Edmond Goblot, The barrier and the level. Sociological study on the middle class, Chapter 4, 1925
“Before the advent of the bourgeoisie to modern, we knew the merit, the value, the talent, the grace ; we didn’t know the distinction […] This is not to be beautiful, and it is to not be confused that the bourgeoisie modern applies to be distinguished in his dress, his manners, his language, the objects she surrounds herself with. The opposite of distinguished is “common” is common, which does not distinguish, vulgar what distinguishes evil and betrays an inferiority.
The distinction is neither beauty, nor elegance, nor the luxury. It must be added, it can replace them. It must be apparent ; whether it is superficial. It is often in the nuances, minutiae, trifles. It must be delicate, even subtle, as to be difficult to imitate. The bourgeois upbringing applies to develop, refine this tact which allows it to discern without hesitation and without effort. […] The distinction concerning all that is perceptible from the outside in the person and in his surroundings.