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we have, champagne or bordeaux? " said I to
a Frenchman whom I wanted to reward for
talking, as well as to set him talking a little
more. " Champagne is the more noble," he
answered, after deep consideration; " but it
is five francs the bottle. The bordeaux here
is good, and costs only thirty sous. One
bottle of bordeaux will fortify our stomachs
better than two bottles of champagne; and
for one bottle of champagne we can have
three of bordeaux, with ten sous to spare for
something else. Let us drink bordeaux,
monsieur, if you please." And bordeaux we did

I have heard of physicians prescribing port,
madeira, hock, sherry, and even brandy-and-water,
to their convalescents; I have known
them order effervescent drinks, as seltzer,
soda, and other waters, mixed solutions of
acids and alkalis that throw off, on meeting,
a whiff of fresh-made gas; but I never knew
a doctor recommend champagne. On the
contrary, French medical men have told me
that persons who make a daily practice of
drinking champagne at their meals, although
not in excess, do themselves no good by it.
Before the invention of chloroform, a Parisian
surgeon, observing that drunken men often
inflicted serious injury upon themselves without
suffering pain from it at the time, conceived
the idea of inebriating his patients
with champagne before operating upon them.
Some cases succeeded well; in others, the
reaction had baneful effects; in a few the
patient was excited to frenzy, and became
unmanageable. The system was not
persevered in.

Champagne is deficient in one of the most
meritorious qualities of winethe length of
time it may be kept to advantage.
Champagne, unlike friendship as it ought to be,
does not improve with the lapse of years. I
was surprised to be told that the oldest wine
in M. Jacquesson's cellars was of the forty-nine
vintage. The old age of champagne is
inglorious. A bin of leaky bottles, with the
string rotted, the wires rusty, the gas escaped,
and the sweetness turned to bitter mould and
fiat mustiness, is a thing to be got rid of at
once with as little ceremony as possible.
Burgundy and port often terminate their
spun of existence with all the glories of a
gorgeous sunset; champagne, if suffered to
survive so long, is apt to go out like a tallow
candle burnt into the socket.

Nowhere is champagne the common
beverage of the people (which diminishes its title
to respect, and is almost a just ground for
separating and distinguishing it from wine
proper), any more than pastry is anywhere
their daily bread. Champagne is the
confectionary of wine-making; and both that and
pastry are superfluous luxuries. Neither a
garrison in a state of siege, nor a populous
island on which provisions ran short, with no
immediate supply at hand, would think of
brewing champagne or making puff tarts.
The precise epoch during a repast at which
champagne is usually drunk is different in
England from what it is in France,—John
Bull proving himself the more sensible.
We trifle with the seducer during dinner;
the French yield themselves up to
him at dessert, and when they once begin,
they often go on. If a feast must be ennobled
by the presence of champagne, in compliance
with the ladies' wishes (who, ever since the
days of Eve, have desired to partake of what
does them least good), my dictum is, to serve
to each person present one large well-filled
glass, containing not less than a quarter of a
pint, and to make it instantly vanish, bottles
and wine, for the rest of the evening from the
dining-room. Champagne's real place is not
at a dinner, but at a ball. A cavalier may
appropriately offer, at propitious intervals, a
glass now and then to his danceress. There,
it takes its fitting rank and position amongst
feathers, gauzes, lace, embroidery, ribbons,
white satin shoes, and eau de Cologne. It is
simply one of the elegant extras of life; and
far should I be from condemning it in its
way. But we must not let it give itself too
many airs because it is a dandy gentleman.
It ought not to push into the background of
neglect and disesteem, the more solid and
generally useful elixirs of life.


"LET go the anchor!"—Grating and harsh the sound
As the rouglh chain unwound its shrieking coils,
And after noiseless motion, scarce perceived,
Our gallant ship swung slowly,—bows to land.

Then grew the bay all picture; sound was none.
A thousand sails deep-tinted, strange of shape,
Swell'd seaward; thousand paddles flapp'd the calm;
A thousand dusk faces soon look'd up,
Laige-eyed, and ivory-tooth'd, and gentle-voiced,
And spoke in syllables that died away
Like music; and at intervals a hand,
Small, feminine, with grace in every move,
Holds up a flower. Oh! beautiful the forms
Of those lithe Naiads, with the simple band
Pendant from flexile waist; and soft the smiles
They shed, impartial, over all the ship,—
On captain, bronzed with fifty years of storm,—
Staid mate, important, stepping stem and stern,—
And middy, wild with wonder at the scene.

Shoreward, white tents were dotted round the bay,
With statelier buildings mix'd, but simple all,
Rough trunks close-fitted, yet with chinks between
Where herbage grew, cross-barr'd with bands of pine,
And roof'd with glistening canes. There kings reside,
Kings and great lords, stewards and chamberlains,
Stickless as yet, unstarr'd, unribbanded,
The half-clothed marquises of Owaihee!

Far inland, like cathedral's lifted dome,
Rose a rude shape, half-lost amid the blue,
A cloud, unchanging in its form so still
The summer air self-balanced as a tower.
Fit canopy of gloom and grandeur, piled
Above the molten sea that seethes and boils
Within the lofty hill where Belah dwells,—
Belah, dread goddess! whose low-whisper' d name
Shattered, the stoutest hearts like words of doom.

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