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A young linen draper's clerk "blues" himself and has a rare good time, posing as a society man named Horatio Sparkins, while his real name is Samuel Smith. He spends all his money on fine clothes and his evenings in going to assemblies and balls, where he pretends to be a poet and a man of considerable means. At one of the balls he meets the Maldertons, a family of parvenus, who at once see a chance of making a good match for their daughter, Teresa, who is getting to be decidedly passé. They go to a Mr. Flamwell, a young man who claims to have acquaintances in the best society, and ask about Mr. Sparkins. Flamwell tells them that he believes that Horatio is a young nobleman in disguise. Mama Malderton then makes plans to get the supposed nobleman into the matrimonial net, in which also shall be her daughter. She invites Horatio to dinners and parties and shows him a right good time. The whole family lionize him to the beat of their ability and write to their friends, saying that ...

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