Vanity Fair HTML version
The Green Silk Purse
Poor Joe's panic lasted for two or three days; during which he did not visit the house, nor
during that period did Miss Rebecca ever mention his name. She was all respectful
gratitude to Mrs. Sedley; delighted beyond measure at the Bazaars; and in a whirl of
wonder at the theatre, whither the good-natured lady took her. One day, Amelia had a
headache, and could not go upon some party of pleasure to which the two young people
were invited: nothing could induce her friend to go without her. "What! you who have
shown the poor orphan what happiness and love are for the first time in her life--quit
YOU? Never!" and the green eyes looked up to Heaven and filled with tears; and Mrs.
Sedley could not but own that her daughter's friend had a charming kind heart of her own.
As for Mr. Sedley's jokes, Rebecca laughed at them with a cordiality and perseverance
which not a little pleased and softened that good- natured gentleman. Nor was it with the
chiefs of the family alone that Miss Sharp found favour. She interested Mrs. Blenkinsop
by evincing the deepest sympathy in the raspberry-jam preserving, which operation was
then going on in the Housekeeper's room; she persisted in calling Sambo "Sir," and "Mr.
Sambo," to the delight of that attendant; and she apologised to the lady's maid for giving
her trouble in venturing to ring the bell, with such sweetness and humility, that the
Servants' Hall was almost as charmed with her as the Drawing Room.
Once, in looking over some drawings which Amelia had sent from school, Rebecca
suddenly came upon one which caused her to burst into tears and leave the room. It was
on the day when Joe Sedley made his second appearance.
Amelia hastened after her friend to know the cause of this display of feeling, and the
good-natured girl came back without her companion, rather affected too. "You know, her
father was our drawing-master, Mamma, at Chiswick, and used to do all the best parts of
"My love! I'm sure I always heard Miss Pinkerton say that he did not touch them--he only
mounted them." "It was called mounting, Mamma. Rebecca remembers the drawing, and
her father working at it, and the thought of it came upon her rather suddenly--and so, you
"The poor child is all heart," said Mrs. Sedley.
"I wish she could stay with us another week," said Amelia.
"She's devilish like Miss Cutler that I used to meet at Dumdum, only fairer. She's married
now to Lance, the Artillery Surgeon. Do you know, Ma'am, that once Quintin, of the
14th, bet me--"