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AM now very feriously employed in a Work that, I hope, may be useful to the Publick, which is a Poem of the Art of Cookery," in imitation of Horace's "Art of Poetry," infcribed to Dr. Lifter, as hoping it may be in time read as a preliminary to his Works. But I have not vanity enough to think it will live fo long. I have in the mean time fent you an imitation of Horace's invitation of Torquatus to fupper, which is the Fifth Epiftle of his First Book. Perhaps you will find fo many faults in this, that you may fave me the trouble of my other propofal; but, however, take it as it is:
If Bellvill can his generous foul confine
Thus we 'll difperfe all busy thoughts and cares,
A vaft excess of wealth for fquandering heirs.
No noife, no hurry, when the meat 's fet on,
Of 'Cotton's laugh, and Winner's tales of love,
But I fhall not preferibe.
Confult your cafe,
Write back your men, and number, as you please:
Try your back-stairs, and let the lobby wait:
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
HERE fend you what I promifed, "A Difcourfe of Cookery," after the method which Horace has taken in 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 art or fcience. He is indeed severe upon OUR fort of learning in fome of his Satires; but even there he inftructs, as in the Fourth Satire of the Second Book, ver. 13.
"Longa quibus facies ovis erit, illa memento,
Choofe eggs oblong; remember they'll be found *Of fweeter tafte, and whiter than the round:
The firmnefs of that fhell includes the male."
I am much of his opinion, and could only with that the world was thoroughly informed of two other truths concerning eggs. One is, how incomparably better roafted eggs are than boiled; the other, never to eat any
butter with eggs in the bell. You cannot imagine how much more you will have of their flavour, and how much easier they will fit upon your ftomach. The worthy person who recommended it to me made many profelytes; and I have the vanity to think that I have not been altogether unfuccefsful..
I have in this Poem ufed a plain, eafy, familiar ftyle,. as most fit for precept; neither have I been too exact an Imitator of Horace, as he himself directs. I have. not confulted any of his Tranflators; neither Mr. Oldham, whofe copiousness runs into Paraphrafe; nor Ben Jonfon, who is admirable for his clofe following of the original; nor yet the Lord Rofcommon, fo excellent for the beauty of his language, and his penetration into the very design and foul of that Author. I confidered that I went upon a new undertaking; and though I do not value myself upon it fo much as Lucretius did, yet 1 dare fay it is more innocent and inoffenfive..
Sometimes, when Horace's rules come too thick and fententious, I have fo far taken liberty as to pafs over fome of them; for I confider the nature and temper of Cooks, who are not of the moft patient difpofition, as their under-fervants too often experience. I wish I might prevail with them to moderate their paffions, which will be the greater conqueft, feeing a continual, heat is added to their native fire.
Amidft the variety of directions that Horace gives,` us in his "Art of Poetry," which is one of the moft accurate pieces that he or any other Author has written, there is a fecret connexion in reality, though he doth
not exprefs it too plainly; and therefore this Imitation of it has many breaks in it.. If fuch as fhall condescend to read this Poem would. at the fame time confult Horace's original Latin, or fome of the aforementioned Tranflators, they would find at least this benefit, that they would recollect those excellent inftructions which he delivers to us in fuch elegant language.
I could with the Mafter and Wardens of the Cooks' Company would order this Poem to be read with due confideration; for it is not lightly to be run over, feeing it contains many useful instructions for human life. It is true, that some of these rules may feem more principally to respect the Steward, Clerk of the Kitchen, Caterer, or perhaps the Butler. But the Cook being the principal perfon, without whom all the rest will be little regarded, they are directed to him; and the Wotk being defigned for the univerfal good, it will accomplish. fome part of its intent, if those fort of people will improve by it.
It may happen, in this as in all works of Art, that there may be fome terms not obvious to common Readers; but they are not many. The Reader may not have a just idea of a favoled mutton, which is a sheep roafted in its wool, to fave the labour of fleaing. Bacon and filbert-tarts are fomething unufual; but, fince Sprout-tarts and pistachio-tarts are much the fame thing, and to be feen in Dr. Salmon's "Fainily Dictionary," thofe perfons who have a defire for them may eafily find the way to make them. As for grout, it is an old Danish dish; and it is claimed as an honour to the an