The bearded creatures are quite as eager for praise, quite as finikin over their toilettes, quite as proud of their personal advantages, quite as conscious of their powers of fascination, as any coquette in the world.
William M. THACKERAY, Vanity Fair
Dans la salle des cartes du Rundales Pils, le Versailles letton, ce portrait en pied rappela à mon souvenir Joseph Sedley le timide et Count Fosco le terrible, deux gentilshommes formidablement gras et somptueusement parés hantant respectivement Vanity Fair (William M. THACKERAY) et The Woman in White (Wilkie COLLINS). Ils sont bien davantage que de gros coquets, c’est entendu et oh comme je regrette de ne pouvoir parler mieux d’eux ! La faute au temps qui fuit, je vous le dit ; – ) Place ainsi aux amuses-bouches et au pauvre Jos, faible, lâche, vaniteux et pitoyablement seul.
He never was well dressed; but he took the hugest pains to adorn his big person, and passed many hours daily in that occupation. His valet made a fortune out of his wardrobe: his toilet-table was covered with as many pomatums and essences as ever were employed by an old beauty: he had tried, in order to give himself a waist, every girth, stay, and waistband then invented. Like most fat men, he would have his clothes made too tight, and took care they should be of the most brilliant colours and youthful cut. When dressed at length, in the afternoon, he would issue forth to take a drive with nobody in the Park; and then would come back in order to dress again and go and dine with nobody at the Piazza Coffee-House.
Jos, although provided with some of the most splendid vests that Calcutta could furnish, thought he could not go to town until he was supplied with one or two of these garments, and selected a crimson satin, embroidered with gold butterflies, and a black and red velvet tartan with white stripes and a rolling collar, with which, and a rich blue satin stock and a gold pin, consisting of a five-barred gate with a horseman in pink enamel jumping over it, he thought he might make his entry into London with some dignity. For Jos’s former shyness and blundering blushing timidity had given way to a more candid and courageous self-assertion of his worth. “I don’t care about owning it,” Waterloo Sedley would say to his friends, “I am a dressy man”;
To make these waistcoats for a man of his size and dignity took at least a day (.)
William M. THACKERAY, Vanity Fair
Place surtout au génial Count Fosco :
‘Ah ! my nice waistcoat !’ he said, pathetically. ‘I am sorry I came here. Some of that brute’s slobber has got on my pretty clean waistcoat.’ Those words express another of his incomprehensible oddities. He is as fond of fine clothes as the veriest fool in existence; and has appeared in four magnificent waistcoats, already–all of light garish colours, and all immensely large even for him–in the two days of his residence at Blackwater Park.
He had a broad straw hat on, with a violet coloured ribbon round it. A blue blouse, with profuse white fancy-work over the bosom, covered his prodigious body, and was girt about the place where his waist might once have been, with a broad scarlet leather belt. Nankeen trousers, displaying more with fancy-work over the ankles, and purple morocco slippers, adorned his lower extremities. He was singing Figaro’s famous song in the Barber of Seville, with that crispy fluent vocalization which is never heard from any other than an Italian throat; accompanying himself on the concertina, which he played with ecstatic throwing-up of his arms, and graceful twisting and turnings of his head, like a fat St Cecilia masquerading in male attire.
He wore (as if there was some hidden connexion between his showiest finery and his deepest feeling) the most magnificent waistcoat he has yet appeared in–it was made of pale sea-green silk, and delicately trimmed with fine silver braid.
Wilkie COLLINS, The Woman in White
Merveilleux personnage que ce flamboyant Napoléon du crime, amateur d’Opéra, de pâtisseries et de petites souris et antagoniste de l’éblouissante Marian. Vous qui ne les avez point encore rencontrés, je vous envie : une haletante lecture vous attend !
Signé : Une fan de fantastique ET de classiques !