There is the English Raff Snob, that frequents Estaminets and Cabarets; who is heard yelling, ‘We won’t go home till morning!’ and startling the midnight echoes of quiet Continental towns with shrieks of English slang. The boozy unshorn wretch is seen hovering round quays as packets arrive, and tippling drains in inn bars where he gets credit. He talks French with slang familiarity: he and his like quite people the debt-prisons on the Continent. He plays pool at the billiard-houses, and may be seen engaged at cards and dominoes of forenoons. His signature is to be seen on countless bills of exchange: it belonged to an honourable family once, very likely; for the English Raff most probably began by being a gentleman, and has a father over the water who is ashamed to hear his name. He has cheated the old ‘governor’ repeatedly in better days, and swindled his sisters of their portions, and robbed his younger brothers. Now he is living on his wife’s jointure: she is hidden away in some dismal garret, patching shabby finery and cobbling up old clothes for her children—the most miserable and slatternly of women.
Thackeray, The Book of Snobs, 1848