Mrs. Perkin's Ball, by William Makepeace Thackeray

The Supper.

George Grundsell.

The supper is going on behind the screen. There is no need to draw the supper. We all know that sort of transaction: the squabbling, and gobbling, and popping of champagne; the smell of musk and lobster-salad; the dowagers chumping away at plates of raised pie; the young lassies nibbling at little titbits, which the dexterous young gentlemen procure. Three large men, like doctors of divinity, wait behind the table, and furnish everything that appetite can ask for. I never, for my part, can eat any supper for wondering at those men. I believe if you were to ask them for mashed turnips, or a slice of crocodile, those astonishing people would serve you. What a contempt they must have for the guttling crowd to whom they minister — those solemn pastry-cook’s men! How they must hate jellies, and game-pies, and champagne, in their hearts! How they must scorn my poor friend Grundsell behind the screen, who is sucking at a bottle!






Carpets Beat. — Knives and Boots cleaned per contract. — Errands faithfully performed — G. G. attends Ball and Dinner parties, and from his knowledge of the most distinguished Families in London, confidently recommends his services to the distinguished neighbourhood of Pocklington Square.

This disguised green-grocer is a very well-known character in the neighborhood of Pocklington Square. He waits at the parties of the gentry in the neighborhood, and though, of course, despised in families where a footman is kept, is a person of much importance in female establishments.

Miss Jonas always employs him at her parties, and says to her page, “Vincent, send the butler, or send Desborough to me;” by which name she chooses to designate G. G.

When the Miss Frumps have post-horses to their carriage, and pay visits, Grundsell always goes behind. Those ladies have the greatest confidence in him, have been godmothers to fourteen of his children, and leave their house in his charge when they go to Bognor for the summer. He attended those ladies when they were presented at the last drawing-room of her Majesty Queen Charlotte.

Mr. Grundsell’s state costume is a blue coat and copper buttons, a white waistcoat, and an immense frill and shirt-collar. He was for many years a private watchman, and once canvassed for the office of parish clerk of St. Peter’s Pocklington. He can be intrusted with untold spoons; with anything, in fact, but liquor; and it was he who brought round the cards for MRS. PERKINS’S BALL.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00