| Quote #1
He was some seven-and-twenty years of age; when his friends spoke of him, they usually said that he was at Geneva "studying." When his enemies spoke of him, they said--but, after all, he had no enemies; he was an extremely amiable fellow, and universally liked. What I should say is, simply, that when certain persons spoke of him they affirmed that the reason of his spending so much time at Geneva was that he was extremely devoted to a lady who lived there--a foreign lady--a person older than himself. (1.2)
How interesting can you be if everyone likes you? Winterbourne is like the easy-listening station of human beings.
| Quote #2
Mrs. Costello had not seen [Winterbourne] for many years, and she was greatly pleased with him, manifesting her approbation by initiating him into many of the secrets of that social sway which, as she gave him to understand, she exerted in the American capital. She admitted that she was very exclusive; but, if he were acquainted with New York, he would see that one had to be. And her picture of the minutely hierarchical constitution of the society of that city, which she presented to him in many different lights, was, to Winterbourne's imagination, almost oppressively striking. (1.99)
Costello to Winterbourne: "I'm the bomb." Are you buying this, or what?
| Quote #3
"We simply met in the garden, and we talked a bit."
"Tout bonnement! And pray what did you say?"
"I said I should take the liberty of introducing her to my admirable aunt."
"I am much obliged to you."
"It was to guarantee my respectability," said Winterbourne.
"And pray who is to guarantee hers?"
"Ah, you are cruel!" said the young man. "She's a very nice young girl." (1.115-21)
It just goes to show how customs change. Nowadays, if we met a guy in a garden and the first thing he said was "wanna meet my aunt?" we'd think that was weird, but here it's supposed to make him seem less sketchy.