+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

most frightful water monsters, each with
eight claws to a toe. Oh, papa, don't these
beings make you think about

' The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage'

"Child," said my father, " say no more.
Hand me the bread."

"Bread!" I cried. "Ha! ha! A bakement
of aluminised paste!"

"Then let us breakfast on the anchovies!"

" Anchovies ! How many of these things
are anchovies ? Dutch, French, Sicilian
fish, anchovies or no anchovies, all of them
poisoned with paintcoloured with bole
Armenian and Venetian red. You have bole
Armenian in potted beef, in potted shrimps, in
potted bloaters. Out of twenty-eight samples
of potted meat and fish examined, twenty-
three were befouled with this red earth. Of
the anchovies sold in shape of fish not more
than a third are really anchovies. Anchovy
sauce and almost all other red fish sauces are
saturated with bole Armeniandrenched
with it even more completely than the potted
meats. Five samples of India soy were
examined, and they were all full of treacle
and salt. In a famous fish sauce was found
much oxalate of lime and charred deal.
That brings me to the birthday dinner, papa.
I do not see how we can have any fish. It
is insipid by itself, and sauce, you see, is
quite out of the question."

"No," said papa, who was getting more
and more dejected. " No fish."

"And I have been thinking, too, papa,
about the soup; because if they poison the
cayenne pepper—"


"O, yes, indeed they do, with brickdust
and deal sawdust, turmeric, vermilion, and
red-lead. Out of twenty-eight samples tested,
only four were genuine ; most of the others
contained poisonous proportions of either red-
lead or vermilion."

"Soup is impossible."

"Then I thought, papa, of currybut of
curry-powders, only seven in six and twenty
were found genuine, and this world is so very
wicked that although the 'Lancet ' published the
names of the people who sold genuine things,
how can I tell which of them will go straightway,
and adulterate upon the strength of
their good character. How can Iafter
reading such a revelation as this ishave
any faith in any person who sells eatables!
O dear! O dear!"

"Child," said papa, '' starvation stares us
in the face. Ring for cold meat directly."

"Oh, sir, you never will be so bold! You
know you cannot eat cold meat except with

"Well. There is pickle in the house I

"A dreadful poison, coppermore or less
of ithas been found in every bottle of
pickle that has been examined. They use it
to make pickles green. Besides that, in
nineteen out of twenty cases there is oil of
vitriol in the vinegar."

"Amen to cold meat," said poor mamma.

"We've preserves in the house and bottled
fruitswhich is all one can have at this time
of the year, — but I dare not make them into
pies and puddings, because they are drugged
with copper, too."

We ate no more breakfast, and papa spent
the whole morning with me studying in Dr.
Hassall's book. We decided that it was
impossible to go on taking our meals, and that
our dinner-party must be put off until I had
had time to reconstitute society and make the
dealers in food honest, as I hope they will
become, when they have heard how dreadfully
we suffer. I really think that if the
public health is cared about by anybody,
somebody will establish something that shall
be a check upon all poisoners of victuals, and
make it as necessary in law to call things by
their honest names as to use honest weights
and measures. Also I hope, sir, that it will
not be long before you make public this
humble representation, because we are starving
until it shall have performed its work by
causing a revulsion in the public feelings. Our
case is the more eminently horrible, inasmuch
as when we had determined to still the cravings
of hunger, by keeping in our mouths
lozenges and comfits, we were cut off even
from that resource by the discovery that these
little consolations are denied us by the dread
we must have of swallowing plaster of Paris,
cochineal, lake, red-lead, vermilion, Indian-
red, gambouge, lemon orange and deep
chrome yellows, indigo, ferrocyanide of iron,
Antwerp blue, artificial ultramarine, verditer,
arsenite of copper, the three Brunswick
greens, brown ferruginous earths as umber,
sienna and vandyke brown, carbonate of lead,
and white lead.

There may be persons in this country who,
being warned of all these frauds and dangers,
know how to protect themselves. The alderman,
my pa, mamma and I, do not belong
to that number, and we believe there are
some others who don't; therefore we beg to
be protected. And, in the mean time, while
we beg, let me repeat that we are starving.

This day is published, for greater convenience, and
cheapness of binding,
Price of the Set, thus bound in Five Double instead of Ten
Single Volumes, £2 10s. 0d. The General Index can
be had separately, price 3d.