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      Oh, well may England honour him!
        Till earth's old days are done,
      The world shall hear the deeds he did
        The deeds of Wellington.



LET us by all means try to sit down to
dinner in a good temper. Nothing spoils the
digestion like anger. We should look upon
the hour or two set apart for dinner as the
holiday part of the day, and dining as an
orthodox amusement. It is of no use saying
"Don't do this, and don't do thatafter or
before dinner; don't write, don't read, don't
get hot," and so forth. The best thing we can
do is not to think about it at all. An eminent
I may say the most eminentphysician now
living (and to whom the writer of these lines,
under God's blessing, owes his life) said once
in a case of very painful hypochondria – "Eat?
Why, eat what you like; don't ask me, I have
nothing to do with it." Dinner is a necessity
that should be taken and enjoyed, not thought
about. I know of an old gentleman of fortune
(how blind she is!) who has all the cookery
books he knows of brought up to him in bed
of a morning; these he reads with earnest
attention, and then summons his cook to learn
what is exactly in season. After mature
deliberation, he proceeds to the grave business
of ordering dinner, and toddles about the
shady side of Pall Mall, worrying the world
with fat jokes till it is ready. I know a man,
too, a barrister in great practice, who will
probably one day be Lord Chancellor. He is
making perhaps twenty thousand pounds a year
by his profession (more shame to us!), and he
never dines at all: – a biscuit, and a glass of
sherry bolted mechanically, and placed near
him by his clerk, who has a sort of life
interest in him; a mutton chop got through
nobody knows how, and peppered with the
dust of briefssuch is his nourishment.
Neither of these men understand the philosophy
of dining. The oneI mean the glutton
never takes his dinner without grumbling,
and, as sure as you, my worthy reader, who
are reading this paper pleasantly with your
wife over the tea-table may hope to die happily
of old age, so, probably, will our choleric friend
of the cookery-books be carried off some day
choking and grumbling by an apoplexy.

A really good wholesome dinner would take
the lawyer by surprise as a thing he really
was not used to, and he reminds me often of
an old Göttingen professor, of whom it is
related that he married. One day, about a
week afterwards, his bride wondering that he
did not come down to supper, went into his
library to see what detained him. She found
him deep in his papers. "Wilhelm," she said
gently. "Mein Fräulein!" replied the
professor startled. "Miss! what can I do for
you ? What has happened that you pay me
such a late visit?" Some people, indeed, have
so used themselves to bad habits that they
can no longer return to good ones.

Frederick Barbarossa is not the only person
who has been killed even by such a simple
proceeding as a good washing. It is not
therefore for such lost sheep as these that I
write, but for sensible persons like you and
myself, dear reader.

Kings and Queens generally set the hour of
dining in the countries they govern. It is
whispered that the Queen of Great Britain dines
with her children at two o'clock, and that the
state dinner at eight is a mere pageant. Louis
Philippe dined generally at seven, at least such
is the hour named in an invitationI beg his
ghost's pardon, a commandI have by me.
The Queen of Spain dines, or used to dine, at
five; the Sultan at sunset; the late King of
Sardinia dined at three; the Emperor of
Russia eats when he is hungrythe State
dinners are between five and six; the Emperor
of Austria dines at five; the King of Prussia
at three; the King of Hanover at five; the
King of Sweden at five. The hour of five
seems indeed to be the most general, as it is
the most convenient. On the continent,
especially, as every one goes to the theatre, which
opens at sevena later hour than five would
interfere with the projects for the evening.

Guests upon the continent always take
leave of their host about seven, so that he is
not bored to death with them all the evening.
Dinner means dinner, and nothing more, and
a dinner party is not, as with us, the miserable
waste of many hours.

Busy men should take some refreshment
once in every six or seven hours. Professional
men often put off their dinners too long
for the sake of dining at home, when a chop
at a club would prolong their life ten years.
By the bye the City wants a club terribly.
Wine or stimulant may be taken or not taken.
Weak men require stimulant in moderation;
strong, full-blooded people are better without
it. Any thought about what you are to eat,
or how you are to eat it, is unworthy of a man
of sense. Hold no communion with the
vegetarians. Vegetable diet is a delusion and
a snare;—a little man who had tried it for six
months used to describe his sensations being
"as if his bones were unhooked one from the
other." Studious men, however, or those
engaged in sedentary occupations, should only
eat meat once a day, and then in moderate
quantity. A couple of glasses of water after
dinner is said to be a capital digesterand
I dare say it is, for I generally see fat people
drink them.

Intense thought immediately after dinner
will certainly make the blood fly to the head,
which we want at the stomach; it should
therefore be checked. Do not dine alone if
you can help it: if you are obliged to do so,
however, take something to read with you;
anything to keep the mind cheerful without
excitement. I have often found the waiter,
especially in foreign inns a much pleasanter

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