The Geology of Society II

by Instant Noodle



We last week described the different strata of society comprehended in the INFERIOR SERIES, and the lower portion of the Clapham Group. We now beg to call the attention of our readers to a most important division in the next great formation—which has been termed the TRANSITION CLASS—because the individuals composing it are in a gradual state of elevation, and have a tendency to mix with the superior strata. By referring to the scale which we gave in our first section, it will be seen that the lowest layer in this class is formed by the people who keep shops and one-horse “shays,” and go to Ramsgate for three weeks in the dog-days. They all exhibit evidences of having been thrown up from a low to a high level. The elevating causes are numerous, but the most remarkable are those which arise from the action of unexpected legacies. Lotteries were formerly the cause of remarkable elevations; and speculation in the funds may be still considered as amongst the elevating causes, though their effect is frequently to cause a sudden sinking. Lying immediately above the “shop and shay” people, we find the old substantial merchant, who every day precisely as the clock strikes ten is in the act of hanging up his hat in his little back counting-house in Fenchurch-street. His private house, however, is at Brixton-hill, where the gentility of the family is supported by his wife, two daughters, a piano, and a servant in livery. The best and finest specimens of this strata are susceptible of a slight polish; they are found very useful in the construction of joint stock banks, railroads, and other speculations where a good foundation is required. We now come to the Russell-square group, which comprehends all those people who “live private,” and aim at being thought fashionable and independent. Many individuals of this group are nevertheless supposed by many to be privately connected with some trading concern in the City. It is a distinguishing characteristic of the second layer in this group to have a tendency to give dinners to the superior series, while the specimens of the upper stratum are always found in close proximity to a carriage. Family descent, which is a marked peculiarity of the SUPERIOR CLASS, is rarely to be met with in the Russell-square group. The fossil animals which exist in this group are not numerous: they are for the most part decayed barristers and superannuated doctors. Of the ST. JAMES’S SERIES it is sufficient to say that it consists of four strata, of which the superior specimens are usually found attached to coronets. Most of the precious stones, as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, are also to be found in this layer. The materials of which it is composed are various, and appear originally to have belonged to the inferior classes; and the only use to which it can be applied is in the construction of peers. Throughout all the classes there occur what are called veins, containing diverse substances. The larking vein is extremely abundant in the superior classes—it is rich in brass knockers, bell handles, and policemen’s rattles; this vein descends through all the lower strata, the specimens in each differing according to the situation in which they are found; the middle classes being generally discovered deposited in the Coal-hole Tavern or the Cider-cellars, while the individuals of the very inferior order are usually discovered in gin-shops and low pot-houses, and not unfrequently

A drunk lays on the floor surrounded by pitchers and pours the contents of one on his head.EMBEDDED IN QUARTS(Z).

(23rd October 1841)