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followedthe doom of the stake being averted
only by powerful intercession with the Pope
Bacon had leisure to meditate on the value
of all he had done to enlarge the understanding
and extend the knowledge of his species.
' The prelates and friars,' he wrote in a letter
which still remains, ' have kept me starving
in close prison, nor will they suffer anyone to
come to me, fearing lest my writings should
come to any other than the Pope and

He reflected that of all living men he stood
well nigh alone in the consciousness that in
the greatest of his inventions he had produced
a discovery of incalculable value, but one for
which on every account the time was not

' I will not die,' he said, ' without leaving to
the world the evidence that the secret was
known to me whose marvellous power future
ages shall acknowledge; But not yet shall it
be revealed. Generations must pass away and
the minds of men become better able to endure
the light of science, before they can profit by
my discovery. Let him who already possesses
knowledge, guess the truth these words

And in place of the directions by which
Hubert de Dreux had been guided, he altered
the sentence as follows:—

Sed tamen salis petræ,
et sulphuris.'

The learned have found that these mystical
words conceal the anagram of Carbonum
pulvere, the third ingredient in the
composition of Gunpowder.


' WANTED, a good plain Cook,' is hungrily
echoed from the columns of the Times, by half
the husbands and bachelors of Great Britain.
According to the true meaning of the words
'A good plain Cook'to judge from the
unskilful manner in which domestic cookery
is carried on throughout the length and
breadth of the landis a very great rarity.
But the conventional and the true meaning of
the expression widely differ.

'What is commonly self-called a plain
cook,' says a writer in the Examiner, ' is a
cook who spoils food for low wages. She is
a cook, not because she knows anything about
cookery, but because she prefers the kitchen-
fire to scrubbing floors, polishing grates,
or making beds. A cook who can boil a
potato and dress a mutton-chop is one in a

Such very plain cooks will always exist for
dyspeptic purposes, while those who are in
authority over them remain ignorant of an
art which, however much it may be slighted,
exercises a crowning influence over health and
happiness. Eat we must; and it is literally
a subject of vital importance whether what
we eat be properly adapted for healthful
digestion or not.

Medical statistics tell us that of all diseases
with which the English are afflicted, those
arising directly or indirectly from impaired
digestive organs are the most prevalent. We are
falsely accused in consequence of over-eating;
but the true cause of our ailments is bad cooking.
A Frenchman or a German devours much
more at one of his own inexhaustible tables-
d'hôte than an Englishman consumes at his
dining-tableand with impunity; for the
foreigner's food being properly prepared is
easily digested. ' The true difference,' says a
pleasant military writer in Blackwood's
Magazine, ' between English and foreign cookery
is just this: in preparing butcher's meat for
the table, the aim of foreign cookery is to
make it tender, of English to make it hard.
And both systems equally effect their object,
in spite of difficulties on each side. The
butcher's meat, which you buy abroad, is
tough, coarse-grained, and stringy; yet foreign
cookery sends this meat to table tender. The
butcher's meat which you buy in England is
tender enough when it comes home; but
domestic cookery sends it up hard. Don't
tell me the hardness is in the meat itself.
Nothing of the kind; it's altogether an
achievement of the English cuisine. I appeal
to a leg of mutton, I appeal to a beef-steak,
as they usually come to table; the beef half-
broiled, the mutton half-roasted. Judge for
yourself. The underdone portion of each is
tender; the portion that's dressed is hard.
Argal, the hardness is due to the dressing,
not to the meat: it is a triumph of domestic
cookery. Engage a " good plain cook "—tell
her to boil a neck of mutton, that will show
you what I mean. All London necks of
mutton come to table crescents, regularly

This is but too true: the real art of stewing
is almost unknown in Great Britain, and even
in Ireland, despite the fame of an 'Irish

Everything that is not roasted or fried, is
boiled, ' a gallop,' till the quality of tenderness
is consolidated to the consistency of
caoutchouc. Such a thing as a stewpan is
almost unknown in houses supported by less
than from three to five hundred a year.

These gastronomic grievances are solely due
to neglected education. M. Alexis Soyer, with
a touch of that quiet irony which imparts to
satire its sharpest sting, dedicated his last
Cookery-book 'to the daughters of Albion.'
Having some acquaintance with their
deficiencies, he laid his book slyly at their feet
to drop such a hint as is conveyed when a
dictionary is handed to damsels who blunder
in orthography, or when watches are
presented to correct unpunctuality. It is to
be feared, however, that 'the daughters of
Albion ' were too busy with less useful
though to them scarcely less essential
accomplishments, to profit by his hint. Cookery is