« ForrigeFortsett »
the dancing and merriment, which had denly with distant rains, descended sustained a brief remission, had re- from the hills with all its increase commenced, when, far above the of waters, lifting the ice before it, din of the dance and the music, one and heaving it on the banks with shriek, and then another, was heard in a crash that resounded far and the direction of the river. • Hearken wide. The unhappy pair were seen the shout,' said one rustic; the struggling together against the overbridegroom is fairly over the water powering element, which, encumbernow-then, hey, play up the run- ed with ice and trees, filled the chanaway bride.'-- Alas,' answered an- nel from bank to bank, and rushed other peasant, “Yon is not the cry of down six feet deep abreast. No pleasure, but the shriek of agony - effort could be made to save them; my kale-yard to the Johnstone's land, and when the river subsided in the but they are fallen into the Dead- morning, they were found in a disman’s-plump, and Judith's prophecy's tant eddy, the bridegroom's left hand true. The hall-door seemed much round his bride's waist, and his too narrow for the multitude who right hand held out like one in the rushed to get out. The shrieks were act of swimming. They lie buried repeated ; and, mingling with the together in the old Kirk-yard of shrieks, and at last o'er-mastering Dryfesdale. I have often seen Judith them, was heard the downward dash sitting weeping on their grave.” of Annan-water, which, swollen sud Lammerlea, Cumberland.
Bene qui cænat, bene vivit,lucet_camus
Horace, Epist 6. lib. I. Praised for ever be thy obstinate All that the Romans could do, virtue, merry old England: for, to could not induce our ancestors to look this hour, hast thou magnanimously straight at one of their cooks. Roastcontemned the vanities of cookery. ing and boiling required no great No, the specious miracles of Italian clerkship to understand them. We science, the bedizening of Monsieur were not very choice; but we fed Very's coquinarial millinery, has no copiously and satisfactorily, and cared charms for thy downright simplicity for no man. It was no uncommon of stomach. T'hou hast set thine ho- thing, in those days, for a young nest face against the proselytism of princess to take her turn at the spit; beef and mutton into ragouts, soups, and a commander-in-chief was not and other mysterious disguises ; and ashamed to exchange his truncheon wouldst hold no communion with the for a basting-ladle. Who would not rash inventors of metaphysical dishes, envy them the natural beauties of and their disciples. Honest, unso- their unpremeditated dishes ? what phisticated food, such as his father palate would not long to snatch a throve upon, will John Bull stand taste of the rude energy of their exup for, to his last breath. Next to tempore dumplings? In these prithe glories of roast and boiled, I mitive times, two meals was the prize the culinary history of my order of the day; but every man native country. The Romans, when brought to the table a full-grown they came over to look for pearls, appetite. There was then no hyfound us in possession of choice beef pocritical earnestness in the counand mutton; “multus numerus pe- tenance and action of a guest, to coris," is the expression of Cæsar; justify his praises of the viands; and I may as well add here, the no fraudulent concealment of the testimony of another foreigner-Vol- morsel of which he would seem taire, who thus historically speaks of to have legitimately disposed. The us in the reign of Elizabeth : sincerest interest in the business De leurs troupeaux feconds, leurs plaines in hand, pervaded the industrious sont couvertes.
Henriade. circle; and till repletion gave the
alarm, never did hands or_jaws the King of France. William kept “ give o'er their functions." Eating his bed for some days, and was inwas then the most important concern formed, that Philip had inquired if of life. Nothing in the way of poli- he was not yet delivered of his great tics or morals (as has since been the belly. The angry monarch vowed case) could be etfected without a that ten thousand lances, instead of feast. A ireaty of peace, or the ad- the usual tapers, should attend his justment of a village quarrel,-a churching at Nôtre Dame; and he marriage, or a campaign, was not made good the pledge conveyed in undertaken, as in the Roman times, this metaphorical threat. The return without a savoury sacrifice, propor- of the great religious festivals was tioned to the occasion. Cæsar ob- celebrated chiefly by feasting. Great serves, that neither hares, hens, nor piety, and a love of eating, were by geese, were used at the tables of the no means incompatible things. ChristBritons. The Druids, in excluding mas was a period the most favourable these articles from consumption, did to the indulgence of the one and the no great violence to the taste of the other; and it was by no means un people. Their preference was fixed common for a very devout man to die upon beef; and that national dish, of a surfeit. Easter was not such a whose pedigree has been calum- time for gormandizing: the good niously dated from Henry VIII.'s folks, however, insinuated good cheer time,* owes its birth to the free and into that festival; and it was geneearly adoption of the Britons. After rally acknowledged, that the only the extinction of the druidical super secure way a man had to show that stition, the prejudice against poultry he was no Jew, . was to pay his continued ; and it was in vain that hearty respects to
a gammon of the example of the Romans recom- bacon. We are told of a feast, at a mended to us the use of the cuckoo great castle, that happened in those and the peacock,—the latter being times, which lasted from three but recently brought under the at- o'clock in the afternoon to midnight; tention of that people, at a feast and to the luxuries of which, six regiven by Hortensius the orator, to mote cities of the East contributed the clergy of Rome. The Saxons, their choicest products. This was a with a judgment worthy of their time of innovation on the simple high character, concurred in, and and substantial national meal.even improved upon, the British Henry II., I am afraid, was partial choice. They broke through the ef- to the cæna dubia, which nature and feminate practice of parcelling out morality alike condemn.—He vindilimbs and steaks; and setting at cated his lineage by his fondness for nought the dictates of an illiberal cranes: during his expedition to Irediscretion, they made the table land he astonished the natives of that groan, not with the dispecti membra country, by the number and variety of an ox, but with the mighty length of his dishes,-the titles of some of and breadth of that noblest of qua- which only have reached us, such drupeds, “ one entire and perfect.” as karumpie, dellegrout, &c. Indeed, The Danes are said to have commu- William of Malmesbury marks his nicated to us the art of gorman- sense of the growing luxury of the dizing. I do not think this assertion times, in terms of the most justihas been well considered; the only fiable wrath. Richard II. was a advantage which I can find they had monarch of very liberal notions upon over the natives was, that their bill the subject of eating: not a man of fare included the article of horse- less than 10,000 a-day called for meat flesh. The Conqueror, owing to the at the kitchen of the royal household. sedulous and well-directed efforts of The Earl of Lancaster distinguished the royal purveyors, was a very cor- himself amongst the nobles, by the pulent man. The circumstance is most honourable profuseness. He authentically known to us, in con- devoted about 100,000l. a year, mosequence of its having been made dern currency, to the manly expendithe subject of an unlucky joke by ture of his table. Edward III. ridi
• Vide last No. Edin. Review, art. Cookery.
culously enough, thought to lower the more ambitious part of the nobility average of consumption, by the en- permitted the introduction of fanciactment of sumptuary laws: the first fully-manufactured pastry at their violator of them was his own son, dinners. The most venerable chaLionel of Clarence. The marriage racters in paste were sacrificed withof this prince was celebrated by out mercy; sex or age was not thirty exquisite courses ; and the spared: and one common death afragments of the wedding feast fed no waited a demon and an angel. The less than one thousand very hungry accession of Henry VIII. ought to people. In this reign it was, that be marked in white by all the lovers the Earl of Warwick (Neville), one of good-eating. It was in his reign of the greatest fathers of eating that that the policy of suppressing the England has seen, rendered himself system of purveying began to show so beloved by the people, in conse itself in the glowing and pathetic quence of the grand scale of his en- sirloin, that rendered us the envy tertainments. Stow mentions, that of all our neighbours. The fear of whenever he came to London, he the purveyor, it would seem, caused kept such a house, that six oxen at the remarkable neglect of ox-breeda breakfast was considered very mo- ing, in the early part of our history, derate indeed! It was usual for the In a remonstrance to Edward I. by great barons of those days to feast the barons, clergy, and commons, of their retainers in the halls of their the great hardships imposed upon castles. Nor should we insult the them by aids, tallages, and contrimemory of our ancestors, by sup- butions of provisions, the necessity posing that their entertainments, like of supplying salt-beef seems to go those of the Romans, were mere ti- nearest to their hearts. In Henry!l.'s tular feasts, where a man was ex time an ox was worth but three pected to eat and drink a good deal sheep; before that, it was never valess than he spoke and listened.- lued at more than six. The extincThey did not esteem it of so much tion of the race of purveyors allowed importance to inquire, with whom, the greatest attention to the feedas upon what, they dined; and ing of the ox; and consequently, in never made the ridiculous mistake of the reign of Henry VIII. the ox, on calling for a catalogue of guests in- the average, was worth fifteen sheep. stead of a bill of fare. Such an Families of distinction lived chietly officer as an Anagnosten
on salt-meat and fish during winheard of in England. The usual two ter, with which they consumed inmeals a-day were now split into four, ordinate quantities of mustard. Hapthe latter escaping under the gentle pily, the rage for cooks had not yet title of a livery. An unhappy love been introduced. The Earl of Northof variety (as great an enemy asumberland, as appears by his housedisease to the ability of the stomach) hold book, employed but two cooks, then gathered force. The Archbishop for a retinue of 200 persons. Fowl, of York, at his installation feast, which had been forbidden to any left to his guests the range of 104 under the class of lords, did not oxen, 1000 sheep, 2000 pigs, and a form a frequent dish even at their due proportion of other constitutional tables ; although the list of poultry, commodities. The day might have as well as other dinner articles, was lived in our admiration, but for an signally increased in this reign, as unlucky appendix of 104 peacocks, appears from the authority of the and 400 swans. But, oh, the revo- following verse :lutions of tastes! The ordinary breakfast of an earl and his lady, we are
Turkeys, carps, piccarel, and beer, told, in those days, consisted of
Were brought into England, all in one bread, meat, (salt-fish, on days of
year. abstinence), beer, and wine! You In consequence of a temporary might offer any sum for a lady sub- famine about this period, the comject to the vapours, without the least mon-council of London, by a formal risk of losing your money. The order, confined the Lord Mayor
His function is fully explained in a note to the Life of Atticus in Cornelius Nepos.
to seven dishes a-day, and prohi- redeeming characters also amongst bited the use of cranes and bus- the Romans. With what exquisite tards, under a penalty. The Eng- glee does Horace chuckle over his lish found out the use of a variety of sleek and portly person; and he poroots in this reign. Queen Catha- sitively tells us that no one could rine used to send to Flanders for a escape him during his fasting mosallad, but now it could be had for ments. Impransus non qui civem a song in London. The histories dignosceret hoste.” But the Emof this time teem with complaints of peror Vitellius, in my fancy, was the luxury of the clergy. Indeed, we worth all that sat on the same throne owe it to the profession to state, before and after him. His brain was that they have been, at all times, the not turned with sauces; it was all most liberal patrons of good eating. glorious substantial eating with him. Whatever they might say in theory, Ševen millions British, per annum, they certainly admitted, by their was his rate of expenditure. What a practice, the truth of the ancient reign for the gastronomic department! maxim, that a perfectly wise man What a time of saturnalia for the should be as expert in the use of masticators, and their dependencies ! pleasures, as in the discharge of any The oldest people in the world, the of his duties : “ Cui cor sapiat, ei Chinese, are the greatest fleshquoque sapiat palatus:" å senti. eaters, and do honour to their mement no where more openly acknow- ritorious citizens chiefly by cramledged than at the Inns of Court. zning them. The practice of sacri. Elizabeth, in the magnificence of her ficing animals to the gods, proceeded soul, encouraged the spirit of feast- from the experience which men had ing. She was a mortal enemy to of the appeasing properties of a dinfasting, as appears from the curious The English is the only napreambles to some of her acts. tion which has kept off cookery and Hollished marks the rise of the despotism. Our liberties and our taste for corrupt cookery in his time, dishes are placed on a permanent by a complaint, that the nobility basis : they mutually preserve each began to employ “ musical-headed other, and are allied in the superFrenchmen.” James I. was no great stitious regard of the worshipful peofriend to the pleasures of the table. ple of England. Perhaps it is this The country gentlemen did them- prejudice that the legislature means selves honour, mean time, by their to compliment, by the custom of virtuous fidelity to the traditions of making laws only after dinner. their fathers; for we find a member Amongst the Romans, the circumof Parliament, of that time, declar- stance of eating salt together bound ing that a justice of peace, in his strangers to each other. In Engday, was a sort of animal, which for land, a dinner has almost a sacrahalf a dozen chickens, would dis- mental obligation. The policy of pense with a dozen penal laws. The English monarchs has continued the great national spirit of eating was coronation feast for wise purposes. asleep in the reign of Cromwell ; and I have heard a friend boast, that after the Restoration, when it began the late venison feast at Westminto peep forth occasionally at a wed- ster-hall, would have inoculated the ding, a baptism, or a wake, the im severest republican with loyalty to prudent monarch pursued it by pe- George IV. Happy England! senal statutes. The last century, which cure alike from hunger and from may be called the dark age of eat- slavery ; may the spirit of eating and ing, is eminently relieved by the cir- of freedom never forsake thy sons ! cumstance of six Lord Mayors of May glory in arts and arms be theirs London dying in office, in the inter - an uncorrupted taste-keen appe
tite, and the huge sirloin, in which Where is there a nation, then, that they may can exhibit such a spotless shield as
With desperate knife England ? Greece and Rome affected The deep incision make, and talk the while poverty and frugality, forsooth. Milo, Of England's glory ne'er to be defaced, and some think Epicurus, saved the While hence they borrow vigour. credit of the former. There were some
val of 30 years.
INFLUENCE OF SCENERY ON POETIC CHARACTER.
Switzerland is rich in romantic in the metropolis; and we cannot scenes; but Gessner is her only poet; conceive how the scenery of streets and even he could not rise to the and squares, though to this we add sublimities which he saw around the river and the parks, could ever him. He was contented to lay him- be deemed romantic, or could be self by the side of a clear stream, supposed to beget poetic imagery. after it had come down from its Al Westminster Abbey has certainly a pine course to the meadows, and romantic aspect,—but it is rendered there he warbled his pastorals, and tame and vulgar by the assemblage trimmed his flowery paragraphs. A of paltry houses, and narrow streets, mountain storm, or an avalanche, among which it towers like an oak would have quite astounded him, half smothered with brambles and and, in its roar, the piping of his brushwood, a scanty field, we shepherds, and his pretty lamenta- should imagine, (though we embrace tions for the death of Abel, would every scene in the vicinity of Lonhave been quite unheard.
don,) for Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Yet has romantic scenery been Dryden, Pope, and Cowper, to gather called the best nurse of poetic fancy. their materials from, for the images Dryden, we think it was, who was laughed at for proposing to write an But the critics will turn upon us, epic, though he had never seen a and ask if the poets of Scotland do mountain ; and Leigh Hunt has had not furnish them with an illustrious the “greenery" of Hampstead and example. They will ask if its hedge-rows, turned into a mock
the land of the mountain and flood, argument against the genuineness of his poetry. Critics who so think, and Where the pine of the forest for ages has
stood, so argue, must have studied the for- Where the eagle comes forth on the wings mation of poetic character much
of the storm, more profoundly than the facts au- And her young ones are rock'd on the lofty thorise ; or rather they have tram
Cairngorm, pled on the facts, and trusted to the vagaries of fancy to keep them has not imprinted on the fancy of her to an opinion. They ought to be bards, all the romantic grandeur able to exemplify their principle by which lives among her scenery, and ample appeals to the biography of comes with a power so irresistible eminent poets. They ought to be upon the spirits of those who are its able to show, that Shakspeare and visitors ? Their questions do not Milton spent their infancy and youth dismay us; we shall answer them. either in Switzerland, or in some Of the eminent poets of Scotland, other grand and romantic region; Burns is indisputably the chief ; and that Spenser sojourned for a time in him we shall, therefore, select as an fairy land; and that Dante ascended exemplification of their opinion, or its Mont Blanc, and descended into reverse, according to the truth which Avernus, to catch, if possible, a our inquiry shall elicit. In the poetry glimpse of the other world, before of Burns, there is little that is purely he ventured on its description. This descriptive; and he seldom rises to they cannot do.
grandeur and sublimity, the very conThe opinion, indeed, is founded ception of which overpowers the imaon the most presumptuous ignorance gination by its magnificence. He of the lives of great poets, few, if has no relish for the wild and the any, of whom have been natives of wilderness, nor does he like to soar a romantic country, or have had op- among Alpine rocks and mountain portunities of visiting picturesque forests. The whirlwind and the scenery. All our eminent English storm are too boisterous for his conpoets, with the exception of Shak- templation,--unless he is sheltered speare, have been born or educated under a thick wood, and hears them