Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/"Socyetye" Enioyinge Itselfe at a Soyreé.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 16.

"Socyetye" Enioyinge Itselfe at a Soyreé.


"Socyetye" Enioyinge Itselfe at a Soyreé.

[Friday, June 15, 1849.]

AFTER a Dinner oft' Bubble and Squeak, my Wife and I to my Lord Wilkinson's At Home, by Invitation; though Heaven knows if ever I let Eyes on his Lordſhp in my Life, or he on me; but do aſcribe this Honour to having my Name put down in the Court Guide, and am glad to find the Conſequence and Importance I have got thereby. I in my new Suit of Black and Silk Neckerchief, with a Fringe at the Ends, and my Wife did wear her Lace Dreſs over her pink Satin Slip, which was very handſome. Gave our Card to a Lackey in yellow and crimſon Livery, with a huge Shoulderknot, who did ſhout out our Name, which, paſſing along a Row of his Fellows lining the Stairs, was by the lime it reached the Drawing-Room changed to Pippins—but no matter; for before I could ſet it right, we were preſented to my Lord and my Lady, who profeſſed themſelves delighted to ſee us. So on with the Stream in the Crowd; for my Lord's Drawing-Room as thronged as the Opera Pit Entrance on a Thurſday Night. Methought ſurely there was Something worth feeing and hearing; but ſaw Nothing extraordinary beyond the Multitude of Company, and divers Writers, Painters, and other Perſons of Note, elbowing their Way through the Preſs; nor heard anything but Puffing and Gaſping, and complaining of the terrible Heat. Several Ladies fainting; and my Wife declaring ſhe feared ſhe ſhould faint too, which made me mad; for it is always the Way with Women at Spectacles and Aſſemblies, and yet they needs muſt and will go to them. At ſome Diſtance before us, a Buſtle and Stir, and in the midſt of it a Lackey with a Tray, whereon were Ices—the People ſtruggling for them; and I alſo drove to get one for my Wife, and myſelf as well; but the Attempt vain, and we borne clear away by the Current to the other ſide of the Room; and in the mean Time all the Ice muſt have melted; for ſo were we very nearly. Some young Beauties there, whom to have looked upon at my Eaſe, and they at theirs, would have been a great delight; but they in ſuch Diſcomfort, that it quite ſpoilt their Prettineſs, which was pitiful. We met Dr. Dabbes the great Chemiſt, with whom ſome pretty Diſcourfe concerning the Air of crowded Rooms, which he ſaid do contain a Gas called Carbonic Acid, and is poiſonous, and we were now breathing ſo much per Cent, of it, which did trouble me. To think what Delight faſhionable Folks can take in crowding together, to the Danger of Health, a Set of People, for the moſt Part, Strangers both to them and to one another! Away early; for we could endure the Stifling no longer: and good Lack, what a Relief to get into the open Air! My white Kid Gloves foiled, coſt me 3s. 6d.; but am thankful I carried with me my Spring Hat, which do ſhut up; and could not help chuckling a little, to ſee how many others got their Hats cruſhed. Home in a Cab, and on the Way bought a Lobſter, whereunto my Wife would have me add a Bottle of Stout, which did think a good Notion; coſt me together 3s6d and the Cab 2s. 6d. more, and then to Supper, mighty proud that I had been invited by my Lord, though utterly tired with his Party, and ſo with great Satisfaction, but much Wearineſs, to Bed.