Aware that her remaining in town at such an unusual season of the year would appear unaccountable to her fashionable acquaintance, lady Delacour contrived for herself a characteristic excuse; she declared that there was no possibility of finding pleasure in any thing but novelty, and that the greatest novelty to her would be to remain a whole summer in town. Most of her friends, amongst whom she had successfully established a character for caprice, / were satisfied that this was merely some new whim, practised to signalize herself by singularity. The real reason that detained her was her dependance upon the quack, who had repeatedly visited, and constantly prescribed for her. Convinced however by the dreadful situation to which his prescriptions had lately reduced her, that he was unworthy of her confidence, she determined to dismiss him: but she could not do this, as she had a considerable sum to pay him, till Marriott’s return, because she could not trust any one but Marriott to let him up the private staircase into the boudoir.