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well; for he said that it required the same sort of spirit to manage a banquet as a battle, with this difference, that the one should be made as pleasant to friends, and the other as formidable to enemies, as possible. I often think of this excellent saying at large dinner parties, where the master and mistress preside as if they were the humblest of the guests, or as if they were overwhelmed with anxiety respecting their cumbrous and pleasure-destroying arrangements. They appear not to have the most distant idea of the duties of commanders, and instead of bringing their troops regularly into action, they leave the whole army in reserve. They should at least now and then address each of their guests by name, and, if possible, say something by which it may be guessed who and what each person is. I have witnessed some ridiculous and almost incredible instances of these defects. I remember once at a large dinner-party at a great house, the lion of the day not being called out once, and going away without the majority of the company suspecting who he was. On a simi, lar occasion, as a very distinguished man left the drawingroom, a scarcely less distinguished lady inquired who that gentleman was, who had been talking so long to her,—though she had sat opposite to him at dinner. It appears to me that nothing can be better contrived to defeat its legitimate end, than a large dinner-party in the London season-sixteen, for instance. The names of the guests are generally so announced that it is difficult to hear them, and in the earlier part of the year, the assembling takes places in such obscurity, that it is impossible to see. Then there is often a tedious and stupifying interval of waiting, caused perhaps by some affected fashionable, some important politician, or some gorgeouslydecked matron, or it may be by some culinary accident. At last comes the formal business of descending into the diningroom, where the blaze of light produces by degrees sundry recognitions; but many a slight acquaintance is prevented from being renewed by the chilling mode of assembling. In the long days the light is more favourable, but the waiting is generally more tedious, and half the guests are perhaps leaving the park, when they ought to be sitting down to dinner. At table, intercourse is prevented as much as possible by a huge centre-piece of plate and flowers, which cuts off about one-half the company from the other, and some very awkward mistakes have taken place in consequence, from guests having made personal observations upon those who were actually opposite to them. It seems strange that people should be vited, to be hidden from one another. Besides the centrepiece, there are usually massive branches, to assist in interrupting communication ; and perhaps you are placed between two persons with whom you are not acquainted, and have no community of interest to induce you to become so, for in the present overgrown state of society, a new acquaintance, except for some particular reason, is an encumbrance to be avoided. When the company is arranged, then comes the perpetual motion of the attendants, the perpetual declining of what you do not want, and the perpetual waiting for what you do, or a silent resignation to your fate. To desire a potato, and to see the dish handed to your next neighbour, and taking its course in a direction from you, round an immense table, with occasional retrograde movements, and digressions, is one of the unsatisfactory occurrences which frequently take place; but perhaps the most distressing incident in a grand dinner is, to be asked to take champagne, and, after much delay, to see the butler extract the bottle from a cooler, and hold it nearly parallel to the horizon, in order to calculate how much he is to put into the first glass to leave any for the second. To relieve him and yourself from the chilling difficulty, the only alternative is to change your mind, and prefer sherry, which, under the circumstances, 'has rather an awkward effect. These and an infinity of minor evils are constantly experienced amidst the greatest displays, and they have from sad experience made me come to the conclusion, that a combination of state and calculation is the horror of horrors. Some good bread and cheese, and a jug of ale, comfortably set before me, and heartily given, are heaven on earth in comparison. I must not omit to mention, amongst other obstacles to sociability, the present excessive breadth of fashionable tables for the purpose of holding, first, the cumbrous ornaments and lights before spoken of; secondly, in some cases, the dessert, at the same time with the side dishes; and lastly, each person's cover, with its appurtenances; so that to speak across the table, and through the intervening objects, is so inconvenient, as to be nearly impracticable. To crown all, is the ignorance of what you have to eat, and the impossibility of duly regulating your appetite. To be sure, in many particulars you may form a tolerably accurate guess, as that, at one season, there will be partridges in the third course, and at another, pigeons, in dull routine. No wonder that such a system produces many a dreary pause, in spite of every effort to the contrary, and that one is obliged, in self-defence, to crumble bread, sip wine, look at the paintings, if there are any, or if there are not, blazon the arms on the plates, or, lastly, retreat into oneself in despair, as I have often and often done. When dinner is over, there is no peace till each dish in the dessert has made its circuit, after which the wine moves languidly round two or three times, and then settles for the rest of the evening, and coffee and small talk finish the heartless affair. I do not mean to say that such dinner parties as I have been describing have not frequently many redeeming circumstances. Good breeding, wit, talent, information, and every species of agreeable quality are to be met with there ; but I think these would appear to much greater advantage, and much oftener, under a more simple and unrestrained system. After curiosity has been satisfied, and experience ripened, I imagine most people retire from the majority of formal dinners rather wearied than repaid, and that a feeling of real enjoyment is the exception,

and not the rule. In the long run, there is no compensation for ease; and ease is not to be found in state and superabundance, but in having what you want when you want it, and with no temptation to excess. The legitimate objects of dinner are to refresh the body, to please the palate, and to raise the social humour to the highest point; but these objects, so far from being studied, in general are not even thought of, and display and an adherence to fashion are their meagre substitutes. Hence it is, that gentlemen ordinarily understand what pertains to dinner-giving so much better than ladies, and that bachelors' feasts are so popular. Gentlemen keep more in view the real ends, whereas ladies think principally of display and crnament, of form and ceremony-not all, for some have excellent notions of taste and comfort; and the cultivation of them would seem to be the peculiar province of the sex, as one of the chief features in household management. There is one female failing in respect to dinners, which I cannot help here noticing, and that is, a very inconvenient love of garnish and flowers, either natural or cut in turnips and carrots, and stuck on dishes, so as greatly to impede carving and helping. This is the true barbarian principle of ornament, and is in no way distinguishable from the “ untutored Indian's” fondness for feathers and shells. In both cases the ornament is an incumbrance, and has no relation to the matter on which it is placed. But there is a still worse practice, and that is pouring sauce over certain dishes to prevent them from looking too plain, as parsley and butter, or white sauce over boiled chickens. I cannot distinguish this taste from that of the Hottentot besmearing himself with grease, or the Indian with red paint, who, I suppose, have both the same reason for their practice. To my mind, good meat well cooked, the plainer it looks the better it looks, and it certainly is better with the accessories kept separate till used, unless they form a part of the dish. In my next number I shall give my ideas of what dinners ought to be.


I shall continue from time to time, as long as they last, to give such extracts from my pamphlet on pauperism, as I think will contribute to instil sound doctrines on the subject into the minds of my readers. .

Though the sum annually raised on account of pauperism is so large, yet in any ordinary period, the amount of real pauperism is probably much less than is supposed; and of that amount a large proportion is directly produced by the certain anticipation of a provision from the parish. The expenses of management and of litigation, and indeed all the expenses of the system, except the money laid out for the actual maintenance of paupers, may here be put out of the question, because, if the latter could be dispensed with, the former would cease of course.

A pauper, in the strict sense of the word, is one, who, being without property, and unable by his labour to support himself and those legally dependent upon him, and, having no competent friends compellable or willing to help him, is forced to resort to the parish for relief. From the number of real paupers, then, are to be excepted, 1st, The few who have property, but conceal it, some of whom, from miserly habits, receive relief for many years ; 2ndly, The more numerous class, with competent friends, who would willingly assist them, but do not choose to save the parish ; 3rdly, The large class who successfully feign inability to perform or procure labour; 4thly, All those who by any other species of imposition, or by abuse on the part of their friends, wrongfully participate in the parish fund ; and lastly, the more prudent portion of the immense number, who, whilst in full employ, receive a part of their maintenance from the poors' rates, which portion, if they were not remunerated in so degrading a mode, would learn immediately to depend

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