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Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. (2/3)

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Title: Vanity Fair.
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray.
Genre: Literature, fiction, social criticism, historical fiction, satire.
Country: U.K.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1847-1848.
Summary: Among the vibrant cast of characters who scheme and scramble for life's prizes in this saga, no one is better equipped than Becky Sharp. Brilliant, alluring, and ruthless, she defies her poverty-stricken background to climb the social ladder, while her sentimental companion Amelia longs only for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of English society during the Napoleonic wars, military and domestic battles are fought and fortunes are made and lost. Amid the fast-paced comic action stands Dobbin, a true gentleman in a corrupt world, whose unrequited but unshakeable love brings pathos and depth to the epic satire (Refer to PART 1 and PART 3 for the rest of the quotes.)

My rating: 8.5/10
My review:


♥ "I wish they would have loved me," said Emmy, wistfully. "They were always very cold to me."

"My dear child, they would have loved you if you had had two hundred thousand pounds," George replied. "That is the way in which they have been brought up. Ours is a ready-money society. We live among bankers and City big-wigs, and be hanged to them, and every man, as he talks to you, is jingling his guineas in his pocket. There is that jackass Fred Bullock is going to marry Maria – there's Goldmore, the East India Director, there's Dipley, in the tallow trade – our trade," George said with an uneasy laugh and a blush. "Curse the whole pack of money-grubbing vulgarians! I fall asleep at their great heavy dinners. I feel ashamed in my father's great stupid parties. I've been accustomed to live with gentlemen, and men of the world and fashion, Emmy, not with a parcel of turtle-fed tradesmen. Dear little woman, you are the only person of our set who ever looked, or thought, or spoke like a lady: and you do it because you're an angel and can't help it. Don't remonstrate. You are the only lady. Didn't Miss Crawley remark it, who has lived in the best company in Europe? And as for Crawley, of the Life Guards, hang it, he's a fine fellow: and I like him for marrying the girl he has chosen."

♥ Beyond the first smile of recognition – and even that was an hypocrisy, for she thought his arrival rather provoking – Miss Sedley did not once notice Dobbin during his visit. But he was content, so that he saw her happy; and thankful to have been the means of making her so.

♥ There is little doubt that old Osborne believed all he said, and that the girls were quite earnest in their protestations of affection for Miss Swartz. People in Vanity Fair fasten on to rich folks quite naturally. If the simplest people are disposed to look not a little kindly on great Prosperity (for I defy any member of the British public to say that the notion of Wealth has not something awful and pleasing to him; and you, if you are told that the man next you at dinner has got a half a million, not to look at him with a certain interest); if the simple look benevolently on money, how much more do your old worldlings regard it! Their affections rush out to meet and welcome money. Their kind sentiments awaken spontaneously towards the interesting possessors of it. I know some respectable people who don't consider themselves at liberty to indulge in friendship for any individual who has not a certain competency, or place in society. They give a loose to their feelings on proper occasions. And the proof is, that the major part of the Osborne family, who had not, in fifteen years, been able to get up a hearty regard for Amelia Sedley, became as fond of Miss Swartz in the course of a single evening as the most romantic advocate of friendship at first sight could desire.

♥ When the elder Osborne gave what he called "a hint", there was no possibility for the most obtuse to mistake his meaning. He called kicking a footman downstairs, a hint to the latter to leave his service.

♥ Old Osborne stood in secret terror of his son as a better gentleman than himself; and perhaps my readers may have remarked in their experience of this Vanity Fair of ours, that there is no character which a low-minded man so much distrusts, as that of a gentleman.

♥ In a word, George had thrown the great cast. He was going to be married. Hence his pallor and nervousness – his sleepless night and agitation in the morning. I have heard people who have gone through the same thing own to the same emotion. After three or four ceremonies, you get accustomed to it, no doubt; but the first dip, everybody allows, is awful.
♥ "..It was that made me angry; and so pert: and so unkind: and so ungrateful. Do forgive me!" Rebecca said, and she held out her hand with so frank and winning a grace, that Osborne could not but take it. By humbly and frankly acknowledging yourself to be in the wrong, there is no knowing, my son, what good you may do. I knew once a gentleman and very worthy practitioner in Vanity Fair, who used to do little wrongs to his neighbours on purpose, and in order to apologize for them in an open and manly way afterwards – and what ensued? My friend Crocky Doyle was liked everywhere, and deemed to be rather impetuous – but the honestest fellow. Becky's humility passed for sincerity with George Osborne.

♥ They had credit in plenty, but they had bills also in abundance, and laboured under a scarcity of ready-money. Did these debt difficulties affect Rawdon's good spirits? No. Everybody in Vanity Fair must have remarked how well those live who are comfortably and thoroughly in debt: how they deny themselves nothing; how jolly and easy they are in their minds. Rawdon and his wife had the very best apartments at the inn at Brighton; the land-lord, as he brought in the first dish, bowed before them as to his greatest customers; and Rawdon abused the dinners and wine with an audacity which no grandee in the land could surpass. Long custom, a manly appearance, faultless boots and clothes, and a happy fierceness of manner, will often help a man as much as a great balance at the banker's.

♥ What is the secret mesmerism which friendship possesses, and under the operation of which a person ordinarily sluggish, or cold, or timid, becomes wise, active, and resolute, in another's behalf? As Alexis, after a few passes from Dr Elliotson, despises pain, reads with the back of his head, sees miles off, looks into next week, and performs other wonders, of which, in his own private normal condition, he is quite incapable; so you see, in the affairs of the world and under the magnetism of friendship, the modest man becomes bold, the shy confident, the lazy active, or the impetuous prudent and peaceful. What is it, on the other hand, that makes the lawyer eschew his own cause, and call in his learned brother as an adviser? And what causes the doctor, when ailing, to send for his rival, and not sit down and examine his own tongue in the chimney-glass, or write his own prescription at his study-table? I throw out these queries for intelligent readers to answer, who know, at once, how credulous we are and hoe sceptical, how soft and how obstinate, how firm for others and how diffident about ourselves: meanwhile it is certain that our friend William Dobbin, who was personally of so complying a disposition, that if his parents had pressed him much, it is probably he would have stepped down into the kitchen and married the cook, and who, to further his own interests, would have found the most insuperable difficulty in walking across the street, found himself as busy and eager in the conduct of George Osborne's affairs, as the most selfish tactician could be in the pursuit of his own.

♥ "..What would you feel, if a man were faithless to you?"

"I should perish – I should throw myself out of window – I should take poison – I should pine and die. I know I should," Miss cried, who had nevertheless gone through one or two affairs of the heart without any idea of suicide.

♥ The sisters had never thought of the money question up to that moment, but Fred Bullock bantered them with graceful gaiety about it during their forenoon's excursion; and they had risen not a little on their own esteem by the time when, the morning amusement over, they drove back to dinner. And do not let my respected reader exclaim against this selfishness as unnatural. It was but this present morning, as he rode on the omnibus from Richmond; while it changed horses, this present chronicler, being on the roof, marked three little children playing in a puddle below, very dirty, and friendly, and happy. To these three presently came another little one. "Polly," says she, "your sister's got a penny." At which the children got up from the puddle instantly, and ran off to pay their court to Peggy. And as the omnibus drove off I saw Peggy with the infantine procession at her tail, marching with great dignity towards the stall of a neighbouring lollipop-woman.

♥ Why had not George's marriage been delayed? What call was there to press it on so eagerly? He felt that George would have parted from Amelia at any rate without a mortal pang. Amelia, too, might have recovered the shock of losing him. It was [Dobbin's] counsel had brought about this marriage, and all that was to ensue from it. And why was it? Because he loved her so much that he could not bear to see her unhappy: or because his own sufferings of suspense were so unendurable that he was glad to crush them at once – as we hasten a funeral after death, or, when a separation from those we love is imminent, cannot rest until the parting be over.

♥ There was a picture of the family over the mantelpiece, removed thither from the front room after Mrs Osborne's death – George was on a pony, the elder sister holding him up a bunch of flowers; the younger led by her mother's hand; all with red cheeks and large red mouths, simpering on each other in the approved family-portrait manner. The mother lay underground now, long since forgotten – the sisters and brother had a hundred different interests of their own, and familiar still, were utterly estranged from each other. Some few score of years afterwards, when all the parties represented are grown old, what bitter satire there is in those flaunting childish family portraits, with their farce of sentiment and smiling lies, and innocence so self-conscious and self-satisfied.

♥ This news made Dobbin grave, and he thought of our friends at Brighton, and then he was ashamed of himself that Amelia was always the first thing in his thoughts (always before anybody – before father and mother, sisters and duty – always at waking and sleeping indeed, and all day long)..

♥ Whereupon the dispute ended – as many scores of such conversations between Osborne and his friend had concluded previously – by the former declaring there was no possibility of being angry with Dobbin long, and forgiving him very generously after abusing him without a cause.

♥ Her hopes were very high: she made her husband share them. She generally succeeded in making her husband share all her opinions, whether melancholy or cheerful.

♥ "..They all want to kill me – all – all" – and with this the lonely old woman burst into a scream of hysterical tears.

The last scene of her dismal Vanity Fair comedy was fast approaching; the tawdry lamps were going out one by one; and the dark curtain was almost ready to descend.

♥ How the floodgates were opened, and mother and daughter wept, then they were together embracing each other in this sanctuary, may readily be imagined by every reader who possesses the least sentimental turn. When don't ladies weep? At what occasion of joy, sorrow, or other business of life? and, after such an event as a marriage, mother and daughter were surely at liberty to give way to a sensibility which is as tender as it is refreshing. About a question of marriage I have seen women who hate each other, kiss and cry together quite fondly. How much more do they feel when they love! Good mothers are married over again at their daughters' weddings: and as for subsequent events, who does not know how ultra-maternal grandmothers are? in fact a woman, until she is a grandmother, does not often really know what to be a mother is. Let us respect Amelia and her mamma whispering and whimpering and laughing and crying in the parlour and the twilight.

♥ What a gulf lay between her and that past life. She could look back to it from her present standing-place, and contemplate, almost as another being, the young unmarried girl absorbed in her love, having no eyes but for one special object, receiving parental affection if not ungratefully, at least indifferently, and as if it were her due – her whole heart and thoughts bent on the accomplishment of one desire. The review of those days, so lately gone yet so far away, touched her with shame; and the aspect of the kind parents filled her with tender remorse. Was the prize gained – the heaven of life – and the winner still doubtful and unsatisfied? As his hero and heroine pass the matrimonial barrier, the novelist generally drops the curtain, as if the drama were over then: the doubts and struggles of life ended: as if, once landed in the marriage country, all were green and pleasant there: and wife and husband had nothing to do but to link each other's arms together, and wander gently forwards towards old age in happy and perfect fruition. But our little Amelia was just on the bank of her new country, and was already looking anxiously back towards the sad friendly figures waving farewell to her across the stream, from the other distant shore.

..Already to be looking sadly and vaguely back: always to be pining for something which, when obtained, brought doubt and sadness rather than pleasure; here was the lot of pour poor little creature, and harmless lost wanderer in the great struggling crowds of Vanity Fair.

♥ She went and knelt down by the bedside; and there this wounded and timorous, but gentle and loving soul, sought for consolation, where as yet, it must be owned, our little girl had but seldom looked for it. Lover had been her faith hitherto; and the sad, bleeding, disappointed heart began to feel the want of another consoler.

Have we a right to repeat or to overhear her prayers? These, brother, are secrets, and out of the domain of Vanity Fair, in which our story lies.

♥ She went downstairs, and kissed her father and mother, and talked to the old gentleman, and made him more merry than he had been for many a day. She sate down at the piano which Dobbin had bought for her, and sang over all her father's favourite old songs. She pronounced the tea to be excellent, and praised the exquisite taste in which the marmalade was arranged in the saucers. And in determining to make everybody else happy, she found herself so; and was sound asleep in the great funereal pavilion, and only woke up with a smile when George arrived from the theatre.

♥ He ordered somebody to inform Mr Higgs that Captain Osborne was waiting, in a fierce and patronizing way, as if the pékin of an attorney, who had thrice his brains, fifty times his money, and a thousand times his experience, was a wretched underling who should instantly leave all his business in life to attend on the Captain's pleasure. He did not see the sneer of contempt which passed all round the room, from the first clerk to the articled gents, from the articled gents to the ragged writers and white-faced runners, in clothes too tight for them, as he sate there tapping his boot with his cane, and thinking what a parcel of miserable poor devils these were. The miserable poor devils knew all about his affairs. They talked about them over their pints of beer at their public-house clubs to other clerks of a night. Ye Gods, what do not attorneys and attorneys' clerks know in London! Nothing is hidden from their inquisition, and their familiars mutely rule our city.

♥ And, in fact, it was a note from Mrs Major O'Dowd, requesting the pleasure of Mrs Osborne's company that very evening to a small friendly party. "You must go," George said. "You will make acquaintance with the regiment there. O'Dowd goes in command of the regiment, and Peggy goes in command of O'Dowd."

♥ "..Them husbands are always in the way. Mrs Osborne, my dear; and as for my Mick, I often tell him he should never open his mouth but to give the word of command, or to put meat and drink into it."

♥ She was presented to her other female relations at tea-time, on whom, as she was quiet, good-natured, and not too handsome, she made rather an agreeable impression until the arrival of the gentlemen from the mess of the 150th, who all admired her so, that her sisters began, of course, to fins fault with her.

♥ But it may be said, as a rule, that every Englishman in the Duke of Wellington's army paid his way. The remembrance of such a fact surely becomes a nation of shopkeepers. It was a blessing for a commerce-loving country to be overrun by such an army of customers: and to have such creditable warriors to feed. And the country which they came to protect is not military. For a long period of history they have let other people fight there. When the present writer went to survey with eagle glance the field of Waterloo, we asked the conductor of the diligence, a portly warlike-looking veteran, whether he had been at the battle. "Pas si bête" – such an answer and sentiment as no Frenchman would own to – was his reply. But, on the other hand, the postillion who drove us was a Viscount, a son of some bankrupt Imperial General, who accepted a pennyworth of beer on the road. The moral is surely a good one.

♥ As our painters are bent on military subjects just now, I throw out this as a good subject for the pencil to illustrate the principle of an honest English war. All looked as brilliant and harmless as a Hyde Park review. Meanwhile Napoleon, screened behind his curtain of frontier fortresses, was preparing for the outbreak which was to drive all these orderly people into fury and blood; and lay so many of them low.

♥ English bugles woke them in the morning; at nightfall they went to be to the note of the British fife and drum: all the country and Europe was in arms, and the greatest event of history pending: and honest Peggy O'Dowd, whom it concerned as well as another, went on prattling about Ballinafad, and the horses in the stables at Glenmalony, and the clar't drunk there; and Jos Sedley interposed about curry and rice at Dumdum; and Amelia thought about her husband, and how best she should show her love for him; as if these were the great topics of the world.

♥ Those who like to lay down the History-book, and to speculate upon what might have happened in the world, but for the fatal occurrence of what actually did take place (a most puzzling, amusing, ingenuous, and profitable kind of meditation), have no doubt often thought to themselves what a specially bad time Napoleon took to come back from Elba, and to let loose his eagle from Gulf San Juan to Notre Dame. The historians on our side tell us that the armies of the allied powers were all providentially on a war footing, and ready to bear down at a moment's notice upon the Elban Emperor. The august jobbers assembled at Vienna, and carving out the kingdoms of Europe according to their wisdom, had such causes of quarrel among themselves as might have set the armies which had overcome Napoleon to fight against each other, but for the return of the object of unanimous hatred and fear. This monarch had an army in full force because ha had jobbed to himself Poland, and was determined to keep it: another had robbed half Saxony, and was bent upon maintaining his acquisition: Italy was the object of a third's solicitude. Each was protesting against the rapacity of the other; and could the Corsican but have waited in prison until all these parties were by the ears, he might have returned and reigned unmolested. But what would have become of our story and all our friends, then? If all the drops in it were dried up, what would become of the sea?

♥ "Well, my dear Blanche," said the mother, "I suppose, as Papa wants to go, we must go; but we needn't know them in England, you know." And so, determined to cut their new acquaintance in Bond Street, these great folks went to eat his dinner at Brussels, and condescending to make him pay for their pleasure, showed their dignity by making his wife uncomfortable, and carefully excluding her from the conversation. This as a species of dignity in which the high-bred British female reigns supreme. To watch the behaviour of a fine lady to other and humbler women, is a very good sport for a philosophical frequenter of Vanity Fair.

♥ "Who is that wonderful woman with Amelia, Rawdon, love?" said a lady in an opposite box (who, almost always civil to her husband in private, was more fond than ever of him in company).

♥ The curses to which the General gave a low utterance, as soon as Rebecca and her conqueror had quitted him, were so deep, that I am sure no compositor in Messrs Bradbury and Evans's establishment would venture to print them were they written down. They came from the General's heart; and a wonderful thing it is to think that the human heart is capable of generating such produce, and can throw out, as occasion demands, such a supply of lust and fury, rage and hatred.

♥ They were now not quite six weeks married. Another woman was laughing or sneering at her expense, and he not angry. He was not even angry with himself, this good-natured fellow. It is a shame, he owned to himself; but hang it, if a pretty woman will throw herself in your way, why, what can a fellow do, you know? I am rather free about women, he had often said, smiling and nodding knowingly to Stubble and Spooney, and other comrades of the mess-table, and they rather respected him than otherwise for this prowess. Next to conquering in war, conquering in love has been a source of pride, time out of mind, amongst men in Vanity Fair, or how should schoolboys brag of their amours, or Don Juan be popular?

♥ "..Your husband's feet are darlings – here he comes. Where have you been, wretch? Here is Emmy crying her eyes out for you. Are you coming to fetch me for the quadrille?" And she left her bouquet and shawl by Amelia's side, and tripped off with George to dance. Women only know how to wound so. There is a poison on the tips of their little shafts, which stings a thousand times more than a man's blunter weapon. Our poor Emmy, who had never hated, never sneered all her life, was powerless in the hands of her remorseless little enemy.

♥ Away went George, his nerves quivering with excitement at the news so long looked for, so sudden when it came. What were love and intrigue now? He thought about a thousand things but these in his rapid walk to his quarters – his past life and future chances – the fate which might be before him – the wife, the child perhaps, from whom unseen he might be about to part. Oh, how he wished that night's work undone! and that with a clear conscience at least he might say farewell to the tender and guileless being by whose love he had set such little score!

♥ We do not claim to rank among the military novelists. Our place is with the non-combatants. When the decks are cleared for action we go below and wait meekly. We should only be in the way of the manœuvres that the gallant fellows are performing overhead. We shall go no father with the —th than to the city gate: and leaving Major O'Dowd to his duty, come back to the Major's wife, and the ladies, and the baggage.

♥ Mrs O'Dowd, the good housewife, arrayed in curl papers and a camisole, felt that her duty was to act, and not to sleep, at this juncture. "Time enough for that," she said, "when Mick's gone;" and so she packed his travelling valise ready for the march, brushed his cloak, his cap, and other warlike habiliments, set them out in order for him; and stowed away in the cloak pockets a light package of portable refreshments, and a wicker-covered flask or pocket pistol, containing near a pint of a remarkable sound Cognac brandy, of which she and the major approved very much; and as soon as the hands of the "repayther" pointed to half-past one, and its interior arrangements (it had a tone quite equal to a cathaydral, its fair owner considered) knelled forth that fatal our, Mrs O'Dowd woke up her Major, and had as comfortable a cup of coffee prepared for him as any made that morning in Brussels. And who is there will deny that this worthy lady's preparations betokened affection as much as the fits of tears and hysterics by which more sensitive females exhibited their love, and that their partaking of this coffee, which they drank together while the bugles were sounding the turn-out and the drums beating in the various quarters of the town, was not more useful and to the purpose than the outpouring of any mere sentiment could be? The consequence was, that the Major appeared on parade quite trim, fresh, and alert, his well-shaved rosy countenance, as he sate on horseback, giving cheerfulness and confidence to the whole corps. All the officers saluted her when the regiment marched by the balcony on which this brave woman stood, and waved them a cheer as they passed; and I daresay it was not from want of courage, but from a sense of female delicacy and propriety, that she refrained from leading the gallant —th personally into action.

♥ So it is in the world. Jack or Donald marches away to glory with his knapsack on his shoulder stepping out briskly to the tune of "The Girl I left behind me". It is she who remains and suffers – and has the leisure to think, and brood, and remember.

♥ Faithful to his plan of economy, the Captain dressed himself in his oldest and shabbiest uniform and epaulets, leaving the newest behind under his wife's (or it might be his widow's) guardianship. And this famous dandy of Windsor and Hyde Park went off on his campaign with a kit as modest as that of a sergeant, and with something like a prayer on his lips for the woman he was leaving. He took her up from the ground, and held her in his arms for a minute, right pressed against his strong-beating heart. His face was purple and his eyes dim, as he put her down and left her. He rose by his General's side, and smoked his cigar in silence as they hastened after the troops of the General's brigade, which preceded them; and it was not until they were some miles on their way that he left off twirling his mustachio and broke silence.

And Rebecca, as we have said, wisely determined not to give way to unavailing sentimentality on her husband's departure.

♥ If Messrs Howell & James were to publish a list of the purchasers of all the trinkets which they sell, how surprised would some families be: and if all these ornaments went to gentlemen's lawful wives and daughters, what a profusion of jewellery there would be exhibited in the genteelest homes of Vanity Fair!

♥ If this is a novel without a hero, at least let us lay claim to a heroine. No man in the British army which has marched away, not the great Duke himself, could be more cool or collected in the presence of doubts and difficulties, than the indomitable little aide-de-camp's wife.

♥ ..his pulse was throbbing and his cheeks flushed: the great game of war was going to be played, and he one of the players. What a fierce excitement of doubt, hope, and pleasure! What tremendous hazards of loss or gain! What were all the games of chance he had ever played compared to this one? Into all contests requiring athletic skill and courage, the young man, from his boyhood upwards, had flung himself with all his might. The champion of his school and his regiment, the bravos of his companions had followed him everywhere; from the boys' cricket match to the garrison races, he had won a hundred of triumphs; and wherever he went, women and men had admired and envied him. What qualities are there for which a man gets so speedy a return of applause, as those of bodily superiority, activity, and valour? Time out of mind strength and courage have been the theme of bards and romances; and from the story of Troy down to to-day, poetry has always chosen a soldier for a hero. I wonder is it because men are cowards in heart that they admire bravery so much, and place military valour so far beyond every other quality for reward and worship?

♥ ..then George came marching at the head of his company. He looked up, and smiled at Amelia, and passed on; and even the sound of the music died away.

♥ What our servants think of us! – Did we know what our intimates and our dear relations thought of us, we should live in a world that we should be glad to quit, and in a frame of mind and a constant terror, that would be perfectly unbearable.

♥ The Emperor's proclamation from Avesnes had been distributed everywhere plentifully in Brussels. "Soldiers!" it said, "this is the anniversary of Marengo and Friedland, by which the destinies of Europe were twice decided. Then, as after Austerlitz, as after Wagram, we were too generous. We believed in the oaths and promises of princes whom we suffered to remain upon their thrones. Let us march once more to meet them. We and they, are we not still the same men? Soldiers! these same Prussians who are so arrogant to-day, were three to one against you at Jena, and six to one at Montmirail. Those among you who were prisoners in England can tell their comrades what frightful torments they suffered on board the English hulks. Madmen! a moment of prosperity has blinded them, and if they enter into France it will be to find a grave there!" But the partisans of the French prophesied a more speedy extermination of the Emperor's enemies than this; and it was agreed on all hands that Prussians and British would never return except as prisoners in the rear of the conquering army.

♥ "You mean you can bear anything," replied the lady. "Parting or danger are nothing to you. Own now that you were going to join the army and leave us to our fate. I know you were – something tells me you were. I was so frightened, when the thought came into my head (for I do sometimes think of you when I am alone, Mr Joseph), that I ran off immediately to beg and entreat you not to fly from us."

This speech might be interpreted, "My dear sir, should an accident befall the army, and a retreat be necessary, you have a very comfortable carriage, in which I propose to take a seat." I don't know whether Jos understood the words in this sense. But he was profoundly mortified by the lady's inattention to him during their stay at Brussels.

.."Is jealousy nothing?" said Rebecca. "He makes me miserable about you. And whatever it might have been once – my heart is all his. I am innocent now. Am I not, Mr Sedley?"

All Jos's blood tingled with delight, as he surveyed this victim to his attractions. A few adroit words, one or two knowing tender glances of the eyes, and his heart was inflamed again and his doubts and suspicions forgotten. From Solomon downwards, have not wiser men than he been cajoled and befooled by women?

♥ How long had that poor girl been on her knees! what hours of speechless prayer and bitter prostration had she passed there! The war-chroniclers who write brilliant stories of fight and triumph scarcely tell us of these. These are too mean parts of the pageant: and you don't hear widows' cries or mothers' sobs in the midst of the shouts and jubilation in the great Chorus of Victory. And yet when was the time, that such have not cried out: heart-broken humble protestants, unheard in the uproar of the triumph!

♥ They went on till two o'clock; their hearts were with the column as it marched farther and farther away. Dreadful doubt and anguish – prayers and fears and griefs unspeakable – followed the regiment. It was the women's tribute to the war. It taxes both alike, and takes the blood of the men, and the tears of the women.

..But success or defeat was a minor matter to them, who had only thought for the safety of those they loved.

♥ All of us have read of what occurred during that interval. The tale is in every Englishman's mouth: and you and I, who were children when the great battle was won and lost, are never tired of hearing and recounting the history of that famous action. Its remembrance rankles still in the bosoms of millions of the countrymen of those brave men who lost the day. They pant for an opportunity of revenging that humiliation; and if a contest, ending in a victory on their part, should ensue, elating them in their turn, and leaving its cursed legacy of hatred and rage behind to us, there is no end to the so-called glory and shame, and to the alternations of successful and unsuccessful murder, in which two high-spirited nations might engage. Centuries hence, we Frenchmen and Englishmen might be boasting and killing each other still, carrying out bravely the Devil's code of honour.

♥ No more firing was heard at Brussels – the pursuit rolled miles away. Darkness came down on the field and city; and Amelia was praying for George, who was lying on his face, dead, with a bullet through his heart.

♥ Who has not seen how women bully women? What tortures have men to endure, comparable to those daily repeated shafts of scorn and cruelty with which poor women are riddled by the tyrants of their sex? Poor victims! But we are starting from our proposition, which is, that Miss Crawley was always particularly annoying and savage when she was rallying from illness – as they say wounds tingle most when they are about to heal.

♥ A mature spinster, and having but faint ideas of marriage, [Lady Emily's] love for the blacks occupied almost all her feelings. It is to her, I believe, we owe that beautiful poem—

"Lead us to some sunny isle,
Yonder in the western deep;
Where the skies for ever smile,
And the blacks for ever weep," etc.

♥ ..and her mamma and sister, who were ladies of the most superior sort, managed everything for her, and regarded her with that amiable pity, of which your really superior woman always has such a share to give away. Her mamma ordered her dresses, her books, her bonnets, and her ideas for her.

♥ Pitt meanwhile in the dinging-room, with a pamphlet on the Corn Laws or a missionary Register by his side, took that kind of recreation which suits romantic and unromantic men after dinner. He sipped Madeira: built castles in the air: thought himself a fine fellow: felt himself much more in love with Jane than he had been any time these seven years, during which their liaison had lasted without the slightest impatience on Pitt's part – and slept a good deal.

♥ "If we could but get one of the girls into the house; but she could never endure them, because they are not pretty!" Those unfortunate and well-educated women made themselves heard from the neighbouring drawing-room, where they were thrumming away, with hard fingers, and elaborate music-piece on the pianoforte, as their mother spoke; and indeed, they were at music, or at backboard, or at geography, or at history, the whole day long. But what avail all these accomplishments, in Vanity Fair, to girls who are short, poor, plain, and have a bad complexion?

♥ James Crawley, when his aunt had last beheld him, was a gawky lad, at that uncomfortable age when the voice varies between an unearthly treble and a preternatural bass; when the face not uncommonly blooms out with appearances for which Rowland's Kalydor is said to act as a cure; when boys are seen to shave furtively with their sisters' scissors, and the sight of other young women produces intolerable sensations of terror in them; when the great hands and ankles protrude a long way from garments which have grown too tight for them; when their presence after dinner is at once frightful to the ladies, who are whispering in the twilight in the drawing-room, and inexpressibly odious to the gentlemen over the mahogany, who are restrained from freedom of intercourse and delightful interchange of wit by the presence of that gawky innocence; when, at the conclusion of the second glass, papa says, "Jack, my boy, go out and see if the evening holds up", and the youth, willing to be free, yet hurt at not being yet a man, quits the incomplete banquet.

♥ [Rawdon] believed in his wife as much as the French soldiers believed in Napoleon.

Her success in Paris was remarkable. All the French ladies voted her charming. She spoke their language admirably. She adopted at once their grace, their liveliness, their manner. Her husband was stupid certainly – all English are stupid – and, besides, a dull husband at Paris is always a point in a lady's favour.

♥ Lady Bareacres and the chiefs of the English society, stupid and irreproachable females, writhed with anguish at the success of the littler upstart Becky, whose poisoned jokes quivered and rankled in their chaste breasts. But she had all the men on her side. She fought the women with indomitable courage, and they could not talk scandal in any tongue but their own.

♥ The poor soul grew so timid that she actually left off bullying Briggs any more, and clung to her niece, more fond and terrified every day. Peace to thee, kind and selfish, vain and generous old heathen! – We shall see thee no more. Let us hope that Lady Jane supported her kindly, and led her with gentle hand out of the busy struggle of Vanity Fair.

♥ The news of the great fights of Quatre Bras and Waterloo reached England at the same time. The Gazette first published the result of the two battles; at which glorious intelligence all England thrilled with triumph and fear. Particulars then followed; and after the announcement of the victories came the list of the wounded and the slain. Who can tell the dread with which that catalogue was opened and read! Fancy, at every village and homestead almost through the three kingdoms, the great news coming of the battles in Flanders, and the feelings of exultation and gratitude, bereavement and sickening dismay, when the lists of the regimental losses were gone through, and it became known whether the dear friend and relative had escaped or fallen. Anybody who will take the trouble of looking back to a file of the newspapers of the time, must, even now, feel at second-hand this breathless pause of expectation. The lists of casualties are carried on from day to day: you stop in the midst as in a story which is to be continued in our next. Think what the feelings must have been as those papers followed each other fresh from the press; and if such an interest could be felt in our country, and about a battle where but twenty thousand of people were engaged, think of the condition of Europe for twenty years before, where people were fighting, not by thousands but by millions; each one of whom as he struck his enemy wounded horribly some other innocent heart far away.

♥ But now there was no help or cure, or chance of reconcilement; above all, there were no humble words to soothe vanity outraged and furious, or bring to its natural flow the poisoned, angry blood. And it is hard to say which pang it was that tore the proud father's heart most keenly – that his son should have gone out of the reach of his forgiveness, or that the apology which his own pride expected should have escaped him.

♥ Have you ever had a difference with a dear friend? How his letters, written in the period of love and confidence, sicken and rebuke you! What a dreary mourning it is to dwell upon those vehement protests of dead affection! What lying epitaphs they make over the corpse of Love! What dark, cruel comments upon Life and Vanities! Most of us have got or written drawers full of them. They are closet-skeletons which we keep and shun.

♥ His English habit, pride, awkwardness perhaps, had prevented him from saying more. His father could not see the kiss George had placed on the superscription of his letter. Mr Osborne dropped it with the bitterest, deadliest pang of balked affection and revenge. His son was still beloved and unforgiven.

♥ The city was a vast military hospital for months after the great battles; and as men and officers began to rally from their hurts, the gardens and places of public resort swarmed with maimed warriors, old and young, who, just rescued out of death, fell to gambling, and gaiety, and love-making, as people of Vanity Fair will do.

♥ Which of us is there can tell how much vanity lurks in our warmest regard for others, and how selfish our love is?

♥ He firmly believed that everything he did was right, that he ought on all occasions to have his own way – and like the sting of a wasp or serpent his hatred rushed out armed and poisonous against anything like opposition. He was proud of his hatred as of everything else. Always to be right, always to trample forward, and never to doubt, are not these the great qualities with which dulness takes the lead in the world?

♥ She has spent the first portion of that time in a sorrow so profound and pitiable, that we who have been watching and describing some of the emotions of that weak and tender heart, must draw back in the presence of the cruel grief under which it is bleeding. Tread silently round the hapless couch of the poor prostrate soul. Shut gently the door of the dark chamber wherein she suffers, as those kind people did who nursed her through the first months of her pain, and never left her until heaven had sent her consolation. A day came – of almost terrified delight and wonder – when the poor widowed girl pressed a child upon her breast – a child, with the eyes of George who was gone – a little boy, as beautiful as a cherub. What a miracle it was to hear its first cry! How she laughed and wept over it – how love, and hope, and prayer work again in her bosom as the baby nestled there. She was safe.

..This child was her being. Her existence was a maternal caress. She enveloped the feeble and unconscious creature with love and worship. It was her life which the baby drank in from her bosom. Of nights, and when alone, she had stealthy and intense raptures of motherly love, such as God's marvellous care has awarded to the female instinct – joys how far higher and lower than reason – blind beautiful devotions which only women's hearts know. It was William Dobbin's task to muse upon these movements of Amelia's, and to watch her heart; and if his love made him divine almost all the feelings which agitated it, alas! he could see with a fatal perspicuity that there was no place there for him. And so, gently, he bore his fate, knowing it, and content to bear it.

♥ My son, I would say, were I blessed with a child – you may by deep inquiry and constant intercourse with him, learn how a man lives comfortably on nothing a year. But it is best not to be intimate with gentlemen of this profession, and to take the calculations as second-hand, as you do logarithms, for to work them yourself, depend upon it, will cost you something considerable.

♥ To use a cue at billiards well is like using a pencil, or a German flute, or a small-sword – you cannot master any one of these implements at first, and it is only by repeated study and perseverance, joined to a natural taste, that a man can excel in the handling of either.

♥ His successes were so repeated that no wonder the envious and the vanquished spoke sometimes with bitterness regarding them. And as the French say of the Duke of Wellington, who never suffered a defeat, that only an astonishing series of lucky accidents enabled him to be an invariable winner; yet even they allow that he cheated at Waterloo, and was enabled to win the last great trick: so it was hinted at headquarters in England, that some foul play must have taken place in order to account for the continued success of Colonel Crawley.

♥ "Gambling," she would say, "dear, is good to help your income, but not as an income itself. Some day people may be tired of play, and then where are we?"

♥ But, as we have said, she was growing tired of this idle social life: opera-boxes and restaurateur-dinners palled upon her: nosegays could not be laid by as a provision for future years: and she could not live upon nicknacks, laced handkerchiefs, and kid gloves. She felt the frivolity pf pleasure, and longed for more substantial benefits.

♥ And the old man not only let his house to the Colonel, but officiated as his butler whenever he had company; Mrs Raggles operating in the kitchen below, and sending up dinners of which old Miss Crawley herself might have approved. This was the way, then, Crawley got his house for nothing; for though Raggles had to pay taxes and rates, and the interest of the mortgage to the brother butler; and the insurance of his life; and the charges for his children at school; and the value of the meat and drink which his own family – and for a time that of Colonel Crawley too – consumed; and though the poor wretch was utterly ruined by the transaction, his children being flung on the streets, and himself driven in the Fleet Prison: yet somebody must pay even for gentlemen who live for nothing a year – and so it was thus unlucky Raggles was made the representative of Colonel Crawley's defective capital.

I wonder how many families are driven to roguery and to ruin by great practitioners in Crawley's way? – how many great noblemen rob their pretty tradesmen, condescend to swindle their poor retainers out of wretched little sums, and cheat for a few shillings? When we read that a nobleman has left for the Continent, or that another noble nobleman has an execution in his house – and that one or other owes six or seven millions, the defeat seems glorious even, and we respect the victim in the vastness of his ruin. But who pities a poor barber who can't get his money for powdering the footman's heads; or a poor carpenter who has ruined himself by fixing up ornaments and pavilions for my ladies' déjeuner; or the poor devil of a tailor whom the steward patronizes, and who has pledged all he is worth and more, to get the liveries ready, which my lord had done him the honour to bespeak? When the great house tumbles down, these miserable wretches fall under it unnoticed: as they say in the old legends, before a man goes to the devil himself, he sends plenty of other souls thither.

..Nobody in fact was paid. Not the blacksmith who opened the lock; nor the glazier who mended the pane; nor the jobber who let the carriage; not the groom who drove it; nor the butcher who provided the leg of mutton; nor the coals which roasted it; nor the cook who basted it; nor the servants who ate it: and this I am given to understand is not unfrequently the way which people live elegantly on nothing a year.

♥ It is only by inquiry and perseverance, that one sometimes gets hints of those secrets; and by a similar diligence every person who treads the Pall Mall pavement and frequents the clubs of this metropolis, knows, either through his own experience or through some acquaintance with whom he plays at billiards or shares the joint, something about the genteel world of London, and how, as there are men (such as Rawdon Crawley, whose position we mentioned before), who cut a good figure to the eyes of the ignorant world and to the apprentices in the Park, who behold them consorting with the most notorious dandies there, so there are ladies, who may be called men's women, being welcomed entirely by all the gentlemen, and cut or slighted by all their wives. Mrs Firebrace is of this sort; the lady with the beautiful fair ringlets whom you see every day in Hyde Park, surrounded by the greatest and most famous dandies of this empire. Mrs Rockwood is another, whose parties are announced laboriously in the fashionable newspapers, and with whom you see that all sorts of ambassadors and great noblemen dine; and many more might be mentioned had they to do with the history at present in hand. But while simple folks who are out of the world, or country people with a taste for the genteel, behold these ladies in their seeming glory in public places, or envy them from afar off, persons who are better instructed could inform them that these envied ladies have no more chance of establishing themselves in "Society", than the benighted squire's wife in Somersetshire, who reads of their doings in the Morning Post. Men living about London are aware of these awful truths. You hear how pitilessly many ladies of seeming rank and wealth are excluded from this "Society". The frantic efforts which they make to enter this circle, the meannesses to which they submit, the insults which they undergo, are matters of wonder to those who take human or womankind for a study; and the pursuit of fashion under difficulties would be a fine theme for any very great person who had the wit, the leisure, and the knowledge of the English language necessary for the compiling of such a history.

♥ "You can't shoot me into society," [Rebecca] said good-naturedly. "Remember, my dear, that I was but a governess, and you, you poor silly old man, have the worst reputation for debt, and dice, and all sorts of wickedness. We shall get quite as many friends as we want by-and-by, and in the meanwhile you must be a good boy, and obey your schoolmistress in everything she tells you to do."

♥ "How is Mrs Crawley's husband?" Lord Steyne used to say to him by way of a good-day when they met: and indeed that was now his avocation for life. He was Colonel Crawley no more. He was Mrs Crawley's husband.

♥ Oh, thou poor lonely little benighted boy! Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children; and here was one who was worshipping a stone!

♥ "Hang it, I ain't clever enough for her – I know it. She won't miss me," he used to say: and he was right, his wife fid not miss him.

Rebecca was fond of her husband. She was always perfectly good-humoured and kind to him. She did not even show her scorn much for him; perhaps she liked him the better for being a fool. He was her upper servant and maître d'hôtel. He went on her errands: obeyed her orders without question: drove in the carriage in the ring with her without repining; took her to the Opera-box; solaced himself at his club during the performance, and came punctually back to fetch her when due. He would have liked her to be a little fonder of the boy: but even to that he reconciled himself. "Hang it, you know, she's so clever," he said, "and I'm not literary and that, you know." For, as we have said before, it requires no great wisdom to be able to win at cards and billiards, and Rawdon made no pretensions to any other sort of skill.

♥ You and I, my dear reader, may drop into this condition one day: for have not many of our friends attained it? Our luck may fail: our powers forsake us: our place on the boards be taken by better and younger mimes – the chance of life roll away and leave us shattered and stranded. Then men will walk across the road when they meet you – or, worse still, hold you out a couple of fingers and patronize you in a pitying way – then you will know, as soon as your back is turned, that your friend begins with a "Poor Devil, what imprudence he has committed, what chances that chap has thrown away!" Well, well – a carriage and three thousand a year is not the summit of the reward nor the end of God's judgement of men. If quacks prosper as often as they go to the wall – if zanies succeed and knaves arrive at fortune, and vice versa, sharing ill-luck and prosperity for all the world like the ablest and most honest amongst us – I say, brother, the gifts and pleasures of Vanity Fair cannot be held of any great account, and that it is probable... But we are wandering out of the domain of the story.

♥ In this room was all Amelia's heart and treasure. Here it was that she tended her boy, and watched him through many ills of childhood, with a constant passion of love. The elder George returned in him somehow, only improved, and as if come back from heaven. In a hundred little tones, looks, and movements, the child was so like his father, that the widow's heart thrilled as she held him to it; and he would often ask the cause of her tears. It was because of his likeness to his father, she did not scruple to tell him. She talked constantly to him about his dead father and spoke of her love for George to the innocent and wondering child; much more than she ever had done to George himself, or to any confidante of her youth. To her parents she never talked about this matter; shrinking from baring her heart to them. Little George very likely could understand no better than they; but into his ears she poured her sentimental secrets unreservedly, and into his only. The very joy of this woman was a sort of grief, or so tender, at least, that its expression was tears. Her sensibilities were so weak and tremulous, that perhaps they ought not to be talked about in a book.

♥ Very likely Miss Binny was right to a great extent. It is the pretty face which creates sympathy in the hearts of men, those wicked rogues. A woman may possess the wisdom and chastity of Minerva, and we give no heed to her, if she has a plain face. What folly will not a pair of bright eyes make pardonable? What dulness may not red lips and sweet accents render pleasant? And so, with their usual sense of justice, ladies argue that because a woman is handsome, therefore she is a fool. O ladies, ladies! there are some of you who are neither handsome nor wise.

♥ Betsy Horrocks, quite daunted, flung herself down on her knees, bursting into tears. But those who know a really good woman are aware that she is not in a hurry to forgive, and that the humiliation of an enemy is a triumph to her soul.

♥ ..and here was tended by Miss Hester, the girl upon her promotion, with constant care and assiduity. What love, what fidelity, what constancy is there equal to that of a nurse with good wages? They smooth pillows: and make arrowroot: they get up at nights: they bear complaints and querulousness: they see the sun shining out of doors and don't want to go abroad: they sleep on armchairs, and eat their meals in solitude: they pass long long evenings doing nothing, watching the embers, and the patient's drink summering in the jug: they read the weekly paper the whole week through: and Law's Serious Call or the Whole Duty of Man suffices then for literature for the year – and we quarrel with them because, when their relations come to see them once a week, a little gin is smuggled in in their linen basket. Ladies, what man's love is there that would stand a year's nursing of the object of his affection? Whereas a nurse will stand by you for ten pounds a quarter, and we think her too highly paid.

♥ For this was all that was left after more than seventy years of cunning and struggling, and drinking, and scheming, and sin and selfishness – a whimpering old idiot put in and out of bed and cleaned and fed like a baby.

♥ Both of them were rather agitated, and thinking of old times. He about Eton, and his mother, whom he remembered, a frigid demure woman, and a sister who died, of whom he had been passionately fond; and how he used to thrash Pitt; and about little Rawdy at home. And Rebecca thought about her own youth and the dark secrets of those early tainted days..

♥ "At least she gives herself no airs, and remembers that she was our governess once," Miss Violet said, intimating that it befitted all governesses to keep their proper place, and forgetting altogether that she was granddaughter not only of Sir Walpole Crawley, but of Mr Dawson of Mudbury, and so had a coal-scuttle in her scutcheon. There are other very well-meaning people whom one meets every day in Vanity Fair, who are surely equally oblivious.

♥ ..the old man had not a single friend to mourn him, having indeed, during the whole course of his life, never taken the least pains to secure one. Could the best and kindest of us who depart from the earth, have an opportunity of revisiting it, I suppose he or she (assuming that any Vanity Fair feelings subsist in the sphere whither we are bound) would have a pang of mortification at finding how soon our survivors were consoled. And so Sir Pitt was forgotten – like the kindest and best of us – only a few weeks sooner.

♥ ..the family in black coaches, with their handkerchiefs up to their noses, ready for the tears which did not come: the undertaker and his gentlemen in deep tribulation: the select tenantry mourning out of compliment to the new landlord: the neighbouring gentry's carriages at three miles an hour, empty, and in profound affliction: the parson speaking out the formal about "our dear brother departed". As long as we have a man's body, we play our Vanities upon it, surrounding it with humbug and ceremonies, laying it in state, and packing it up in gilt nails and velvet: and we finish our duty by placing over it a stone, written all over with lies.

♥ "It isn't difficult to be a country gentleman's wife," Rebecca thought. "I think I could be a good woman if I had five thousand a year. I could dawdle about in the nursery, and count the apricots on the wall. I could water plants in a greenhouse, and pick off dead leaves from the geraniums. I could ask old women about their rheumatisms, and order half-a-crown's worth of soup for the poor. I shouldn't miss it much out of five thousand a year. I could even drive out ten miles to dine at a neighbour's, and dress in the fashions of the year before last. I could go to church and keep awake in the great family pew: or go to sleep behind the curtains, with my veil down, if I only had practice. I could pay everybody, if I had but the money. This is what the conjurors here pride themselves upon doing. They look down with pity upon us miserable sinners who have none. They think themselves generous if they give our children a five-pound note, and us contemptible if we are without one." And who knows but Rebecca was right in her speculations – and that it was only a question of money and fortune which made the difference between her and an honest woman? If you take temptations into account, who is to say that he is better than his neighbour? A comfortable career of prosperity, if it does not make people honest, at least keeps them so. An alderman coming from a turtle feast will not step out of his carriage to steal a leg of mutton; but put him to starve, and see if he will not purloin a loaf. Becky consoled herself by so balancing the chances and equalizing the distribution of good and evil in the world.

♥ "I have passed beyond it, because I have brains," Becky thought, "and almost all the rest of the world are fools. I could not go back, and consort with those people now, whom I used to meet in my father's studio. Lords come up to my door with stars and garters, instead of poor artists with screws of tobacco in their pockets. I have a gentleman for my husband, and an Earl's daughter for my sister, in the very house where I was little better than a servant a few years ago. But am I much better to do now in the world than I was when I was the poor painter's daughter, and wheedled the grocer round the corner for sugar and tea? Suppose I had married Francis, who was so fond of me – I couldn't have been much poorer than I am now. Heigho! I wish I could exchange my position in society, and all my relations, for a snug sum in the Three per Cent. Consols;" for so it was that Becky felt the Vanity of human affairs, and it was in those securities that she would have liked to cast anchor.

It may, perhaps, have struck her that to have been honest and humble, to have done her duty, and to have marched straight-forward on her way, would have brought her as near happiness as that path by which she was striving to attain it. But – just as the children at Queen's Crawley went round the room, where the body of their father lay; if ever Becky had these thoughts, she was accustomed to walk round them, and not look in. She eluded them, and despised them – or at least she was committed to the other path, from which retreat was now impossible. And for my part I believe that remorse is the least active of all a man's moral senses – the very easiest to be deadened when wakened: and in some never wakened at all.

We grieve at being found out, and at the idea of shame or punishment; but the mere sense of wrong makes very few people unhappy in Vanity Fair.

♥ He was a man to have married a woman out of low life, and bullied her dreadfully afterwards: but no person presented herself suitable to his taste; and instead, he tyrannized over his unmarried daughter at home. She had a fine carriage and fine horses, and sate at the head of a table loaded with the grandest plate. She had a cheque-book, a prize footman to follow her when she walked, unlimited credit, and bows and compliments from all the tradesmen, and all the appurtenances of an heiress; but she spent a woful time. The little charity girls at the Foundling, the sweeperess at the crossing, the poorest under-kitchenmaid in the servants' hall, was happy compared to that unfortunate and now middle-aged young lady.

♥ Her sister, meanwhile, was having children with finer names every year – and the intercourse between the two grew fainter continually. "Jane and I do not move in the same sphere of life," Mrs Bullock said. "I regard her as a sister, of course" – which means – what does it mean when a lady says that she regards Jane as a sister?

♥ Time has dealt kindly with that stout officer, as it does ordinarily with men who have good stomachs and good tempers, and are not perplexed over much by fatigue of the brain.

♥ Peggy O'Dowd is indeed the same as ever: kind in act and thought: impetuous in temper: eager to command: a tyrant over her Michael: a dragon amongst all the ladies of the regiment: a mother to all the young men, whom she tends in their sickness, defends in all their scrapes, and with whom Lady Peggy is immensely popular. ..On the other hand, she housed and sheltered Mrs Posky, who fled from her bungalow one night, pursued by her infuriated husband, wielding his second brandy bottle, and actually carried Posky through the delirium tremens, and broke him off the habit of drinking, which had grown upon that officer, as all evil habits will grow upon men. In a word, in adversity she was the best of comforters, in good fortune the most troublesome of friends; having a perfectly good opinion of herself always, and an indomitable resolution to have her own way.

♥ ..and, perhaps, Mr Dobbin's sentimental Amelia was no more like the real one than this absurd little print which he cherished. But what man in love, of us, is better informed? or is he much happier when he sees and owns his delusion? Dobbin was under this spell. He did not bother his friends and the public much about his feelings, or indeed lose his natural rest or appetite on account of them. His head has grizzled since we saw him last; and a line or two of silver may be seen in the soft brown hair likewise. But his feelings are not in the least changed or oldened; and his love remains as fresh as a man's recollections of boyhood are.

♥ It was not jealousy, or frocks or shoulders, that could move him, and Glorvina had nothing more.
Tags: 1840s, 19th century - fiction, 1st-person narrative, army life (fiction), belgian in fiction, british - fiction, class struggle (fiction), feminism (fiction), fiction, french in fiction, gambling (fiction), german in fiction, historical fiction, literature, my favourite books, napoleonic wars (fiction), parenthood (fiction), poetry in quote, romance, satire, social criticism (fiction), war lit
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