...the shiny-cheeked merchant bankers from London with eighties striped blue ties and white collars and double-barreled names and double chins and double-breasted suits, who said "ears" when they meant "yes" and "hice" when they meant "house" and "school" when they meant "Eton"...
(John le Carré (b. 1931), British novelist. Roper's description of the people he calls "the Necessary Evils" in The Night Manager, ch. 17, Alfred A. Knopf (1993).)
Virtue, my pet, is an abstract idea, varying in its manifestations with the surroundings. Virtue in Provence, in Constantinople, in London, and in Paris bears very different fruit, but is none the less virtue.
(Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850), French novelist. Louise de Chaulieu to Renée de l'Estorade in a letter, in Letters of Two Brides (Mémoires de Deux Jeunes Mariées), in La Presse (1841-1842), Souverain (1842), included in the Scènes de la Vie Privée in the Comédie humaine (1845, trans. by George Saintsbury, 1971).)
Fashion understands itself; good-breeding and personal superiority of whatever country readily fraternize with those of every other. The chiefs of savage tribes have distinguished themselves in London and Paris, by the purity of their tournure.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Manners," Essays, Second Series (1844).)