated woman became noto. produce conviction in his mind; and riously the first to seek, and last to though he himself eschewed his leave the fatal card-table; and the wife's kind of life, and refused to reputed readiness with which she share in it, he did not lend a very “bled,” at last brought her the ho. unwilling ear to her representations nour of an old Countess, who con- of the necessity for an even increadescended to win from her, at two sed rate of expenditure, to enable sittings, very nearly L.5000. It is Miss Dudleigh to eclipse her gay not now difficult to account for the competitors, and appear a worthy anxiety Mrs Dudleigh manifested to prize in the eyes of her noble suitor. banish' her husband from her parties. Aware of the magnitude of the proShe had many ways of satisfactorily posed object, he could not but asaccounting for her frequent drafts sent to Mrs Dudleigh's opinion, that on his bankers. Miss Dudleigh had extraordinary means must be made made a conquest of a young peer,
use of; and was at last persuaded who, as soon as he had accurately into placing nearly L.20,000 in his ascertained the reality of her vast ex- new banker's hands, subject, as bepectations, fell deeply in love with fore, to Mrs Dudleigh's drafts, which her! The young lady herself had she promised him should be as seltoo much good sense to give him dom and as moderate as she could spontaneous credit for disinterested possibly contrive to meet necessary affection; but she was so dunned on expenses with. His many and heavy the subject by her foolish mother, so expenses, together with the great sapetted and flattered by the noble, but critice in prospect, when the time of impoverished family, that sought her his daughter's marriage should arconnexion, and the young nobleman, rive, supplied him with new incenhimself a handsome man, so ardent tives to enter into commercial speand persevering in his courtship, that culations. He tried several new at last her heart yielded, and she schemes, threw all the capital he could passed in society as the “envied ob- command into new, and even more ject” of his affections! The notion productive quarters, and calculated of intermingling their blood with no- on making vast accessions of fortune , BILITY, so dazzled the vain imagina- at the end of the year. tion of Mrs Dudleigh, that it gave her About a fortnight after Mr Dudeloquence enough to succeed, at last, leigh had informed Mrs Dudleigh of in stirring the phlegmatic tempera- the new lodgment he had made at ment of her husband. “Have a noble- his banker's, she gave a very large man for MY SON-IN-LAW !*' thought the evening-party at her house, in merchant, morning, noon, and night; Square. She had been very sucat the East and at the West End—in cessful in her guests was we occasion, town and country! What would the having engaged the attendance of city people say to that! He had a my Lords This, and my Ladies That, spice of ambition in his composition innumerable. Even the high and beyond what could be contented haughty Duke of had deigned with the achieval of mere city emi- to look in for a few moments, on his nence. He was tiring of it;—he had way to a party at Carlton House, for long been a kind of king on 'Change, the purpose of sneering at the "splenand, as it were, carried the Stocks did cit,” and extracting topics of in his pockets. He had long thought laughter for his royal host. The that it was“ possible to choke a dog whole of Square, and one or with pudding,” and he was growing two of the adjoining streets, were heartily wearied of the turtle and ve- absolutely choked with carriages nison eastward of Temple-Bar, which the carriages of HER guests! When lie was compelled to eat at the pub. you entered her magnificent apart
ments, and had made your way dle me out of my fortune in this through the soft crush and flutter of way ?” he continued fiercely, wiping aristocracy, you might see the lady the perspiration from his forehead; of the house throbbing and panting “ Here's my bill for L.4000, made
, with excitement-a perfect blaze of payable at Messrs - my new jewellery-flanked by her very kind bankers; and when it was presented friends, old Lady ---, and the well. this morning, madam, by, -! the known Miss engaged, as usual, reply was NO EFFECTS !--and my at unlimited loo. The good humour bill has been dishonoured !-Wretch! with which Mrs Dudleigh lost, was what have you done with my money? declared to be “ quite charming” - Where's it all gone?- I'm the town's
deserving of better fortune;" and talk about this bill!-- There'll inflamed by the cozened compliments be a run upon me!-I know there they forced upon her, she was just will-aye-This is the way my harduttering some sneering and insolent earned wealth is squandered, you allusion to “ that odious city," while vile, you unprincipled spendthrift!" old Lady 's withered talons were he continued, turning round and extended to clutch her winnings, pointing to the astounded guests, when there was perceived a sud- none of whom had uttered a syllable. den stir about the chief door-then a The music had ceased—the dancers general hush—and in a moment or left their places—the card-tables were two, a gentleman, in dusty and dis- deserted. In a word, all was blank ordered dress, with his hat on, rush- consternation. The fact was, that . ed through the astonished crowd, and old Lady, who was that moment made his way towards the card-table seated, trembling like an aspen-leaf, at which Mrs Dudleigh was seated, at Mrs Dudleigh's right-hand side, and stood confronting her, extending had won from her, during the last towards her his right hand, in which month, a series of sums amounting was a thin slip of paper. It was Mr to little short of L.9000, which Mrs Dudleigh ! "There-there, madam,” Dudleigh had paid the day before by he gasped in a hoarse roice,—“there, a cheque on her banker; and that woman !-what have you done ?- very morning she had drawn out Ruined-ruined me, madam, you've L.4000 odd, to pay her coach-maker's, ruined me! My credit is destroyed for confectioner's, and milliner's bills, ever!--my name is tainted !-Here's and supply herself with cash for the the first dishonoured bill that ever evening's spoliation. The remaining bore Henry Dudleigh's name upon it! L.7000° had been drawn out during -Yes, madam, it is you who have the preceding fortnight to pay her done it,” he continued, with vehe- various clamorous creditors, and keep ment tone and gesture, utterly re- her in readiness for the gaming-table. gardless of the breathless throng Mr Dudleigh, on hearing of the disaround him, and continuing to ex- honour of his bill—the news of which tend towards her the protested bill was brought him by a clerk, for he of exchange.
was staying at a friend's house in “My dear!-my dear-my-my- the country---came up instantly to my dear Mr Dudleigh,” stammered town, paid the bill, and then hurried, his wife, without rising from her half beside himself, to his house in chair, “what is the matter, love ?”
square. It is not at all won“ Matter, madam'?-why, by ! derful, that though Mr Dudleigh's
—that you've ruined me that's all! name was well known as an eminent
-Where's the L.20,000 I placed in and responsible mercantile man, his Messrs L's hands a few days ago ? bankers, with whom he had btet re- Where-WHERE is it, Mrs Dud- cently opened an account, should leigh ?” he continued almost shout- decline paying his bill, after so large ing, and advancing nearer to her, a sum as L.20,000 had been drawn with his fist clenched.
out of their hands by Mrs Dudleigh. “ Henry ! dear Henry !-mercy, It looked suspicious enough, truly ! mercy
! murmured his wife “Mrs Dudleigh !--where-WHERE faintly.
is my L 20,000 ?” he shouted almost Henry, indeed ! Mercy ?-Si. at the top of his voice; but Mrs Dudlence, madam! How dare you deny leigh heard him not; for she had me an answer? How dare you swine fallen fajnting into the arms of Lady
VOL. XXX, NO, CLXXXII. .
Numbers rushed forward to silently, at witnessing the utter conher assistance. The confusion and tempt in which she was held by the agitation that ensued it would be im. very people she made such prodigipossible to describe ; and, in the ous efforts to court and conciliate. midst of it, Mr Dudleigh strode at a Can any situation be conceived more furious pace out of the room, and painful? Her few and gentle remonleft the house. For the next three strances, however, met invariably or four days he behaved like a mad- with a harsh and cruel reception ; man. His apprehensions magnified and at last she was compelled to hold the temporary and very trifling in- her peace, and bewail in mortified jury his credit had sustained, till he silence her mother's obtuseness. fancied himself on the eve of becom- They continued at - about a ing bankrupt. And, indeed, where is month; and on their return to town, the merchant of any eminence, whom found the affair quite “blown over;" such a circumstance as the disho- and soon afterwards, through the nour of a bill for L.4000 (however mediation of mutual friends, the anafterwards accounted for) would gry couple were reconciled to each not exasperate? For several days other. For twelve long months Mrs Mr Dudleigh would not go near Dudleigh led a comparatively quiet
square, and did not once en- and secluded life, abstaining, with quire after Mrs Dudleigh. My pro- but a poor grace it is true, from comfessional services were put into re- pany and cards—from the latter comquisition on her behalf. Rage, shame, pulsorily; for no one chose to sit and agony, at the thought of the dis- down at play with her, who had witgraceful exposure she had met with, nessed or heard of the event which in the eyes of all her assembledguests, had taken place last season. In short, of those respecting whose opinions every thing seemed going on well she was most exquisitely sensitive, with our merchant and his family. had nearly driven her distracted. She It was fixed that his daughter was to continued so ill for about a week, and become Lady — as soon as young exhibited such frequent glimpses of Lord - should have returned from delirium, that I was compelled to the continent; and a dazzling dowery resort to very active treatment to was spoken of as hers on the day of avert a brain fever. More than once, her marriage. Pleased with his wife's I heard her utter the words, or some- good behaviour, Mr Dudleigh’s. conthing like them," be revenged on fidence and good-nature revived, and him yet!" but whether or not she he held the reins with a rapidlywas at the time sensible of the im- slackening grasp. In proportion as port of what she said, I did not know. he allowed her funds, her scared
The incident above recorded “ friends” flocked again around her; which I had from the lips of Mr Dud- and by and by she was seen founleigh himself, as well as from others cing about in fashion as heretofore, -made a good deal of noise in what with small “let or hinderance” from are called “the fashionable circles," her husband. The world—the sagaand was obscurely hinted at in one cious world-called Mr Dudleigh a of the daily papers. I was much happy man; and the city swelled at amused at hearing, in the various the mention of his name and doings. circles I visited, the conflicting and The mercantile world laid its highest exaggerated accounts of it. One old honours at his feet. The Mayoralty lady told me she “had it on the best -a Bank-an East-Indian Director. authority, that Mr Dudleigh actually ship-a seat for the city in Parliastruck his wife, and wrenched her ment--all glittered within his grasp purse out of her hand !” I recom- - but he would not stretch forth his mended Mrs Dudleigh to withdraw hand. He was content, he would for a few weeks to a watering-place, say, to be plain Henry Dudleigh, and she followed my advice; taking whose word was as good as his bond" with her Miss Dudleigh, whose health -a leading man on 'Change-and, and spirits had suffered materially above all,“ who could look every through the event which has been one full in the face with whom he mentioned. Poor girl ! she was of a had ever had to do.” He was indeed very different mould from her mo- a worthy man-a rich and racy spether, and suffered acutely, though cimen of one of those glories of our