“I don’t think your notion of propriety would take in the first circles! And furthermore, my dear friend, it is high time you stopped trying to make everyone believe you are much blacker than you have been painted. That’s a habit you fell into when you were young and foolish, and perfectly understandable in the circumstances. Though also very like Conway, when he used to boast to me of the shocking pranks he played at Eton. Banbury stories, most of them.”
“Thank you! But I have never done that: there has been no need for Banbury stories. With what improbable virtues are you trying to endow me? An exquisite sensibility? Delicacy of principle?”
“Oh, no, nothing of that nature!” she replied, getting up. “I allow you all the vices you choose to claim—indeed, I know you for a gamester, and a shocking rake, and a man of sadly unsteady character!—but I’m not so green that I don’t recognize in you one virtue at least, and one quality.”
“What, is that all? How disappointing! What are they?”
“A well-informed mind, and a great deal of kindness,” she said, laying her hand on his arm, and beginning to stroll with him back to the house.
From Venetia, by Georgette Heyer