Accordingly, I Maintain Throughout Dinner A Lofty Height Of
Aristocratic Elegance That Impresses Even The Impassive Dawson,
Towards Whom It Is Solely Directed.
To the amazement and amusement
of Salemina (who always takes my cheerful inanities at their face
value), I give
An hypothetical account of my afternoon engagements,
interlarding it so thickly with countesses and marchionesses and
lords and honourables that though Dawson has passed soup to
duchesses, and scarcely ever handed a plate to anything less than a
baroness, he dilutes the customary scorn of his glance, and makes it
two parts condescending approval as it rests on me, Penelope
Hamilton, of the great American working class (unlimited).
Apropos of the servants, it seems to me that the British footman has
relaxed a trifle since we were last here; or is it possible that he
reaches the height of his immobility at the height of the London
season, and as it declines does he decline and become flesh? At all
events, I have twice seen a footman change his weight from one leg
to the other, as he stood at a shop entrance with his lady's mantle
over his arm; twice have I seen one stroke his chin, and several
times have I observed others, during the month of July, conduct
themselves in many respects like animate objects with vital organs.
Lest this incendiary statement be challenged, levelled as it is at
an institution whose stability and order are but feebly represented
by the eternal march of the stars in their courses, I hasten to
explain that in none of these cases cited was it a powdered footman
who (to use a Delsartean expression) withdrew will from his body and
devitalised it before the public eye.
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