The Condenser

Friday, April 2, 2010

Peacocks on the Strand

The classic bon mot mentioned in the excerpt below would be worth pointing out on its own merits, but even more so considering that it was spoken by a figure who frequent readers of this blog will recognize as the charismatic perpetrator of the infamous Berners Street Hoax. Taken from "Week-Day Living, a Book for Young Men and Women" (1882) by Samuel Pearson.

Image of Hook via Wikipedia

I HAVE sometimes wondered whether men or women were more vain in matters of dress. At certain periods of life it is quite common to see a young fellow strutting along the street as proud as any peacock. Theodore Hook met such a one in the Strand, and stopping him, asked with an impressive air, "Excuse me, sir, but are you any one in particular?" Such a question has often crossed my mind when I have sauntered along some fashionable lounge. The unexceptionable attire, from the crown of the hat to the sole of the patent leather boots, the band-box associations which clung round the whole get-up, the enormous outlay of starch suggested—these things would be startling if they were not ridiculous.

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