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paid well. Amongst the former was a president
of one of the courts, of whom Menage
(who suppresses his name, only giving the
initial letter) says, "When this good fellow
began to feel the effects of his wine, it gave
him so much pleasure that, in order to
remember to get drunk again next day, he
stuck pins into the sleeve of his coat."

To La Guerbois also came the celebrated
farmer-general, M. de Bechamel, Marquis de
Nointel, who has bequeathed his name to
gastronomy. It was, we are told, enough to
re-awaken the appetite of the satiated, to see
the marquis with his lace cuffs turned up,
fire in his eye, and eloquence on his lips,
arranging with his own hands the sauces
financiers, in which he so skilfully combined
his mushrooms and spices. Thither, too, he
was in the habit of sending from his own
house in the Hue des Petits Champs the
patties and vol-au-vents which had been
elaborated under his own eyes, and were eaten
hot by himself and friends from the ovens of
La Guerbois. There can be little doubt that
Moliere had M. de Bechamel in his mind
when he drew out the bill of fare which
Dorante, on the authority of Damis, recommends
to the bourgeois gentilhomme. M. de
Bechamel was so fond of his art, that he drew
up, under the name of his cook, Lebas, a
series of gastronomic precepts in verse, which
he dedicated to different persons of quality.
He even had them set to music, and sung to
popular tunes. For instance, his receipt for
dressing partridges after the Spanish fashion
was set to the air Petits oiseaux, rassurez-vous
(Little birds, take courage), and ran
thus:

"Du vin, de l'huile et du citron,
Coriandre et la rocambole,
Dans ce ragout à l'Espagnole,
Le tout ensemble sera bon."

With the addition of a Spanish town, to help
the rhyme, these lines may be thus
rendered:

"Wild garlic, coriander,
"With lemon, oil, and wine,
Form the sauce which, at Santander,
Makes partridges divine!"

He had also a cullis of crayfish arranged
to the tune of Petits moutons qui dans la
plaine (Little sheep that in the plain), as
follows:

"Les écrevisses bien pileés,
Mitonnez-les dans du bouillon;
Joignez-y du pain qui soit bon,
Et que toutes soit bien passées."

Verse will hardly help us here, so take the
receipt in plain prose: Pound your crayfish
well, and let them simmer gently in gravy;
add a little of the finest bread, and strain
all carefully through a colandera very
complete way of obtaining the essence of crayfish.

Marshal d' Estrées was as learned in
wines, as his friend M. de Bechamel in choice
dishes. He it was who first introduced into
the cabarets of Paris the exquisite wines
which were made on his estate of Sillery.
His wife always presided, during the vintage,
over the making of this wine, while the
marshal presided at the drinking. Sillery
champagne, consequently, bears the name of
Vin de la Maréchale, in honour of the lady,
and many a toast coupled with her name was
drunk at the cabaret of La Guerbois.

A curious gastronomic wager was once
decided at this tavern. Prince Henry of
Bourbon, the son of the Great Condé, was
supping there with a number of his friends.
Prince de Conti, who was a tremendous
bore, kept hammering away at one eternal
theme, the extraordinary appetite of his
beagles. "My kennels absolutely ruin me,"
said he; "I can't tell what possesses the dogs,
but they eat at least a thousand crowns'
worth every month!"

"Indeed!" exclaimed Prince Henry; "I'll
bet you anything you please, not one of them
can eat at a meal so much as my servant,
La Guiche."

"When we are again at Versailles,"
returned Conti, "I will back a certain beagle
of mine against him."

"Very good; but in the mean time I
should like you to see what the fellow can
do. Look here; it will soon be midnight. I
will wager a thousand louis that La Guiche
eats up the whole of that piece of meat while
the clock is striking twelve." Prince Henry
pointed, as he spoke, to an enormous shoulder
of mutton that had not been touched.

"He can't get through half of it,"
exclaimed Conti; "it's a bet."

"Done!" replied Condé, and La Guiche
was sent for.

He was a little wiry fellow; and, when he
was told of the wager, the grin he gave
developed a set of teeth that a wolf might have
been proud of. It wanted ten minutes to the
hour, and in the interim La Guiche made his
preparations. He seated himself before the
shoulder of mutton, cut every particle of
meat off the bone, arranged it in twelve
portions, and remained, fork in hand, in an
attitude of expectation. At the first stroke he
swallowed two of the immense morsels; at
the sixth he was one ahead, and took advantage
of the fact to swallow a goblet of vin de
Beaune which his master handed to him.
The ninth stroke sounded, and the glutton
exhibited symptoms of being beaten. The
Prince de Conti shouted with exultation at
the prospect of winning, for ten strokes had
gone and two pieces remained.

"A hundred louis for yourself," cried
Condé, "and the stewardship of my hotel in
the Marais, if you gain the wager! Make
another effort!"

La Guiche made a superb rally; he drove
his fork into the remaining pieces, and took
them in at one swallow; but he fell on the
floor, black in the face, and all but suffocated,
as the clock left off striking.

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