The “dangerous class,” the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.
In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped.
All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation.
Therefore, within the ethnical circle of good society there is a narrower and higher circle, concentration of its light, and flower of courtesy, to which there is always a tacit appeal of pride and reference, as to its inner and imperial court; the parliament of love and chivalry.
She was a solvent powerful to reconcile all heterogeneous persons into one society: like air or water, an element of such a great range of affinities that it combines readily with a thousand substances.
The constitution of our society makes it a giant’s castle to the ambitious youth who have not found their names enrolled in its Golden Book, and whom it has excluded from its coveted honors and privileges.
It is easy to see, that what is called by distinction society and fashion has good laws as well as bad, has much that is necessary, and much that is absurd.
Society loves creole natures, and sleepy languishing manners, so that they cover sense, grace and good-will: the air of drowsy strength, which disarms criticism; perhaps because such a person seems to reserve himself for the best of the game, and not spend himself on surfaces; an ignoring eye, which does not see the annoyances, shifts, and inconveniences that cloud the brow and smother the voice of the sensitive.
I pointed out to your sister the plain state of the case; the impossibility of the Society in which we moved recognising the Society in which she moved–though charming, I have no doubt; the immense disadvantage at which she would consequently place the family she had so high an opinion of, upon which we should find ourselves compelled to look down with contempt, and from which (socially speaking) we should feel obliged to recoil with abhorrence.
A more primitive state of society would be delicious to me.
‘But indeed, indeed, Amy,’ she resumed when they were seated in sisterly accord side by side, ‘I hope and I think you would have seen this differently, if you had known a little more of Society.’
‘I have been out, moving more in Society, and may have been getting proud and spirited–more than I ought to be, perhaps?’
‘Especially as we know,’ said Fanny, ‘that there certainly is a tone in the place to which you have been so true, which does belong to it, and which does make it different from other aspects of Society. So kiss me once again, Amy dear, and we will agree that we may both be right, and that you are a tranquil, domestic, home- loving, good girl.’