A striking passage appears in Chapter XXIII ("I Corroborate Mr. Dick, and Choose a Profession") in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, when David's aunt criticizes the London food supply:

Supper was comfortably served and hot, though my aunt's rooms were very high up — whether that she might have more stone stairs for her money, or might be nearer to the door in the roof, I don't know — and consisted of a roast fowl, a steak, and some vegetables, to all of which I did ample justice, and which were all excellent. But my aunt had her own ideas concerning London provision, and ate but little.

'I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar,' said my aunt, 'and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. I hope the steak may be beef, but I don't believe it. Nothing's genuine in the place, in my opinion, but the dirt.'

'Don't you think the fowl may have come out of the country, aunt?' I hinted.

'Certainly not,' returned my aunt. 'It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was.'

TopicLiterature - TopicHumor - 2006-07-07

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