Posts Tagged ‘snobbery’


Robert Gascoyne-Cecil(1830-1903) was a descendent of Sir Robert Cecil of the Elizabethan fame. He was three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1885 to 1886, 1886 to 1892 and 1895 and 1902 and also served four times as Foreign Secretary. His time as Prime Minister coincided with a great expansion of the British Empire. Lord Salisbury is also remembered as an adherent of the policy of “splendid isolation”, the desire to keep Great Britain out of European affairs and alliances. He was also the last British Prime Minister to serve from the Lords.
He was notoriously myopic and mistook people in his own cabinet and also his son. He once looked at the photograph of Edward VII and mistook him for Sir.Redvers Buller. Intemperate in speech( of Disraeli-‘the grain of dirt that clogged the political machine’) he was not above granting one of his nephews an out of turn favor. In 1887 he made Arthur Balfour from obscurity to front-line post of Chief Secretary for Ireland, a vital post that gave rise to the expression,’Bob’s your uncle.’ Subject to nervous storms, pessimistic, shambling he on a ceremonial occasion induced near apoplexy on his sovereign by appearing in a mixture of two uniforms.
A representative of the landed aristocracy, he held the reactionary credo, “Whatever happens will be for the worse, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible.” Instead of seeing his party’s victory in 1886 as a harbinger of a new and more popular Conservatism, he longed to return to the stability of the past, when his party’s main function was to restrain demagogic liberalism and democratic excess.
(ack: wikipedia, eminent Edwardians/Piers Brendon-Penguin-1979)

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Pooterism refers to the Edwardian vulgarity which was exhibited in England where the plain nobs kowtowed to nobs with coronets and their obsession with class distinctions and the nuances of snobbery are best personified in Lord Hartington otherwise known as Harty-Tarty. benny
Lord Hartington,8th Duke of Devonshire

He was a leading liberal MP of the late Victorian Era. When asked what he considered the best answer to the usual American greeting,’Pleased to meet you,’ he replied,’If the fellow addressed me like that I should say,’So you damn well ought to be.’
When a man entering his railway put the question,’Do you mind if I smoke a cigar?’
Harty-Tarty replied with out any change in expression,’No my dear sir, provided you don’t mind me being sick.'(Ack:Anita Leslie-Edwardians in Love-Hutchinson of London)

Over a supper where Queen Victory was present Harty-Tarty was enjoying saddle of a four year old mutton, a specialty of the Windsor Kitchen. As the custom was when the Queen had finished her plate the footmen promptly removed plates of her guests as well. Pausing in the middle of his conversation, the Duke realized his half eaten mutton was being removed. He sharply asked him to ‘bring that back.’

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Degas And Tintorotto

Edgar Degas(1834-1917) French Painter
The painter once commenting about art lovers said thus,”When a person pays 3000 francs for a painting it is because he likes it. When he pays 300,000 it is because others like it.
Tintorotto(1518-’94) Venetian painter
When he was 80, certain senators felt he was too old to paint the massive ‘Paradise’which was to decorate the hall of the Great Council in Venice. But he insisted to be heard and he begged,”Give one paradise in this world; I am not sure I’ll reach it in the next.” The result was his greatest masterpiece.

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While engaged in an after dinner smoke at one of the parties, Colonel Weber who had a reputation as a rake said to Disraeli, ”Take care, my good fellow, I lost the most beautiful woman in the world by smoking,”and he added that the custom has prevented more liasons than the dread of a duel or a divorce.
“You have proved that it is a very moral habit,”replied Disraeli between puffs.
He could be extremely cutting when occasion called for it. Once during a party the host after praising a certain wine urged him to drink it.”Well,”said the host,”I have got wine 20 times as good in my cellar.”
“No doubt,: replied Disraeli glancing around the table,”but my dear fellow this is good enough for such ‘canaille’ as you have here today.”
compiler: benny

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