Sunday, May 24, 2009

21Jul1866, Reading "Sir Charles Gradison"

THE COPPICE, July 21st, 1866.
—Sir R. [FN: Sir Robert Phillimore, whose house The Coppice was.], to please me, spouted after dinner the beginning of "Sir Charles Gradison" ; I was amused with it beyond measure. Unless the book is the grossest exaggeration, what a state of society it was 100 years ago ! On the one hand, to be sure, there was dignity, stately courtesy, manners finished to a point that must have made them a study in themselves ; but oh dear ! on the other hand, what uselessness and wordy frivolity and unconscious coarseness in the women, and what tinsel and sham and depth of vice in the gold-laced men !

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