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and if it be to digest to any purpose, the food must be calculated accordingly.
The great purpose of cookery, of refined cookery, is to please the palate ; pleasing the eye at the same time, and rendering that elegant and conformable to the general refinements of furniture, dress, manners, and so on, which would otherwise be a merely necessary or coarse expedient for satisfying the animal appetites. Without refinement in the table, the society which depends so much on its meetings, could not long exist. It removes from our sight, and diverts from our attention, the gross pursuit or occupation which, after all, forms its essence. But it is, also, necessary that the palate should be pleased and the mind gratified-it is necessary for digestion and health. The association between the taste, or the mind, and the stomach, is a most powerful one; and that which the palate likes, the stomach digests. No one digests disgustful food; and a mere idea, a disgustful association, a suspicion alone, is sufficient to derange the whole process. even tell a man who is tranquilly enjoying the concoction of woodcock and venison, that he has eaten magpie or jackass, the process immediately stops, and the whole system is deranged.
It would be easy enough to say much more to this effect; but, even with the authority of Horace before us, we must not say alí that Ofellus might say. But, as we are threatened, too, with “rich sauces” and spices, it is as well to see what virtue is in these words ; what poison, rather. The richest of sauces is gravy; the gelatine or glue of meat, infusion by heat, or solution in water. If it be cooled to jelly, and mixed with wine and sugar, why then, forsooth, it is a light and delicate substance fit for sick people, and delicate stomachs, invigorating, and otherwise virtuous! So that it is poison as sauce, and full of virtue as jelly-destructive, when liquid-sanatory, when solid. As to the other sauces, they are nothing but what we eat in some other shape every day; butter, fried with flour, butter boiled with flour, an atom of lemon juice vinegar, of salt or pepper, the grating of a lemon peel, or of an anchovy, or the water of a mushroom. Such are the rich sauces, which lay their “ poison in ambush in every dish “ Men have died, and worms have eaten them,” but not of rich sauces !
As to condiments, salt and spices, they are a want of the human stomach: they are stimuli to its action, and it does not require the experience of all the world at all times and places, and of the inhabitants of hot climates, and of vegetable eaters in particular, to prove that they are not only salutary, but necessary. indeed, pepper his stomach into inactivity, just as he may ride his horse to death; but he may, also, eat forty pounds of pork, like Captain Cochrane's friends, (if he can) or drink a bottle of whisky before breakfast: in either case we have nothing to do with him, for abuse is not use.
Should the objector be thus beaten out of all his entrenchments, he retorts, that cookery and variety are bad things, because they
A man may, tempt a man to eat too much. We doubt the fact.
Most people know, that they eat more of a plain dish, or of a single dish, which suits their taste, than when they dabble in variety. Every one knows that he can eat more, and does eat more, of cold meat than hot. Cold beef is, therefore, the true poison.
But we have answered the question, as far as relates to unnecessary or superfluous eating, already. We do not think that this is a source of much evil at any time, and still less when it is occasional or casual. Unquestionably, the stomach may be deranged by excess of variety, as by excess of any kind; and we do not deny the power of temptation, arising from the excellence of the food or the cooking, in causing a man to eat more than is necessary. Nor will we deny, that in a gouty disposition, and particularly when gout is actually impending, excess may produce the fit. But, in this case, it acts but as any other debilitating cause would do, like fatigue, or anxiety, or Cheltenham. If a glass of champagne or claret produce an attack of this disorder, it is from the existence of the idiosyncracy, or predisposition, and because the fit is only waiting to be excited. The excess is the match; but the train was laid, and would have been fired by some cause.
But we will dismiss a part of the subject, which we can scarcely be persuaded to treat very seriously; believing that it is in vain to argue rationally with those who are governed by words and habits. We might easily have written much more, and much more gravely, but we are at present as little inclined to weary our readers as ourselves, and shall consequently conclude for the present, reserving our remarks on Drinking to a future number.
Spirit of the lonely vale,
With the long-lash'd dewy eye Bending o'er the lilies pale
'Neath the melancholy sky ; Sorrow! when in primrose fields,
Where the rills laugh, sing the bowers, Fondest sigh life's pilgrim yields
To thy vale of sunless flowers.
Who beside the streamlet dwells,
With the merry sylvan song, Mingling music through the dells,
Little heeds, or heeds not long: Bless the guide's mysterious hand,
Sun that smiles, and cloud that lowers; Doubly fair joy's summer-land
For the vale of sunless flowers!
OH, MAID OF THE TWEED.
An Emigrant's Song.
Oh! Maid of the Tweed! wilt thou travel with me
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.
The discoveries of Columbus formed a new era in the history of Spain; and, just reposing from the wars of Grenada, the chivalrous nature of the Spanish Hidalgos burned with ardour again to enter upon the field of warfare ; and the enthusiasm which had enlisted so many for the downfall of the Alhambra, led them to the new found colonies of the Western Indies. And various were the cavaliers of high birth, who procured permission of Phillip the First, to seek those distant countries, on the usual condition of paying a portion of the profits of their discoveries to the united Crowns of Castile and Leon.
Among the most celebrated of the delusions which drew so many enterprising spirits away from their native land, was the report carried home by many of the adventurers, from the traditions and legends of the Indians, of a miraculous fountain, whose waters had the singular properties of conferring a new youth on those who
drank of its streams. Nor were ignorant men alone possessed with this idea, Peter Martyr himself, in his second Decade, addressed to Leo the Tenth, thus writes. Among the islands on the north side of Hispaniola, there is one about three hundred and twentyfive leagues distant, as they say which have searched the same, in the which is a continual spring of running water, of such marvellous virtue, that the water thereof being drunk, perhaps with some diet, maketh old men young again. And here I must make protestation to your Holiness, not to think this to be said lightly or rashly, for they have so spread this rumour for a truth throughout all the court, that not only all the people, but also many of them whom wisdom or fortune hath divided from the common sort, think it to be true, but if you will ask my opinion herein, I will answer, that I will not attribute so great power to nature, but that God hath no less reserved this prerogative to himself, than to search the hearts of men.” The virtue of this wonderful fountain prompted many to seek for it; many who perished in the search, or returned disappointed, and in the discovery of gold compensated themselves for the treasure they had been unsuccessful in finding. Among the most eager in the pursuit of these rejuvenating waters, was a young Spaniard of a bold and daring disposition, sanguine of the success of his expedition, and firmly resolved never to re. turn, until he had discovered this precious object. It was not that he required a renewal of his youth, the full fine vigour of manhood was yet upon his frame, and to great strength was added inextinguishable perseverance; but the idea of surpassing even Columbus himself in the discovery, and the glory which must thereby attach to his name, were powerful incentives to the mind of Juan Fernandez Pinzon, (a nephew of one of the merchants of Palos, who assisted Columbus in his first expedition), to undertake whatever might be considered as hazardous.
In a brigantine, of about eighty tons burthen, with a few other adventurers, had Juan Fernandez Pinzon set sail from the coast of Spain ; and, according to their computation, scarcely a day would now elapse before they reached Hispaniola, which was at that time under the government of Don Diego Columbus. Wearied with the voyage, Juan Fernandez leant over the side of the vessel, gazing with an enraptured eye on the magnificence around him : a bright, pure gold color, which adorned the west, told of the departure of the God of day; while a star,
visible even amid the surpassing splendor, heralded the approach of night; light fleecy clouds were careering here and there over the azure concave of heaven, and towards the horizon were gathering into the most fantastic shapes, assuming a great variety of tints, and altogether forming a most picturesque and delightful appearance. To those of my readers who have never witnessed a tropical sunset, this description can give but a faint idea of its loveliness; but to those who have beheld it, it will bring a sweet reminiscence of a scene pleasurable in the extreme. Shortly rose the moon, as if to
like a silver
claim that superiority which the sun had relinquished; and riding supreme through the skies, brought a beautiful and cooling breeze to the scorched mariners. If there is an hour more inducing to devotion than another, it is such as I describe, nor was its influence thrown away on the voyagers of the brigantine. Every evening had the Ave Maria, or hymn to the Virgin Mary, been chaunted by the whole crew; who had in view a sacred object, the diffusion of christianity and the conversion of the tribes of the Indians, as well as the hope of procuring wealth : and, taking his guitar, of which he was a perfect master, did Juan breathe to its tones the following words :
Ave Maria ! on the sea
Scarcely had Juan finished his lay, when the cry of, the land ! the land! burst upon his ear, and by daybreak the next morning, with feelings of joy, the whole of them landed at San Domingo, the newly-formed European settlement in the island of Hispaniola.
After a few days rest, Juan began to make enquiries as to the locality of the fountain of youth, but so varied and so contradictory were the reports, that he almost repented of the vow he had made to seek it; at length, after wandering for some time in a small caravel about the islands immediately surrounding Hispaniola, he learned from an old Indian, who offered to accompany him, that to the north was the island, in which these mysterious waters, bubbling from a rock in the centre took a meandering course to the sea. Taking in a fresh supply of provisions, Juan, with renewed hope, recommenced his search: in spite of the cross currents which there exist, the sea was in a calm, broken only by a slight ripple; but the Indian, to whom the appearance of the sea and sky was as a book which his practised eye could read, advised that they should put into Baracoa, until a storm, which he foresaw, had passed by. There was no sign of tempest, the sky was clear and cloudless, the sea beautifully calm, and the advice of the Indian was treated with contempt. But four and twenty hours had not elapsed, when the heavens became unusually dark, red lurid lightning flashed incessantly across them, followed immediately by thunder, with such tremendous noise, that the mariners were filled