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when, upon their going thence to the University, their knowledge in culinary matters is seldom enlarged, and their diet continues very much the same; and as to fauces, they are in profound ignorance ?
It were to be wilhed, therefore, that every family had a French tutor ; for, besides his being Groom, Gardener, Butler, and Valet, you would see that he is cndued with a greater accomplishment ; for, according to our ancient Author, Quot Galli, totidem Coqui, “ As “many Frenchmen as you have, so many Cooks you
may depend upon;" which is very useful, where there is a numerous issue. And I doubt not but, with such tutors, and good house-keepers to provide cake and sweet-meats, together with the tender care of an indulgent mother, to see that the children eat and drink every thing that they call for ; I doubt not, I say, but we may have a warlike and frugal Gentry, a temperate and austere Clergy; and such Persons of Quality, in all stations, as may best undergo the fatigues of our fleet and armies.
Pardon me, Sir, if I break-off abruptly; for I am going to Monsieur D'Avaux, a person famous for easing the tooth-ach by avulfion. He has promised to thew me how to strike a lancet into the jugular of a carp, so as the blood may issue thence with the greatest cffusion, and then will instantly perform the operation of stewing it in its own blood, in the presence of myself and several inore Virtuosi. But, let him use what claret he will in the performance, I will secure enough to drink your health and the rest of your friends.
I c.nain, Sir, &c.
SIR, I SHALL make bold to claim your promise, in
your last obliging letter, to obtain the happiness of my correspondence with Dr. Lister; and to that end have fent you the inclosed, to be communicated to him, if you
AM a plain man, and therefore never use compli
ments ; but I must tell you, that I have a great ambition to hold a correspondence with you, especially that I may beg you to communicate your remarks from the Ancients concerning dentiscalps, vulgarly called toothpicks. I take the use of them to have been of great antiquity, and the original to come from the instinct of Nature, which is the best mistress upon all occasions. The Egyptians were a people excellent for their Philosophical and Mathematical observations: they searched into all the springs of action ; and, though I must condemn their superstition, I cannot but applaud their invention. This people had a vast district that worshiped
the crocodile, which is an animal, whose jaws, being wery oblong, give him the opportunity of having a great many teeth; and, his habitation and business lying most in the water, he, like our modern Dutch wbitsiers *. in Southwark, had a very good stomach, and was ex. tremely voracious. It is certain that he had the water of Nile always ready, and.confequently the opportunity of washing his mouth after meals.; yet he had farther occasion for other instruments to cleanse his teeth, which : are ferrate, or like a faw. To this end, Nature has provided an animal called the ichneumon, which per.. forms this office, and is so maintained by the product of its own labour. The Egyptians, seeing such an useful sagacity in the crocodile, which they so much reverenced, Toon began to imitate it, great examples easily drawing the multitude ; so that it became their constant customn. -10 pick their teeth, and wash their mouths, after eating. I cannot find in Marsham's “ Dynasties," nor in the “ Fragments of Manethon,” what year of the moon (for 1 hold the Egyptian years to have been lunar, that is, but of a month's continuance) so venerable an usage first began: for it is the fault of great Philologers, to omit such things as are most material. Whether Sesoftris, in his large conquests, might extend the use of them, is as uncertain ; for the glorious actions of those ages lay very much in the dark. It is very probable that the public use of them came in about the fame time that the Egyptians made use of juries. I find, in the Preface to the “ Third Part of Modern Reports,"; * Whose tenter-grounds are now almost all built upon.
that “ the Chaldees had a great esteem for the number' S TWELVE, because there were so many signs of the “ Zodiack; from them this number came to the Egyp“ tians, and so to Greece, where Mars himself was “ tried for a murder, and was acquitted.” Now it does not appear upon record, nor any fone that I have seen, whether the jury clubbed, or whether Mars treated them, at dinner, though it is most likely that he did ; for he was a quarrelsome sort of a person, and probably, though acquitted, might be as guilty as Count Koningsmark. Now the custom of juries dining at an eating-house, and having glatles of water brought them with tooth-picks tinged with vermilion swimming at the top, being still continued, why may we not imagine, that the tooth-picks were as ancient as the dinner, the dinner as the juries, and the juries at least as the grandchildren of Mitzraim ? Homer makes his heroes feed so grossly, that they seem to have had more occasion for frewers than goose-quills. He is very tedious in de-' scribing a Smith's forge and an anvil: whereas he might have been more polite, in setting out the tooth-pick-cafe or painted snuff-box of Achilles, if that age had not been so barbarous as to want them. And here I cannot but consider, that Athens, in the time of Pericles, when it flourished most in sumptuous buildings, and Rome in its height of empire from Augustus down to Adrian, had nothing that equalled the Royal or New Exchange, or Pope's-head Alley, for curiosities and toy-loops; neither had their Senate any thing to alleviate their debates concerning the affairs of the universe like raffiting fome
times at Colonel Parsons's. Although the Egyptians often extended their conquests into Africa and Ethiopia, and though the Cafre Blacks have very fine teeth; yet I cannot find that they made use of
any such instrument; nor does Ludolphus, though very exact as to the Abyssinian empire, give any account of a matter so im portant; for which he is to blame, as I shall fhew in my Treatise of “ Forks and Napkins," of which I shall send you an Essay with all expedition. I shall in that Treatise fully illustrate or confute this passage of Dr. Heylin, in the Third Book of his “ Cosmography," where he says of the Chinese, “ That they eat their “ meat with two sticks of ivory, ebony, or the like; “ not touching it with their hands at all, and therefore
no great foulers of linen. The use of filver forks “ with us, by some of our spruce gallants taken-up of “ late, came from hence into Italy, and from thence “ into England.” I cannot agree with this learned Doctor in many of these particulars. For, first, the use of these flicks is not so much to fave linen, as out of pure necessity; which arises from the length of their nails, which persons of great quality in those countries wear at a prodigious length, to prevent all possibility of working, or being serviceable to themselves or others; and therefore, if they would, they could not easily feed themselves with those claws; and I have very good authority, that in the East, and especially in Japan, the Princes have the meat put into their mouths by their attendants. Besides, these sticks are of no use but for their fort of meat, which, being pilau, is all boiled to