Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Lady Flippant, a widow disappointed in her efforts to find a new husband, berates her matchmaker, Mrs. Joyner, for not finding her a wealthy young man to relieve her impecunious position. The lady’s brother, Alderman Gripe, has grown tired of her foppish visitors, especially the witless Mr. Dapperwit. At the suggestion of the cozening Mrs. Joyner and the double-dealing Dapperwit, Sir Simon Addleplot disguises himself and gains employment as a clerk to the miserly Gripe in order to woo the usurer’s daughter, Mistress Martha, and through her secure her father’s fortune. Not realizing that he has been gulled into masquerading as Jonas the clerk, Sir Simon is also duped into believing that he is loved by Lady Flippant, who is really enamored of Dapperwit.
Together with Mr. Vincent, his friend and confidant, Mr. Ranger is about to go into St. James’s Park in search of amorous adventure when he is discovered by his cousin Lydia, to whom he is betrothed. He avoids her, however, and dines with the gulled Sir Simon, Dapperwit, and Lady Flippant for the diversion of watching the work of Mrs. Joyner, who has already made twenty crowns through introductions and will obtain one hundred crowns if Sir Simon gets Mistress Martha or fifty if he gets Lady Flippant. The widow spurns Sir Simon, flirts with Dapperwit, and hints at matrimony to both Ranger and Vincent.
Later, all promenade through St. James’s Park in the hope of discovering one...
(The entire section is 972 words.)
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