Fanny Burney, Evelina : Vol. 1, Ch. 23

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 "Think!-"said he, "why I think as how it i'n't worth thinking
 about. I like
no such jemcracksw. It is only fit, in my mind, for monkeys:-though,
for aught I know, they too might turn up their noses at it."

"May we ask your Lordship's own opinion?" said Mrs. Mirvan.

"The mechanism," answered he, "is wonderfully ingenioous: I am sorry it is turned to no better account; but its purport is so frivolous, so very remote from all aim at instruction or utility, that the sight of so fine a show leaves a regret on the mind, that so much work, and so much ingenuity, should not be better bestowed."

"The truth is," said the Captain, "that in all this huge town, so full as it is of folks of all sorts, there i'n't so much as one public place, besides the play-house, where a man, that's to say, a man who is a man, ought not to be ashamed to shew his face. T'other day they got me to a ridotto: but, I believe, it will be long enough before they get me to another. I knew no more what to do with myself, than if my ship's company had been metamorphosed into Frenchman. Then, again, there's your famous Ranelagh, that you make such a fuss about;-why what a dull place is that!-it's the worst of all."

 "Ranelagh dull!"-"Ranelagh dull!-was echoed from mouth to mouth;
 and all
the ladies, as if of one accord, regarded the Captain with looks of
the most ironical contempt.

"As to Ranelagh," said Mr. Lovell, "most indubitably, though the price is plebeian, it is by no means adapted to the plebeian taste. It requires a certain acquaintance with high life, and-and-and something of-of-something d'un vrai gout, to be really sensible of its merit. Those whose-whose connections, and so forth, are not among les gens comme il faut, can feel nothing but ennui at such a place as Ranelagh."

"Ranelagh!" cried Lord -, "O, tis the divinest place under heaven,-or, indeed,-for aught I know-"

"O you creature!" cried a pretty, but affected young lady, patting him with her fan, "you sha'n't talk so; I know what you are going to say; but, positively, I won't sit by you, if you're so wicked."

 "And how can one sit by you, and be good?" said he, "when only to
 look at you
is enough to make one wicked-or wish to be so?"

 "Fie, my Lord!" returned she, "you really are insufferable. I don't
 think I
shall speak to you again these seven years."

 "What a metamorphosis," cried Lord Orville," should you make a
 patriarch of
his Lordship."

 "Seven years!" said he, "dear Madam, be contented with telling me
 you will
not speak to me after seven years, and I will endeavour to submit."

"O, very well, my Lord," answered she, "pray date the end of our speaking to each other as early as you please, I'll promise to agree to your time."

 "You know, dear Madam," said he, sipping his tea, "you know I only
 live in
your sight."

 "O yes, my Lord, I have long known that. But I begin to fear we
 shall be too
late for Ranelagh this evening."

 "O no, Madame," said Mr. Lovel, looking at his watch, "it is but
 just past

"No more!" cried she, "O then we shall do very well."

All the ladies now started up, and declared they had no time to lose.

 "Why, what the D-l," cried the Captain, leaning forward with both
 his arms
on the table," are you going to Ranelagh at this time of night?"

The ladies looked at one another, and smiled.

 "To Ranelagh?" cried Lord -, "yes, and I hope you are going too;
 for we
cannot possibly excuse these ladies."

X [w] jemcracks

"a showy, unsubstantial thing; esp. to a useless ornament, a trumpery article, a knick-knack." OED