Tag Archives: marrying for money

Worth Her Weight in Gold: 1896


Gold mesh purse set with diamonds and rubies, c. 1900 http://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/art/explore-the-collection?id=20424892


And Knew So Much That She Gave Her Steady Company the Mitten.

Chicago Times-Herald.

“You are worth your weight in gold,” he ventured to remark to the girl he had wanted to marry.

“Am I, indeed,” she returned, “and how much is that?”

“I don’t know the exact amount,” he replied, “but it’s a good deal.”

“Well, I am just going to find out how much you value me at I have been studying the money question lately and I have some books that will tell me.”

And she went to the library and returned with a report of the United States treasury department.

“Here it is. Pure gold is worth $20.86 an ounce. That is troy weight, with 7,000 grains to the pound. Have you a pencil and some paper, Mr. Chapleigh?”

“Oh, Lord,” he groaned.

“What’s that?” sharply.

“I only said, yes, certainly.”

“Well, figure on the value of a pound of avoirdupois; you know people are weighed by avoirdupois. Only precious metals and precious stones are measured.”

“You’re a jewel.”

“No nonsense. Figure it up.”

For five minutes he wrestled with the problem, until he felt his collar climbing up the back of his neck.

At length she inquired:

“Well, what is it?”

“I can’t do it.”

“Give me the paper. Yet they say men are so much better than women at figures.”

In half a minute she read the result.

“A grain of gold is worth $0.043066, so a pound avoirdupois is worth $301.462. I weigh 110 pounds. I am therefore worth, in your estimation, $33,150.82–my weight in gold. In that case, Mr. Chapleigh, I think you had better marry Miss Greenwood; she is worth $50,000. She inherited it from her father. Good day, Mr. Chapleigh.”

Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester NY] 15 November 1896: p. 5

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil considers that Mr Chapleigh had a fortunate escape from the very literal-minded lady. Her contempt for his mathematical prowess would outweigh any good qualities he might bring to the marriage and before long, one would find him quailing under her censure and slinking off to his Club to drink alone in despair, all the while contemplating faking his own death and running off to South America. One even imagines the lady scornfully uttering the epithet “miserable worm!”

It is to be hoped that Miss Greenwood received the gentleman in a kindlier spirit.


Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.