hear her business, or have her turned out of doors as an impostor."
"I say," said the man, "you're coming it strong!"
"You give the message," said the girl firmly, "and let me hear the answer."
The man ran up stairs, and Nancy remained pale and almost breathless, listening with quivering lip to the very audible expressions of scorn, of which the chaste housemaids were very prolific; and became still more so when the man returned, and said the young woman was to walk up stairs.
"It's no good being proper in this world," said the first housemaid.
"Brass can do better than the gold what has stood the fire," said the second.
The third contented herself with wondering "what ladies was made of;" and the fourth took the first in a quartette of "Shameful!" with which the Dianas concluded.
Regardless of all this—for she had weightier matters at heart—Nancy followed the man with trembling limbs to a small antechamber, lighted