Pelham — Volume 05

Pelham — Volume 05

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Pelham, Vol 5. by Edward Bulwer-Lytton #47 in our series by Edward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Pelham, Volume 5.Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7619] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on February 8, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PELHAM, V5, BY LYTTON ***This eBook was produced by David Widger VOLUME V.CHAPTER LVIII. Mangez-vous bien, Monsieur? Oui, et bois encore mieux. —Mons. de ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Pelham, Vol 5. byEdward Bulwer-Lytton #47 in our series by EdwardBulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: Pelham, Volume 5.
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7619] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on February 8, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK PELHAM, V5, BY LYTTON ***This eBook was produced by David Widger<widger@cecomet.net>VOLUME V.CHAPTER LVIII.                   Mangez-vous bien, Monsieur?                   Oui, et bois encore mieux.
                                 —Mons. de Porceaugnac.My pamphlet took prodigiously. The authorship wasattributed to the most talented member of theOpposition; and though there were many errors instyle, and (I now think) many sophisms in thereasoning, yet it carried the end proposed by allambition of whatever species—and imposed uponthe taste of the public.Sometime afterwards, I was going down the stairsat Almack's, when I heard an altercation, high andgrave, at the door of reception. To my surprise, Ifound Lord Guloseton and a very young man ingreat wrath; the latter had never been to Almack'sbefore, and had forgotten his ticket. Guloseton,who belonged to a very different set to that of theAlmackians, insisted that his word was enough tobear his juvenile companion through. The ticketinspector was irate and obdurate, and havingseldom or ever seen Lord Guloseton himself, paidvery little respect to his authority.As I was wrapping myself in my cloak, Gulosetonturned to me, for passion makes men open theirhearts: too eager for an opportunity of acquiringthe epicure's acquaintance, I offered to get hisfriend admittance in an instant; the offer wasdelightedly accepted, and I soon procured a smallpiece of pencilled paper from Lady—, whicheffectually silenced the Charon, and opened theStygian via to the Elysium beyond.Guloseton overwhelmed me with his thanks. I
Guloseton overwhelmed me with his thanks. Iremounted the stairs with him—took everyopportunity of ingratiating myself—received aninvitation to dinner on the following day, and leftWillis's transported at the goodness of my fortune.At the hour of eight on the ensuing evening, I hadjust made my entrance into Lord Guloseton'sdrawing-room. It was a small apartment furnishedwith great luxury and some taste. A Venus ofTitian's was placed over the chimney-piece, in allthe gorgeous voluptuousness of her unveiledbeauty- -the pouting lip, not silent though shut—theeloquent lid drooping over the eye, whose reveilleyou could so easily imagine—the arms—the limbs--the attitude, so composed, yet so redolent of life—all seemed to indicate that sleep was notforgetfulness, and that the dreams of the goddesswere not wholly inharmonious with the wakingrealities in which it was her gentle prerogative toindulge. On either side, was a picture of thedelicate and golden hues of Claude; these were theonly landscapes in the room; the remainingpictures were more suitable to the Venus of theluxurious Italian. Here was one of the beauties ofSir Peter Lely; there was an admirable copy of theHero and Leander. On the table lay the Basia ofJohannes Secundus, and a few French works onGastronomy.As for the genius loci—you must imagine a middle-sized, middle-aged man, with an air rather ofdelicate than florid health. But little of the effects ofhis good cheer were apparent in the external man.His cheeks were neither swollen nor inflated—his
person, though not thin, was of no unwieldy obesity—the tip of his nasal organ was, it is true, of amore ruby tinge than the rest, and one carbuncle,of tender age and gentle dyes, diffused its mellowand moonlight influence over the physiognomicalscenery—his forehead was high and bald, and thefew locks which still rose above it, were carefullyand gracefully curled a l'antique: Beneath a pair ofgrey shaggy brows, (which their noble owner had astrange habit of raising and depressing, accordingto the nature of his remarks,) rolled two very small,piercing, arch, restless orbs, of a tender green;and the mouth, which was wide and thick-lipped,was expressive of great sensuality, and curvedupwards in a perpetual smile.Such was Lord Guloseton. To my surprise no otherguest but myself appeared."A new friend," said he, as we descended into thedining-room, "is like a new dish—one must havehim all to oneself, thoroughly to enjoy and rightly tounderstand him.""A noble precept," said I, with enthusiasm. "Of allvices, indiscriminate hospitality is the mostpernicious. It allows us neither conversation nordinner, and realizing the mythological fable ofTantalus, gives us starvation in the midst ofplenty.""You are right," said Guloseton, solemnly; "I neverask above six persons to dinner, and I never dineout; for a bad dinner, Mr. Pelham, a bad dinner is a
most serious—I may add, the most seriouscalamity.""Yes," I replied, "for it carries with it no consolation:a buried friend may be replaced—a lost mistressrenewed—a slandered character be recovered—even a broken constitution restored; but a dinner,once lost, is irremediable; that day is for everdeparted; an appetite once thrown away cannever, till the cruel prolixity of the gastric agents isover, be regained. 'Il y a tant de maitresses, (saysthe admirable Corneille), 'il n'y a qu'un diner.'""You speak like an oracle—like the Cook's Oracle,Mr. Pelham: may I send you some soup, it is a laCarmelite? But what are you about to do with thatcase?""It contains" (said I) "my spoon, my knife, and myfork. Nature afflicted me with a propensity, whichthrough these machines I have endeavoured toremedy by art. I eat with too great a rapidity. It is amost unhappy failing, for one often hurries over inone minute, what ought to have afforded the fullestdelight for the period of five. It is, indeed, a vicewhich deadens enjoyment, as well as abbreviatesit; it is a shameful waste of the gifts, and amelancholy perversion of the bounty of Providence:my conscience tormented me; but the habit, fatallyindulged in early childhood, was not easy toovercome. At last I resolved to construct a spoonof peculiarly shallow dimensions, a fork so small,that it could only raise a certain portion to mymouth, and a knife rendered blunt and jagged, so
that it required a proper and just time to carve thegoods 'the gods provide me.' My lord, 'the lovelyThais sits beside me' in the form of a bottle ofMadeira. Suffer me to take wine with you?""With pleasure, my good friend; let us drink to thememory of theCarmelites, to whom we are indebted for thisinimitable soup.""Yes!" I cried. "Let us for once shake off theprejudices of sectarian faith, and do justice to oneorder of those incomparable men, who, retiringfrom the cares of an idle and sinful world, gavethemselves with undivided zeal and attention to thetheory and practice of the profound science ofgastronomy. It is reserved for us, my lord, to pay agratefu tribute of memory to those exaltedrecluses, who, through a long period of barbarismand darkness, preserved, in the solitude of theircloisters, whatever of Roman luxury and classicdainties have come down to this later age. We willdrink to the Carmelites at a sect, but we will drinkalso to the monks as a body. Had we lived in thosedays, we had been monks ourselves.""It is singular," answered Lord Guloseton—"(by theby, what think you of this turbot?)—to trace thehistory of the kitchen; it affords the greatest scopeto the philosopher and the moralist. The ancientsseemed to have been more mental, moreimaginative, than we are in their dishes; they fedtheir bodies as well as their minds upon delusion:for instance, they esteemed beyond all price the
tongues of nightingales, because they tasted thevery music of the birds in the organs of theirutterance. That is what I call the poetry ofgastronomy!", "Yes," said I, with a sigh"they certainly had, insome respects, the advantage over us. Who canpore over the suppers of Apicius without thefondest regret? The venerable Ude [Note: Q.—Thevenerable Bede— Printer's Devil.] implies, that thestudy has not progressed. 'Cookery (he says, inthe first part of his work) possesses but fewinnovators.'""It is with the greatest diffidence," said Guloseton,(his mouth full of truth and turbot,) "that we maydare to differ from so great an authority. Indeed,so high is my veneration for that wise man, that ifall the evidence of my sense and reason were onone side, and the dictum of the great Ude upon theother, I should be inclined—I think, I should bedetermined—to relinquish the former, and adoptthe latter." [Note: See the speech of Mr. Broughamin honour of Mr. Fox.]"Bravo, my lord," cried I, warmly. "'Qu'un Cuisinierest un mortel divin!' Why should we not be proud ofour knowledge in cookery? It is the soul of festivityat all times, and to all ages. How many marriageshave been the consequence of meeting at dinner?How much good fortune has been the result of agood supper? At what moment of our existenceare we happier than at table? There hatred andanimosity are lulled to sleep, and pleasure alone
reigns. Here the cook, by his skill and attention,anticipates our wishes in the happiest selection ofthe best dishes and decorations. Here our wantsare satisfied, our minds and bodies invigorated,and ourselves qualified for the high delights of love,music, poetry, dancing, and other pleasures; and ishe, whose talents have produced these happyeffects, to rank no higher in the scale of man thana common servant? [Note: Ude, verbatim.]"'Yes,' cries the venerable professor himself, in avirtuous and prophetic paroxysm of indignant merit—'yes, my disciples, if you adopt, and attend to therules I have laid down, the self-love of mankind willconsent at last, that cookery shall rank in the classof the sciences, and its professors deserve thename of artists!'" [Note: Ibid.]"My dear, dear Sir," exclaimed Guloseton, with akindred glow, "I discover in you a spirit similar tomy own. Let us drink long life to the venerableUde!""I pledge you, with all my soul," said I, filling myglass to the brim."What a pity," rejoined Guloseton, "that Ude,whose practical science was so perfect, shouldever have written, or suffered others to write, thework published under his name; true it is that theopening part which you have so feelingly recited, iscomposed with a grace, a charm beyond the reachof art; but the instructions are vapid, and frequentlyso erroneous, as to make me suspect their
authenticity; but, after all, cooking is not capable ofbecoming a written science—it is the philosophy ofpractice!""Ah! by Lucullus," exclaimed I, interrupting myhost, "what a visionary bechamelle! Oh, theinimitable sauce; these chickens are indeed worthyof the honour of being dressed. Never, my lord, aslong as you live, eat a chicken in the country;excuse a pun, you will have foul fare."         "'J'ai toujours redoute la volaille perfide,           Qui brave les efforts d'une dent intrepide;           Souvent par un ami, dans ses champsentraine.           J'ai reconnu le soir le coq infortune           Qui m'avait le matin a l'aurore naissante           Reveille brusquement de sa voixglapissante;           Je l'avais admire dans le sein de la cour,           Avec des yeux jaloux, j'avais vu son amour.           Helas! la malheureux, abjurant satendresse,           Exercait a souper sa fureur vengeresse.'"Pardon the prolixity of my quotation for the sakeof its value.""I do, I do," answered Guloseton, laughing at thehumour of the lines: till, suddenly checking himself,he said, "we must be grave, Mr. Pelham, it willnever do to laugh. What would become of ourdigestions?""True," said I, relapsing into seriousness; "and if