But, My Lord, I forget with whom I am talking thus; and a Gardiner ought not to be so bold. The present I humbly make your Lordship, is indeed but a Sallet of Crude Herbs: But there is among them that which was a Prize at the Isthmian Games; and Your Lordship knows who it was both accepted, and rewarded as despicable an Oblation of this kind. The Favor I humbly beg, is Your Lordship’s Pardon for this Presumption. The Subject is mean, and requires it, and my Reputation in danger; should Your Lordship hence suspect that one could never write so much of dressing Sallets, who minded anything serious, besides the gratifying a Sensual Appetite with a Voluptuary Apician Art.
Truly, My Lord, I am so far from designing to promote those Supplicia Luxuriae, (as Seneca calls them) by what I have here written; that were it in my Power, I would recall the World, if not altogether to their Pristine Diet, yet to a much more wholsome and temperate than is now in Fashion: And what if they find me like to some who are eager after Hunting and other Field-Sports, which are Laborious Exercises? and Fishing, which is indeed a Lazy one? who, after all their Pains and Fatigue, never eat what they take and catch in either: For some such I have known: And tho’ I cannot affirm so of my self, (when a well drest and excellent Sallet is before me) I am yet a very moderate Eater of them. So as to this Book-Luxury, I can affirm, and that truly what the Poet says of himself (on a less innocent Occasion) Lasciva pagina, vita proba. God forbid, that after all I have advanc’d in Praise of Sallets, I should be thought to plead for the Vice I censure, and chuse that of Epicurus for my Lemma; In hac arte consenui; or to have spent my time in nothing else. The Plan annext to these Papers, and the Apparatus made to superstruct upon it, would acquit me of having bent all my Contemplations on Sallets only. What I humbly offer Your Lordship, is (as I said) Part of Natural History, the Product of Horticulture, and the Field, dignified by the most illustrious, and sometimes tilled Laureato Vomere; which, as it concerns a Part of Philosophy, I may (without Vanity) be allow’d to have taken some Pains in Cultivating, as an inferior Member of the Royal Society.
But, My Lord, wilst You read on (if at least You vouchsafe me that Honor to read at all) I am conscious I rob the Publick of its most Precious Moments.
I therefore Humbly again Implore Your Lordship’s Pardon: Nor indeed needed I to have said half this, to kindle in Your Breast, that which is already shining there (Your Lordship’s Esteem of the Royal Society) after what You were pleas’d to Express in such an Obliging manner, when it was lately to wait upon Your Lordship; among whom I had the Honor to be a Witness of Your Generous, and Favourable Acceptance of their Addresses, who am,