Vanity Fair (UK), December 15, 1904
(Dining at restaurants is said to lead to the “restaurant face,” of which there are many varieties.)
OUR rules for judging human worth
Have changed in recent days;
A reverence for noble birth
Our minds no longer sways.
All moral claims we ever shun,
Nor do we now repeat
The noble deeds which men have done.
We ask—Where do they eat?
Concealment now is at an end:
A dullard can divine
By casual glances at a friend
Where he has been to dine.
Dark secrets to the curious eye
One’s lineaments divulge;
Don’t miss that man who’s hurrying by—
He’s got the “Carlton Bulge.”
Behind him, you no doubt remark
A youth with pallid cheek:
He’s probably a city clerk
On something small a week.
He has to hoard his modest screw,
To keep expenses down;
And on his features you may view
The “A B C shop Frown.”
And, last, a man all skin and bone,
His coat a mass of rags;
’Twould make George Alexander moan
To see such baggy bags.
He earns per week what waiters make
Each evening week by week;
He lives on cocoa, bread, and cake—
Observe the “Lockhart Cheek.”
Alas! we once could eat our chop,
And find a subtle joy
In letting casual statements drop
Concerning the Savoy.
But now deception’s vain, we feel,
Well knowing that we wear,
Too plain for effort to conceal,
The “Station Buffet Stare.”
P. G. Wodehouse.