Julian Lass

the restaurant

first person plural, with colons

Luckily the noise of knives and forks, and the clearing of the table by a waiter, prevented our enlightened colloquy from extending beyond the immediate precincts in which it was uttered, and where the subjects of it were not sufficiently interesting to render little errors of any importance; and by the time the main course and wine were placed on the table, all thoughts of it had passed away, and given place to a discussion which now arose, relative to the quality of the food in this restaurant; in which discussion all the party seemed fully qualified and prepared to take their share. On this question, as to the aforesaid progress of fine food generally, it is singular that every one of the party had fully made up their minds. It is no less singular too, that the judgments were pretty equally divided; about one half being decidedly of opinion that the food was "much better" than that of the last meal out, and the other half feeling equally satisfied that it was "not near so good"; both parties agreeing, however, that there were "a great many fools" in the kitchen, that the service was "exceedingly slow", and the comfort of the restaurant "very mixed!" By this time the wine had been poured two or three times more and most of the most pertinent topics of the day came by turn into discussion; and we may venture to say that not one of them was treated with a less conspicuous share of acumen and discrimination than had been displayed in regard to the observance of the food. What was said on any of these subjects it would be obviously improper for us to report at any length, however edifying such a report might be. Suffice it to add, that, after the fifth glass of wine, politics as it always does on similar occasions, became the sole order of the day. Despite the intrusive appearance of a dessert menu, each of us proceeded to take advantage of the first opportunity that offered of expressing our own particular opinions on the prominent topics of the day; each availing ourselves, respectively, of the particular newspaper to which we were attached, and each, of course, being decidedly of "opinion" with that. As politics is a subject not to be ousted when once it gets a fair footing at an after-dinner table, and as it is one with which I do not profess to meddle, I shall now silently take my leave: though I was perhaps bound to consider the meal as virtually at an end, the moment I, the waiter, interrupted the table.