I particularly wished to serve my friend Aubrey. His agent absconded with all his prize-money; the court of appeal reversed the condemnation of two neutral vessels, leaving him £11,000 in debt. This happened when he was on the point of becoming engaged to a most amiable young woman. They are deeply attached to one another; but since her mother, a widow with considerable property under her own control, is a deeply stupid, griping, illiberal, avid, tenacious, pinchfist lickpenny, a sordid lickpenny and a shrew, there is no hope of marriage without his estate is cleared and he can make at least some kind of settlement upon her.
HMS Surprise – Patrick O’Brian