Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/Blackwall. Showynge ye Pvblick a Dinynce ox Whytebait.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 26

Blackwall Showynge ye Pvblick A Dinynge on Whytebait.


Blackwall. Showynge ye Pvblick a Dinynce ox Whytebait.

[Saturday, Auguſt 18, 1849.]

COMES Mr. Gollope, this being his Birth-Day, to bid me to go dine with him and a Company of ſome Half-dozen of our Acquaintance, off Whitebait at Blackwall. So we firſt to London Bridge, on Foot, walking for an Appetite, and there took Water, and down the River in a Steam-Boat, with great Pleaſure, enjoying the Breeze, and the View of the Shipping, and alſo the Proſpect of a good Dinner. Landed at the Pier, and as faſt as we could to Lovegrove's, where our Table engaged in the large Room. But good Lack! to ſee the Fulneſs of the Place, every Table almoſt crowded with eager Eaters, and Heaps of Whitebait among them, and they with open Mouths and Eyes ſhovelling Spoonful after Spoonful into their Plates and thence thruſting them five or ſix at a Time into their Chaps. Then, here and there, a fat Fellow, ſtopping, out of Breath, to put down his Knife and Fork, and gulp a Goblet of iced Punch, was mighty droll: alſo to hear others ſpeaking with their Mouths full. But Dinner coming, I cared not to look about me, there being on Table ſome dozen different Dimes of him, whereof the Sight did at firſt bewilder me, like the Donkey between the I Hayſtacks, not knowing which to chooſe; and Mr. Gobblestone do lament that at a Feaſt with Plenty of Things he never was able to eat his Fill of every one. A Diſh of Salmon with IndiaPickle did pleaſe me mightily, alſo ſome Eels, ſpitchcocked, and a ſtewed Carp, and ate heartily of them with much Reliſh; but did only nibble at the Reſt by way of a Taſte, for I felt exceeding full, and methought I ſhould have no Stomach for the Whitebait. But Lack! to ſee when it came, how my Appetite returned, and I did fall to upon it, and drink iced Punch, and then at the Whitebait again. Pretty, the little Slices of brown Bread and Butter, they did bring us to eat it withal, and truly, with a Squeeze of Lemon and Cayenne Pepper, it is delicate Eating. After the Whitebait plain, Whitebait devilled made us to eat the more, and drink too, which we did in Champagne and Hock, pledging each other with great Mirth. After the Fiſh comes a Courſe of Ducks, and a Haunch of Mutton, and divers made Diſhes; and then Tarts and Cuſtards and Grouſe; and laſtly, a Deſſert, and I did partake of all, as much as I had a Mind to, and after Dinner drank Port and Claret, when much Joking and rare Stories, and very merry we were. Pretty to look out of Window as we ſat, at the Craft and the White Sails in the Sunſet on the River. Back in a Railway Carriage, ſhouting and ſinging, and in a Cab Home, where Dr. Sharpe called to ſee my Wife for her Vapours. Pretty Diſcourfe with him touching the Epidemic, he telling me that of all Things to bring it on the likelieſt was Exceſs in Food and Drink, which did trouble me, and ſo with a Draught of Soda and a Doſe of Pills to Bed.