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

for changes, not to say ameliorations. To
be sure, the Bagpipes, and the Cat and Fiddle
remain; but mark how Nebuchadnezzar's
dulcimer has been successively transformed
into the virginals, and the spinnet and
the harpsichord, for which Mr. Handel
wrote lessonslessons so difficult
that Dr. Johnson on one occasion wished
them impossible. Then burst forth the pianoforte,
with its glittering and sportive notes;
whereon the boy Mozart and the youthful
Clementi bewildered and delighted all
Europe, not without suspicion that the diamond
ring worn by the former was a magical charm,
bewitched and uncanny. Musical style, too,
has bounded forward with hop, skip, and
jump. Corelli's jigs startled his contemporaries
like the bursting of the balsam
seed-vessel, when ripe; Handel's Waterpiece may
typify the surprise caused by handling a
squirting cucumber; while the Jamaica sandbox
makes its loudest explosions in
Meyerbeer's Crociato and Robert the Devil.
Analogous are the bold and fitful advances which
the culinary art has made. Really Russian
encroachments have laid hands, on all sides,
on whatever consolidated the power of the
cook, or tended to raise his dignity as an
artist. He has been allowed to seize all sorts
of material guarantees, without a single
remonstrance being raised, or without suffering
any check from an alliance of western
gastronomers. On the contrary, we look on
with indifference, nay, with approbation. The
oldest county family in England, even though
descended from the Druids, would hardly
invite a dinner-party, to feast off the finest
of acorns and the clearest of water. The
great, great-grandsons of Scandinavian
sea-kings don't pass the mead and metheglin at
dessert, nor do they fuddle themselves in
the morning with mum. Our modern
Ulysseses, Ajaxes, and Hectors do not kill
their own mutton on the spot, and roast
it forthwith. Talking of killing, what a
wonderful step in civilisation were sausages !
On what temple of fame is inscribed, in
golden letters, the immortal name of the
discoverer of sausages ? Did Homer ever taste
sausages ? or the High-Priest of Isis and
Osiris? or Josephus?—but I forget, he was a
Jew; though that is no reason, because he
might have called them minced veal. Was
Juvenal cognisant of their flavour ? I think
not ; for, if he had been, he would not have been
so hard-mouthed on the luxury of his age.
If sausages existed during the dark ages, a
thousand to one they must have been
invented before-hand. Sausages are by no
means an obvious idea. To purify the most
repulsive parts of an animal, to fill them
with a highly-artificial compound which
should ravish all palates, and silence all
objections, surely required long thought and
deep searching-out, illumined by a ray of
genius. There is a development of the
sausage, unknown to stay-at-home Britons, whose
light will burst upon them one of these days.
If you want to forestal the coming stranger,
go to Cherbourg and eat andouillettes.

Fain would my pen descant on the, glories
of, and celebrate the foundation laidthe
possibilities openedby the man who ate the
first oyster, by him who taught the nation to
pickle capers, to smoke hams, to corn rounds
of beef, to make lobster mayonnaise,
chartreuse of game, trifle, plum-pudding, and
anchovy-toast. The name of sandwich deserves
the reverential remembrance of lunchers,
pic-nickers, ball-supper-eaters, and
gadders-about in general. But close we, O Culinary
Muse, this Pindaric survey of eatables, to fix
our undivided attention on the brilliant
prospect now flashing on the kitchen-world,
in consequence of the resources lately opened
by the philosophic band of Hippophagists.

The two Greek words, hippos, a horse, and
phagein, to eat, make, when put together, the
factwhich, we are told, ought to be the
custom and the practice, from eighteen
hundred and fifty-six henceforwardwhich is
styled by our brave allies hippophagie, or
horse-eating. The subject at this moment is
being seriously and earnestly discussed by
the leading men of science in France; and,
what is more, they follow up precept by
example. The innovation is neither a joke,
nor a wild, unreasonable scheme. There is
no idea of depriving bullocks, sheep, and pigs
of the honour of supplying us with roast meat
and boiled on the majority of ordinary
occasions. There is no project put forth of a
Société Anonyme, with thousands of shares
of a hundred francs each, for the breeding of
ponies for the shambles. Stout cobs and
Suffolk punches are far too serviceable to the
human race to be stalled up to fatten, as the
destiny to which they are born. The horse is the
companion, the fellow-labourer, of man; and
that must ever be his first vocation. But,
say the innovators, there are millions of men,
women, and children in France, who never
taste animal food, or only in infinitesimal
portions; whose stature, strength, and health
are the worse for the want. On the other
hand, there are thousands of horses annually
slainyoung ones, with broken limbs, and
old ones past profitable servicewhose
perfectly wholesome and palatable flesh is utterly
wasted; whose loss, without a pun, is a dead
loss to their owner; and who make no other
material return for their rearing and keep
than the comparatively trifling value of their
skin, hoofs, and bones, which would remain
equally available were their meat consumed.
Then, there are the interests of other parties
to be consulted; I mean, of course, those of
the horses themselves; and on this point,
surely, all the animals' friend societies must
vote with the hippophagists. What is the
fate of a declining horse? We have beheld
it figured in the story of the High-mettled
Racer; from bad to worsefrom sharp
stagecoach work (and diligences still exist) to