Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 6/The dolours of a dinner table

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THE DOLOURS OF A DINNER-TABLE.
A LETTER CONFIDENTIALLY ADDRESSED TO ALDERMAN ASTERISK.

"My Dear Alderman,

"As you have ever been a good friend to our family, and in our turn we have always done our best to make you comfortable whenever you have come to us, I think I may appeal to you for sympathy and succour in my present wretched plight.

"I am a good old-fashioned dinner-table, solid and substantial as the roast beef and plum pudding, and other good old English dishes it has been my pride to groan under, in the days when men gave hospitable, hearty English dinners, and not those shabby makeshifts they call diners à la Russe. Although I came into the world some sixty years ago, there is not a crack or crevice in my face. My legs are still as strong as when they were first made, and I can bear the heaviest joints without a quiver or a creak. Cheap furniture was unknown in the days when I was born. It was reserved for a later and a (so-called) more enlightened age to see tables glued together like the playthings of a child, and made with leaves that fall as surely to the ground as autumn leaves. There is nothing sham or shabby about me. Some of my younger brethren, I am shocked to hear it said, are made with legs of rosewood and a top of common deal. But I am formed throughout of one well-seasoned costly wood. The mahogany of Spain, and not the fir of Norway, I am proud to tell you, is my family tree. Nor, if you were to see me, even now in my old age, could you say I do discredit to my parent stem. For although I am Page:Once a Week Dec 1861 to June 1862.pdf/608 Page:Once a Week Dec 1861 to June 1862.pdf/609