Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of corrections is found at the end of the text. Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been maintained. A list of inconsistently spelled and hyphenated words is found at the end of the text. Oe ligatures have been expanded.
Text surrounded with ~ was printed in Greek in the original book. Text surrounded with = was originally printed in a black-letter typeface.
The following codes are used for characters that are not found in the character set used for this version of the book.
*.* Asterism [Rx] Rx symbol # Pilcrow
Harper's Stereotype Edition.
THE COOK'S ORACLE; AND HOUSEKEEPER'S MANUAL.
Receipts for Cookery,
DIRECTIONS FOR CARVING.
THE ART OF COMPOSING THE MOST SIMPLE AND MOST HIGHLY FINISHED BROTHS, GRAVIES, SOUPS, SAUCES, STORE SAUCES, AND FLAVOURING ESSENCES; PASTRY, PRESERVES, PUDDINGS, PICKLES, &c.
A COMPLETE SYSTEM OF COOKERY FOR CATHOLIC FAMILIES.
THE QUANTITY OF EACH ARTICLE IS ACCURATELY STATED BY WEIGHT AND MEASURE; BEING THE RESULT OF ACTUAL EXPERIMENTS INSTITUTED IN THE KITCHEN OF
WILLIAM KITCHINER, M.D.
ADAPTED TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC BY A MEDICAL GENTLEMAN.
FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.
PRINTED BY J. & J. HARPER, 82 CLIFF-ST.
SOLD BY COLLINS AND HANNAY, COLLINS AND CO., G. AND C. AND H. CARVILL, WILLIAM B. GILLEY, E. BLISS, O. A. ROORBACH, WHITE, GALLAHER, AND WHITE, C. S. FRANCIS, WILLIAM BURGESS, JR., AND N. B. HOLMES;—PHILADELPHIA, E. L. CAREY AND A. HART, AND JOHN GRIGG;—ALBANY, O. STEELE, AND W. C. LITTLE.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 20th day of November, A. D. 1829, in the fifty-fourth year of the independence of the United States of America, J. & J. HARPER, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"The Cook's Oracle, and Housekeeper's Manual, Containing Receipts for Cookery, and Directions for Carving; also the Art of Composing the most simple and most highly finished Broths, Gravies, Soups, Sauces, Store Sauces, and Flavouring Essences; Pastry, Preserves, Puddings, Pickles, &c. With a Complete System of Cookery for Catholic Families. The Quantity of each Article is accurately stated by Weight and Measure; being the Result of Actual Experiments instituted in the Kitchen of William Kitchiner, M.D. Adapted to the American Public by a Medical Gentleman."
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." And also to an Act, entitled "An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
FREDERICK I. BETTS, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
The publishers have now the pleasure of presenting to the American public, Dr. Kitchiner's justly celebrated work, entitled "The Cook's Oracle, and Housekeeper's Manual," with numerous and valuable improvements, by a medical gentleman of this city.
The work contains a store of valuable information, which, it is confidently believed, will not only prove highly advantageous to young and inexperienced housekeepers, but also to more experienced matrons—to all, indeed, who are desirous of enjoying, in the highest degree, the good things which Nature has so abundantly bestowed upon us.
The "Cook's Oracle" has been adjudged, by connoisseurs in this country and in Great Britain, to contain the best possible instructions on the subject of serving up, beautifully and economically, the productions of the water, land, and air, in such a manner as to render them most pleasant to the eye, and agreeable to the palate.
Numerous notices, in commendation of the work, might be selected from respectable European journals; but the mere fact, that within twelve years, seventy thousand copies of it have been purchased by the English public, is sufficient evidence of its reception and merits.
NEW-YORK, December, 1829.
THE SEVENTH EDITION.
The whole of this Work has, a seventh time, been carefully revised; but this last time I have found little to add, and little to alter.
I have bestowed as much attention on each of the 500 receipts as if the whole merit of the book was to be estimated entirely by the accuracy of my detail of one particular process.
The increasing demand for "The Cook's Oracle," amounting in 1824 to the extraordinary number of upwards of 45,000, has been stimulus enough to excite any man to submit to the most unremitting study; and the Editor has felt it as an imperative duty to exert himself to the utmost to render "The Cook's Oracle" a faithful narrative of all that is known of the various subjects it professes to treat.
Among the multitudes of causes which concur to impair health and produce disease, the most general is the improper quality of our food: this most frequently arises from the injudicious manner in which it is prepared: yet strange, "passing strange," this is the only one for which a remedy has not been sought; few persons bestow half so much attention on the preservation of their own health, as they daily devote to that of their dogs and horses.
The observations of the Guardians of Health respecting regimen, &c. have formed no more than a catalogue of those articles of food, which they have considered most proper for particular constitutions.
Some medical writers have, "in good set terms," warned us against the pernicious effects of improper diet; but not one has been so kind as to take the trouble to direct us how to prepare food properly; excepting only the contributions of Count Rumford, who says, in pages 16 and 70 of his tenth Essay, "however low and vulgar this subject has hitherto generally been thought to be—in what Art or Science could improvements be made that would more powerfully contribute to increase the comforts and enjoyments of mankind? Would to God! that I could fix the public attention to this subject!"
The Editor has endeavoured to write the following receipts so plainly, that they may be as easily understood in the kitchen as he trusts they will be relished in the dining-room; and has been more ambitious to present to the Public a Work which will contribute to the daily comfort of all, than to seem elaborately scientific.
The practical part of the philosophy of the kitchen is certainly not the most agreeable; gastrology has to contend with its full share of those great impediments to all great improvements in scientific pursuits; the prejudices of the ignorant, and the misrepresentations of the envious.
The sagacity to comprehend and estimate the importance of any uncontemplated improvement, is confined to the very few on whom nature has bestowed a sufficient degree of perfection of the sense which is to measure it;—the candour to make a fair report of it, is still more uncommon; and the kindness to encourage it cannot often be expected from those whose most vital interest it is to prevent the developement of that by which their own importance, perhaps their only means of existence, may be for ever eclipsed: so, as Pope says, how many are
"Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge, Without a rival, or without a judge: All fear, none aid you, and few understand."
Improvements in Agriculture and the Breed of Cattle have been encouraged by premiums. Those who have obtained them, have been hailed as benefactors to society! but the Art of making use of these means of ameliorating Life and supporting a healthful Existence—COOKERY—has been neglected!!
While the cultivators of the raw materials are distinguished and rewarded, the attempt to improve the processes, without which neither vegetable nor animal substances are fit for the food of man (astonishing to say), has been ridiculed, as unworthy the attention of a rational being!!
The most useful[vii-*] art—which the Editor has chosen to endeavour to illustrate, because nobody else has, and because he knew not how he could employ some leisure hours more beneficially for mankind, than to teach them to combine the "utile" with the "dulce," and to increase their pleasures, without impairing their health, or impoverishing their fortune, has been for many years his favourite employment; and "THE ART OF INVIGORATING AND PROLONGING LIFE BY FOOD, &C. &C." and this Work, have insensibly become repositories for whatever observations he has made which he thought would make us "LIVE HAPPY, AND LIVE LONG!!!"
The Editor has considered the ART OF COOKERY, not merely as a mechanical operation, fit only for working cooks, but as the Analeptic part of the Art of Physic.
"How best the fickle fabric to support Of mortal man; in healthful body how A healthful mind the longest to maintain,"
is an occupation neither unbecoming nor unworthy philosophers of the highest class: such only can comprehend its importance; which amounts to no less, than not only the enjoyment of the present moment, but the more precious advantage of improving and preserving health, and prolonging life, which depend on duly replenishing the daily waste of the human frame with materials pregnant with nutriment and easy of digestion.
If medicine be ranked among those arts which dignify their professors, cookery may lay claim to an equal, if not a superior, distinction; to prevent diseases is surely a more advantageous art to mankind than to cure them. "Physicians should be good cooks, at least in theory."—Dr. MANDEVILLE on Hypochondriasis, p. 316.
The learned Dr. ARBUTHNOT observes, in page 3 of the preface to his Essay on Aliment, that "the choice and measure of the materials of which our body is composed, what we take daily by pounds, is at least of as much importance as what we take seldom, and only by grains and spoonfuls."
Those in whom the organ of taste is obtuse, or who have been brought up in the happy habit of being content with humble fare, whose health is so firm, that it needs no artificial adjustment; who, with the appetite of a cormorant, have the digestion of an ostrich, and eagerly devour whatever is set before them without asking any questions about what it is, or how it has been prepared—may perhaps imagine that the Editor has sometimes been rather over-much refining the business of the kitchen.
"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
But as few are so fortunate as to be trained up to understand how well it is worth their while to cultivate such habits of Spartan forbearance, we cannot perform our duty in registering wholesome precepts, in a higher degree, than by disarming luxury of its sting, and making the refinements of Modern Cookery minister not merely to sensual gratification, but at the same time support the substantial excitement of "mens sana in corpore sano."
Delicate and nervous invalids, who have unfortunately a sensitive palate, and have been accustomed to a luxurious variety of savoury sauces, and highly seasoned viands; those who, from the infirmity of age, are become incapable of correcting habits created by absurd indulgence in youth, are entitled to some consideration; and, for their sake, the Elements of Opsology are explained in the most intelligent manner; and I have assisted the memory of young cooks, by annexing to each dish the various sauces which usually accompany it, referring to their numbers in the work.
Some idle idiots have remarked to the Author, that "there were really so many references from one receipt to another, that it is exceedingly troublesome indeed; they are directed sometimes to turn to half a dozen numbers:" this is quite true. If the Author had not adopted this plan of reference, his book, to be equally explicit, must have been ten times as big; his object has been to give as much information as possible in as few pages, and for as few pence, as possible.
By reducing culinary operations to something like a certainty, invalids will no longer be entirely indebted to chance, whether they shall recover and live long, and comfortably, or speedily die of starvation in the midst of plenty.
These rules and orders for the regulation of the business of the kitchen have been extremely beneficial to the Editor's own health and comfort. He hopes they will be equally so to others: they will help those who enjoy health to preserve it; teach those who have delicate and irritable stomachs how to keep them in good temper; and, with a little discretion, enable them to indulge occasionally, not only with impunity, but with advantage, in all those alimentary pleasures which a rational epicure can desire.
There is no question more frequently asked, or which a medical man finds more difficulty in answering, to the satisfaction of himself and his patient, than—What do you wish me to eat?
The most judicious choice of aliment will avail nothing, unless the culinary preparation of it be equally judicious. How often is the skill of a pains-taking physician counteracted by want of corresponding attention to the preparation of food; and the poor patient, instead of deriving nourishment, is distressed by indigestion!
PARMENTIER, in his Code Pharmaceutique, has given a chapter on the preparation of food: some of the following receipts are offered as an humble attempt to form a sort of Appendix to the Pharmacopoeia, and like pharmaceutic prescriptions, they are precisely adjusted by weight and measure. The author of a cookery book, first published in 1824, has claimed this act of industry of mine as his own original invention; the only notice I shall take of his pretensions is to say, that the first edition of "The Cook's Oracle" appeared in 1817.
By ordering such receipts of the Cook's Oracle as appear adapted to the case, the recovery of the patient and the credit of the physician, as far as relates to the administration of aliment, need no longer depend on the discretion of the cook. For instance: Mutton Broth, No. 490, or No. 564; Toast and Water, No. 463; Water Gruel, No. 572; Beef Tea, No. 563; and Portable Soup, No. 252. This concentrated Essence of Meat will be found a great acquisition to the comfort of the army, the navy, the traveller, and the invalid. By dissolving half an ounce of it in half a pint of hot water, you have in a few minutes half a pint of good Broth for three halfpence. The utility of such accurate and precise directions for preparing food, is to travellers incalculable; for, by translating the receipt, any person may prepare what is desired as perfectly as a good English cook.
He has also circumstantially detailed the easiest, least expensive, and most salubrious methods of preparing those highly finished soups, sauces, ragouts, and piquante relishes, which the most ingenious "officers of the mouth" have invented for the amusement of thorough-bred "grands gourmands."
It has been his aim to render food acceptable to the palate, without being expensive to the purse, or offensive to the stomach; nourishing without being inflammatory, and savoury without being surfeiting; constantly endeavouring to hold the balance equal, between the agreeable and the wholesome, the epicure and the economist.
He has not presumed to recommend one receipt that has not been previously and repeatedly proved in his own kitchen, which has not been approved by the most accomplished cooks; and has, moreover, been eaten with unanimous applause by a Committee of Taste, composed of some of the most illustrious gastropholists of this luxurious metropolis.
The Editor has been materially assisted by Mr. Henry Osborne, the excellent cook to the late Sir Joseph Banks; that worthy President of the Royal Society was so sensible of the importance of the subject the Editor was investigating, that he sent his cook to assist him in his arduous task; and many of the receipts in this edition are much improved by his suggestions and corrections. See No. 560.
This is the only English Cookery Book which has been written from the real experiments of a housekeeper for the benefit of housekeepers; which the reader will soon perceive by the minute attention that has been employed to elucidate and improve the Art of Plain Cookery; detailing many particulars and precautions, which may at first appear frivolous, but which experience will prove to be essential: to teach a common cook how to provide, and to prepare, common food so frugally, and so perfectly, that the plain every-day family fare of the most economical housekeeper, may, with scarcely additional expense, or any additional trouble, be a satisfactory entertainment for an epicure or an invalid.
By an attentive consideration of "the Rudiments of Cookery," and the respective receipts, the most ignorant novice in the business of the kitchen, may work with the utmost facility and certainty of success, and soon become a good cook.
Will all the other books of cookery that ever were printed do this? To give his readers an idea of the immense labour attendant upon this Work, it may be only necessary for the Author to state, that he has patiently pioneered through more than two hundred cookery books before he set about recording these results of his own experiments! The table of the most economical family may, by the help of this book, be entertained with as much elegance as that of a sovereign prince.
[vii-*] "The only test of the utility of knowledge, is its promoting the happiness of mankind."—Dr. Stark on Diet, p. 90.
PREFACE v —— to Seventh Edition iv INTRODUCTION 15 Culinary Curiosities 32 Invitations to Dinner 36 Carving 43 Friendly Advice to Cooks 45 Table of Weights, &c. 65
RUDIMENTS OF COOKERY.
CHAPTER 1. Boiling 66 —— Baking 72 —— 2. Roasting 74 —— 3. Frying 80 —— 4. Broiling 82 —— 5. Vegetables 83 —— 6. Fish 86 Fish Sauces 88 —— 7. Broths and Soups 89 —— 8. Gravies and Sauces 100 —— 9. Made Dishes 106 Receipts 108 Marketing Tables 355
Pastry, Confectionery, Preserves, &c. 360 Bread, &c. 390 Observations on Puddings and Pies 392 Pickles 398 Various useful Family Receipts 405 Observations on Carving 409 Index 421
The following receipts are not a mere marrowless collection of shreds and patches, and cuttings and pastings, but a bona fide register of practical facts,—accumulated by a perseverance not to be subdued or evaporated by the igniferous terrors of a roasting fire in the dog-days,—in defiance of the odoriferous and calefacient repellents of roasting, boiling, frying, and broiling;—moreover, the author has submitted to a labour no preceding cookery-book-maker, perhaps, ever attempted to encounter,—having eaten each receipt before he set it down in his book.
They have all been heartily welcomed by a sufficiently well-educated palate, and a rather fastidious stomach:—perhaps this certificate of the reception of the respective preparations, will partly apologize for the book containing a smaller number of them than preceding writers on this gratifying subject have transcribed—for the amusement of "every man's master," the STOMACH.[15-*]
Numerous as are the receipts in former books, they vary little from each other, except in the name given to them; the processes of cookery are very few: I have endeavoured to describe each, in so plain and circumstantial a manner, as I hope will be easily understood, even by the amateur, who is unacquainted with the practical part of culinary concerns.
OLD HOUSEKEEPERS may think I have been tediously minute on many points which may appear trifling: my predecessors seem to have considered the RUDIMENTS of COOKERY quite unworthy of attention. These little delicate distinctions constitute all the difference between a common and an elegant table, and are not trifles to the YOUNG HOUSEKEEPERS who must learn them either from the communication of others or blunder on till their own slowly accumulating and dear-bought experience teaches them.
A wish to save time, trouble and money to inexperienced housekeepers and cooks, and to bring the enjoyments and indulgences of the opulent within reach of the middle ranks of society, were my motives for publishing this book. I could accomplish it only by supposing the reader (when he first opens it) to be as ignorant of cookery as I was, when I first thought of writing on the subject.
I have done my best to contribute to the comfort of my fellow-creatures: by a careful attention to the directions herein given, the most ignorant may easily learn to prepare food, not only in an agreeable and wholesome, but in an elegant and economical manner.
This task seems to have been left for me; and I have endeavoured to collect and communicate, in the clearest and most intelligible manner, the whole of the heretofore abstruse mysteries of the culinary art, which are herein, I hope, so plainly developed, that the most inexperienced student in the occult art of cookery, may work from my receipts with the utmost facility.
I was perfectly aware of the extreme difficulty of teaching those who are entirely unacquainted with the subject, and of explaining my ideas effectually, by mere receipts, to those who never shook hands with a stewpan.
In my anxiety to be readily understood, I have been under the necessity of occasionally repeating the same directions in different parts of the book; but I would rather be censured for repetition than for obscurity, and hope not to be accused of affectation, while my intention is perspicuity.
Our neighbours of France are so justly famous for their skill in the affairs of the kitchen, that the adage says, "As many Frenchmen as many cooks:" surrounded as they are by a profusion of the most delicious wines, and seducing liqueurs offering every temptation to render drunkenness delightful, yet a tippling Frenchman is a "rara avis."
They know how so easily to keep life in sufficient repair by good eating, that they require little or no screwing up with liquid stimuli. This accounts for that "toujours gai," and happy equilibrium of the animal spirits which they enjoy with more regularity than any people: their elastic stomachs, unimpaired by spirituous liquors, digest vigorously the food they sagaciously prepare and render easily assimilable, by cooking it sufficiently,—wisely contriving to get half the work of the stomach done by fire and water, till
"The tender morsels on the palate melt, And all the force of cookery is felt."
See Nos. 5 and 238, &c.
The cardinal virtues of cookery, "CLEANLINESS, FRUGALITY, NOURISHMENT, AND PALATABLENESS," preside over each preparation; for I have not presumed to insert a single composition, without previously obtaining the "imprimatur" of an enlightened and indefatigable "COMMITTEE OF TASTE," (composed of thorough-bred GRANDS GOURMANDS of the first magnitude,) whose cordial co-operation I cannot too highly praise; and here do I most gratefully record the unremitting zeal they manifested during their arduous progress of proving the respective recipes: they were so truly philosophically and disinterestedly regardless of the wear and tear of teeth and stomach, that their labour appeared a pleasure to them. Their laudable perseverance has enabled me to give the inexperienced amateur an unerring guide how to excite as much pleasure as possible on the palate, and occasion as little trouble as possible to the principal viscera, and has hardly been exceeded by those determined spirits who lately in the Polar expedition braved the other extreme of temperature, &c. in spite of whales, bears, icebergs, and starvation.
Every attention has been paid in directing the proportions of the following compositions; not merely to make them inviting to the appetite, but agreeable and useful to the stomach—nourishing without being inflammatory, and savoury without being surfeiting.
I have written for those who make nourishment the chief end of eating,[17-*] and do not desire to provoke appetite beyond the powers and necessities of nature; proceeding, however, on the purest epicurean principles of indulging the palate as far as it can be done without injury or offence to the stomach, and forbidding[18-*] nothing but what is absolutely unfriendly to health.
——"That which is not good, is not delicious To a well-govern'd and wise appetite."—MILTON.
This is by no means so difficult a task as some gloomy philosophers (uninitiated in culinary science) have tried to make the world believe; who seem to have delighted in persuading you, that every thing that is nice must be noxious, and that every thing that is nasty is wholesome.
"How charming is divine philosophy? Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose, But musical as is Apollo's lute, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, Where no crude surfeit reigns."—MILTON.
Worthy William Shakspeare declared he never found a philosopher who could endure the toothache patiently:—the Editor protests that he has not yet overtaken one who did not love a feast.
Those cynical slaves who are so silly as to suppose it unbecoming a wise man to indulge in the common comforts of life, should be answered in the words of the French philosopher. "Hey—what, do you philosophers eat dainties?" said a gay Marquess. "Do you think," replied DESCARTES, "that God made good things only for fools?"
Every individual, who is not perfectly imbecile and void of understanding, is an epicure in his own way. The epicures in boiling of potatoes are innumerable. The perfection of all enjoyment depends on the perfection of the faculties of the mind and body; therefore, the temperate man is the greatest epicure, and the only true voluptuary.
THE PLEASURES OF THE TABLE have been highly appreciated and carefully cultivated in all countries and in all ages;[19-*] and in spite of all the stoics, every one will allow they are the first and the last we enjoy, and those we taste the oftenest,—above a thousand times in a year, every year of our lives!
THE STOMACH is the mainspring of our system. If it be not sufficiently wound up to warm the heart and support the circulation, the whole business of life will, in proportion, be ineffectively performed: we can neither think with precision, walk with vigour, sit down with comfort, nor sleep with tranquillity.
There would be no difficulty in proving that it influences (much more than people in general imagine) all our actions: the destiny of nations has often depended upon the more or less laborious digestion of a prime minister.[19-+] See a very curious anecdote in the memoirs of COUNT ZINZENDORFF in Dodsley's Annual Register for 1762. 3d edition, p. 32.
The philosopher Pythagoras seems to have been extremely nice in eating; among his absolute injunctions to his disciples, he commands them to "abstain from beans."
This ancient sage has been imitated by the learned who have discoursed on this subject since, who are liberal of their negative, and niggardly of their positive precepts—in the ratio, that it is easier to tell you not to do this, than to teach you how to do that.
Our great English moralist Dr. S. JOHNSON, his biographer Boswell tells us, "was a man of very nice discernment in the science of cookery," and talked of good eating with uncommon satisfaction. "Some people," said he, "have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat; for my part, I mind my belly very studiously and very carefully, and I look upon it that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind any thing else."
The Dr. might have said, cannot mind any thing else. The energy of our BRAINS is sadly dependent on the behaviour of our BOWELS.[20-*] Those who say, 'Tis no matter what we eat or what we drink, may as well say, 'Tis no matter whether we eat, or whether we drink.
The following anecdotes I copy from Boswell's life of Johnson.
Johnson.—"I could write a better book of cookery than has ever yet been written; it should be a book on philosophical principles. I would tell what is the best butcher's meat, the proper seasons of different vegetables, and then, how to roast, and boil, and to compound."
Dilly.—"Mrs. Glasse's cookery, which is the best, was written by Dr. Hill."
Johnson.—"Well, Sir—this shows how much better the subject of cookery[20-] may be treated by a philosopher;[20-] but you shall see what a book of cookery I shall make, and shall agree with Mr. Dilly for the copyright."
Miss Seward.—"That would be Hercules with the distaff indeed!"
Johnson.—"No, madam; women can spin very well, but they cannot make a good book of cookery." See vol. iii. p. 311.
Mr. B. adds, "I never knew a man who relished good eating more than he did: when at table, he was totally absorbed in the business of the moment: nor would he, unless in very high company, say one word, or even pay the least attention to what was said by others, until he had satisfied his appetite."
The peculiarities of his constitution were as great as those of his character: luxury and intemperance are relative terms, depending on other circumstances than mere quantity and quality. Nature gave him an excellent palate, and a craving appetite, and his intense application rendered large supplies of nourishment absolutely necessary to recruit his exhausted spirits.
The fact is, this great man had found out that animal and intellectual vigour,[21-*] are much more entirely dependent upon each other than is commonly understood; especially in those constitutions whose digestive and chylopoietic organs are capricious and easily put out of tune, or absorb the "pabulum vitae" indolently and imperfectly: with such, it is only now and then that the "sensorium commune" vibrates with the full tone of accurately considerative, or creative energy. "His favourite dainties were, a leg of pork boiled till it dropped from the bone, a veal-pie, with plums and sugar, or the outside cut of a salt buttock of beef. With regard to drink, his liking was for the strongest, as it was not the flavour, but the effect that he desired." Mr. Smale's Account of Dr. Johnson's Journey into Wales, 1816, p. 174.
Thus does the HEALTH always, and very often the LIFE of invalids, and those who have weak and infirm STOMACHS, depend upon the care and skill of the COOK. Our forefathers were so sensible of this, that in days of yore no man of consequence thought of making a day's journey without taking his "MAGISTER COQUORUM" with him.
The rarity of this talent in a high degree is so well understood, that besides very considerable pecuniary compensation, his majesty's first and second cooks[22-*] are now esquires by their office. We have every reason to suppose they were persons of equal dignity heretofore.
In Dr. Pegge's "Forme of Cury," 8vo. London, 1780, we read, that when Cardinal Otto, the Pope's legate, was at Oxford, A. D. 1248, his brother officiated as "MAGISTER COQUINAE."
This important post has always been held as a situation of high trust and confidence; and the "MAGNUS COQUUS," Anglice, the Master Kitchener, has, time immemorial, been an officer of considerable dignity in the palaces of princes.
The cook in PLAUTUS (pseudol) is called "Hominum servatorem," the preserver of mankind; and by MERCIER "un medecin qui guerit radicalement deux maladies mortelles, la faim et la soif."
The Norman conqueror WILLIAM bestowed several portions of land on these highly-favoured domestics, the "COQUORUM PRAEPOSITUS," and "COQUUS REGIUS;" a manor was bestowed on Robert Argyllon the "GRAND QUEUX," to be held by the following service. See that venerable record, the doomsday book.
"Robert Argyllon holdeth one carucate of land in Addington in the county of Surrey, by the service of making one mess in an earthen pot in the kitchen of our Lord the KING, on the day of his coronation, called De la Groute," i. e. a kind of plum-porridge, or water-gruel with plums in it. This dish is still served up at the royal table at coronations, by the Lord of the said manor of Addington.
At the coronation of King George IV., Court of Claims, July 12, 1820:
"The petition of the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, which was presented by Sir G. Nayler, claiming to perform the service of presenting a dish of De la Groute to the King at the banquet, was considered by the Court, and decided to be allowed."
A good dinner is one of the greatest enjoyments of human life; and as the practice of cookery is attended with so many discouraging difficulties,[22-+] so many disgusting and disagreeable circumstances, and even dangers, we ought to have some regard for those who encounter them to procure us pleasure, and to reward their attention by rendering their situation every way as comfortable and agreeable as we can. He who preaches integrity to those in the kitchen, (see "Advice to Cooks,") may be permitted to recommend liberality to those in the parlour; they are indeed the sources of each other. Depend upon it, "True self-love and social are the same;" "Do as you would be done by:" give those you are obliged to trust every inducement to be honest, and no temptation to play tricks.
When you consider that a good servant eats[23-*] no more than a bad one, how much waste is occasioned by provisions being dressed in a slovenly and unskilful manner, and how much a good cook (to whom the conduct of the kitchen is confided) can save you by careful management, no housekeeper will hardly deem it an unwise speculation (it is certainly an amiable experiment), to invite the honesty and industry of domestics, by setting them an example of liberality—at least, show them, that "According to their pains will be their gains."
Avoid all approaches towards familiarity; which, to a proverb, is accompanied by contempt, and soon breaks the neck of obedience.
A lady gave us the following account of the progress of a favourite.
"The first year, she was an excellent servant; the second, a kind mistress; the third, an intolerable tyrant; at whose dismissal, every creature about my house rejoiced heartily."
However, servants are more likely to be praised into good conduct, than scolded out of bad. Always commend them when they do right. To cherish the desire of pleasing in them, you must show them that you are pleased:—
"Be to their faults a little blind, And to their virtues very kind."
By such conduct, ordinary servants may be converted into good ones: few are so hardened, as not to feel gratified when they are kindly and liberally treated.
It is a good maxim to select servants not younger than THIRTY:—before that age, however comfortable you may endeavour to make them, their want of experience, and the hope of something still better, prevents their being satisfied with their present state; after, they have had the benefit of experience: if they are tolerably comfortable, they will endeavour to deserve the smiles of even a moderately kind master, for fear they may change for the worse.
Life may indeed be very fairly divided into the seasons of HOPE and FEAR. In YOUTH, we hope every thing may be right: in AGE, we fear every thing will be wrong.
Do not discharge a good servant for a slight offence:—
"Bear and forbear, thus preached the stoic sages, And in two words, include the sense of pages."—POPE.
HUMAN NATURE IS THE SAME IN ALL STATIONS: if you can convince your servants that you have a generous and considerate regard for their health and comfort, why should you imagine that they will be insensible to the good they receive?
Impose no commands but what are reasonable, nor reprove but with justice and temper: the best way to ensure which is, never to lecture them till at least one day after they have offended you.
If they have any particular hardship to endure in your service, let them see that you are concerned for the necessity of imposing it.
If they are sick, remember you are their patron as well as their master: remit their labour, and give them all the assistance of food, physic, and every comfort in your power. Tender assiduity about an invalid is half a cure; it is a balsam to the mind, which has a most powerful effect on the body, soothes the sharpest pains, and strengthens beyond the richest cordial.
Ye who think that to protect and encourage virtue is the best preventive from vice, reward your female servants liberally.
CHARITY SHOULD BEGIN AT HOME. Prevention is preferable to cure—but I have no objection to see your names ornamenting the lists of subscribers to foundling hospitals and female penitentiaries.[25-*] Gentle reader, for a definition of the word "charity," let me refer you to the 13th Chapter of St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.
"To say nothing of the deleterious vapours and pestilential exhalations of the charcoal, which soon undermine the health of the heartiest, the glare of a scorching fire, and the smoke so baneful to the eyes and the complexion, are continual and inevitable dangers: and a cook must live in the midst of them, as a soldier on the field of battle surrounded by bullets, and bombs, and CONGREVE'S rockets; with this only difference, that for the first, every day is a fighting day, that her warfare is almost always without glory, and most praiseworthy achievements pass not only without reward, but frequently without thanks: for the most consummate cook is, alas! seldom noticed by the master, or heard of by the guests; who, while they are eagerly devouring his turtle, and drinking his wine, care very little who dressed the one, or sent the other."—Almanach des Gourmands.
This observation applies especially to the SECOND COOK, or first kitchen maid, in large families, who have by far the hardest place in the house, and are worse paid, and truly verify the old adage, "the more work, the less wages." If there is any thing right, the cook has the praise—when there is any thing wrong, as surely the kitchen maid has the blame. Be it known, then, to honest JOHN BULL, that this humble domestic is expected by the cook to take the entire management of all ROASTS, BOILS, FISH, and VEGETABLES; i. e. the principal part of an Englishman's dinner.
The master, who wishes to enjoy the rare luxury of a table regularly well served in the best style, must treat his cook as his friend—watch over her health[26-*] with the tenderest care, and especially be sure her taste does not suffer from her stomach being deranged by bilious attacks.
Besides understanding the management of the spit, the stewpan, and the rolling-pin, a COMPLETE COOK must know how to go to market, write legibly, and keep accounts accurately.
In well-regulated private families the most convenient custom seems to be, that the cook keep a house-book, containing an account of the miscellaneous articles she purchases; and the butcher's, baker's, butterman's, green-grocer's, fishmonger's, milkman's, and washing bills are brought in every Monday; these it is the duty of the cook to examine, before she presents them to her employer every Tuesday morning to be discharged.
The advantage of paying such bills weekly is incalculable: among others the constant check it affords against any excess beyond the sum allotted for defraying them, and the opportunity it gives of correcting increase of expense in one week by a prudent retrenchment in the next. "If you would live even with the world, calculate your expenses at half your income—if you would grow rich, at one-third."
It is an excellent plan to have a table of rules for regulating the ordinary expenses of the family, in order to check any innovation or excess which otherwise might be introduced unawares, and derange the proposed distribution of the annual revenue.
To understand the economy of household affairs is not only essential to a woman's proper and pleasant performance of the duties of a wife and a mother, but is indispensable to the comfort, respectability, and general welfare of all families, whatever be their circumstances.
The editor has employed some leisure hours in collecting practical hints for instructing inexperienced housekeepers in the useful
Art of providing comfortably for a family;
which is displayed so plainly and so particularly, that a young lady may learn the delectable arcana of domestic affairs, in as little time as is usually devoted to directing the position of her hands on a piano-forte, or of her feet in a quadrille—this will enable her to make the cage of matrimony as comfortable as the net of courtship was charming. For this purpose he has contrived a Housekeeper's Leger, a plain and easy plan of keeping accurate accounts of the expenses of housekeeping, which, with only one hour's attention in a week, will enable you to balance all such accounts with the utmost exactness; an acceptable acquisition to all who admit that order and economy are the basis of comfort and independence.
It is almost impossible for a cook in a large family, to attend to the business of the kitchen with any certainty of perfection, if employed in other household concerns. It is a service of such importance, and so difficult to perform even tolerably well, that it is sufficient to engross the entire attention of one person.
"If we take a review of the qualifications which are indispensable in that highly estimable domestic, a GOOD COOK, we shall find that very few deserve that name."[27-*]
"The majority of those who set up for professors of this art are of mean ability, selfish, and pilfering every thing they can; others are indolent and insolent. Those who really understand their business (which are by far the smallest number), are too often either ridiculously saucy, or insatiably thirsty; in a word, a good subject of this class is a rara avis indeed!"
"God sends meat,"—who sends cooks?[28-*] the proverb has long saved us the trouble of guessing. Vide Almanach des Gourmands, p. 83.
Of what value then is not this book, which will render every person of common sense a good cook in as little time as it can be read through attentively!
If the masters and mistresses of families will sometimes condescend to make an amusement of this art, they will escape numberless disappointments, &c. which those who will not, must occasionally inevitably suffer, to the detriment of both their health and their fortune.
I did not presume to offer any observations of my own, till I had read all that I could find written on the subject, and submitted (with no small pains) to a patient and attentive consideration of every preceding work, relating to culinary concerns, that I could meet with.
These books vary very little from each other; except in the preface, they are
"Like in all else as one egg to another."
"Ab uno, disce omnes," cutting and pasting have been much oftener employed than the pen and ink: any one who has occasion to refer to two or three of them, will find the receipts almost always "verbatim et literatim;" equally unintelligible to those who are ignorant, and useless to those who are acquainted with the business of the kitchen.
I have perused not fewer than 250 of these volumes.
During the Herculean labour of my tedious progress through these books, few of which afford the germ of a single idea, I have often wished that the authors of them had been satisfied with giving us the results of their own practice and experience, instead of idly perpetuating the errors, prejudices, and plagiarisms of their predecessors; the strange, and unaccountable, and uselessly extravagant farragoes and heterogeneous compositions which fill their pages, are combinations no rational being would ever think of either dressing or eating; and without ascertaining the practicability of preparing the receipts, and their fitness for food when done, they should never have ventured to recommend them to others: the reader of them will often put the same quaere, as Jeremy, in Congreve's comedy of "Love for Love," when Valentine observes, "There's a page doubled down in Epictetus that is a feast for an emperor.—Jer. Was Epictetus a real cook, or did he only write receipts?"
Half of the modern cookery books are made up with pages cut out of obsolete works, such as the "Choice Manual of Secrets," the "True Gentlewoman's Delight," &c. of as much use, in this age of refinement, as the following curious passage from "The Accomplished Lady's Rich Closet of Rarities, or Ingenious Gentlewoman's Delightful Companion," 12mo. London, 1653, chapter 7, page 42; which I have inserted in a note,[29-*] to give the reader a notion of the barbarous manners of the 16th century, with the addition of the arts of the confectioner, the brewer, the baker, the distiller, the gardener, the clear-starcher, and the perfumer, and how to make pickles, puff paste, butter, blacking, &c. together with my Lady Bountiful's sovereign remedy for an inward bruise, and other ever-failing nostrums,—Dr. Killemquick's wonder-working essence, and fallible elixir, which cures all manner of incurable maladies directly minute, Mrs. Notable's instructions how to make soft pomatum, that will soon make more hair grow upon thy head, "than Dobbin, thy thill-horse, hath upon his tail," and many others equally invaluable!!!—the proper appellation for which would be "a dangerous budget of vulgar errors," concluding with a bundle of extracts from "the Gardener's Calendar," and "the Publican's Daily Companion."
Thomas Carter, in the preface to his "City and Country Cook," London, 1738, says, "What I have published is almost the only book, one or two excepted, which of late years has come into the world, that has been the result of the author's own practice and experience; for though very few eminent practical cooks have ever cared to publish what they knew of the art, yet they have been prevailed on, for a small premium from a bookseller, to lend their names to performances in this art unworthy their owning."
Robert May, in the introduction to his "Accomplished Cook," 1665, says, "To all honest and well-intending persons of my profession, and others, this book cannot but be acceptable, as it plainly and profitably discovers the mystery of the whole art; for which, though I may be envied by some, that only value their private interests above posterity and the public good; yet (he adds), God and my own conscience would not permit me to bury these, my experiences, with my silver hairs in the grave."
Those high and mighty masters and mistresses of the alimentary art, who call themselves "profess" cooks, are said to be very jealous and mysterious beings; and that if, in a long life of laborious stove-work, they have found out a few useful secrets, they seldom impart to the public the fruits of their experience; but sooner than divulge their discoveries for the benefit and comfort of their fellow-creatures, these silly, selfish beings will rather run the risk of a reprimand from their employers, and will sooner spoil a good dinner, than suffer their fellow-servants to see how they dress it!!!
The silly selfishness of short-sighted mortals, is never more extremely absurd than in their unprofitable parsimony of what is of no use to them, but would be of actual value to others, who, in return, would willingly repay them tenfold. However, I hope I may be permitted to quote, in defence of these culinary professors, a couple of lines of a favourite old song:
"If you search the world round, each profession, you'll find, Hath some snug little secrets, which the Mystery[30-*] they call."
MY RECEIPTS are the results of experiments carefully made, and accurately and circumstantially related;
The TIME requisite for dressing being stated;
The QUANTITIES of the various articles contained in each composition being carefully set down in NUMBER, WEIGHT, and MEASURE.
The WEIGHTS are avoirdupois; the MEASURE, Lyne's graduated glass, i. e. a wine-pint divided into sixteen ounces, and the ounce into eight drachms. By a wine-glass is to be understood two ounces liquid measure; by a large or table-spoonful, half an ounce; by a small or tea-spoonful, a drachm, or half a quarter of an ounce, i. e. nearly equal to two drachms avoirdupois.
At some glass warehouses, you may get measures divided into tea and table-spoons. No cook should be without one, who wishes to be regular in her business.
This precision has never before been attempted in cookery books, but I found it indispensable from the impossibility of guessing the quantities intended by such obscure expressions as have been usually employed for this purpose in former works:—
For instance: a bit of this—a handful of that—a pinch of t'other—do 'em over with an egg—and a sprinkle of salt—a dust of flour—a shake of pepper—a squeeze of lemon,—or a dash of vinegar, &c. are the constant phrases. Season it to your palate, (meaning the cook's,) is another form of speech: now, if she has any, (it is very unlikely that it is in unison with that of her employers,) by continually sipping piquante relishes, it becomes blunted and insensible, and loses the faculty of appreciating delicate flavours, so that every thing is done at random.
These culinary technicals are so very differently understood by the learned who write them, and the unlearned who read them, and their "rule of thumb" is so extremely indefinite, that if the same dish be dressed by different persons, it will generally be so different, that nobody would imagine they had worked from the same directions, which will assist a person who has not served a regular apprenticeship in the kitchen, no more than reading "Robinson Crusoe" would enable a sailor to steer safely from England to India.[32-*]
It is astonishing how cheap cookery books are held by practical cooks: when I applied to an experienced artist to recommend me some books that would give me a notion of the rudiments of cookery, he replied, with a smile, "You may read Don Quixote, or Peregrine Pickle, they are both very good books."
Careless expressions in cookery are the more surprising, as the confectioner is regularly attentive, in the description of his preparations, to give the exact quantities, though his business, compared to cookery, is as unimportant as the ornamental is inferior to the useful.
The maker of blanc-mange, custards, &c. and the endless and useless collection of puerile playthings for the palate (of first and second childhood, for the vigour of manhood seeketh not to be sucking sugar, or sipping turtle), is scrupulously exact, even to a grain, in his ingredients; while cooks are unintelligibly indefinite, although they are intrusted with the administration of our FOOD, upon the proper quality and preparation of which, all our powers of body and mind depend; their energy being invariably in the ratio of the performance of the restorative process, i. e. the quantity, quality, and perfect digestion of what we eat and drink.
Unless the stomach be in good humour, every part of the machinery of life must vibrate with languor: can we then be too attentive to its adjustment?!!
The following specimen of the unaccountably whimsical harlequinade of foreign kitchens is from "La Chapelle" Nouveau Cuisinier, Paris, 1748.
"A turkey," in the shape of "football," or "a hedge-hog." A "shoulder of mutton," in the shape of a "bee-hive."—"Entree of pigeons," in the form of a "spider," or sun-fashion, or "in the form of a frog," or, in "the form of the moon."—Or, "to make a pig taste like a wild boar;" take a living pig, and let him swallow the following drink, viz. boil together in vinegar and water, some rosemary, thyme, sweet basil, bay leaves, and sage; when you have let him swallow this, immediately whip him to death, and roast him forthwith. How "to still a cocke for a weak bodie that is consumed,—take a red cocke that is not too olde, and beat him to death."—See THE BOOKE OF COOKRYE, very necessary for all such as delight therein. Gathered by A. W., 1591, p. 12. How to ROAST a pound of BUTTER, curiously and well; and to farce (the culinary technical for to stuff) a boiled leg of lamb with red herrings and garlic; with many other receipts of as high a relish, and of as easy digestion as the devil's venison, i. e. a roasted tiger stuffed with tenpenny nails, or the "Bonne Bouche," the rareskin Rowskimowmowsky offered to Baron Munchausen, "a fricassee of pistols, with gunpowder and alcohol sauce."—See the Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 12mo. 1792, p. 200; and the horrible but authentic account of ARDESOIF, in MOUBRAY'S Treatise on Poultry, 8vo. 1816, p. 18.
But the most extraordinary of all the culinary receipts that have been under my eye, is the following diabolically cruel directions of Mizald, "how to roast and eat a goose alive." "Take a GOOSE or a DUCK, or some such lively creature, (but a goose is best of all for this purpose,) pull off all her feathers, only the head and neck must be spared: then make a fire round about her, not too close to her, that the smoke do not choke her, and that the fire may not burn her too soon; nor too far off, that she may not escape free: within the circle of the fire let there be set small cups and pots full of water, wherein salt and honey are mingled: and let there be set also chargers full of sodden apples, cut into small pieces in the dish. The goose must be all larded, and basted over with butter, to make her the more fit to be eaten, and may roast the better: put then fire about her, but do not make too much haste, when as you see her begin to roast; for by walking about, and flying here and there, being cooped in by the fire that stops her way out, the unwearied goose is kept in; she will fall to drink the water to quench her thirst and cool her heart, and all her body, and the apple-sauce will make her dung, and cleanse and empty her. And when she roasteth, and consumes inwardly, always wet her head and heart with a wet sponge; and when you see her giddy with running, and begin to stumble, her heart wants moisture, and she is roasted enough. Take her up, set her before your guests, and she will cry as you cut off any part from her, and will be almost eaten up before she be dead; it is mighty pleasant to behold!!"—See WECKER'S Secrets of Nature, in folio, London, 1660, p. 148. 309.[33-*]
"We suppose Mr. Mizald stole this receipt from the kitchen of his infernal majesty; probably it might have been one of the dishes the devil ordered when he invited Nero and Caligula to a feast."—A. C., Jun.
This is also related in BAPTISTA PORTA'S Natural Magicke, fol. 1658, p. 321. This very curious (but not scarce) book contains, among other strange tricks and fancies of "the Olden Time," directions, "how to ROAST and BOIL a fowl at the same time, so that one-half shall be ROASTED and the other BOILED;" and "if you have a lacke of cooks, how to persuade a goose to roast himselfe!!"—See a second act of the above tragedy in page 80 of the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1809.
Many articles were in vogue in the 14th century, which are now obsolete. We add the following specimens of the CULINARY AFFAIRS OF DAYS OF YORE.
Sauce for a goose, A.D. 1381.
"Take a faire panne, and set hit under the goose whill she rostes; and kepe clene the grese that droppes thereof, and put thereto a godele (good deal) of Wyn, and a litel vinegur, and verjus, and onyons mynced, or garlek; then take the gottes (gut) of the goose and slitte hom, and scrape hom clene in water and salt, and so wash hom, and hack hom small, then do all this togedur in a piffenet (pipkin), and do thereto raisinges of corance, and pouder of pepur and of ginger, and of canell and hole clowes and maces, and let hit boyle and serve hit forthe."
"That unwieldy marine animal the PORPUS was dressed in a variety of modes, salted, roasted, stewed, &c. Our ancestors were not singular in their partiality to it; I find, from an ingenious friend of mine, that it is even now, A. D. 1790, sold in the markets of most towns in Portugal; the flesh of it is intolerably hard and rancid."—WARNER'S Antiq. Cul. 4to. p. 15.
"The SWAN[33-+] was also a dish of state, and in high fashion when the elegance of the feast was estimated by the magnitude of the articles of which it was composed; the number consumed at the Earl of Northumberland's table, A. D. 1512, amounted to twenty."—Northumberland Household-book, p. 108.
"The CRANE was a darling dainty in William the Conqueror's time, and so partial was that monarch to it, that when his prime favourite, William Fitz-Osborne, the steward of the household, served him with a crane scarcely half roasted, the king was so highly exasperated, that he lifted up his fist, and would have strucken him, had not Eudo (appointed Dapifer immediately after) warded off the blow."—WARNER'S Antiq. Cul. p. 12.
SEALS, CURLEWS, HERONS, BITTERNS, and the PEACOCK, that noble bird, "the food of lovers and the meat of lords," were also at this time in high fashion, when the baronial entertainments were characterized by a grandeur and pompous ceremonial, approaching nearly to the magnificence of royalty; there was scarcely any royal or noble feast without PECOKKES, which were stuffed with spices and sweet herbs, roasted and served up whole, and covered after dressing with the skin and feathers; the beak and comb gilt, and the tail spread, and some, instead of the feathers, covered it with leaf gold; it was a common dish on grand occasions, and continued to adorn the English table till the beginning of the seventeenth century.
In Massinger's play of "The City Madam," Holdfast, exclaiming against city luxury, says, "three fat wethers bruised, to make sauce for a single peacock."
This bird is one of those luxuries which were often sought, because they were seldom found: its scarcity and external appearance are its only recommendation; the meat of it is tough and tasteless.
Another favourite dish at the tables of our forefathers, was a PIE of stupendous magnitude, out of which, on its being opened, a flock of living birds flew forth, to the no small surprise and amusement of the guests.
"Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie; When the pie was open'd, the birds began to sing— Oh! what a dainty dish—'t is fit for any king."
This was a common joke at an old English feast. These animated pies were often introduced "to set on," as Hamlet says, "a quantity of barren spectators to laugh;" there is an instance of a dwarf undergoing such an incrustation. About the year 1630, king Charles and his queen were entertained by the duke and dutchess of Buckingham, at Burleigh on the Hill, on which occasion JEFFERY HUDSON, the dwarf, was served up in a cold pie.—See WALPOLE'S Anecdotes of Painting, vol. ii. p. 14.
The BARON OF BEEF was another favourite and substantial support of old English hospitality.
Among the most polished nations of the 15th and 16th centuries, the powdered (salted) horse, seems to have been a dish in some esteem: Grimalkin herself could not escape the undistinguishing fury of the cook. Don Anthony of Guevera, the chronicler to Charles V., gives the following account of a feast at which he was present. "I will tell you no lye, I sawe such kindes of meates eaten, as are wont to be sene, but not eaten—as a HORSE roasted—a CAT in gely—LYZARDS in hot brothe, FROGGES fried," &c.
While we are thus considering the curious dishes of olden times, we will cursorily mention the singular diet of two or three nations of antiquity, noticed by Herodotus, lib. iv. "The Androphagi (the cannibals of the ancient world) greedily devoured the carcasses of their fellow-creatures; while the inoffensive Cabri (a Scythian tribe) found both food and drink in the agreeable nut of the Pontic tree. The Lotophagi lived entirely on the fruit of the Lotus tree. The savage Troglodyte esteemed a living serpent the most delicate of all morsels; while the capricious palate of the Zyguntini preferred the ape to every thing."—Vide WARNER'S Antiq. Cul. p. 135.
"The Romans, in the luxurious period of their empire, took five meals a day; a breakfast (jentaculum;) a dinner, which was a light meal without any formal preparation (prandium); a kind of tea, as we should call it, between dinner and supper (merenda); a supper (caena), which was their great meal, and commonly consisted of two courses; the first of meats, the second, what we call a dessert; and a posset, or something delicious after supper (commissatio)."—ADAM'S Rom. Antiq. 2d edition, 8vo. 1792, p. 434 and 447.
"The Romans usually began their entertainments with eggs, and ended with fruits; hence, AB OVO USQUE AD MALA, from the beginning to the end of supper, Horat. Sat. i. 3. 6; Cic. Fam. ix. 20.
"The dishes (edulia) held in the highest estimation by the Romans, are enumerated, Gell. vii. 16, Macrob. Sat. ii. 9, Martial. v. 79, ix. 48, xi. 53, &c., a peacock (PAVO), Horat. Sat. ii. 2. 23, Juvenal. i. 143, first used by Hortensius, the orator, at a supper, which he gave when admitted into the college of priests, (aditiali caend sacerdotii,) Plin. x. 20, s. 23; a pheasant, (PHASIANA, ex Phasi. Colchidis fluvio,) Martial. iii. 58, xiii. 72, Senec. ad Helv. 9, Petron. 79, Manil. v. 372; a bird called Attagen vel-ena, from Ionia or Phrygia, Horat. Epod. ii. 54, Martial. xiii. iii. 61, a guinea-hen, (avis Afra, Horat. ib. Gallina Numidica vel Africana, Juvenal, xi. 142, Martial, xiii. 73); a Melian crane; an Ambracian kid; nightingales, lusciniae; thrushes, turdi; ducks, geese, &c. TOMACULUM, (a temno,) vel ISICIUM, (ab inseco;) sausages or puddings, Juvenal. x. 355. Martial. 42. 9, Petron. 31."—Vide ibid. p. 447.
That the English reader may be enabled to form some idea of the heterogeneous messes with which the Roman palate was delighted, I introduce the following receipt from Apicius.
"THICK SAUCE FOR A BOILED CHICKEN.—Put the following ingredients into a mortar: aniseed, dried mint, and lazar-root (similar to assafoetida), cover them with vinegar; add dates; pour in liquamen, oil, and a small quantity of mustard seeds; reduce all to a proper thickness with port wine warmed; and then pour this same over your chicken, which should previously be boiled in anise-seed water."
Liquamen and Garum were synonymous terms for the same thing; the former adopted in the room of the latter, about the age of Aurelian. It was a liquid, and thus prepared: the guts of large fish, and a variety of small fish, were put into a vessel and well salted, and exposed to the sun till they became putrid. A liquor was produced in a short time, which being strained off, was the liquamen.—Vide LISTER in Apicium, p. 16, notes.
Essence of anchovy, as it is usually made for sale, when it has been opened about ten days, is not much unlike the Roman liquamen. See No. 433. Some suppose it was the same thing as the Russian Caviar, which is prepared from the roe of the sturgeon.
The BLACK BROTH of Lacedaemon will long continue to excite the wonder of the philosopher, and the disgust of the epicure. What the ingredients of this sable composition were, we cannot exactly ascertain. Jul. Pollux says, the Lacedaemonian black broth was blood, thickened in a certain way: Dr. LISTER (in Apicium) supposes it to have been hog's blood; if so, this celebrated Spartan dish bore no very distant resemblance to the black-puddings of our days. It could not be a very alluring mess, since a citizen of Sybaris having tasted it, declared it was no longer a matter of astonishment with him, why the Spartans were so fearless of death, since any one in his senses would much rather die, than exist on such execrable food.—Vide Athenaeum, lib. iv. c. 3. When Dionysius the tyrant had tasted the black broth, he exclaimed against it as miserable stuff; the cook replied—"It was no wonder, for the sauce was wanting." "What sauce?" says Dionysius. The answer was,—"Labour and exercise, hunger and thirst, these are the sauces we Lacedaemonians use," and they make the coarsest fare agreeable.—CICERO, 3 Tuscul.
[15-*] "The STOMACH is the grand organ of the human system, upon the state of which all the powers and feelings of the individual depend."—See HUNTER'S Culina, p. 13.
"The faculty the stomach has of communicating the impressions made by the various substances that are put into it, is such, that it seems more like a nervous expansion of the brain, than a mere receptacle for food."—Dr. WATERHOUSE'S Lecture on Health, p. 4.
[17-*] I wish most heartily that the restorative process was performed by us poor mortals in as easy and simple a manner as it is in "the cooking animals in the moon," who "lose no time at their meals; but open their left side, and place the whole quantity at once in their stomachs, then shut it, till the same day in the next month, for they never indulge themselves with food more than twelve times in a year."—See BARON MUNCHAUSEN'S Travels, p. 188.
Pleasing the palate is the main end in most books of cookery, but it is my aim to blend the toothsome with the wholesome; but, after all, however the hale gourmand may at first differ from me in opinion, the latter is the chief concern; since if he be even so entirely devoted to the pleasure of eating as to think of no other, still the care of his health becomes part of that; if he is sick he cannot relish his food.
"The term gourmand, or EPICURE, has been strangely perverted; it has been conceived synonymous with a glutton, 'ne pour la digestion,' who will eat as long as he can sit, and drink longer than he can stand, nor leave his cup while he can lift it; or like the great eater of Kent whom FULLER places among his worthies, and tells us that he did eat with ease thirty dozens of pigeons at one meal; at another, fourscore rabbits and eighteen yards of black pudding, London measure!—or a fastidious appetite, only to be excited by fantastic dainties, as the brains of peacocks or parrots, the tongues of thrushes or nightingales, or the teats of a lactiferous sow.
"In the acceptation which I give to the term EPICURE, it means only the person who has good sense and good taste enough to wish to have his food cooked according to scientific principles; that is to say, so prepared that the palate be not offended—that it be rendered easy of solution in the stomach, and ultimately contribute to health; exciting him as an animal to the vigorous enjoyment of those recreations and duties, physical and intellectual, which constitute the happiness and dignity of his nature." For this illustration I am indebted to my scientific friend Apicius Caelius, Jun., with whose erudite observations several pages of this work are enriched, to which I have affixed the signature A. C., Jun.
[18-*] "Although AIR is more immediately necessary to life than FOOD, the knowledge of the latter seems of more importance; it admits certainly of great variety, and a choice is more frequently in our power. A very spare and simple diet has commonly been recommended as most conducive to health; but it would be more beneficial to mankind if we could show them that a pleasant and varied diet was equally consistent with health, as the very strict regimen of Arnard, or the miller of Essex. These, and other abstemious people, who, having experienced the greatest extremities of bad health, were driven to temperance as their last resource, may run out in praises of a simple diet; but the probability is, that nothing but the dread of former sufferings could have given them the resolution to persevere in so strict a course of abstinence, which persons who are in health and have no such apprehension could not be induced to undertake, or, if they did, would not long continue.
"In all cases, great allowance must be made for the weakness of human nature: the desires and appetites of mankind must, to a certain degree, be gratified, and the man who wishes to be most useful will imitate the indulgent parent, who, while he endeavours to promote the true interests of his children, allows them the full enjoyment of all those innocent pleasures which they take delight in. If it could be pointed out to mankind that some articles used as food were hurtful, while others were in their nature innocent, and that the latter were numerous, various, and pleasant, they might, perhaps, be induced to forego those which were hurtful, and confine themselves to those which were innocent."—See Dr. STARK'S Experiments on Diet, pp. 89 and 90.
[19-*] See a curious account in COURS GASTRONOMIQUE, p. 145, and in Anacharsis' Travels, Robinson, 1796, vol. ii. p. 58, and Obs. and note under No. 493.
[19-+] See the 2d, 3d, and 4th pages of Sir WM. TEMPLE'S Essay on the Cure of the Gout by Moxa.
[20-*] "He that would have a clear head, must have a clean stomach."—Dr. CHEYNE on Health, 8vo. 1724, p. 34.
"It is sufficiently manifest how much uncomfortable feelings of the bowels affect the nervous system, and how immediately and completely the general disorder is relieved by an alvine evacuation."—p. 53.
"We cannot reasonably expect tranquillity of the nervous system, while there is disorder of the digestive organs. As we can perceive no permanent source of strength but from the digestion of our food, it becomes important on this account that we should attend to its quantity, quality, and the periods of taking it, with a view to ensure its proper digestion."—ABERNETHY'S Sur. Obs. 8vo. 1817, p. 65.
[20-+] "If science can really contribute to the happiness of mankind, it must be in this department; the real comfort of the majority of men in this country is sought for at their own fireside; how desirable does it then become to give every inducement to be at home, by directing all the means of philosophy to increase domestic happiness!"—SYLVESTER'S Philosophy of Domestic Economy, 4to. 1819, p. 17.
[20-+] The best books of cookery have been written by physicians.—Sir KENELME DIGBY—Sir THEODORE MAYERNE.—See the last quarter of page 304 of vol. x. of the Phil. Trans. for 1675.—Professor BRADLEY—Dr. HILL—Dr. LE COINTE—Dr. HUNTER, &c.
"To understand the THEORY OF COOKERY, we must attend to the action of heat upon the various constituents of alimentary substances as applied directly and indirectly through the medium of some fluid, in the former way as exemplified." In the processes of ROASTING and BOILING, the chief constituents of animal substances undergo the following changes—the fibrine is corrugated, the albumen coagulated, the gelatine and osmazome rendered more soluble in water, the fat liquefied, and the water evaporated.
"If the heat exceed a certain degree, the surface becomes first brown, and then scorched. In consequence of these changes, the muscular fibre becomes opaque, shorter, firmer, and drier; the tendons less opaque, softer, and gluey; the fat is either melted out, or rendered semi-transparent. Animal fluids become more transparent: the albumen is coagulated and separated, and they dissolve gelatine and osmazome.
"Lastly, and what is the most important change, and the immediate object of all cookery, the meat loses the vapid nauseous smell and taste peculiar to its raw state, and it becomes savoury and grateful.
"Heat applied through the intervention of boiling oil, or melted fat, as in FRYING, produces nearly the same changes; as the heat is sufficient to evaporate the water, and to induce a degree of scorching.
"But when water is the medium through which heat is applied—as in BOILING, STEWING, and BAKING, the effects are somewhat different, as the heat never exceeds 212 deg., which is not sufficient to commence the process of browning or decomposition, and the soluble constituents are removed by being dissolved in the water, forming soup or broth; or, if the direct contact of the water be prevented, they are dissolved in the juices of the meat, and separate in the form of gravy."
Vide Supplement to Encyclop. Brit. Edin. vol. iv. p. 344, the article "FOOD," to which we refer our reader as the most scientific paper on the subject we have seen.
[21-*] "Health, beauty, strength, and spirits, and I might add all the faculties of the mind, depend upon the organs of the body; when these are in good order, the thinking part is most alert and active, the contrary when they are disturbed or diseased."—Dr. CADOGAN on Nursing Children, 8vo. 1757, p. 5.
[22-*] "We have some good families in England of the name of Cook or Coke. I know not what they may think; but they may depend upon it, they all originally sprang from real and professional cooks; and they need not be ashamed of their extraction, any more than the Parkers, Butlers, &c."—Dr. PEGGE'S Forme of Cury, p. 162.
[22-+] It is said, there are SEVEN chances against even the most simple dish being presented to the mouth in absolute perfection; for instance, A LEG OF MUTTON.
1st.—The mutton must be good. 2d.—Must have been kept a good time. 3d.—Must be roasted at a good fire. 4th.—By a good cook. 5th.—Who must be in good temper. 6th.—With all this felicitous combination you must have good luck; and, 7th.—Good appetite.—The meat, and the mouths which are to eat it, must be ready for action at the same moment.
[23-*] To guard against "la gourmandise" of the second table, "provide each of your servants with a large pair of spectacles of the highest magnifying power, and never permit them to sit down to any meal without wearing them; they are as necessary, and as useful in a kitchen as pots and kettles: they will make a lark look as large as a FOWL, a goose as big as a SWAN, a leg of mutton as large as a hind quarter of beef; a twopenny loaf as large as a quartern;" and as philosophers assure you that pain even is only imaginary, we may justly believe the same of hunger; and if a servant who eats no more than one pound of food, imagines, by the aid of these glasses, that he has eaten three pounds, his hunger will be as fully satisfied—and the addition to your optician's account, will soon be overpaid by the subtraction from your butcher's and baker's.
[25-*] Much real reformation might be effected, and most grateful services obtained, if families which consist wholly of females, would take servants recommended from the MAGDALEN—PENITENTIARY—or GUARDIAN—who seek to be restored to virtuous society.
"Female servants who pursue an honest course, have to travel, in their peculiar orbit, through a more powerfully resisting medium than perhaps any other class of people in civilized life; they should be treated with something like Christian kindness: for want of this, a fault which might at the time have been easily amended has become the source of interminable sorrow."
"By the clemency and benevolent interference of two mistresses known to the writer, two servants have become happy wives, who, had they been in some situations, would have been literally outcasts."
A most laudable SOCIETY for the ENCOURAGEMENT of FEMALE SERVANTS, by a gratuitous registry, and by rewards, was instituted in 1813; plans of which may be had gratis at the Society's House, No. 10, Hatton Garden. The above is an extract from the REV. H. G. WATKINS'S Hints to Heads of Families, a work well deserving the attentive consideration of inexperienced housekeepers.
[26-*] The greatest care should be taken by the man of fashion, that his cook's health be preserved: one hundredth part of the attention usually bestowed on his dog, or his horse, will suffice to regulate her animal system.
"Cleanliness, and a proper ventilation to carry off smoke and steam, should be particularly attended to in the construction of a kitchen; the grand scene of action, the fire-place, should be placed where it may receive plenty of light; hitherto the contrary has prevailed, and the poor cook is continually basted with her own perspiration."—A. C., Jun.
"The most experienced artists in cookery cannot be certain of their work without tasting: they must be incessantly tasting. The spoon of a good cook is continually passing from the stewpan to his tongue; nothing but frequent tasting his sauces, ragouts, &c. can discover to him what progress they have made, or enable him to season a soup with any certainty of success; his palate, therefore, must be in the highest state of excitability, that the least fault may be perceived in an instant.
"But, alas! the constant empyreumatic fumes of the stoves, the necessity of frequent drinking, and often of bad beer, to moisten a parched throat; in short, every thing around him conspires quickly to vitiate the organs of taste; the palate becomes blunted; its quickness of feeling and delicacy, on which the sensibility of the organs of taste depends, grows daily more obtuse; and in a short time the gustatory nerve becomes quite unexcitable.
"IF YOU FIND YOUR COOK NEGLECT HIS BUSINESS—that his ragouts are too highly spiced or salted, and his cookery has too much of the 'haut gout,' you may be sure that his index of taste wants regulating; his palate has lost its sensibility, and it is high time to call in the assistance of the apothecary.
"'Purger souvent' is the grand maxim in all kitchens where le Maitre d'Hotel has any regard for the reputation of his table. Les Bons Hommes de Bouche submit to the operation without a murmur; to bind others, it should be made the first condition in hiring them. Those who refuse, prove they were not born to become masters of their art; and their indifference to fame will rank them, as they deserve, among those slaves who pass their lives in as much obscurity as their own stewpans."
To the preceding observations from the "Almanach des Gourmands," we may add, that the Mouthician will have a still better chance of success, if he can prevail on his master to observe the same regime which he orders for his cook; or, instead of endeavouring to awaken an idle appetite by reading the index to a cookery book, or an additional use of the pepper-box and salt-cellar, rather seek it from abstinence or exercise;—the philosophical gourmand will consider that the edge of our appetite is generally keen, in proportion to the activity of our other habits; let him attentively peruse our "PEPTIC PRECEPTS," &c. which briefly explain the art of refreshing the gustatory nerves, and of invigorating the whole system. See in the following chapter on INVITATIONS TO DINNER—A recipe to make FORTY PERISTALTIC PERSUADERS.
[27-*] "She must be quick and strong of sight; her hearing most acute, that she may be sensible when the contents of her vessels bubble, although they be closely covered, and that she may be alarmed before the pot boils over; her auditory nerve ought to discriminate (when several saucepans are in operation at the same time) the simmering of one, the ebullition of another, and the full-toned wabbling of a third.
"It is imperiously requisite that her organ of smell be highly susceptible of the various effluvia, that her nose may distinguish the perfection of aromatic ingredients, and that in animal substances it shall evince a suspicious accuracy between tenderness and putrefaction; above all, her olfactories should be tremblingly alive to mustiness and empyreuma.
"It is from the exquisite sensibility of her palate, that we admire and judge of the cook; from the alliance between the olfactory and sapid organs, it will be seen that their perfection is indispensable."—A. C., Jun.
[28-*] A facetious gourmand suggests that the old story of "lighting a candle to the devil," probably arose from this adage—and was an offering presented to his infernal majesty by some epicure who was in want of a cook.
[29-*] "A gentlewoman being at table, abroad or at home, must observe to keep her body straight, and lean not by any means with her elbows, nor by ravenous gesture discover a voracious appetite: talk not when you have meat in your mouth; and do not smack like a pig, nor venture to eat spoonmeat so hot that the tears stand in your eyes, which is as unseemly as the gentlewoman who pretended to have as little a stomach as she had a mouth, and therefore would not swallow her pease by spoonfuls; but took them one by one, and cut them in two before she would eat them. It is very uncomely to drink so large a draught that your breath is almost gone—and are forced to blow strongly to recover yourself—throwing down your liquor as into a funnel is an action fitter for a juggler than a gentlewoman: thus much for your observations in general; if I am defective as to particulars, your own prudence, discretion, and curious observations will supply."
"In CARVING at your own table, distribute the best pieces first, and it will appear very comely and decent to use a fork; so touch no piece of meat without it."
"Mem. The English are indebted to TOM CORYAT for introducing THE FORK, for which they called him Furcifer."—See his Crudities, vol. i. p. 106.—Edit. 1776, 8vo.
[30-*] "Almost all arts and sciences are more or less encumbered with vulgar errors and prejudices, which avarice and ignorance have unfortunately sufficient influence to preserve, by help (or hindrance) of mysterious, undefinable, and not seldom unintelligible, technical terms—Anglice, nicknames—which, instead of enlightening the subject it is professedly pretended they were invented to illuminate, serve but to shroud it in almost impenetrable obscurity; and, in general, so extravagantly fond are the professors of an art of keeping up all the pomp, circumstance, and mystery of it, and of preserving the accumulated prejudices of ages past undiminished, that one might fairly suppose those who have had the courage and perseverance to overcome these obstacles, and penetrate the veil of science, were delighted with placing difficulties in the way of those who may attempt to follow them, on purpose to deter them from the pursuit, and that they cannot bear others should climb the hill of knowledge by a readier road than they themselves did: and such is l'esprit de corps, that as their predecessors supported themselves by serving it out gradatim et stillatim, and retailing with a sparing hand the information they so hardly obtained, they find it convenient to follow their example: and, willing to do as they have been done by, leave and bequeath the inheritance undiminished to those who may succeed them."—See p. 10 of Dr. KITCHINER on Telescopes, 12mo. 1825, printed for Whittaker, Ave Maria Lane.
[32-*] "In the present language of cookery, there has been a woful departure from the simplicity of our ancestors,—such a farrago of unappropriate and unmeaning terms, many corrupted from the French, others disguised from the Italian, some misapplied from the German, while many are a disgrace to the English. What can any person suppose to be the meaning of a shoulder of lamb in epigram, unless it were a poor dish, for a pennyless poet? Aspect of fish, would appear calculated for an astrologer; and shoulder of mutton surprised, designed for a sheep-stealer."—A. C., Jun.
[33-*] See note to No. 59 how to plump the liver of a goose.
[33-+] "It is a curious illustration of the de gustibus non eat disputandum, that the ancients considered the swan as a high delicacy, and abstained from the flesh of the goose as impure and indigestible."—MOUBRAY on Poultry, p. 36.
INVITATIONS TO DINNER
In "the affairs of the mouth" the strictest punctuality is indispensable; the GASTRONOMER ought to be as accurate an observer of time, as the ASTRONOMER. The least delay produces fatal and irreparable misfortunes.
Almost all other ceremonies and civil duties may be put off for several hours without much inconvenience, and all may be postponed without absolute danger. A little delay may try the patience of those who are waiting; but the act itself will be equally perfect and equally valid. Procrastination sometimes is rather advantageous than prejudicial. It gives time for reflection, and may prevent our taking a step which would have made us miserable for life; the delay of a courier has prevented the conclusion of a convention, the signing of which might have occasioned the ruin of a nation.
If, from affairs the most important, we descend to our pleasures and amusements, we shall find new arguments in support of our assertions. The putting off of a rendezvous, or a ball, &c. will make them the more delightful. To hope is to enjoy.
"Man never is, but always to be blest."
The anticipation of pleasure warms our imagination, and keeps those feelings alive, which possession too often extinguishes.
"'Tis expectation only makes us blest; Enjoyment disappoints us at the best."
Dr. Johnson has most sagaciously said; "Such is the state of life, that none are happy, but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing: when we have made it, the next wish is, immediately to change again."
However singular our assertions may have at first appeared to those who have not considered the subject, we hope by this time we have made converts of our readers, and convinced the "Amateurs de Bonne Chere" of the truth and importance of our remarks; and that they will remember, that DINNER is the only act of the day which cannot be put off with impunity, for even FIVE MINUTES.
In a well-regulated family, all the clocks and watches should agree; on this depends the fate of the dinner; what would be agreeable to the stomach, and restorative to the system, if served at FIVE o'clock, will be uneatable and innutritive and indigestible at A QUARTER PAST.
The dining-room should be furnished with a good-going clock; the space over the kitchen fire-place with another, vibrating in unison with the former, so placed, that the cook may keep one eye on the clock, and the other on the spit, &c. She will calculate to a minute the time required to roast a large capon or a little lark, and is equally attentive to the degree of heat of her stove, and the time her sauce remains on it, when to withdraw the bakings from the oven, the roast from the spit, and the stew from the pan.
With all our love of punctuality, the first consideration must still be, that the dinner "be well done, when 't is done."
It is a common fault with cooks who are anxious about time, to overdress every thing—the guests had better wait than the dinner—a little delay will improve their appetite; but if the dinner waits for the guests, it will be deteriorated every minute: the host who wishes to entertain his friends with food perfectly well dressed, while he most earnestly endeavours to impress on their minds the importance of being punctual to the appointed hour, will still allow his cook a quarter of an hour's grace.
The old adage that "the eye is often bigger than the belly," is often verified by the ridiculous vanity of those who wish to make an appearance above their fortune. Nothing can be more ruinous to real comfort than the too common custom of setting out a table, with a parade and a profusion, unsuited not only to the circumstances of the hosts, but to the number of the guests; or more fatal to true hospitality, than the multiplicity of dishes which luxury has made fashionable at the tables of the great, the wealthy, and the ostentatious, who are, often, neither great nor wealthy.
Such pompous preparation, instead of being a compliment to our guests, is nothing better than an indirect offence; it is a tacit insinuation, that it is absolutely necessary to provide such delicacies to bribe the depravity of their palates, when we desire the pleasure of their company; and that society now, must be purchased, at the same price SWIFT told POPE he was obliged to pay for it in Ireland. "I should hardly prevail to find one visiter, if I were not able to hire him with a bottle of wine." Vide Swift's letters to Pope, July 10th, 1732.
When twice as much cooking is undertaken as there are servants, or conveniences in the kitchen to do it properly, dishes must be dressed long before the dinner hour, and stand by spoiling—the poor cook loses her credit, and the poor guests get indigestions. Why prepare for eight or ten friends, more than sufficient for twenty or thirty visiters? "Enough is as good as a feast," and a prudent provider, who sensibly takes measure of the stomachic, instead of the SILLY ocular, appetite of his guests, may entertain his friends, three times as often, and ten times as well.
It is your SENSELESS SECOND COURSES—ridiculous variety of WINES, LIQUEURS, ICES,[38-*] DESSERTS, &c.—which are served up merely to feed the eye, or pamper palled appetite, that overcome the stomach and paralyze digestion, and seduce "children of a larger growth" to sacrifice the health and comfort of several days, for the baby-pleasure of tickling their tongue for a few minutes, with trifles and custards!!! &c. &c.
"INDIGESTION will sometimes overtake the most experienced epicure; when the gustatory nerves are in good humour, hunger and savoury viands will sometimes seduce the tongue of a 'grand gourmand' to betray the interests of his stomach in spite of his brains.
"On such an unfortunate occasion, when the stomach sends forth eructant[38-+] signals of distress, the peristaltic persuaders are as agreeable and effectual assistance as can be offered; and for delicate constitutions, and those that are impaired by age or intemperance, are a valuable panacea.
"They derive, and deserve this name, from the peculiar mildness of their operation. One or two very gently increase the action of the principal viscera, help them to do their work a little faster, and enable the stomach to serve with an ejectment whatever offends it, and move it into the bowels.
"Thus indigestion is easily and speedily removed, appetite restored, the mouths of the absorbing vessels being cleansed, nutrition is facilitated, and strength of body, and energy of mind, are the happy results." See "PEPTIC PRECEPTS," from which we extract the following prescription—
To make FORTY PERISTALTIC PERSUADERS,
Turkey rhubarb, finely pulverized, two drachms, Syrup (by weight), one drachm, Oil of carraway, ten drops (minims), Made into pills, each of which will contain three grains of rhubarb.