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The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray

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It is very likely that if Miss Smith had come with a
licence to marry Jones, the parson in question, not
seeing old Smith present, would have sent off the beadle
in a cab to let the old gentleman know what was going on;
and would have delayed the service until the arrival of
Smith senior. He very likely thinks it his duty to ask
all marriageable young ladies, who come without their
papa, why their parent is absent; and, no doubt, ALWAYS
sends off the beadle for that missing governor.

Or, it is very possible that the Duke of Coeurdelion was
Mr. What-d'ye-call'im's most intimate friend, and has
often said to him, 'What-d'ye-call'im, my boy, my
daughter must never marry the Capting. If ever they try
at your church, I beseech you, considering the terms of
intimacy on which we are, to send off Rattan in a hack
cab to fetch me.'

In either of which cases, you see, dear Snobling, that
though the parson would not have been authorised, yet be
might have been excused for interfering. He has no more
right to stop my marriage than to stop my dinner, to both
of which, as a free-born Briton, I am entitled by law, if
I can pay for them. But, consider pastoral solicitude, a
deep sense of the duties of his office, and pardon this
inconvenient, but genuine zeal.

But if the clergyman did in the Duke's case what be would
NOT do in Smith's; if be has no more acquaintance with
the Coeurdelion family than I have with the Royal and
Serene House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha,--THEN, I confess, my
dear Snobling, your question might elicit a disagreeable
reply, and one which I respectfully decline to give. I
wonder what Sir George Tufto would say, if a sentry left
his post because a noble lord (not the least connected
with the service) begged the sentinel not to do his duty!

Alas! that the beadle who canes little boys and drives
them out, cannot drive worldliness out too; what is
worldliness but snobbishness? When, for instance, I read
in the newspapers that the Right Reverend the Lord
Charles James administered the rite of confirmation to a
if the Chapel Royal were a sort of ecclesiastical
Almack's, and young people were to get ready for the next
world in little exclusive genteel knots of the
aristocracy, who were not to be disturbed in their
journey thither by the company of the vulgar:--when I
read such a paragraph as that (and one or two such
generally appear during the present fashionable season),
it seems to me to be the most odious, mean and disgusting
part of that odious, mean, and disgusting publication,
the COURT CIRCULAR; and that snobbishness is therein
carried to quite an awful pitch. What, gentlemen, can't
we even in the Church acknowledge a republic? There, at
least, the Heralds' College itself might allow that we
all of us have the same pedigree, and are direct
descendants of Eve and Adam, whose inheritance is divided
amongst us.

I hereby call upon all Dukes, Earls, Baronets, and other
potentates, not to lend themselves to this shameful
scandal and error, and beseech all Bishops who read this
publication to take the matter into consideration, and to
protest against the continuance of the practice, and to
declare, 'We WON'T confirm or christen Lord Tomnoddy, or
Sir Carnaby Jenks, to the exclusion of any other young
Christian;' the which declaration if their Lordships are
induced to make, a great LAPIS OFFENSIONIS will be
removed, and the Snob Papers will not have been written
in vain.

A story is current of a celebrated NOUVEAU-RICHE, who
having had occasion to oblige that excellent prelate the
Bishop of Bullocksmithy, asked his Lordship, in return,
to confirm his children privately in his Lordship's own
chapel; which ceremony the grateful prelate accordingly
performed. Can satire go farther than this? Is there
even in this most amusing of prints, any more NAIVE
absurdity? It is as if a man wouldn't go to heaven
unless he went in a special train, or as if he thought
(as some people think about vaccination) Confirmation
more effectual when administered at first hand. When
that eminent person, the Begum Sumroo, died, it is said
she left ten thousand pounds to the Pope, and ten
thousand to the Archbishop of Canterbury,--so that there
should be no mistake,--so as to make sure of having the
ecclesiastical authorities on her side. This is only a
little more openly and undisguisedly snobbish than the
cases before alluded to. A well-bred Snob is just as
secretly proud of his riches and honours as a PARVENU
Snob who makes the most ludicrous exhibition of them; and
a high-born Marchioness or Duchess just as vain of
herself and her diamonds, as Queen Quashyboo, who sews a
pair of epaulets on to her skirt, and turns out in state
in a cocked hat and feathers.

It is not out of disrespect to my 'Peerage,' which I love
and honour, (indeed, have I not said before, that I
should be ready to jump out of my skin if two Dukes would
walk down Pall Mall with me?)--it is not out of
disrespect for the individuals, that I wish these titles
had never been invented; but, consider, if there were no
tree, there would be no shadow; and how much more honest
society would be, and how much more serviceable the
clergy would be (which is our present consideration), if
these temptations of rank and continual baits of
worldliness were not in existence, and perpetually thrown
out to lead them astray.

I have seen many examples of their falling away. When,
for instance, Tom Sniffle first went into the country as
Curate for Mr. Fuddleston (Sir Huddleston Fuddleston's
brother), who resided on some other living, there could
not be a more kind, hardworking, and excellent creature
than Tom. He had his aunt to live with him. His conduct
to his poor was admirable. He wrote annually reams of
the best-intentioned and vapid sermons. When Lord
Brandyball's family came down into the country, and
invited him to dine at Brandyball Park, Sniffle was so
agitated that he almost forgot how to say grace, and
upset a bowl of currant-jelly sauce in Lady Fanny
Toffy's lap.

What was the consequence of his intimacy with that noble
family? He quarrelled with his aunt for dining out every
night. The wretch forgot his poor altogether, and killed
his old nag by always riding over to Brandyball; where he
revelled in the maddest passion for Lady Fanny. He
ordered the neatest new clothes and ecclesiastical
waistcoats from London; he appeared with corazza-shirts,
lackered boots, and perfumery; he bought a blood-horse
from Bob Toffy: was seen at archery meetings, public
breakfasts,--actually at cover; and, I blush to say, that
I saw him in a stall at the Opera; and afterwards riding
by Lady Fanny's side in Rotten Row. He DOUBLE-BARRELLED
his name, (as many poor Snobs do,) and instead of T.
Sniffle, as formerly, came out, in a porcelain card, as
Rev. T. D'Arcy Sniffle, Burlington Hotel.

The end of all this may be imagined: when the Earl of
Brandyball was made acquainted with the curate's love for
Lady Fanny, he had that fit of the gout which so nearly
carried him off (to the inexpressible grief of his son,
Lord Alicompayne), and uttered that remarkable speech to
Sniffle, which disposed of the claims of the latter:--'
If I didn't respect the Church, Sir,' his Lordship said,
'by Jove, I'd kick you downstairs:' his Lordship then
fell back into the fit aforesaid; and Lady Fanny, as we
all know, married General Podager.

As for poor Tom, he was over head and ears in debt as
well as in love: his creditors came down upon him. Mr.
Hemp, of Portugal Street, proclaimed his name lately as a
reverend outlaw; and he has been seen at various foreign
watering-places; sometimes doing duty; sometimes
'coaching' a stray gentleman's son at Carlsruhe or
Kissingen; sometimes--must we say it?-- lurking about the
roulette-tables with a tuft to his chin.

If temptation had not come upon this unhappy fellow in
the shape of a Lord Brandyball, he might still have been
following his profession, humbly and worthily. He might
have married his cousin with four thousand pounds, the
wine-merchant's daughter (the old gentleman quarrelled
with his nephew for not soliciting wine-orders from Lord
B. for him): he might have had seven children, and taken
private pupils, and eked out his income, and lived and
died a country parson.

Could he have done better? You who want to know how
great, and good, and noble such a character may be, read
Stanley's 'Life of Doctor Arnold.'



Among the varieties of the Snob Clerical, the University
Snob and the Scholastic Snob ought never to be forgotten;
they form a very strong battalion in the black-coated

The wisdom of our ancestors (which I admire more and more
every day) seemed to have determined that education of
youth was so paltry and unimportant a matter, that almost
any man, armed with a birch and regulation cassock and
degree, might undertake the charge: and many an honest
country gentleman may be found to the present day, who
takes very good care to have a character with his butler
when he engages him and will not purchase a horse without
the warranty and the closest inspection; but sends off
his son, young John Thomas, to school without asking any
questions about the Schoolmaster, and places the lad at
Switchester College, under Doctor Block, because he (the
good old English gentleman) had been at Switchester,
under Doctor Buzwig, forty years ago.

We have a love for all little boys at school; for many
scores of thousands of them read and love PUNCH:--may he
never write a word that shall not be honest and fit for
them to read! He will not have his young friends to be
Snobs in the future, or to be bullied by Snobs, or given
over to such to be educated. Our connexion with the
youth at the Universities is very close and affectionate.
The candid undergraduate is our friend. The pompous old
College Don trembles in his common room, lest we should
attack him and show him up as a Snob.

When railroads were threatening to invade the land which
they have since conquered, it may be recollected what a
shrieking and outcry the authorities of Oxford and Eton
made, lest the iron abominations should come near those
seats of pure learning, and tempt the British youth
astray. The supplications were in vain; the railroad is
in upon them, and the old-world institutions are doomed.
I felt charmed to read in the papers the other day a most
veracious puffing advertisement headed, 'To College and
back for Five Shillings.' 'The College Gardens (it said)
will be thrown open on this occasion; the College youths
will perform a regatta; the Chapel of King's College will
have its celebrated music;'--and all for five shillings!
The Goths have got into Rome; Napoleon Stephenson draws
his republican lines round the sacred old cities and the
ecclesiastical big-wigs who garrison them must prepare to
lay down key and crosier before the iron conqueror.

If you consider, dear reader, what profound snobbishness
the University System produced, you will allow that it is
time to attack some of those feudal middle-age
superstitions. If you go down for five shillings to look
at the 'College Youths,' you may see one sneaking down
the court without a tassel to his cap; another with a
gold or silver fringe to his velvet trencher; a third lad
with a master's gown and hat, walking at ease over the
sacred College grass-plats, which common men must not
tread on.

He may do it because he is a nobleman. Because a lad is
a lord, the University gives him a degree at the end of
two years which another is seven in acquiring. Because
he is a lord, he has no call to go through an
examination. Any man who has not been to College and
back for five shillings, would not believe in such
distinctions in a place of education, so absurd and
monstrous do they seem to be.

The lads with gold and silver lace are sons of rich
gentlemen and called Fellow Commoners; they are
privileged to feed better than the pensioners, and to
have wine with their victuals, which the latter can only
get in their rooms.

The unlucky boys who have no tassels to their caps, are
called sizars--SERVITORS at Oxford--(a very pretty and
gentlemanlike title). A distinction is made in their
clothes because they are poor; for which reason they wear
a badge of poverty, and are not allowed to take their
meals with their fellow-students.

When this wicked and shameful distinction was set up, it
was of a piece with all the rest--a part of the brutal,
unchristian, blundering feudal system. Distinctions of
rank were then so strongly insisted upon, that it would
have been thought blasphemy to doubt them, as blasphemous
as it is in parts of the United States now for a nigger
to set up as the equal of a white man. A ruffian like
Henry VIII. talked as gravely about the divine powers
vested in him, as if he had been an inspired prophet. A
wretch like James I. not only believed that there was in
himself a particular sanctity, but other people believed
him. Government regulated the length of a merchant's
shoes as well as meddled with his trade, prices, exports,
machinery. It thought itself justified in roasting a man
for his religion, or pulling a Jew's teeth out if he did
not pay a contribution, or ordered him to dress in a
yellow gabardine, and locked him in a particular quarter.

Now a merchant may wear what boots he pleases, and has
pretty nearly acquired the privilege of buying and
selling without the Government laying its paws upon the
bargain. The stake for heretics is gone; the pillory is
taken down; Bishops are even found lifting up their
voices against the remains of persecution, and ready to
do away with the last Catholic Disabilities. Sir Robert
Peel, though he wished it ever so much, has no power over
Mr. Benjamin Disraeli's grinders, or any means of
violently handling that gentleman's jaw. Jews are not
called upon to wear badges: on the contrary, they may
live in Piccadilly, or the Minories, according to fancy;
they may dress like Christians, and do sometimes in a
most elegant and fashionable manner.

Why is the poor College servitor to wear that name and
that badge still? Because Universities are the last
places into which Reform penetrates. But now that she
can go to College and back for five shillings, let her
travel down thither.



All the men of Saint Boniface will recognize Hugby and
Crump in these two pictures. They were tutors in our
time, and Crump is since advanced to be President of the
College. He was formerly, and is now, a rich specimen of
a University Snob.

At five-and-twenty, Crump invented three new metres, and
published an edition of an exceedingly improper Greek
Comedy, with no less than twenty emendations upon the
German text of Schnupfenius and Schnapsius. These
Services to religion instantly pointed him out for
advancement in the Church, and he is now President of
Saint Boniface, and very narrowly escaped the bench.

Crump thinks Saint Boniface the centre of the world, and
his position as President the highest in England. He
expects the fellows and tutors to pay him the same sort
of service that Cardinals pay to the Pope. I am sure
Crawler would have no objection to carry his trencher, or
Page to hold up the skirts of his gown as he stalks into
chapel. He roars out the responses there as if it were
an honour to heaven that the President of Saint Boniface
should take a part in the service, and in his own lodge
and college acknowledges the Sovereign only as his

When the allied monarchs came down, and were made Doctors
of the University, a breakfast was given at Saint
Boniface; on which occasion Crump allowed the Emperor
Alexander to walk before him, but took the PAS himself of
the King of Prussia and Prince Blucher. He was going to
put the Hetman Platoff to breakfast at a side-table with
the under college tutors; but he was induced to relent,
and merely entertained that distinguished Cossack with a
discourse on his own language, in which he showed that
the Hetman knew nothing about it.

As for us undergraduates, we scarcely knew more about
Crump than about the Grand Llama. A few favoured youths
are asked occasionally to tea at the lodge; but they do
not speak unless first addressed by the Doctor; and if
they venture to sit down, Crump's follower, Mr. Toady,
whispers, 'Gentlemen, will you have the kindness to get
up?--The President is passing;' or 'Gentlemen, the
President prefers that undergraduates should not sit
down;' or words to a similar effect.

To do Crump justice, he does not cringe now to great
people. He rather patronizes them than otherwise; and,
in London, speaks quite affably to a Duke who has been
brought up at his college, or holds out a finger to a
Marquis. He does not disguise his own origin, but brags
of it with considerable self-gratulation:--'I was a
Charity-boy,' says he; 'see what I am now; the greatest
Greek scholar of the greatest College of the greatest
University of the greatest Empire in the world.' The
argument being, that this is a capital world, for
beggars, because he, being a beggar, has managed to get
on horseback.

Hugby owes his eminence to patient merit and agreeable
perseverance. He is a meek, mild, inoffensive creature,
with just enough of scholarship to fit him to hold a
lecture, or set an examination paper. He rose by
kindness to the aristocracy. It was wonderful to see the
way in which that poor creature grovelled before a
nobleman or a lord's nephew, or even some noisy and
disreputable commoner, the friend of a lord. He used to
give the young noblemen the most painful and elaborate
breakfasts, and adopt a jaunty genteel air, and talk with
them (although he was decidedly serious) about the opera,
or the last run with the hounds. It was good to watch
him in the midst of a circle of young tufts, with his
mean, smiling, eager, uneasy familiarity. He used to
write home confidential letters to their parents, and
made it his duty to call upon them when in town, to
condole or rejoice with them when a death, birth, or
marriage took place in their family; and to feast them
whenever they came to the University. I recollect a
letter lying on a desk in his lecture-room for a whole
term, beginning, 'My Lord Duke.' It was to show us that
he corresponded with such dignities.

When the late lamented Lord Glenlivat, who broke his neck
at a hurdle-race, at the premature age of twenty-four,
was at the University, the amiable young fellow, passing
to his rooms in the early morning, and seeing Hugby's
boots at his door, on the same staircase, playfully
wadded the insides of the boots with cobbler's wax, which
caused excruciating pains to the Rev. Mr. Hugby, when he
came to take them off the same evening, before dining
with the Master of St. Crispin's.

Everybody gave the credit of this admirable piece of fun
to Lord Glenlivat's friend, Bob Tizzy, who was famous for
such feats, and who had already made away with the
college pump-handle; filed St. Boniface's nose smooth
with his face; carried off four images of nigger-boys
from the tobacconists; painted the senior proctor's horse
pea-green, &c. &c.; and Bob (who was of the party
certainly, and would not peach,) was just on the point of
incurring expulsion, and so losing the family living
which was in store for him, when Glenlivat nobly stepped
forward, owned himself to be the author of the delightful
JEU-D'ESPRIT, apologized to the tutor, and accepted the

Hugby cried when Glenlivat apologized; if the young
nobleman had kicked him round the court, I believe the
tutor would have been happy, so that an apology and a
reconciliation might subsequently ensue. 'My lord,' said
he, 'in your conduct on this and all other occasions, you
have acted as becomes a gentleman; you have been an
honour to the University, as you will be to the peerage,
I am sure, when the amiable vivacity of youth is calmed
down, and you are called upon to take your proper share
in the government of the nation.' And when his lordship
took leave of the University, Hugby presented him with a
copy of his 'Sermons to a Nobleman's Family' (Hugby was
once private tutor to the Sons of the Earl of
Muffborough), which Glenlivat presented in return to Mr.
William Ramm, known to the fancy as the Tutbury Pet, and
the sermons now figure on the boudoir-table of Mrs. Ramm,
behind the bar of her house of entertainment, 'The Game
Cock and Spurs,' near Woodstock, Oxon.

At the beginning of the long vacation, Hugby comes to
town, and puts up in handsome lodgings near St. James's
Square; rides in the Park in the afternoon; and is
delighted to read his name in the morning papers among
the list of persons present at Muffborough House, and the
Marquis of Farintosh's evening-parties. He is a member
of Sydney Scraper's Club, where, however, he drinks his
pint of claret.

Sometimes you may see him on Sundays, at the hour when
tavern doors open, whence issue little girls with great
jugs of porter; when charity-boys walk the streets,
bearing brown dishes of smoking shoulders of mutton and
baked 'taturs; when Sheeny and Moses are seen smoking
their pipes before their lazy shutters in Seven Dials;
when a crowd of smiling persons in clean outlandish
dresses, in monstrous bonnets and flaring printed gowns,
or in crumpled glossy coats and silks that bear the
creases of the drawers where they have lain all the week,
file down High Street,--sometimes, I say, you may see
Hugby coming out of the Church of St. Giles-in-the-
Fields, with a stout gentlewoman leaning on his arm,
whose old face bears an expression of supreme pride and
happiness as she glances round at all the neighbours, and
who faces the curate himself and marches into Holborn,
where she pulls the bell of a house over which is
inscribed, 'Hugby, Haberdasher.' It is the mother of the
Rev. F. Hugby, as proud of her son in his white choker as
Cornelia of her jewels at Rome. That is old Hugby
bringing up the rear with the Prayer-books, and Betsy
Hugby the old maid, his daughter,--old Hugby, Haberdasher
and Church-warden.

In the front room upstairs, where the dinner is laid out,
there is a picture of Muffborough Castle; of the Earl of
Muffborough, K.X., Lord-Lieutenant for Diddlesex; an
engraving, from an almanac, of Saint Boniface College,
Oxon; and a sticking-plaster portrait of Hugby when
young, in a cap and gown. A copy of his 'Sermons to a
Nobleman's Family' is on the bookshelf, by the 'Whole
Duty of Man,' the Reports of the Missionary Societies,
and the 'Oxford University Calendar.' Old Hugby knows
part of this by heart; every living belonging to Saint
Boniface, and the name of every tutor, fellow, nobleman,
and undergraduate.

He used to go to meeting and preach himself, until his
son took orders; but of late the old gentleman has been
accused of Puseyism, and is quite pitiless against the



I should like to fill several volumes with accounts of
various University Snobs; so fond are my reminiscences of
them, and so numerous are they. I should like to speak,
above all, of the wives and daughters of some of the
Professor-Snobs; their amusements, habits, jealousies;
their innocent artifices to entrap young men; their
picnics, concerts, and evening-parties. I wonder what
has become of Emily Blades, daughter of Blades, the
Professor of the Mandingo language? I remember her
shoulders to this day, as she sat in the midst of a crowd
of about seventy young gentlemen, from Corpus and
Catherine Hall, entertaining them with ogles and French
songs on the guitar. Are you married, fair Emily of the
shoulders? What beautiful ringlets those were that used
to dribble over them!--what a waist!--what a killing sea-
green shot-silk gown!--what a cameo, the size of a
muffin! There were thirty-six young men of the
University in love at one time with Emily Blades: and no
words are sufficient to describe the pity, the sorrow,
the deep, deep commiseration--the rage, fury, and
uncharitableness, in other words--with which the Miss
Trumps (daughter of Trumps, the Professor of Phlebotomy)
regarded her, because she DIDN'T squint, and because she
WASN'T marked with the small-pox.

As for the young University Snobs, I am getting too old,
now, to speak of such very familiarly. My recollections
of them lie in the far, far past--almost as far back as
Pelham's time.

We THEN used to consider Snobs raw-looking lads, who
never missed chapel; who wore highlows and no straps; who
walked two hours on the Trumpington road every day of
their lives; who carried off the college scholarships,
and who overrated themselves in hall. We were premature
in pronouncing our verdict of youthful Snobbishness The
man without straps fulfilled his destiny and duty. He
eased his old governor, the curate in Westmoreland, or
helped his sisters to set up the Ladies' School. He
wrote a 'Dictionary,' or a 'Treatise on Conic Sections,'
as his nature and genius prompted. He got a fellowship:
and then took to himself a wife, and a living. He
presides over a parish now, and thinks it rather a
dashing thing to belong to the 'Oxford and Cambridge
Club;' and his parishioners love him, and snore under his
sermons. No, no, HE is not a Snob. It is not straps
that make the gentleman, or highlows that unmake him, be
they ever so thick. My son, it is you who are the Snob
if you lightly despise a man for doing his duty, and
refuse to shake an honest man's hand because it wears a
Berlin glove.

We then used to consider it not the least vulgar for a
parcel of lads who had been whipped three months
previous, and were not allowed more than three glasses of
port at home, to sit down to pineapples and ices at each
other's rooms, and fuddle themselves with champagne and

One looks back to what was called a 'wine-party' with a
sort of wonder. Thirty lads round a table covered with
bad sweetmeats, drinking bad wines, telling bad stories,
singing bad songs over and over again. Milk punch--
smoking--ghastly headache-- frightful spectacle of
dessert-table next morning, and smell of tobacco--your
guardian, the clergyman, dropping in, in the midst of
this--expecting to find you deep in Algebra, and
discovering the Gyp administering soda-water.

There were young men who despised the lads who indulged
in the coarse hospitalities of wine-parties, who prided
themselves in giving RECHERCHE little French dinners.
Both wine-party-givers and dinner-givers were Snobs.

There were what used to be called 'dressy' Snobs:- Jimmy,
who might be seen at five o'clock elaborately rigged out,
with a camellia in his button-hole, glazed boots, and
fresh kid-gloves twice a day;--Jessamy, who was
conspicuous for his 'jewellery,'--a young donkey,
glittering all over with chains, rings, and shirt-studs;-
-Jacky, who rode every day solemnly on the Blenheim Road,
in pumps and white silk stockings, with his hair curled,-
-all three of whom flattered themselves they gave laws to
the University about dress--all three most odious
varieties of Snobs.

Sporting Snobs of course there were, and are always--
those happy beings in whom Nature has implanted a love of
slang: who loitered about the horsekeeper's stables, and
drove the London coaches--a stage in and out--and might
be seen swaggering through the courts in pink of early
mornings, and indulged in dice and blind-hookey at
nights, and never missed a race or a boxing-match; and
rode flat-races, and kept bull-terriers. Worse Snobs
even than these were poor miserable wretches who did not
like hunting at all, and could not afford it, and were in
mortal fear at a two-foot ditch; but who hunted because
Glenlivat and Cinqbars hunted. The Billiard Snob and the
Boating Snob were varieties of these, and are to be found
elsewhere than in universities.

Then there were Philosophical Snobs, who used to ape
statesmen at the spouting-clubs, and who believed as a
fact that Government always had an eye on the University
for the selection of orators for the House of Commons.
There were audacious young free-thinkers, who adored
nobody or nothing, except perhaps Robespierre and the
Koran, and panted for the day when the pale name of
priest should shrink and dwindle away before the
indignation of an enlightened world.

But the worst of all University Snobs are those
unfortunates who go to rack and ruin from their desire to
ape their betters. Smith becomes acquainted with great
people at college, and is ashamed of his father the
tradesman. Jones has fine acquaintances, and lives after
their fashion like a gay free-hearted fellow as he is,
and ruins his father, and robs his sister's portion, and
cripples his younger brother's outset in life, for the
pleasure of entertaining my lord, and riding by the side
of Sir John. And though it may be very good fun for
Robinson to fuddle himself at home as he does at College,
and to be brought home by the policeman he has just been
trying to knock down-- think what fun it is for the poor
old soul his mother!--the half-pay captain's widow, who
has been pinching herself all her life long, in order
that that jolly young fellow might have a University



What will he say about Literary Snobs? has been a
question, I make no doubt, often asked by the public.
How can he let off his own profession? Will that
truculent and unsparing monster who attacks the nobility,
the clergy, the army, and the ladies, indiscriminately,
hesitate when the turn comes to EGORGER his own flesh
and blood?

My dear and excellent querist, whom does the schoolmaster
flog so resolutely as his own son? Didn't Brutus chop
his offspring's head off? You have a very bad opinion
indeed of the present state of literature and of literary
men, if you fancy that any one of us would hesitate to
stick a knife into his neighbour penman, if the latter's
death could do the State any service.

But the fact is, that in the literary profession THERE
ARE NO SNOBS. Look round at the whole body of British
men of letters; and I defy you to point out among them a
single instance of vulgarity, or envy, or assumption.

Men and women, as far as I have known them, they are all
modest in their demeanour, elegant in their manners,
spotless in their lives, and honourable in their conduct
to the world and to each other. You MAY, occasionally,
it is true, hear one literary man abusing his brother;
but why? Not in the least out of malice; not at all from
envy; merely from a sense of truth and public duty.
Suppose, for instance, I, good-naturedly point out a
blemish in my friend MR. PUNCH'S person, and say, MR. P.
has a hump-back, and his nose and chin are more crooked
than those features in the Apollo or Antinous, which we
are accustomed to consider as our standards of beauty;
does this argue malice on my part towards MR. PUNCH? Not
in the least. It is the critic's duty to point out
defects as well as merits, and he invariably does his
duty with utmost gentleness and candour.

An intelligent foreigner's testimony about our manners is
always worth having, and I think, in this respect the
work of an eminent American, Mr. N. P. Willis is
eminently valuable and impartial. In his 'History of
Ernest Clay,' a crack magazine-writer, the reader will
get an exact account of the life of a popular man of
letters in England. He is always the lion of society.

He takes the PAS of dukes and earls; all the nobility
crowd to see him: I forget how many baronesses and
duchesses fall in love with him. But on this subject let
us hold our tongues. Modesty forbids that we should
reveal the names of the heart-broken countesses and dear
marchionesses who are pining for every one of the
contributors in PUNCH.

If anybody wants to know how intimately authors are
connected with the fashionable world, they have but to
read the genteel novels. What refinement and delicacy
pervades the works of Mrs. Barnaby! What delightful
good company do you meet with in Mrs. Armytage! She
seldom introduces you to anybody under a marquis! I
don't know anything more delicious than the pictures of
genteel life in 'Ten Thousand a Year,' except perhaps the
'Young Duke,' and 'Coningsby.' There's a modest grace
about THEM, and an air of easy high fashion, which only
belongs to blood, my dear Sir--to true blood.

And what linguists many of our writers are! Lady Bulwer,
Lady Londonderry, Sir Edward himself--they write the
French language with a luxurious elegance and ease which
sets them far above their continental rivals, of whom not
one (except Paul de Kock) knows a word of English.

And what Briton can read without enjoyment the works of
James, so admirable for terseness; and the playful humour
and dazzling offhand lightness of Ainsworth? Among other
humourists, one might glance at a Jerrold, the chivalrous
advocate of Toryism and Church and State; an a Beckett,
with a lightsome pen, but a savage earnestness of
purpose; a Jeames, whose pure style, and wit unmingled
with buffoonery, was relished by a congenial public.

Speaking of critics, perhaps there never was a review
that has done so much for literature as the admirable
QUARTERLY. It has its prejudices, to be sure, as which
of us has not? It goes out of its way to abuse a great
man, or lays mercilessly on to such pretenders as Keats
and Tennyson; but, on the other hand, it is the friend of
all young authors, and has marked and nurtured all the
rising talent of the country. It is loved by everybody.
There, again, is BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE--conspicuous for
modest elegance and amiable satire; that review never
passes the bounds of politeness in a joke. It is the
arbiter of manners; and, while gently exposing the
foibles of Londoners (for whom the BEAUX ESPRITS of
Edinburgh entertain a justifiable contempt), it is never
coarse in its fun. The fiery enthusiasm of the ATHENAEUM
is well known: and the bitter wit of the too difficult
LITERARY GAZETTE. The EXAMINER is perhaps too timid, and
the SPECTATOR too boisterous in its praise--but who can
carp at these minor faults? No, no; the critics of
England and the authors of England are unrivalled as a
body; and hence it becomes impossible for us to find
fault with them.

Above all, I never knew a man of letters ASHAMED OF HIS
PROFESSION. Those who know us, know what an affectionate
and brotherly spirit there is among us all. Sometimes
one of us rises in the world: we never attack him or
sneer at him under those circumstances, but rejoice to a
man at his success. If Jones dines with a lord, Smith
never says Jones is a courtier and cringer. Nor, on the
other hand, does Jones, who is in the habit of
frequenting the society of great people, give himself any
airs on account of the company he keeps; but will leave a
duke's arm in Pall Mall to come over and speak to poor
Brown, the young penny-a-liner.

That sense of equality and fraternity amongst authors has
always struck me as one of the most amiable
characteristics of the class. It is because we know and
respect each other, that the world respects us so much;
that we hold such a good position in society, and demean
ourselves so irreproachably when there.

Literary persons are held in such esteem by the nation
that about two of them have been absolutely invited to
court during the present reign; and it is probable that
towards the end of the season, one or two will be asked
to dinner by Sir Robert Peel.

They are such favourites with the public, that they are
continually obliged to have their pictures taken and
published; and one or two could be pointed out, of whom
the nation insists upon having a fresh portrait every
year. Nothing can be more gratifying than this proof of
the affectionate regard which the people has for its

Literature is held in such honour in England, that there
is a sum of near twelve hundred pounds per annum set
apart to pension deserving persons following that
profession. And a great compliment this is, too, to the
professors, and a proof of their generally prosperous and
flourishing condition. They are generally so rich and
thrifty, that scarcely any money is wanted to help them.

If every word of this is true, how, I should like to know
am I to write about Literary Snobs?



You do not, to be sure, imagine that there are no other
Snobs in Ireland than those of the amiable party who wish
to make pikes of iron railroads (it's a fine Irish
economy), and to cut the throats of the Saxon invaders.
These are of the venomous sort; and had they been
invented in his time, St. Patrick would have banished
them out of the kingdom along with the other dangerous

I think it is the Four Masters, or else it's Olaus
Magnus, or else it's certainly O'Neill Daunt, in the
'Catechism of Irish History,' who relates that when
Richard the Second came to Ireland, and the Irish chiefs
did homage to him, going down on their knees --the poor
simple creatures!--and worshipping and wondering before
the English king and the dandies of his court, my lords
the English noblemen mocked and jeered at their uncouth
Irish admirers, mimicked their talk and gestures, pulled
their poor old beards, and laughed at the strange fashion
of their garments.

The English Snob rampant always does this to the present
day. There is no Snob in existence, perhaps, that has
such an indomitable belief in himself: that sneers you
down all the rest of the world besides, and has such an
insufferable, admirable, stupid contempt for all people
but his own--nay, for all sets but his own. 'Gwacious
Gad' what stories about 'the Iwish' these young dandies
accompanying King Richard must have had to tell, when
they returned to Pall Mall, and smoked their cigars upon
the steps of 'White's.'

The Irish snobbishness developes itself not in pride so
much as in servility and mean admirations, and trumpery
imitations of their neighbours. And I wonder De
Tocqueville and De Beaumont, and THE TIMES' Commissioner,
did not explain the Snobbishness of Ireland as contrasted
with our own. Ours is that of Richard's Norman Knights,-
-haughty, brutal stupid, and perfectly self-confident;--
theirs, of the poor, wondering, kneeling, simple
chieftains. They are on their knees still before English
fashion--these simple, wild people; and indeed it is hard
not to grin at some of their NAIVE exhibitions.

Some years since, when a certain great orator was Lord
Mayor of Dublin, he used to wear a red gown and a cocked
hat, the splendour of which delighted him as much as a
new curtain-ring in her nose or a string of glass-beads
round her neck charms Queen Quasheeneboo. He used to pay
visits to people in this dress; to appear at meetings
hundreds of miles off, in the red velvet gown. And to
hear the people crying 'Yes, me Lard!' and 'No, me Lard!'
and to read the prodigious accounts of his Lordship in
the papers: it seemed as if the people and he liked to be
taken in by this twopenny splendour. Twopenny
magnificence, indeed, exists all over Ireland, and may be
considered as the great characteristic of the
Snobbishness of that country.

When Mrs. Mulholligan, the grocer's lady, retires to
Kingstown, she has Mulholliganville' painted over the
gate of her villa; and receives you at a door that won't
shut or gazes at you out of a window that is glazed with
an old petticoat.

Be it ever so shabby and dismal, nobody ever owns to
keeping a shop. A fellow whose stock in trade is a penny
roll or a tumbler of lollipops, calls his cabin the
'American Flour Stores,' or the 'Depository for Colonial
Produce,' or some such name.

As for Inns, there are none in the country; Hotels abound
as well furnished as Mulholliganville; but again there
are no such people as landlords and land-ladies; the
landlord is out with the hounds, and my lady in the
parlour talking with the Captain or playing the piano.

If a gentleman has a hundred a year to leave to his
family they all become gentlemen, all keep a nag, ride to
hounds, and swagger about in the 'Phaynix,' and grow
tufts to their chins like so many real aristocrats.

A friend of mine has taken to be a painter, and lives out
of Ireland, where he is considered to have disgraced the
family by choosing such a profession. His father is a
wine-merchant; and his elder brother an apothecary.

The number of men one meets in London and on the
Continent who have a pretty little property of five-and-
twenty hundred a year in Ireland is prodigious: those who
WILL have nine thousand a year in land when somebody dies
are still more numerous. I myself have met as many
descendants from Irish kings as would form a brigade.

And who has not met the Irishman who apes the Englishman,
and who forgets his country and tries to forget his
accent, or to smother the taste of it, as it were?
'Come, dine with me, my boy,' says O'Dowd, of
O'Dowdstown: 'you'll FIND US ALL ENGLISH THERE;' which he
tells you with a brogue as broad as from here to
Kingstown Pier. And did you never hear Mrs. Captain
Macmanus talk about 'I-ah-land,' and her account of her
'fawther's esteet?' Very few men have rubbed through the
world without hearing and witnessing some of these
Hibernian phenomena--these twopenny splendours.

And what say you to the summit of society--the Castle--
with a sham king, and sham lords-in-waiting, and sham
loyalty, and a sham Haroun Alraschid, to go about in a
sham disguise, making believe to be affable and splendid?
That Castle is the pink and pride of Snobbishness. A
COURT CIRCULAR is bad enough, with two columns of print
about a little baby that's christened--but think of
people liking a sham COURT CIRCULAR!

I think the shams of Ireland are more outrageous than
those of any country. A fellow shows you a hill and
says, 'That's the highest mountain in all Ireland;'
a gentleman tells you he is descended from Brian Boroo
and has his five-and-thirty hundred a year; or Mrs.
Macmanus describes her fawther's esteet; or ould Dan
rises and says the Irish women are the loveliest, the
Irish men the bravest, the Irish land the most fertile in
the world: and nobody believes anybody--the latter does
not believe his story nor the hearer:--but they make-
believe to believe, and solemnly do honour to humbug.

O Ireland! O my country! (for I make little doubt I am
descended from Brian Boroo too) when will you acknowledge
that two and two make four, and call a pikestaff a
pikestaff?--that is the very best use you can make of the
latter. Irish snobs will dwindle away then and we shall
never hear tell of Hereditary bondsmen.



Our selection of Snobs has lately been too exclusively of
a political character. 'Give us private Snobs,' cry the
dear ladies. (I have before me the letter of one fair
correspondent of the fishing village of Brighthelmstone
in Sussex, and could her commands ever be disobeyed?)
'Tell us more, dear Mr. Snob, about your experience of
Snobs in society.' Heaven bless the dear souls!--they
are accustomed to the word now--the odious, vulgar,
horrid, unpronounceable word slips out of their lips with
the prettiest glibness possible. I should not wonder if
it were used at Court amongst the Maids of Honour. In
the very best society I know it is. And why not?
Snobbishness is vulgar--the mere words are not: that
which we call a Snob, by any other name would still be

Well, then. As the season is drawing to a close: as many
hundreds of kind souls, snobbish or otherwise, have
quitted London; as many hospitable carpets are taken up;
and window-blinds are pitilessly papered with the MORNING
HERALD; and mansions once inhabited by cheerful owners
are now consigned to the care of the housekeeper's dreary
LOCUM TENENS--some mouldy old woman, who, in reply to the
hopeless clanging of the bell, peers at you for a moment
from the area, and then slowly unbolting the great hall-
door, informs you my lady has left town, or that 'the
family's in the country,' or 'gone up the Rind,'--or what
not; as the season and parties are over; why not consider
Party-giving Snobs for a while, and review the conduct of
some of those individuals who have quitted the town for
six months?

Some of those worthy Snobs are making-believe to go
yachting, and, dressed in telescopes and pea-jackets, are
passing their time between Cherbourg and Cowes; some
living higgledy-piggledy in dismal little huts in
Scotland, provisioned with canisters of portable soup,
and fricandeaux hermetically sealed in tin, are passing
their days slaughtering grouse upon the moors; some are
dozing and bathing away the effects of the season at
Kissingen, or watching the ingenious game of TRENTE ET
QUARANTE at Homburg and Ems. We can afford to be very
bitter upon them now they are all gone. Now there are no
more parties, let us have at the Party-giving Snobs. The
dinner-giving, the ball-giving, the DEJEUNER-giving, the
CONVERSAZIONE-GIVING Snobs--Lord! Lord! what havoc might
have been made amongst them had we attacked them during
the plethora of the season! I should have been obliged
to have a guard to defend me from fiddlers and
pastrycooks, indignant at the abuse of their patrons.
Already I'm told that, from some flippant and unguarded
expressions considered derogatory to Baker Street and
Harley Street, rents have fallen in these respectable
quarters; and orders have been issued that at least Mr.
Snob shall be asked to parties there no more. Well,
then--now they are ALL away, let us frisk at our ease,
and have at everything like the bull in the china-shop.
They mayn't hear of what is going on in their absence,
and, if they do they can't bear malice for six months.
We will begin to make it up with them about next
February, and let next year take care of itself. We
shall have no dinners from the dinner-giving Snobs: no
more from the ball-givers: no more CONVERSAZIONES (thank
Mussy! as Jeames says,) from the Conversaziones Snob: and
what is to prevent us from telling the truth?

The snobbishness of Conversazione Snobs is very soon
disposed of: as soon as that cup of washy bohea is handed
to you in the tea-room; or the muddy remnant of ice that
you grasp in the suffocating scuffle of the assembly

Good heavens! What do people mean by going there? What
is done there, that everybody throngs into those three
little rooms? Was the Black Hole considered to be an
agreeable REUNION, that Britons in the dog-days here seek
to imitate it? After being rammed to a jelly in a door-
way (where you feel your feet going through Lady Barbara
Macbeth's lace flounces, and get a look from that haggard
and painted old harpy, compared to which the gaze of
Ugolino is quite cheerful); after withdrawing your elbow
out of poor gasping Bob Guttleton's white waistcoat, from
which cushion it was impossible to remove it, though you
knew you were squeezing poor Bob into an apoplexy--you
find yourself at last in the reception-room, and try to
catch the eye of Mrs. Botibol, the CONVERSAZIONE-giver.
When you catch her eye, you are expected to grin, and she
smiles too, for the four hundredth time that night; and,
if she's very glad to see you, waggles her little hand
before her face as if to blow you a kiss, as the phrase

Why the deuce should Mrs. Botibol blow me a kiss? I
wouldn't kiss her for the world. Why do I grin when I
see her, as if I was delighted? Am I? I don't care a
straw for Mrs. Botibol. I know what she thinks about me.
I know what she said about my last volume of poems (I had
it from a dear mutual friend). Why, I say in a word, are
we going on ogling and telegraphing each other in this
insane way?--
Because we are both performing the ceremonies demanded by
the Great Snob Society; whose dictates we all of us obey.

Well; the recognition is over--my jaws have returned to
their usual English expression of subdued agony and
intense gloom, and the Botibol is grinning and kissing
her fingers to somebody else, who is squeezing through
the aperture by which we have just entered. It is Lady
Ann Clutterbuck, who has her Friday evenings, as Botibol
(Botty, we call her,) has Wednesdays. That is Miss
Clementina Clutterbuck the cadaverous young woman in
green, with florid auburn hair, who has published her
volume of poems ('The Death-Shriek;' 'Damiens;' 'The
Faggot of Joan of Arc;' and 'Translations from the
German' of course). The conversazione-women salute each
other calling each other 'My dear Lady Ann' and 'My dear
good Eliza,' and hating each other, as women hate who
give parties on Wednesdays and Fridays. With
inexpressible pain dear good Eliza sees Ann go up and
coax and wheedle Abou Gosh, who has just arrived from
Syria, and beg him to patronize her Fridays.

All this while, amidst the crowd and the scuffle, and a
perpetual buzz and chatter, and the flare of the wax-
candles, and an intolerable smell of musk--what the poor
Snobs who write fashionable romances call 'the gleam of
gems, the odour of perfumes, the blaze of countless
lamps'--a scrubby-looking, yellow-faced foreigner, with
cleaned gloves, is warbling inaudibly in a corner, to the
accompaniment of another. 'The Great Cacafogo,' Mrs.
Botibol whispers, as she passes you by. 'A great
creature, Thumpenstrumpff, is at the instrument--the
Hetman Platoff's pianist, you know.'

To hear this Cacafogo and Thumpenstrumpff, a hundred
people are gathered together--a bevy of dowagers, stout
or scraggy; a faint sprinkling of misses; six moody-
looking lords, perfectly meek and solemn; wonderful
foreign Counts, with bushy whiskers and yellow faces, and
a great deal of dubious jewellery; young dandies with
slim waists and open necks, and self-satisfied simpers,
and flowers in their buttons; the old, stiff, stout,
bald-headed CONVERSAZIONE ROUES, whom
You meet everywhere--who never miss a night of this
delicious enjoyment; the three last-caught lions of the
season--Higgs, the traveller, Biggs, the novelist, and
Toffey, who has come out so on the sugar question;
Captain Flash, who is invited on account of his pretty
wife and Lord Ogleby, who goes wherever she goes.

QUE SCAIS-JE? Who are the owners of all those showy
scarfs and white neckcloths?--Ask little Tom Prig, who is
there in all his glory, knows everybody, has a story
about every one; and, as he trips home to his lodgings in
Jermyn Street, with his gibus-hat and his little glazed
pumps, thinks he is the fashionablest young fellow in
town, and that he really has passed a night of exquisite

You go up (with our usual easy elegance of manner) and
talk to Miss Smith in a corner. 'Oh, Mr. Snob, I'm
afraid you're sadly satirical.'

That's all she says. If you say it's fine weather, she
bursts out laughing; or hint that it's very hot, she vows
you are the drollest wretch! Meanwhile Mrs. Botibol is
simpering on fresh arrivals; the individual at the door
is roaring out their names; poor Cacafogo is quavering
away in the music-room, under the impression that he will
be LANCE in the world by singing inaudibly here. And
what a blessing it is to squeeze out of the door, and
into the street, where a half-hundred of carriages are in
waiting; and where the link-boy, with that unnecessary
lantern of his, pounces upon all who issue out, and will
insist upon getting your noble honour's lordship's cab.

And to think that there are people who, after having
been to Botibol on Wednesday, will go to Clutterbuck
on Friday!



In England Dinner-giving Snobs occupy a very important
place in society, and the task of describing them is
tremendous. There was a time in my life when the
consciousness of having eaten a man's salt rendered me
dumb regarding his demerits, and I thought it a wicked
act and a breach of hospitality to speak ill of him.

But why should a saddle-of-mutton blind you, or a turbot
and lobster-sauce shut your mouth for ever? With
advancing age, men see their duties more clearly. I am
not to be hoodwinked any longer by a slice of venison, be
it ever so fat; and as for being dumb on account of
turbot and lobster-sauce----of course I am; good manners
ordain that I should be so, until I have swallowed the
compound--but not afterwards; directly the victuals are
discussed, and John takes away the plate, my tongue
begins to wag. Does not yours, if you have a pleasant
neighbour?--a lovely creature, say, of some five-and-
thirty, whose daughters have not yet quite come out--they
are the best talkers. As for your young misses, they are
only put about the table to look at--like the flowers in
the centre-piece. Their blushing youth and natural
modesty preclude them from easy, confidential,
conversational ABANDON which forms the delight of the
intercourse with their dear mothers. It is to these, if
he would prosper in his profession, that the Dining-out
Snob should address himself. Suppose you sit next to one
of these, how pleasant it is, in the intervals of the
banquet, actually to abuse the victuals and the giver of
the entertainment! It's twice as PIQUANT to make fun of
a man under his very nose.

'What IS a Dinner-giving Snob?' some innocent youth, who
is not REPANDU in the world, may ask--or some simple
reader who has not the benefits of London experience.

My dear sir, I will show you--not all, for that is
impossible--but several kinds of Dinner-giving Snobs.
For instance, suppose you, in the middle rank of life,
accustomed to Mutton, roast on Tuesday, cold on
Wednesday, hashed on Thursday, &c., with small means and
a small establishment, choose to waste the former and set
the latter topsy-turvy by giving entertainments
unnaturally costly--you come into the Dinner-giving Snob
class at once. Suppose you get in cheap-made dishes from
the pastrycook's, and hire a couple of greengrocers, or
carpet-beaters, to figure as footmen, dismissing honest
Molly, who waits on common days, and bedizening your
table (ordinarily ornamented with willow-pattern
crockery) with twopenny-halfpenny Birmingham plate.
Suppose you pretend to be richer and grander than you
ought to be--you are a Dinner-giving Snob. And oh, I
tremble to think how many and many a one will read this!

A man who entertains in this way--and, alas, how few do
not!--is like a fellow who would borrow his neighbour's
coat to make a show in, or a lady who flaunts in the
diamonds from next door--a humbug, in a word, and amongst
the Snobs he must be set down.

A man who goes out of his natural sphere of society to
ask Lords, Generals, Aldermen, and other persons of
fashion, but is niggardly of his hospitality towards his
own equals, is a Dinner-giving Snob. My dear friend,
Jack Tufthunt, for example, knows ONE Lord whom he met at
a watering-place: old Lord Mumble, who is as toothless as
a three-months-old baby, and as mum as an undertaker, and
as dull as--well, we will not particularise. Tufthunt
never has a dinner now but you see this solemn old
toothless patrician at the right-hand of Mrs. Tufthunt--
Tufthunt is a Dinner-giving Snob.

Old Livermore, old Soy, old Chutney, the East Indian
Director, old Cutler, the Surgeon, &c.,--that society of
old fogies, in fine, who give each other dinners round
and round, and dine for the mere purpose of guttling--
these, again, are Dinner-giving Snobs.

Again, my friend Lady MacScrew, who has three grenadier
flunkeys in lace round the table, and serves up a scrag-
of-mutton on silver, and dribbles you out bad sherry and
port by thimblefuls, is a Dinner-giving Snob of the other
sort; and I confess, for my part, I would rather dine
with old Livermore or old Soy than with her Ladyship.

Stinginess is snobbish. Ostentation is snobbish. Too
great profusion is snobbish. Tuft-hunting is snobbish.
But I own there are people more snobbish than all those
whose defects are above mentioned: viz., those
individuals who can, and don't give dinners at all. The
man without hospitality shall never sit SUB IISDEM
TRABIBUS with ME. Let the sordid wretch go mumble his
bone alone!

What, again, is true hospitality? Alas, my dear friends
and brother Snobs! how little do we meet of it after all!
Are the motives PURE which induce your friends to ask you
to dinner? This has often come across me. Does your
entertainer want something from you? For instance, I am
not of a suspicious turn; but it IS a fact that when
Hookey is bringing out a new work, he asks the critics
all round to dinner; that when Walker has got his picture
ready for the Exhibition, he somehow grows exceedingly
hospitable, and has his friends of the press to a quiet
cutlet and a glass of Sillery. Old Hunks, the miser, who
died lately (leaving his money to his housekeeper) lived
many years on the fat of the land, by simply taking down,
at all his friends', the names and Christian names OF ALL
THE CHILDREN. But though you may have your own opinion
about the hospitality of your acquaintances; and though
men who ask you from sordid motives are most decidedly
Dinner-giving Snobs, it is best not to inquire into their
motives too keenly. Be not too curious about the mouth
of a gift-horse. After all, a man does not intend to
insult you by asking you to dinner.

Though, for that matter, I know some characters about
town who actually consider themselves injured and
insulted if the dinner or the company is not to their
liking. There is Guttleton, who dines at home off a
shilling's-worth of beef from the cookshop, but if he is
asked to dine at a house where there are not pease at the
end of May, or cucumbers in March along with the turbot,
thinks himself insulted by being invited. 'Good Ged!'
says he, 'what the deuce do the Forkers mean by asking ME
to a family dinner? I can get mutton at home;' or 'What
infernal impertinence it is of the Spooners to get
ENTREES from the pastrycook's, and fancy that I am to be
deceived with their stories about their French cook!'
Then, again, there is Jack Puddington--I saw that honest
fellow t'other day quite in a rage, because, as chance
would have it, Sir John Carver asked him to meet the very
same party he had met at Colonel Cramley's the day
before, and he had not got up a new set of stories to
entertain them. Poor Dinner-giving Snobs! you don't know
what small thanks you get for all your pains and money!
How we Dining-out Snobs sneer at your cookery, and pooh-
pooh your old hock, and are incredulous about your four-
and-six-penny champagne, and know that the side-dishes of
to-day are RECHAUFFES from the dinner of yesterday, and
mark how certain dishes are whisked off the table
untasted, so that they may figure at the banquet
tomorrow. Whenever, for my part, I see the head man
particularly anxious to ESCAMOTER a fricandeau or a
blanc-mange, I always call out, and insist upon
massacring it with a spoon. All this sort of conduct
makes one popular with the Dinner-giving Snob. One
friend of mine, I know, has made a prodigious sensation
in good society, by announcing apropos of certain dishes
when offered to him, that he never eats aspic except at
Lord Tittup's, and that Lady Jimmy's CHEF is the only man
in London who knows how to dress--FILET EN SERPENTEAU--or



If my friends would but follow the present prevailing
fashion, I think they ought to give me a testimonial for
the paper on Dinner-giving Snobs, which I am now writing.
What do you say now to a handsome comfortable dinner-
service of plate (NOT including plates, for I hold silver
plates to be sheer wantonness, and would almost as soon
think of silver teacups), a couple of neat teapots, a
coffeepot, trays, &c., with a little inscription to my
wife, Mrs. Snob; and a half-score of silver tankards for
the little Snoblings, to glitter on the homely table
where they partake of their quotidian mutton?

If I had my way, and my plans could be carried out,
dinner-giving would increase as much on the one hand as
dinner-giving Snobbishness would diminish:--to my mind
the most amiable part of the work lately published by my
esteemed friend (if upon a very brief acquaintance he
will allow me to call him so), Alexis Soyer, the
regenerator--what he (in his noble style) would call the
most succulent, savoury, and elegant passages--are those
which relate, not to the grand banquets and ceremonial
dinners, but to his 'dinners at home.'

The 'dinner at home' ought to be the centre of the whole
system of dinner-giving. Your usual style of meal--that
is, plenteous, comfortable, and in its perfection--should
be that to which you welcome your friends, as it is that
of which you partake yourself.

For, towards what woman in the world do I entertain a
higher regard than towards the beloved partner of my
existence, Mrs. Snob? Who should have a greater place in
my affections than her six brothers (three or four of
whom we are pretty sure will favour us with their company
at seven o'clock), or her angelic mother, my own valued
mother-in-law?--for whom, finally, would I wish to cater
more generously than for your very humble servant, the
present writer? Now, nobody supposes that the Birmingham
plate is had out, the disguised carpet-beaters introduced
to the exclusion of the neat parlour-maid, the miserable
ENTREES from the pastrycook's ordered in, and the
children packed off (as it is supposed) to the nursery,
but really only to the staircase, down which they slide
during the dinner-time, waylaying the dishes as they come
out, and fingering the round bumps on the jellies, and
the forced-meat balls in the soup,--nobody, I say,
supposes that a dinner at home is characterized by the
horrible ceremony, the foolish makeshifts, the mean pomp
and ostentation which distinguish our banquets on grand

Such a notion is monstrous. I would as soon think of
having my dearest Bessy sitting opposite me in a turban
and bird of paradise, and showing her jolly mottled arms
out of blond sleeves in her famous red satin gown: ay, or
of having Mr. Toole every day, in a white waistcoat, at
my back, shouting, 'Silence FAW the chair!'

Now, if this be the case; if the Brummagem-plate pomp and
the processions of disguised footmen are odious and
foolish in everyday life, why not always? Why should
Jones and I, who are in the middle rank, alter the modes
of our being to assume an ECLAT which does not belong to
us--to entertain our friends, who (if we are worth
anything and honest fellows at bottom,) are men of the
middle rank too, who are not in the least deceived by our
temporary splendour, and who play off exactly the same
absurd trick upon us when they ask us to dine?

If it be pleasant to dine with your friends, as all
persons with good stomachs and kindly hearts will, I
presume, allow it to be, it is better to dine twice than
to dine once. It is impossible for men of small means to
be continually spending five-and-twenty or thirty
shillings on each friend who sits down to their table.
People dine for less. I myself have seen, at my
favourite Club (the Senior United Service), His Grace the
Duke of Wellington quite contented with the joint, one-
and-three, and half-pint of sherry, nine; and if his
Grace, why not you and I?

This rule I have made, and found the benefit of.
Whenever I ask a couple of Dukes and a Marquis or so to
dine with me, I set them down to a piece of beef, or a
leg-of-mutton and trimmings. The grandees thank you for
this simplicity, and appreciate the same. My dear Jones,
ask any of those whom you have the honour of knowing, if
such be not the case.

I am far from wishing that their Graces should treat me
in a similar fashion. Splendour is a part of their
station, as decent comfort (let us trust), of yours and
mine. Fate has comfortably appointed gold plate for
some, and has bidden others contentedly to wear the
willow-pattern. And being perfectly contented (indeed
humbly thankful--for look around, O Jones, and see the
myriads who are not so fortunate,) to wear honest linen,
while magnificos of the world are adorned with cambric
and point-lace, surely we ought to hold as miserable,
envious fools, those wretched Beaux Tibbs's of society,
who sport a lace dickey, and nothing besides,--the
poor silly jays, who trail a peacock's feather
behind them, and think to simulate the gorgeous bird
whose nature it is to strut on palace-terraces, and to
flaunt his magnificent fan-tail in the sunshine!

The jays with peacocks' feathers are the Snobs of this
world: and never, since the days of Aesop, were they more
numerous in any land than they are at present in this
free country.

How does this most ancient apologue apply to the subject
in hand?--the Dinner-giving Snob. The imitation of the
great is universal in this city, from the palaces of
Kensingtonia and Belgravia, even to the remotest corner
of Brunswick Square.

Peacocks' feathers are stuck in the tails of most
families. Scarce one of us domestic 2birds but imitates
the lanky, pavonine strut, and shrill, genteel scream.
O you misguided dinner-giving Snobs, think how much
pleasure you lose, and how much mischief you do with your
absurd grandeurs and hypocrisies! You stuff each other
with unnatural forced-meats, and entertain each other to
the ruin of friendship (let alone health) and the
destruction of hospitality and good-fellowship--you, who
but for the peacock's tail might chatter away so much at
your ease, and be so jovial and happy!

When a man goes into a great set company of dinner-giving
and dinner-receiving Snobs, if he has a philosophical
turn of mind, he will consider what a huge humbug the
whole affair is: the dishes, and the drink, and the
servants, and the plate, and the host and hostess, and
the conversation, and the company,--the philosopher

The host is smiling, and hob-nobbing, and talking up and
down the table; but a prey to secret terrors and
anxieties, lest the wines he has brought up from the
cellar should prove insufficient; lest a corked bottle
should destroy his calculations; or our friend the
carpet-beater, by making some BEVUE, should disclose his
real quality of greengrocer, and show that he is not the
family butler.

The hostess is smiling resolutely through all the
courses, smiling through her agony; though her heart is
in the kitchen, and she is speculating with terror lest
there be any disaster there. If the SOUFFLE should
collapse, or if Wiggins does not send the ices in time--
she feels as if she would commit suicide--that smiling,
jolly woman!

The children upstairs are yelling, as their maid is
crimping their miserable ringlets with hot tongs, tearing
Miss Emmy's hair out by the roots, or scrubbing Miss
Polly's dumpy nose with mottled soap till the little
wretch screams herself into fits. The young males of the
family are employed, as we have stated, in piratical
exploits upon the landing-place.

The servants are not servants, but the before-mentioned
retail tradesmen.

The plate is not plate, but a mere shiny Birmingham
lacquer; and so is the hospitality, and everything else.

The talk is Birmingham talk. The wag of the party, with
bitterness in his heart, having just quitted his
laundress, who is dunning him for her bill, is firing off
good stories; and the opposition wag is furious that he
cannot get an innings. Jawkins, the great
conversationalist, is scornful and indignant with the
pair of them, because he is kept out of court. Young
Muscadel, that cheap dandy, is talking Fashion and
Almack's out of the MORNING POST, and disgusting his
neighbour, Mrs. Fox, who reflects that she has never been
there. The widow is vexed out of patience, because her
daughter Maria has got a place beside young Cambric, the
penniless curate, and not by Colonel Goldmore, the rich
widower from India. The Doctor's wife is sulky, because
she has not been led out before the barrister's lady; old
Doctor Cork is grumbling at the wine, and Guttleton
sneering at the cookery.

And to think that all these people might be so happy, and
easy, and friendly, were they brought together in a
natural unpretentious way, and but for an unhappy passion
for peacocks' feathers in England. Gentle shades of
Marat and Robespierre! when I see how all the honesty of
society is corrupted among us by the miserable fashion-
worship, I feel as angry as Mrs. Fox just mentioned, and
ready to order a general BATTUE of peacocks.



Now that September has come, and all our Parliamentary
duties are over, perhaps no class of Snobs are in such
high feather as the Continental Snobs. I watch these
daily as they commence their migrations from the beach at
Folkestone. I see shoals of them depart (not perhaps
without an innate longing too to quit the Island along
with those happy Snobs). Farewell, dear friends, I say:
you little know that the individual who regards you from
the beach is your friend and historiographer and brother.

I went to-day to see our excellent friend Snooks, on
board the 'Queen of the French;' many scores of Snobs
were there, on the deck of that fine ship, marching forth
in their pride and bravery. They will be at Ostend in
four hours; they will inundate the Continent next week;
they will carry into far lands the famous image of the
British Snob. I shall not see them--but am with them in
spirit: and indeed there is hardly a country in the known
and civilized world in which these eyes have not beheld

I have seen Snobs, in pink coats and hunting-boots,
scouring over the Campagna of Rome; and have heard their
oaths and their well-known slang in the galleries of the
Vatican, and under the shadowy arches of the Colosseum.
I have met a Snob on a dromedary in the desert, and
picnicking under the Pyramid of Cheops. I like to think
how many gallant British Snobs there are, at this minute
of writing, pushing their heads out of every window in
the courtyard of 'Meurice's' in the Rue de Rivoli; or
roaring out, 'Garsong, du pang,' 'Garsong, du Yang;' or
swaggering down the Toledo at Naples; or even how many
will be on the look-out for Snooks on Ostend Pier,--for
Snooks, and the rest of the Snobs on board the 'Queen of
the French.'

Look at the Marquis of Carabas and his two carriages. My
Lady Marchioness comes on board, looks round with that
happy air of mingled terror and impertinence which
distinguishes her ladyship, and rushes to her carriage,
for it is impossible that she should mingle with the
other Snobs on deck. There she sits, and will be ill in
private. The strawberry leaves on her chariot-panels are
engraved on her ladyship's heart. If she were going to
heaven instead of to Ostend, I rather think she would
expect to have DES PLACES RESERVEES for her, and would
send to order the best rooms. A courier, with his money-
bag of office round his shoulders--a huge scowling
footman, whose dark pepper-and-salt livery glistens with
the heraldic insignia of the Carabases--a brazen-looking,
tawdry French FEMME-DE-CHAMBRE (none but a female pen can
do justice to that wonderful tawdry toilette of the
lady's-maid EN VOYAGE)--and a miserable DAME DE
COMPAGNIE, are ministering to the wants of her ladyship
and her King Charles's spaniel. They are rushing to and
fro with eau-de-Cologne, pocket-handkerchiefs, which are
all fringe and cipher, and popping mysterious cushions
behind and before, and in every available corner of the

The little Marquis, her husband is walking about the deck
in a bewildered manner, with a lean daughter on each arm:
the carroty-tufted hope of the family is already smoking
on the foredeck in a travelling costume checked all over,
and in little lacquer-tip pod jean boots, and a shirt
embroidered with pink boa-constrictors. 'What is it that
gives travelling Snobs such a marvellous propensity to
rush into a costume? Why should a man not travel in a
coat, &c.? but think proper to dress himself like a
harlequin in mourning? See, even young Aldermanbury, the
tallow-merchant, who has just stepped on board, has got a
travelling-dress gaping all over with pockets; and little
Tom Tapeworm, the lawyer's clerk out of the City, who has
but three weeks' leave, turns out in gaiters and a bran-
new shooting-jacket, and must let the moustaches grow on
his little sniffy upper lip, forsooth!

Pompey Hicks is giving elaborate directions to his
servant, and asking loudly, 'Davis, where's the dwessing-
case?' and 'Davis, you'd best take the pistol-case into
the cabin.' Little Pompey travels with a dressing-case,
and without a beard: whom he is going to shoot with his
pistols, who on earth can tell? and what he is to do with
his servant but wait upon him, I am at a loss to

Look at honest Nathan Houndsditch and his lady, and their
little son. What a noble air of blazing contentment
illuminates the features of those Snobs of Eastern race!
What a toilette Houndsditch's is! What rings and chains,
what gold-headed canes and diamonds, what a tuft the
rogue has got to his chin (the rogue! he will never spare
himself any cheap enjoyment!) Little Houndsditch has a
little cane with a gilt head and little mosaic ornaments-
-altogether an extra air. As for the lady, she is all
the colours of the rainbow! she has a pink parasol, with
a white lining, and a yellow bonnet, and an emerald green
shawl, and a shot-silk pelisse; and drab boots and
rhubarb-coloured gloves; and parti-coloured glass
buttons, expanding from the size of a fourpenny-piece to
a crown, glitter and twiddle all down the front of her
gorgeous costume. I have said before, I like to look at
'the Peoples' on their gala days, they are so
picturesquely and outrageously splendid and happy.

Yonder comes Captain Bull; spick and span, tight and
trim; who travels for four or six months every year of
his life; who does not commit himself by luxury of
raiment or insolence of demeanour, but I think is as
great a Snob as any man on board. Bull passes the season
in London, sponging for dinners, and sleeping in a garret
near his Club. Abroad, he has been everywhere; he knows
the best wine at every inn in every capital in Europe;
lives with the best English company there; has seen every
palace and picture-gallery from Madrid to Stockholm;
speaks an abominable little jargon of half-a-dozen
languages--and knows nothing--nothing. Bull hunts tufts
on the Continent, and is a sort of amateur courier. He
will scrape acquaintance with old Carabas before they
make Ostend; and will remind his lordship that he met him
at Vienna twenty years ago, or gave him a glass of
Schnapps up the Righi. We have said Bull knows nothing:
he knows the birth, arms, and pedigree of all the
peerage, has poked his little eyes into every one of the
carriages on board--their panels noted and their crests
surveyed; he knows all the Continental stories of English
scandal--how Count Towrowski ran off with Miss Baggs at
Naples--how VERY thick Lady Smigsmag was with young
Cornichon of the French Legation at Florence--the exact
amount which Jack Deuceace won of Bob Greengoose at
Baden--what it is that made the Staggs settle on the
Continent: the sum for which the O'Goggarty estates are
mortgaged, &c. If he can't catch a lord he will hook on
to a baronet, or else the old wretch will catch hold of
some beardless young stripling of fashion, and show him
'life' in various and amiable and inaccessible quarters.
Faugh! the old brute! If he has every one of the vices
of the most boisterous youth, at least he is comforted by
having no conscience. He is utterly stupid, but of a
jovial turn, He believes himself to be quite a
respectable member of society: but perhaps the only good
action he ever did in his life is the involuntary one of
giving an example to be avoided, and showing what an
odious thing in the social picture is that figure of the
debauched old man who passes through life rather a
decorous Silenus, and dies some day in his garret, alone,
unrepenting, and unnoted, save by his astonished heirs,
who find that the dissolute old miser has left money
behind him. See! he is up to old Carabas already! I
told you he would.

Yonder you see the old Lady Mary MacScrew, and those
middle-aged young women her daughters; they are going to
cheapen and haggle in Belgium and up the Rhine until they
meet with a boarding-house where they can live upon less
board-wages than her ladyship pays her footmen. But she
will exact and receive considerable respect from the
British Snobs located in the watering place which she
selects for her summer residence, being the daughter of
the Earl of Haggistoun. That broad-shouldered buck, with
the great whiskers and the cleaned white kid-gloves, is
Mr. Phelim Clancy of Poldoodystown: he calls himself Mr.
De Clancy; he endeavours to disguise his native brogue
with the richest superposition of English; and if you
play at billiards or ECARTE with him, the chances are
that you will win the first game, and he the seven or
eight games ensuing.

That overgrown lady with the four daughters, and the
young dandy from the University, her son, is Mrs. Kewsy,
the eminent barrister's lady, who would rather die than
not be in the fashion. She has the 'Peerage' in her
carpet-bag, you may be sure; but she is altogether cut
out by Mrs. Quod, the attorney's wife, whose carriage,
with the apparatus of rumbles, dickeys, and imperials,
scarcely yields in splendour to the Marquis of Carabas's
own travelling-chariot, and whose courier has even bigger
whiskers and a larger morocco money-bag than the
Marquis's own travelling gentleman. Remark her well: she
is talking to Mr. Spout, the new Member for Jawborough,
who is going out to inspect the operations of the
Zollverein, and will put some very severe questions to
Lord Palmerston next session upon England and her
relations with the Prussian-blue trade, the Naples-soap
trade, the German-tinder trade, &c. Spout will patronize
King Leopold at Brussels; will write letters from abroad
to the JAWBOROUGH INDEPENDENT; and in his quality of
invited to a family dinner with every sovereign whose
dominions he honours with a visit during his tour.

The next person is--but hark! the bell for shore is
ringing, and, shaking Snook's hand cordially, we rush on
to the pier, waving him a farewell as the noble black
ship cuts keenly through the sunny azure waters, bearing
away that cargo of Snobs outward bound.



We are accustomed to laugh at the French for their
braggadocio propensities, and intolerable vanity about La
France, la gloire, l'Empereur, and the like; and yet I
think in my heart that the British Snob, for conceit and
self-sufficiency and braggartism in his way, is without a
parallel. There is always something uneasy in a
Frenchman's conceit. He brags with so much fury,
shrieking, and gesticulation; yells out so loudly that
the Francais is at the head of civilization, the centre
of thought, &c.; that one can't but see the poor fellow
has a lurking doubt in his own mind that he is not the
wonder he professes to be.

About the British Snob, on the contrary, there is
commonly no noise, no bluster, but the calmness of
profound conviction. We are better than all the world;
we don't question the opinion at all; it's an axiom. And
when a Frenchman bellows out, 'LA FRANCE, MONSIEUR, LA
naturedly at the frantic poor devil. WE are the first
chop of the world: we know the fact so well in our secret
hearts that a claim set up elsewhere is simply ludicrous.
My dear brother reader, say, as a man of honour, if you
are not of this opinion? Do you think a Frenchman your
equal? You don't--you gallant British Snob--you know you
don't: no more, perhaps, does the Snob your humble
servant, brother.

And I am inclined to think it is this conviction, and the
consequent bearing of the Englishman towards the
foreigner whom he condescends to visit, this confidence
of superiority which holds up the head of the owner of
every English hat-box from Sicily to St. Petersburg, that
makes us so magnificently hated throughout Europe as we
are; this--more than all our little victories, and of
which many Frenchmen and Spaniards have never heard--this
amazing and indomitable insular pride, which animates my
lord in his travelling-carriage as well as John in the

If you read the old Chronicles of the French wars, you
find precisely the same character of the Englishman, and
Henry V.'s people behaved with just the cool domineering
manner of our gallant veterans of France and the
Peninsula. Did you never hear Colonel Cutler and Major
Slasher talking over the war after dinner? or Captain
Boarder describing his action with the 'Indomptable?'
'Hang the fellows,' says Boarder, 'their practice was
very good. I was beat off three times before I took
her.' 'Cuss those carabineers of Milhaud's,' says
Slasher, 'what work they made of our light cavalry!'
implying a sort of surprise that the Frenchman should
stand up against Britons at all: a good-natured wonder
that the blind, mad, vain-glorious, brave poor devils
should actually have the courage to resist an Englishman.
Legions of such Englishmen are patronizing Europe at this
moment, being kind to the Pope, or good-natured to the
King of Holland, or condescending to inspect the Prussian
reviews. When Nicholas came here, who reviews a quarter
of a million of pairs of moustaches to his breakfast
every morning, we took him off to Windsor and showed him
two whole regiments of six or eight hundred Britons a-
piece, with an air as much as to say,--'There, my boy,
look at THAT. Those are ENGLISHMEN, those are, and your
master whenever you please,' as the nursery song says.
The British Snob is long, long past scepticism, and can
afford to laugh quite good-humouredly at those conceited
Yankees, or besotted little Frenchmen, who set up as
models of mankind. THEY forsooth!

I have been led into these remarks by listening to an old
fellow at the Hotel du Nord, at Boulogne, and who is
evidently of the Slasher sort. He came down and seated
himself at the breakfast-table, with a surly scowl on his
salmon-coloured bloodshot face, strangling in a tight,
cross-barred cravat; his linen and his appointments so
perfectly stiff and spotless that everybody at once
recognized him as a dear countryman. Only our port-wine
and other admirable institutions could have produced a
figure so insolent, so stupid, so gentleman-like. After
a while our attention was called to him by his roaring
out, in a voice of plethoric fury, 'O!'

Everybody turned round at the 'O,' conceiving the Colonel
to be, as his countenance denoted him, in intense pain;
but the waiters knew better, and instead of being
alarmed, brought the Colonel the kettle. 'O,' it
appears, is the French for hot-water. The Colonel
(though he despises it heartily) thinks he speaks the
language remarkably well. Whilst he was inhausting his
smoking tea, which went rolling and gurgling down his
throat, and hissing over the 'hot coppers' of that
respectable veteran, a friend joined him, with a wizened
face and very black wig, evidently a Colonel too.

The two warriors, waggling their old heads at each other,
presently joined breakfast, and fell into conversation,
and we had the advantage of hearing about the old war,
and some pleasant conjectures as to the next, which they
considered imminent. They psha'd the French fleet; they
pooh-pooh'd the French commercial marine; they showed
how, in a war, there would be a cordon ('a cordong, by---
') of steamers along our coast, and 'by ---,' ready at a
minute to land anywhere on the other shore, to give the
French as good a thrashing as they got in the last war,
'by ---'. In fact, a rumbling cannonade of oaths was
fired by the two veterans during the whole of their

There was a Frenchman in the room, but as he had not been
above ten years in London, of course he did not speak the
language, and lost the benefit of the conversation.
'But, O my country!' said I to myself, it's no wonder
that you are so beloved! If I were a Frenchman, how I
would hate you!'

That brutal, ignorant, peevish bully of an Englishman is
showing himself in every city of Europe. One of the
dullest creatures under heaven, he goes travelling Europe
under foot, shouldering his way into galleries and
cathedrals, and bustling into palaces with his buck-ram
uniform. At church or theatre, gala or picture-gallery,
HIS face never varies. A thousand delightful sights pass
before his bloodshot eyes, and don't affect him.
Countless brilliant scenes of life and manners are shown
him, but never move him. He goes to church, and calls
the practices there degrading and superstitious: as if
HIS altar was the only one that was acceptable. He goes
to picture-galleries, and is more ignorant about Art than
a French shoeblack. Art, Nature pass, and there is no
dot of admiration in his stupid eyes: nothing moves him,
except when a very great man comes his way, and then the
rigid, proud, self-confident, inflexible British Snob can
be as humble as a flunkey and as supple as a harlequin.



'WHAT is the use of Lord Rome's telescope?' my friend
Panwiski exclaimed the other day. 'It only enables you
to see a few hundred thousands of miles farther. What
were thought to be mere nebulae, turn out to be most
perceivable starry systems; and beyond these, you see
other nebulae, which a more powerful glass will show to
be stars, again; and so they go on glittering and winking
away into eternity.' With which my friend Pan, heaving a
great sigh, as if confessing his inability to look
Infinity in the face, sank back resigned, and swallowed a
large bumper of claret.

I (who, like other great men, have but one idea), thought
to myself, that as the stars are, so are the Snobs:--the
more. you gaze upon those luminaries, the more you
behold--now nebulously congregated--now faintly
distinguishable--now brightly defined--until they twinkle
off in endless blazes, and fade into the immeasurable
darkness. I am but as a child playing on the sea-shore.
Some telescopic philosopher will arise one day, some
great Snobonomer, to find the laws of the great science
which we are now merely playing with, and to define, and
settle, and classify that which is at present but vague
theory, and loose though elegant assertion.

Yes: a single eye can but trace a very few and simple
varieties of the enormous universe of Snobs. I sometimes
think of appealing to the public, and calling together a
congress of SAVANS, such as met at Southampton--each to
bring his contributions and read his paper on the Great
Subject. For what can a single poor few do, even with
the subject at present in hand? English Snobs on the
Continent--though they are a hundred thousand times less
numerous than on their native island, yet even these few
are too many. One can only fix a stray one here and
there. The individuals are caught--the thousands escape.
I have noted down but three whom I have met with in my
walk this morning through this pleasant marine city of

There is the English Raff Snob, that frequents ESTAMINETS
and CABARETS; who is heard yelling, 'We won't go home
till morning!' and startling the midnight echoes of quiet
Continental towns with shrieks of English slang. The
boozy unshorn wretch is seen hovering round quays as
packets arrive, and tippling drains in inn bars where he
gets credit. He talks French with slang familiarity: he
and his like quite people the debt-prisons on the
Continent. He plays pool at the billiard-houses, and may
be seen engaged at cards and dominoes of forenoons. His
signature is to be seen on countless bills of exchange:
it belonged to an honourable family once, very likely;
for the English Raff most probably began by being a
gentleman, and has a father over the water who is ashamed
to hear his name. He has cheated the old 'governor'
repeatedly in better days, and swindled his sisters of
their portions, and robbed his younger brothers. Now he
is living on his wife's jointure: she is hidden away in
some dismal garret, patching shabby finery and cobbling
up old clothes for her children--the most miserable and
slatternly of women.

Or sometimes the poor woman and her daughters go about
timidly, giving lessons in English and music, or do
embroidery and work under-hand, to purchase the means for
the POT-AU-FEU; while Raff is swaggering on the quay, or
tossing off glasses of cognac at the CAF. The
unfortunate creature has a child still every year, and
her constant hypocrisy is to try and make her girls
believe that their father is a respectable man, and to
huddle him out of the way when the brute comes home

Those poor ruined souls get together and have a society
of their own, the which it is very affecting to watch--
those tawdry pretences at gentility, those flimsy
attempts at gaiety: those woful sallies: that jingling
old piano; oh, it makes the heart sick to see and hear
them. As Mrs. Raff, with her company of pale daughters,
gives a penny tea to Mrs. Diddler, they talk about bygone
times and the fine society they kept; and they sing
feeble songs out of tattered old music-books; and while
engaged in this sort of entertainment, in comes Captain
Raff with his greasy hat on one side, and straightway the
whole of the dismal room reeks with a mingled odour of
smoke and spirits.

Has not everybody who has lived abroad met Captain Raff?
His name is proclaimed, every now and then, by Mr.
Sheriff's Officer Hemp; and about Boulogne, 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, when he hears that his son is riding about with
Captain Legg, Lord Levant's son, is rather pleased that
young Hopeful should be in such good company.

Legg and his friend, Major Macer, make professional tours
through Europe, and are to be found at the right places
at the right time. Last year I heard how my young
acquaintance, Mr. Muff, from Oxford, going to see a
little life at a Carnival ball at Paris, was accosted by
an Englishman who did not know a word of the d----
language, and hearing Muff speak it so admirably, begged
him to interpret to a waiter with whom there was a
dispute about refreshments. It was quite a comfort, the
stranger said, to see an honest English face; and did
Muff know where there was a good place for supper? So
those two went to supper, and who should come in, of all
men in the world, but Major Macer? And so Legg
introduced Macer, and so there came on a little intimacy,
and three-card loo, &c. &c.. Year after year scores of
Muffs, in various places in the world, are victimised by
Legg and Macer. The story is so stale, the trick of
seduction so entirely old and clumsy, that it is only a
wonder people can be taken in any more: but the
temptations of vice and gentility together are too much
for young English Snobs, and those simple young victims
are caught fresh every day. Though it is only to be
kicked and cheated by men of fashion, your true British
Snob will present himself for the honour.

I need not allude here to that very common British Snob,
who makes desperate efforts at becoming intimate with the
great Continental aristocracy, such as old Rolls, the
baker, who has set up his quarters in the Faubourg Saint
Germain, and will receive none but Carlists, and no
French gentleman under the rank of a Marquis. We can all
of us laugh at THAT fellow's pretensions well enough--we
who tremble before a great man of our own nation. But,
as you say, my brave and honest John Bull of a Snob, a
French Marquis of twenty descents is very different from
an English Peer; and a pack of beggarly German and
Italian Fuersten and Principi awaken the scorn of an
honest-minded Briton. But our aristocracy!--that's a
very different matter. They are the real leaders of the
world--the real old original and-no-mistake nobility.

Off with your cap, Snob; down on your knees, Snob, and



Tired of the town, where the sight of the closed shutters
of the nobility, my friends, makes my heart sick in my
walks; afraid almost to sit in those vast Pall Mall
solitudes, the Clubs, and of annoying the Club waiters,
who might, I thought, be going to shoot in the country,
but for me, I determined on a brief tour in the
provinces, and paying some visits in the country which

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