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lieve that the subscribers, to testify their approbation of the contents, actually eat the book, like the man who, in his zealous applause of roast beef, devoured the spit from which it had been taken: but this is not all. We are informed, in point of historical fact, that the various legislators of France have, for these twelve or fifteen years past, been busily engaged in digesting systems of cookery. And, truly, though this is mentioned in rather derogating terms, on account, apparently, of their bad success, we consider the fact to be, on the whole, a discovery in their favour, since for our own parts, we never suspected them to be so usefully or innocently employed. It is a fact of subordinate importance, but nevertheless somewhat curious, that the whole Royal Society make use of one pair of spectacles, placed on the nose doubtless of the president. We have long observed an unvaried coincidence in the views and pursuits of this learned body, and are happy to be able to trace it to a cause equally unsuspected and satisfactory.
As to the receipts which follow this curious and instructive preface, they are distinctly expressed ; and from the well-known hospitality and elegance of the family in which they were composed, we have no doubt they will be found admirable. We must observe, however, that they are arranged in rather a miscellaneous order; for after a receipt to make " a half-peck bun," we pass abruptly to another which begins, " The staked lime must be well sifted and steeped in a pit," etc. etc.; and again, " Take two shovels full of coarse water sand, one ditto of hammer slag well sifted, one ditto powdered br ek dust," etc. Now, although we are specially directed that the former mixture shall be wrought into "thin porridge," and the latter made neither "too fat nor too poor," yet we are somewhat inclined to doubt, whether any management or attention in the preparation, could render them digestible by human stomachs, or, indeed, whether they can be strictly said to belong to the arts of cookery, pastry, baking, or preserving, unless the ladies are of opinion with the Copper Captain, that "a piece of buttered wall is excellent." Other receipts occur, in which "an ounce of white arsenic," and the "expressed juice of the deadly nightshade," are the chief ingredients. These we were at first glance inclined to suppose borrowed from the French systems already mentioned, perhaps the original recipe for a restorative cordial a I'hdpital, or a fricandeau d Toussaint—if, in* deed, the patriotic composers did not design them for the regale ol the emperor himself on his long announced visit.
The very errata of this work evince the care and deep science 0/ the compilers. Some corrections refer to the ingredients; and il will be prudent to attend to them specially, as the error, according to the phrase of the Civilians, is sometimes in suhstantialik*Thus, we have "for litien, read lemon;" " for chicken, reado*w»i
"for pepper, read paper." Others regard accessories \ as, "after ruspb^nies (in a receipt for making jam), add, together with two pounds and a half raw sugar;" or,'' for mix it alt uith the foregoing ingredients, read, and mi* them with a mutchkin and a half of brandy." Others refer to proportion; as, "for pint and a half read hit;" and, "for half a, read three thirds." This last correction appeared to us to conceal some new and abstract doctrine in fractions, adopted perhaps from the facetious Costard, for ladies acquainted with philosophy cannot be ignorant of Shakspeare.
"Biron. Three times three is nine.
"Costard. Not so, sir; under correction, I hope it is Dot so. "Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.
u Costard. O Lord, sir, it were a pity you should get your living by reckoning, sir."
Upon the whole, besides the receipts for dressed dishes, which it is not in the power of every housewife to place on her board, this little work contains many useful instructions concerning the poultry-yard and dairy, which afford the cheapest and most wholesome regale to a country family.
The work of Ignotus, being more systematic and classical, claims a graver and more elaborate discussion. And, in the first place, we have to remark, that whereas all other books of cookery contain domestic receipts for medicine, promiscuously inserted amongst those for food, Ignotus, with the assistance, we presume, of his learned editor, has accompanied the description of each savoury mess with a medical commentary on its use and abuse ; an invitation to partake, or a caution to shun it. A suspicious person, considering the profession of the editor, might here be tempted to exclaim
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes:
thinking, perhaps, that such a connexion may subsist betwixt a doctor and a disease, as betwixt a sportsman and his game; since, although the business of each is the destruction of individuals, both must be presumed to take great care to encourage the breed. But we will cheerfully acquit Ignotus of any premeditated design against our health; for, although his plentiful table, stocked with the dainties described in his work, may occasionally have converted a guest into a patient, we are sure it could not be with the felonious purpose of indemnifying himself for the expense of the entertainment. For this we appeal to the following liberal sentiment, appended to an excellent receipt for peas-soup.
"This is a good set-off against high-seasoned dishes. An occasional abstinence that does not allow the stomach to be quite empty atone time, is a measure highly salutary, and, for religions purposes, is perhaps preferable to long fasting; a practice, medically to be condemned. An honest physician who, regardless of his fees, can view with pleasure the healthy state of a family where he has been received with kindness, will be happy in the recommendation of a practice that is calculated to preserve the general health of his friends. But, to the disgrace of a profession, otherwise useful and honourable, there are spine men who, like the savages upon a rocky coast, view an epidemical disease as a 'aod-send.'"—P. 113-14.
At the same time, while we do justice to the liberality of the views of Ignotus, we can by no means acquit him of leading his readers into temptation. It is hardly enough to say to an epicure in the words of Cato, " Your death and life, your bane and antidote are both before you." Describing a rich dish, and then stigmatizing it as unwholesome, is only calling for the water-engine after you have set the house on fire. Our first parents eat, when death was denounced as the inevitable consequence; and their descendants, with undegencrated courage, and a full consciousness of their danger, are ready to eat themselves into gout, and drink themselves into palsy. To add to the weight of his remonstrances, Ignotus has called in the assistance of Archfcus, the genius of the stomach, a personification by which Van Helmont and others expressed the digestive power. Lest the unlearned reader should suppose Archaeus, whose authority is so often referred to, to be the name of a French bon rivmt, ora Hungarian professor, Ignotus gives us the following account of his person and office.
"Van Helmont gave the name of Archteus to a spirit that he supposed existed in the body, for ihe purpose of regulating and keeping in order the innumerable glands, duets, nod vessels ; and though this spirit visits every part, his chief post is at the upper orifice of the stomach, where he acts the part of a customhouse officer, allowing nothing toJP*5* 0G" examined that, by the law of nature, has the nppearauce of being contraband. This part of his duty bring only required during meal-times, the remaining part of the twenty-four hours (Tor he never sleeps) is employed in nibbing, scrubbing and repairing the wasteof the body, occasioned by the continual friciion of the fluids against the sides of the containing vessels. For this last purpose, and an important one it is, he is supposed to select from the chyle .such particles as he may stand in need of: but. as he may sometimes be in want of one kind more than of another he lery judiciously obtains it by bringing on a longixg for a particular kind of food. For example, when the internal coat of the intestion » ubraded by a diarrhoea or dysentery, a lunging is brought on for fried tripe with melted butter, as containing the greatest quantity of materials proper for the repair of bowels eo disordered. To this circumstance modern physicians do not sufficiently attend, neither are they sufficiently awake to the necessity of prescribing a diet for persons in health, whose chyle should be of a nature for supplying Archatus with general materials, without compelling him to call for them. The lolly, therefore of keeping to one kind of diet, whether high or low, is abundantly eiident, as, in that case, Archajus must sometimes be overstocked with materials that he may have no occasion for, and be in want of suchu his office may staud in need of. And here it will be necessary to remark, for the information of medical men, that a microscopical examination of the chyle of different nuu. made afier sudden deaths, has proved to a demonstration, that the chyle of the homu body contains different shaped particles, round, oval. Ions,square, augular. kidney-shaped, heart-shaped &c. varying according to the food taken in. In consequence of th'S important d'scovery. the practitioner has only to direct such food as may contain th« particles that Archseus may stand in need of. For example: Arc the kidneys diseased'.' ''hex prescribe stews and broths, made of ox, deer, and sheets' kidneys .Wlimas r< quire dUliei prepared from the Inngs of sheep, d. er. calves, hares, and lambs Are the intestinesdaea-ed? Then prescribe tripe, boiltd fried, or fricasseed. When this practice has beri>met£ ueral, ArchrouH will be enabled to remove every disease incident to the human body, by the assistance of the cook only. And as all persons, from the palace to the cottage, will receive the benefit of my discovery, I shail expect a Parliamentary reward, at least equal to whit was given to Mrs .Stevens, L>r Jenner. and DrSmyth. On the last revision of the ColleEe dispensatory, among other things of lens moment, such as ordering fomentations ta he made with distilled « ;..ter, the name of Archrcus was changed into Anima Medica.asmot* expressive of a Maid Srrvant of all W<rrle. With men of deep researches 1 willsot dispute the propriety of the alteration, as I conceive that such a violence conld not hs done but after serious investigation."—P. 119-122.
This extract may give the reader some idea of the lively manner i" which Ignotus has handled his subject. In fact, the whole book is very entertaining, and excites no small degree of interest, especially if read about an hour before dinner. The medical remarks are excellent, although apparently too indulgent towards the gourmand. The author stands completely exculpated from the charge of Dr Last against the regular physicians, who "drenched the bowels of Christians with pulse and water, as if they were the tripes of a brute beast." Thus it is remarked, " as a singular circumstance, that persons of a gouty habit should be most fond of high-seasoned dishes;" but the singularity would have vanished, had the proposition borne, that the persons most fond of high-seasoned dishes usually have a gouty habit. It was not, however, to be expected, that with a stoical severity, Ignotus should bluntly attack the very critics on whose verdict his fame must depend. He is not sparing of gentle hints for their welfare; and compounds on the part of Archa>us for three days' high living, with a fourth day's temperance, and occasionally some gentle physic.
"Where troth command*, there's no man con offend,
In fine, as long as a man thinks more frequently and more seriously about his dinner than about any thing else, as was the unvaried opinion and practice of Dr Johnson, so long will the parsley ■wreath won by Ignotus remain unblighted. The work is with great propriety dedicated "To those gentlemen who freely give two guineas for a turtle-dinner at the tavern, when they might have a more wholesome one at home for ten shillings." A fatted hog, the emblem, perhaps, of one of these worthy patrons, decorates the frontispiece. And so we take leave of Ignotus, in the words of Beaumont and Fletcher, as of " a gentleman extraordinarily seen in deep mysteries; well read, deeply learned, and thoroughly grounded in the hidden knowledge of all sauces, sallads, and pot-herbs whatsoever."
[Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, Franc*, and the adjoining Countnet,
from the latter part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry l¥.
Newly Translated from the best French editions, with Variations and Additimi from many celebrated Manuscripts. By I'homas Ji)H>E3.» 4 vols. ito. 180S-&.
At the Unfed Press —Prom the Edinburgh Review, Jan. 1805.1
It has long been, and we fear will long remain, a reproach to the literary character of Britain, that so very little has been done for the preservation of her early historians. A uniform edition of our chronicles, corrected from the best manuscripts, and elucidated by suitable notes and references, might surely be expected from our colleges; and a wealthy and patriotic public would encourage and reward the undertaking. Since, however, it is the fate of so many of our historians to slumber in manuscript and black letter, we ought to view, with indulgent gratitude, the exertions of an individual who has drawn from obscurity the most fascinating of this venerable band. Whoever has taken up the chronicle of Froissart, must have been dull indeed if he did not find himself transported back to the days of Cressy and Poitiers In truth, his history has less the air of a narrative than of a dramatic representation. The figures live and move before us; we not only know what they did, but learn the mode and process of the action, and the very words with which it was accompanied. This sort of colloquial history is of all others the most interesting. The simple fact, that a great battle was won or lost, makes little impression on our mind, as it occurs in the dry pages of an annalist, while our imagination and attention are alike excited by the detailed description of a much more trifling event. In Froissart, we hear the gallant knights of whom he wrote, arrange the terms of combat and the manner of the onset; we hear their soldiers cry their war-cries; we see them strike their horses with the
* [Thomas Johnes, Esq., justly celebrated for his liberal and extensive patroo«g' °f literature and the arts, and the manifold local improvements introduced into Wales, nw sat in Parliament for the county of Radnor, and was afterwards returned five times foruw county of Cardigan, of which he was also the lord-lieutenant In 1801 he translated and published "The Life of Froissart," by St Palaye. He afterwards established a private pristine press in his superb residence at Hafocf, where he executed his edition of Froiiu"1 This was followed by an equally well-illustrated edition, in 5 vols. 4to, of u The Chw nicies of Monstrelet," Froissart's contiouator. to which he prefixed a RiogrTapbical pn-fttfMr Johnes also translated and published " Brocquiere's Travels to Palestine," 4to a»d 8w. and the "Memoirs of Johu I»rd de Joinville," 2 vols. 4to. He died *W April, 1816, » bis 67th year.