It was not long before I took my leave, and returned to my lodgings in a very melancholy mood, persuaded that I had nothing more to expect from that quarter. I was confirmed in this opinion next day, when I went back with a view of explaining myself more fully to the old gentlewoman; and was told by the footman that his ladies were not at home, although I had seen Melinda through the blinds at a parlour window, as I went up to the door. Incensed at this affront, I quitted the door without saying one word, and as I repassed the parlour, bowed to Miss, who still remained in the same situation, securely screened, as she thought, from my view. This disappointment gave me more uneasiness on Strap’s account new balance minimus zero than my own, for I was in no danger of dying for love of Melinda; on the contrary, the remembrance of my charming Narcissa was a continual check upon my conscience during the whole course of my addresses; and perhaps contributed to the bad success of my scheme, by controlling my raptures and condemning my design. There was a necessity for informing my companion of everything that happened to me and I performed this piece of duty in an affected passion, swearing I would be his pack-horse no longer, and desiring him to take the management of his affairs into his own hands. This finesse had the desired effect, for, instead of grumbling over my miscarriage, Strap was frightened at the passion I feigned, and begged me, for the love of God, to be appeased; observing that, although we had suffered a great loss, it was not irreparable; and if Fortune frowned to day, she might perhaps smile to-morrow. I pretended to acquiesce in his remarks, praise his equanimity, and promised to improve my misfortune. He, on the other hand, pretended to be perfectly well satisfied with my conduct, and conjured me to follow the dictates of my own reflection; but, in spite of all new balance ms77 his affectation, I could perceive his inward affliction, and his visage sensibly increased in longitude from that day. I long to be revenged on Melinda — apply to Banter for his Assistance — he contrives a scheme for that purpose — which is put in Execution with great Success — I make an Attempt upon the Heart of Miss Gripewell, but am disappointed — grow melancholy at my Disappointment, and have recourse to the Bottle — receive a Billet-doux — am ravished with the Contents — find myself involved in Intrigue, which I imagined would make my Fortune — am confounded at my mistake, which banishes all Thoughts of Matrimony In the meantime, my attention was wholly engrossed in search of another mistress, and the desire of being revenged on Melinda, in both which schemes I was very much assisted by Billy Chatter, who was such a necessary creature among the ladies, that in all private dances he engaged the men. To him therefore I applied, desiring he would introduce me to a partner of some figure, at the next private assembly, for the sake of a frolic, the intention of which I would afterwards communicate. Billy, who had heard something of a difference between Melinda and me, immediately smoked part of my design, and, thinking I only wanted to alarm her jealousy a little, promised to gratify my desire, by matching me with a partner worth thirty thousand pounds, whom the ladies of this end of the town had lately taken under their management and new balances protection. Upon further inquiry, I found this person’s name was Miss Biddy Gripewell; that her father, who had been a pawnbroker, died intestate, by which means all his substance descended to his daughter, who was so little a favourite that, could the old man have prevailed with his own rapacious disposition to part with as much money as would have paid the expense of a will, she would not have inherited the sixth part of his fortune; that during his life, far from being educated in a way suitable to such great expectations, she was obliged to live like a servant wench, and do the most menial offices in the family. But his funeral was no sooner performed, than she assumed the fine lady, and found so many people of both sexes to flatter, caress, and instruct her, that, for want of discretion and experience, she was grown insufferably vain and arrogant, and pretended to no less than a duke or earl at least for her husband; that she had the misfortune to be neglected by the English quality, but a certain poor Scottish lord was then making interest to be introduced to her acquaintance. In the meantime, she was fallen into the hands of a notable lady, who had already disposed of her to a lieutenant of foot, a distant relation of her ladyship’s, though Miss as yet knew nothing of the affair; and lastly that if I proposed to dance with her, I must give him leave to represent me as a knight, or foreign count at least. I was ravished at this piece of information, and consented for one night, to personate a French marquis, that I might the easier fulfil my revenge. Having made the appointment with Chatter I went to Banter’s lodgings, as I had by this time conceived a great opinion of his penetration and knowledge; and, after I had enjoined secrecy, told him every circumstance of my disgrace with Melinda, and imparted the plan I had projected to mortify that proud coquette, desiring his advice in proving, and assistance in executing the scheme. Nothing could be more agreeable to his misanthropical temper than an account of her behaviour and my resentment: he applauded my resolution, and proposed that I should not only provide myself with a proper partner, but also procure such a one for Miss Goosetrap, as should infallibly entail upon her the ridicule of all her acquaintance. For this purpose he mentioned his barber who he said, was an exceeding coxcomb lately come from Paris, whose absurd affectation and grimace, would easily pass upon her for the sprightly politesse of a gentleman improved by travel. I hugged him for this hint; and he assured me it would be no difficult matter to make him believe, that Melinda, having seen him by accident, was captivated by his appearance, and begged for his acquaintance. He actually engaged him on this pretence, and painted his good fortune in such colours that the poor shaver was quite beside himself with joy. He was immediately fitted with a tawdry suit of clothes belonging to Banter, and by him recommended to Chatter as a very pretty fellow, just returned from his travels. Master Billy, who acted as a gentleman usher to a great many of the fair sex in and about town, undertook at once to bespeak Melinda in his behalf; and everything happened according to my wish. At the time appointed I appeared dressed to the best advantage; and, in the character of a Marquis, bad the honour of opening the ball with the rich heiress, who attracted the eyes of the whole company by the prodigious number of new balance uk jewels with which she was adorned. Among others I perceived Melinda, who could not more conceal her envy than astonishment at my success; her curiosity was still more flagrant and tormenting, for she had never seen Miss Gripewell before; and Chatter, who alone could give her any satisfaction on that head, was engaged in conversation at the other end of the room. I observed her impatience, and exulted in her chagrin; and after my partner was set, took the opportunity of passing by her to make a slight bow without stopping, which completed my triumph and her indignation. She changed colour, bridled up, assumed an air of disdain, and flirted her fan with such a fury, that it went to pieces in a moment, to the no small entertainment of those who sat near and observed her.  
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