William Makepeace Thackeray quote about vice from Vanity Fair - the moral world . . . has, perhaps, no particular objection to vice, but an insuperable repugnance to hearing vice called by its proper name.
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the moral world . . . has, perhaps, no particular objection to vice, but an insuperable repugnance to hearing vice called by its proper name.
 William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1847). copy citation

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Author William Makepeace Thackeray
Source Vanity Fair
Topic vice morality bigotry
Date 1847
Language English
Reference
Note
Weblink https://www.gutenberg.org/files/599/599-h/599-h.htm

Context

“And Mr. Kirsch having lost all his money by this time, followed his master out into the moonlight, where the illuminations were winking out and the transparency over our mission was scarcely visible.
CHAPTER LXIV A Vagabond Chapter We must pass over a part of Mrs. Rebecca Crawley's biography with that lightness and delicacy which the world demands—the moral world, that has, perhaps, no particular objection to vice, but an insuperable repugnance to hearing vice called by its proper name. There are things we do and know perfectly well in Vanity Fair, though we never speak of them: as the Ahrimanians worship the devil, but don't mention him: and a polite public will no more bear to read an authentic description of vice than a truly refined English or American female will permit the word breeches to be pronounced in her chaste hearing.” source

Meaning and analysis

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