Lady Noeline’s parents desperately wanted sons, but only gave birth
NOELINE: Oh, yes, in my petticoats; shopping with Florence in the morning, the forlorn park in the afternoon, a cockney Exhibition in the evening. I wanted to view London from the same stand-point from which we’ve been brought up to see things here at Overcote.
[THOMASIN: Good man!
NOELINE: Yes, that’s it!] I felt that if I could only parade the streets, as a man, at the hour when all the namby-pamby women of our class are being escorted here or there, lifted in or out of carriages, wrapped in soft cloaks, half smothered by polite attentions--if I could only do this I should indeed be a man! I wanted to swagger along unnoticed, to fling away my half-burnt cigarette, to see it caught up still sparkling by a ragged urchin, to throw a coin to a crossing-sweeper, to be shoved and elbowed by a noisy crowd, ah, to be even sworn at--boys, I felt that if I could only do this I should be less like a girl than ever!
Pinero, Arthur Wing, The Amazons, William Heinemann, 1895, pp. 31.