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little things, but had large ideas, and “Always take a small stock when I lots of gentlemanly feeling. Like travel," said Gingham; “got a dozen many other Cockneys of those days, three-quart cases from Cornhill. Just he was always dressed, and always found room for it in my travelling conscious of being dressed. His hat store - closet.” “ Travelling storewas white, with the exception of the closet !” thought I: "what à capital interior green of the brim, which fellow to campaign with !" matched with his spectacles. His Soup removed. Re-enter landlord, gloves were white, his unmentionables attended by waiter. John dory, in were white, and so was his waistcoat. compliment to me, splendid. Large His white cravat was tied before in a soles, fried. “I despise the man sort of pilot-balloon, or white rosi- that boils a sole," said Gingham. It crucian puff. His hair also was was despicable, I admitted. “My pomatum'd, and powdered white. dear sir," said he," allow me to lay His very pigtail, all but the narrow down a principle, which you will find silk ribbon that held it together, was useful as long as you live. With white. His coat was not white, but boiled fish-turbot, for instance, or a light pepper-and-salt, approaching john dory-always take sauce. You to white. On the whole, there was did quite right, in allowing me to so much white in his general appear- help you to sauce just now. But with ance, that on board the packet he at fried fish, at least with fried soleonce received the name of “the white this, for instance-never, never perman." He was generally well-in- mit sauce or melted butter to be put formed, but particularly so in matters upon your plate." It was a manœuvre of commerce. Our intimacy increased to get me to try the sole, after the rapidly, and I afterwards, indeed very john dory. “Fried sole without soon, found the advantage of it. He butter ?" said I. “ Try it my way,” was naturally of a communicative dis- said Gingham, helping me : “ take position, while he had much to com- some salt—that's right-now put to municate that was worth knowing that a modicum of cayenne-there-a In me he found a willing hearer ; for little more-don't be afraid of putting I was glad to receive any kind of use- enough-cayenne, though hot, is not ful information. With the prospect heating, like common pepper-now before us of a campaign in common, mix them well together with the point we soon knocked up a sort of friend- of your knife." I obeyed implicitly. ship.
“Now then," said Gingham, with a Gingham could do the handsome look of exultation, " TRY THAT." I thing. Two days before our embarka- tried it; and owned that I had never tion he insisted on my dining with known, till then, the right way of him-taking my chop with him, he eating fried sole. It was excellent, called it-in return for half a beef- even after the john dory. Try it, only stake, which he had accepted from try it, the first time a fried sole apme at breakfast, his own being de- pears on the dinner table, under which layed. I entered the coffee-room at are your legs. the appointed hour ; but was ushered A peculiar sound at the side-table up stairs into a private room with now announced that he of the pumps some degree of ceremony by the was opening a bottle of champagne. waiter, who, I observed, had on Up to that moment we had managed gloves, knees, silk stockings, and to put up with Madeira, which was pumps.
the fashionable dinner wine in those Gingham was there. He had order- days. N.B.-Good wine to be got at ed a regular spread. We sat down. Falmouth. It comes direct from The landlord, who had not hitherto abroad, not viâ London. made himself visible, emerged on this Fish removed. Door opens. Though festive occasion, brought in the soup, rejoicing in those days in a very fair bowed, and retired. Gingham said appetite, I was rather alarmed, after grace. The soup excellent: it was such a commencement of our humble turtle! “Capital turtle !” said I; meal, at the thought of what might be “ had no idea that anything half so coming. But Gingham had a delicacy good was to be had in all Falmouth." of taste, which never overdid things. Enter once more the landlord, bearing ham," said I, "you said grace before an elegant little saddle of Dartmoor dinner, and I think I ought to say mutton, and audibly whispering to the grace now." The waiter drew up waiter, “ Boiled fowls and tongue to reverently with his back to the sidefollow." I commenced this history board, adjusted his neckcloth, and with a resolution to conceal nothing; tightened with his right hand the glove therefore, away with reserve : both upon his left. mutton, fowls, and tongue were excel- We sat sipping our wine, and niblent. “A little more Madeira, Mr bling at a very handsome dessert. I Y-," said Gingham. The currant wanted to know more about distinjelly had distasted my mouth. I guishing good wine from bad. merely put the glass to my lips, and "I have made large purchases of set it down again. Gingham observed, wine on commission," said Gingham, and at once discovered the reason. “for private friends, and that, you “ Take a mouthful of potato," said know, is a delicate business, and Gingham, “the hottest you can find sometimes a thankless one. But I in the dish." My taste was restored. never bought a bad lot yet; and if Table cleared again. I hoped the they found fault with it, I wouldn't next entrée would be the cheese and let them have it-kept it myself, or celery.
sold it for more in the market." During the short armistice, Ging. "You were just on the point," said ham, who delighted to communicate I, “ of mentioning a method of disuseful knowledge, resumed the subject tinguishing good wine from bad." of the potato. Like all merchants " Well," replied he, “ those fellows who pay frequent visits to the Penin- there, on the other side of the Bay of sula-and Gingham had been there Biscay, have methods innumerable. often-he was knowing in wines, and After all, taste, judgment, and exin everything vinous. “Yes," said perience must decide. The Oporto he, “nothing like a mouthful of hot wine - merchants, who know what potato to make you taste wine. There they are about, use a sort of silver are lots of things besides, but none saucer, with its centre bulging upequal to that. The invention is my wards. In this saucer they make the own."
wine spin round. My plan is dif" Then," replied I, "I presume you ferent." use it at Oporto and Xeres, when you “I should like to know it," said I. make purchases ? ".
“ Well, sir," said he, “mix with “Why, not exactly that neither," water-two-thirds water to one-third said he. “The worst of it is, it makes wine. Then try it." all wine relish alike, bad as well as “Well ?”. good. Now, in buying wine, you " If there is any bad taste in the want something to distinguish the wine, the mixing brings it out. Did good wine from the bad. And for you never notice in London, even if this purpose—" The landlord and the port or sherry seems passable waiter reappeared.
alone, when you water it the compound “Sorry, Mr Y-, there is no game," is truly horrid, too nauseous to drink?" said Gingham. “Fine jack hare in " The fact is, though a moderate the larder this morning, but rather man, I am not very fond of watering late in the season. Wouldn't have it. wine." Can you finish off with one or two " The fact is," continued Gingham, light things in the French way?" “there is very little good wine to be
“My dear sir, my dear sir !". got in London, always excepting such
The table was this time covered places, for instance, as the Chapter. with such a display of pâtisserie, maca. When you return, after having tasted roni, and made dishes, as would have wine in the wine countries, you will formed of itself a very handsome be of my opinion. Much that you get petit souper for half-a-dozen people. is merely poor wine of the inferior Gingham wanted me to try every- growths, coloured, flavoured, and thing, and set me an example. dressed up with bad brandy for the
The whole concluded, and the cloth London market. That sort comes about to be removed, " Mr Ging- from abroad. And much that you get is not wine at all, but a decoction; best kind. Gingham, ont of complia vile decoction, sir; not a drop of ment to me, wished to prolong the wine in its composition. That sort is sitting. But, knowing his penchant the London particular." I felt that I for a wet newspaper, I was inflexible. was receiving ideas.
We rose from the table. "Now, sir," said Gingham, “my I felt that I had been handsomely cold-water test detects this. If what entertained, and that something handyou get for wine is a decoction, a some ought to be said. The pleasing compound, and nothing but a com- consciousness, however, of having pound, no wine in it, then the water eaten a good dinner, though it excited -- about two-thirds to one-third- my finest feelings, did not confer the detects the filthy reality. Add a faculty of expressing them. I began : lump or two of sugar, and you get as "Sir, Mr Gingham ; I feel we beastly a dose of physic as was ever ought not to leave this room, till I made up in a doctor's shop."
have expressed the emotions—" Then, “Just such a dose," I replied, " as taking a new departure, “Really, sir, I remember getting, now you mention your kind hospitality to a comparait, as I came down here by the fast tive stranger-" coach, at an inn where I asked, by “Well, sir," said Gingham, laughway of a change, for a glass of cold ing, “I will tell you how it was. Do white-wine negus. The slice of lemon you remember your first breakfast in was an improvement, having done the coffee-room, the day after your duty before in a glass of gin punch." arrival by the mail? I was present,
“ Shouldn't wonder," said Ging- and enjoyed it amazingly." ham. “And if what you buy for port “Oh, sir! ob, sir !” said I, a leetle or sherry be not absolutely a decoc- taken aback; “ really I was enortion, but only inferior wine made up, mously hungry. In fact I had eaten then the water equally acts as a de- nothing during my two days' previous tective. For the dilution has the journey; and was so sleepy on my effect of separating, so to speak, the arrival, that I got to bed as fast as I respective tastes of the component could, without thinking of ordering parts-brings them out, sir; and you supper. And when I came down get each distinct. You get, on the next morning, or rather afternoon, one hand, the taste of the bad brandy, why, to tell you the truth, I made it harsh, raw, and empyreumatic: and breakfast and dinner in one ; and you get, on the other hand, the taste perhaps I did seem a little savage in of the poor, paltry wine, wretched my first onset on the Falmouth " stuff, the true vinho ordinario flavour, "No, NO, NO!” exclaimed Gingthat makes you think at once of some ham, interrupting me. “That was dirty road-side Portuguese posada, not it. No, No, NO! far from it. swarming with fleas."
My dear sir, you merely disposed of “But what if you water really good two or three plates of ham and eggs; wine?"
then a few muffins, with about halfWhy, then," said Gingham, “the a-dozen basins of tea. After that, flavour, though diluted, is still the let me see-after that, to the best of flavour of good wine."
my recollection-after that, you took "I should like," said I, “ to be nothing, no, nothing, but the mutton knowing in wines.”
chops. No, sir, it was not the quanSeeing in me a willing learner, he tity. I have often made as hearty a was about to open. But at this mo meal myself; and, if we campaign ment the mail drove into the yard of together, I trust we shall often make the hotel; and, knowing that Ging- as hearty a meal together. Nothing ham was always ravenous for the like campaigning for an appetite. No, London journals on their first arrival, sir ; that was not it. It was your I insisted on our going down into the manner of taking it." public room, taking a cup of coffee, “My manner of taking it ? Really! and reading the papers. We had And pray what did you see in my talked about wines; but, being neither manner of taking it?" of us topers, had taken only a mode- "Sir," said Gingham, with emorate quantum suff., though all of the tion, “I know this house, I have long used this house. Everything in who grumbled at everything, and ate this house is good. The accommoda- like a dog. In short, they clear the tion is good. The attendance is table of eatables and drinkables; then good. The wine is good. The din- call the waiter, and reproach him, ners are good. The breakfasts are with a savage look, for bringing them good. Now, sir, I have seen some a tough beefsteak; and, in a plaintive persons conduct themselves in this voice, like ill-used men, inquire if house in a manner that filled me there is any cold meat-pie." with scorn, disgust, and indignation. I owned, from personal observaThey arrive by the London mail, sir, tion in the public room, to the general as you did, and go to bed. In the correctness of this sketch. morning they come down into the “ Now you, sir," continued Gingpublic room, and order breakfast. bam, " enjoyed your breakfast, and They breakfast, not like you, my dear made a good one; but found fault sir, very moderately, but enormously. with nothing ; because, I presume, That I could forgive; after a long there was nothing to find fault with. journey it is excusable. But, sir, I like to see a man enjoy his meals. what I cannot tolerate is this: They And if he does, I like to see him find fault with everything. The tea show it. It is one of the tokens by is bad; the coffee is bad. They take which I judge of character. Your up the silver cream-jug; examine the conduct, my dear sir, commanded my clouted cream ; smell to it-yes, sir; respect. Shall I say more? It won they actually smell to it—and smelling my esteem. Then and there my reto anything, I need not say, is as solution was formed, to invite you, at great a bêtise as a man can commit at the first convenient opportunity, to table-ask the waiter what he means partake of my humble hospitality." by bringing them such stuff as that; It was too much. I extended my and, before they have done, gobble fist. A shaking of hands, of some up the whole, and perhaps call for continuance-cordial on my part, and
evidently so on Gingham's, by the “Call for more? Why, that, I pain I felt in my shoulder. think, is exactly what I did."
6 Well, sir," said Gingham, “I had " Yes, my dear sir," said Ging- already learned that you were a pas. ham, "you enjoyed it; and you senger for the Peninsula. I was a took a pretty good lot of it; but you passenger for the Peninsula ; and, as did not find fault with it. Not so the we were to sail together, and propeople I am talking of. The fact is, bably to campaign together, I resir, we Londoners have a great idea solved to introduce myself. I said, of keeping up our dignity. These This lad-I beg your pardon, this persons wish to pass for people of youth-excuse me, this gentleman, importance; and they think impor- this young gentleman - for I guess tance is announced by finding fault. you have some ten years the advanItem, they are enormously, indecent- tage of me in that respect - this ly hungry, and fully intend to make gentleman is, like myself, bound for a breakfast for two, but wish to do it the headquarters of the Peninsular surreptitiously. On the arrival of army. I know something of camthe beefsteak, they turn round the paigning; he knows nothing. We dish, and look at it contemptuously, campaign together." longing, all the while, to fall to. “Well now," said I, “that is just Yes, sir, they turn round the dish what I should like amazingly." two or three times; then stick their Gingham now took the initiative, fork into the steak, and turn it over and put forth his paw. Again we and over ; perhaps hold it up, sus- tackled, and, in the true pump-handle pended by a single prong, and ex- style, so dear to Englishmen, examine it critically; and end all by pressed mutual cordiality: only that pushing away their plate, drawing this time, being better prepared, I the dish into its place, and bolting reversed the electric stream, and the whole beefsteak, without taking brought tears into Gingham's eyes. time to masticate. Sir, there was a He sung out, “Oh!" and rubbed his man in that coffee-room this morning, arm.
The rest," said Gingham, “is The offer was too good to be deeasily told. After breakfast you clined. walked out into the court-yard, lit a Next morning we ordered breakcigar, and stood on the steps. I lit fast up stairs. Indeed, a fire had another, followed, and had the plea- been lit in one of the parlours, by sure of making your acquaintance.” Gingham's directions ; and there I
I gave audible expression to my found him, with the table laid, and profound self-congratulations.
the herrings ready for cooking. Ging“Allow me, however, to add,” said ham had secured a small Dutch oven; Gingham, “ you raised yourself greatnot with the design of baking the ly in my esteem by asking the waiter herrings — no, no, he knew better for a red herring. The request than that -- but to keep them hot evinced a superiority to vulgar pre- when done. The doing he reserved judices. Your way of putting it, too, to himself, on the plea of experience. was in perfect good keeping : for you I was not to assist, except in eating did not commit yourself by ordering them. a red herring ; but asked whether “Do you understand cookery, Mr you could have one in the coffee. Y-?" said Gingham. room. Believe me, I was pained, I ingenuously owned my deficiency when he stated that red herrings in that branch of education, which is were not permitted ; and could but no part of the Cambridge curriadmire your self-denial, in accepting, culum. as a substitute, the mutton-chops." "Three months at headquarters,"
We adjourned to the public room. said he, “will make you an excelGingham had entertained me hospi- lent cook." tably and handsomely. Yet this was It so happened that the parlour, in the same Gingham who, when I made which we had located ourselves for him take part of my beefsteak at the purpose of cooking our herrings, breakfast, because his own was de- was not that in which we had dined layed, proposed that we should desire the day before, but one adjoining the the waiter to tell the landlady to larger apartment occupied by the charge only half a beefsteak to me, three military gentlemen, with whom and half a beefsteak to him, Ging- we were to cross the Bay of Biscay. ham. My rejection of this proposal A boarding, removable at pleasure, was the immediate occasion of the was the only separation between the dinner, at which the reader has just two rooms. We had not yet become been present.
acquainted. While we were eviscerating the Shortly after I joined Gingham, papers, fresh from London, Gingham two of the three entered their parlour; leaned over the table, with the air of presently the third followed. They a man who had something important rang the bell, and ordered breakfast, to communicate. He looked me ear- all in high good humour, and talking nestly in the face.
incessantly. We were not listeners, "Mr Y-," said he, “ what do you but could not help hearing every word say-to a red herring—this evening that was said. for supper?"
“Good blow-out that, yesterday." "Thank you. You must excuse -" Pity we didn't know of it sooner; me. Nothing more to-night, but one might as well have dined with them." cup of coffee, and perhaps a cigar. – Turtle, too.”—“'Pon your hoNot even an anchovy toast. I really nour?"-" Turtle, and lots of chamcouldn't."
pagne. Caught the waiter swigging off "Well, then," said Gingham, “to- the end of a bottle in the passage." morrow at breakfast. We will en- " Who are they?"-" Don't know; gage a room up stairs, and ask leave can't make them out. Both going of nobody. I have brought down a out with us in the packet, though."small barrel from London - always “ Think I remember seeing the white take some when I visit the Penin- fellow at Cadiz; almost sure I did; sula - get them in Lower Thames and afterwards again at Madrid. AlStreet. You will pronounce them ways wore his hair in that way, well excellent,"
floured and larded, except when it