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Our Mutual Friend

11. Podsnappery
Mr Podsnap was well to do, and stood very high in Mr Podsnap's opinion.
Beginning with a good inheritance, he had married a good inheritance, and had
thriven exceedingly in the Marine Insurance way, and was quite satisfied. He
never could make out why everybody was not quite satisfied, and he felt
conscious that he set a brilliant social example in being particularly well satisfied
with most things, and, above all other things, with himself.
Thus happily acquainted with his own merit and importance, Mr Podsnap settled
that whatever he put behind him he put out of existence. There was a dignified
conclusiveness--not to add a grand convenience--in this way of getting rid of
disagreeables which had done much towards establishing Mr Podsnap in his lofty
place in Mr Podsnap's satisfaction. 'I don't want to know about it; I don't choose
to discuss it; I don't admit it!' Mr Podsnap had even acquired a peculiar flourish of
his right arm in often clearing the world of its most difficult problems, by sweeping
them behind him (and consequently sheer away) with those words and a flushed
face. For they affronted him.
Mr Podsnap's world was not a very large world, morally; no, nor even
geographically: seeing that although his business was sustained upon commerce
with other countries, he considered other countries, with that important
reservation, a mistake, and of their manners and customs would conclusively
observe, 'Not English!' when, PRESTO! with a flourish of the arm, and a flush of
the face, they were swept away. Elsewhere, the world got up at eight, shaved
close at a quarter-past, breakfasted at nine, went to the City at ten, came home
at half-past five, and dined at seven. Mr Podsnap's notions of the Arts in their
integrity might have been stated thus. Literature; large print, respectfully
descriptive of getting up at eight, shaving close at a quarter past, breakfasting at
nine, going to the City at ten, coming home at half-past five, and dining at seven.
Painting and Sculpture; models and portraits representing Professors of getting
up at eight, shaving close at a quarter past, breakfasting at nine, going to the City
at ten, coming home at half-past five, and dining at seven. Music; a respectable
performance (without variations) on stringed and wind instruments, sedately
expressive of getting up at eight, shaving close at a quarter past, breakfasting at
nine, going to the City at ten, coming home at half-past five, and dining at seven.
Nothing else to be permitted to those same vagrants the Arts, on pain of
excommunication. Nothing else To Be--anywhere!
As a so eminently respectable man, Mr Podsnap was sensible of its being
required of him to take Providence under his protection. Consequently he always
knew exactly what Providence meant. Inferior and less respectable men might
fall short of that mark, but Mr Podsnap was always up to it. And it was very
 
 
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