I suppose that in my own way I am a bit of a dandy. By which I mean that I dress with care and appear to others to dress to create an effect. I once insisted on having no fewer than eleven fittings to correct the faults I perceived in a new white evening waistcoat. Some of my shirts, made by Sulka of Bond Street, are astonishingly soft and have even caught the attention of the Prince of Wales (so I am told). I have my boots made by Lobb of St. James' Street and continue to favour them even though the fashionable world have taken to shoes. But of course being distinctive in apparel is really the opposite of being fashionable.
Certainly my way of dressing is a gift to the caricaturists. They seize on my well-barbered quiff, and the glittering gold fobs in my waistcoat pockets. H.G. once referred to the fobs as "Arnold's gastric jewellery"! Am I vain? I suppose I am if I am honest, but there is an element of calculation as well. Some say that I am the best known writer in the English speaking world and it may be that some of that notoriety is down to the attention I attract as well as to what I write. I am a celebrity in a world which, shrinking as it is due to advances in communication, is increasingly interested in celebrities. Where will it all end? Possibly the time may come when suitably attention-seeking persons may achieve celebrity without actually having done anything of significance in the world - at least my celebrity is based on a solid foundation of achievement through hard work.