There is nothing ennobling about the sexual misadventures of the high class "heirs of City Directors" -- their sexual exploitation of the Thames daughters is shown in a poor light.
In 'Dans le Restaurant", there is an admission by the high class narrator that his own (sexual) "experiences" are as reprehensible as the waiter's -- how shall the waiter pay back for experiences quite like his own, he asks.
And in 'Burbank', the 'gondola' fragment of the epigraph takes its full meaning in relation to Princess Volupine's pleasure boat landing beside the old palace where the foxy voluptuary entertains Sir Ferdinand Klein. The boatman smiles as one who shares in their secret. In the epigraph, the old dilapidated palace, emblematic of degenerate aristocracy, gets associated in the poet's mind with unabashed lust.
Diana Manister 08/23/09 9:50 AM >>>
My point is that he portrayed the upper class in an ennobling light, as if social status precluded casual sex or unattractiveness.