by William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair Sex Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"The feller has left you, has he?" the Baronet said, beginning, as he fancied, to comprehend. "Well, Becky--come back if you like. You can't eat your cake and have it. Any ways I made you a vair offer. Coom back as governess--you shall have it all your own way." She held out one hand. She cried fit to break her heart; her ringlets fell over her face, and over the marble mantelpiece where she laid it.
"So the rascal ran off, eh?" Sir Pitt said, with a hideous attempt at consolation. "Never mind, Becky, I'LL take care of 'ee." (15.6-7)
What's amazing about Sir Pitt is how open he is about his desires. Here, of course, what makes his consolation so "hideous" is that he's talking about sexual healing while being an old man who should be over that kind of thing by now, according to propriety.
"'Gad, if Miss S. will have me, I'm her man. I ain't particular about a shade or so of tawny." And the old gentleman [Mr. Osborne] gave his knowing grin and coarse laugh. (24.13)
Not that Sir Pitt has the market cornered on being a dirty old man. Here is Mr. Osborne talking about Miss Swartz's appeal, which is for him more than money, according to the adjectives "knowing" and "coarse."
[Becky] called George Osborne, Cupid. She had flattered him about his good looks a score of times already. She watched over him kindly at ecarte of a night when he would drop in to Rawdon's quarters for a half-hour before bed-time.
She had often called him a horrid dissipated wretch, and threatened to tell Emmy of his wicked ways and naughty extravagant habits. She brought his cigar and lighted it for him; she knew the effect of that manoeuvre, having practised it in former days upon Rawdon Crawley. He thought her gay, brisk, arch, distinguee, delightful. (25.25-26)
Here is clear proof that the cigar thing is an intentional come-on on Becky's part. It seems it works on George, who, like Rawdon, responds with a breathy string of exclamatory adjectives (and then propositions her).