網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

ourselves in fashionable costume were becoming im- catalogue now before us. A laborious undertaking it pressive to certain young ladies of rank and fortune, must have been ; but it was, we are told, a labour of a cry arose from the direction of the inn, and down love, with success for its only, yet adequate reward. rushed one of the waiters towards us, waving the Equally profound and clear, it is calculated to horrid thing in his hand, and shouting that some gent give elementary knowledge to the previously uninhad left his umbrella behind him.

formed, and to extend the specific information of the We knew indeed that it was a shabby one; but archæologist. But it is in its former capacity we never before that moment, when it was held aloft have to deal with it on the present occasion; and amid the general laughter and contempt, had we therefore it is to the many who, whatever their had any conception how very disreputable and even floating notions on the subject of Irish antiquities debauched its appearance was.

may be, prefer, like the immortal M. Jourdain, that •Whose can it be?' cried one of our fair friends in their instructor should proceed as if they had none at convulsions of merriment.

all, we now say: 'Come and place yourselves, with We can't imagine,' cried we: 'there must be some us, under Mr Wilde's guidance; and let us follow mistake. I daresay it belongs to poor Boots.' him through the grim and dingy treasures of three

Surely,' cried one of our long-vacation party sections of the Dublin Antiquarian Museum.' Grim maliciously, being consumed with envy at our popu- and dingy indeed, yet appealing to our sympathies, by larity with the beautiful heiresses—surely that must the claim irresistible, when pondered, of their human be your favourite old umbrella.'

interest. These rude unshapely stones around are Yes, sir, cried the waiter snappishly: 'No. 15; not bones or footprints of some mighty monster of the that was the party's room, sir; and the party's name pre-Adamite earth; these vegetable remains are no is scratched, I see, upon the stick.'

fossilised branches of its giant flora, waking our vague Amidst roars of laughter, we were obliged to wonder, and drawing largely upon our imagination. confess to the proprietorship of the disgraceful object. These relics come more nearly home: they have all

“Remember the waiter, please, sir,' urged the been hewn out in the sweat of the brow of our brotherofficious menial. “I ran down as quick as I could for man; more, they have been the weapons of his warfear of your losing it.'

fare against human foes--some, of his better warfare “Yes,' said we, with withering sarcasm; 'in remem- against the stubborn soil ; others were the decorations brance of your kind attention, you may keep the dear and significant to him as ours to us-others, umbrella all to yourself.'

the implements that ministered to his sense of comThe mischief, however, had been done ; and for any fort in his temporary home; these, the altars sanctiattention, not to say kindness, that was thenceforth fied by the form of his ignorant worship-those, the paid to us, we might just as well have been among monuments made sacred by his tears for his beloved the steerage-passengers. A new silk umbrella, we had dead. The whole represent, or form an unwritten hisnever been able to keep above two months; but the tory of our species in the earliest stage of their being, old gingham, you see, stuck to us whether we would or while as yet the use of metals had not been learned. not. Now, we put it to the reader, does not this Availing ourselves of the system of classification pretty effectively dispose of the popular paradox: adopted by our guide, and relieved to find that, in

Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take the absence of positive chronological information, it care of themselves.' That is to say: 'Be careful in is a simple one referring to material and use, we little matters, and you will surely be prudent enough know beforehand what we are going to look at-no in great affairs. As though the celebrated miser, inconsiderable point gained. In the first place, at Elwes, had not been accustomed to walk away from class one-Stone materials subdivided into three orders the gambling-house where he had lost his thousands, -flint, stone, and crystal; next, at class two-Earthen to meet, in polished leathers, his muddy sheep, and materials, comprising clay and pottery, glass and see that they were cared for upon their road to enamel; then at class three, which includes wood, Smithfield. As though there were not countless amber, and jet. Such is the primary division, so far speculators upon 'Change this day, who have risked as it concerns us on the present occasion, for animal their all twice over, and yet would think it wild and metallic materials, as well as for excepted classes, extravagance to return home by cab instead of omni- form no part of the first volume of this remarkable bus. Nay, as though there were no antidote to catalogue. The secondary division is according to be found among proverbs themselves, for such a use, and contains twelve species: 1. The earliest poisonous paradox, in the simple saw of 'Penny wise necessity of savage communities--weapons offensive and pound foolish.'

and defensive against man and beast. 2. Weapon tools. 3. Food-implements, almost all of them as

familiar in name as they are diverse in materials and CATALOGUE OF THE IRISH ACADEMY structure from their modern representatives-oldMUSEUM.

world means for present ends. 4. Household econ

omy, comprising articles of domestic use, aid to the AMONGST the books of general interest in which our toilet, models of habitations. 5. Dress and personal day abounds, we may fairly begin to give catalogues decoration. 6. Amusement. 7. Music. 8. Money. a place. They are no longer uninviting columns 9. Medicine--that is, magical medicine, with crystals of hard names, additional perplexities to the un- and amulets for its pharmacopæia. 10. Religion. learned: they are becoming interesting and suggestive 11. Sepulture, including relics illustrative both of companions ; friendly guides, combining simplicity of the heathen and Christian mode of hiding their dead plan with minuteness of detail; teaching us how to out of their sight. And 12. Miscellanea-objects observe, as well as telling us what to observe. It is arranged according to material, but the uses of which happy for us that there are such works, for few of our are problematical. searches after pleasure prove more utter failures than First in order, then, we glance at a tray of flintvisits to museums, galleries, collections of any kind, flakes of various hues and sizes ; flint, the steel of without the clue a systematic and explanatory cata- those olden times when iron was slumbering in the logue affords. This holds good especially of anti- earth’s veins, unguessed at and unneeded, for it is quarian museums, where there is comparatively little marvellous how much and well flint could do, when to attract the eye, and things by no means tell their it was to be had. Flint proper, however, is by own tale. The Museum of the Royal Irish Academy no means abundant in Ireland. We should be has had rare service done to it by Mr Wilde in his rather puzzled to chip those flakes so cleverly now,

[ocr errors]

especially with flint for our only tool; and how those materials, so they differ in workmanship, some of we call barbarians conquered the difficulty, must them being blunt and clumsy, others elegant in form remain as yet matter of conjecture. We are rather and elaborate in polish-marvellous to behold indeed, comforted by supposing that they failed sometimes, when we reflect that all this symmetry and precision for we find a large collection of rude and shapeless was the result of no better tool than another stone objects, evidently the production of "'prentice hands,' afforded. An immense amount of skill and toil and thrown aside as useless.

must have gone to the turning out of a 'first-rate Next, we have flint sling-stones, carefully shaped article, in those days of honest and unpuffed manuand polished, looking at which, all, even the youngest facture. These celts were formidable weapons, no of our party, is reminded of the smooth stones out of doubt, in the hands of their namesakes. It is generthe brook which the ruddy shepherd-boy chose for ally believed that they were first used as a mere his weapons, although the heavy sword and armour- hand-tool, and subsequently fixed in a cleft stick. of-proof of Israel's king were ready for his use. It is thus that some South-sea Islanders use them Very fatal these sling-stones were in the hands of at the present time. Some late researches tend to skill, even when these were feminine hands; a fair shew that the French celt, as might be expected, was Kathleen, in dim distant times, having thus killed more elegantly fitted into the hollow portions of a Balor, a one-eyed chieftain. A less fortunate Amazon, stag's horn.* But perforated celts are very rare in Meane, Queen of Connaught, fell victim to a stone, Ireland. Whether celts were exclusively weapons or slung across the Shannon by a cowardly Ulster prince, exclusively tools, is a nice little open question for who took dishonourable advantage of an unsuspecting the scientific to differ upon. The chances are that a hour when she was bathing in that beautiful river. celt was turned to many purposes, and hacked down Equally fatal was a sling-stone to the poetess Dubh a tree as well as a foe. It has come to peaceful - warlike muse, no doubt—who fell down into the uses in its later days. The weavers in the north of Linn, a dark pool of the Liffey; whence comes the Ireland rejoice to find a smooth celt to rub on their name of her country's capital, Dubhlinn, or, as we cloth, thus giving it the desired gloss. There is one write it, Dublin.

in the Museum of green felstone, stained bluish,' From sling.stones, we pass to arrow-heads of every and marked with mysterious lines and scratches variety; from the simple triangle to the more con- much like Ogham characters. Before, however, any venient stemmed arrow, the true barbed arrow and imaginative archæologist had translated them into a the delicate leaf-shaped—the connecting-link between meaning, the Rev. Dr Graves discovered their recent the arrow and the most perfect manufacture of the origin. The blue turned out to be caught from the weapon class, that of the spear. But before we indigo dye of a linsey-woolsey petticoat, the tracery leave the arrows, we must allude to the ancient thereon being perhaps the work of the weaver's child, superstitions that among the northern peasantry who no more dreamed of perplexing the erudite attributed to them certain malignant influences. than did Aiken Drum of misleading the worthy This fact gives us some idea of their remote anti- Monkbarns into his splendid day-dream of Agricola's quity, since we find that at a very early date these Prætorium. stone-weapons were looked on as relics of a far- From the five hundred and twelve specimens the distant period, and wondered at as now. The Nor. Irish Academy Museum possesses, we pass on to wegians called them thunder-stones; the Gaels, elf- what implies a decided advance in art-the stonedarts; nay, the popular mind still pronounces them hammers, of which we have here several varieties, as uncanny, connects them with the falling away of one resembling a good deal in its form the hammer that family-prop, the cow; and the cattle-doctor, by of our own day. In Scotland, so we are told by Dr some legerdemain, is sure to verify the theory by D. Wilson, these hammers were often found in old producing a fairy missile or two-found, he avers, in cists; and superstition explained the fact by supits skin-which being, upon some homeopathic prin- posing that the owner had wanted them to knock ciple, placed in the water the animal drinks, is known with at the gate of purgatory. to effect a cure. Curious this popular poetising of We glance next at objects the use of which involves what was once matter-of-fact everyday implements, the acquaintance with metals, such as whetstones, appealing no more to the fancy of those who aimed burnishers, touchstones, and moulds for casting. We them, than the Minié-balls our soldiers ram down look with peculiar interest at primitive stone ploughinto their rifles do to theirs. Time has ever some shares and grain-rubbers for triturating corn- the gradual growth of legend to green over the dryest fact. latter an implement of incalculable antiquity, since

The line of demarcation between large arrow and the rotatory querns we come to next have been in small spear-heads is, we are told, difficult to draw; use since the earliest historic period; we notice one and we are led to suppose that such specimens may specimen of a stone drinking-bowl, very few of which have been turned to either use as the case required. have come down to our time; we give a passing But we proceed to flint-tools, invariably made of glance at the stone buttons, beads, and armlets, that the best and hardest flints, which are generally of once gratified the innate love of decoration man in a yellow or orange hue. Here we have the picks, all ages exhibits; we are glad to find what we punches, points, piercers, and chisels, or, as we gener- assume to be traces of his amusements in fourteen ally find them called, celts, with which the early decorated, domino-like pieces of sandstone ; and now inhabitants of Ireland wrought in wood, horn, leather, our eye rests with interest on the sheen of two and stone alike; for all these flints—unmentioned in crystal balls, one of whichi, of two inches and an the earliest existing records-belong to the pre- eighth in diameter, is reported to have belonged to metallic period.

the regalia of Scotland, globes of crystal having been We pass next to the weapons of softer stone, and commonly set in sceptres; the other was found in tools which were hard enough to work with in wood. the county of Kilkenny, and has no known history Under this head we have swords, knives, cleavers, attached to it. Crystal balls and ovals are frequent and, above all, we have celts-so called from the in British collections of antiquities, the smaller Latin word celtis, a chisel—the most widely distri- kind having evidently belonged to shrines, whence, buted of stone-implements. Ireland and Scotland no doubt, their supposed healing powers arose. alike abound with them, and they are to be found This Kilkenny ball we look at here--was it like of every species of native rock, from the brittle that celebrated globe, now in the possession of the sandstone and the soft micaceous schist, to the sharp-edged silex and compact porphyry. As in * See Dr D. Wilson's valuable work on Scotch archæology.

1

Marquis of Waterford, brought from the Holy Land by string before the pearl; and the savages, whether in some returning crusader—has it, too, been placed in arctic or tropic regions-grown children as they are running streams, through which sick cattle have been -like nothing so well. Blue and white appear to driven to and fro; or has it served as a magic-mirror, have been the favourite colours in porcellaneous gazing into which the omnipotent fancy of a yearn- enamel, that link between pottery and glass. We ing heart has seen in weird procession pass the are told that it is impossible to decide when glass changed, the loved, the lost,' the absent and the was first introduced into or manufactured in Ireland. dead ? Nay, if we held it in our own hands, might We return to order one, class two, to contemplate, we possibly contrive to see something within its under species nine, a number of Irish cinerary urns. globe ? Modern superstition has of late years taken These Dr Wilde has, he tells us, found difficult to the occult properties of crystal balls into grave con- classify, since, in the absence of metallic weapons, or sideration; and no further back than the year of the other relics that define date, chronological arrangeGreat Exhibition, more than one grave professional ment becomes impossible—the skill they display and mind-to say nothing of more facile and fanciful the varieties they exhibit being probably indexes of believers—did positively hold that wonders were to their relative value, or characteristic of peculiar races, be seen in them by the clear eye of childhood. rather than data to fix their epoch. There is every

We have now arrived at species ten; and under reason to suppose that urn-burial was not the earliest the head of religion, we have altar-stones, and the form of sepulture adopted in Ireland, but that the model of a stone enclosure in the deer-park of bodies of their chiefs were interred entire within their Hazlewood, county Sligo. In such stone enclo- cromlech-chambers, in ghastly splendour, with their sures it is with good reason supposed that the cruel favourite animals to bear them company. Hundreds mysteries of Druidical worship were carried on, and of these cromlechs are still to be seen with chambers possibly solemn assemblies or courts of justice held. capable of containing one or more human bodies in Sligo is rich in remains of this kind, the largest whatever attitude placed. collection of circles and cromlechs in the British Urns, whatever their position, erect or inverted, are Islands being, according to Dr Petrie's statement, not found to contain fragments of human bones which far distant from the one this model represents. have unquestionably been subjected to fire. In addi

Under the head of sepulture we have, as might be tion to these, those of minor animals are found less expected, much to occupy our attention. The small calcined, which leads to the conjecture that these square stone grave, or kistvaen, containing a single animals were thrown on the expiring embers of the cinerary urn; the collection of urns that mark the funeral pile. Most of the urns in this collection are site of an ancient cemetery; the large stone circle or formed by the hand alone, and were probably made oblong enclosure, popularly called a giant's grave,' the with whatever materials came readiest, and baked huge barrow (the western type of the true Oriental on the spot. Some of them, however, appear to have pyramid), the rude pillar-stone, the Ogham-inscribed been far more carefully made. The most beautiful monolith, the sculptured cross, wayside monument, mortuary urn ever discovered in the British Isles is stone-coffin, &c.—'all affording examples of the use so like in form and pattern to the echinus, common of stone materials in sepulchral rites.' There is a on our shores, that it is probable the artist took that large collection of pillar-stones inscribed with Ogham shell for model. It is composed of very fine clay, and characters ; a kind of circling which some antiquaries possesses a handle, which is rare. This pretty little believe to have been invented by the Scythian pro- urn, which is but two inches and one-eighth high, and genitors of the Danish race, and introduced into three and three-quarters wide, was found to contain Ireland about thirteen centuries before the Christian baby-bones. It was enclosed in a much larger and

A few of these curious stones have been found ruder urn—perhaps mother and child were burnt in Wales and Scotland, and one in Shetland; but it is together; and yet we think that this delicate little in Kerry and Cork they most abound. Just noticing urn must have been chosen, if not designed, by a that these inscriptions generally present proper mother's love. Some years back, cromlechs, we are names in the genitive case, as do the ancient monu- told, were held to be Druid altars; but a discovery mental inscriptions of Cornwall and Wales, we leave made in the Phænix Park twenty years ago has gone Ogham for sculptured stones on which Irish inscrip- far to prove them • uncovered tumuli

, which originally tions may still be traced, such as, “A prayer for contained sepulchral remains. It may be stated Bran,'' A prayer for Dunciad the Presbyter. Amidst here that both cromlech and urn burial in Ireland inscriptions like these, we are struck by a bass-relief, are pre-historic. Passing over Chinese seals, which said.to commemorate the destruction of Ireland's last have been formerly noticed in this Journal,* we now wolf by a noble dog belonging to the O'Dowd. prepare to follow our guide to the third class—that of

We have now come to the second class—that vegetable materials. of earthen materials, under which are included, as Although the timber of the forest must, as Mr sole representatives of the tool species, four small Wilde remarks, have been the material of man's crucibles; the food-implement and domestic economy earliest weapons of protection or offence, as well as departments being more fully illustrated by sundry of his earliest habitations, yet, from its decaying glazed jars, known under the name of bellarmines nature, we cannot, in Ireland's humid climate, expect or greybeards, bottles, smoking-pipes of primitive to find any very ancient relics, save those which the fashion, small-bowled and thick-shanked, but not so peat-bogs have preserved for us. old as we might suppose. Then we have pavement Both history and tradition, and the still more infaltiles, more or less glazed and ornamented, well lible peat-moss records, aver that the Emerald Isle worthy the attention of those interested in tesselated was once well covered with wood. Far down beneath work.

the surface of its oldest bogs, traces of oaks, yews, In order two, class two, species five, according to and pines of stupendous size are still found. Even Mr Wilde's lucid system of arrangement, we come to within the period of modern history, we have accounts glass and enamel articles of decoration. It is suggested of extensive forests as still existing. A few indigenthat one of the very first uses of glass was that of ous woods still remain, but the fir is scarce in these. personal adornment'; and until we have learned to No weapons or tools of great antiquity having come connect costliness with beauty, and difficulty of down to the present day, we pass on to species three attainment with pride of possession, it does--with its —that of food-implements; and amongst these, our sparkle and its rainbow colours - seem admirably adapted for it. The child would choose the bead- # See No. 414, New Series for December 6, 1851, p. 364.

era.

attention is peculiarly attracted by some ancient causeways, but they were generally insulated. These boats, of which there were two kinds in use in very beaver-like habitations afford several indications of early times : the curragh, composed of wicker-work, the changes that have taken place in the face of the and covered with hide; and the single-piece canoe. country between their day and ours: their subAncient curraghs of course no longer exist; but we merged condition shewing us how great the spread have two specimens of the canoe in this museum, the of water has been ; while from additions made to first measuring twenty-two feet in length, and about the height of the stockades, and from traces of fire two in breadth, flat-bottomed, round-prowed, and at different elevations, it may be inferred that square-sterned. In this boat-discovered below the this spread had, owing to the decrease of timber surface of a marsh on the Wexford coast-were two and increase of bog, begun during their period of rollers, apparently for the purpose of getting it out occupation. to sea, and a small bowl for baling. The second The first craunoge ever examined was one at specimen is sharp at both ends, lighter, narrower, Lagore, near Dunshaughlin, county Meath. Lookand thinner. Its width is but twelve inches; its ing into the authorities, we find this craunoge to be length, twenty-one feet three inches, and it is per- the first alluded to. Loch Gabhair is said to have fectly flat at the bottom. Passing on rather quickly, been one of the nine lakes which burst forth in for our visit to the Museum lias been a long one, we Ireland, 3581 A. M.* Its discovery in 1839 was notice a rope made of 'three strands of heath,' and accidental-as we phrase it-in looking for one thing, are informed that heath-ropes, though becoming very another was found. The lake around had been rare, are not absolutely unknown in Ireland in modern drained within the memory of man, and the cravnoge times. Next, we observe spades and forks, one of bore the appearance of a circular mound of about the latter, a colossal implement indeed-seven feet 520 feet in circumference. Some labourers having and five inches in length, with prongs of more than met with several large bones while clearing the & yard. The Academy possesses an extensive col-stream-way, the fact became known; bone-collectors lection of kneading-troughs, dishes, bowls, and tables, came, and so the craunoge, with its vast collection all made of one single piece of wood. The small of antiquities, was revealed. Structures very similar portable table to which our attention is called, is in character have been discovered in the lakes of supported by legs of only four inches and a half Switzerland in the year 1853–4, where, the winter high; and the natural inference drawn is, that those having been unusually dry and cold, the lake-level who used it, sat round it on the ground. It is was depressed in proportion; and one or two have also probable that, when wanted, it served as a also been described as existing in Scotland. kneading-trough. Next come milk-pails and butter- With the vegetable materials, the first volume of prints, one of which looks as if it would still turn Mr Wilde's invaluable catalogue ends, and rejoicing out neat, flower-patterned pats. Of methers—drink- to hear that the remainder of it is in progress, we ing-vessels so called because mead or metheglin was close our present survey of the Irish Academy quaffed out of them—this museum boasts twenty Museum. -some very ancient indeed. The mether and its handles was always formed of a single piece of wood, but the bottom was separate, and inserted into a

JOHN BULL'S DINNER AT NING-PO. groove. In methers of the simplest make, this bottom We are all familiar with the story of the Englishman piece was probably pressed into its place after the who interrogated his Chinese host as to the character vessel had been soaked in water, and secured there of a relishing dish on which he was feeding, by a by its contraction in drying.

significant repetition of the words, Quack, quack, Species four includes several wooden articles of quack?' and how the mandarin replied by simply domestic use, all of considerable antiquity, such as pronouncing, with a gesture of negation as to the candlesticks, beetles, bodkins, stamps, &c.; many of hypothesis, the expressive monosyllables, ‘Bow, wow, them found in craunoges. It is with some of the wow!'-thus tracing the agreeable viand to a canine information Mr Wilde supplies on this head that we instead of an anserine origin. shall conclude our present article ; but first we must Again, our ordinary idea of a Celestial breakfast, notice, under the head of domestic use, an ancient dinner, or supper, is expressed by the formula, waxed tablet-book of pine, found in one of the bogs boiled rice, and hunger for sauce. Looking at it of Derry, on the four sheets of which the letters are in a general way, this may not be so far wrong; but traced with a sharp point, and still very legible in there is more than this to be told about the culinary places. The character is Irish, but the language arrangements of our tea-producers on the other side Latin. After all the trouble of deciphering it, it of the globe. appears to have been 'little better than mere scrib- If we are to judge in this matter from a report in bling - Exercises in grammar and dialectics. Pos- a recent number of the Times, the Chinese 'cooking sibly the scholar of the eleventh century, to whom animal,' man, has often something better to do than these tablets may have belonged, did dream of immor- merely boiling rice and stewing dog's meat. Accordtality for some work of his, but he could never have ing to the shewing of 'Our Special Correspondent,' supposed that these memoranda would, after six Paris itself must yield the palm to Ning-po, and centuries, excite the interest of posterity!

Very hide his diminished head before the superior To return to craunoges. These were stockaded or merit of mine host of the Gallery of the Imperial little wooden islands, many of which have come to Academicians' in that famous city. Acknowledging, light during the general drainage of late years; the then, our deep obligations to the ingenious writer agriculturist, without in the least intending it, having alluded to, and tendering him our best thanks for the proved himself a most valuable labourer in the field information conveyed in his letter, we shall proceed of archæology. These craunoges, though alluded to to give our own report on his report, with a few as early as in records of the ninth century, and as observations thereupon. late as in those of the seventeenth, were never Our author begins with some severe strictures on examined till about twenty years ago. Craunoges our English methods of cookery, and by so doing are chiefly found in the clusters of small lakes in raises the whole question as to the salubrity of Roscommon, Leitrim, and Monaghan, and are not, baking and stewing as compared with roasting and strictly speaking, artificial islands, but clay islets boiling in general. enlarged and fortified by timber piles, and in some cases by stone-work. A few were approached by

* Annals of the Four Masters,

Our space will not allow us to take up formally preserved in wine, and the excellence of which was the gauntlet thus thrown down, or to enter the arena supposed to be in proportion to their antiquity; to fight out à l'outrance this battle of the spit and berries and other vegetable substances, preserved in gridiron against the stew-pan and baking-dish. We vinegar ; & curious pile of some unknown shell-fish, would only observe that, in all such cases, climate, taken from the shell

, and cut in thin slices ; prawns early habit, the age and state of health of the party in their natural, or rather in their artificial

red state; - we had almost said the patient—and, last not least, ground nuts, ginger, and candied fruits.' 'Everything, the quality of the provisions supplied, must enter we are informed, was excellent in its kind'-the into and greatly modify the consideration of such unknown shell-fish especially so. 'I am afraid to say,' questions as this.

adds the writer, 'that the tripe was a creditable piece No man will say that it is wise, in a culinary point of cookery. It was boiled to almost a gelatinous of view, to roast a sirloin cut from the back of a ten- consistence;' but 'many Englishmen' known to the year-old ox, well accustomed to the yoke; or that a author, would, he doubts not, "have devoured the pickled round of such beef will be juicy and tender; whole small heap, as it stood, with avidity.' For our or that a goat's haunch, with turnips, will be as satis- part, we should quite think so. factory as one which our own South Downs or Black A certain doubtfulness was observable in the Faces can supply. If you have a certain sort of meat approaches of the strangers at first; but this soon gave to dress, you must dress it so that it shall be eatable; way to complete confidence before the more serious and the soup and bouilli, or the disintegrated stew, attack commenced. enriched with a strong and spicy gravy, is, in a great The trifles' above enumerated being despatched, many instances, far preferable to what could be we are informed that the real business of the day was produced were the same meat to be sent to table à fairly begun. Each guest was furnished with a PAnglaise.

porcelain spoon and saucer; knives were altogether We believe that the objection made by this in- needless, and their chop-sticks they brought themgenious writer against English cookery would apply selves. A folded towel, just saturated with hot much more to the excessive quantity which the excel water, was placed beside each saucer, and two tiny lence and succulency of the national food induces metal cups, not so large as egg-cups, were allotted to our countrymen to eat, than to any particular mode each person. of preparation. He speaks of "a slice of red flesh The first dish, according to all precedent, was of from a joint,' as if the eating of such a thing were an course birds-nest soup. To our surprise, our friend act only one degree removed from cannibalism; but professes not to know what these nests are. We we can inform him that raw flesh, when sent to table, believe they consist of the dwellings of a particular must always look purple or blue, and that the very species of swallow, and are composed of a gelatinous fact of redness shews that it is cooked enough; and sea-weed, which is recommended by its viscous quality we can bring at least one set of digestive organs to these ingenious constructers, as an excellent buildto testify that it is much lighter and more easy of ing material. Unluckily for the peace and security assimilation in that state, than when it has passed of their domestic arrangements, John Chinaman has into that of being what is called 'well done.'

found out that it is more convenient to plunder the We attach, however, no especial importance to any poor swallows than to collect and prepare the seaparticular mode of cookery. If one method is found weed with his own hands, just as we do by taking to be more conducive to health and comfort than the honey from our bees instead of seeking it ‘from another, by all means let it be adopted ; and we will flower to flower' for ourselves. go so far as to add, that if men must cram when they Our author does not write enthusiastically about dine, we should think it a less injurious process, on this celebrated dish. The presence of the birdsthe whole, for them to do so with a variety of dishes, nests, it seems, is apparent from a glutinous substance and many of them what we should call over-cooked, which floats upon the top of the soup. Below this is than with meat from one simple joint; while, at the a white liquid, and lower still is chickens' flesh, same time, we cannot agree that to eat a moderate altogether an insipid affair enough, we have no doubt; share of our own 'rare' and juicy mutton or beef, is but as a variety of prepared sauces and spices were at equivalent to bringing the civilised man down to hand, by following the example of the Chinese, who something like the level of the savage or the wild excel in the use of such condiments, this insipidity beast, both of whom, it must be confessed, have a was in great measure removed, and the swallows' fancy for joint-meat,' and prefer it, if anything, a nests are got rid of with tolerable ease. little under-done.

The next course is, a stew of sea-slugs. At Macao, We shall not enter further here into this culinary these are white; at Ning-po, they are green : at both controversy, but return at once to our notice of the places they are excellent eating. They are difficult, dinner at the Gallery of the Imperial Academicians' we are told, to catch with the chop-stick, as they slip at Ning-po.

about with much alacrity on the china saucer. When Our Correspondent,' it seems, had learned that caught, however, they are well worth the trouble ; matters gastronomic were managed in a superior for it is said they resemble, and are quite equal to, manner at the above-named hostelry; and he accord the 'green fat' of the turtle. Here is a hint for our ingly resolved to bring the report to the test, in a own aldermanic banquets ; and after this, let no sensible, practical sort of way, as a true Englishman man, while devouring oysters, cockles, and mussels, should. So he issued invitations to a select circle of venture to sneer at a mess of sea-slugs. friends, English and Chinese, for a banquet to be But now the plot thickens. Our next dish is a there provided. With each invitation, a chop-stick-grand affair: it consists of sturgeons' skull-caps. This to be used, we presume, as a fork-was sent to each is a rare and expensive dainty, as of course the guest. In due time the day arrived; the party sturgeon has to be killed, like an Indian warrior, for assembled ; and now, to dinner with what appetite his scalp; or as fowls sometimes are in France, for the we may!'

sake of their combs and gills, to fill up a vol au vent; The first course was merely a prelude—a sort of or again, as the poor unhappy Strasbourg goose is for light fencing with chop-sticks, intended to excite her liver. It may, however, be hoped that all the rather than to gratify the cravings of hunger. It refuse portions of these animals are turned to some consisted of a small square tower, built of slices from account, and may be applied to the sustentation of the breast of the goose; a tumulus of thin square the ordinary sort of men, although a contrary imprespieces of tripe; hard-boiled eggs, which had been sion, so far as it relates to the sturgeon, seems to

« 上一頁繼續 »