Summer Pleasures—A Picnic on Marblehead Neck. Massachusetts. [more]
The march of progress has not destroyed that freshness of pleasure which ever attends a bit of cold chicken or lobster salad with a glass of fiz, partaken of on the green grass, whether it be by the hillside or riverside or seaside. There is a piquant flavor in the food, a bouquet in the wine, a joyousness in the feast, which surpasses all the sensuous gratification of a superbly set table with its cut glass and glowing flowers and glittering cutlery and tidbits that a cordon bleu could serve in the form of a dainty dinner. With the greensward for a carpet, the blue sky for a roof, and the murmuring sea for music, the picnic which we illustrate is simply perfect. The yellow basket has been carefully packed, the champagne very judiciously iced, the young couples with the “gooseberry-picking” boy capitally matched. Everybody is hungry, for the ozone-laden breeze stealing across the heaving ocean is the best sauce ever served up with human food. The pastry has been made by the white hands of the girls and will be rapturously eaten by the gentlemen in waiting, the small boy doing yeoman’s work. Under the genial influence of the champagne the timid young man will become emboldened, and vows that lay “full fathoms five” in his bashful heart will come to the surface during that postprandial stroll on the tawny sands. What fun washing up the dishes and plates and knives and forks! What fun setting up an empty bottle to fling pebbles at! What fun re-packing! What laughing at the awkwardness of the gentlemen! It is all fun, innocent merriment, and that delightful abandon begotten of youth, health and the freedom of a meal taken al fresco.
Reprinted from "Picnic on Marblehead Neck." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper 11 Aug 1883: 403.