fortune, with a reasonable amount of tact, and one generation, at most two, can accomplish the rest.
There is a lingering rumor that at Newport
a rich dealer in patent medicines
was for years successfully kept from buying land on the fashionable avenue; but if so, the exclusion was in itself an absurdity, like those attempted distinctions between wholesale and retail trade.
Surely it is absurd to assume it as plebeian to sell tape by the piece, and not plebeian to sell it by the thousand pieces; to call it discreditable when a fortune is made by a medicine, and not when it is made by hotel-keeping or laying water-pipes or carrying on the express business.
All these vocations, and a thousand others equally modest and respectable, have contributed to the gilding of our jeunesse doree, and no one need be ashamed of any one of them, except when it tempts him to sneer at some other.
When Mrs. Thrale
, the witty friend and hostess of Dr. Samuel Johnson
, after being left the widow of a brewer, married for her second husband a professional musician, Signor Piozzi
, all London society thought that she had degraded herself; whereas, when she went to Italy
, her husband's musical relatives wondered that she could ever, even in youth,