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Works (1898)


Works (1898)

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    Available in PDF Format | Works (1898).pdf | Unknown
    William Makepeace Thackeray
Excerpt from book: the Great Duke (the breast of whose own coat was plastered with some half-hundred decorations) was averse to the wearing of ribbons, medals, clasps, and the like, by his army. We have all of us read how uncommonly distinguished Lord Castlereagh looked at Vienna, where he was the only gentleman present without any decoration whatever. And the Great Duke's theory was, that clasps and ribbons, stars and garters, were good and proper ornaments for himself, for the chief officers of his distinguished army, and for gentlemen of high birth, who might naturally claim to wear a band of garter blue across their waistcoats : but that for common people your plain coat, without stars and ribbons, was the most sensible wear. And no doubt you and I are as happy, as free, as comfortable : we can '.valk and dine as well: we can keep the winter's cold out as well, without a star on our coats, as without a feather in our hats. How often we have laughed at the absurd mania of the Americans for dubbing their senators, members of Congress, and States' representatives, Honourable ! We have a right to call our Privy Councillors Right Honourable, our Lords' sons Honourable, and so forth : but for a nation as numerous, well educated, strong, rich, civilized, free as our own, to dare to give its distinguished citizens titles of honour— monstrous assumption of low-bred arrogance and parvenu vanity! Our titles are respectable, but theirs absurd. Mr. Jones, of London, a Chancellor's son, and a tailor's grandson, is justly Honourable, and entitled to be Lord Jones at his noble father's decease : but Mr. Brown, the senator from New York, is a silly upstart for tacking Honourable to his name, and our sturdy British good sense laughs at him. Who has not laughed (I have myself) at Honourable Nahum Dodge, Honoura...  
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