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not," as they are modestly pleased to express it, "to judge of their own merit; but with honest confidence they appeal to a numerous list of subscribers, who have eat and judged of their works." In this passage there is some ambiguity. If, by this intimation, it is meant that the subscribers actually eat the volume to which they subscribed, we, the Reviewers, will frankly tell Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Donat, that, notwithstanding the evangelical authority which may be quoted for this literary diet, we cannot bring our stomachs to submit to it; especially, as, in one sense, we are already obliged to devour many more works than we are well able to digest. On the other hand, if the judgment referred to was formed from actually partaking of the dishes analysed in this volume, we only want the opportunity, happily enjoyed by these subscribers, conscientiously to join in their verdict. Upon the slightest intimation, the long coach shall convey our critical fraternity to the hospitable mansion where these fair dames have presided, and do preside over the good things of the earth; and then-fiat experimentum !
By the same rule, although Ignotus resides at rather too great a distance for an inroad of this nature, yet an actual experiment might be usefully made on a Yorkshire pie, transmitted by the mail or wagon. And upon this fair system of practical knowledge did we propose to have decided the merits of these candidates for culinary renown, till we recollected the unlucky termination of a course of lectures on the art of cookery in this city, which was abruptly broken off by the indignant professor, in consequence of a hungry student having eat up a principal specimen, as it circulated through the class for the admiration, but not the consumption of the audience. Deprived, therefore, of this most agreeable mode of exercising our critical sagacity, we choose to arrange the precedence of these rival works upon the gallant principle of place aux dames; and we are convinced, that Ignotus and his editor, although the latter be M. D. F. R. S. L. & E. will, with their usual good humour, give the front rank to the "present and late Housekeepers and Cooks to rs. Buchan Hepburn of Smeaton."
The prefatory advertisement to this book is too interesting to be suppressed. It shows at once the deep learning of the ladies by whom it was written; their honest sense of the dignity of their vocation; and their laudable zeal for its being conducted on the true principles of the British constitution, as well as upon those of sound, experimental philosophy.
The late Dr. Black, professor of chymistry in the university of Edinburgh, has instructed and enlightened the world by his philosophical, ingenious, and patient resear ches in that science, which, somewhere in his works, he has defined to be, "the effect of heat and mixture upon bodies."
This definition applies as directly to the cook as to the chymist. His kitchen is his school; his boilers, his digesters; his stoves, and not forgetting his cradle-spit, correspond to the crucible, the alembick, the retort, and the other apparatus of the chymist; and both are equally applied to prove the effect of heat and mixture upon bodies. It must be admitted, at the same time, that the range or kingdom of the bodies they severally operate upon, are wonderfully different. The chymist gropes below ground, and in the dark, through the mineral kingdom; while the cook operates in the light, and above board, upon the animal and the vegetable world.
The judges, also, who are to decide upon the result of their several experiments, are not less different and opposite, than the subjects they have operated upon. The chy mist lays his experiments, stuffed, generally, with mathematical demonstrations, or the more abstruse calculations of the minus and plus of algebra, before some Royal Society, composed of a few meagre philosophers, "with spectacles on's nose;" while the judges the cook appeals to, are all the jolly bons vivants in the Imperial Kingdom; and his compounds are drawn from every thing that is delicate and high-flavoured in the animal and in the vegetable world; and, without any other demonstration than what his larding and his sauces give, he appeals directly to the sound and nice palate of his numerous judges.
The editors of the following culinary experiments do not pretend to rank with the ingenious and the philosophick Dr. Black, Lavoisier, or other eminent chymists of the modern school. As, however, they are professed cooks, the natural attachment and vanity of metier may perhaps allow them to say, without offence, that they do hold the "Art of Cookery" to be not the least useful branch of the great and comprehensive science of chymistry; and, having already avowed themselves professed cooks, they will not trouble their readers with a minute detail of the interesting incidents of their lives, as too generally is the practice of modern authors; such as, where they were severally born; where educated and initiated in the mysteries of cookery. Suffice it to say, that they have each, successively, and for years, officiated as cook and housekeeper in the kitchen of Mrs. Buchan Hepburn, of Smeaton, who has kindly allowed them, for their own benefit, to publish the following receipts, which they have practised and performed there. It becomes not them to boast of their own merit; but, with honest confi. dence, they appeal to a numerous list of subscribers who have eat and judged of their works.
They have subjoined many valuable receipts in housekeeping, for curing beef, for making of hams and bacon, for the dairy and pastry, baking, and the best receipt for artificial yeast, which can be made and used the same day, and does not make the bread sour; all of which they have practised at Smeaton with wonderful success. In short, they now offer to the world, not a cobweb theory of cookery, such as the flimsy constitution-mongers of France have spun for these 12 or 15 years past out of their distempered brains, to deceive and ruin that miserable people. No! here facts only are narrated; and by a correct attention to the directions given, the cook, whether male or female, may rest assured of meeting the approbation of the nicest and most delicate palate; and will prove particularly useful for those who reside in the country. The different receipts for making the India currie powder and pellow, are taken from the best practice of their native country.
From this advertisement, much extraordinary information may be derived. We have already noticed, that there is great room to believe that the subscribers, to testify their approbation of the contents, actually eat the book, like the man who, in his zealous applause of roast beef, devoured the spit from which it had been taken: but this is not all. We are informed, in point of historical fact, that the various legislators of France have, for these twelve or fifteen years past, been busily engaged in digesting systems of cookery. And, truly, though this is mentioned in rather derogating terms, on account, apparently, of their bad success, we consider the fact to be, on the whole, a discovery in their favour; since, for our own parts, we never suspected them to be so usefully or innocently employed It is a fact of subordinate importance, but nevertheless somewhat curious, that the whole Royal Society make use of one pair of spectacles, placed on the nose, doubtless, of the president. We have long observed an unvaried coincidence in the views and pursuits of this learned body, and are happy to be able to trace it to a cause equally unsuspected and satisfactory.
As to the receipts which follow this curious and instructive preface, they are distinctly expressed; and from the well known hospitality and elegance of the family in which they were composed, we have no doubt they will be found admirable. We must observe, however, that they are arranged in rather a miscellaneous order; for after a receipt to make "a half-peck bun," we pass abruptly to another which begins; "The slaked lime must be well sifted and steeped in a pit," &c. &c. and again: "Take two shovels full of coarse was ter sand, one ditto of hammer slag well sifted, one ditto powdered brick dust,” &c. Now, although we are specially directed that the former mixture shall be wrought into "thin porridge "and the latter made neither" too fat nor too poor," yet, we are somewhat inclined to doubt, whether any management or attention in the preparation, could render them digestible by human stomachs, or, indeed, whether they can be strictly said to belong to the arts of cookery, pastry, baking, or preserving, unless the ladies are of opinion with the Copper Captain, that "a piece of buttered wall is excellent." Qther res
ceipts occur, in which "an ounce of white arsenick," and the "expressed juice of the deadly nightshade," are the chief ingredients. These we were, at first glance, inclined to suppose borrowed from the French systems already mentioned; perhaps the original recipe for a restorative cordial à l'hopital, or a fricandeau à Toussaint,-if, indeed, the patriotick composers did not design them for the regale of the emperour himself on his long announced visit.
The very errata of this work evince the care and deep science of the compilers. Some corrections refer to the ingredients; and it will be prudent to attend to them specially, as the errour, according to the phrase of the civilians, is sometimes in substantialibus. Thus, we have "for linen, read lemon;" "for chicken, read onion ;"" for pepper read paper." Others regard accessories; as, "after raspberries [in a receipt for making jam] add together with two pounds and a half raw sugar;" or, "for mix it all with the foregoing ingredients, read and mix them with a mutchkin and a half of brandy." Others refer to proportion; as, "for pint and a half, read bit ;" and, "for half a, read three thirds." This last correction appeared to us to conceal some new and abstract doctrine in fractions, adopted, perhaps, from the facetious Costard; for ladies acquainted with philosophy cannot be ignorant of Shakspeare." Biron. Three times three is nine. Costard. Not so, Sir, under correction, I hope it is not so. Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for nine. Costard. O Lord, Sir, it were a pity you should get your living by reckoning, Sir."
Upon the whole, besides the receipts for dressed dishes, which it is not in the power of every housewife to place on her board, this little work contains many useful instructions concerning the poultry yard and dairy, which afford the cheapest and most wholesome regale to a country family.
The work of Ignotus, being more systematick and classical, claims a graver and more elaborate discussion. And, in the first place, we have to remark, that whereas all other books of cookery contain domestick receipts for medicine, promiscuously inserted amongst those for food, Ignotus, with the assistance, we presume, of his learned editor, has accompanied the description of each savoury mess, with a medical commentary on its use and abuse; an invitation to partake, or a caution to shun it. A suspicious person, considering the profession of the editor, might here be tempted to exclaim:
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes ;
thinking, perhaps, that such a connexion may subsist betwixt a doctor and a disease, as betwixt a sportsman and his game, since, although the business of each is the destruction of individuals, both must be presumed to take great care to encourage the breed. But we will cheerfully acquit Ignotus of any premeditated design against our health; for, although his plentiful table, stocked with the dainties described in his work, may occasionally have converted a guest into a patient, we are sure it could not be with the felonious purpose of indemnifying himself for the expense of the entertainment. For this we appeal to the following liberal sentiment, appended to an excellent receipt for peas-soup.
This is a good set-off against high seasoned dishes. An occasional abstinence that does not allow the stomach to be quite empty at any one time, is a measure highly salutary, and, for religious purposes, is perhaps preferable to long fasting; a practice, medically to be condemned. An honest physician who, regardless of his fees, can view with pleasure the healthy state of a family where he has been received with kindness, will be happy in the recommendation of a practice that is calculated to preserve the general health of his friends. But, to the disgrace of a profession, otherwise useful and honourable, there are some men who, like the savages upon a rocky coast, view an epidemical disease as a "God-scnd." p. 113-114.
At the same time, while we do justice to the liberality of the views of Ignotus, we can by no means acquit him of leading his readers into temptation. It is hardly enough to say to an epicure, in the words of Cato: “Your death and life, your bane and antidote are both before you." Describing a rich dish, and then stigmatizing it as unwholesome, is only calling for the water engine after you have set the house on fire. Our first parents eat, when death was denounced as the inevitable consequence; and their descendants, with undegenerated courage, and a full consciousness of their danger, are ready to eat themselves into gout, and drink themselves into palsy. To add to the weight of his remonstrances, Ignotus has called in the assistance of Archeus, the genius of the stomach, a personification by which Van Helmont and others expressed the digestive power. Lest the unlearned reader should suppose Archeus, whose authority is so often referred to, to be the name of a French bon vivant, or a Hungarian professor, Ignotus gives us the following account of his person and office.
Van Helmont gave the name of Archeus to a spirit that he supposed existed in the body, for the purpose of regulating and keeping in order the innumerable glands, ducts, and vessels; and though this spirit visits every part, his chief post is at the upper orifice of the stomach, where he acts the part of a customhouse officer, allowing nothing to pass unexamined that, by the law of nature, has the appearance of being contraband. This part of his duty being only required during meal-times, the remaining part of the twenty-four hours (for he never sleeps) is employed in rubbing, scrubbing, and repairing the waste of the body occasioned by the continual friction of the fluids against the sides of the containing vessels. For this last purpose, and an important one it is, he is supposed to select from the chyle such particles as he may stand in need of; but as he may sometimes be in want of one kind more than of another, he very judiciously obtains it, by bringing on a longing for a particular kind of food. For example; when the internal coat of the intestines is abraded by a diarrhœa or dysentery, a longing is brought on for fried tripe with melted butter, as containing the greatest quantity of materials proper for the repair of bowels so disordered. To this circumstance, modern physicians do not sufficiently attend, neither are they sufficiently awake to the necessity of prescribing a diet for persons in health, whose chyle should be of a nature for supplying Archeus with general materials, without compelling him to call for them. The folly, therefore, of keeping to one kind of diet, whether high or low, is abundantly evident, as, in that case, Archeus must sometimes be overstocked with materials that he may have no occasion for, and be in want of such as his office may stand in need of. And here it will be necessary to remark, for the information of medical men, that a microscopical examination of the chyle of different men, made after sudden deaths, has proved, to a demonstration, that the chyle of the human body contains different shaped particles, round, oval, long, square, angular, kidney-shaped, heart-shaped, &c.`varying according to the food taken in. In consequence of this important discovery, the practitioner has only to direct such food as may contain the particles that Archeus may stand in need of. For example: Are the kidneys diseased? Then prescribe stews and broths, made of ox, deer, and sheep's kidneys. Asthmas require dishes prepared from the lungs of sheep, deer, calves, hares, and lambs. Are the intestines diseased? Then prescribe tripe, boiled, fried, or fricasseed, When this practice has become general, Archeus will be enabled to remove every disease incident to the human body, by the assistance of the cook only. And, as all persons, from the palace to the cottage, will receive the benefit of my discovery, I shall expect a parliamentary reward, at least equal to what was given to Mrs. Stevens, Dr. Jenner, and Dr. Smyth. On the last revision of the college dispensatory, among other things of less moment, such as ordering fomentations to be made with distilled water, the name of Archeus was changed into Anima Medica, as more expressive of a Maid Servant of all Work, With men of deep researches, I will not dispute the propriety of the alteration, as I conceive that such a violence could not be done but after serious investigation. p. 119. 122.
This extract may give the reader some idea of the lively manner in which Ignotus has handled his subject. In fact, the whole book is very entertaining, and excites no small degree of interest, especially if read about an hour before dinner. The medical remarks are excellent, although
apparently too indulgent towards the gourmand. The author stands completely exculpated from the charge of Dr. Last against the regular physicians, who "drenched the bowels of Christians with pulse and water, as if they were the tripes of a brute beast." Thus it is remarked, "as a singular circumstance, that persons of a gouty habit should be most fond of highseasoned dishes;" but the singularity would have vanished, had the proposition been, that the persons most fond of high-seasoned dishes usually have a gouty habit. It was not, however, to be expected, that with a stoical severity, Ignotus should bluntly attack the very criticks on whose verdict his fame must depend. He is not sparing of gentle hints for their welfare ; and compounds, on the part of Archeus, for three days' high living, with a fourth day's temperance, and occasionally some gentle physick.
Where truth commands, there's no man can offend,
Though 'tis in toasting bread, or butering peas.
In fine, as long as a man thinks more frequently and more seriously about his dinner than about any thing else, as was the unvaried opinion and practice of Dr. Johnson, so long will the parsley wreath won by Ignotus remain unblighted. The work is, with great propriety, dedicated "To those gentlemen who freely give two guineas for a turtle dinner at the tavern, when they might have a more wholesome one at home for ten shillings." A fatted hog, the emblem, perhaps, of one of these worthy patrons, decorates the frontispiece And so we take leave of Ignotus, in the words of Beaumont and Fletcher, as of "a gentleman extraordinarily seen in deep mysteries; well read, deeply learned, and thoroughly grounded in the hidden knowledge of all sauces, sallads, and pot-herbs whatsoever."
FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
Nouvelles Observations sur les Abeilles, adresseés à M. Charles Bonnet, par Fran cois Huber. New Observations on the Natural History of Bees. By Francis Huber. Translated from the original. 12mo. pp. 300. Edinburgh. London.
THE natural history of the common bee has been more carefully examined, and more amply treated of than that of any other of the insect tribe. Yet so complicated and extraordinary are some of the processes of nature that the most diligent observers were long utterly unable to account for some circumstances in the history of this insect, and published to the world the most opposite explanations. Several of the most important and intricate problems, however, seem now to be finally resolved by the Genevese observer, M. Huber; of whose valuable little work we purpose to lay before our readers a pretty full analysis. We regard the facts contained in this volume, as extremely important to the naturalist; for they not only greatly elucidate the history of this wonderful insect, but present some singular facts in physiology hitherto unknown, and even unsuspected.
For the sake of those who may never have made bees the particular object of their study, it may not be unacceptable, previously to sketch, in a very few words, the striking outlines of their history; and to explain some terms generally employed in treating of them.
A hive contains three kinds of bees. 1. A single queen bee, distinguishable by the great length of her body, and the proportional shortness of her wings. 2. Working bees, female nonbreeders; or, as they were formerly