"Them's My Sentiments!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Thackeray believed people all have a strong tendency toward snobbery and often made a point of showing how absurd persons can become when they indulge themselves in this weakness. In this chapter of Vanity Fair he shows how money makes its claims and induces snobbishness in people who are not ordinarily malicious. Miss Rhoda Swartz, an heiress, is introduced to the Osborne family, who quickly make much of her. Father and daughters find many kind sentiments for their new friend, just because she has money. The Osborne girls immediately decide that Rhoda Swartz would be a fine wife for their brother, George Osborne, who with a wealthy wife could leave the British Army, and go into Parliament for a political career. Their father, ordinarily a quiet, conservative British merchant, agrees with his daughters, even going further, to dream that as an heiress' husband George might acquire a title. Young Fred Bullock, engaged to Maria Osborne, looks at the matter in the same way as his fiancée's family:

. . . "Let George cut in directly and win her," was his advice. "Strike while the iron's hot, you know–while she's fresh to the town: in a few weeks some d––fellow from the West End will come in with a title and a rotten rent-roll and cut all us City men out, as Lord Fitzrufus did last year with Miss Grogram, who was actually engaged to Podder, of Podder & Brown's. The sooner it is done, the better, Mr. Osborne; them's my sentiments," the wag said; . . .