His was a “wasted life,” and the phrase, summing up what most people thought of him, gained currency, and was now generally used whenever his conduct was criticised or impeached. After having been in London, where he spent some years in certain vague employments, and having contracted as much debt as his creditors would permit, and more than his father would pay, he had gone through the Bankruptcy Court, and returned home to wearily drag through life, through days and weeks so appallingly idle, that he often feared to get out of bed in the morning. Fred was about thirty years of age. Stableyard was written in capital letters on his face. He carried a Sportsman under his arm, and as he walked he lashed the trousers and boots, whose elegance was an echo of the old Regent Street days, with an ashplant.
Such was the physiology of this being ; from it the psychology is easy to surmise : a complete powerlessness to understand that there was anything in life worth seeking except pleasure and pleasure to Fred meant horses, women, eating beyond these three gratifications he neither thought, felt, nor saw. On occasions he would read or recite poems, cut from the pages of the Society Journals, to his lady friends.
May, however, saw nothing but the outside. A certain versatility in turning a complimentary phrase, the abundant ease with which he explained, not his ideas, for he had none, but his tastes, which, although few, were pronounced, add to these the remnant of fashion that still lingered in his wardrobe scarfs from the Burlington Arcade, scent from Bond Street, cracked patent-leather shoes and mended silk stockings and it will be understood how May built something that did duty for an ideal out of this broken-down swell.
Quoted from: George Moore: A Drama in Muslin. (1886)