This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"In his entertaining book, 'The Ambassadors of Commerce,' Mr. Allen tells the following little story: The Saracen's Head Hotel, Lincoln, was noted for three things: a very gruff landlord, a very cheeky waiter and '365.' The latter term being a synonym for the very best rice-pudding I, or anyone else, ever tasted, and as it was produced every day in the year, we christened it '365.' I can vouch for it being on the table twice a month for twenty-two years, and always good alike. I may add that if half a dozen were required they were always forthcoming. But it is of Arthur the waiter I would speak. It was often suspected that this swallow-tailed, modest-looking garcon was guilty of removing the decanters, and especially the small black bottles of crusty, 'bee's-wingy' old port before they were quite empty; this was especially noticed by a Mr. Thomson, a sharp-witted 'commercial,' who on the day in question hinted the fact to the president It was a rather large dinner-party, and Arthur was in unusually good form. A pint of old port was ordered and emptied; the bottle was partly refilled with salt, pepper, cayenne, mustard, Worcester sauce, chili vinegar, anchovy, etc. 'Bring the bill, Arthur,' said the president. 'Yes, sir!' and as usual Arthur hurriedly took off the black bottle.
The company waited some time, but no Arthur and no bill appeared. Whereupon the 'vice' was asked to ring the bell. In came 'Buttons.' 'Tell Arthur to bring the dinner bill at once,' said the president. 'Please, sir, he can't; he's nearly dead, he's choked.' The gentlemen at the table became alarmed, hurried out of the room to find poor Arthur in a most painful position. He was black in the face, and sorrounded by his fellow-servants.
On his recovery he solemnly promised never again to test the quality of leavings in the black bottle.
"a waiters valentine.
"It is prosaically addressed to 'sally at the Chophouse,, and bears date Feb. 14, 1799:
"Dear Sally, - Emblem of thy Chophouse ware, As broth reviving, and as White Bread fair; As Small Beer grateful, and as pepper strong; As Beef Steaks tender, and as fresh Hot Hearts young; As sharp as Knife, as piercing as a Fork, Soft as New Butter, white as fairest Pork; Sweet as young Mutton, brisk as Bottled Beer, Smooth as is Oil, juicy as Cucumber; As bright as Cruet, void of Vinegar. Oh, Sally, could I turn and shift my Love With the same skill that you your Steak can move, My Heart thus cooked might prove a Chophouse feast, And you alone should be the welcome guest. But, dearest Sal, the flames that you impart, Like Chop on Gridiron, broil my tender heart, Which, if thy kindly hand ben't nigh, Must, like an unturned chop, hiss, burn, and fry, And must at last, thou scorcher of my soul, Shrink, and become an undistinguished coal!"
"Bertha Stuckart, wife of a waiter in Vienna, Austria, won a prize for her beauty at the exhibition of beautiful women at Spa, Belgium. Her husband sold her, by mutual agreement, to a rich bachelor for a considerable sum, and now the has" obtained a profitable engagement with a museum proprietor to make a tour of the world".