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POEMS

OP

WILLIAM KING.

THE ART OF COOKERY, &c.

LETTERS TO DR. LISTER he might transgress in using something not com.

mon to the ancients. AND OTHERS.

Dispatch it, therefore, to us with all speed; for

I expect wonders from it. Let me tell you; I LETTER I.

hope, in the first place, it will, in some measure,

remove the barbarity of our present education : To Mr.

for what hopes can there be of any progress in

learning, wbilst our gentlemen suffer their sons at DEAR SIR,

Westminster, Eaton, and Winchester, to eat noTHE happiness of hearing now and then from you thing but salt with their mutton, and vinegar with extremely delights me; for, I must confess, most their

roast-beef, upon holidays? what extensiveness of my other friends are so much taken up with po- can there be in their souls; especially when, upon litics or speculations, that either their bopes or their going thence to the university, their knowfears give them little leisure to peruse such parts ledge in culinary matters is seldom enlarged, and of learning as lay remote, and are fit only for the their diet continues very much the same; and as closets of the curious. How blest are you at Lon- to sauces, they are in profound ignorance? don, where you have new books of all sorts! whilst It were to be wished, therefore, that every fawe, at a greater distance, being destitute of such mily had a French tutor; for, besides his being improvements, must content ourselves with the old groom, gardener, butler, and valet, you would see store, and thumb the classics as if we were never that he is endued with a greater accomplishment; to get higher than our Tully or our Virgil. for, according to our ancient author, Quot Galli,

You tantalize me only, when you tell me of the totidem coqui, As many Frenchmen as you have, edition of a book by the ingenious Dr. Lister, so many cooks you may depend upon; which is which you say is a treatise De Condimentis & Opso- very useful, where there is a numerous issue. And I niis Veterum, Of the Sauces and Soups of the doubt not but, with such tutors, and good houseAncients, as I take it. Give me leave to use an keepers to provide cake and sweel-meats, together expression, which, though vulgar, yet upon this with the tender care of an indulgent mother, to see occasion is just and proper : You have made my that the children eat and drink every thing that mouth water, but have not sent me wherewithal to they call for; I doubt not, I say, but we may have satisfy my appetite.

a warlike and frugal gentry, a temperate and I have raised a thousand notions to myself, only austere clergy, and such persons of quality, in all from the title. Where could such a treasure lay stations, as may best undergo the fatigues of our hid? What manuscripts have been collated ? Un- fleet and armies. der what emperor was it written? Might it not Pardon me, sir, if I break-off abruptly; for I have been in the reign of Heliogabalus, who, though am going to monsieur D'Avaux, a person famous vicious and in some things fantastical, yet was not for easing the tooth-ach by avulsion. He has proincurious in the grand affair of eating?

mised to show me how to strike a lancet into the Consider, dear sir, in what uncertainties we must jugular of a carp, so as the blood may issue thence remain at present. You know my neighbour Mr. with the greatest effusion, and then will instantly Greatrix is a learned antiquary. I showed him perform the operation of stewing it in its own blood, your letter; which threw him into such a dubious in the presence of myself and several more virtuosi. Dess, and indeed perplexity of mind, that the next But, let him use what claret he will in the performday he durst not put any catchup in his fish-sauce, ance, I will secure enough to drink your health nor have his beloved pepper, oil, and lemon, with his and the rest of your friends. partridge, lest, before he bad seen Dr. Lister's book,

I remain, sir, &c.

LETTER II.

tried for a murder, and was acquitted.” Now it

does not appear upon record, nor any stone that I To Mr.

have seen, whether the jury clubbed, or wbether SIR,

Mars treated them, at dinner, though it is most I SHALL make bold to claim your promise, in likely that he did; for he was a quarrelsome sort your last obliging letter, to obtain the happiness of a person, and probably, though acquitted, might of my correspondence with Dr. Lister; and to that be as guilty as count Koningsmark. Now the end have sent you the inclosed, to be communicated custom of juries dining at an eating-bouse, and to him, if you think convenient.

having glasses of water broaght them with toothpicks tinged with vermillion swimming at the top, being still continued, why may we not imagine,

that the tooth-picks were as ancient as the dinner, LETTER III.

the dinner as the juries, and the juries at least as

the grand-children of Mitzraim? Homer makes bis To Dr. LISTER, present.

heroes feed so grossly, that they seem to have had

more occasion for skewers than goose-quills. He is SIR,

very tedious in describing a Smith's forge and an I Am a plain man, and therefore never use com- anvil: where he might have been more polite, in pliments; but I must tell you that I have a great setting out the tooth-pick-case or painted snuff-bor of ambition to hold a correspondence with you, espe- Achilles, if that age had not been so barbarous as cially that I may beg you to communicate your to want them. And here I cannot but consider, remarks from the ancients concerning dentiscalps, that Athens, in the time of Pericles, when it flouvulgarly called tooth-picks. I take the use of them rished most in sumptuous buildings, and Rome in to have been of great antiquity, and the original to its height of empire, from Augustus down to Adrian, come from the instinct of Nature, which is the best had nothing that equalled the Royal or New Exmistress upon all occasions. The Egyptians vere change, or Pope's-bead Alley, for curiosities and a people excellent for their philosophical and ma- toy-shops; neither had their senate any thing to atthematical observations: they searched into all leviate their debates concerning the affairs of the the springs of action; and, though I must condemn universe, like raffing sometimes at colonel Parson's. their superstition, I cannot but appland their inven. Although the Egyptians often extended their contion. This people had a vast district that wor- quests into Africa and Ethiopia, and though the shipped the crocodile, which is an animal, whose Cafre Blacks hare very fine teeth; yet I cannot jaws, being very oblong, give him the opportunity of find that they made use of any such instrument; having a great many teeth ; and, his habitation nor does Ludolphus, though very exact as to the and business lying most in the water, he, like our Abyssinian empire, give any account of a matter modern Dutch whilsters' in Southwark, had a very so important; for which he is to blame, as I shall good stomach, and was extremely voracions. It is show in my treatise of Forks and Napkins, of certain, that he had the water of Nile always ready, which I shall send you an Essay with all expeand consequently the opportunity of washing his dition. I shall in that treatise fully illustrate of mouth after meals; yet he had farther occasion confute this passage of Dr. Heylin, in the third for other instruments to cleanse his teeth, which book of his Cosmography, where he says of the are serrate, or like a saw. To this end, Nature has Chinese, “ That thev eat their meat with two provided an animal called the ichneumon, which sticks of ivory, ebony, or the like; not touching it performs this office, and is so maintained by the with their hands at all, and therefore no great product of its own labour. The Egyptians, seeing foulers of linen. The use of silver forks with us, such an useful sagacity in the crocodile, which they by some of our spruce gallants taken-up of late, so much reverenced, soon began to imitate it, came from hence into Italy, and from thence into great examples easily drawing the multitude; so England.” I cannot agree with this learned doctor that it became their constant custom to pick their in many of these particulars. For, first, the use teeth, and wash their mouths, after eating. I can. of these sticks is not so much to save linen, as out of not find in Marsham's Dynasties, nor in the Frag. pure necessity; which arises from the length of ments of Manethon, what year of the moou (fur I their nails, which persons of great quality in those hoid the Egyptian years to have been lunar, that countries wear at a prodigious length, to prevent is, but of a month's continuance) so venerable an all possibility of working, or being serviceable to usage first began : for it is the fault of great philo- themselves or others; and therefore, if they would, logers, to omit such things as are most material. they could not easily feed themselves with those Wbether Sesostris, in his large conqnests, might clairs; and I have very good authority, that in the extend the use of them, is as uncertain; for the East, and especially in Japan, the princes bare the glorious actions of those ages lay very much in the meat put into their mouths by their attendants. dark. It is very probable that the public use of Besides, these sticks are of no use but for their them came in about the same time that the Egyp- sort of meat, which, being pilau, is all boiled to tians made use of juries. I find, in the preface to rags. But what would those sticks signify to carve the Third Part of Modern Reports, that “ the a turkey.cock, or a chine of beef? therefore our forks Chaldees had a great esteem for the number are of quite different shape: the steel ones are biTWELVE, because there were so many signs of the dental, and the silver generally reseinbling triZodiac; from them this number came to the Egyp- dents; which makes me think them to be as tians, and so to Greece, where Mars himself was ancient as the Saturnian race, where the former is

appropriated to Pluto, and the latter to Neptune

. * Whose tenter-grounds are now almost all built it is certain, that Pedro Della Valle, that famous apoo.

Italian Traveller, carried his knife and fork into the

East Indies; and tie gives a large account how, at If Bellvill can his generous soul confine the court of an Indian prince, he was admired for To a small room, few dishes, and some wine, bis neatness in that particular, and his care in I shall expect my happiness at nine. wiping that and his knife before he returned them Two bottles of smooth Palm, or Anjou white, to their respective repositories. I could wish Dr. Shall give a welcome, and prepare delight; Wotton, in the next edition of his Modern Learn- Then for the Bourdeaux you may freely ask; ing, would show us how much we are improved But the Champaigne is to each man his flask. since Dr. Heylin's time, and tell us the original of I tell you with what force 1 keep the field; ivory knives, with which young heirs are suffered to And, if you can exceed it, speak; I'll yield. mangle their own pudding; as likewise of silver. The snow-white damask ensigns are display'd, and gold knives, brought in with the dessert for And glittering salvers on the side-board laid. carving of jellies and orange-butter; and the indis-Thus we'll disperse all busy thoughts and cares, pensable necessity of a silver knife at the side-board, The general's counsels, and the statesman's fears: to mingle sallads with, as is with great learning Nor shall sleep reign in that precedent night, made out in a treatise called Acetaria, concerning Whose joyful hours lead on the glorious light, dressing of sallads. A noble work! But I trans- Sacred to British worth in Blenheim's fight. gress

The blessings of good-fortune seem refus'd, And yet, pardon me, good doctor, I had almost Unless sometimes with generous freedom us’d. forgot a thing that I would not have done for the 'Tis madness, not frugality, prepares world, it is so remarkable. I think I may be po- A vast excess of wealth for squandering heirs. sitive, from this verse of Juvenal, where he speaks Must I of neither wine nor mirth partake, of the Egyptians,

Lest the censorious world should call me rake?

Who, unacquainted with the generous wine, Porrum et cepe nefas violare, et frangere morsu, E'er spoke bold truths, or frain'd a great design?

That makes us fancy every face has charms; that it was “sacrilege to chop a leek, or bite an That gives us courage, and then finds us arms; onion.” Nay, I believe, that it amounts to a de-Sees care disburthen'd, and each tongue employ'd, monstration, that Pharaoh Necho could have po The poor grown rich, and every wish enjoy'd. true lenten porridge, nor any carrier's sauce to his This I'll perform, and promise you shall see mutton; the true receipt of making which sauce A cleanliness from affectation free: I have from an ancient MS. remaining at the Bull. No noise, no hurry, when the meat's set on, inn in Bishopsgate-sreet, which runs thus: Or, when the dish is chang'd, the servants gone :

“Take seven spoonfuls of spring-water; slice For all things ready, nothing more to fetch, two onions of moderate size into a large saucer, Whate'er you want is in the master's reach. and put in as much salt as yon can hold at thrice Then for the company, I'll see it chose; betwixt yoor fore-finger and thumb, if large, and their emblematic signal is the rose. serve it up.” Probatum est.

If you of Freeman's raillery approve, HOBSON, carrier to the university Of Cotton's laugh, and Winner's tales of love, of Cambridge.

And Bellair's charming voice may be allow'd ;

What can you hope for better from a crowd ? The effigies of that worthy person remains still But I shall not prescribe. Consult your ease, at that inn; and I dare say, not only Hobson, but Write back your men, and number, as you please: old Birch, and many others of that musical and Try your back-stairs, and let the lobby wait: delightful profession, would rather bave been la- A stratagem in war is no deceit. bourers at the pyramids with that regale, than to

I am, sir, yours, &c. have reigned at Memphis, and have been debarred of it. I break off abruptly. Believe me an admirer of your worth, and a follower of your methods towards the increase of learning, and more especially your, &c.

LETTER V.

To Mr.

SIB,

LETTER IV.

I HERE send you what I promised, A Discourse

of Cookery, after the method which Horace has To Mr.

taken his Art of Poetry, which I have all along kept in my view; for Horace certainly is an author

to be imitated in the delivery of precepts for any I AM now very seriously employed in a work art or science. He is indeed severe upon our sort that, I hope, may be useful to the public, which is of learning in some of his satires ; but even there a poem of the Art of Cookery, in imitation of he instructs, as in the fourth satire of the second Horace's'Art of Poetry, inscribed to Dr. Lister, as book, ver. 13. hoping it may be in time read as a preliminary to his works. But I have not vanity enough to think Longa quibus facies ovis erit, illa memento, it will live so long. I have in the mean time sent Ut succi melioris, et ut magis alba rotundis, you an imitation of Horace's invitation of Tor- Ponere: namque marem cohibent callosa vitellum. quatus to supper, which is the fifth epistle of his first book. Perhaps you will find so many faults Choose eggs oblong; remember they'll be found in this, that you may save me the trouble of my of sweeter taste, and whiter than the round: other proposal; but, however, take it as it is: The firmness of that shell includes the male.

I am much of his opinion, and could only wish that family of Leigh, to carry a dish of it up to the cothe world was thoroughly informed of two other ronation. A dwarf-pye was prepared for king James truths concerning eggs. One is, how incom- the First, when Jeffry, his dwarf, rose out of one parably better roasted eggs are than boiled; the armed with a sword and buckler; and is so recordother, never to eat any butter with eggs in the ed in bistory, that there are few but know it. shell. You cannot imagine how much more you Though marinated fish, hippocraes, and ambigues, are will have of their flavour, and how much easier they known to all that deal in cookery; yet terrenes are will sit upon your stomach. The worthy person not so usual, being a silver vessel filled with the who recommended it to me made many proselytes; most costly dainties, after the manner of an oglio. and I have the vanity to think, that I have not been A surprise is likewise a dish not so very common; altogether unsuccessful.

which, promising little from its first appearanet, I have in this poem used a plain, easy, familiar when open abounds with all sorts of variety ; style, as most fit for precept; neither have I been which I cannot better resemble than to the fifth too exact an imitator of Horace, as he himself di act of one of our modern comedies. Lest Montet, rects. I have not consulted any of his translators; Vinegar, Taliessin, and Bossu, should be taken for neither Mr. Oldham, whose copiousness runs into dishes of rarities; it may be known, that Monteth paraphrase; nor Ben Jonson, who is admirable for was a gentleman with a scalloped coat, that Vinehis close following of the original; nor yet the gar keeps the ring at Lincoln's-inn-fields, Taliessin lord Roscommon, so excellent for the beauty of was one of the most ancient bards amongst the his language, and his penetration into the very de Britons, and Bossa one of the most certain insign and soul of that author. I considered, that I structors in criticism that this latter age has prowent upon a new undertaking; and though I do duced. not value myself upon it so much as Lucretius did, I hope it will not be taken ill by the wits, that yet I dare say it is more innocent and inoffensive. I call my cooks by the title of ingenious; for I

Sometimes, when Horace's rules come too thick cannot imagine why cooks may not be as well read and sententious, I have so far taken liberty as to as any other persons. I am sure their apprentices, pass over some of them; for I consider the nature of late years, have had very great opportunities and temper of cooks, who are not of the most pa- of improvement; and men of the first pretences tient disposition, as their under-servants too often to literature have been very liberal, and sent in experience. I wish I might prevail with them to their contributions very largely. They have been moderate their passions, which will be the greater very serviceable both to spit and oven; and for conquest, seeing a continual heat is added to their these twelve months past, whilst Dr. Wotton with native fire.

his Modern Learning, was defending pye-crust from Amidst the variety of directions that Horace scorching, his dear friend, Dr. Bentley, with his gives us in his Art of Poetry, which is one of the Phalaris, has been singing of capons. Not that this most accurate pieces that he or any other author was occasioned by any superfluity or tediousness has written, there is a secret connection in reality, of their writings, or mutual commendations; but. though he doth not express it too plainly; and it was found out by some worthy patriots, to make therefore this imitation of it has many breaks in it. the labours of the two doctors, as far as possible, to If such as shall condescend to read this poem become useful to the public. would at the same time consult Horace's original Indeed, cookery has an influence upon men's Latin, or some of the aforementioned translators, actions even in the highest stations of human they would find at least this benefit, that they life. The great philosopher Pythagoras, in his would recollect those excellent instructions which Golden Verses, shows himself to be extremely nice he delivers to us in such elegant language.

in eating, when he makes it one of his chief prinI could wish the master and wardens of the ciples of morality to abstain from beans. The cooks' company would order this poem to be read noblest foundations of honour, justice, and intewith due consideration; for it is not lightly to be grity, were found to lie hid in turnips; as appears sun over, seeing it contains many useful instruc- in that great dictator, Cincinnatus, who went from tions for human life. It is true, that some of these the plough to the cominand of the Roman army; rules may seem more principally to respect the and, having bronght home victory, retired to his steward, clerk of the kitchen, caterer, or perhaps cottage; for, when the Samnite ambassadors came the butler. But the cook being the principal per- thither to him with a large bribe, and found him son, without whom all the rest will be little re- dressing turnips for his repast, they immediately garded, they are directed to him; and the work returned with this sentence, “That it was impos. being designed for the universal good, it will ac-sible to prevail upon him that could be contented complish some part of its intent, if those sort of with such a supper.” In short, there are no honopeople will improve by it.

rary appellations but wbat may be made use of to it may happen, in this as in all works of art, cooks; for I find throughout the whole race of that there may be some terms not obvious to com Charlemaigne, that the great cook of the palace mon readers; but they are not many. The read was one of the prime ministers of state, and coner may not have a just idea of a swoled mutton, ductor of armies : so true is that maxim of Paulus which is a sheep roasted in its wool, to save the Æmilius, after his glorious expedition into Greece, labour of Aaying. Bacon and filbert-tarts are soine when he was to entertain the Roinan people, thing unusual; but, since sprout-tarts and pistuckio-" that there was equal skill required to bring all tarts are much the same thing, and to be seen in arıny into the field, and to set forth a magnificent Dr. Salmon's Family Dictionary, those persons entertainment; since the one was as far as possible who have a desire for them may easily find the way to annoy your enemy, and the other to pleasure to make them. As for grout, it is an old Danish your friend." In short, as for all persons that disb; and it is claimed as an honour to the ancient have pot a due regard for the learned, industrious,

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