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Saturday: January 22, 2011

A Familiar Type

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:39 PM UTC

Ada Spelvexit was one of those naturally stagnant souls who take infinite pleasure in what are called “movements”. “Most of the really great lessons I have learned have been taught me by the Poor”, was one of her favourite statements. The one great lesson that the Poor in general would have liked to have taught her, that their kitchens and sickrooms were not unreservedly at her disposal as private lecture halls, she had never been able to assimilate. She was ready to give them unlimited advice as to how they should keep the wolf from their doors, but in return she claimed and enforced for herself the penetrating powers of an east wind or a dust storm. Her visits among her wealthier acquaintances were equally extensive and enterprising, and hardly more welcome; in country-house parties, while partaking to the fullest extent of the hospitality offered her, she made a practice of unburdening herself of homilies on the evils of leisure and luxury, which did not particularly endear her to her fellow guests. Hostesses regarded her philosophically as a form of social measles which everyone had to have once.

(Saki, The Unbearable Bassington, VII)

1 Comment »

  1. “She was full of the joy of righteousness and bad temper. She was a crusader and, like every crusader, she exulted in the opportunity to be vicious in the name of virtue.”

    (Sinclair Lewis, Babbit)

    Comment by anon — Sunday: January 23, 2011 @ 4:08 PM UTC

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