George Streynsham Master.

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Familiarity.

Of all the sources of bad manners, we know of
none so prolific and pernicious as the license of
familiarity. There is no one among our readers, we
presume, who has not known a village or a neigh-
borhood in which all the people called one another
by their first or Christian names. The "Jim,''
or "Charley," or "Mollie," or «« Fanny," of the
young days of school-life, remain the same until
they totter into the grave from old age. Now,
there may be a certain amount of good-fellowship
and homely friendliness in this kind of fiuniliar
address, but there is not a particle of politeness in
it It is all very well, within a family or a circle of
relatives, but when it is carried outside, it is intolera-
ble. The courtesies of life are carried on at arm's
length, and not in a familiar embrace. Every gen-
tleman has a right to the title, at least, of '< Mister,"
and every lady to that of " Miss " or ** Mistress,"
even when the Christian name is used. For an
ordinary friend to address a married woman as
** Dolly " or •* Mary," is to take with her an unpar-
donable liberty. It is neither courteous nor honor-
able ; in other words, it is most unmannerly. We
have known remarkable men, living for years under
the blight of their familiarly-used first names, — men
whose fortunes would have been made, or greatly
mended, by removing to some place where they



could have been addressed with the courtesy due to
their worth, and been rid forever of the cheapening
processes of familiarity. How can a man lift his
head under the degradation of being called " Sam "
by every man, young and old, whom he may meet
in the street ? How can a strong character be car-
ried when the man who bears it must bow decently
to the name of " Billy ? "

This is not a matter that we have taken up to
sport with. We approach it and regard it with all
seriousness, for this feeling and exhibition of famil-
iarity lie at the basis of the wors( manners of the
American people. We are not asking, specially, for
reverence for age or high position, but for manhood
and womanhood. The man and woman who have
arrived at their majority have a right to a courteous
form of address, and he who withholds it from
them, or, presuming upon the intimacies of boy-
hood, continues to speak to them as still boy and
girl, is a boor, and practically a foe to good manners.
We suppose the Friends would object to this state-
ment, but we do not intend to embrace them in this
condemnation. They look at this matter from a
different stand-point, and base their practice upon
certain considerations which have no recognition in
the world around them. We think they are mis-
taken, but their courteous way of speaking the
whole of the first name is very different from the
familiar use of names and nicknames of which we
comphun. There is no use in denying that the free
and general use of first names, among men and
women, in towns and neighborhoods, is to the last
degree vulgar. Gentlemen and ladies do not do it
It is not a habit of polite society, anywhere.

There is a picture we have often contemplated*
which would impress different men in different ways,
of a family now living in this city, — a picture which is,
to us, very beautiful and very suggestive. A gentle-
man of the old school, somewhat reduced in circum-
stances, persists in living, so far as his manners are
concerned, *'like a king." Every night he and his
sons, before dining, put themselves into evening
dress. When dinner is announced, the old gentle-
man gives his arm to his venerable wife and leads
her to the table. The other members of the family
preserve the same manners that they would practice
if they were dining out, or if friends were dining
with them. At the close of the meal, the old man
and his sons rise, while the mother and daughters
withdraw, and then they sit down over their cups,
and have a pleasant chat Now the average Ameri-
can will probably laugh at this picture, as one
of foolish and painful formality, but there is a very
good side to it. Here is a family which insists on
considering itself made up of ladies and gentlemen,
among whom daily association is no license for
fiimiliarity, or the laying aside of good and constantly
respectful manners toward one another. There
is undoubtedly a great deal of bad manners in
families, growing out of the license engendered by
familiarity — bad manners between husband and
wife, and between parents and children. Parents
are much to blame for permitting familiarity to go
so far tBat they do not uniformly receive, in court*



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ecus forms, the respect due to them from their chil-
dren as gentlemen and ladies.

Of the degrading familiarity assumed by conscious
inferiors, it is hardly necessary to speak. Nothing
cures such a thing as this but the snub direct, in
the most pointed and hearty form in which it can
be rendered.

" The man that hails you 'Tom' or 'Jack/
And proves by ijiumps upon your back

How he esteems your merit.
Is such a fiiend that one had need
Be very much his friend, indeed,

To pardon or to bear it"



Men do pardon and bear this sort of thing alto-
gether too much for their own peace, and the best
good of the transgressors. The royal art of snub-
bing is not sufficiently understood and practiced by
the average American gentleman and lady. Cod-
sidering the credit our people have for boldness and
push, they yield to the familiar touch and spee<±
of the low manners around them altogether too
tamely. Every gentleman not only owes it to him-
self to preserve his place and secure the courtesy
that is his by right, but he owes it to society that
every aggressive, bad-mannered man shall be taught
his place, and be compelled to keep it



COMMUNICATIONS.



The Restoration of St. Mark's.

Editor of Scribner's Monthly. Sir:

Those who have been lately in Venice have been
chagrined to find an ungainly structure of screened
scaffoldings completely hiding that comer of the
Ducal Pahice which used to arch in pieces of the sea
and sky, as one looks southward across the Piagetta,
with an effect familiar, either through direct sight,
or by photograph or picture, to all the world. I
was gravely told that these scaffoldings had been
there for eighteen years, and were likely to remain
as long again ; that nothing was being done benind
them, but that the mattings and planks themselves
were kept in good repair, year after year. It is a
fact that the modem Italian restorers labor with ex-
treme slowness, but their work when accomplished
is none the less deadly; for, as a rule, when, after
a generation or more, the screens do come down
from in front of some marvel of antique art, we find
that the beauty which was once there has departed
forever. With regard to the Ducal Palace, — a friend
of mine, who was admitted behind the scenes last
summer, was shown a supporting stone which had
been crushed, by the weight above it, into six pieces ;
and those in charge declared that the reparation
was a matter of strict necessity.

Whether necessary or not in the case of the
Ducal Palace, I believe that no such plea is raised
in behalf of the proposed restoration of the western
or main fe9ade of St. Mark's. As I understand,
this fa9ade is itself a mere screen and is not involved
in the support of the principal building. Yet, if it
should prove that the stmcture is in danger of fall-
ing, the English memorialists hold "that it is within
the power of science to devise a remedy which
would restore its stability without moving a stone,
or altering the present surface in the least." Tlie
effect of the contemplated restoration is not a
matter of conjecture or sentiment. Workmen have
been busy on the inside of the church, as well as on
the north and south facades, for years past, and
every spot they have toudied they have everlastingly
ruined.



The traveler in Europe soon finds that an old
building will stand (as to its effect of beauty) abnost
any amount of settling down, or toppling over, or
hiding by other buildings, or propping up wi&
beams, or encmsting with dust and smoke ; the one
thing that it cannot stand is " restoration." From
a thoroughly " restored " building the eye turns
away empty, disappointed and disgusted. Nor is
this merely because of the loss of association, or of
the lack of the mellowness and tone imparted by
time. Time, indeed, is a subtle and wonderful
decorator whose handiwork is not to be lightly es-
teemed or ignorantly destro3red. But it is a matter
of demonstration that the stone-cutters and the
workers in mosaic of our times have not the same
manner as the old ones; nor do they manipulate
with equal skill, nor in the same artistic spirit. If
the restorations of the Renaissance are out of keep-
ing in this western facade, — ^whose earlier condidon
is fortunately preserved for us in Gentile Bellini's
well-known painting in the Academy at Venice-
how dangerous is it to attempt a restoration in our
own time, even though the restorers do not venture
upon new designs. The very improvements in our
modern tools are a cause of deterioration in work-
manship, for they substitute arithmedcally straight
for ardsdcally irregular lines, and bring about a
stiff and dazzling uniformity of design which is the
death of grace and individuality and *<the unex-
pected." The present south fa^e of St. Mark's,
as it stands there " glittering like sugar in the son,"
is no more St. Mark's as it was than a plaster cast
of the Venus of Milo is the original statue.

Now that the main fa9ade is threatened with
destmction, it is to be hoped that no effort wiD
be spared in its behalf in the way of entreaty and
protest. The artists and lovers of art in Oxford,
Cambridge and London, who have begun the move-
ment, expect the co-operation of America — and are
sure to receive it. If the opinion and protests of the
avilized world have the desired effect upon the
authorities in Venice, something more will be accom-
plished than this one gready- to-be-desired consum-



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- . . ,>n — for the moral effect will extend, doubtless,

_ i directions. And never was there greater

. . ' At this moment when interest of mankind

^ e artistic treasures of the world has fortunately

_ ~ ed, and ancient art is being studied with greater

" ty and intelligence than ever, — at this very mo-

: we are in imminent danger, through mistaken

or sordid speculation, of losing many of the

t examples which have ever existed. Mr. Still-

" writes from Florence to the London "Times,"

er date of November 12th :

The municipalities,— generally under the active

~ - ction of some fussy ignoramus whom office-hold-

- has imbued with a sense of the necessity of

ig something which will require a tablet set

to commemorate his name and rigime^ — 6nding

oidpal loans an easy means of getting money,

lerally 5Wt to work putting into presentable

4>e the most noteworthy object of antiquity in

ir jurisdiction, and prove themselves new brooms

:h a vengeance. In Perugia, I understand, they

fc utterly removed one of the 6nest Middle-

^ ^ stained-glass windows left this century, and

11 uninjured, to make place for a modem Munich

onstrosity. In Florence, as we all know, they

rept almost everything which was most pictur-

que of the old dty — the old walk to San Miniato,

e resource of every landscape painter who came

^e, replacing it by an ugly flight of stone steps

id balustrade; the houses of the Ponte alle

irazie; and they have those on the Ponte Vec-

tiio marked and contracted for removal, only, fort-

natdy, the money has failed them. The house

if Dante has been renewed in the most disgusting

•tyle, *made to look,' they said, <as it was when

Oante saw it.' In consequence we cannot see a

rtone that Dante ever looked on. The marvel-

oasly picturesque vista of the Arno, with its quaint

old buildings, as we saw it in the Grand Duke's

<lay, is changed into a span-new string of quays

which might be Brussels, or Rouen, or any other

•econd-rate dty which has a river; and, what is

worse, after spending millions in renovating, they

bave not even regulated the drainage of the dty. *

* * At Pieve di Cadere I found last summer the

quaint old fountain which used to stand in front of

Titian's house rdegated to some rubbish depot, and



another, which used to stand in the public place,
substituted for it, to make room in turn for a statue
of Titian — ^new and shining brass."

What Mr. Stillman says of the window in Peru-
gia is, I was told by a high authority in Florence,
true of many other old Italian windows. They are
not only tidcen down to be replaced by hideous
modem ones, but the old are often hidden away and
utterly lost.

R.W. G.

London, Nov. 21, 1879.

P. S. — ^The London "Times " this morning pub-
lishes what purports to be the text of a report sent
by the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction to the
Minister of Fordgn Affiurs on the subject of St.
Mark's at Venice, which report will be transmitted
for information to the Italian Ambassador in Lon-
don. By this it appears that the memorials to the
Italian Govemment are not necessary, steps having
been already taken to prevent the proposed restora-
tion some time before the meetings of protest in
England. This report is very interesting because
we learn from it the truth of the mmor of the inten-
tion to restore the western fa9ade, and because it
contains an acknowledgment of the " many errors "
committed by the restorers in other parts of the
church. The Minister of PubHc Instraction states
that when he became aware of " the danger which
thus threatened the magnificent fi^ade," he de-
manded that the funds for the restoration should be
transferred to his own estimates and, after thus ob-
taining control, he caused the Commission for the
Preservation of Andent Monuments to examine into
the matter, and they are still engaged in this ex-
amination.

It is not to be regretted that the protest has been
made in England — and it has been made not only
by artists, writers, university professors, but even by
the Prime Minister in his private capacity, and (pri-
vately) by members of the rojral fiunily. Though
the immediate danger already may have been averted
by the taste and good sense of Italians themsdves,
still the discussion elidted and the profound and
wide-spread feeling evinced cannot fail to do good in
Italy and elsewhere.

London, Nov. 27, 1879. R* W. G.



HOME AND SOCIETY.



Qtneral Principles of Cookery. III. RoMting.

It is very common to find things that are pro-
verbially easy to do, less well done than those of
acknowledged difl&culty, simply because it is taken
as a foregone condusion that no art at all is re-
quired. Yet, as Mrs. Gamp says, " There's art in
stkking in a pin." And in roasting meat, although
It will be a new idea to many, there is at least the
ttt of simplidty, if I may so speak; and BriUat-Sav-
Vol. XIX.— 44.



arin says : " One may become a cook, but must be
bom a roaster," which implies that genius is required
to roast well; however, common-sense and a per-
severing attention to rules are not bad substitutes.
It is the common practice to put a quantity of water
in the pan with meat to roast, and, to make a bad
thing worse, the joint is thickly dredged with flour.
On asking a cook, who had dirown a handful of
flour over a sirloin of beef and then poured a quart
of water into the pan with it„ what was the object of



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such immersion, Biddy answered with an air of
good-natured contempt for our ignorance :

'* For the gravy, of course, ma*am ! Where
would I get my gravy if I didn't do that ? "

Of course meat so treated comes to table sod-
den, juiceless, tasteless and unsightly, and accom-
panied by a quart — more or less — of gray, thickish
broth, instead of the rich brown gravy natural to
well-cooked meat.

In addition to this flour-and-water treatment, the
abused joint is generally put into a lukewarm oven
an hour or two bbfore it begins to cook, where it
slowly steams and oozes, until the hour for din-
ner ; when, whether it is cooked little or much, it is
served.

Roasting, then, as I have hinted, must be very
simple. Little or no preparation is necessary.
The only requisites are a bright fire and a hot
oven ; then place the joint in the pan, on an iron
tripod if possible, as this keeps it out of the fat ; and
if it is very lean, put a table-spoonful, or two, of
water — not more — ^into the pan ; if fat, it will not
require any. No flour is necessary if the meat has
not been washed, and if you buy from a good butch-
er this will only be needed in summer if it has been
kept an hour or two too long; then wash it off
with vinegar, dry it carefully, and very lightly dust
it with flour to absorb any moisture that may re-
main on the surface. While the meat is in the
oven, baste it several times, and when about half
done turn it— always keeping the thickest part of
the meat in the hottest part of the oven.

In cooking sirloin of beef great care must be taken
that the fat of tlje " undercut," as our English
cousins call it, be quite cooked. It is not unusual
to see a splendid roast come to table with the fat
of the tenderloin not even warm through, and the
tender meat of that favorite part absolutely purple,
while the upper and less choice part is sufficiently
cooked.

While the meat is in the oven the fire should be
kept hot and bright ; it should have been so made
up as to last sufficiently long, but if the joint is very
large it may require replenishing, this may be done
without checking the heat of the oven by adding a
little fuel from time to time instead of waiting until
it requires a great deal.

If the oven has been in good condition the meat
will be beautifully brown and the bottom of the pan
covered with a thick glaze. Gently pour off the
fat, holding the pan steadily as you do it, that the
gravy may not go with it ; then put the pan on the
stove and pour into it half a cup of boiling water
(more if the joint is very large and less if very
small) and a little salt. If you have soup of
any kind use it in preference to water; stir it
with a spoon until the adhering glaze or gravy
is entirely removed from the pan, it will dissolve
as it mingles with the liquid, and make a rich brown
gravy.

Before the joint is served, sift over it evenly — ^not
in patches — fine salt. This must never be done
before it is cooked as it draws out the juice of the
meat



It must be repeated that nothing so injures
as to put it into a cold oven, allowing both to gee
hot together.

Some meats require longer to cook than others.
Pork and veal much longer than mutton and bed
The former meats require to be very well done —
the latter, most people like under-done; but even
when this is the case, it should be remembered
that the texture should be changed all throngfa ;
the gravy is then released and runs red with the
knife, while the grain of the meat is seen through
it, of a bright red instead of the livid purple hue
so frequently called rare, but whidi is sinaply
raw.

Poultry may be either cooked with a little but-
ter to baste it, or it may be larded or " barded " —
although the latter are the modes of preparing
adopted by all good European cooks. To many
Americans the flavor of bacon is objectionable, jet
even where it is approved, larding is often supposed
to be so difficult as to require a professed cook to do
it ; but it is actually so simple that any lady wishing
to indulge in dainty dishes will take Uie small
trouble of learning it, to teach her inexperienced
cook. Two larding needles are requircii — to be
procured at any good house-furnishing store —
one large-sized for veal, beef d la mocU^ etc ; the
other, small, for poultry, cutlets, and sweetbreads.
In larding poultry, hold the breast over a dear
fire for a minute, or dip it in boiling water to make
the flesh firm. Cut some strips of firm fat bacon,
two inches long, and the eighth of an inch wide,
and make four parallel marks on the breast, put one
of these strips of bacon fat, called lardoons, into the
split end of the small needle, securely, and insert it
in the first mark, bringing it out at the second, leav-
ing an equal length of fat protruding at each end;
insert these lardoons at intervals of half an inch or
less down the two lines first commenced, and then do
the same with the two others.

All white-fleshed birds are improved by larding,
as is veal and sweetbread. Yet small ones, quails,
for instance, may have a barde — i. ^., a slice of bacon
fat — tied round them. This may also be done with
fowls, or veal, where bacon is liked and larding in-
convenient.

Game requires nothing but good butter to baste
it. Any sort of stuffing is ruinous to the flavor, ex-
cept in the case of pigeons, where a little chopped
parsley may be mixed with butter, and placed in*
side.

Wild duck, if fishy, and the flavor is disliked,
should be scalded for a few minutes in salt and water
before roasting. If the flavor is very strong the
duck may be skinned, as the oil in the skin is the
objectionable part. After skinning, spread with
butter, and thickly dredge with flour before put-
ting in a very quidc oven.

Catherine Owen.

Ploar from Chestnuts.

[We are courteously permitted to transcribe the
following paragraphs from a very interesting re-



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port to the State Department by Mr. J. Schuyler
Crosby, U. S. Consul at Florence.— Ed. S. M.]

The common chestnut-tree is said to have been
'brought from Asia Minor to Sardinia, and from
there it has spread over the whole of Southern
Europe. It existed for centuries in Tuscany,
where, at one time, nearly every hill and mountain-
side was covered with its verdure. The number of
trees in Tuscany and Lucca is estimated at several
millions, and the nut and wood have done more to
maintain the population of some of these districts
than any other production. Indeed, in some places
wheat flour and com meal are entirely superseded
by the chestnut flour, which is very nourishing and
much cheaper as an article of food.

The result of a careful study of the subject has
convinced me that this species of chestnut, when
grafted upon the variety indigenous to our own
country, and in many parts abundant, may become
a source of much wealth and profit, especially in
certain mountainous districts, where it is almost im-
possible to raise cereals, owing to the nature of the
son and the steepness of the mountain-sides, and
where transportation is so difficult and labor so
high and scarce. Outside of this question of using
the chestnut for food in the districts where it could
be cultivated and grown to advantage in the United
States, the present price of the imported Spanish
chestnut, which is used for various purposes through-
out our country would, I am sure, amply repay any
onday farmers might have to make in importing
rings or shoots of this magnificent variety from
Italy for grafting on our own chestnut tree.

This tree grows to the height of 60 or 70 feet, and
attains full maturity at the age of 60 years. Its
vitality and producdveness, however, last for more
than a hundred years. In many parts of Tuscany
it is cultivated largely and is always raised from the
seed or nut. The large variety of Spanish chestnut
is cultivated from grafting on the young trees. The
chestnut flourishes in a light, fertile deep soil, but
thrives on the sides of mountains facing the south
and west. The varieties cultivated are the follow-
ing:

I. Castagno Marone, This is the most sought
after for the largeness and exquisite taste of the nut.
It thrives in fresh, damp soils and mild tempera-
ture, and for that reason is cultivated with difficulty
in the higher mountains.

II. Castagno Carpintsc, or Carrara. Produces
high-flavored nuts in great quantities, and prospers
even in cold places. The flour made from this
variety is the sweetest of all, but requires great
care to keep it from spoiling.

III. Castagno Pastinese. Thrives in cold situa-
tions. The fruit is smaller and darker, but gives a
more healthy and durable flour than that of the
Carrara.

IV. Castagno Rossoh. The nuts of this variety
are smaller than those of the Marone^ which they
resemble in appearance or taste. The tree thrives



Online LibraryGeorge Streynsham MasterThe Century, Volume 19 → online text (page 106 of 160)