An accomplished English writer, endeavoring to explain to Americans
, as many have done before him, how it is that educated men in England
do not feel aggrieved at giving precedence to persons of mere hereditary rank, gives a curious illustration of the very habit criticised.
He says that “no sensible Englishman ever sees in it a want of real consideration for himself.”
The hosts simply employ a convenient rule, he says: the titled guests follow the order of their rank; but the person held in the greatest esteem may be some one who comes in last of all. “How frequently do we discern, from biographies and memoirs, that some untitled man, living in perfect obscurity so far as the world is concerned, has been looked up to with unaffected deference by people of exalted station!”
In saying this he seems to feel that he has said all that was needed; and that he fully justifies this curious practice, by which the very guest for whom the entertainment is made, instead of being placed at his hostess's side and treated with honor, may find himself utterly subordinated