the tops, you see, will take off to wear in a morning, or in an undress. How d'ye like them? (Shows jewels.)
FANNY. Very much, I assure you. Bless me, sister, you have a prodigious quantity of jewels. You'll be the very queen of diamonds.
MISS STERLING. Ha, ha, ha! Very well, my dear, I shall be as fine as a little queen indeed. I have a bouquet to come home tomorrow made up of diamonds and rubies and emeralds and topazes and amethysts, jewels of all colors--green, red, blue, yellow, intermixt --the prettiest thing you ever saw in your life! The jeweler says I shall set out with as many diamonds as anybody in town except40 Lady Brilliant and Polly What-d'ye-call-it, Lord Squander's kept mistress.
FANNY. But what are your wedding clothes, sister?
MISS STERLING. Oh, white and silver, to be sure, you know. I bought them at Sir Joseph Lutestring's, and sat above an hour in the parlor behind the shop consulting Lady Lutestring about gold and silver stuffs on purpose to mortify her.
FANNY. Fie, sister, how could you be so abominably provoking?
MISS STERLING. Oh, I have no patience with the pride of your city- knights' ladies. Did you never observe the airs of Lady Lutestring50 drest in the richest brocade out of her husband's shop, playing crown whist at Haberdasher's Hall? While the civil smirking Sir Joseph, with a snug wig trimmed round his broad face as close as a new-cut yew hedge, and his shoes so black that they shine again, stands all day in his shop, fastened to his counter like a bad shilling?
FANNY. Indeed, indeed, sister, this is too much. If you talk at this rate, you will be absolutely a bye-word in the city. You must never venture on the inside of Temple Bar again.
MISS STERLING. Never do I desire it--never, my dear Fanny, I promise60 you. Oh, how I long to be transported to the dear regions of Grosvenor Square, far, far from the dull districts of Aldersgate, Cheap, Candlewick, and Farringdon Without and Within! My heart goes pit-a-pat at the very idea of being introduced at court-- gilt chariot!--pyebald horses!--laced liveries!--and then the whispets buzzing round the circle, "Who is that young lady? Who is she?"--" LadyMelvil, ma'am."LadyMelvil! My ears tingle at the sound. And then at dinner, instead of my father perpetually asking, "Any news upon 'Change?" to cry, "Well, Sir John, any thing new from Arthur's?"--or to say to some other woman of70 quality, "Was your Ladyship at the Dutchess of Rubber's last____________________