Having unsuccessfully wooed Harriet Vane, despite saving her from the gallows, Lord Peter Wimsey asks her to marry him one last time:
“Placet,” says Harriet. Latin conquers all.
When I was about fifteen, I thought this was wonderfully romantic. Why didn’t I know any boys who went around saying things like “Placetne, magistra?” I’d have said yes to anything if I’d been asked like that. I was tempted to run around shouting “Placet! Placet!” on the off chance, but decided against it. I didn’t care to be thought of as just a girl who can’t say “Non placet.”
Lord Peter Wimsey knew everything. As well as whodunnit and why he dunnit, Lord Peter could identify the corner of a vineyard from which a wine came, and the minute, never mind the year, in which the grape was harvested. From Wikipedia:
Among Lord Peter's hobbies, apart from criminology, is collecting incunabula (very early printed books). He is an expert on matters of food (especially wine) and male fashion, as well as on classical music. He is quite good at playing Bach's works for keyboard instruments on a piano he babies even more than his books, wines, and cars. One of Lord Peter's cars is a 12-cylinder ("double-six") 1927 Daimler four-seater, which he calls "Mrs. Merdle" after a character in Little Dorrit (by Charles Dickens).
Nowadays I think Lord Peter Wimsey is an insufferable know-all and a pseud. Placetne indeed. Still, I enjoyed the books, which no longer seem to be popular.
It’s easier to know everything if you’re a fictional character. In How I Came to Invent the Character of Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers wrote:
Lord Peter's large income ... I deliberately gave him ... After all it cost me nothing and at the time I was particularly hard up and it gave me pleasure to spend his fortune for him. When I was dissatisfied with my single unfurnished room I took a luxurious flat for him in Piccadilly. When my cheap rug got a hole in it, I ordered him an Aubusson carpet. When I had no money to pay my bus fare I presented him with a Daimler double-six, upholstered in a style of sober magnificence, and when I felt dull I let him drive it. I can heartily recommend this inexpensive way of furnishing to all who are discontented with their incomes. It relieves the mind and does no harm to anybody.
Conversely, many well-paid journalists are writing about shopping at discount stores like Netto and Lidl, and having fantasies about eking.