Too Long; Didn't ReadRoger Carbury said well that it was very improbable that he and his cousin, the widow, should agree in their opinions as to the expedience of fortune-hunting by marriage. It was impossible that they should ever understand each other. To Lady Carbury the prospect of a union between her son and Miss Melmotte was one of unmixed joy and triumph. Could it have been possible that Marie Melmotte should be rich and her father be a man doomed to a deserved sentence in a penal settlement, there might perhaps be a doubt about it. The wealth even in that case would certainly carry the day against the disgrace, and Lady Carbury would find reasons why "poor Marie" should not be punished for her father's sins, even while enjoying the money which those sins had produced. But how different were the existing facts? Mr. Melmotte was not at the galleys, but was entertaining duchesses in Grosvenor Square. People said that Mr. Melmotte had a reputation throughout Europe as a gigantic swindler,—as one who in the dishonest and successful pursuit of wealth had stopped at nothing. People said of him that he had framed and carried out long premeditated and deeply laid schemes for the ruin of those who had trusted him, that he had swallowed up the property of all who had come in contact with him, that he was fed with the blood of widows and children;—but what was all this to Lady Carbury? If the duchesses condoned it all, did it become her to be prudish? People also said that Melmotte would yet get a fall,—that a man who had risen after such a fashion never could long keep his head up. But he might keep his head up long enough to give Marie her fortune. And then Felix wanted a fortune so badly;—was so exactly the young man who ought to marry a fortune! To Lady Carbury there was no second way of looking at the matter.