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And beside this, a crowd of birds,
Owls and puppies were also in the mouths of every people. We can easily imagine that from grasshoppers, young sows' haslets, puppies, owls, and assofætida some rare dishes must have been concocted, which, eaten with the garum of which I have before spoken, must have been truly delectable. With such dishes, and the recumbent position, the ancient banquet must have been no trifling affair. How the guests could ever struggle through one without slobbering their long beards and bedaubing their cænatory garments is a marvel to me; but fashion and extreme laziness sanction a great many absurdities and inconveniences. It was customary at the conclusion of Grecian banquets to make libations and sing praises to the gods. Plato, in his Banquet, says : Upon this he told me that Socrates reclined himself, and took his supper, and.so did the rest, and that they made libations, and sang the praises of the God.' So in Xenophon, after the feast, effusion of wine was made in honor of the gods. The manner in which these libations were performed was, according to Theophrustus, who died B.c. 286, as follows: The unmixed wine which is given at a banquet, which they call the pledge-cup, in honor of the Good Deity, they offer in small quantities, as if reminding the guests of its strength, and of the liberality of the god, by the mere taste. And they hand it round when men are already full, in order that there may be as little as possible drunk out of it. And having paid adoration three times, they take it from the table, as if they were entreating of the gods that nothing may be done unbecomingly, and that they may not indulge in immoderate desires for this kind of drink, and that they may derive what is honorable and useful from it.' I give one of the scolia sung by the Deipnosophists upon their libations :
"O thou Tritonian Pallas! who from heaven above
Look'st with protecting eye
On this holy city and land,
From loss in war, from dread sedition's band,
And now for the moral of my discourse. We see gastronomy, as an art, keeps pace with civilization ; that it is its concomitant, and that it is subject to no laws of retrogression. We observe that those nations where it is unknown are sunk in savagery. Thus you see what a wide field of investigation our subject opens. It would afford me infinite pleasure to trace the effects of cooks and cookery upon the world, from the earliest ages to the present time ; but that is a work only for a philosopher. The ancients did not fail to discover its beneficent influences upon mankind. Athenion, in his Samothracians, introduces a cook arguing philosophically about the nature of things and men, saying :
"Cook. Do you not know that cookery has brought
More aids to piety than aught beside ? VOL. XLVI.
“Slave. Say by what means.
The art of cookery drew us gently forth
With all the pleasures of domestic life.
Cook. To us you owe
But what is this I see? Poeta and Venator walking arm-in-arm ; Poeta swinging his hat, and Venator brandishing a bottle. Alas! they have taken to drink; and, hark ! they are singing some rollicking song.
PISCATOR : By my halidom! it is my own flask which Venator swingeth.
VENATOR : Huzza ! huzza ! my worthy master; huzza! my brave Scholiast. Truly saith Poeta, we have found the fountain of Hippocrene. Drink.
POETA : The maiden fair, with lips so rare, and eye of ebon blackness, with witching form, all ripe and warm, can give no rapture like this. Oh! the good red wine! oh! the blood-red wine! of life the very nectar ; without which all were 'neath a pall, and Joy a shivering spectre. Drink deep, dear friends, for, till it ends, blow winds, come clouds, storms roar; with rare old wine we 'll keep sunshine within our bosom's core.
Piscator : You are villainously given to jesting, my scholars, for there is naught herein. Nay, my dear Scholiast, not so much as a drop ; and thus, thou seest, though our life be very gentle and quiet, yet we shall
not escape all crosses. Now let us sce what great fish there be upon our hooks, for it is near three hours they have been in the water.
VENATOR : So master, I have one as long as your finger!
SCHOLIAST : Master, see; I have a large one. Nay, I have broken my hook.
PisCATOR : Surely he must have been a strong one to have bitten it off. Marry, Poeta, see what a fine one I have. Catch hold of him.
POETA: Aha! master, I am hurt.
PISCATOR : HEAVEN forefend! You have taken the bull-head by the horns. But see what a cloud of dust doth hang over yonder village ; and lo! there comes the lightning and thunder, lashing and urging on the storm. Let us hence.
VENATOR : Marry, now! how the rain doth sweep over yonder field ; and, with its drifting columns, it doth look like an advancing army. And now the wind striketh the tree above and maketh its high head to wag. Here comes the blinding rain scudding along. How sharply it lightens, and how quick the hoarse thunder growls after it! Let us stay under this sheltering oak.
Piscator : Nay, good my scholar. Know that lightning doth much incline to strike high objects ; and further down I hope to take a brace of suckers for our supper.
Here we are, and the shower is past. What a blessed thing is rain; for it hath sobered you, Poeta and Venator, and washed off the dust which I got by our tumble. How gracefully the river bendeth here. We will down upon this craft. Ha! I have a shiner as long as your second finger.
VENATOR : By my faith! good master, I envy your luck. But what shall we do with so many fish? -- for we have now three.
Piscator : We will bestow this, and that fish of thine upon some poor person. What dost thou with that book, Poeta ?
POETA : Huzza! my brave comrades. Is this not a bait for a whale ? 't is my pocket Milton. Leviathan himself will nibble at it, and the great sea-serpent dislocate his back-bone to taste it. Ha! what a glorious bite! Lo! the lure is gone. How sayest thou now, Scholiast, will the fishes not sing like thrushes now?
SCHOLIAST : For a verity, I think they will. See how the dust stoopeth to the surface of the stream; and list! I hear the plaintive whippoor-will calling for her lost mate. The Indians have a legend concerning this bird which I will, when next we go to the angle, repeat to thee, for it is very beautiful.
PISCATOR : I shall be glad to hear it. Now let us go; for we have a brace and a half of fish, and yonder stands our inn. We will walk under this bank, lest Poeta bring shame upon us - for he is yet quite drunken — and lest pestilent fellows ask us of our luck.
VENATOR : Bless me! master, some good house-wife hath placed a salt mackerel in the stream to freshen. Let us take it, and prevail upon our worthy host to fry it for our supper.
PISCATOR : 'T is a good thought ; and we will leave some money in its stead. So we shall have two brace, and the half of them shall fur
nish us a meal. We have had most excellent luck. But I have no change.
VENATOR ; We will return betimes and place some here. Lo! I have it.
PISCATOR : Now let us throw away these rods. We will enter the back-door of our inn, and change our clothes, and make merry with a bottle of small-beer over our smoking meal.
SCHOLIAST : Oh! most delectable. How my mouth doth water at the thought of it. When next thou goest to the angle, pray let me be advised, for I have been mightily pleased.
Piscator : And now the evening hath come. Let us go in, and we will eat our supper heartily, drink our beer gratefully, pay our bill thankfully, call down blessings on our kind and jovial host, and some other day, with honest and quiet minds, go a-angling.
Far from this dull prosaic land,
Many a weary league away,
And glittering with his pearly spray.
Are tinted shells of color rare,
In snowy masses through the air.
Dropped by the wave's returning flow,
Memorials of distress and woe.
Of many a rolling breaker glancing,
Like charging squadron, 't is advancing.
Nestled beneath a mighty rock,
Looking a jewel from the shore,
Heaved from the sea — a shred of land
Scarce larger than a fisher's boat, A glittering ring of silver sand, Close plumed with shrubs whose flowers expand, A many-colored glorious band,
And on the ocean seem to float. Within the isle a little well
Of purest, freshest crystal sprung, Whose bubbling column, legends tell, Opened, before the proper spell,
The glittering road to Faerydom.
So mortals said, was often given
Beside that shrine, as if to HEAVEN.
With murmured prayer for faery favor.
E'er shone beside the love he gave her.
Or lover's art I know not, tell not;
From EDWARD's lip the secret fell not.
If he seeks through earth to its utmost bound, E'er met a maid but her faith was true,
Or a woman false to her promise found?
One summer eve, as the sun declined,
Hung in the red and glowing West, · Like a burning thought in a poet's mind, Or a passionate lover closely twined
On the blushing curve of his maiden's breastYoung EDWARD sought the faery well,
And lo! beside its margin stood
The angels stooped from heaven and wooed.
Her hair like the streakings of morning light, As it shoots from the cloud, an airy shroud,
Which veils from the earth the sun-day bright.
Fler face was young and wondrous fair,
(A girl she was, or little older,) But in its rest there was an air Of power, and something scornful there
There lurked, which daunted the beholder.
Seemed ever and anon to quiver,
And shine reflected in a river.