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Hubert Culverdale, Eighth Earl of St. Austel, helps finance a company to promote a friend's invention. When the company funds are stolen by a clerk, Hubert desperately seeks the aid of Benjamin Levy, a Jewish moneylender; Levy agrees to help on the condition that Hubert marry his daughter, Vanessa; and he finally consents. Though intelligent and beautiful, Vanessa has been reared in seclusion in Italy and is innocent of worldliness; she falls immediately in love with Hubert; but unresponsive to her, he studiously avoids her after their marriage. After weeks of unhappiness, Ralph Dangerfield, a cousin, calls Hubert's attention to her beauty, and when his jealousy is awakened at a dance, he begins to realize his love for her. Following the birth of her stillborn child, Vanessa's disillusionment turns to happiness when she learns of her father's bargain; and she accepts Hubert's genuine devotion.