Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ber of quotations from Athæneus, Apicius, Nonius de re Cibaria, Columella, &c.; and we could hardly suppose, considering the great stores the author must have had an opportunity of consulting, that he could have compiled a book so dull. The best part is a Carte Gastronomique de la France, in which each town celebrated for any gastronomic production is marked by a representation of it in the map, thus giving a general view of the most celebrated productions comestibles" in each town. This carte at first appeared to us to be a part of a celestial globe; but, on a nearer inspection, the representation of what we conceived to be Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, &c. we found to be the fat oxen of Limoge, &c. The work also contains a curious classification, &c. of tastes (saveurs), the number of which the author makes to correspond with the seven prismatic colours.

Those of our readers who have been used to the imperfect and barbarous nomenclature and directions of Mrs Glasse, and who have not watched the recent progress of the science in this country, will be surprised at the rapid strides which have been made towards the improvement of the art of cookery: and we may venture to prophecy, that the Apicius Redivivus, which it is un-derstood is from the learned pen of Dr Kitchener, will be considered as the English Institute of cookery, and may well earn for the Doctor the proud title of Apicius Britannicus. We in some degree, however, quarrel with him, he having, we think, helped himself too largely from the stores of the Almanack des Gourmands, and other French institutional works, and not having always made sufficient acknowledgments.

The Apicius is well dedicated to Tasteful palates, keen appetites, and capacious stomachs,' by the author, who has made it a bona fide register of practical facts, accumulated by a perseverance not to be subdued or evaporated by the terrors of a roasting fire in the dog days. The receipts, he states, were actually written down by the fire-side, with a spit in the one hand, and a pen in the other; in defiance to the combined odoriferous calefaciant repellants of roasting and boiling, frying and

*The singular coincidence of name and subject led us at first to suppose that a culpable modesty had induced the author to assume the pseudonyme of Kitchener.;' but in this we were mistaken: We find that there is a real Dr Kitchener; and that he is devoted to the culinary art with a zeal almost unequalled. If report be true, the Doctor spends some hours each day in his laboratory; and has more than once worked his whole book through, in a course of experimental cookery.

We understand a New Edition of Apicius Redivivus, with the more popular title of the Cook's Oracle, with numerous additions and improvements, is about to make its appearance.

broiling. The author submitting to a labour no preceding cookery book-maker perhaps ever attempted to encounter; having eaten every receipt before he set it down in his book, and no composition being inserted without the imprimatur of an enlightened and indefatigable COMMITTEE OF TASTE, composed of profound palaticians, who, the Doctor states, were so philosophically and disinterestedly regardless of the wear and tear of teeth and stomach, that their labour appeared a pleasure to them.

The principal object of cookery, he observes, is to make the food not merely inviting to the appetite, but agreeable and useful to the stomach; nourishing without being inflammatory, and savoury without being surfeiting. To be a profound palatician, and complete mistress of the art of extracting and combining flavours, besides being the gift of good taste, requires all the experience and all the genius, all the dexterity and skill, of the most accomplished and exquisite professor, and especially an intimate acquaintance with, and an attentive consideration of the palates of those for whom she (the cook) is working. There are as many degrees of sensibility of palate, as there are of perfection in the eyes and ears of painters and musicians; and unless nature, observes Dr K., has given the organ of taste in a due degree, his book will no more make an Apicius, than it can a Reynolds or an Arne.

Amongst the different works published in this country, we must mention one by Mr Simpson, cook to the late Marquis of Buckingham; not, however, from any intrinsic merit of the work. As far as relates to the art of cookery, it is, we conceive, worse than useless; but Mr Simpson has added 365 bills of fare, of dinners, for one year, dressed by the author for the late Marquis, which include a synopsis of the entertainments given at Stowe during a week's residence of his present Majesty, and of a supper given to Louis XVIII. and the French princes. We trust that at least one of the four editions of this work will be preserved in the British Museum, for the benefit of future antiquaries; and if so, we have no doubt, a few hundred years hence, some bookworm will have the good luck to discover this treasure, and transmit to the Antiquarian Society an account of the identical dinner eaten by George the IV., when Prince of Wales, on such a particular day; with the very important addition of the manner in which each dish was dressed and served.'

We must not, however, omit to do full justice to Dr Kitchener; he has not done his work by halves:-indigestion is a subject very nearly connected with good eating; in France, however, it does not appear that this is the source of such evil

[ocr errors]

and torment as in this country. Digestion,' the French say, is the stomach's affair;' indigestion, that of the Doctor: but lest any one should suffer by an incautious indulgence in the good things displayed in the Cook's Oracle,' the author has published a separate work, under the title of Peptic Precepts, in which the prevailing symptoms of indigestion are carefully noticed, and the most effectual antidotes prescribed.

We suspect, however, that in all dietetic directions, medical men prescribe pretty much according to what they find suits their own tastes. Dr Darwin used to eat a cream cheese or two at once; and he was not sparing, on all occasions, in prescribing cream and butter in large quantities to his patients :we rather suspect that the author of the Peptic Precepts is not an exception from this rule. A perusal of the work leaves us with the impression, that a considerable proportion of his time had been occupied in good eating, and the remainder in devising the means for releasing himself from the ill effects of repletion.

We fear, by this time, our readers are satiated with the subject; and we have no room left for a very ingenious suggestion for effecting changes in the constitution, by the peculiar combination and ingredients of the dishes in future to be served at the Cabinet dinners,-from which much benefit to the constitution of the country, as well as of the ministers, might be very confidently expected. We are compelled to quit the subject of French and English cookery, without having found room to say a word about Frogs under one head, or Turtle under the other.

ART. III. Monthly Repository. Vol. 14. 1819.

STRANGE as the assertion may appear to many Clergymen of

that establishment, the English Church is mortal; and ages hence, though the rivers and the hills remain, there may be no Bishops and no Deans. Now, the receipt we would propose for the prolongation of the existence of this venerable system, is the diminution of needless hostility, a display of good humour, liberality, and condescension, and an habit of giving way in trifles, in order to preserve Essentials. Every nation of Europe has its ecclesiastical Establishment, to the support of which the community at large contribute. This is all very well; we quarrel with nothing of this kind. But, the Establishment once made and well provided for, any exclusive privilege conferred upon its members is mere monopoly and oppression; against such un

just pretensions of Establishments, we have always contended, they are not religion, but greediness and insolence wrapt up in a surplice.

Cupid cares not for creeds; the same passion which fills the parsonage house with chubby children, beats in the breast of the Baptist,-animates the Arminian,-melts the Unitarian maid, -and stirs up the moody Methodist to declare himself the victim of human Love. But when, after a long course of pleasing solemnity, the delighted Dissenter has obtained the consent of his serious female, when they are about to be united in holy wedlock, the law opposes the most cruel obstacles to their union. Let us state the facts, and see to what reasoning they give birth. The Christian religion every where ordains marriage as the condition of intercourse between the sexes; and considers as sinful such intercourse carried on without such contract. Marriage, therefore, the compact itself of living together and bringing up children, is unquestionably a religious compact: he who denies this, must forget some of the plainest texts in Scripture. But though the compact itself is among Christians a religious compact, the methods by which that compact may be executed are left to the laws of each Christian country; and the marriages in Scotland, without clergyman or ceremony, are as scriptural as those in England. It is therefore muddy and confused language to say, that marriage is a mere civil contract. Marriage is a religious institution; the forms of marriage are civil institutions. It is an offence against the Scriptures to violate the compact itself; it is an offence against the law not to comply with the forms of the compact.

The Church of England has ordained, and we think wisely ordained, that the marriage ceremony should be performed by the intervention of a clergyman, and the recital of appointed prayers; and, as far as concerns the members of their own church, this is reasonable and decent. There are some passages in those prayers, perhaps, which are too plain and natural" for modern delicacy;-but this is another, and a subordinate question.

Before the marriage act of 1753, nothing was so easy as to be married. Any contract made per verba de præsenti, or in words of the present tense, or in case of cohabitation per verba de futuro also, between persons able to contract, was, before the marriage act, deemed a valid marriage to many purposes; and the parties might be compelled, in the Spiritual Courts, to cele brate it in the face of the Church. The marriage act enacts, that banns should be regularly published; that no license should be granted to marry in any place, where one of the parties has

not resided at least a month; that the marriage ceremony must be performed by a regular clergyman of the Church of England, and according to the form set forth in the book of Common Prayer. There is an exception in favour of Jews and Quakers. Upon every other sort of Dissenter, the act is as imperative as upon the members of the Church of England.

Before the marriage act, the marriage of Dissenters, in the face of their own congregation, was good in law. Of this fact, there is no doubt. Whatever grievance they have to complain of, originated at that period. Their claim, or, if that is a more palatable word, their petition, is to be restored to the situation they were in (as far as marriage is concerned) before the passing of this statute.

In the marriage service, the doctrine of the Trinity is very frequently introduced. The man and woman are declared to be husband and wife, in the name of the Trinity. The Clergyman gives them his blessing in the name of the Trinity. The man is compelled to say after the Clergyman, that he weds, endows, and worships his wife, in the name of the Trinity :and allusions to that doctrine (as is of course to be expected in the ritual of the Church of England) pervade the whole of the marriage service. There are a certain class of Dissenters, the Unitarians, who do not believe this doctrine to be taught by the Scriptures, and who say that they cannot religiously and conscientiously be present at a service where such doctrines are inculcated as a part of the Christian religion, much less express their assent in them; which, in the marriage-service, they are, by the repetitions after the clergyman, compelled to do. AntiTrinitarian Dissenters are tolerated by law as well as any other dissenters. The penalties for denying the doctrines of the Trinity are abolished:-that doctrine, like all the other doctrines of our religion, is left open to the fair and respectful discussion of Christians. That the Unitarians are sincere in this declaration, and that their opposition is conscientious, we have not the smallest doubt. But the law is peremptory: if they are married in England, they must be married in this manner. They cannot enter into this great Christian compact without trampling upon what they believe to be the true exposition of the Christian law. The petition of the Dissenters is as follows.

That your petitioners are Protestant Dissenters, differing from the Established Church with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, [and resident at or near or usually assembling at

for the purpose of religious worship.]

6

That the marriage service, required by the existing law, is inconsistent in several points with the religious belief which your petitioners conscientiously entertain.

« ZurückWeiter »