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not even slate-pencil. But the penknife was
nothing more than a pretext: I beat him
for his beef. He had the ring-worm, and
it was bruited about afterwards that he was
of Jewish parentage. I believe, when he
began life, he turned out but badly.

I am reminded, however, that the subject
of beef, as a British institution, has already
been treated at some length in this journal.*
I have merely ventured a few remarks on the
bovine topic generally, to preface the
experiences I have to record of some recent
travels in search of beef I have made in the
capital of France. One might employ oneself
better, perhaps, than in transcribing the
results of a week's hankering after the flesh-
pots of Egypt; and surely the journey in
search of bread is long and wearisome enough
that we might take beef as it comes, and
thankfully. But, as I have said, beef is my
mission. I am a collector of bovine
experiences, as some men collect editions of Virgil,
and some Raffaelle's virgins, and some
broad-sides, and some butterflies. And I know
that there are moralities to be found in beef
as well as in the starry heavens and the
vestiges of creation.
* See Volume X. page 113

Let me first sum up all the knowledge I
have acquired on the subject, by stating my
firm conviction that there is no beef in Paris,—
I mean, no beef fit to be eaten by a philobo-sopher.
Some say that the French cut their
meat the wrong way; that they don't hang
it properly; that they don't hang it enough;
that they beat it; that they overcook it.
But I have tasted infinite varieties of French
beef, of the first, second, and third categories.
I have had it burnt to a cinder, and I have
had it very nearly raw. I have eaten it in
private English families resident in Paris,
and dressed by English cooks. It is a delusion:
there is no beef in Lutetia.

The first beef I tried in my last campaign
was the evening I dined at His Lordship's.
Don't be alarmed, my democratic friend. I
am not upon Lord Cowley's visiting list, nor
are any coronetted cards ever left at my door
on the sixth storey. I did not receive a card
from the British Embassy on the occasion of
the last ball at the Hôtel de Ville; and I
am ashamed to confess that, so anxious was I
to partake of the hospitality of the Prefect of
the Seine (the toilettes and the iced punch
are perfect at his balls), that I was mean
enough to foreswear temporarily my nationality,
and to avail myself of the card of Colonel
Waterton Privilege of Harshellopolis, Mass.:
said colonel being at that time, and in all
probability exceedingly sick, in his state-room
of the United States steamer Forked
Lightning, in the middle of the Atlantic
ocean. But, by His Lordship's I mean an
Anglo-French restaurantnamed after a
defunct English city eating-housesituate
near the Place de la Concorde, and where
I heard that real English roast beef was
to be obtained at all hours in first-rate
condition.

Now, there is one thing that I do not
like abroad; yea, two that are utterly
distasteful to me. The one thing is my country-men's
hotels and restaurants. These houses
of refection I have usually found exceedingly
uncomfortable. So I was disposed to look
somewhat coldly upon His Lordship's invitation,
as printed upon placards, and stencilled
on the walls, till I was assured that his beef
was really genuine, and that he was an
Englishman without guile.

His Lordship's mansion I found unpretending,
even to obscurity. There was no
porte-cochère, no courtyard, no gilt railings, nor
green verandahs. His Lorship's hotel was,
in fact, only a little slice of a shop, with one
dining-room over it; for which I was told
he paid an enormous rentsome thousands
of francs a-year. In his window were
displayed certain English viands pleasant to the
sight: a mighty beef-steak pie just cut; the
kidney end of a loin of veal, with real
English stuffing, palpable to sight; some sausages
that might have been pork, and of Epping;
some potatoes in their homely brown jackets,
just out at elbows, as your well-done potatoes
should be, with their flannel under-garments
peeping through; and a spherical mass,
something of the size and shape of a
bomb-shell, dark in colour, speckled black and
white, and that my beating heart told
me was a plum-pudding. A prodigious
Cheshire cheese, rugged as Helvellyn, craggy
as Criffell, filled up the background like a
range of yellow mountains. At the base
there were dark forests of bottles branded
with the names of Allsopp, and Bass, and
Guinness, and there were cheering announcements
framed and glazed, respecting Pale
Ale on draught, L.L. whisky, and Genuine
Old Tom.* I rubbed my hands in glee.
"Ha! ha! " I said internally. "Nothing
like our British aristocracy, after all. The
true stock, sir! May His Lordship's shadow
never diminish."
* Our gallant allies have yet much to learn about our
English manners and customs. Only the other night, in
the Foyer of the Grand Opera, I saw (and you may see it
there still if you are incredulous) a tastefully enamelled
placard, announcing that "genuine Old Tom" was to
be had at the Buftet. Imagine Sir Harcourt Courtley
asking the Countess of Swansdown, in the crush-room of
Covent Garden Theatre, if she would take half a quartern
of gin!

His Lordship's down-stairs' apartment was
somewhat inconveniently crowded with
English grooms and French palefreniers, and
with an incorrigible old Frenchman, with a
pipe as strong as Samson, a cap, cotton in
his ears, and rings in the lobes thereof, who
had learnt nothing of English but the oaths,
and was cursing some very suspicious-looking
meat (not my beef, I hope) most energetically.
I have an opinion that stables and
the perfume thereof are pretty nearly analogous

* Our gallant allies have yet much to learn about our
English manners and customs. Only the other night, in
the Foyer of the Grand Opera, I saw (and you may see it
there still if you are incredulous) a tastefully enamelled
placard, announcing that "genuine Old Tom" was to
be had at the Buftet. Imagine Sir Harcourt Courtley
asking the Countess of Swansdown, in the crush-room of
Covent Garden Theatre, if she would take half a quartern
of gin!

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