The Model Millionaire
Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: April 28, 2009
First published in The World in June 1887. Hughie Erskine is in love and wants to marry, but the girl's father will not allow it, since Erskine has no money. Erskine's friend, Alan Trevor is a painter, and he visits him at his studio one day to find him with a pitiable beggar—the model for his painting. Erskine only has one coin, which he depends on for transportation, but he decides he can walk for a couple weeks and gives the beggar the coin.
The beggar is in reality an immensely wealthy baron, having a portrait of himself as a beggar done for fun. He is so impressed by Erskine's generosity that he gives him £10,000, enough for the girl's father to consent to his proposal.