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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about Marriage.

“Pardon me, Doctor, we must be the best judges there, and I have the authority of all ages and sages in my favour:  the beauty and the charms of women have been the favourite theme, time immemorial; now no one ever heard of a fair one being celebrated for her skill in cookery.”

“There I beg leave to differ from you,” said the Doctor, with an air of exultation, again referring to his text-book—­“here is the great Madame Pompadour, celebrated for a single dish:  ’Les tendrons d’agneau au soleil et a la Pompadour, sont sortis de l’imagination de cette dame celebre, pour entrer dans la bouche d’un roi.”

“But it was Love that inspired her—­it was Love that kindled the fire in her imagination.  In short, you must acknowledge that

“Love rules the court, the camp, the grove.”

“I’ll acknowledge no such thing,” cried the Doctor, with indignation.  “Love rule the camp, indeed!  A very likely story!  Don’t I know that all our first generals carry off the best cooks—­that there’s no such living anywhere as in camp—­that their aides-de-camp are quite ruined by it—­that in time of war they live at the rate of twenty thousand a year, and when they come home they can’t get a dinner they can eat?  As for the court, I don’t pretend to know much about it; but I suspect there’s more cooks than Cupids to be seen about it.  And for the groves, I shall only say I never heard of any of your fetes champetre, or picnics, where all the pleasure didn’t seem to consist in the eating and drinking.”

“Ah, Doctor, I perceive you have taken all your ideas on that subject from Werter, who certainly was a sort of a sentimental gourmand, he seems to have enjoyed so much drinking his coffee under the shade of the lime-trees, and going to the kitchen to take his own pease-soup; and then he breaks out into such raptures at the idea of the illustrious lovers of Penelope killing and dressing their own meat!  Butchers and cooks in one! only conceive them with their great knives and blue aprons, or their spits and white nightcaps!  Poor Penelope! no wonder she preferred spinning to marrying one of these creatures!  Faugh!  I must have an ounce of civet to sweeten my imagination.”  And she flew of, leaving the Doctor to con over the “Manuel des Amphitryons,” and sigh at the mention of joys, sweet, yet mournful, to his soul.

CHAPTER XXVI.

    “The ample proposition that hope makes
    In all designs begun on earth below,
    Fails in the promised largeness.”

        SHAKESPEARE.

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