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ing. Where home-made gooseberry does duty for champagne, ordinary French wine for claret, from “ his friend the Consul.” Where the coffee is thick and cold as a November fog; and where the whole entertainment reminds one of the story of the man who, at some untidy inn abroad, desired the waiter to bring up the dinner upon one plate, and the dirt on another. Such dinners have been seen, and although there is an old and somewhat inelegant saying, “ that you ought not to dine with a man, and then baste him with his own spit,” or as Baillie Nicol Jarvie remarks, “ don't accept a man's hospitality and abuse the scoundrel behind his back," we cannot for the public good refrain from warning our readers against the horrors so faintly described. To return to good cheer, it requires great art to attain it, both in public and private. Set it down as a general rule, that no one except Russian Princes, ignorant of our customs, or Manchester men with newly acquired riches, and fools, ever order things out of season. Heavy soups are a mistake, clear turtle and Julienne should only be tolerated, as a French author remarks, “ three or four table-spoons of soup, with as many drops of sherry, are all that should be laid in for the foundation of a dinner.” To have soup twice is unknown in good houses, although it may generally be remarked, that if a man is bold enough to send his plate a second time he prefaces his remark by a libel on the taste of the princely George, by saying, “I believe the custom was sanctioned by the Regent.” For a party of three, four, or five, a unicorn table ought to be adopted. Soup removed by fish, two entrées, one white and one brown, and a small joint or poularde, thus forming the unicorn. We have already alluded to a Russian dinner, which is the best and most economical. It is always served hot from the kitchen, and as the entrées are not exposed to the public gaze, there may be fewer of them ; the joints served at the side-board by an experienced artist, are more palatable and tempting than when carved on the table ; the waiting, too, is rendered more easy ; there is no stooping of servants over the shoulders of the guests, no moving against your arm when you are gracefully bowing to a lady with whom you have taken a glass of champagne ; no chance of having a warm shower-bath over your dress, when the hot water plates are being removed—such a circumstance happened last year abroad : an English lady who had married a foreigner was dining with her husband at a large party ; as a newly-married couple they got opposite one another. An English gentleman sat next the bride on one side, and having been on intimate terms with her family, struck up a friendly acquaintance ; towards the end of the dinner, the husband's attention was attracted by an extraordinary look of disgust on the part of his wife, who involuntarily shrank away from her talkative neighbour. Her countenance was the picture of despair. “What can have happened?” thought the husband, still the lover. Another start rendered him almost frantic, when his surprise was not a little increased at the Englishman offering the disconsolate lady his pockethandkerchief. “Tears! A handkerchief !” inwardly exclaimed the now excited Othello, as he was about to leave his chair to ask an explanation, when the problem was solved by the lady accepting the proffered cambric, and instead of applying it to her beautiful, but somewhat dimmed eyes, placed it behind her shoulders, and soon reproduced it covered with the richest gravy. A clumsy “ help,” as the Americans call their servants, had deposited the contents of a hot sauce-boat down the hollow of her back ; hence the start, the struggle, and the pallid countenance.
The fashion, (what a perversion of the word !) of plastering the heads of servants with powder is one that ought to be exploded ; to see a huge footman with his pate like a college pudding, covered with pomatum and powder, as if he had borrowed the lard from the cook, and the flour from the dredger, is a most untidy and sorry sight. Nothing, too, can be more unmeaning than to see this miserable relic of bygone times of swords, buckles, garters, gold lace coats, embroidered vests, and cocked hats, kept up in these days of plain liveries and cleanly habits. The baths for the million cannot be better employed than in cleansing the head-pieces of these powder monkeys, and let the tax upon the article be transferred to one on
foreign manufactured flour, increased to two shillings per cwt. In well-regulated establishments the following piece of advice is needless ; but it is most necessary in others. Never let the cook send up a pin with the ornamental cut paper, that usually, “ bouquet fashion,” ornaments the end bone of the leg of mutton. It too often gets into the gravy, and although a small dose of steel may be recommended by the faculty, it is not at all desirable to take it in the form of this sharp-pointed article. Another hint to minor artists : never ornament with camellias cut out of red and white vegetables ; never send up the feathered tail of a pheasant. Always treat a hare as Apollo did Midas, let his ears be apparent ; a larded pheasant is not produceable ; if you want to make this naturally dry bird, juicy, roast with a piece of bacon interiorly, or what is better still, boil, and smother with a purée of onions. Rabbits, except in soup stock, ought not to have the honour of appearing at a gentleman's table. In ordering a dinner at a London tavern, at a suburban one, or a country inn, the bill of fare is the most misleading guide in the world ; it usually contains seven or eight soups ; fish plain and dressed in twenty ways, with every dish that the ingenuity of man or woman can make out of beef, mutton, veal, and lamb, and in twenty-nine cases out of thirty it happens that what you particularly fancy out of the list is not to be had. Instead then of studying it, either exercise your own judgment and discretion, or leave it to the tact of the cook. In the metropolis a strong clear soup, the best fish of the day, a joint, poultry, or game, always furnish a good repast.
At Greenwich, Blackwall, or Richmond, forbid soup and second courses, confining yourself at the two former places to white bait and fresh-water fish, with either a duck, grilled fowl, rumpsteak, or beans and bacon, to follow. At the latter, to eels dressed in different ways, flounders in water suchee, (we believe water suchee is of Dutch extraction) lamb cutlets, or poultry, and a small joint. At a country inn, though unhappily the rail may be said to have driven all such off the road, we recommend a visit to the larder; if you order from the bill of fare a steak and a chicken, you are most likely to be served with a tough coarse piece of beef, and a gallinaceous patriarch, who, as if by instinct, has retired to his roost, on the arrival of a guest, fearing to be treated as his predecessors had been upon similar occasions. If the larder is not well stocked, a stroll to the butcher's and poulterer's will repay you for your trouble. Barham, Hook, Cannon, and a chosen few, were always in the habit of acting as caterers for themselves, and selecting some rural spot for their place of meeting. The Eel Pie House, Twickenham ; the Green Man, Blackheath ; the Spaniard, Hampstead ; a small way-side house, near Barnes Common; the Anglers, on the banks of the Thames ; the Star and Garter,