The tawdry and exaggerated rhetoric; the petty vanity and jealousies; the weak sentimentalism; the utter incapacity for proportioning means to ends, and for grasping the stern realities of things, which so commonly disfigure the lives and conduct even of the more honest members of his class, were wholly alien to his nature.
TAWDRY, an adjective used to characterize cheap finery, and especially things which imitate in a cheap way that which is rich or costly, or adornments of which the freshness and elegance have worn off.
The word is first used in combination in the phrase "tawdry lace," a shortened form or corruption of St Audrey's or St Awdrey's lace.
St Audrey was St Etheldreda, who founded Ely cathedral, and it is generally accepted that tawdry-laces or tawdries were necklaces bought at St Audrey's Fair on the 17th of October.
He therefore adapts himself to his circumstances, and, using the mould rather than the chisel, produces specimens which show tawdry handsomeness and are attractively cheap. It must be admitted, however, that even though foreign appreciative faculty were sufficiently educated, the Japanese artist in metals would still labor under the great difficulty of devising shapes to take the place of those which Europe and America have learned to consider classical.
Probably these blocks formed the floor of a balcony, a tawdry marble addition.