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, hei heart wants moist-
ure, 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.*
" We suppose ftlr. Mizald stole this receipt from the kitchen of his infernal
majesty : probably jt .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 Ma.<ricke, 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 himself e ! /" 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, Jl. 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 horn, and scrape horn clene in water and salt, and so wash
horn, and hack horn 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 unvvietdy marine animal the PORPUS wJis 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! was also a dish of state, and in high fashion when the elegance oi
* See note to No. 59 how to plump the liver of a goose.
t "It is a curious illustration of the dc gustibus van eat disputandum t that the
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 CRANK was a darling dainty in William the Conqueror's time, and so partial
was that monarch to it, that when his prime favourite, William Firz-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 cere-
monial, approaching nearly to the magnificence of royalty ; there was scarcely any-
royal or noble feast without PECOKKKS, which were stuffed with spices and sweet
nerbs, 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'a 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 wer<?
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 fortbj to
ilie 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 'tis 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 emerfained 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
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
<o be sene, but not eaten as a HO*SE roasted a CAT in gely LYZARDS in hot
brothe, FROGGES fried," &c.
While we are thus considering the curious dishes of olden limes, 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 Lo-
lophagi lived entirely on the fruit of the l^otus tree. The savage Troglodyte
esteemed a living serpent the most delicate of all morsels ; while the capricious*
palate of the Zijguntini preferred the ape to every thing." Vide WARNER'S Antiq
Cul. p. 135.
u The Romans, in the luxurious period of their empire, took five meals a day ; r;
breakfast (jentaculum ;) a dinner, which was a light meal without any formal pre-
paration (prandium) ; a kind of tea, as we should call it, between dinner and supper
(mercnda} ; a supper (c<r?ia), 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,
;incients considered the swan as a high delicacy, and abstained from the flesh of thr
goose as impure and indigestible." MOUURAY on Poultry, p, 36.
or something delicious after supper (commissatio)." ADAM'S Rom.Antiq. 2d edi-
tion, 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 enume-
rated, Oell. 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 cand
sacerdotii,') Plin'. x. 20, s. 23; a pheasant, (PHASIANA, ex Phasi, Colckidis fluvio,}
Martial, iii. 58, xiii. 72, Senec. ad Helv. 9, Petron. 79, Manil. v. 372 : a bird called
.Ittagen vel-eno, from Ionia or Phrygia, Horat. Epod. ii. 54, Martial, xiii. iii. 61, a
guinea-hen, (avis Jlfra, Horat. ib. Gallina JVumidica vel Jifricana, Juvenal, xi.
142, Martial, xiii. 73) ; a Melian crane ; an Ambracian kid ; nightingales, luscinie ,
thrushes, turdi; ducks, geese, &c. TOMACULUM, (d Tnvu),}.vel ISICIUM, (ab inseea;)
sausages or puddings, Juvenal, x. 355. Martial. 42. 9, Petron. 31." Vide ibid.
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 Jlpidus.
" THICK SAUCE FOR A BOILED CHICKEN. Put the following ingredients into a
mortar : aniseed, dried mint, and lazar-root (similar to assatcetida), 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
The BLACK BROTH of Laccd(f.mon 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 Lacedsemo-
nian black broth was blood, thickened in a certain way : Dr. LISTER (in Apicium)
supposes it to have been hog 1 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 Athen&um, lib. iv. c. 3. When Dionysius the tyrant had tasted the
black broth, he exclaimed against it as miserable stuff; the cook replied" It wa
no wonder, for the sauce was wanting." "What sauce 7" says Dionysius. The
answer was, " Labour and exercise, hunger and thirst, these are the sauces ice
Lacedfemonians iiae" and they make the coarsest fare agreeable. CICERO, 3 TuscuL
INVITATIONS TO DINNER
IN " the affairs of the mouth" the strictest punctuality is
indispensable ; the GASTRONOMER ought to be as accurate aii
observer of time, as the ASTRONOMER. The least delay pro-
duces 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. Procrasti-
nation 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
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 extin-
" 'T is expectation only makes us blest ;
Enjoyment disappoints us at the best."
1 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 ap-
peared 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 remem-
ber, that DINNER is the only act of the day which cannot be
put off with impunity, for even FIVE MINUTES.
INVITATIONS TO DINNEB. *><
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 in-
nutritive 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
oeing 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
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.
38 INVITATIONS TO DINNER.
When t\vice 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 1
" 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,* 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 ! ! !
" INDIGESTION will sometimes overtake the most experi-
enced 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 eructantt signals of distress, the peristaltic per-
suaders 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 in-
crease 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
'* Thus indigestion is easily and speedily removed, appe-
tite 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 prescrip-
* Swilling cold soda water immediately after eating a hearty dinner, is another
very unwholesome custom take good ginger beer if you are thirsty, and don't lik>
Sir John Barleycorn's cordial.
t Strong peppermint or ginger lozenges are an excellent help for that flatulence
with which some aged and dyspeptic people are afflicted three or four hours after
INVITATIONS TO DINNEH, 39
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 rhv&arb,
" The DOSE OF THE PERSUADERS must be adapted to tlie
constitutional peculiarity of the patient. When you wish to
accelerate or augment the alvine exoneration, take two,
three, or more, according to the effect you desire to produce.
Two pills will do as much for one person, as^e or six will
for another : they will generally very regularly perform what
you wish to-day, without interfering with what you hope
will happen to-morrow ; and are therefore as convenient an
argument against constipation as any we are acquainted
" The most convenient opportunity to introduce them to
the stomach, is early in the morning, when it is unoccupied,
and has no particular business of digestion, &c. to attend
to i. e. at least half an hour before breakfast. Physic-
must never interrupt the stomach, when it is busy in digest-
" From two to four persuaders will generally produce one
additional motion, within twelve hours. They may be taken
at any time by the most delicate females, whose constitutions
are so often distressed by constipation, and destroyed by the
drastic purgatives they take to relieve it."
The cloth* should be laid in the parlour, and all the para-
phernalia of the dinner-table completely arranged, at least
half an hour before dinner-time.
The cook's labour will be lost, if the parlour-table be not
ready for action, and the eaters ready for the eatables, which
the least delay will irreparably injure : therefore, the GOUR-
MAND will be punctual for the sake of gratifying his ruling-
passion ; the INVALID, to avoid the danger of encountering
an indigestion from eating ill-dressed food; and the RATIONAL
EPICURE, who happily attends the banquet with " mens sana
in corpore scmo," will keep the time not only for these strong
reasons, but that he may not lose the advantage of being
* Le Grand Somrbelier, or CHIEF BUTLER, in former times was expected to be
especially accomplished in the art of folding table linen, so as to lay his napkins iu
different forms every day : these transformations are particularly described in ROSE'S
Instructions for the Officers of the Mouth, 1682, p. Ill, &c. "To pleat a napkin in
the form of a cockle-shell double" " in the form of hen and chickens" " shape
of two capons in a pye"^or "like a dog with a collar about his neck" and many
ethers equally whimsical.
49 INVITATIONS TO DINNER,
introduced to the other guests. He considers not only what
is on the table, but who are around it : his principal induce-
ment to leave his own fireside, is the charm of agreeable
and instructive society, and the opportunity of making con-
nexions, which may augment the interest and enjoyment of
It is the most pleasing part of the duty of the master of
the feast (especially when the guests are not very numerous),
to take advantage of these moments to introduce them to
one another, naming them individually in an audible voice,
and adroitly laying hold of those ties of acquaintanceship or
profession which may exist between them.
This will much augment the pleasures of the festive board,
to which it is indeed as indispensable a prelude, as an over-
ture is to an opera: and the host will thus acquire an addi-
tional claim to the gratitude of his guests. We urge this
point more strongly, because, from want of attention to it,
we have seen more than once persons whom many kindred
ties would have drawn closely together, pass an entire
day without opening their lips to each other, because they
were mutually ignorant of each other's names, professions,
To put an end at once to all ceremony as to the order in
which the guests are to sit, it will save much time and
trouble, if the mistress of the mansion adopts the simple
and elegant method of placing the name of each guest in
the plate which is intended for him. This proceeding will
be of course the result of consideration, and the host will
place those together whom he thinks will harmonize best.
Le Journal des Dames informs us, that in several fashionable
houses in Paris, a new arrangement has been introduced in
placing the company at a dinner-table.
" The ladies first take their places, leaving intervals for
the gentlemen ; after being seated, each is desired to call on
a gentleman to sit beside her ; and thus the lady of the house
is relieved from all embarrassment of etiquette as to rank
and pretensions," &c.
But, without doubt, says the Journalist, this method has
" It may happen that a bashful beauty dare not name the
object of her secret wishes ; and an acute observer may de-
termine, from a single glance, that the elected is not always
the chosen. 11
If the party is large, the founders of the feast may sit in
the middle of the table, instead of at each end, thus they
will enjoy the pleasure of attending equally to all their
INVITATIONS TO DINNER. 41
friends ; and being in some degree relieved from the occu-
pation of carving, will have an opportunity of administering
all those little attentions which contribute so much to the
comfort of their guests.
If the GUESTS have any respect for their HOST, or
prefer a well-dressed dinner to one that is spoiled, instead
of coming half an 'hour after, they will take care to make
their appearance a quarter of an hour before the time
The operations of the cook are governed by the clock ; the
moment the roasts, &c. are ready, they must go to the table,
if they are to be eaten in perfection.
An invitation to come at FIVE o'clock seems to be gene-
rally understood to mean six ; FIVE PRECISELY, hay past five;
and NOT LATER THAN FIVE (so that dinner may be on the
table within five minutes after, allowing this for the variation
of watches), FIVE O'CLOCK EXACTLY.
Be it known to all loyal subjects of the empire of good-
living, that the COMMITTEE OF TASTE have unanimously
resolved, that " an invitation to ETA. BETA. PI. must be in
writing, and sent at least ten days before the banquet ; and
must be answered in writing (as soon as possible after it
is received), within twenty-four hours at least," espe-
cially if it be not accepted : then, in addition to the usual
complimentary expressions of thanks, &c. the best possible
reasons must be assigned for the non-acceptance, as a parti-
cular pre-engagement, or severe indisposition, &c. Before
the bearer of it delivers it, he should ascertain if the person
it is directed to is at home ; if he is not, when he will be ;
and if he is not in town, to bring the summons back.