Charles dickens – somebody’s luggage

CHAPTER I – HIS LEAVING IT TILL CALLED FOR

The writer of these humble lines being a Waiter, and having come of a
Family of Waiters, and owning at the present time five brothers who are
All Waiters, and likewise an only sister who is a Waitress, would wish to
Offer a few words respecting his calling; first having the pleasure of
Hereby in a friendly manner offering the Dedication of the same unto
_Joseph_, much respected Head Waiter at the Slamjam Coffee-house, London,
E. C., than which a individual more eminently deserving of the name of
Man, or a more amenable honour to his own head and heart, whether
Considered in the light of a Waiter or regarded as a human being, do not
Exist.

In case confusion should arise in the public mind (which it is open to
Confusion on many subjects) respecting what is meant or implied by the
Term Waiter, the present humble lines would wish to offer an explanation.
It may not be generally known that the person as goes out to wait is
_not_ a Waiter. It may not be generally known that the hand as is called
In extra, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, or the London, or the Albion, or
Otherwise, is _not_ a Waiter. Such hands may be took on for Public
Dinners by the bushel (and you may know them by their breathing with
Difficulty when in attendance, and taking away the bottle ere yet it is
Half out); but such are _not_ Waiters. For you cannot lay down the
Tailoring, or the shoemaking, or the brokering, or the green-grocering,
Or the pictorial-periodicalling, or the second-hand wardrobe, or the
Small fancy businesses, – you cannot lay down those lines of life at your
Will and pleasure by the half-day or evening, and take up Waitering. You
May suppose you can, but you cannot; or you may go so far as to say you
Do, but you do not. Nor yet can you lay down the gentleman’s-service
When stimulated by prolonged incompatibility on the part of Cooks (and
Here it may be remarked that Cooking and Incompatibility will be mostly
Found united), and take up Waitering. It has been ascertained that what
A gentleman will sit meek under, at home, he will not bear out of doors,
At the Slamjam or any similar establishment. Then, what is the inference
To be drawn respecting true Waitering? You must be bred to it. You must
Be born to it.

Would you know how born to it, Fair Reader, – if of the adorable female
Sex? Then learn from the biographical experience of one that is a Waiter
In the sixty-first year of his age.

You were conveyed, – ere yet your dawning powers were otherwise developed
Than to harbour vacancy in your inside, – you were conveyed, by
Surreptitious means, into a pantry adjoining the Admiral Nelson, Civic
And General Dining-Rooms, there to receive by stealth that healthful
Sustenance which is the pride and boast of the British female
Constitution. Your mother was married to your father (himself a distant
Waiter) in the profoundest secrecy; for a Waitress known to be married
Would ruin the best of businesses, – it is the same as on the stage. Hence
Your being smuggled into the pantry, and that – to add to the
Infliction – by an unwilling grandmother. Under the combined influence of
The smells of roast and boiled, and soup, and gas, and malt liquors, you
Partook of your earliest nourishment; your unwilling grandmother sitting
Prepared to catch you when your mother was called and dropped you; your
Grandmother’s shawl ever ready to stifle your natural complainings; your
Innocent mind surrounded by uncongenial cruets, dirty plates,

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Charles dickens – somebody’s luggage