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Roundabout Papers

William Makepeace Thackeray

Book Overview: 

Mr. Roundabout, says a lady sitting by me, "how comes it that in your books there is a certain class (it may be of men, or it may be of women, but that is not the question in point)--how comes it, dear sir, there is a certain class of persons whom you always attack in your writings, and savagely rush at, goad, poke, toss up in the air, kick, and trample on?"

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .think rightly, that we have some cause to be indignant. The great cause why modern humor and modern sentimentalism repel us, is that they are unwarrantably familiar. Now, Mr. Sterne, the Superfine Reviewer thinks, "was a true sentimentalist, because he was ABOVE ALL THINGS a true gentleman." The flattering inference is obvious: let us be thankful for having an elegant moralist watching over us, and learn, if not too old, to imitate his high-bred politeness and catch his unobtrusive grace. If we are unwarrantably familiar, we know who is not. If we repel by pertness, we know who never does. If our language offends, we know whose is always modest. O pity! The vision has disappeared off the silver, the images of youth and the past are vanishing away! We who have lived before railways were made, belong to another world. In how many hours could the Prince of Wales drive from Brighton to London, with a light carriage built expressly, and relays of horses longing to gallop the n. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Wonderful essays written when Thackeray was editor of Cornhill Magazine. Highly recommend, there are so any gems within these essays that the reader will be amazed.