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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Beau Brummel

  • [George Brummel, commonly called “Beau Brummel,” born in London, 1778; a favorite and companion of the Prince Regent, and leader of fashion; having dissipated his fortune, he retired to Caen, France, where he died, 1840.]
  • I once ate a pea.

  • When asked at dinner if he never ate vegetables.
  • He explained limping in Bond Street, by an injury to his leg; “and the worst of it was,” he added, “it was my favorite leg.”
  • Being asked why he had such a bad cold, he said, “I left my carriage yesterday evening on my way to town from the Pavilion, and the infidel of a landlord put me into a room with a damp stranger.”
  • Passing a new bronze statue of Pitt, some one remarked that he never thought Pitt was so tall a man; “Nor so green a one,” added Brummel.
  • After his rupture with the Prince Regent, Brummel came upon him suddenly one day with some friends, and, addressing one of them while looking at the prince as at an entire stranger, said, “Alvanley, who’s your fat friend!”
  • He answered the question whether he had ever seen so unseasonable a summer, by saying, “Yes: last winter.”
  • “Civility,” he once observed, “may be truly said to cost nothing: if it does not meet with a good return, it at least leaves you in the most creditable position.”
  • After crossing the Channel, Brummel studied French; and, being asked what progress he was making, replied, “It’s with me as with Napoleon in Russia,—I am stopped by the elements.”