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THE MODERN DINNER PARTY.
THERE is a certain air of unreality and makc-believo about
tbo dinner party of today. Compare it with the dinner
party of half a century ago, or, to go further back still, of
Queen Anno's reign. One can get a fair idea of tho lattor entertain
ment from Swift's "Polite Conversation.' Lord Smart's dinner hour
was at .'5 o'clock in tho afternoon--"court hours," as ono of his
guests remarked and the hour was none too early for tho business
that the company got through. Tablo decorations were unknown,
and tho attendance was not so perfect that the guests should refrain
from helping each other, with their fingers, from tho dishes before
them. A company of eight were thus provided for: First course, a
sirloin of beef, a shoulder of veal, a tongue, and a fish. Second
course: Almond puddings, black puddings, fritters, chicken and
soup. Third course; llot venison pastry, a hare, a goose, a ham,
and sundry rabbits, pigeons and partridges. A simplo dinner, but
conscientiously attacked by tho guests, who seem to havo partaken
of every dish, and not spared tho claret, tho Burgundy and tho
strong October ale by which it was accompanied. Here was a menu
that left tho guests little leisure for polite conversation, but it was
not for tho pleasure of conversing, but of eating, that they were
met together, and for that purpose tho quality and quantity of tho
food are the only questions worth consideration.
A little more than a century later, dinner giving was still a simple
matter of feeding invited guests. Just lifty years ago Thackeray
wrote a paper in Fraser's Magazine, under tho name of George
Fitzboodle, upon tho subject of dinner giving. Thackeray was no
unwilling diner-out; ho pretended to look upon himself as somewhat
of a gourmet, and he loved tho discussion of "Barmecide Banquets."
In this instance he was occupied in criticising a recent book on
cookery, which seemed to have invited his warm commendation.
Tho dinners that he selected for special praise are almost as far
removed from tho ideas of today as tho dinner given by Lord Smart.
Tho following may bo taken as a specimen: Crimped salmon, Irish
stew, mashed potatoes, mince pies, Oxford dumplings, mince veal,
pickles, roast and apple pie. All the dishes were to bo placed on
the table together, with tho exception of the apple pie, which formed
what was called a "remove" for the Irish stew. Peoplo who sat
down to a dinner of this kind must have had very serious intentions
upon their food. And Thackeray's ideal dinner was a very serious
business, indeed. "In the first place as to central ornaments,'" he
wrote, "have them as handsome, as massive as you likej but oe
hanged to flowers! I say. Roses, bouquets, moss and foliage I have
an utter, contempt for as quite foolish ornaments that have no right
to appear in atmospheres composed of the fumes of ham, gravy,
soup, game, lobstersauce, etc. Flowers were not made to
eat away with them! I doubt even whether young unmarried
ladies should be allowed to come down to dinner. They are a sort
of flowers pretty little sentimental gewgaws what can they know
It is not fair, of course, to assume that Thackeray would have
upheld all of Mr. Fitzbcodle's opinions on tho subject, but there is
no doubt that they were very largely his own and thoso of a good
many men of his day. Tho food and the drink had real attrac
tions then for the diner-out, who cared not a whit what his company
might be, provided that the dinner was a good one. The times
have changed. No longer can he afford to despise the Porsicos
apparatus, for those foreign adjuncts have become the chief attrac
tion of tho feast. We feast our eyes on the "sentimental gewgaws"
that lie on the table before us, and lend our ears to tho other "sen
timental gewgaws" who sit beside us, and it is not the dinner the
food and tho drink that wo caro for.
SHE PAID GEORGE.
They sat cozily side by side at the theater enjoying to tho top of
their bent the miserable fate of Desdemona, and dear George told
her that he would never be jealous of her no, not if she should give
away 1,000 pocket handkerchiefs, and then they had squeezed each
other's hands under her lace wrap, and they were happy as happy
can be. "Dear George'' bought her a box of bonbons and then ato
them all up, for no man was ever so much in love as to be shy in the
matter of eating.
By and by it came to the end of the third act, and after looking
very restless and wretched Gcorgo said fondly, "You won't mind,
dear, will you, if I just step out into the vestibule to stretch my legs
a bit, will you?"
If Gcorgo had had half an eye ho would havo seen that site did
mind very much. No woman likes to bo loft alone in a theater,
but sho only said coolly, "Oh, not in tho least, if you caro to go."
So George crawled over tho laps of half a dozen ladies, treading
on their toes, scratching their chins with his watch chain and
brushing the bloom off their laces and evening attire.
Sho waited about live minutes, and then, swiftly bundling her
wrap around her, and with her pretty face scarlot with indignation
and embarrassment, sho bravely left tho theater and went homo.
And it served Gcorgo right.
THE OLD, OLD STORY.
A coublo of robins
That perched on a trco
Said to each other:
'How sweet it would be
To love and to marry
And always agree!"
They loved and married,
But husband and wife,
While yot in tho honeymoon.
Kindled a strife,
And all almut nothing.
Yet spoiling their life.
They lived in a garden
Whero cherries aro red,
They sleep in tho downiest
Nest for a bed.
Yet always are wishing
They nover had wed.
They bicker, they fidget,
Ihoy flutter their wings,
And this is what each
To the other now sings:
"To love and to marry
Are opposite things."
"Then, when you have finished your lecture," said the professor of
elocution and deportment to joungDulIc, "bow gracefully and leave
the platform on tiptoe.'
"Why on tiptoe?" queried Dulle.
"So as not to wake tho audience," replied the professor.
WANTED THEM TO WORK HARD.
Mmc. Parvenu Can I get you and your orchestra to play at my
soiree next Thursday night?
The Orchestra Leader Certainly.
Mine. Parvenu Well, you may consider yourself engaged. But I
want to make arrangements to hire you by tho piece, do you under
stand? The last time I engaged you by the hour, and your men
took advantage of it and played slow, soft things most of tho time.
Tho vast facilities of tho J. C. Ayer Co., of Lowell, Mass., enablo
them to plao Tho Superior Blood Purifier Ayer's Sarsaparilla
within easy reach of the poorest invalid. Don't bo induced to take
a "cheap" substitute. Always remember that the best is the cheapest.
Dr. L. W. Edwards has re-located at rooms 00 and 91, Burr block.
Office hours: 9 a. m. to 1 p. m., 2 p. m. to 5 p. m. and 7 p. m. to 9 p. m.
If you order your ice of the LINCOLN ICE CO. you will get prompt
service, courteous treatment, and pure ice. 1010, O Street.