by Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
"He came to Le Touquet at Easter and, in some extraordinary way, I seemed to have asked him to stay. Well, my mother is used to me, but my poor stepfather found Mulcaster very hard to understand. You see my stepfather is a d-d-dago and therefore has a very high opinion of the English aristocracy. He couldn't quite fit Mulcaster into his idea of a lord, and really I couldn't explain him; he lost some infinitesimal sum at cards, and as a result expected me to pay for all his treats." (1.2.30)
Mulcaster proves that aristocratic blood does not a gentleman make.
"That, my dear, seemed to put a little life into them, and up the stairs they came, clattering. About six of them came into my room, the rest stood mouthing outside. My dear, they looked too extraordinary. They had been having one of their ridiculous club dinners, and they were all wearing coloured tail-coats – a sort of livery. 'My dears,' I said to them, 'you look like a lot of most disorderly footmen.'" (1.2.31)
Brideshead Revisited often makes fun of this sort of useless aristocratic tradition.
"I became very rich. It used to worry me, and I thought it wrong to have so many beautiful things when others had nothing. Now I realize that it is possible for the rich to sin by coveting the privileges of the poor. The poor have always been the favourites of God and His saints, but I believe that it is one of the special achievements of Grace to sanctify the whole of life, riches included. Wealth in pagan Rome was necessarily something cruel; it's not any more." (1.5.202)
Lady Marchmain struggles with her faith the same way that her children do. She may give the impression of perfect holiness, but Charles sees that she, too, doubts her ability to be a good Catholic. Even still, she uses her religion as a way to justify her own material wealth.