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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 Teresa has at last made an ideal conquest. Sparkins, who well sees what they are after, does not spoil the fun, but enjoys himself thoroughly, making the best of his opportunities for cheap enjoyment. All goes well until Mama Malderton takes her daughter on a shopping expedition. By chance they enter the store in which Smith, alias Horatio Sparkins, is employed. To their horror they discover that their poetic young nobleman is merely a dry-goods clerk. Teresa promptly has hysterics and is conveyed home by her mother, who has to break the dreadful news to the deluded family.


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