In Imitation of HORACE's Art of Poetry
To Dr. Lister
Ingenious L-- were a Picture drawn
With Cynthia's Face, but with a Neck like Brawn;
With Wings of Turkey, and with Feet of Calf,
Tho' drawn by Kneller, it would make you laugh!
Such is (good Sir) the Figure of a Feast,
By some rich Farmer's Wife and Sister drest.
Which, were it not for Plenty and for Steam,
Might be resembled to a sick Man's Dream,
Where all Ideas hudling run so fast,
That Syllibubs come first, and Soups the last.
Not but that Cooks and Poets still were free,
To use their Pow'r in nice Variety;
Hence Mac'rel seem delightful to the Eyes,
Tho' dress'd with incoherent Gooseberries.
Crabs, Salmon, Lobsters are with Fennel spread,
Who never touch'd that Herb till they were dead;
Yet no Man lards salt Pork with Orange Peel,
Or garnishes his Lamb with Spitchcockt Eel.
A Cook perhaps has mighty things profest,
Then sent up but two Dishes nicely drest,
What signifie Scotcht-Collops to a Feast?
Or you can make whip'd Cream! Pray what Relief
Will that be to a Saylor who wants Beef?
Who, lately, ship-wreckt, never can have Ease,
Till re-establish'd in his Pork and Pease.
When once begun let Industry ne'er cease
Till it has render'd all things of one Piece:
At your Desert bright Pewter comes too late,
When your first Course was all serv'd up in Plate.
Most knowing Sir! the greatest part of Cooks
Searching for Truth, are couzen'd by its Looks.
One wou'd have all things little, hence has try'd
Turkey Poults fresh, from th'Egg in Batter fry'd:
Others, to shew the largeness of their Soul,
Prepare you Muttons swol'd, and Oxen whole.
To vary the same things some think is Art.
By larding of Hogs-feet and Bacon Tart,
The Tast is now to that Perfection brought,
That Care, when wanting Skill, creates the Fault.
In Covent-Gardon did a Taylor dwell,
Who might deserve a place in his own Hell:
Give him a single Coat to make, he'd do't;
A Vest, or Breeches singly, but the Brute
Cou'd ne'er contrive all three to make a Suit:
Rather than frame a Supper like such Cloaths,
I'd have fine Eyes and Teeth without my Nose.
You that from pliant Paste wou'd Fabricks raise,
Expecting thence to gain immortal Praise,
Your Knuckles try, and let your Sinews know
Their Power to knead, and give the Form to Dough,
Chuse your Materials right, your seas'ning fix,
And with your Fruit resplendent Sugar mix:
From thence of course the Figure will arise,
And Elegance adorn the Surface of your Pies.
Beauty from Order springs, the judging Eye
Will tell you if one single Plate's awry,
The Cook must still regard the present time,
T'omit what's just in Season is a Crime.
Your infant Pease to Sparrowgrass prefer,
Which to the Supper you may best defer.
Be cautious how you change old Bills of Fare,
Such Alterations shou'd at least be rare;
Yet Credit to the Artist will accrue,
Who in known things still makes th'appearance new.
Fresh Dainties are by Britain's Traffick known,
And now by constant Use familiar grown;
What Lord of old wou'd bid his Cook prepare,
Mangoes, Potargo, Champignons, Cavare?
Or wou'd our thrum-cap'd Ancestors find fault
For want of Sugar-Tongs, or Spoons for Salt.
New things produce new words, and thus Monteth
Has by one Vessel sav'd his Name from Death.
The Seasons change us all, by Autumn's Frost
The shady Leaves of Trees and Fruit are lost.
But then the Spring breaks forth with fresh Supplies,
Aud from the teeming Earth new Buds arise.
So stubble Geese at Michaelmas are seen
Upon the Spit, next May produces green.
The Fate of things lies always in the dark,
What Cavalier wou'd know St. James's Park?
For Locket's stands where Garden's once did spring,
And Wild-Ducks quack where Grass-hoppers did sing.
A Princely Palace on that Space does rise,
Where Sidley's noble Muse found Mulberries.
Since Places alter thus, what constant Thought
Of filling various Dishes can be taught?
For he pretends too much, or is a Fool,
Who'd fix those things where Fashion is the Rule.
King Hardicnute midst Danes and Saxons stout,
Carous'd in nut-brown Ale, and din'd on Grout:
Which Dish its pristine Honour still retains,
And when each Prince is crown'd, in Splendor reigns.
By Northern Custom, Duty was exprest
To Friends departed by their Fun'ral Feast.
Tho' I've consulted Hollingshead and Stow,
I find it very difficult to know
Who to refresh th'Attendants to a Grave,
Burnt-Claret first, or Naples-Bisket gave.
Trotter from Quince, and Apples first did frame
A Pye which still retains his proper Name,
Tho' common grown, yet with white Sugar strow'd,
And butter'd right, its Goodness is allow'd.
As Wealth flow'd in, and Plenty sprang from Peace,
Good Humour reign'd, and Pleasures found encrease.
'Twas usual then the Banquet to prolong,
By Musick's Charm, and some delightful Song:
Where ev'ry Youth in pleasing Accents strove,
To tell the Stratagems and Cares of Love.
How some successful were, how others crost:
Then to the sparkling Glass wou'd give his Tost:
Whose Bloom did most in his Opinion shine,
To relish both the Musick and the Wine.
Why am I stil'd a Cook, if I'm so loth
To marinate my Fish, or season Broth,
Or send up what I rost with pleasing Froth:
If I my Master's Gusto won't discern,
But thro' my bashful Folly scorn to learn?
When among Friends good Humour takes its Birth,
'Tis not a tedious Feast prolongs the Mirth;
But 'tis not reason therefore you shou'd spare,
When as their future Burghess you prepare,
For a fat Corporation and their Mayor.
All things shou'd find their room in proper place,
And what adorns this Treat, wou'd that disgrace.
Sometimes the Vulgar will of Mirth partake,
And have excessive Doings at their Wake:
Ev'n Taylors at their yearly Feasts look great,
And all their Cucumbers are turn'd to Meat.
A Prince who in a Forest rides astray,
And weary to some Cottage finds the way,
Talks of no Pyramids of Fowl or Bisks of Fish,
But hungry sups his Cream serv'd up in Earthen Dish:
Quenches his Thirst with Ale in nut-brown Bowls,
And takes the hasty Rasher from the Coals:
Pleas'd as King Henry with the Miller free,
Who thought himself as good a Man as He.
Unless some Sweetness at the Bottom lye,
Who cares for all the crinkling of the Pye?
If you wou'd have me merry with your Cheer;
Be so your self, or so at least appear.
The things we eat by various Juice controul,
The Narrowness or Largeness of our Soul.
Onions will make ev'n Heirs or Widows weep,
The tender Lettice brings on softer Sleep.
Eat Beef or Pye-crust if you'd serious be:
Your Shell-fish raises Venus from the Sea:
For Nature that inclines to Ill or Good,
Still nourishes our Passions by our Food.
Happy the Man that has each Fortune try'd,
To whom she much has giv'n, and much deny'd:
With Abstinence all Delicates he sees,
And can regale himself with Toast and Cheese.
Your Betters will despise you if they see,
Things that are far surpassing your degree;
Therefore beyond your Substance never treat,
'Tis Plenty in small Fortune to be neat.
Tis certain that a Steward can't afford
An Entertainment equal with his Lord.
Old Age is frugal, gay Youth will abound
With Heat, and see the flowing Cup go round.
A Widow has cold Pye, Nurse gives you Cake,
From gen'rous Merchants Ham or Sturgeon take.
The Farmer has brown Bread as fresh as Day,
And Butter fragrant as the Dew of May.
Cornwal Squab-Pye, and Devon White-Pot brings,
And Lei'ster Beans and Bacon, Food of Kings!
At Christmas time be careful of your Fame,
See the old Tenant's Table be the same;
Then if you wou'd send up the Brawner's Head,
Sweet Rosemary and Bays around it spread:
His foaming Tusks let some large Pippin grace,
Or midst those thund'ring Spears an Orange place;
Sauce like himself, offensive to its Foes,
The Roguish Mustard, dang'rous to the Nose.
Sack and the well-spic'd Hippocras the Wine
Wassail the Bowl with antient Ribbands fine,
Porridge with Plumbs, and Turkeys with the Chine.
If you perhaps wou'd try some Dish unknown,
Which more peculiarly you'd make your own,
Like antient Sailors still regard the Coast,
By vent'ring out too far you may be lost.
By rosting that which our Forefathers boil'd,
And boiling what they rosted much is spoil'd.
That Cook to British Palates is complete
Whose sav'ry Hand gives Turns to common Meat.
Tho' Cooks are often Men of pregnant Wit,
Through Niceness of their Subject, few have writ.
In what an awkard Sound that ancient Ballad ran,
Which with this blust'ring Paragraph began?
There was a Prince of Lubberland,
A Potentate of high Command,
Ten thousand Bakers did attend him,
Ten thousand Brewers did befriend him,
These brought him kissing Crusts, and those
Brought him small Beer, before he rose.
The Author raises Mountains seeming full,
But all the Cry produces little Wool:
So if you sue a Beggar for a House,
And have a Verdict, what d'ye gain? a Louse.
Homer more modest, if we search his Books,
Will shew us that his Heroes all were Cooks:
How lov'd Patroclus with Achilles joins,
To quarter out the Ox, and spit the Loins.
Oh cou'd that Poet live! cou'd he rehearse
Thy Journey, L-- in immortal Verse!
Muse, sing the Man that did to Paris go,
That he might taste their Soups, and Mushrooms know.
Oh how would Homer praise their Dancing Dogs,
Their stinking Cheese, and Fricasy of Frogs!
He'd raise no Fables, sing no flagrant Lye,
Of Boys with Custard choak'd at Newberry;
But their whole Courses you'd entirely see,
How all their Parts from first to last agree.
If you all sorts of Persons wou'd engage,
Suit well your Eatables to ev'ry Age.
The Fav'rite Child that just begins to prattle,
And throws away his Silver Bells and Rattle,
Is very humorsome, and makes great clutter,
Till he has Windows on his Bread and Butter:
He for repeated Supper-Meat will cry,
But won't tell Mammy what he'd have, or why.
The smooth fac'd Youth that has new Guardians chose,
From Play-House steps to Supper at the Rose,
Where he a Main or two at Random throws:
Squan'dring of Wealth, impatient of Advice,
His eating must be Little, Costly, Nice.
Maturer Age to this Delight grown strange,
Each Night frequents his Club behind the Change,
Expecting there Frugality and Health,
And Honour rising from a Sheriff's Wealth:
Unless he some Insurance Dinner lacks,
'Tis very rarely he frequents Pontacks.
But then old Age, by still intruding Years,
Torments the feeble Heart with anxious Fears:
Morose, perverse in Humor, diffident,
The more he still abounds, the less content,
His Larder and his Kitchin too observes,
And now, lest he shou'd want hereafter, starves:
Thinks Scorn of all the present Age can give,
And none these threescore Years knew how to live.
But now the Cook must pass thro' all degrees,
And by his Art discordant Tempers please,
And minister to Health and to Disease.
Far from the Parlor have your Kitchin plac'd,
Dainties may in their working be disgrac'd.
In private draw your Poultry, clean your Tripe,
And from your Eels their slimy Substance wipe.
Let cruel Offices be done by Night,
For they who like the Thing abhor the Sight.
Next let Discretion moderate your Cost,
And when you treat, three Courses be the most.
Let never fresh Machines your Pastry try,
Unless Grandees or Magistrates are by,
Then you may put a Dwarf into a Pye.
Or if you'd fright an Alderman and Mayor,
Within a Pasty lodge a living Hare;
Then midst their gravest Furs shall Mirth arise,
And all the Guild pursue with joyful Cries.
Crowd not your Table, let your Number be
Not more than sev'n, and never less than three.
'Tis the Desert that graces all the Feast,
For an ill end disparages the rest:
A thousand things well done, and one forgot,
Defaces Obligation by that Blot.
Make your transparent Sweet-meats truly nice,
With Indian Sugar and Arabian Spice:
And let your various Creams incircl'd be
With swelling Fruit just ravish'd from the Tree.
Let Plates and Dishes be from China brought,
With lively Paint and Earth transparent wrought.
The Feast now done Discourses are renew'd,
And witty Arguments with Mirth pursu'd:
The cheerful Master midst his jovial Friends,
His Glass to their best Wishes recommends.
The Grace Cup follows to his Sovereign's Health,
And to his Country Plenty, Peace and Wealth.
Performing then the Piety of Grace,
Each Man that pleases reassumes his place:
While at his Gate from such abundant Store,
He show'rs his God-like Blessings on the Poor.
In Days of old our Fathers went to War,
Expecting sturdy Blows, and hardy Fare:
Their Beef they often in their Murrions stew'd,
And in their Basket-Hilts their Bev'rage brew'd.
Some Officer perhaps might give Consent,
To a large cover'd Pipkin in his Tent,
Where ev'ry thing that ev'ry Soldier got,
Fowl, Bacon, Cabbage, Mutton, and what not,
Was all thrown into Bank, and went to Pot.
But when our Conquests were extensive grown,
And thro' the World our British Worth was known,
Wealth on Commanders then flow'd in apace,
Their Champaign sparkl'd equal with their Lace:
Quails, Beccoficos, Ortelans were sent
To grace the Levee of a Gen'ral's Tent.
In their gilt Plate all Delicates were seen,
And what was Earth before became a rich Terrene.
When the young Players get to Islington,
They fondly think that all the World's their own:
Prentices, Parish-Clerks, and Hectors meet,
He that is drunk, or bullied, pays the Treat.
Their Talk is loose, and o'er their bouncing Ale,
At Constables and Justices they rail.
Not thinking Custard such a serious thing,
That Common Council Men 'twill thither bring,
Where many a Man at variance with his Wife,
With soft'ning Mead and Cheese-Cake ends the Strife.
Ev'n Squires come there, and with their mean Discourse,
Render the Kitchin, which they sit in, worse.
Midwives demure, and Chamber-Maids most gay,
Foremen that pick the Box and come to play,
Here find their Entertainment at the Height,
In Cream and Codlings rev'ling with Delight.
What these approve the great Men will dislike,
But here's the Art, if you the Palate strike
By Management of common things so well,
That what was thought the meanest, shall excel;
While others strive in vain, all Persons own
Such Dishes cou'd be drest by you alone.
When straiten'd in your time, and Servants few,
You'll rightly then compose an Ambigue:
Where first and second Course, and your Desert
All in our single Table have their part;
From such a vast Confusion 'tis Delight,
To find the jarring Elements unite,
And raise a Structure grateful to the Sight.
Be not too far by old Example led,
With Caution now we in their Footsteps tread:
The French our Relish help, and well supply
The want of things too gross by Decency.
Our Fathers most admir'd their Sauces sweet,
And often ask'd for Sugar with their Meat;
They butter'd Currants on fat Veal bestow'd,
And Rumps of Beef with Virgin Honey strew'd.
Insipid Tast, old Friend, to them who Paris know,
Where Rocombole, Shallot, and the rank Garlick grow.
Tom Bold did first begin the Strolling Mart,
And drove about his Turnips in a Cart:
Sometimes his Wife the Citizens wou'd please,
And from the same Machine sell Pecks of Pease.
Then Pippins did in Wheel-barrows abound,
And Oranges in Whimsey-boards went round.
Bess Hoy first found it troublesome to bawl,
And therefore plac'd her Cherries on a Stall;
Her Currants there and Gooseberries were spread,
With the enticing Gold of Ginger-bread:
But Flounders, Sprats, and Cucumbers were cry'd,
And ev'ry Sound, and ev'ry Voice was try'd.
At last the Law this hideous Din supprest,
And order'd that the Sunday should have rest,
And that no Nymph her noisy Food should sell,
Except it were new Milk or Maccarel.
There is no Dish but what our Cooks have made,
And merited a Charter by their Trade.
Not French Kick-shaws, or Oglio's brought from Spain,
Alone have found Improvement from their Brain;
But Pudding, Brawn, and White-pots own'd to be
Th'Effects of Native Ingenuity.
Our British Fleet which now commands the Main
Might glorious Wreaths of Victory obtain
Wou'd they take time: Wou'd they with Leisure work,
With Care wou'd salt their Beef, and cure their Pork;
Wou'd boil their Liquor well whene'er they brew,
Their Conquest half is to the Victualler due.
Because that Thrift and Abstinence are good,
As many things if rightly understood,
Old Cross condemns all Persons to be Fops
That can't regale themselves with Mutton-Chops.
He often for stuft Beef to Bedlam runs,
And the clean Rummer, as the Pest House, shuns.
Sometimes poor Jack and Onions are his Dish,
And then he saints those Fryars who stink of Fish.
As for my self I take him to abstain,
Who has good Meat, with Decency, tho' plain:
But tho' my Edge be not too nicely set,
Yet I another's Appetite may whet;
May teach him when to buy, when Season's past,
What's stale, what's choice, what plentiful, what wast,
And lead him thro' the various Maze of Taste.
The fundamental Principle of all
Is what ingenious Cooks the Relish call;
For when the Market sends in Loads of Food,
They all are tasteless till that makes them good.
Besides 'tis no ignoble piece of Care,
To know for whom it is you wou'd prepare:
You'd please a Friend, or reconcile a Brother,
A testy Father, or a haughty Mother:
Wou'd mollifie a Judge, wou'd cram a Squire,
Or else some Smiles from Court you may desire:
Or wou'd perhaps some hasty Supper give,
To shew the splendid State in which you live.
Pursuant to that Int'rest you propose,
Must all your Wines, and all your Meat be chose.
Let Men and Manners ev'ry Dish adapt,
Who'd force his Pepper where his Guests are clapt?
A Caldron of fat Beef and Stoop of Ale,
On the huzzaing Mob shall more prevail,
Than if you give them with the nicest Art
Ragousts of Peacocks Brains, or Filbert Tart.
The French by Soups and Haut-gousts Glory raise,
And their Desires all terminate in Praise.
The thrifty Maxim of the wary Dutch,
Is to save all the Money they can touch:
Hans, crys the Father, see a Pin lies there,
A Pin a Day will fetch a Groat a Year.
To your five Farthings join three Farthings more,
And they, if added, make your half Pence four.
Thus may your Stock by Management encrease,
Your Wars shall gain you more than Britain's Peace.
Where Love of Wealth and rusty Coin prevail,
What hopes of sugar'd Cakes or butter'd Ale?
Cooks garnish out some Tables, some they fill,
Or in a prudent Mixture shew their Skill:
Clog not your constant Meals, for Dishes few
Encrease the Appetite, when choice and new.
Ev'n they who will Extravagance profess,
Have still an inward Hatred for Excess.
Meat forc'd too much, untouch'd at Table lies,
Few care for carving Trifles in Disguise,
Or that fantastick Dish, some call Surprise.
When Pleasures to the Eye and Palate meet,
That Cook has rendred his great Work complete:
His glory far, like Sir-Loins, Knighthood flies,
Immortal made as Kit-cat by his Pies.
Good Nature must some Failings overlook,
Not Wilfulness, but Errors of the Cook.
A String won't always give the Sound design'd
By the Musitian's Touch, and Heav'nly Mind:
Nor will an Arrow from the Parthian Bow
Still to the destin'd Point directly go.
Perhaps no Salt is thrown about the Dish,
Or no fry'd Parsley scatter'd on the Fish;
Shall I in Passion from my Dinner fly,
And hopes of Pardon to my Cook deny,
For things which Carelessness might oversee,
And all Mankind commit as well as he?
I with Compassion once may overlook
A Scewer sent to Table by my Cook:
But think not therefore tamely I'll permit
That he shou'd daily the same Fault commit,
For fear the Rascal send me up the Spit.
Poor Roger Fowler had a gen'rous Mind
Nor would submit to have his Hand confin'd,
But aim'd at all, yet never cou'd excel
In any thing but stuffing of his Veal:
But when that Dish was in Perfection seen,
And that alone, wou'd it not move your Spleen?
'Tis true, in a long Work soft Slumbers creep,
And gently sink the Artist into Sleep.
Even Lamb himself, at the most solemn Feast
Might have some Chargers not exactly drest.
Tables shou'd be like Pictures to the Sight,
Some Dishes cast in Shade, some spread in Light,
Some at a distance brighten, some near hand,
Where Ease may all their Delicace command:
Some shou'd be mov'd when broken, others last
Thro' the whole Treat, incentive to the Taste.
Locket by many Labours feeble grown,
Up from the Kitchin call'd his eldest Son:
'Tho' wise thy self (says he) tho' taught by me,
'Yet fix this Sentence in thy Memory,
'There are some certain things that don't excel,
'And yet we say are tolerably well:
'There's many worthy Men a Lawyer prize,
'Whom they distinguish as of middle size,
'For pleading well at Bar, or turning Books,
'But this is not (my Son) the Fate of Cooks,
'From whose mysterious Art true Pleasure springs,
'To Stall of Garter, and to Throne of Kings,
'A simple Scene, a disobliging Song,
'Which no way to the main Design belong,
'Or were they absent never wou'd be miss'd,
'Have made a well-wrought Comedy be hiss'd:
'So in a Feast, no intermediate Fault
'Will be allow'd, but if not best 'tis naught.
He that of feeble Nerves and Joints complains
From Nine-pins, Coits, and from Trap-ball abstains;
Cudgels avoids, and shuns the wrestling place,
Lest Vinegar resounds his loud Disgrace.
But ev'ry one to Cookery pretends,
Nor Maid, or Mistress e'er consult their Friends.
But, Sir, if you wou'd rost a Pig, be free:
Why not with Brawn, with Locket, or with me?
We'll see when 'tis enough, when both Eyes out,
Or if it wants the nice concluding bout.
But if it lies too long the Crackling's pall'd,
Not by the drudging Box to be recall'd.
Our Cambrian Fathers sparing in their Food,
First broil'd their hunted Goats on Bars of Wood.
Sharp Hunger was their Seas'ning, or they took
Such Salt as issu'd from the native Rock.
Their sallading was never far to seek,
The poynant Water-grass or sav'ry Leek;
Until the British Bards adorn'd this Isle,
And taught them how to rost, and how to boil:
Then Thaliessen rose and sweetly strung
His British Harp, instructing whilst he sung:
Taught them that Honesty they still possess,
Their Truth, their open Heart, their modest Dress,
Duty to Kindred, Constancy to Friends,
And inward Worth, which always recommends.
Contempt of Wealth and Pleasure to appear
To all Mankind with hospitable Cheer.
In after Ages Arthur taught his Knights
At his round Table to record their Fights,
Cities eraz'd, Encampments forc'd in Field,
Monsters subdu'd, and hideous Tyrants quell'd,
Inspir'd that Cambrian Soul which ne'er can yield.
Then Guy, the Pride of Warwick, truly great,
To future Heroes due Example set,
By his capacious Cauldron made appear,
From whence the Spirits rise, and Strength of War.
The present Age to Gallantry enclin'd,
Is pleas'd with vast Improvements of the Mind.
He that of Honour, Wit and Mirth partakes,
May be a fit Companion o'er Beef-steaks;
His Name may be to future Times enroll'd
In Estcourt's Book, whose Gridir'n's fram'd of Gold.
Scorn not these Lines design'd to let you know
Profits that from a well-plac'd Table flow.
'Tis a sage Question, if the Art of Cooks
Is lodg'd by Nature, or attain'd by Books:
That Man will never frame a noble Treat
Whose whole Dependance lies on some Receipt.
Then by pure Nature ev'ry thing is spoil'd,
She knows no more than stew'd, bak'd, rost and boyl'd.
When Art and Nature join th'Effect will be
Some nice Ragoust, or charming Fricasy.
The Lad that wou'd his Genius so advance,
That on the Rope he might securely dance,
From tender Years inures himself to Pains,
To Summer's parching Heat, and Winter Rains,
And from the Fire of Wine and Love abstains.
No Artist can his Haut-boys Stops command,
Unless some skilful Master form his Hand;
But Gent'ry take their Cooks, tho' never try'd,
It seems no more to them than up and ride.
Preferments granted thus shew him a Fool
That dreads a Parent's Check, or Rods at School.
Ox Cheek when hot, and Wardens bak'd some cry,
But 'its with an Intention Men shou'd buy.
Others abound with such a plenteous Store,
That if you'll let them treat they'll ask no more:
And 'tis the vast Ambition of their Soul,
To see their Port admir'd, and Table full.
But then amidst that cringing fawning Crowd,
Who talk so very much, and laugh so loud,
Who with such Grace his Honour's Actions praise,
How well he fences, dances, sings and plays;
Tell him his Liv'ry's rich, his Chariot's fine,
How choice his Meat, and delicate his Wine,
Surrounded thus, how shou'd the Youth descry
The Happiness of Friendship from a Lye.
Friends act with cautious Temper when sincere,
But flatt'ring Impudence is void of Care:
So at an Irish Funeral appears
A Train of Drabs with mercenary Tears;
Who wringing of their Hands with hideous Moan,
Know not his Name for whom they seem to groan,
While real Grief with silent Steps proceeds,
And Love unfeign'd with inward Passion bleeds.
Hard Fate of Wealth! were Lords, as Butchers wise,
They from their Meat wou'd banish all the Flies!
The Persian Kings with Wine and massy Bowl
Search'd to the dark Recesses of the Soul:
That so laid Open no one might pretend,
Unless a Man of Worth, to be their Friend.
But now the Guests their Patrons undermine,
And slander them for giving them their Wine.
Great Men have dearly thus Companions bought,
Unless by these Instructions they'll be taught,
They spread the Net, and will themselves be caught.
Were Horace, that great Master, now alive,
A Feast with Wit and Judgment he'd contrive.
As thus-supposing that you wou'd rehearse
A labour'd Work, and every Dish a Verse.
He'd say, mend this, and t'other Line, and this;
If after Tryal it were still amiss,
He'd bid you give it a new Turn of Face,
Or set some Dish more curious in its place.
If you persist he wou'd not strive to move
A Passion so delightful as Self-love.
We shou'd submit our Treats to Criticks View,
And ev'ry prudent Cook shou'd read Bossu.
Judgment provides the Meat in Season fit,
Which by the Genius drest, its Sauce is Wit.
Good Beef for Men, Pudding for Youth and Age,
Come up to the Decorum of the Stage.
The Critick strikes out all that is not just,
And 'tis ev'n so the Butler chips his Crust.
Poets and Pastry Cooks will be the same,
Since both of them their Images must frame.
Chimera's from the Poet's Fancy flow,
The Cook contrives his Shapes in real Dough.
When Truth commands there's no Man can offend.
That with a modest Love corrects his Friend.
Tho' 'tis in toasting Bread, or butt'ring Pease,
So the Reproof has Temper, Kindness, Ease.
But why shou'd we reprove when Faults are small?
Because 'tis better to have none at all.
There's often Weight in Things that seem the least,
And our most trifling Follies raise the Jest.
'Tis by his Cleanliness a Cook must please,
A Kitchin will admit of no Disease.
The Fowler and the Huntsman both may run,
Amidst that Dirt which he must nicely shun.
Empedocles a Sage of old would raise,
A Name immortal by unusual ways;
At last his Fancies grew so very odd,
He thought by rosting to be made a God.
Tho' fat he leapt with his unwieldy Stuff
In Ætna's Flames, so to have Fire enough.
Were my Cook fat and I a stander by,
I'd rather than himself his Fish shou'd fry.
There are some Persons so excessive rude,
That to your private Table they'll intrude.
In vain you fly, in vain pretend to fast,
Turn like a Fox they'll catch you at the last.
You must, since Bars and Doors are no Defence,
Ev'n quit your House as in a Pestilence.
Be quick, nay very quick, or he'll approach,
And as you're scamp'ring stop you in your Coach.
Then think of all your, Sins and you will see
How right your Guilt and Punishment agree:
Perhaps no tender Pity cou'd prevail,
But you would throw some Debtor into Jail.
Now mark th'Effect of his prevailing Curse,
You are detain'd by something that is worse.
Were it in my Election I shou'd choose,
To meet a rav'nous Wolf or Bear got loose:
He'll eat and talk, and talking still will eat,
No Quarter from the Parasite you'll get;
But like a Leech well fix'd he'll suck what's good,
And never part till satisfy'd with Blood.