Specimen of The Art of Cookery, a Didactic Poem in Ten Books.
Which is proposed to be respectfully dedicated to Miss Rebecca Nettletop
by Atticus Scriblerus, Votary of the Muses, Poet in ordinary to the Right Hon. The Lord Mayor, & to the Cloth-workers’ Company, Member of various learned, scientifical and poetical bodies. &c. &c. &c.
Sketch of the Argument
Book 1st Exordium — Invocation — Dignity and Importance of the Subject — National Cookery — English, Scotch, Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, and Chinese — Book 2d Roast, Boiled, and Plain Meats, Vegetables & Melted Butter — Book 3d Made Dishes, Ragouts, Fricasées, Stews, Hashes, and Sauces — Book 4th Soups, Broths, and Jellies — Book 5th Game, Wild Fowl, Venison, and the art of keeping things till they are perfect in the fumet so much esteemed by epicures — Book 6th Fish, Poultry, Eggs, and Omelets — Book 7th Puddings, Pastry and Confectionary, concluding with a beautiful and characteristic eulogium on “Frederick Niett Esqre late Assistant to Messrs Gunter and Co., the first Confectioners in the World” and his elegant publication on the Topics — Book 8th The decorative part of the science from simple Parsley and Dandelion Garnish to Vases, Figures, Temples, and Sand Paintings, including a description of the purling stream, which sweetly meandered down the Supper Table at a celebrated Fête, with its cirumjacent and appropriate accompanying decorations — Book 9th The Art of Carving and doing the Honors of a Table; General directions for economical elegance and for the choice of a Cook — Book 10th The Mystic part of the Science, or the relation of Inspiration hinted at in Mr Scriblerus’s 2d Epistle to the Editor of the Attic Chest — Conclusion.
Opening of the Poem — Book 1st
The joy-bestowing Art that decks the board
With dainties cull’d from every soil and clime;
Which ransacks Earth and Air, and Seas and Streams,
For palate-tickling, eye-delighting cates,
And on the genial Board of Hospitality
Well-drest doth dish them off — Sing Heavenly Muse!
Guide me delighted thro’ the mingling maze
Of Fish, Flesh, Fowl, Game, Ven’son, Tarts and Tartlets;
O! fill my soul with culinary lore,
With all that Farley, Glasse, or Raffald knew;
Teach my mind’s eye enraptured to survey
The pomp of Dinners, Galas, Lord May’r’s Feasts,
Collations, Dejeûners, Petit Soupers!
And e’en when Hunger (pain well know to bards)
Give direful note that the good things I sing
By me are rarely touched and little known
Save on some feast, to me Alas! infrequent
Or in some page replete with cook’ry lore;
Teach me to rise above the knawing sense
Of cupboard-crying stomach, and to sing
Sweetly as if sustained by Soup of Turtle
Or with champagne and claret-song inspired!
Mr Scriblerus fears that a longer communication at present would tire the Society, but if this should meet with approbation and the plan of his work be found likely to procure him subscriber, he may be induced to send specimens of the execution of other parts of it.
16th June 1813