Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dickens and Porter

A couple of Dickens quotes referencing Porter. Thanks to Matt Thompson for bringing them to my attention.

“he opened the window and leaned negligently out of it until a beer-boy happened to pass, whom he commanded to set down his tray and to serve him with a pint of mild porter”
“The Old Curiosity Shop”, published in 1841, Chapter 34.

Good mild Porter reference there.

In this one, it's Barclay Perkins that gets a namecheck:
“As he was crossing the next yard with the basket in his hand, under the guidance of his former conductor, another officer called on them to stop, and came up with a pint-pot of porter in his hand.

‘I beg your pardon,’ said Kit. ‘Who sent it me?’

‘Why, your friend,’ replied the man. ‘You’re to have it every day’.

Kit took it, and when he was locked up again, read as follows.

‘Talk of the cordial that sparkled for Helen! Her cup was a fiction, this is reality (Barclay and Co.’s).”
“The Old Curiosity Shop”, published in 1841, Chapter 61.

I should read more Dickens sometime. If only for the beer.


Andrew Elliott said...

"I should read more Dickens sometime. If only for the beer."

Believe it or not, that's exactly what I was thinking as I was reading those passages!

Martyn Cornell said...

One of my favourite passages is about little Paul Dombey, aged six, at school in Brighton:

"it was darkly rumoured that the butler, regarding him with favour such as that stern man had never shown before to mortal boy, had sometimes mingled porter with his table-beer to make him strong."

That's the kind of Victorian values we want - giving six-year-olds beer with their meals.