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have gas in his house, or will, if he can avoid it, dwell within a district in which

gas

is laid In summer- when there is real summer in England—I like to dine on my lawn, under the trees : but if the capricious weather makes this dangerous, one can at least have the dining-room windows wide open to the Elysian air--by which I don't mean the east wind. How to dine is the next point. English cookery gets remarkably abused by the sagacious gentlemen who have dined in the gourmand's haunts in the Paris of the past. Those haunts I have tried, and have never found so good a dinner there as in London. We are too apt to run down our own doings. I have studied the literature of gastronomy, and know the careers of the illustrious cooks: and I maintain that an English farmer's daughter, with a little information from the book-learning of her mistress, will make a better cook for a gentleman and poet than all your Vatels, and Udes, and Soyers. We do not want cunning culinary contrivances in the land of the shorthorn sirloin and the southdown saddle, in a country whose esquires have venison in their parks and pheasants in their coverts. Garrick wrote

God sends us good meat, and the devil sends cooks. Certes, our ordinary English cookery verifies the epigram. But the fault is with the mistresses. Ladies should not be above obtaining that dainty knowledge of cookery (a branch of chymistry), which in these days is supplied by the most elegant scientific manuals. Servants are made by their masters and mistresses. If, with higher intellect and culture, you cannot make your people do their duty, the fault is your own. A primary necessity is, to know in theory what the persons you employ are expected to know in practice. Will it sound very hideous in the ears of a myriad pretty girls, whom I expect to read this book in the hope of learning to become

become great-grandmothers, if I tell them that to study a scientific manual of the culinary art will greatly help them to preserve the love of the young gentlemen who are sighing just now like furnaces for their favours ? The ardent youngster exclaims, with courtly Waller :

Give me but what this ribbon bound:

Take all the rest the sun goes round. But if he wins what he wants, and if, when he and the Lady of the Ribbon are spending their honeymoon together, he finds that she knows how to order dinner, I guarantee that he will be agreeably amazed. And when they come back to his ancestral home-let us hope that it is an Elizabethan oak-shaded mansion-if the Lady of the Ribbon at once assumes the command of the kitchen, and cross-examines the cook, and shows some knowledge of the sirloin's under-cut, and insists on hot plates and perfection of service, I apprehend that the most poetic soul that ever loved a woman will not be blind to such rare accomplishments. Verily, they are better than the Use of the Globes, or even than the power of performing on the piano fortissimo the Battle of Prague.

I am not joking in this matter. As are the patricians, so will be the plebs. Masters and mistresses make their servants. Evelyn, in his Silva, that most charming essay on woodcraft that was ever written (and I like to quote Evelyn in this connexion, for he lived wisely to about eighty-six years), reminds us of a good saying of Cato's: “Male agitur cum Domino quem Villicus docet.' This aphorism suggests much, and its truth is undeniable. If you want your servant to do his work, you must know better than he how it should be done. There is an old proverb, ' If you want a thing well done, do it yourself.' I, on the other hand, say, never do yourself what you can get some one else to do; ut see that it is done. Thanks to

the multiplication of books, any man of culture may know more of gardening than the best practical gardener-more of cookery than any cordon bleu. This being so, the master should instruct the servants in the very arts they practise—which is the idea of Cato and of Evelyn.

This aristological chapter gives me an opportunity to break my prose with a cycle of sonnets adapted to the dinners of the year. They were written, these careless trifles, at various times ; so I put the date of the year against each :

JANUARY.

Janus, thou lookest back to Christmas tide,

And forward to the wondrous growth of spring :

Thine are the choicest birds, that hither wing,
And thine the rarest products of the wide
Ocean that isolates us. 'Tis the pride

Of tbis sharp winter yearly hovering

Over old England that its keen months bring Woodcock and snipe to tempt us.

Me arride Also the larks and wheatears which at Brighton

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