Excerpt: ...and Paris, and Brussels, there are so many of his sort that I will lay a wager that I shall be accused of gross personality for showing him up. Many a less irreclaimable villain is transported; many a more honourable man is at present at the treadmill; and although we are the noblest, greatest, most religious, and most moral people in the world, I would still like to know where, except in the United Kingdom, debts are a matter of joke, and making tradesmen 'suffer' a sport that gentlemen own to? It is dishonourable to owe money in France. You never hear people in other parts of Europe brag of their swindling; or see a prison in a large Continental town which is not more or less peopled with English rogues. A still more loathsome and dangerous Snob than the above transparent and passive scamp, is frequent on the continent of Europe, and my young Snob friends who are travelling thither should be especially warned against him. Captain Legg is a gentleman, like Raff, though perhaps of a better degree. He has robbed his family too, but of a great deal more, and has boldly dishonoured bills for thousands, where Raff has been boggling over the clumsy conveyance of a ten-pound note. Legg is always at the best inn, with the finest waistcoats and moustaches, or tearing about in the flashest of britzkas, while poor Raff is tipsifying himself with spirits, and smoking cheap tobacco. It is amazing to think that Legg, so often shown up, and known everywhere, is flourishing yet. He would sink into utter ruin, but for the constant and ardent love of gentility that distinguishes the English Snob. There is many a young fellow of the middle classes who must know Legg to be a rogue and a cheat; and yet from his desire to be in the fashion, and his admiration of tip-top swells, and from his ambition to air himself by the side of a Lord's son, will let Legg make an income out of him; content to pay, so long as he can enjoy that society. Many a worthy father of a family,...
About William Makepeace Thackeray
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Published May 17, 2012
by SMITH, ELDER & CO.
Romance, Literature & Fiction, History, Humor & Entertainment, Education & Reference, Travel.