… the great cities of the earth … have become … loathsome centres of fornication and covetousness – the smoke of their sin going up into the face of heaven like the furnace of Sodom; and the pollution of it rotting and raging the bones and the souls of the peasant people round them, as if they were each a volcano whose ashes broke out in blains upon man and upon beast.
John Ruskin, Letters to the Clergy on the Lord’s Prayer and the Church (1880)
“What people do you mean?” Hyacinth allowed himself to inquire.
“Oh, the upper class, the people who’ve got all the things”.
“We don’t call them the people,” observed Hyacinth, reflecting the next instant that his remark was a little primitive.
“I suppose you call them the wretches, the scoundrels!” Rose Muniment suggested, laughing merrily.
“All the things, but not all the brains,” her brother said.
“No indeed, aren’t they stupid?” exclaimed her ladyship. “All the same, I don’t think they’d all go abroad”.
“I mean like the French nobles who emigrated so much. They’d stay at home and fight; they’d make more of a fight. I think they’d fight very hard.”
Henry James, The Princess Casamassima (1886)
In 1880 James Thomson, a poet whose Victorian industriousness never quite compensated for monumental lack of talent, published a collection of doggerel named for its initial ...