The Victims of Society, Tom 2

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Strona 20 - Almack's may serve to illustrate the mode in which this sort of empire was consolidated. A few pretty wom[e]n, not in the highest rank of the nobility, met at Devonshire House to practise quadrilles, then recently imported from the continent. The establishment of a subscription-ball was suggested, to which none but the very e"lite were to be admissible; the subscription to be low, with the view of checking the obtrusive vulgarity of wealth. The fancy took, and when it transpired that the patronesses...
Strona 35 - Pray do not trouble yourself on the subject," answered Lady Sophia, "I have no intention of wedding a Nimrod, I assure you, for I am of opinion that it is better to lead apes in a place not to be named to ears polite, than to be tied to a fool on earth.
Strona 20 - Heptarchy, have been seen humbling themselves, by the lowest arts of degradation, to soften the obdurate autocratesses; and we fear it is no exaggeration to say, that more than one parvenu has been known to barter his vote in parliament, and more than one parvenue her honour, for a ball-ticket. The prestige has greatly abated, and the institution is now tottering to its fall ; but its origin is worth recording, as a ludicrous phenomenon in the progress of society.
Strona 19 - Mscenases, who patronise poets and philosophers, from the association with whom they expect to derive distinction. For gentle dulness they have a peculiar predilection — from sympathy, I suppose ; a fellow-feeling being said to make men wondrous kind. A few of the houses with the most pretensions to literary taste have their tame poets and petits litterateurs, who run about as docile, and more parasitical, than lap-dogs; and, like them, are equally well-fed, ay, and certainly equally spoiled.
Strona 182 - I declared that he had taken all my funds at Annandale Castle, and that I had no more. " What ! can you not ask your husband? He is still too short a time married to have ceased to be uxorious enough to be generous to you ;" and he looked at me in a way that brought the blood to my cheeks. " But there is no occasion to have recourse to his liberality...
Strona 17 - ... sources of pleasure than we possess, would be more animating than encountering the vapid countenances that people have been yawning at every night during the season ; and who look as weary at beholding us, as we are at looking at them. It has been said by one of their most remarkable poets — one, too, of their own rank — that the English fashionables are as tired as they are tiresome : but this fact, like the secrets of free-masonry, is attempted to be concealed, lest new votaries should...
Strona 32 - So few women in fashionable society here can afford to be merciful to others, that they are often led to a severity they are far from feeling, to avoid incurring the imputation of impropriety. It is never the guilt or innocence of the accused that is made the point of debate as to her reception ; it is, simply whether Lady So-and-so, and a certain clique, will countenance her. As it is only the perfectly virtuous and irreproachable that can risk being lenient, you may conclude that, in the exclusive...
Strona 29 - ... ebullitions of ill-nature and envy, that render fashionable society as disagreeable as it is dangerous. Every one seems disposed to put the very worst interpretation on the actions of his or her acquaintance ; and never to be more amused than when listening to, or detailing, the errors attributed to them. This peculiar taste for scandal in my compatriots is so well known, that it has become a staple commodity of traffic: journals have been established to retail it; and the more pungent the satire...
Strona 35 - ... pangs, assails her young breast. She knows how ardently, how madly, he can adore, compares his present undisguised coldness with the fervour of the happy past, and concludes (not in general without cause,) that another object has usurped her place in his heart. Love, pride, and jealous rage, are now in arms ; and how strong must be the virtue, and how steadfast the principles, that enable her to resist the temptations offered by vanity and vengeance ! Reproaches or tears await the inconstant...
Strona 40 - I have described, requires an expenditure of some thousands ; nnd the London season which follows it demands scarcely less. A bachelor's house in some square or street near the Park, tastefully decorated, and luxuriously furnished, receives the Meltonian chasseur in April. He subscribes to an omnibus box at the opera, and to one at most of the theatres a la mode; frequents all the places of fashionable resort ; enters into a praiseworthy competition with his contemporaries, as to who shall give the...

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