MAJOR BAGSTOCK?

If a list were to be compiled of the ten most conceited characters in fiction it would certainly contain the name of Major Joseph Bagstock. Like most conceited persons, Major Bag-stock was intensely self-centred, and his own name was never absent for long from his conversation. He called himself " old Joe Bagstock, old J. Bagstock, Joey B." and so on, " it being, as it were, the Major's stronghold of light humour to be on the most familiar terms with his own name." So says Charles Dickens, who created this character in " Dom-bey and Son." There is little, if anything, to like about the man, for as well as being vain and selfish he was false to his friends, deserting Dombey when financial disaster overtook that poor fellow. He over-ate, and treated his coloured servant with great harshness. He boasted at his club of the interest that women took in him, an interest, by the way, that existed solely in the Major's imagination. The pity is that when we meet the Major Bagstocks of real life we are so often taken in at first by their apparent geniality and good nature, and think them good fellows, until adverse circumstances show us our folly.