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Bullfinch with a fallen countenance was
about to say to me " This won't do," when
the waiter who ought to wait upon us, left
off keeping us waiting at last. " Waiter,"
said Bullfinch, piteously, "we have been a
long time waiting." The waiter who ought
to wait upon us, laid the blame upon the
waiter who ought not to wait upon us, and
said it was all that waiter's fault.

"We wish," said Bullfinch, much depressed,
"to order a little dinner in an
hour. What can we have?"

"What would you like to have, gentlemen?"

Bullfinch, with extreme mournfulness of
speech and action, and with a forlorn old
fly-blown bill of fare in his hand which the
waiter had given him, and which was a
sort of general manuscript Index to any
Cookery-Book you please, moved the previous

We could have mock-turtle soup, a sole,
curry, and roast duck. Agreed. At this
table by this window. Punctually in an

I had been feigning to look out of this
window; but I had been taking note of the
crumbs on all the tables, the dirty tablecloths,
the stuffy soupy airless atmosphere,
the stale leavings everywhere about, the
deep gloom of the waiter who ought to
wait upon us, and the stomach-ache with
which a lonely traveller at a distant table in
a corner was too evidently afflicted. I now
pointed out to Bullfinch the alarming circumstance
that this traveller had dined.
We hurriedly debated whether, without infringement
of good breeding, we could ask
him to disclose if he had partaken of mock-
turtle, sole, curry, or roast duck? We
decided that the thing could not be politely
done, and that we had set our own stomachs
on a cast, and they must stand the hazard
of the die.

I hold phrenology, within certain limits, to
be true; I am much of the same mind as to
the subtler expressions of the hand; I hold
physiognomy to be infallible; though all
these sciences demand rare qualities in
the student. But I also hold that there
is no more certain index to personal character,
than the condition of a set of casters
is to the character of any hotel. Knowing
and having often tested this theory of mine,
Bullfinch resigned himself to the worst,
when, laying aside any remaining veil of
disguise, I held up before him in succession,
the cloudy oil and furry vinegar,
the clogged cayenne, the dirty salt, the
obscene dregs of soy, and the anchovy
sauce in a flannel waistcoat of decomposition.

We went out to transact our business.
So inspiriting was the relief of passing into
the clean and windy streets of Namelesston
from the heavy and vapid closeness of the
coffee-room of the Temeraire, that hope
began to revive within us. We began to
consider that perhaps the lonely traveller
had taken physic, or done something injudicious
to bring his complaint on. Bullfinch
remarked that he thought the waiter
who ought to wait upon us, had brightened
a little when suggesting curry; and although
I knew him to have been at that
moment the express image of despair, I
allowed myself to become elevated in
spirits. As we walked by the softly lapping
sea, all the notabilities of Namelesston,
who are for ever going up and down with
the changelessness of the tides, passed to
and fro in procession. Pretty girls on horseback,
and with detested riding-masters;
pretty girls on foot; mature ladies in hats
spectacled, strongminded, and glaring at
the opposite or weaker sex. The Stock
Exchange was strongly represented, Jerusalem
was strongly represented, the bores of
the prosier London clubs were strongly represented.
Fortune hunters of all denominations
were there, from hirsute insolvency
in a curricle, to closely buttoned-
up swindlery in doubtful boots, on the
sharp look-out for any likely young gentleman
disposed to play a game at billiards
round the corner. Masters of languages,
their lessons finished for the day, were going
to their homes out of sight of the sea; mistresses
of accomplishments, carrying small
portfolios, likewise tripped homeward; pairs
of scholastic pupils, two and two, went languidly
along the beach, surveying the face of
the waters as if waiting for some Ark to come
and take them off. Spectres of the George
the Fourth days flitted unsteadily among the
crowd, bearing the outward semblance of
ancient dandies, of every one of whom it
might be said, not that he had one leg in
the grave, or both legs, but that he was
steeped in grave to the summit of his high
shirt-collar, and had nothing real about
him but his bones. Alone stationary in the
midst of all the movement the Namelesston
boatmen leaned against the railings and
yawned, and looked out to sea, or looked at
the moored fishing-boats and at nothing.
Such is the unchanging manner of life with
this nursery of our hardy seamen, and very
dry nurses they are, and always wanting
something to drink. The only two nautical