EppsNet Archive: William Makepeace Thackeray

Out of the Turmoil

Which, I wonder, brother reader, is the better lot, to die prosperous and famous, or poor and disappointed? To have, and to be forced to yield; or to sink out of life, having played and lost the game? That must be a strange feeling, when a day of our life comes and we say, “To-morrow, success or failure won’t matter much, and the sun will rise, and all the myriads of mankind go to their work or their pleasure as usual, but I shall be out of the turmoil.” — William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair Read more →

People and Their Silly Principles

If every person is to be banished from society who runs into debt and cannot pay–if we are to be peering into everybody’s private life, speculating upon their income, and cutting them if we don’t approve of their expenditure–why, what a howling wilderness and intolerable dwelling Vanity Fair would be! Every man’s hand would be against his neighbour in this case, my dear sir, and the benefits of civilization would be done away with. We should be quarrelling, abusing, avoiding one another. Our houses would become caverns, and we should go in rags because we cared for nobody. Rents would go down. Parties wouldn’t be given any more. All the tradesmen of the town would be bankrupt. Wine, wax-lights, comestibles, rouge, crinoline-petticoats, diamonds, wigs, Louis-Quatorze gimcracks, and old china, park hacks, and splendid high-stepping carriage horses–all the delights of life, I say,–would go to the deuce, if people did but… Read more →

Vanity Fair

Reading a few pages of Vanity Fair — the book, not the magazine — before retiring for the evening . . . I say to my wife, “Man, this Thackeray guy is really funny.” “Funnier than you?” she asks. “He must be.” “Why?” “Well, this book is almost 200 years old and people are still reading it.” “Imagine at the time he wrote it,” she says. “People probably laughed till they choked.” “Exactly.” Read more →