But my kind reader will please to remember that this history has ‘Vanity Fair’ for a title, and that Vanity Fair is a very vain, wicked, foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs and falsenesses and pretensions.

So there was splendour and wealth, but no great happiness perchance, behind the tall caned portals of Gaunt House with its smoky coronets and ciphers. The feasts there were of the grandest in London, but there was not overmuch content therewith, except among the guests who sat at my lord’s table. Had he not been so great a Prince very few possibly would have visited him; but in Vanity Fair the sins of very great personages are looked at indulgently.

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