תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

quantity of “good cheer.” The dishes were ren Juvenal occupies a whole satire with considdered as unlike their natural forms as possible, erations for cooking a single fish; and Martial as is done,” says the author, " by the modern has consecrated the chief portion of one of his professors of the culinary art.” He might have books, called “Xenia," to a poetic catalogue of included the ancient ones. Ingeniosa gula est, subjects of diet. Not the least remarkable of and the traditional schoolboy will remember the these is a dish made of flamingoes' tongues, reaphy or anchovy which the cook of Nicomedes, minding the reader of the pâté of tongues of King of Bithynia, produced for him from that singing birds, composed by Clodius Æsopus, the vegetable on which the sober Cincinnatus was actor. The tongue of the flamingo was one of content to dine. More wonderful changes than the ingredients of Vitellius's celebrated entrée, these, however - transubstantiations instead of which he called his Shield of Minerva. Martial transformations are known to sacred and pro- and Pliny were both admirers of foie gras—the fane literature. The story of the celebrated din- latter pathetically alludes to it as the tenderest, ner of Numa Pompilius is told by Plutarch, who moistest, and sweetest of livers; and the liver of is troubled with a pagan skepticism about its a white goose fed on fat figs is mentioned by truth. The king had invited his subjects to a ple- Horace as one of the delicacies of the table of beian meal of extreme frugality. Suddenly he lifted Nasidienus. Many dishes, like Wordsworth's up his eyes, and said his familiar Goddess Egeria ideal woman, not too good for human nature's was present; whereupon the tables were forth- daily food, appear at that weird feast, but none with filled with a variety of delicate food. This of them equal in horror the blinded cuttle-fish in sudden change recalls that of St. Patrick, who, the “Rudens” of Plautus. Here is a dish that the being a-hungered on a fast-day, helped himself famous cream-sauce of the Marquis de Béchamel furtively to a couple of pork-chops. Then the could hardly render palatable, although that coursaint's conscience smote him, and he cast the tier of the Grand Monarque boasted that with it chops from him into a pail of water, with a prayer a man might eat his own mother-in-law and yet for forgiveness. His petition was probably heard, fail to discover her natural inherent bitterness. for the pieces of pork were immediately con- "I hate him worse than cold boiled veal,” Macauverted, by more than mortal means, into a couple lay said, or is reported to have said, of the modof fat pike.

est Mr. Croker; but what is cold veal to a clamA change of flavor in fish and fowl was one my cuttle-fish? Surely, of the two a man would of the curious features in the dinner given by prefer the Lacedæmonian black broth, which one, Nasidienus. The pontifical dinner of Lentulus, having tasted, observed he wondered not any on his election to the office of flamen (the abste- more, seeing this was their life's chief nutriment, miousness of the clergy made a pontifical dinner at the Spartan intrepidity in facing death. Pineproverbial at Rome, as that of the French priests nuts (pignons) are also sung by Martial as a pehas originated the repas de chanoines), is a fa- culiar delicacy. These are probably a sort of mous dinner of antiquity. Posterity is indebted pistachio. To translate the Latin term, as is to the Saturnalia of Macrobius for a menu of commonly done, by " fir-cones" would be to folthe banquet. The names of many of the ani- low the example of the “ Journal des Débats,” mals eaten have exercised much exegetical inge- which French “Times " once, if we may believe nuity to very little purpose. The peloris—“a Archbishop Trench, spoke of pommes de pin as sort of shell-fish ” (Dict.)-still remains a mys- the conclusion of a Lord Mayor's feast, being led tery. The spondylus — “a sort of shell-fish' into the mistake by our use of pineapple for ana(Dict.)—is yet unknown. Of the balani—“ a sortna, and then commented in good set terms on of shell-fish” (Dict.)—both white and black, we the grossness of the English appetite. are told nothing, save that they probably derive King's proposed dinner to Gaspar Barthius their name from their resemblance to an acorn, by of a salcacaby, a dish of fenugreek, a wild sheep's the laborious Forcellini. But, though an exact head and appurtenance, with a suitable electuary, knowledge of the ingredients of numerous plats a ragout of capons' stones and some dormouse has been thus removed from us, probably for sausages, probably suggested to Smollett his dinever, by the ruthless hand of Time, thus much ner in the manner of the ancients in “Peregrine of certainty remains. In the first course were Pickle," of which the concoction of the dishes served sea-urchins, oysters, thrushes on aspara was the cause of the dismissal of five cooks as gus, and a fatted hen. Haunches of wild veni- incapable, while even of the sixth, compulsorily son and beccaficoes formed a part of the second retained, it made the hair stand on end. The course, which has been sadly mutilated. The whole of this satire on Akenside is very nearly third was made grateful by a sow's udder, a wild copied from the receipts of Apicius; from the boar's cheek, a ragout of fish, ducks, hares, boiled boiled goose, with its sauce of lovage, coriander, teal, capons, frumenty, and Picentian bread. mint, rue, anchovies, and oil, to the hypotrimma

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of Hesychius, which Smollett describes as a mix- sus, and smokes in the middle of the Doctor's
ture of vinegar, pickle, and honey boiled to prop- table as described by Smollett. Its stuffing of
er consistence, with candied asafætida ; but it minced pork, hog's brains, eggs, pepper, cloves,
is composed in the cookery-book of Apicius of garlic, anise-seed, rue, ginger, oil, wine, and pickle
many more ingredients, as lovage, pepper, dry corresponds as usual very nearly with the receipt
mint, pine-nuts, raisins, boiled-down wine, sweet given in Cælius Apicius.
cheese, and oil. So in the famous salacaccabia, An inconvenient quantity of a food somewhat
which so seriously discomposed the French mar- perhaps analogous to the sow's udder has been
quis, many dainties are omitted which had as- stigmatized by the first of French satirists.
suredly rendered that miserable man's condition In the list of the subjects which the Gastrol-
far worse. Its successor, the dormouse pasty, aters sacrifice to their ventripotent God on inter-
liquored with the sirup of white poppies-a so- larded fish and other days, Rabelais has given
poriferous dainty no less effective than an owl us almost a complete catalogue of the eatables
pie—is a modification of the dish of dormice in of his time, comprising some extraordinary dishes
Trimalchio's banquet in Petronius, where they which are comparatively rare in cookery-books
are represented sprinkled with honey and white either ancient or modern. Such, for instance,
poppies’ roasted seed, and set as an opposite dish are the fishes which, in the English translation,
to hot sausages on a silver gridiron, beneath are called sleeves, gracious lords, jegs, precks,
which were damsons and pomegranate-grains to botitoes, pallours, smys, and chevins; also the
represent black and live coals. In Trimalchio's birds, if birds they be, named duckers, flem-
banquet there are several dishes besides these mings, squabbs, queests, and snytes. The din-
sausages of which English society at the present ner of these Gastrolaters has none of that disci-
day could partake without any feeling of disgust. pline of cookery which amuses the reader of
But in Smollett's feast there is not probably a Molière. In the “ Bourgeois Gentilhomme," for
single dish but will excite more or less loathing. instance, Dorante speaks of a dinner which
He has omitted from his ancient dinner all that might have been given by a certain Damis, so
might attract the appetite, as sedulously as, in distinguished is it by elegance and erudition.
the abusive sacrifices to the Lindian Hercules, “To show you his science of good eating,” says
the priests, according to Lactantius, omitted every the Marquis to Dorimène, “ he would have di-
word of good omen, lest the whole ceremony lated on the bread baked by itself, with its sides
should be vitiated or made null and void. of gold rendered more toothsome by crust all

Another dinner, modeled apparently on that round crumpling tenderly under the tooth; on of the ancients, presents itself to the eyes of Sir the vine, with its velvety juice armed with an Epicure Mammon in “The Alchemist.” Leaving acid not too commanding ; on a loin of mutton his footboy by far the best fare, after our un- garnished with parsley, or of Normandy veal, learned taste, in pheasants, calvered salmons, long, white, delicate, a very almond paste in the knots, godwits, and lampreys, he confines him- mouth; on a partridge made excellent by its self to dainties such as are, from the egg to the wonderful aroma; and, for his masterpiece, on a apples, almost as uninviting to us as those in the soup à bouillon perlé, supported by a plump bill of fare of Smollett. Of these the least gen- young turkey cantoned with young pigeons, and erally known are cockles boiled in silver shells, crowned with white onions married with chiccory." shrimp swimming in butter of dolphin's milk, In this description we recognize with delight that carp - tongues, camel's heels, barbels' beards, proper appreciation of delicate food which is the boiled dormice, oiled mushrooms, and sow's chief distinctive feature of a civilized life, and so paps.

highly necessary to all domestic happiness. In Martial's dinner invitation to his friends, In Ben Jonson's masque of “The Metamorthe sow's udder usually occupies a prominent phosed Gypsies,” in which such specimens of place. According to Pliny, it was in the primest Rommany slang abound as to render it hard to condition when cut off immediately, or at the be understood without the aid of an expert, the longest one day, after the sow had farrowed, captain of the gypsies, after examining the hand before the young had derived any nourishment of King James, whom he compliments by calling from it; it was of the worst quality when the a lucky bird, says that he should, by the lines in animal miscarried. It was considered a delicacy his palmwhen set on the table, as one author describes

“Love a horse and a hound, but no part of a swine." it, moist with the salt liquor of a tunny-fish. The dish is frequently mentioned by the poets It is probable that the astute actor had heard of from Plautus downward. It occurs in the sec- his sacred Majesty's menu for Satan : Joint, loin ond course of Trimalchio's banquet vis-à-vis of pork; entrée, a poll of ling; dessert, a pipe of with a hare fitted with wings to resemble Pega- tobacco. This erudite potentate, in his aversion

[ocr errors]

to pig's flesh, shared a national peculiarity, ac- and domestic; and simnel-bread, made of the cording to the author of “Waverley,” who, in finest wheat-flour, and, being twice cooked, exhis description of a Highland feast of MacIvor, ceedingly light; and wastel-bread, from which mentions piles of beef and mutton, but nothing comes the French gâteau, a delicate kind of cake of pork. The chief feature worthy of record in with which Madame Eglantine, the prioress, fed this banquet, distinguished by a rude simplicity the small dogs she loved so dearly, and the richrecalling that of the dinner of Penelope's suitors, est of pastry. But above all there was a Karum was the central dish, a yearling lamb, named pie, a Sibylline name to which unfortunately no for some curious philological reason a “hog in note of elucidation or etymology is appended, har'st,” which, roasted whole, stood on all-fours made of beccaficoes and nightingales, which with parsley in its mouth.

Athelstane, Thane of Coningsburgh, swallowed, The same author has given the world a de- to the laughter of the company, under the impresscription of gypsy cookery in “Guy Mannering.” sion that they were larks and pigeons. Whether The big black caldron of Meg Merrilies, whom the worthy thane took Martial's advice and added the Dominie conjectured to be a witch, contains pepper to the waxen beccaficoes or not, he could something far superior, in an æsthetic point of well afford to be laughed at, for he left nothing view, to the ingredients of the hell-broth of the for his neighbors of these succulent dainties, on weird sisters on the blasted heath. Can the fillet which Byron confesses, in “Beppo," he liked to of a fenny snake, or an adder's fork, be compared feed. with a boiled fowl; the root of hemlock, whether The dinners of all times have had competent digged in the dark or at mid-day, with a hare; or historians. As Sir Walter Scott has furnished a the nose of a Turk and a Tartar's lips with par- sample of a feast in the days of King Henry II., tridges and moor-game? Potatoes and leeks so has Swift given a representation, sufficiently present a pleasing contrast to a tiger's chaudron accurate, probably, of one in the days of Queen and the liver of a Jew; and Dominie Sampson Anne. In that author's complete collection of was doubtless pro-di-giously satisfied in drink- polite and ingenious conversations, we have a ing a warm cupful of brandy, in the place of, sort of photograph of the breakfasts and dinners what he apparently expected, the cold blood of a “partaken of,” to use a term suited to the occababoon. The desperate fashion of witches' din- sion, by the bon-ton of society at the commenceners, commonly to be met with, was probably ment of the eighteenth century. The former set by such dishes as were assigned by classic meal was simple enough, consisting only of tea, writers to ladies of the type of Canidia and Erich- bread-and-butter and biscuit, though one of the tho. Pierre de Lancre, the good old magistrate party took a share of beefsteak, with two mugs of Bordeaux—who certainly may be credited of ale and a tankard of March beer as soon as with some knowledge of the ways of witches, he got out of bed; but the latter is remarkable seeing that he burned over five hundred of them for its picturesque profusion. Oysters, sirloin of alive-gives such a description of the dinner, beef, shoulder of veal, tongue, pigeon, black-pudor Sabbath, as he calls it—of these unhappy ding, cucumber, soup, chicken, fritters, venison night-hags, as might with the mere horror of it pasty, hare, almond-pudding, ham, jelly, goose, eclipse the laboring moon. Such entrées as can rabbit, preserved oranges, partridge, cheese, and be mentioned are foaming toads, and the fat of sturgeon, are all mentioned as ingredients of the gibbeted murderers gathered from the gallows- feast, and appear to have been eaten in the order tree; beasts which have died a natural death, or in which they are set down. The drink consisted what the Scotch call braxy; and the corpses of of claret, cider, small beer, October ale, Burthe lately buried torn out of their graves. But gundy, and tea. The consequences of this feast the pièce de résistance was a pasty of fetid odor upon the guests are not mentioned by the Dean composed of the powdered liver of an unbaptized of St. Patrick's. Authors are not invariably so infant, in a coffin of black millet-crust. Salt, reticent. Gray, for instance, after relating the however, was never used—a circumstance from particulars of a dinner at which Dr. Chapman, which Dominie Sampson, when fasting from all the Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, disbut sin, took heart, because it was appointed by tinguished himself, closes his account in the folGod to season all sacrifices, and Christians are lowing sympathetic fashion : “He has gone to expressly required to have salt in themselves and his grave with five fine mackerel (large and full peace with one another.

of roe) in his belly." To remove the taste of the witches' banquet, Tous ces braves gens," says Taine, speaking the reader may return to that of Prince John, at of Fielding's principal characters, se battent Ashby Castle, in “Ivanhoe.” Delicacies from bien, marchent bien, mangent bien, boivent foreign parts and islands far away abounded at mieux encore." Roastbeef descends into their this feast. There were the rarest wines, foreign powerful stomachs as by a law of nature into its

proper place. That they were not averse to spirit, saccharine matter, and acids are thoroughliquor may be gathered from the example of one ly amalgamated, might prove a salutary substiout of many, Squire Western, who, in nine cases tute. In “Our Mutual Friend” the wind passing out of ten of his appearance, makes his entrance over the roof of the R. Wilfer family rushes off or his exit drunk. The reader may, indeed, well charged with a delicious whiff of rum ; and in expect to meet with some guzzling in a work the same novel Mr. Wegg, one evening paying a which the writer likened to a public ordinary, visit to Mr. Venus's museum, finds its proprietor speaking of its contents as a bill of fare. The carousing on cobbler's punch, the composition of difficulty of finding traits of nature he compares which so much depended upon individual gifts, to that of meeting with a Bayonne ham or Bolo- and there being a feeling thrown into it, though gna sausage in the shops of the metropolis ; and, the groundwork of the drink was gin in a Dutch while warning his reader that his entertainment bottle. Mr. Wegg is indignant at the idea of the depends less on the meat cooked than the au- possibility of his refusal to partake of this comthor's cookery, offers to conduct him, after the pound. Lemon is mentioned as one of its ingreapproved fashion of cooks, from plain dishes of dients. While David Copperfield lived princithe country to the quintessence of sauces and pally on Dora and coffee, his friend, Mr. Micawspices, the affectations of the town. Squire ber, preferred punch, which, like time and tide, Western would probably not so often have ren- waits for no man. So on the occasion of David's dered his articulation indistinct had he not been memorable dinner-party, the melancholy of the so politely desirous to drink the health of his Crushed One was awhile diverted by his being friends on all occasions.

led to the lemons. A thing out of mind was then The ill effects of this custom once caused a that ribald turncock, who had cut off his supply sanguine correspondent of the “World,” who of water, amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and was unwilling to waste on the security of health sugar, and burning rum. the succor of disease, to suggest that, in future, After Bob Sawyer's dinner-party a reeking healths should be eaten, instead of, or at least as jorum of rum-punch is brewed in the largest well as, drunk. There is, indeed, no reason to mortar in his shop, and the various materials expect that our unselfish wishes for the salutary amalgamated with a pestle in a very apothecarywelfare of our friends would be less likely to be like manner. Mr. Pickwick himself, though a accomplished by our eating to them than by our discreet man, is so fond of milk-punch that he drinking. No potent mystic spell to which we drinks out of Bob Sawyer's case-bottle, taking it may trust for the fruition of our vows exists in through the coach-window three times before Madeira more than in mutton, in beer more than allowing Ben Allen a drop of it. And after the in beef, in punch more than in pork. Less dan- famous sporting party, in which Mr. Winkle for gerous by far would it be for our own heads, and ever distinguished himself, many more than three equally efficacious in fulfilling our desires for the glasses of cold punch out of a stone bottle brought health of others, if we ate the Queen and the Mr. Pickwick into the wheelbarrow, and from royal family in a saddle of mutton, toasted the the wheelbarrow into the pound. It is someBishop and clergy in turtle, and testified our what curious that the “ Household Edition” of hopes of the future felicity of the bridesmaids at Dickens's works has for its first two illustrations a wedding-breakfast by a mouthful of chicken à of the Pickwick Club, the scene last mentioned, la Marengo, or a game-pie.

in which the hero is awaking from intoxication in Some few dinners are mentioned by Dickens; the wheelbarrow, and that in which, still under but many more drinks, generally with the par- the influence of perhaps too much punch, he is ticulars appended of their composition. There discovered by the ladies of Mr. Wardle's family. is, for example, the can of flip, for which Solo Among the less famous writers of the last mon Daisy laid down his sixpence, in “ Barnaby twenty years, Mortimer Collins is certainly the Rudge.” There are the Oxford nightcaps, quite most conscientious in giving, on every possible celebrated for their strength and goodness, with- occasion, a list of the articles which the characout which, according to Mrs. Nickleby, the young ters in his novels consume. In Miranda, a men at college never went to bed. And there is Midsummer" (it is the author's own limitation) that sherry-cobbler, described in all its details, “Madness,” that saturnine man of letters, affectwith which Mark Tapley made a new man in ing the gourmand enjoué, introduces a very mysevery particular worth mentioning of Martin terious person, who is called the Troglodyte of Chuzzlewit. But for punch in all its varieties the Island of Hawks, providing victuals for his Dickens had evidently a predilection. He prob- guests, which are indeed worthy of precise and ably thought with a celebrated physician that in singular description. Stewed kid with oranges; cases where wine and malt liquor are found too certain wonderful purple fish which can only be oppressive, the beverage of punch, in which the caught, if the Troglodyte was not mistaken, or

intentionally imposing on his company, in lakes bivouacs, with their hard fare of “pickled corkformed out of the craters of extinct volcanoes; tree and pyroligneous aqua-fortis." The repast goats'-milk cheese, bananas in cream, and a consisted of a turbot as big as the Waterloo brewage, still more wonderful than the purple shield, a sirloin which seemed cut from the sides fish, without a name, made of grapes, oranges, of a rhinoceros, a sauce-boat that contained an lemons, citrons, bananas, and cinnamon—these oyster-bed, a turkey which would have formed dainties are far indeed from every-day fare. But the main army of a French dinner, flanked by a the Troglodyte not always confused his visitors picket of ham, a detached squadron of chickens with such an unaccustomed carte. A few pages ambushed in greens, and potatoes piled like shot beyond the last banquet, the dweller in the cave in an ordnance-yard. The standard-bearers of treats a lawyer to oysters with Chablis, clear tur- this host were massive decanters of port and tle with old Madeira, a haunch of Exmoor mutton sherry, and a large square half-gallon vessel of with Heidseck, and a grouse with Lafite. Other whisky. bills of fare, more or less complicated or unusual, This Brobdingnagian banquet may be comare scattered through this novel, out of which pared with two Lilliputian entertainments, of Mr. Collins was probably no more able to keep which an account has been preserved by Sir them, than Mr. Dick to exclude from his memo Walter Scott. The first, a very temperate feast, rials the ever-unwelcome intervention of King occurs in “Redgauntlet.” Among the visitors Charles. But the particular work, in which bev- who on one eventful morning came to Joe Crackerages appear like the stars which stud the milky enthorp's public-house, on the banks of the Solway, is the “ Princess Clarice.” It is not easy to way, the reader may remember the Quaker, calculate how often that young lady, though de- Joshua Geddes. He orders, we are told, a pint scribed as a rational being, occupies herself with of ale, bread, butter, and some Dutch cheese. drinking, lazily or otherwise, as the case may be, Not content with such meager fare was that unsomething effervescent, what time her father is fortunate victim of Themis, Peter Peebles, who feasting on Montrachet, that “good river-side on the same occasion, after asking in vain for a wine," and sardines. The quantity of drink they “plack pie," or a “souter's clod," whatever those both consume would confound a Dane ; the va- delicacies may be, obtains by various solicitations riety astonish a wine-merchant. Mention is made a mutton pasty, a quart of barleybroo, somein the first half of the first volume alone of gin thing over a dram of brandy, and of sherry a cocktails and old rye, of pick-me-ups and Mara- gill. schino, a glass of which is given to Clarice by her Scott's second dinner, in which all good judicious father, to prepare her mind for the news things are but creatures of the imagination, ofof a burglary in his house; of Ræderer, and fers a sad contrast to such abundance as astonclaret-cup with borage and wooderooffe, of ale ished Sancho at Camacho's wedding feast, and and port. Nor must it be supposed that the eat- which pleasantly distinguishes the Epulæ lauing does not proceed pari passu with the drink- tiores of Bradwardine. In the “ Bride of Laming in this novel. Four courses of the dinner at mermoor,” that faithful but somewhat tedious Great Middleton, eaten by the surgeon and Sir old butler, Caleb Balderstone, the ingenious servClare, are described at length by the novelist, ing-man who contrives to make the satisfaction who would have described the rest in the same of his own silly vanity pass for a dutiful regard manner, were it not for his fear of the mighty to his master's honor—a vanity which he never bill of fare horrifying the critics, who, according hesitates to support by any number of lies-offers to Mr. Mortimer Collins, are dyspeptic to a man. on a day the Lord of Ravenswood and his hunYet in spite of all the gaudy glitter and crowd of gry guest the following fare: Bannocks, the meats at Great Middleton, as an exquisite piece hinder end of a mutton-ham, three times served of Limoges porcelain compared to the con- already, and the heel of a ewe-milk“ kebbuck,” tents of a crockery-shop in the New Cut in all which, being translated, means flat cakes, the Lambeth, is Tennyson's picture of the picnic pickings of what was once a leg of mutton, and in "Audley Court,” with its dusky loaf that the rind of a cheese. As for wine, “there never smelt of home, its pasty of quail and pigeon, was lack of wine at Wolf's Crag,” says honest lark and leveret, and its prime flask of ancestral Caleb—"only two days since as much was drunk cider, compared to the Salian feast of the sur as would have floated a pinnace”; and as for geon and Sir Clare.

ale, the awful thunder last week had a little A gigantic dinner, almost worthy of the turned it, so at last the revelers are forced to mouth of Gargantua, is the dinner that Charles drink water; but such water as Balderstone Lever has not disdained to introduce into undertakes to affirm can not be met with any

Charles O'Malley”-a dinner which the hero where in the wide world except in the Tower of that tale often remembered in his mountain well.

« הקודםהמשך »