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comparison with the real advantage. As to the trouble of reaching it, that is not much; and there is nothing good to be had without some trouble. Letting tea stand long to get the strength out, or putting it near the fire to stew, is a very erroneous practice. The quicker it is made the more delicate is its flavour. Long infusion makes it coarse and harsh. For this reason the second cup cannot be expected to be as agreeable as the first; but I recommend a habit to be acquired of taking only one cup on ordinary occasions. I think more weakens the digestive powers. A habit of sipping, instead of gulping, will make a small quantity produce as much enjoyment as a large one, and the difference as to health and elasticity of tone is immense. This question of quantity I recommend to the consideration of ladies, some of whom are apt to think that there is no harm in liquids except from strength. À small quantity of finely-flavoured green tea, made rather strong, and mixed with a large proportion of hot milk, is a very agreeable variety at breakfast. The ingredients should be stirred well together. Speaking from my own experience, I should say it is expedient to be cautious in the use of green tea in the later part of the day. Formerly I passed many sleepless nights without being at all aware that green tea was the cause. It sometimes makes me feel as if I should never want to sleep again ; but that sensation is followed by a corresponding exhaustion, which must be very prejudicial to the system, especially in the case of persons subject to nervous affections. A cup of tea, with the addition of a little toast and an egg, according to the wants of the appetite, is particularly agreeable and satisfactory an hour or two before a late dinner; and in country houses, when a party comes in from the usual exercise, especially at this season of the year, when there is a considerable interval before dinner, and where there is frequent exposure to cold or damp, there is something peculiarly pleasant, as I can assert from experience, in a little easy tea association. Previously to exercise, or to much exertion of any kind, particularly where there is any hurrying, either of body or mind, tea is much preferable to coffee, whether at breakfast or at any other part of the day. Tea, in moderation, prevents fever and thirst; coffee causes them. Strong coffee, especially with eggs, taken at breakfast, and followed by any excitement, corporeal or mental, will produce a very disagreeable degree of thirst for the whole day. If it is used under such circumstances
, it should be in great moderation. Any excess in strong coffee is at all times almost sure to produce feverish sensations. The French are particularly cautious in their use of coffee. At breakfast they dilute it with a great deal of hot milk, and after dinner, when they take it strong and without milk or
cream, as far as my observation goes, they confine themselves strictly to one small cup. I once went, with a friend of mine, into a coffee-house at Paris, which was famous for the excellence of the coffee, and we drank two cups each. When we came to pay, we had some difficulty in persuading the waiter to take our money; he seemed to think our proceeding so much out of rule as to be scarcely credible. In travelling, which, without care, is a constant state of fever, tea is greatly to be preferred on every account to coffee. In what I have said in respect to making tea, and in what I am going to say respecting coffee, I can only give general ideas; those who wish to become proficients must trust to their own observation and experiments.
The art of making coffee is more difficult, at least it is more seldom succeeded in, in this country, than that of making tea. Coffee should be hot, clear, and strong. In the first place the material should be good ; that from Mocha is the best, when it can be procured, which I believe is very rarely. I have been told by a great connoisseur that coffee imported in small parcels is better flavoured than that in bulk, from the circumstance that the latter is apt to undergo a process of heating, more or less. In order to have coffee in the greatest perfection, it should be roasted, ground, and made in immediate succession. As that can seldom happen, the rule should be observed as nearly as circumstances will allow. Whilst kept after roasting, the air should be excluded from it as much as possible, and, I believe, for that purpose a glass bottle or jar, with a ground stopper, is the most efficacious. The best mode of roasting, I was informed by the authority above mentioned, is an earthen basin placed in an oven with the door open—the coffee to be frequently stirred with a spoon. This mode is said to allow certain coarse particles to fly off, and to render the flavour more delicate than when the usual close cylinder is used. I only speak on this head from what I have been told, and I think I have heard a difference of opinion. The receipt I am going to give for making coffee, I have just learnt for the purpose froin Doctor Forbes, whom I have quoted in my twenty-fourth number on the subject of salads. His coffee is excellent. He uses a biggin, which consists of a lower cylinder to receive the coffee when precipitated, and an upper one, the bottom of which is exceedingly finely pierced. The first thing to be done is to make the vessel hot with boiling water; then put the coffee into it in the proportion of a full ounce to two French cups, which hold five meat spoonfuls of liquid each. Do not, as is usual, press the coffee down at all, but only lightly level it. Put on to the top of the machine the movable cul. lender, to break the fall of the water, which measure according to the quantity wanted, and pour it in quite boiling. As soon as it is run through, the coffee is ready. By this process the coffee is perfectly clear and bright, and I think the proportion makes it strong enough, the material being of the first quality; but if it is desired to have it stronger, experiment will soon teach the proper quantity. It is convenient to have a measure containing an ounce, or whatever weight is in constant use. The same sized biggin will not answer well for making very different quantities. The upper cylinder, I apprehend, should be rather deep than wide, or the water would run through too fast. By not pressing the coffee down, it is much sooner made, and it appears altogether better, though the method was new to me. The coffee may either be made just as it is wanted, or two or three hours before. In the latter case it should be made quite hot, when served, but on no account boiled, which wastes the flavour. In order to avoid any risk of boiling, it may safely be heated by insertion in boiling water. There is an opinion that it is rather better when heated again, than when used immediately after making, and there is also an opinion the other way. With respect to a lamp under the biggin, it is certainly convenient on many occasions, but I should think that coffee long kept hot in that way, would suffer a diminution of flavour. For large parties I suppose the biggin process is scarcely practicable. I once learned the French mode from a professed maker; but it is so long since, that I cannot charge my memory with the precise particulars. As far as I recollect, the coffee is only just suffered to boil, or else is stopped just before the boiling point. It is fined, I think, by putting a small portion of the skin of a fish into it. One thing only I am certain of, and that is, that the water with which it is made, is previously boiled with a portion of the grounds of the former making in it, or with a small quantity of fresh coffee : opinions were divided, which was the better plan, but it was perfectly agreed that without one or other, there was always a rawness perceptible. Coffee, like tea, especially when drunk with milk or cream, should be well stirred. I do not recollect anything further to add.
A MISTAKE TURNED TO ACCOUNT. I was once dining in company .with some old members of par. liainent now dead, who related a number of anecdotes, of which I recollect only this :
Mr. Pitt once speaking in the House of Commons, in the early part of his career, of the glorious war which preceded the disastrous one, in which we lost the colonies, called it “the last
war. Several members cried out, 66 the last war but one!” He took no notice, and soon after, repeating the mistake, he was interrupted by a general cry of “ the last war but one! the last war but one!”—“ I mean, sir,” said Mr. Pitt, turning to the Speaker and raising his sonorous voice, “I mean, sir, the last war that Britons would wish to remember;"—whereupon the cry was instantaneously changed into an universal cheering, long and loud.
CHANGES OF FORTUNE. When the late Lord Erskine was Lord Chancellor, he invited the gentleman who told me the following anecdote, to breakfast with him. While they were conversing, a servant brought in a letter, which Lord Erskine read with considerable emotion. After a pause, he said it was from one of the French princes, without naming which, and added, that it was to solicit his assistance on the occasion of some embarrassment. He then remarked upon the very extraordinary change which a few years had brought about in their respective fortunes. 6 The first time I saw the writer of this letter,” he continued, was at Versailles. I was then a poor ensign on my way to join my regiment, which was lying in Minorca. As I was travelling to Paris in a public vehicle, one of the passengers, who held some inferior situation in the palace, offered to procure me an opportunity of seeing the court, and there I beheld this prince figuring in the most brilliant manner as one of the most distinguisheri men in Europe. I was then in the lowest rank in one profession, and am now at the head of another of a totally different nature, and he, in exile and in poverty, is supplicating my aid.” As I am upon the subject of the reverses of princes, I will present my readers, to many of whom I have no doubt it will be new and interesting, with an extract from Lord Clarendon's 'History of the Rebellion,' in which he gives an account, as he had it from the king himself, of Charles the Second's escape after the battle of Worcester, in which he was defeated by Cromwell. This battle was fought at the end of September, and it was after it that Charles concealed himself in the oak, and not, as is commonly supposed, on the twenty-ninth of May, which is the anniversary of his restoration. The king's relish for the homeliest fare, his extreme suffering, and his humble guide's encouragement to him to persevere, are curious, and possess an interest beyond fiction.
«When the night covered them, (that is, a body of Scottish cavalry,) the king found means to withdraw himself with one or
two of his own servants, whom he likewise discharged, when it began to be light; and after he had made them cut off his hair, he betook himself alone into an adjacent wood, and relied only upon Him for his preservation, who alone could, and did, miraculously deliver him. . . . . After the king had cast himself into the wood, he observed another man who had gotten upon an oak near the place where the king had rested himself, and had slept soundly. The man upon the tree had first seen the king, and knew him, and came down to him, and was known to the king, being a gentleman of the neighbouring county of Staffordshire, who had served his late majesty during the war, and had now been one of the few who resorted to the king after his coming to Worcester. His name was Careless, a Catholic, who had had a command of foot, about the degree of a captain, under the Lord Loughborough. He persuaded the king, since it could not be safe for him to go out of the wood, and that as soon as it should be fully light, the wood itself would probably be visited by those of the country who would be searching to find those whom they might make prisoners, that he would get up into that tree, where he had been. The king thought it good counsel ; and with the other's help climbed into the tree, and then helped his companion to ascend after him ; where they sat all that day, and securely saw many who came purposely into the wood to look after them, and heard all their discourses, how they would use the king himself, if they could take him. The day being spent in the tree, it was not in the king's power to forget that he had lived two days with eating very little, and two nights with as little sleep; so that when the night came, he was willing to make some provision for both, and he resolved, with the advice and assistance of his companion, to leave the blessed tree; and when the night was dark, they walked through the wood into those enclosures which were the farthest from any highway, and making a shift to get over hedges and ditches, after walking at least eight or nine miles, which were the more grievous to the king by the weight of his boots, (for he could not put them off, when he cut off his hair, for want of shoes,) before morning they came to a poor cottage, the owner whereof, being a Roman Catholic, was known to Careless. He was called up, and as soon as he knew one of them, he easily concluded in what condition they both were; and presently carried them into a little barn full of hay, which was a better lodging than he had for himself. But when they were there, and had conferred with their host of the news and temper of the country, it was agreed that the danger would be the greater if they stayed together; and therefore that Careless should presently be gone, and should. within