BOOK THE FIRST: THE CUP AND THE LIP
Chapter 11: Podsnappery (continued)
As a so eminently respectable man, Mr Podsnap was sensible of its
being required of him to take Providence under his protection.
Consequently he always knew exactly what Providence meant.
Inferior and less respectable men might fall short of that mark, but
Mr Podsnap was always up to it. And it was very remarkable (and
must have been very comfortable) that what Providence meant,
was invariably what Mr Podsnap meant.
These may be said to have been the articles of a faith and school
which the present chapter takes the liberty of calling, after its
representative man, Podsnappery. They were confined within close
bounds, as Mr Podsnap's own head was confined by his shirt-
collar; and they were enunciated with a sounding pomp that
smacked of the creaking of Mr Podsnap's own boots.
There was a Miss Podsnap. And this young rocking-horse was
being trained in her mother's art of prancing in a stately manner
without ever getting on. But the high parental action was not yet
imparted to her, and in truth she was but an undersized damsel,
with high shoulders, low spirits, chilled elbows, and a rasped
surface of nose, who seemed to take occasional frosty peeps out of
childhood into womanhood, and to shrink back again, overcome by
her mother's head-dress and her father from head to foot--crushed
by the mere dead-weight of Podsnappery.
A certain institution in Mr Podsnap's mind which he called 'the
young person' may be considered to have been embodied in Miss
Podsnap, his daughter. It was an inconvenient and exacting
institution, as requiring everything in the universe to be filed down
and fitted to it. The question about everything was, would it bring
a blush into the cheek of the young person? And the inconvenience
of the young person was, that, according to Mr Podsnap, she
seemed always liable to burst into blushes when there was no need
at all. There appeared to be no line of demarcation between the
young person's excessive innocence, and another person's guiltiest
knowledge. Take Mr Podsnap's word for it, and the soberest tints
of drab, white, lilac, and grey, were all flaming red to this
troublesome Bull of a young person.