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of him. It was but a day gone, and
Joe had brought the tears into my eyes; they
had soon dried, God forgive me! soon dried.


THE stomach is a mighty magician. Into its
universal maw are thrust the most varied
materials drawn from every corner and crevice of
Nature: solids and fluids, of stable and unstable
combination, animals and plants, minerals and
salts, all of which are mixed and ground, moistened
and mashed, torn asunder, taken to
pieces, and formed anew into a kind of broth,
which is always, and in all men, the same broth,
no matter how different may have been the
materials from which it was formed. Nature, by
the endless combinations of a few elements,
produces endless diversities of inorganic and
organic life. The stomach clutches these, and
reduces their diversity to simplicity. The world
is ransacked for food; and the food is made
into blood. Races and nations differ in the
substances they feed on, and in the way they
feed on them, but all these differences disappear
in the final result; the blood of one race and
one nation is the same as the blood of all races.
So also the cow eats grass and turnip,
converting them into blood; the lion declines those
succulent vegetables, but feasts upon the cow,
and yet converts this food into nothing better
than blood.

It is the same with cooking. Wonderfully
various are the means men have hit upon for
preparing their food, to make it easy of
digestion, pleasant of taste. In these they have
been guided by instinct, and occasionally
enlightened by knowledge. But all means point
to the same end. Climates differ, modes of life
differ, tastes differ, prejudices differ. The
Greenlander gorging himself with pounds of
seal's flesh and train oil, would look with
wondering contempt on the Hindoo, distending
himself with rice and rancid butter. The
Abyssinian who likes his stake raw, cut from the
living animal, would hardly comprehend the
Parisian's fancy for a stake stewed into strings,
and disguised in brown gravies. The
Neapolitan refreshing himself with juicy cocomero,
might sniff at the German exhilarating himself
with sausages and raw ham.

How various were the articles of food, and the
habits which prevailed at meals, among ancient
peoples, may be gathered from existing records;
and these have been put together by Dr. Reich, of
Bern, in one of those elaborately erudite treatises
which only Germans have the patience to
compose. The book is called "Die Nahrungs und
Genussmittelkunde," and has a pathetic interest
thrown over it from the fact that it was written
in years of such hunger, cold, and misery, that
in closing the preface to the first part, the
author says he is on the brink of the grave, and
may not survive to complete what he has so
laboriously commenced. Much of this work is
meant for a scientific public only, but we shall
borrow from its more popular pages a few details
to exemplify our position respecting the varieties
of food and its preparation.

The Greeks were at all times less of gourmets
than the Romans. In Homer's time their
appetites were no doubt heroic enough, and huge
havoc was made on swine's flesh, when the chance
was afforded; but even on princely tables
nothing more recherché was found than bread,
beef, mutton, pork, and goat's flesh, always
prepared in the same way. Nor even among the
later Greeks was there any great expenditure of
ingenuity in cookery. Plain roast, with olives,
lemons, figs, pomegranates, apples, pears, melons,
and a few vegetables seem to have made up their
list of eatables; if we add to the roasts, an
occasional dog or donkey, and a rabbit or hare,
the list still seems small. The Greeks took three
meals dailybreakfast, dinner, and supper. The
first was a very simple affair, consisting of bread
dipped in wine. Supper, which answers to our
dinner, was the chief meal. The early Greeks
sat down to their meals, but the later Greeks
borrowed from the East the practice of reclining
on cushions. They took off their sandals, and
washed hands and feet before commencing; a
practice all the more commendable since they
ate with their fingers, and wiped their fingers on
bread-crumbs. Our "silver fork school" would
have had its feelings painfully outraged at the
idea of Pericles and Aspasia without a fork,
using as such the crusts of bread, which crusts,
when they became too moist, were thrown under
the table, and snapped up by expectant dogs.
Indeed, the fork is a modern invention; and
was not the product of English genius, though
in England it has been carried to its greatest
eminence. It arose in Italy, in the later half of
the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century
it was introduced to the French Court as a
brilliant novelty; and only in 1608 was first
brought to England by Thomas Coryat. Yet it
is suspected there were gentlemen even among
those forkless persons.

But this is a digression. The Greeks ate
without a fork or spoon. Soup they managed
to drink out of bowls, as impatient juveniles
have been known to drink it in our own time; or
else they sopped bread in it. During the meal
no wine was drunk; but when the eating was
over, and the hands had a second time been
washed, wine, generally mixed with water, was
handed round. Water, wine, and milk were the
only drinks of the Greeks; other drinks were
despised as barbaric. The sexes always ate

The Romans began, of course, as simple
feeders, but in process of time became such
gourmets as the world has not since seen.
Pulse, bread, fruit, vegetables, and only a few
meats, with wine and water, were the staple
food of the early Romans; then came beer; and
then, as the conquest of the world brought them
more and more into contact with various
customs, the list of articles and the modes of
preparation became longer and more various.
Then came the search after rarities. The livers
of nightingales, the brains of flammingos, the

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