William B. writes:
I once blurted out one of Basil Ransom’s lines from The Bostonians when affforded a rare social opportunity: “I haven’t been to a party since Mississippi seceded!”
Another time, a friend who had also read the novel saw the film adaption of it with me. He believed that Patrick Swayze would have been more convincing playing Ransom, a Confederate veteran in the postbellum era. Swayze, a Texan, unlike Christopher Reeve did not come across as an actor who “spent too much time in a dimly-lit California gay bar.”
I would strongly discourage you from freely quoting Basil Ransom. Still there is much to be learned from his discretion, as in this interchange in Chapter Nine:
Mrs. Farrinder .. said to Ransom serenely:
“You praise the grace of your Southern ladies, but you have had to come North to see a human gazelle. Miss Tarrant is of the best New England stock – what I call the best!”
“I’m sure from what I have seen of the Boston ladies, no manifestation of grace can excite my surprise,” Ransom rejoined, looking, with his smile, at his cousin.