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of the bed breaks out with a violent eruption
of innumerable little white pimples,
at first not bigger than pins' heads. It
is actually seized with the mushroom-pox,
which has been communicated to it by
inoculation, or to coin a more correct word,
by the act of mycelation. The pimples daily
grow bigger and bigger. As you watch
them, you see they are coming to a head;
but instead of odious boils and blains,
the result is what you find in Covent
Garden Market, neatly packed in tempting
punnets. A mushroom-bed continues
productive for a month or six weeks, or
thereabouts, after which, you must make another.
So far, about mushrooms in England: let us
now return to those across the water.

Amongst the celebrities of the town of
Lille is a restaurateur who entertains Au
Rocher de Cancale, at the favourite sign of
"The Rock of Cancale." The real rock
is a hump-backed lump jutting above the
surface of the sea, not far from St. Malo, and
just visible from the summit of the famous
Mont St. Michel. Why a granite rock should
be thus selected as the symbol of good living,
is explained by the very general belief that
the choicest oysters of the Channel hold their
rendezvous, or permanent session, there.
Accordingly, the mere words, Rock of Cancale,
are enough to make a gourmand's heart leap.
But, as a great deal more genuine Champagne
wine is drunk than ever was grown in that
historic province; so, if all the oyster shells
were gathered together, which have been
opened as true and native Cancales, they would
go a good way towards filling up the Gulf of
St. Malo, if they were suddenly restored to
their warranted home. There are hundreds
of Cancale Rocks in France, all overhanging
the same sort of benevolent establishment,
but I doubt whether there be one whose
master has undergone more than him of Lille
in furtherance of his recreative heart. He
merits therefore to be known by name; and
I have little fear of giving offence, by
recommending all whom it may concern to taste
the good things of M. Puy, of the Vieux
Marché aux Poules, or Old Chicken Market
which sometimes may have also served as a
market for old chickens.

Everybody is aware that the carte of a
restaurant contains a number of delicacies
which are not to be had. They are not merely
inserted to complete the numberlike stuffed
or painted supernumeraries on a provincial
stage, or leather-backed blocks of wood in a
choice but still deficient library. No! They
are paraded with a refinement of art, to lash
the appetite into a state of irrepressible
keenness, so that what does come to hand at
last, is devoured with as much esurient relish
as if the eater had stood a seven-months'
siege, or had just returned from a voyage
round the world. The knowing reader is also
cognizant that there is something which a
restaurant always has ready; which is often
the very best thing you can get, the foundation-
stone of the reputation of the house, and
of which if you do not speak in terms of
respect, you must not be surprised to be
shown the door. You have seen a Professor
of Legerdemain fool a grass-green spectator
into the idea that he had chosen a card from
the offered pack, when it was a Hobson's
choice impudently forced upon him. In like
manner, the restaurant waiter contrives, that
while you fancy you are ordering a dinner
you being still in crassest ignorancethe
very things for which the place is noted
should be the prominent points of your
impromptu feast. This is well, and I do not
grumble at it, provided that the delicacy be
not tripe. To avoid swallowing the dose,
whatever it may happen to be, is quite a
culinary impossibility. If the dish goes against
the grain, the guest had better rush out of
the house at once. One of the best cooks in
France that I know compels you to eat
chitterlings (andouillets) and roasted lobster,
if any are to be had within twenty miles
round. That, however, is a species of
martyrdom which will be quietly submitted to
with a little practice.

At Puy's, somehow, you find before you
fillet-of-beef steak, with mushroom sauce.
Other things, to be sure, are there, all exceedingly
good of their kind; but what between
the merits of the plat and the insinuating
influence which pervades the place, it would
not be easy to dine there often and refrain
from the steak and its mushroom garnish.
You sin, too, in the midst of a crowd. The
gentleman on the left hand, nearest your
table, acts like a spoiled child with a lump of
plum-cake. He picks out the plums, or
"buttons," one by one, and gobbles them up
to the very last, leaving the vulgarer material
the every-day viand, to shift for itself, and be
consumed or not, as appetite may allow. It
is necessary now to make the statement that
this interminable mushroom feast is entirely
the result of skilful culture, under
circumstances which may be designated as "very

M. Puy is a man of energy. At Lezennes,
a village a little to the south-east of Lille, he
has a garden which produces an abundance
of dainties. Tomatoes, melons, cucumbers,
and all sorts of forced vegetables start from
the earth as if they were escaping for their
life. They find a refuge under glass, when
the open air gives them too cold a reception.
But it is useless to look for mushrooms there.
And yet they are nearer than you might

Besides his garden and his fields above-
ground, M. Puy is lord of a subterranean
realm. Other potentates have found their
dominions so vast and straggling, as to become,
in the end unwieldy and dangerous. Exactly
such is the fact with M. Puy. Suppose, to
bring the case home to yourself, that any
kind benefactor were to bequeath to you as