As the manager of the Performance sits before the curtain on the
boards and looks into the Fair, a feeling of profound melancholy
comes over him in his survey of the bustling place. There is a
great quantity of eating and drinking, making love and jilting,
laughing and the contrary, smoking, cheating, fighting, dancing and
fiddling; there are bullies pushing about, bucks ogling the women,
knaves picking pockets, policemen on the look-out, quacks (OTHER
quacks, plague take them ) bawling in front of their booths, and
yokels looking up at the tinselled dancers and poor old rouged
tumblers, while the light-fingered folk are operating upon their
pockets behind. Yes, this is VANITY FAIR; not a moral place
certainly; nor a merry one, though very noisy. Look at the faces of
the actors and buffoons when they come off from their business; and
Tom Fool washing the paint off his cheeks before he sits down to
dinner with his wife and the little Jack Puddings behind the
canvas. The curtain will be up presently, and he will be turning
over head and heels, and crying, "How are you?" A man with a
reflective turn of mind, walking through an exhibition of this
sort, will not be oppressed, I take it, by his own or other
people's hilarity. An episode of humour or kindness touches and
amuses him here and there-a pretty child looking at a gingerbread
stall; a pretty girl blushing whilst her lover talks to her and
chooses her fairing; poor Tom Fool, yonder behind the waggon,
mumbling his bone with the honest family which lives by his
tumbling; but the general impression is one more melancholy than
mirthful. When you come home you sit down in a sober,
contemplative, not uncharitable frame of mind, and apply yourself
to your books or your business. I have no other moral than this to
tag to the present story of "Vanity Fair." Some people consider
Fairs immoral altogether, and eschew such, with their servants and
families: very likely they are right. But persons who think
otherwise, and are of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood,
may perhaps like to step in for half an hour, and look at the
performances. There are scenes of all sorts; some dreadful combats,
some grand and lofty horse-riding, some scenes of high life, and
some of very middling indeed; some love-making for the sentimental,
and some light comic business; the whole accompanied by appropriate
scenery and brilliantly illuminated with the Author's own candles.
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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||279 x 216 x 12mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
Genre fiction >
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