By: Robert Smith Surtees (1805-1864)
Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities
Ask Mamma: or The Richest Commoner In England
Considering that Billy Pringle, or Fine Billy, as his good-natured friends called him, was only an underbred chap, he was as good an imitation of a Swell as ever we saw. He had all the airy dreaminess of a hereditary high flyer, while his big talk and off-hand manner strengthened the delusion.
It was only when you came to close quarters with him and found that though he talked in pounds he acted in pence, and marked his fine dictionary words and laboured expletives, that you came to the conclusion that he was “painfully gentlemanly...