Dinner at Stationers' Hall
Extract, Reminiscences, Drollery
Phrenology, Authorship, Scientific Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Temperance
Of the arrival of George Canning the narrator reports: 'He had a fine head certainly—Spurzheim could not deny it [...] but as I am not minister of the interior, "further this deponent knoweth not"' (376). The narrator enquires of one of the literary 'lions': 'Who is he that handles the ladle so scientifically and answers so courteously, the many troublesome calls upon him?' and receives the reply: 'That's Doctor K., to whom optics, and music, and astronomy, and gastronomy are all equally familiar, who is giving a practical lecture to his neighbours on the "art of exhausting and emptying a tureen of turtle soup".' (377). The narrator reported: 'I had provided myself with a case of lancets, in the certainty of having my smattering of surgical skill called in to the aid of some suffocating gourmand', but he had found it unnecessary because of the 'temperance and decorum' of the guests (378).
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