THE GENERATION OF GENTLEFOLK [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]
Sta,—Under this heading Mr. Hamish Miles asks a question. Quoting Miss Yonge and the astounding "Eric," he desires to know what relation there was between Artistic Convention and the actualities of Mid-Victorian existence.
May r, from my dotard pinnacle, quaver down an answer ? I assure him that, despite our ineffabilities, we were not all mental deficients—already the shadows were rending. Tiny improprieties, even then, were taking form—ghosts of Georgian humour still lingered in the ewigkeit.
An illustration ? Let me supply it. I distinctly remember a convivial Public Character who, by the exigencies of baptism, acquired kinship and kidney with Dean Farrar's hero. Instantly and—so it seemed to us—inevitably he became "Eric, or bottle by bottic."—Faithfully yours,
Fax SAME, Major (ret.).
Caledontan Club, St. James's Square, S.W. I.