A DISCOURSE OF SALLETS
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By JOHN EVELYN, Esq.
Author of the Kalendarium
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Published by the Women's Auxiliary,
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
Printed in the United States of America
This edition of Acetaria is a faithful reprint of the First Edition of 1699, with the correction of a few obvious typographical errors, and those noted in the Errata of the original edition. Whereas no attempt has been made to reproduce the typography of the original, the spirit has been retained, and the vagaries of spelling and punctuation have been carefully followed; also the old-style S [s] has been retained. Much of the flavour of Acetaria is lost if it is scanned too hurriedly; and one should remember also that Latin and Greek were the gauge of a man of letters, and if the titles and quotations seem a bit ponderous, they are as amusing a conceit as the French and German complacencies of a more recent generation.
Foreword to Acetaria
John Evelyn, famous for his "Diary," was a friend and contemporary of Samuel Pepys. Both were conscientious public servants who had held minor offices in the government. But, while Pepys' diary is sparkling and redolent of the free manners of the Restoration, Evelyn's is the record of a sober, scholarly man. His mind turned to gardens, to sculpture and architecture, rather than to the gaieties of contemporary social life. Pepys was an urban figure and Evelyn was "county." He represents the combination of public servant and country gentleman which has been the supreme achievement of English culture.
Horace Walpole said of him in his Catalogue of Engravers, "I must observe that his life, which was extended to eighty-six years, was a course of inquiry, study, curiosity, instruction and benevolence."
Courtiers, artists, and scientists were his friends. Grinling Gibbons was brought to the King's notice by Evelyn, and Henry Howard, Duke of Norfolk, was persuaded by him to present the Arundel Marbles to the University of Oxford. In London he engaged in divers charitable and civic affairs and was commissioner for improving the streets and buildings in London. He had charge of the sick and wounded of the Dutch War and also, with the fineness of character typical of his kind, he remained at his post through the Great Plague. Evelyn was also active in organizing the Royal Society and became its first secretary.
In the country he spent his time studying, writing and in developing his own and his brother's estates. He translated several French books, one of them by Nicolas de Bonnefons was entitled "The French Gardener; instructions how to cultivate all sorts of fruit-trees." Evelyn undoubtedly knew another book of de Bonnefons called "Les Delices de la Campagne." Delights of the country, according to de Bonnefons, consisted largely in delights of the palate, and perhaps it was this book which suggested to Evelyn to write a cookery-garden book such as Acetaria. He also translated Jean de la Quintinie's "The Compleat Gardener." His "Sylva, or a discourse of Forest Trees" was written as a protest against the destruction of trees in England being carried on by the glass factories and iron furnaces, and the book succeeded in inducing landowners to plant millions of trees.
The list of Evelyn's writings shows a remarkable diversity in subject matter. There was a book on numismatics and translations from the Greek, political and historical pamphlets, and a book called "Fumifugium or the inconvenience of the Aer and Smoke of London dissipated," in which he suggests that sweet-smelling trees should be planted to purify the air of London. He also wrote a book called "Sculpture, or the History of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper."
Living in the country and cultivating his fruits and vegetables, Evelyn grew to be an ardent believer in vegetarianism and is probably the first advocate in England of a meatless diet. He was so keen on preparing foods without meat that, like another contemporary, Sir Kenelm Digby, he collected recipes. These, interspersed with delightful philosophic comments and some directions about gardening, were assembled in the little book Acetaria. This was published in 1699 along with the ninth edition of the "Kalendarium Hortense," a gardener's almanac.
The material for Acetaria was gathered as early as 1679 with the idea of making it one chapter of an encyclopedic work on horticulture. The Plan of a Royal Garden, was Evelyn's outline for that ambitious work.
The recipes are unusual and delicious and some of them are practical for today, especially for the owner of a garden where pot herbs are cultivated. Evelyn uses the pot herbs for flavoring soups, egg dishes, "salletts" and puddings. The eggs with sweet herbs prepared in ramikins and the pudding flavored with the petals of calendulas are particularly good.
The book reveals his zest for living and the culture of his mind. It also shows the thought and life of a country gentleman during the reign of Charles the Second. Evidently, in Evelyn's home, the spirit of scientific investigation prevailed and there was a delight in new ideas. Evelyn supervised the garden and knew how to instruct the cook to prepare new dishes.
Although Acetaria is a book of directions for gardening and cooking, it is not the least didactic but is written in a discoursive style and with a leisureliness and in a rhythm suited to the slow pace of a horse trotting through the winding lanes of the English countryside. As we read, we can almost see the butler bringing a fragrant pudding to the family assembled around the dining table in the wood-panelled room. Or again we can almost smell the thyme, mint, and savory growing in tidy rows in the well-tilled and neatly ordered garden of John Evelyn.
Helen M. Fox
* * * * *
* * * * *
To the Right Honourable
Lord High-Chancellor of England,
and President of the Royal-Society.
* * * * *
The Idea and Plan of the Royal-Society having been first conceiv'd and delineated by a Great and Learned Chancellor, which High Office your Lordship deservedly bears; not as an Acquisition of Fortune, but your Intellectual Endowments; Conspicuous (among other Excellencies) by the Inclination Your Lordship discovers to promote Natural Knowledge: As it justifies the Discernment of that Assembly, to pitch upon Your Lordship for their President, so does it no less discover the Candor, yea, I presume to say, the Sublimity of your Mind, in so generously honoring them with your Acceptance of the Choice they have made.
A Chancellor, and a very Learned Lord, was the First who honoured the Chair; and a no less Honorable and Learned Chancellor, resigns it to Your Lordship: So as after all the Difficulties and Hardships the Society has hitherto gone through; it has thro' the Favour and Protection of its Presidents, not only preserv'd its Reputation from the Malevolence of Enemies and Detracters, but gone on Culminating, and now Triumphantly in Your Lordship: Under whose propitious Influence, I am perswaded, it may promise it self That, which indeed has hitherto been wanting, to justifie the Glorious Title it bears of a ROYAL SOCIETY. The Emancipating it from some Remaining and Discouraging Circumstances, which it as yet labours under; among which, that of a Precarious and unsteady Abode, is not the least.
This Honor was reserv'd for Your Lordship; and an Honor, permit me to call it, not at all unworthy the Owning of the Greatest Person living: Namely, the Establishing and Promoting Real Knowledge; and (next to what is Divine) truly so called; as far, at least, as Humane Nature extends towards the Knowledge of Nature, by enlarging her Empire beyond the Land of Spectres, Forms, Intentional Species, Vacuum, Occult Qualities, and other Inadequate Notions; which, by their Obstreperous and Noisy Disputes, affrighting, and (till of late) deterring Men from adventuring on further Discoveries, confin'd them in a lazy Acquiescence, and to be fed with Fantasms and fruitless Speculations, which signifie nothing to the specifick Nature of Things, solid and useful knowledge; by the Investigation of Causes, Principles, Energies, Powers, and Effects of Bodies, and Things Visible; and to improve them for the Good and Benefit of Mankind.
My Lord, That which the Royal Society needs to accomplish an entire Freedom, and (by rendring their Circumstances more easie) capable to subsist with Honor, and to reach indeed the Glorious Ends of its Institution, is an Establishment in a more Settl'd, Appropriate, and Commodious Place; having hitherto (like the Tabernacle in the Wilderness) been only Ambulatory for almost Forty Years: But Solomon built the First Temple; and what forbids us to hope, that as Great a Prince may build Solomon's House, as that Great Chancellor (one of Your Lordship's Learned Predecessors) had design'd the Plan; there being nothing in that August and Noble Model impossible, or beyond the Power of Nature and Learned Industry.
Thus, whilst King Solomon's Temple was Consecrated to the God of Nature, and his true Worship; This may be Dedicated, and set apart for the Works of Nature; deliver'd from those Illusions and Impostors, that are still endeavouring to cloud and depress the True, and Substantial Philosophy: A shallow and Superficial Insight, wherein (as that Incomparable Person rightly observes) having made so many Atheists: whilst a profound and thorow Penetration into her Recesses (which is the Business of the Royal Society) would lead Men to the Knowledge, and Admiration of the Glorious Author.
And now, My Lord, I expect some will wonder what my Meaning is, to usher in a Trifle, with so much Magnificence, and end at last in a fine Receipt for the Dressing of a Sallet with an Handful of Pot-Herbs! But yet, My Lord, this Subject, as low and despicable as it appears, challenges a Part of Natural History, and the Greatest Princes have thought it no Disgrace, not only to make it their Diversion, but their Care, and to promote and encourage it in the midst of their weightiest Affairs: He who wrote of the Cedar of Libanus, wrote also of the Hysop which grows upon the Wall.
To verifie this, how much might I say of Gardens and Rural Employments, preferrable to the Pomp and Grandeur of other Secular Business, and that in the Estimate of as Great Men as any Age has produc'd! And it is of such Great Souls we have it recorded; That after they had perform'd the Noblest Exploits for the Publick, they sometimes chang'd their Scepters for the Spade, and their Purple for the Gardiner's Apron. And of these, some, My Lord, were Emperors, Kings, Consuls, Dictators, and Wise Statesmen; who amidst the most important Affairs, both in Peace and War, have quitted all their Pomp and Dignity in Exchange of this Learned Pleasure: Nor that of the most refin'd Part of Agriculture (the Philosophy of the Garden and Parterre only) but of Herbs, and wholesom Sallets, and other plain and useful Parts of Geoponicks, and Wrote Books of Tillage and Husbandry; and took the Plough-Tackle for their Banner, and their Names from the Grain and Pulse they sow'd, as the Marks and Characters of the highest Honor.
But I proceed no farther on a Topic so well known to Your Lordship: Nor urge I Examples of such Illustrious Persons laying aside their Grandeur, and even of deserting their Stations; (which would infinitely prejudice the Publick, when worthy Men are in Place, and at the Helm) But to shew how consisent the Diversions of the Garden and Villa were, with the highest and busiest Employment of the Commonwealth, and never thought a Reproch, or the least Diminution to the Gravity and Veneration due to their Persons, and the Noble Rank they held.
Will Your Lordship give me Leave to repeat what is said of the Younger Pliny, (Nephew to the Naturalist) and whom I think we may parallel with the Greatest of his time (and perhaps of any since) under the Worthiest Emperor the Roman world ever had? A Person of vast Abilities, Rich, and High in his Master's Favour; that so Husbanded his time, as in the Midst of the weightiest Affairs, to have Answer'd, and by his Example, made good what I have said on this Occasion. The Ancient and best Magistrates of Rome allow'd but the Ninth Day for the City and Publick Business; the rest for the Country and the Sallet Garden: There were then fewer Causes indeed at the Bar; but never greater Justice, nor better Judges and Advocates. And 'tis hence observed, that we hardly find a Great and Wise Man among the Ancients, qui nullos habuit hortos, excepting only Pomponius Atticus; wilst his Dear Cicero professes, that he never laid out his Money more readily, than in the purchasing of Gardens, and those sweet Retirements, for which he so often left the Rostra (and Court of the Greatest and most flourishing State of the World) to visit, prune, and water them with his own Hands.
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,
_My Lord, Your Lordship's Most Humble and Most Obedient Servant,
* * * * *
The Favourable Entertainment which the Kalendar has found, encouraging the Bookseller to adventure upon a Ninth Impression, I could not refuse his Request of my Revising, and Giving it the best Improvement I was capable, to an Inexhaustible Subject, as it regards a Part of Horticulture; and offer some little Aid to such as love a Diversion so Innocent and Laudable. There are those of late, who have arrogated, and given the Glorious Title of Compleat and Accomplish'd Gardiners, to what they have Publish'd; as if there were nothing wanting, nothing more remaining, or farther to be expected from the Field; and that Nature had been quite emptied of all her fertile Store: Whilst those who thus magnifie their Discoveries, have after all, penetrated but a very little Way into this Vast, Ample, and as yet, Unknown Territory; Who see not, that it would still require the Revolution of many Ages; deep, and long Experience, for any Man to Emerge that Perfect, and Accomplish'd Artist Gardiner they boast themselves to be: Nor do I think, Men will ever reach the End, and far extended Limits of the Vegetable Kingdom, so incomprehensible is the Variety it every Day produces, of the most Useful, and Admirable of all the Aspectable Works of God; since almost all we see, and touch, and taste, and smell, eat and drink, are clad with, and defended (from the Greatest Prince to the Meanest Peasant) is furnished from that Great and Universal Plantation, Epitomiz'd in our Gardens, highly worth the Contemplation of the most Profound Divine, and Deepest Philosopher.
I should be asham'd to acknowledge how little I have advanced, could I find that ever any Mortal Man from Adam, Noah, Solomon, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Dioscorides, and the rest of Nature's Interpreters, had ever arriv'd to the perfect Knowledge of any one Plant, or Vulgar Weed whatsoever: But this perhaps may yet possibly be reserv'd for another State of Things, and a longer Day; that is, When Time shall be no more, but Knowledge shall be encreas'd.
We have heard of one who studied and contemplated the Nature of Bees only, for Sixty Years: After which, you will not wonder, that a Person of my Acquaintance, should have spent almost Forty, in Gathering and Amassing Materials for an Hortulan Design, to so enormous an Heap, as to fill some Thousand Pages; and yet be comprehended within two, or three Acres of Ground; nay, within the Square of less than One (skilfully Planted and Cultivated) sufficient to furnish, and entertain his Time and Thoughts all his Life long, with a most Innocent, Agreeable, and Useful Employment. But you may justly wonder, and Condemn the Vanity of it too, with that Reproach, This Man began to build, but was not able to finish! This has been the Fate of that Undertaking; and I dare promise, will be of whosoever imagines (without the Circumstances of extraordinary Assistance, and no ordinary Expence) to pursue the Plan, erect, and finish the Fabrick as it ought to be.
But this is that which Abortives the Perfection of the most Glorious and Useful Undertakings; the Unsatiable Coveting to Exhaust all that should, or can be said upon every Head: If such a one have any thing else to mind, or do in the World, let me tell him, he thinks of Building too late; and rarely find we any, who care to superstruct upon the Foundation of another, and whose Ideas are alike. There ought therefore to be as many Hands, and Subsidiaries to such a Design (and those Matters too) as there are distinct Parts of the Whole (according to the subsequent Table) that those who have the Means and Courage, may (tho' they do not undertake the Whole) finish a Part at least, and in time Unite their Labours into one Intire, Compleat, and Consummate Work indeed.
Of One or Two of these, I attempted only a Specimen in my SILVA and the KALENDAR; Imperfect, I say, because they are both capable of Great Improvements: It is not therefore to be expected (Let me use the Words of an Old, and Experienced Gardiner) Cuncta me dicturum, quae vastitas ejus scientiae contineret, sed plurima; nam illud in unius hominis prudentiam cadere non poterit, neque est ulla Disciplina aut Ars, quae singulari consummata sit ingenio.
May it then suffice aliquam partem tradidisse, and that I have done my Endeavour.
... Jurtilis olim Ne Videar vixisse.
Much more might I add upon this Charming, and Fruitful Subject (I mean, concerning Gardening:) But this is not a Place to Expatiate, deterr'd, as I have long since been, from so bold an Enterprize, as the Fabrick I mentioned. I content my self then with an Humble Cottage, and a Simple Potagere, Appendant to the Calendar; which, Treating only (and that briefly) of the Culture of Moderate Gardens; Nothing seems to me, shou'd be more Welcome and Agreeable, than whilst the Product of them is come into more Request and Use amongst us, than heretofore (beside what we call, and distinguish by the Name of Fruit) I did annex some particular Directions concerning S A L L E T S.
* * * * *
Describing, and Shewing the Amplitude, and Extent of that Part of Georgicks, which belongs to Horticulture.
* * * * *
In Three Books
* * * * *
Chap. I. Of Principles and Elements in general.
Chap. II. Of the Four (vulgarly reputed) Elements; Fire, Air, Water; Earth.
Chap. III. Of the Celestial Influences, and particularly of the Sun, Moon, and of the Climates.
Chap. IV. Of the Four Annual Seasons.
Chap. V. Of the Natural Mould and Soil of a Garden.
Chap. VI. Of Composts, and Stercoration, Repastination, Dressing and Stirring the Earth and Mould of a Garden.
Chap. I. A Garden Derived and Defin'd; its Dignity, Distinction, and Sorts.
Chap. II. Of a Gardiner, how to be qualify 'd, regarded and rewarded; his Habitation, Cloathing, Diet, Under-Workmen and Assistants.
Chap. III. Of the Instruments belonging to a Gardiner; their various Uses, and Machanical Powers.
Chap. IV. Of the Terms us'd, and affected by Gardiners.
Chap. V. Of Enclosing, Fencing, Plotting, and disposing of the Ground; and of Terraces, Walks, Allies, Malls, Bowling-Greens, &c.
Chap. VI. Of a Seminary, Nurseries; and of Propagating Trees, Plants and Flowers, Planting and Transplanting, &c.
Chap. VII. Of Knots, Parterres, Compartiments, Borders, Banks and Embossments.
Chap. VIII. Of Groves, Labyrinths, Dedals, Cabinets, Cradles, Close-Walks, Galleries, Pavilions, Portico's, Lanterns, and other Relievo's; of Topiary and Hortulan Architecture.
Chap. IX. Of Fountains, Jetto's, Cascades, Rivulets, Piscinas, Canals, Baths, and other Natural, and Artificial Water-works.
Chap. X. Of Rocks, Grotts, Cryptae, Mounts, Precipices, Ventiducts, Conservatories, of Ice and Snow, and other Hortulan Refreshments.
Chap. XI. Of Statues, Busts, Obelisks, Columns, Inscriptions, Dials, Vasa's, Perspectives, Paintings, and other Ornaments.
Chap. XII. Of Gazon-Theatres, Amphitheatres, Artificial Echo's, Automata and Hydraulic Musck.
Chap. XIII. Of Aviaries, Apiaries, Vivaries, Insects, &c.
Chap. XIV. Of Verdures, Perennial Greens, and Perpetual Springs.
Chap. XV. Of Orangeries, Oporotheca's, Hybernacula, Stoves, and Conservatories of Tender Plants and Fruits, and how to order them.
Chap. XVI. Of the Coronary Garden: Flowers and Rare Plants, how they are to be Raised, Governed and Improved; and how the Gardiner is to keep his Register.
Chap. XVII. Of the Philosophical Medical Garden.
Chap. XVIII. Of Stupendous and Wonderful Plants.
Chap. XIX. Of the Hort-Yard and Potagere; and what Fruit-Trees, Olitory and Esculent Plants, may be admitted into a Garden of Pleasure.
Chap. XX. Of Sallets.
Chap. XXI. Of a Vineyard, and Directions concerning the making of Wine and other Vinous Liquors, and of Teas.
Chap. XXII. Of Watering, Pruning, Plashing, Pallisading, Nailing, Clipping, Mowing, Rowlling, Weeding, Cleansing, &c.
Chap. XXIII. Of the Enemies and Infirmities to which Gardens are obnoxious, together with Remedies.
Chap. XXIV. Of the Gardiner's Almanack or Kalendarium Hortense, directing what he is to do Monthly, and what Fruits and Flowers are in prime.
Chap. I. Of Conserving, Properating, Retarding, Multiplying, Transmuting, and Altering the
Species, Forms, and (reputed) Substantial Qualities of Plants, Fruits and Flowers.
Chap. II. Of the Hortulan Elaboratory; and of distilling and extracting of Waters, Spirits, Essences, Salts, Colours, Resuscitation of Plants, with other rare Experiments, and an Account of their Virtues.
Chap. III. Of Composing the Hortus Hyemalis, and making Books, of Natural, Arid Plants and Flowers, with several Ways of Preserving them in their Beauty.
Chap. IV. Of Painting of Flowers, Flowers enamell'd, Silk, Callico's, Paper, Wax, Guns, Pasts, Horns, Glass, Shells, Feathers, Moss, Pietra Comessa, Inlayings, Embroyderies, Carvings, and other Artificial Representations of them.
Chap. V. Of Crowns, Chaplets, Garlands, Festoons, Encarpa, Flower-Pots, Nosegays, Poeses, Deckings, and other Flowery Pomps.
Chap. VI. Of Hortulan Laws and Privileges.
Chap. VII. Of the Hortulan Study, and of a Library, Authors and Books assistant to it.
Chap. VIII. Of Hortulan Entertainments, Natural, Divine, Moral, and Political; with divers Historical Passages, and Solemnities, to shew the Riches, Beauty, Wonder, Plenty, Delight, and Universal Use of Gardens.
Chap. IX. Of Garden Burial.
Chap. X. Of Paradise, and of the most Famous Gardens in the World, Ancient and Modern.
Chap. XI. The Description of a Villa.
Chap. XII. The Corollary and Conclusion.
——Laudato ingentia rura, Exiguum colito.——
* * * * *
A Discourse of Sallets
* * * * *
Sallets in general consist of certain Esculent Plants and Herbs, improv'd by Culture, Industry, and Art of the Gard'ner: Or, as others say, they are a Composition of Edule Plants and Roots of several kinds, to be eaten Raw or Green, Blanch'd or Candied: simple—and per se, or intermingl'd with others according to the Season. The Boil'd, Bak'd, Pickl'd, or otherwise disguis'd, variously accommodated by the skilful Cooks, to render them grateful to the more feminine Palat, or Herbs rather for the Pot, &c. challenge not the name of Sallet so properly here, tho' sometimes mention'd; And therefore,
Those who Criticize not so nicely upon the Word, seem to distinguish the Olera (which were never eaten Raw) from Acetaria, which were never Boil'd; and so they derive the Etymology of Olus, from Olla, the Pot. But others deduce it from [Greek: Olos], comprehending the Universal Genus of the Vegetable Kingdom; as from [Greek: Pan] Panis; esteeming that he who had Bread and Herbs, was sufficiently bless'd with all a frugal Man cou'd need or desire: Others again will have it, ab Olendo, i.e. Crescendo, from its continual growth and springing up: So the younger Scaliger on Varro: But his Father Julius extends it not so generally to all Plants, as to all the Esculents, according to the Text: We call those Olera (says Theophrastus) which are commonly eaten, in which sense it may be taken, to include both Boil'd and Raw: Last of all, ab Alendo, as having been the Original, and genuine Food of all Mankind from the Creation.
A great deal more of this Learned Stuff were to be pick'd up from the Cumini Sectores, and impertinently Curious; whilst as it concerns the business in hand, we are by Sallet to understand a particular Composition of certain Crude and fresh Herbs, such as usually are, or may safely be eaten with some Acetous Juice, Oyl, Salt, &c. to give them a grateful Gust and Vehicle; exclusive of the [Greek: psuchrai trapezai], eaten without their due Correctives, which the Learned Salmasius, and, indeed generally, the old Physicians affirm (and that truly) all Crude and raw [Greek: lachana] require to render them wholsome; so as probably they were from hence, as Pliny thinks, call'd Acetaria: and not (as Hermolaus and some others) Acceptaria ab Accipiendo; nor from Accedere, though so ready at hand, and easily dress'd; requiring neither Fire, Cost, or Attendance, to boil, roast, and prepare them as did Flesh, and other Provisions; from which, and other Prerogatives, they were always in use, &c. And hence indeed the more frugal Italians and French, to this Day, gather Ogni Verdura, any thing almost that's Green and Tender, to the very Tops of Nettles; so as every Hedge affords a Sallet (not unagreeable) season'd with its proper Oxybaphon of Vinegar, Salt, Oyl, &c. which doubtless gives it both the Relish and Name of Salad, Emsalada, as with us of Sallet; from the Sapidity, which renders not Plants and Herbs alone, but Men themselves, and their Conversations, pleasant and agreeable: But of this enough, and perhaps too much; least whilst I write of Salt and Sallet, I appear my self Insipid: I pass therefore to the Ingredients, which we will call
Furniture and Materials
The Materials of Sallets, which together with the grosser Olera, consist of Roots, Stalks, Leaves, Buds, Flowers, &c. Fruits (belonging to another Class) would require a much ampler Volume, than would suit our Kalendar, (of which this pretends to be an Appendix only) should we extend the following Catalogue further than to a brief enumeration only of such Herbaceous Plants, Oluscula and smaller Esculents, as are chiefly us'd in Cold Sallets, of whose Culture we have treated there; and as we gather them from the Mother and Genial Bed, with a touch only of their Qualities, for Reasons hereafter given.
1. Alexanders, Hipposelinum; S. Smyrnium vulgare (much of the nature of Persly) is moderately hot, and of a cleansing Faculty, Deobstructing, nourishing, and comforting the Stomach. The gentle fresh Sprouts, Buds, and Tops are to be chosen, and the Stalks eaten in the Spring; and when Blanch'd, in Winter likewise, with Oyl, Pepper, Salt, &c. by themselves, or in Composition: They make also an excellent Vernal Pottage.
2. Artichaux, Cinara, (Carduus Sativus) hot and dry. The Heads being slit in quarters first eaten raw, with Oyl, a little Vinegar, Salt, and Pepper, gratefully recommend a Glass of Wine; Dr. Muffet says, at the end of Meals.
They are likewise, whilst tender and small, fried in fresh Butter crisp with Persley. But then become a most delicate and excellent Restorative, when full grown, they are boil'd the common way. The Bottoms are also bak'd in Pies, with Marrow, Dates, and other rich Ingredients: In Italy they sometimes broil them, and as the Scaly Leaves open, baste them with fresh and sweet Oyl; but with Care extraordinary, for if a drop fall upon the Coals, all is marr'd; that hazard escap'd, they eat them with the Juice of Orange and Sugar.
The Stalk is Blanch'd in Autumn, and the Pith eaten raw or boil'd. The way of preserving them fresh all Winter, is by separating the Bottoms from the Leaves, and after Parboiling, allowing to every Bottom, a small earthen glaz'd Pot; burying it all over in fresh melted Butter, as they do Wild-Fowl, &c. Or if more than one, in a larger Pot, in the same Bed and Covering, Layer upon Layer.
They are also preserv'd by stringing them on Pack-thread, a clean Paper being put between every Bottom, to hinder them from touching one another, and so hung up in a dry place. They are likewise Pickl'd.
'Tis not very long since this noble Thistle came first into Italy, Improv'd to this Magnitude by Culture; and so rare in England, that they were commonly sold for Crowns a piece: But what Carthage yearly spent in them (as Pliny computes the Sum) amounted to Sestertia Sena Millia, 30000 l. Sterling.
Note, That the Spanish Cardon, a wild and smaller Artichoak, with sharp pointed Leaves, and lesser Head; the Stalks being Blanch'd and tender, are serv'd-up a la Poiverade (that is with Oyl, Pepper, &c.) as the French term is.
3. Basil, Ocimum (as Baulm) imparts a grateful Flavour, if not too strong, somewhat offensive to the Eyes; and therefore the tender Tops to be very sparingly us'd in our Sallet.
4. Baulm, Melissa, Baum, hot and dry, Cordial and exhilarating, sovereign for the Brain, strengthning the Memory, and powerfully chasing away Melancholy. The tender Leaves are us'd in Composition with other Herbs; and the Sprigs fresh gather'd, put into Wine or other Drinks, during the heat of Summer, give it a marvellous quickness: This noble Plant yields an incomparable Wine, made as is that of Cowslip-Flowers.
5. Beet, Beta; of which there is both Red, Black, and White: The Costa, or Rib of the White Beet (by the French call'd the Chard) being boil'd, melts, and eats like Marrow. And the Roots (especially of the Red) cut into thin slices, boil'd, when cold, is of it self a grateful winter Sallet; or being mingl'd with other Oluscula, Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, &c. 'Tis of quality Cold and Moist, and naturally somewhat Laxative: But however by the Epigrammatist stil'd Foolish and Insipid, as Innocentior quam Olus (for so the Learned Harduin reads the place) 'tis by Diphilus of old, and others since, preferr'd before Cabbage as of better Nourishment: Martial (not unlearn'd in the Art of Sallet) commends it with Wine and Pepper: He names it indeed—Fabrorum prandia, for its being so vulgar. But eaten with Oyl and Vinegar, as usually, it is no despicable Sallet. There is a Beet growing near the Sea, which is the most delicate of all. The Roots of the Red Beet, pared into thin Slices and Circles, are by the French and Italians contriv'd into curious Figures to adorn their Sallets.
6. Blite, Blitum; English Mercury, or (as our Country House wives call it) All-good, the gentle Turiones, and Tops may be eaten as Sparagus, or sodden in Pottage: There is both a white and red, much us'd in Spain and Italy; but besides its humidity and detersive Nature, 'tis Insipid enough.
7. Borrage, Borrago (Gaudia semper ago) hot and kindly moist, purifying the Blood, is an exhilarating Cordial, of a pleasant Flavour: The tender Leaves, and Flowers especially, may be eaten in Composition; but above all, the Sprigs in Wine, like those of Baum, are of known Vertue to revive the Hypochondriac, and chear the hard Student. See Bugloss.
8. Brooklime, Anagallis aquatica; moderately hot and moist, prevalent in the Scorbute, and Stone.
9. Bugloss, Buglossum; in mature much like Borrage, yet something more astringent. The Flowers of both, with the intire Plant, greatly restorative, being Conserv'd: And for the rest, so much commended by Averroes; that for its effects, cherishing the Spirits, justly call'd Euphrosynum; Nay, some will have it the Nepenthes of Homer: But indeed, what we now call Bugloss, was not that of the Ancients, but rather Borrage, for the like Virtue named Corrago.
Burnet, See Pimpinella.
10. Buds, Gemmae, Turiones; the first Rudiments and Tops of most Sallet-Plants, preferrable to all other less tender Parts; such as Ashen-Keys, Broom-buds, hot and dry, retaining the vertue of Capers, esteem'd to be very opening, and prevalent against the Spleen and Scurvy; and being Pickl'd, are sprinkl'd among the Sallets, or eaten by themselves.
11. Cabbage, Brassica (and its several kinds) Pompey's beloved Dish, so highly celebrated by old Cato, Pythagoras, and Chrysippus the Physician (as the only Panacea) is not so generally magnify'd by the rest of Doctors, as affording but a crass and melancholy Juice; yet Loosening if but moderately boil'd, if over-much, Astringent, according to C. Celsus; and therefore seldom eaten raw, excepting by the Dutch. The Cymae, or Sprouts rather of the Cole are very delicate, so boil'd as to retain their Verdure and green Colour. In raising this Plant great care is to be had of the Seed. The best comes from Denmark and Russia, especially the Cauly-flower, (anciently unknown) or from Aleppo. Of the French, the Pancaliere a la large Coste, the white, large and ponderous are to be chosen; and so the Cauly-flower: After boiling some steep them in Milk, and seethe them again in Beef-Broth: Of old they added a little Nitre. The Broccoli from Naples, perhaps the Halmyridia of Pliny (or Athenaeus rather) Capiata marina & florida, our Sea-keele (the ancient Crambe) and growing on our Coast, are very delicate, as are the Savoys, commended for being not so rank, but agreeable to most Palates, and of better Nourishment: In general, Cabbages are thought to allay Fumes, and prevent Intoxication: But some will have them noxious to the Sight; others impute it to the Cauly-flower rather: But whilst the Learned are not agreed about it, Theophrastus affirms the contrary, and Pliny commends the Juice raw, with a little Honey, for the moist and weeping Eye, not the dry or dull. But after all, Cabbage ('tis confess'd) is greatly accus'd for lying undigested in the Stomach, and provoking Eructations; which makes me wonder at the Veneration we read the Ancients had for them, calling them Divine, and Swearing, per Brassicam. 'Tis scarce an hundred Years since we first had Cabbages out of Holland. Sir Anth. Ashley of Wiburg St. Giles in Dorsetshire, being (as I am told) the first who planted them in England.
12. Cardon, See Artichaux.
13. Carrots, Dauci, or Pastinaca Sativa; temperately warm and dry, Spicy; the best are yellow, very nourishing; let them be rais'd in Ground naturally rich, but not too heavy.
14. Chervile, Chaerophyllum, Myrrhis; The sweet aromatick Spanish Chervile, moderately hot and dry: The tender Cimae, and Tops, with other Herbs, are never to be wanting in our Sallets, (as long as they may be had) being exceedingly wholsome and chearing the Spirits: The Roots are also boil'd and eaten Cold; much commended for Aged Persons: This (as likewise Spinach) is us'd in Tarts, and serves alone for divers Sauces.
Cibbols. Cives. / Vide Onions, Schoenopraesson.
15. Clary, Horminum, when tender not to be rejected, and in Omlets, made up with Cream, fried in sweet Butter, are eaten with Sugar, Juice of Orange, or Limon.
16. Clavers, Aparine; the tender Winders, with young Nettle-Tops, are us'd in Lenten Pottages.
17. Corn-sallet, Valerianella; loos'ning and refreshing: The Tops and Leaves are a Sallet of themselves, seasonably eaten with other Salleting, the whole Winter long, and early Spring: The French call them Salad de Preter, for their being generally eaten in Lent.
18. Cowslips, Paralysis: See Flowers.
19. Cresses, Nasturtium, Garden Cresses; to be monthly sown: But above all the Indian, moderately hot, and aromatick, quicken the torpent Spirits, and purge the Brain, and are of singular effect against the Scorbute. Both the tender Leaves, Calices, Cappuchin Capers, and Flowers, are laudably mixed with the colder Plants. The Buds being Candy'd, are likewise us'd in Strewings all Winter. There is the Nastur. Hybernicum commended also, and the vulgar Water-Cress, proper in the Spring, all of the same Nature, tho' of different Degrees, and best for raw and cold Stomachs, but nourish little.
20. Cucumber, Cucumis; tho' very cold and moist, the most approved Sallet alone, or in Composition, of all the Vinaigrets, to sharpen the Appetite, and cool the Liver, &c. if rightly prepar'd; that is, by rectifying the vulgar Mistake of altogether extracting the Juice, in which it should rather be soak'd: Nor ought it to be over Oyl'd, too much abating of its grateful Acidity, and palling the Taste from a contrariety of Particles: Let them therefore be pared, and cut in thin Slices, with a Clove or two of Onion to correct the Crudity, macerated in the Juice, often turn'd and moderately drain'd. Others prepare them, by shaking the Slices between two Dishes, and dress them with very little Oyl, well beaten, and mingled with the Juice of Limon, Orange, or Vinegar, Salt and Pepper. Some again, (and indeed the most approv'd) eat them as soon as they are cut, retaining their Liquor, which being exhausted (by the former Method) have nothing remaining in them to help the Concoction. Of old they boil'd the Cucumber, and paring off the Rind, eat them with Oyl, Vinegar, and Honey; Sugar not being so well known. Lastly, the Pulp in Broth is greatly refreshing, and may be mingl'd in most Sallets, without the least damage, contrary to the common Opinion; it not being long, since Cucumber, however dress'd, was thought fit to be thrown away, being accounted little better than Poyson. Tavernier tells us, that in the Levant, if a Child cry for something to Eat, they give it a raw Cucumber instead of Bread. The young ones may be boil'd in White-Wine. The smaller sort (known by the name of Gerckems) muriated with the Seeds of Dill, and the Mango Pickle are for the Winter.
21. Daisy, Buphthalmum, Ox-Eye, or Bellis-major: The young Roots are frequently eaten by the Spaniards and Italians all the Spring till June.
22. Dandelion, Dens Leonis, Condrilla: Macerated in several Waters, to extract the bitterness; tho' somewhat opening, is very wholsome, and little inferior to Succory, Endive, &c. The French Country-People eat the Roots; and 'twas with this homely Sallet, the Good-Wife Hecate entertain'd Theseus. See Sowthistle.
23. Dock, Oxylapathum, or sharp-pointed Dock: Emollient, and tho' otherwise not for our Sallet, the Roots brewed in Ale or Beer, are excellent for the Scorbute.
Earth-Nuts, Bulbo-Castanum; (found in divers places of Surry, near Kingston, and other parts) the Rind par'd off, are eaten crude by Rustics, with a little Pepper; but are best boil'd like other Roots, or in Pottage rather, and are sweet and nourishing.
24. Elder, Sambucus; The Flowers infus'd in Vinegar, grateful both to the Stomach and Taste; attenuate thick and viscid Humours; and tho' the Leaves are somewhat rank of Smell, and so not commendable in Sallet; they are otherwise (as indeed is the intire Shrub) of the most sovereign Vertue; and the spring Buds and tender Leaves, excellently wholsome in Pottage at that Season of the Year. See Flowers.
25. Endive, Endivium, Intubum Sativum; the largest, whitest, and tenderest Leaves best boil'd, and less crude. It is naturally Cold, profitable for hot Stomachs; Incisive and opening Obstructions of the Liver: The curled is more delicate, being eaten alone, or in Composition, with the usual Intinctus: It is also excellent being boil'd; the middle part of the Blanch'd-Stalk separated, eats firm, and the ampler Leaves by many perferr'd before Lettuce. See Succory.
Eschalot. See Onions.
26. Fennel, Foeniculum: The sweetest of Bolognia: Aromatick, hot, and dry; expels Wind, sharpens the Sight, and recreates the Brain; especially the tender Umbella and Seed-Pods. The Stalks are to be peel'd when young, and then dress'd like Sellery. The tender Tufts and Leaves emerging, being minc'd, are eaten alone with Vinegar, or Oyl, and Pepper, and to correct the colder Materials, enter properly into Composition. The Italians eat the blanch'd Stalk (which they call Cartucci) all Winter long. There is a very small Green-Worm, which sometimes lodges in the Stemm of this Plant, which is to be taken out, as the Red one in that of Sellery.
27. Flowers, Flores; chiefly of the Aromatick Esculents and Plants are preferrable, as generally endow'd with the Vertues of their Simples, in a more intense degree; and may therefore be eaten alone in their proper Vehicles, or Composition with other Salleting, sprinkl'd among them; But give a more palatable Relish, being Infus'd in Vinegar; Especially those of the Clove-Gillyflower, Elder, Orange, Cowslip, Rosemary, Arch-Angel, Sage, Nasturtium Indicum, &c. Some of them are Pickl'd, and divers of them make also very pleasant and wholsome Theas, as do likewise the Wild Time, Bugloss, Mint, &c.
28. Garlick, Allium; dry towards Excess; and tho' both by Spaniards and Italians, and the more Southern People, familiarly eaten, with almost every thing, and esteem'd of such sigular Vertue to help Conception, and thought a Charm against all Infection and Poyson (by which it has obtain'd the Name of the Country-man's Theriacle) we yet think it more proper for our Northern Rustics, especially living in Uliginous and moist places, or such as use the Sea: Whilst we absolutely forbid it entrance into our Salleting, by reason of its intolerable Rankness, and which made it so detested of old; that the eating of it was (as we read) part of the Punishment for such as had committed the horrid'st Crimes. To be sure, 'tis not for Ladies Palats, nor those who court them, farther than to permit a light touch on the Dish, with a Clove thereof, much better supply'd by the gentler Roccombo.
Note, That in Spain they sometimes eat it boil'd, which taming its fierceness, turns it into Nourishment, or rather Medicine.
Ginny-Pepper, Capsicum. See Pepper.
29. Goats-beard, Trago-pogon: The Root is excellent even in Sallet, and very Nutritive, exceeding profitable for the Breast, and may be stew'd and dress'd as Scorzonera.
30. Hops, Lupulus: Hot and moist, rather Medicinal, than fit for Sallet; the Buds and young Tendrels excepted, which may be eaten raw; but more conveniently being boil'd, and cold like Asparagus: They are Diuretic; depurate the Blood, and open Obstructions.
31. Hyssop, Hyssopus; Thymus Capitatus Creticus; Majoran, Mary-gold, &c. as all hot, spicy Aromatics, (commonly growing in Kitchin-Gardens) are of Faculty to Comfort, and strengthen; prevalent against Melancoly and Phlegm; Plants, like these, going under the Names of Pot Herbs, are much more proper for Broths and Decoctions, than the tender Sallet: Yet the Tops and Flowers reduc'd to Powder, are by some reserv'd for Strewings, upon the colder Ingredients; communicating no ungrateful Fragrancy.
32. Jack-by-the-Hedge, Alliaria, or Sauce-alone; has many Medicinal Properties, and is eaten as other Sallets, especially by Country People, growing wild under their Banks and Hedges.
33. Leeks, and Cibbols, Porrum; hot, and of Vertue Prolifick, since Latona, the Mother of Appolo long'd after them: The Welch, who eat them much, are observ'd to be very fruitful: They are also friendly to the Lungs and Stomach, being sod in Milk; a few therefore of the slender and green Summities, a little shred, do not amiss in Composition. See Onion.
34. Lettuce, Lactuca: Tho' by Metaphor call'd Mortuorum Cibi, (to say nothing of Adonis and his sad Mistriss) by reason of its Soporiferous quality, ever was, and still continues the principal Foundation of the universal Tribe of Sallets; which is to Cool and Refresh, besides its other Properties: And therefore in such high esteem with the Ancients; that divers of the Valerian Family, dignify'd and enobled their Name with that of Lactucinii.
It is indeed of Nature more cold and moist than any of the rest; yet less astringent, and so harmless that it may safely be eaten raw in Fevers; for it allays Heat, bridles Choler, extinguishes Thirst, excites Appetite, kindly Nourishes, and above all represses Vapours, conciliates Sleep, mitigates Pain; besides the effect it has upon the Morals, Temperance and Chastity. Galen (whose beloved Sallet it was) from its pinguid, subdulcid and agreeable Nature, says it breeds the most laudable Blood. No marvel then that they were by the Ancients called Sana, by way of eminency, and so highly valu'd by the great Augustus, that attributing his Recovery of a dangerous Sickness to them, 'tis reported, he erected a Statue, and built an Altar to this noble Plant. And that the most abstemious and excellent Emperor Tacitus (spending almost nothing at his frugal Table in other Dainties) was yet so great a Friend to Lettuce, that he was us'd to say of his Prodigality, Somnum se mercari illa sumptus effusione. How it was celebrated by Galen we have heard; how he us'd it he tells himself; namely, beginning with Lettuce in his younger Days, and concluding with it when he grew old, and that to his great advantage. In a word, we meet with nothing among all our crude Materials and Sallet store, so proper to mingle with any of the rest, nor so wholsome to be eaten alone, or in Composition, moderately, and with the usual Oxeloeum of Vinegar, Pepper, and Oyl, &c. which last does not so perfectly agree with the Alphange, to which the Juice of Orange, or Limon and Sugar is more desirable: Aristoxenus is reported to have irrigated his Lettuce-Beds with an Oinomelite, or mixture of Wine and Honey: And certainly 'tis not for nothing that our Garden-Lovers, and Brothers of the Sallet, have been so exceedingly Industrious to cultivate this Noble Plant, and multiply its Species; for to name a few in present use: We have the Alphange of Montpelier, crisp and delicate; the Arabic; Ambervelleres; Belgrade, Cabbage, Capuchin, Coss-Lettuce, Curl'd; the Genoa (lasting all the Winter) the Imperial, Lambs, or Agnine, and Lobbs or Lop-Lettuces. The French Minion a dwarf kind: The Oak-Leaf, Passion, Roman, Shell, and Silesian, hard and crimp (esteemed of the best and rarest) with divers more: And here let it be noted, that besides three or four sorts of this Plant, and some few of the rest, there was within our remembrance, rarely any other Salleting serv'd up to the best Tables; with unblanch'd Endive, Succory, Purselan, (and indeed little other variety) Sugar and Vinegar being the constant Vehicles (without Oyl) but now Sugar is almost wholly banish'd from all, except the more effeminate Palates, as too much palling, and taking from the grateful Acid now in use, tho' otherwise not totally to be reproved: Lettuce boil'd and Condited is sometimes spoken of.
35. Limon, Limonia, citrea mala; exceedingly refreshing, Cordial, &c. The Pulp being blended with the Juice, secluding the over-sweet or bitter. See Orange.
36. Mallow, Malva; the curl'd, emollient, and friendly to the Ventricle, and so rather Medicinal; yet may the Tops, well boil'd, be admitted, and the rest (tho' out of use at present) was taken by the Poets for all Sallets in general. Pythagoras held Malvae folium Sanctisimum; and we find Epimenides in Plato at his Mallows and Asphodel; and indeed it was of old the first Dish at Table: The Romans had it also in deliciis, Malvae salubres corpori, approved by Galen and Dioscorides; namely the Garden-Mallow, by others the Wild; but I think both proper rather for the Pot, than Sallet. Nonius supposes the tall Rosea, Arborescent Holi-hocks, that bears the broad Flower, for the best, and very Laxative; but by reason of their clamminess and Lentor, banished from our Sallet, tho' by some commended and eaten with Oyl and Vinegar, and some with Butter.
Mercury, Bonus Henricus, English Mercury, or Lapathum Unctuosum. See Blitum.
37. Melon, Melo; to have been reckon'd rather among Fruits; and tho' an usual Ingredient in our Sallet; yet for its transcendent delicacy and flavor, cooling and exhilarating Nature (if sweet, dry, weighty, and well-fed) not only superior all the Gourd-kind, but Paragon with the noblest Productions of the Garden. Jos. Scaliger and Casaubon, think our Melon unknown to the Ancients, (which others contradict) as yet under the name of Cucumers: But he who reads how artificially they were Cultivated, rais'd under Glasses, and expos'd to the hot Sun, (for Tiberius) cannot well doubt of their being the same with ours.
There is also a Winter-Melon, large and with black Seeds, exceedingly Cooling, brought us from abroad, and the hotter Climates, where they drink Water after eating Melons; but in the colder (after all dispute) Wine is judg'd the better: That it has indeed by some been accus'd as apt to corrupt in the Stomach (as do all things else eaten in excess) is not deny'd: But a perfect good Melon is certainly as harmless a Fruit as any whatsoever; and may safely be mingl'd with Sallet, in Pulp or Slices, or more properly eaten by it self, with a little Salt and Pepper; for a Melon which requires Sugar to commend it, wants of Perfection. Note, That this Fruit was very rarely cultivated in England, so as to bring it to Maturity, till Sir Geo. Gardner came out of Spain. I my self remembring, when an ordinary Melon would have been sold for five or six Shillings. The small unripe Fruit, when the others are past, may be Pickl'd with Mango, and are very delicate.
38. Mint, Mentha; the Angustifolia Spicata, Spear-Mint; dry and warm, very fragrant, a little press'd, is friendly to the weak Stomach, and powerful against all Nervous Crudities: The gentler Tops of the Orange-Mint, enter well into our Composition, or are grateful alone (as are also the other sorts) with the Juice of Orange, and a little Sugar.
39. Mushroms, Fungi; By the Orator call'd Terrae, by Porphyry Deorum filii, without Seed (as produc'd by the Midwifry of Autumnal Thunder-Storms, portending the Mischief they cause) by the French, Champignons, with all the Species of the Boletus, &c. for being, as some hold, neither Root, Herb, Flower, nor Fruit, nor to be eaten crude; should be therefore banish'd entry into our Sallet, were I to order the Composition; however so highly contended for by many, as the very principal and top of all the rest; whilst I think them tolerable only (at least in this Climate) if being fresh and skilfully chosen, they are accommodated with the nicest Care and Circumspection; generally reported to have something malignant and noxious in them: Nor without cause; from the many sad Examples, frequent Mischiefs, and funest Accidents they have produc'd, not only to particular Persons, but whole Families: Exalted indeed they were to the second Course of the Caesarian Tables, with the noble Title [Greek: Broma theon], a Dainty fit for the Gods alone; to whom they sent the Emperor Claudius, as they have many since, to the other World. But he that reads how Seneca deplores his lost Friend, that brave Commander Annaeus Serenus, and several other gallant Persons with him, who all of them perish'd at the same Repast; would be apt to ask with the Naturalist (speaking of this suspicious Dainty) Quae voluptas tanta ancipitis cibi? and who indeed would hazard it? So true is that of the Poet; He that eats Mushroms, many time Nil amplius edit, eats no more perhaps all his Life after. What other deterring Epithets are given for our Caution, [Greek: Bare pnigoenta muketon], heavy and choaking. (Athenaeus reporting of the Poet Euripides's, finding a Woman and her three Children strangl'd by eating of them) one would think sufficient warning.
Among these comes in the Fungus Reticularis, to be found about London, as at Fulham and other places; whilst at no small charge we send for them into France; as we also do for Trufles, Pig-nuts, and other subterraneous Tubera, which in Italy they fry in Oyl, and eat with Pepper: They are commonly discovered by a Nasute Swine purposely brought up; being of a Chessnut Colour, and heady Smell, and not seldom found in England, particularly in a Park of my Lord Cotton's at Rushton or Rusbery in Northampton-shire, and doubtless in other places too were they sought after. How these rank and provocative Excrescences are to be treated (of themselves insipid enough, and only famous for their kindly taking any Pickle or Conditure) that they may do the less Mischief we might here set down. But since there be so many ways of Dressing them, that I can incourage none to use them, for Reasons given (besides that they do not at all concern our safer and innocent Sallet Furniture) I forbear it; and referr those who long after this beloved Ragout, and other Voluptuaria Venena (as Seneca calls them) to what our Learned Dr. Lyster says of the many Venomous Insects harbouring and corrupting in a new found-out Species of Mushroms had lately in deliciis. Those, in the mean time, which are esteemed best, and less pernicious, (of which see the Appendix) are such as rise in rich, airy, and dry Pasture-Grounds; growing on the Staff or Pedicule of about an Inch thick and high; moderately Swelling (Target-like) round and firm, being underneath of a pale saffronish hue, curiously radiated in parallel Lines and Edges, which becoming either Yellow, Orange, or Black, are to be rejected: But besides what the Harvest-Months produce, they are likewise rais'd Artificially; as at Naples in their Wine-Cellars, upon an heap of rank Earth, heaped upon a certain supposed Stone, but in truth, (as the curious and noble Peiresky tells us, he found to be) nothing but an heap of old Fungus's, reduc'd and compacted to a stony hardness, upon which they lay Earth, and sprinkle it with warm Water, in which Mushroms have been steeped. And in France, by making an hot Bed of Asses-Dung, and when the heat is in Temper, watering it (as above) well impregnated with the Parings and Offals of refuse Fungus's; and such a Bed will last two or three Years, and sometimes our common Melon-Beds afford them, besides other Experiments.
40. Mustard, Sinapi; exceeding hot and mordicant, not only in the Seed but Leaf also; especially in Seedling young Plants, like those of Radishes (newly peeping out of the Bed) is of incomparable effect to quicken and revive the Spirits; strengthening the Memory, expelling heaviness, preventing the Vertiginous Palsie, and is a laudable Cephalick. Besides it is an approv'd Antiscorbutick; aids Concoction, cuts and dissipates Phlegmatick Humours. In short, 'tis the most noble Embamma, and so necessary an Ingredient to all cold and raw Salleting, that it is very rarely, if at all, to be left out. In Italy in making Mustard, they mingle Limon and Orange-Peel, with the Seeds. How the best is made, see hereafter.
Nasturtium Indicum. See Cresses.
41. Nettles, Urtica; Hot, dry, Diuretic, Solvent; purifies the Blood: The Buds, and very tender Cimae, a little bruised, are by some eaten raw, by others boil'd, especially in Spring-Pottage, with other Herbs.
42. Onion, Cepa, Porrum; the best are such as are brought us out of Spain, whence they of St. Omers had them, and some that have weigh'd eight Pounds. Choose therefore the large, round, white, and thin Skin'd. Being eaten crude and alone with Oyl, Vinegar, and Pepper, we own them in Sallet, not so hot as Garlick, nor at all so rank: Boil'd, they give a kindly relish; raise Appetite, corroborate the Stomach, cut Phlegm, and profit the Asthmatical: But eaten in excess, are said to offend the Head and Eyes, unless Edulcorated with a gentle maceration. In the mean time, as to their being noxious to the Sight, is imputable only to the Vapour rising from the raw Onion, when peeled, which some commend for its purging and quickning that Sense. How they are us'd in Pottage, boil'd in Milk, stew'd, &c. concerns the Kitchin. In our cold Sallet we supply them with the Porrum Sectile, Tops of Leeks, and Eschalots (Ascalonia) of gust more exalted, yet not to the degree of Garlick. Or (by what of later use is much preferr'd) with a Seed or two of Raccombo, of a yet milder and delicate nature, which by rubbing the Dish only, imparts its Vertue agreeably enough. In Italy they frequently make a Sallet of Scalions, Cives, and Chibbols only season'd with Oyl and Pepper; and an honest laborious Country-man, with good Bread, Salt, and a little Parsley, will make a contented Meal with a roasted Onion. How this noble Bulb was deified in Egypt we are told, and that whilst they were building the Pyramids, there was spent in this Root Ninety Tun of Gold among the Workmen. So lushious and tempting it seems they were, that as whole Nations have subsisted on them alone; so the Israelites were ready to return to Slavery and Brick-making for the love of them. Indeed Hecamedes we find presents them to Patroclus, in Homer, as a Regalo; But certainly we are either mistaken in the Species (which some will have to be Melons) or use Poetick Licence, when we so highly magnify them.
43. Orach, Atriplex: Is cooling, allays the Pituit Humor: Being set over the Fire, neither this, nor Lettuce, needs any other Water than their own moisture to boil them in, without Expression: The tender Leaves are mingl'd with other cold Salleting; but 'tis better in Pottage. See Blitum.
44. Orange, Arantiae (Malum aureum) Moderately dry, cooling, and incisive; sharpens Appetite, exceedingly refreshes and resists Putrefaction: We speak of the Sub acid; the sweet and bitter Orange being of no use in our Sallet. The Limon is somewhat more acute, cooling and extinguishing Thirst; of all the [Greek: Oxubapha] the best succedaneum to Vinegar. The very Spoils and Rinds of Orange and Limon being shred and sprinkl'd among the other Herbs, correct the Acrimony. But they are the tender Seedlings from the Hot-Bed, which impart an Aromatic exceedingly grateful to the Stomach. Vide Limon.
45. Parsnep, Pastinaca, Carrot: first boil'd, being cold, is of it self a Winter-Sallet, eaten with Oyl, Vinegar, &c. and having something of Spicy, is by some, thought more nourishing than the Turnep.
46. Pease, Pisum: the Pod of the Sugar-Pease, when first beginning to appear, with the Husk and Tendrels, affording a pretty Acid, enter into the Composition, as do those of Hops and the Vine.
47. Peper, Piper, hot and dry in a high degree; of approv'd Vertue against all flatulency proceeding from cold and phlegmatic Constitutions, and generally all Crudities whatsoever; and therefore for being of universal use to correct and temper the cooler Herbs, and such as abound in moisture; It is a never to be omitted Ingredient of our Sallets; provided it be not too minutely beaten (as oft we find it) to an almost impalpable Dust, which is very pernicious and frequently adheres and sticks in the folds of the Stomach, where, instead of promoting Concoction, it often causes a Cardialgium, and fires the Blood: It should therefore be grosly contus'd only.
Indian Capsicum, superlatively hot and burning, is yet by the Africans eaten with Salt and Vinegar by it self, as an usual Condiment; but wou'd be of dangerous consequence with us; being so much more of an acrimonious and terribly biting quality, which by Art and Mixture is notwithstanding render'd not only safe, but very agreeable in our Sallet.
Take the Pods, and dry them well in a Pan; and when they are become sufficiently hard, cut them into small pieces, and stamp 'em in a Mortar to dust: To each Ounce of which add a Pound of Wheat-flour, fermented with a little Levain: Kneed and make them into Cakes or Loaves cut long-wise, in shape of Naples-Biscuit. These Re-bake a second time, till they are Stone-hard: Pound them again as before, and ferce it through a fine Sieve, for a very proper Seasoning, instead of vulgar Peper. The Mordicancy thus allay'd, be sure to make the Mortar very clean, after having beaten Indian Capsicum, before you stamp any thing in it else. The green Husks, or first peeping Buds of the Walnut-Tree, dry'd to Powder, serve for Peper in some places, and so do Myrtle-berries.
48. Persley, Petroselinum, or Apium hortense; being hot and dry, opens Obstructions, is very Diuretic, yet nourishing, edulcorated in shifted warm Water (the Roots especially) but of less Vertue than Alexanders; nor so convenient in our crude Sallet, as when decocted on a Medicinal Account. Some few tops of the tender Leaves may yet be admitted; tho' it was of old, we read, never brought to the Table at all, as sacred to Oblivium and the Defunct. In the mean time, there being nothing more proper for Stuffing, (Farces) and other Sauces, we consign it to the Olitories. Note, that Persley is not so hurtful to the Eyes as is reported. See Sellery.
49. Pimpernel, Pimpinella; eaten by the French and Italians, is our common Burnet; of so chearing and exhilarating a quality, and so generally commended, as (giving it admittance into all Sallets) 'tis pass'd into a Proverb:
L'Insalata non e buon, ne bella Ove non e la Pimpinella.
But a fresh sprig in Wine, recommends it to us as its most genuine Element.
50. Purslain, Portulaca; especially the Golden whilst tender, next the Seed-leaves, with the young Stalks, being eminently moist and cooling, quickens Appetite, asswages Thirst, and is very profitable for hot and Bilious Tempers, as well as Sanguine, and generally entertain'd in all our Sallets, mingled with the hotter Herbs: Tis likewise familiarly eaten alone with Oyl and Vinegar; but with moderation, as having been sometimes found to corrupt in the Stomach, which being Pickl'd 'tis not so apt to do. Some eat it cold, after it has been boil'd, which Dr. Muffet would have in Wine, for Nourishment.
The Shrub Halimus, is a sort of Sea-Purslain: The newly peeping Leaves (tho' rarely us'd) afford a no unpleasant Acidule, even during winter, if it prove not too severe.
Purslain is accus'd for being hurtful to the Teeth, if too much eaten.
51. Radish, Raphanus. Albeit rather Medicinal, than so commendably accompanying our Sallets (wherein they often slice the larger Roots) are much inferior to the young Seedling Leaves and Roots; raised on the Monthly Hot-Bed, almost the whole Year round, affording a very grateful mordacity, and sufficiently attempers the cooler Ingredients: The bigger Roots (so much desir'd) should be such as being transparent, eat short and quick, without stringiness, and not too biting. These are eaten alone with Salt only, as carrying their Peper in them; and were indeed by Dioscorides and Pliny celebrated above all Roots whatsoever; insomuch as in the Delphic Temple, there was Raphanus ex auro dicatus, a Radish of solid Gold; and 'tis said of Moschius, that he wrote a whole Volume in their praise. Notwithstanding all which, I am sure, the great Hippocrates utterly condemns them, as Vitiosoe, innatantes ac aegre concoctiles. And the Naturalist calls it Cibus Illiberalis, fitter for Rustics than Gentlemens Tables. And indeed (besides that they decay the Teeth) experience tells us, that as the Prince of Physicians writes, It is hard of Digestion, Inimicous to the Stomach, causing nauseous Eructations, and sometimes Vomiting, tho' otherwise Diuretic, and thought to repel the Vapours of Wine, when the Wits were at their genial Club. Dioscorides and Galen differ about their Eating; One prescribes it before Meals, the latter for after. Some macerate the young Roots in warm milk, to render them more Nourishing.
There is a Raphanus rusticanus, the Spanish black Horse Radish, of a hotter quality, and not so friendly to the Head; but a notable Antiscorbutic, which may be eaten all the Winter, and on that account an excellent Ingredient in the Composition of Mustard; as are also the thin Shavings, mingled with our cold Herbs. And now before I have done with this Root, for an excellent and universal Condiment. Take Horse-Radish, whilst newly drawn out of the Earth, otherwise laid to steep in Water a competent time; then grate it on a Grater which has no bottom, that so it may pass thro', like a Mucilage, into a Dish of Earthen Ware: This temper'd with Vinegar, in which a little Sugar has been dissolv'd, you have a Sauce supplying Mustard to the Sallet, and serving likewise for any Dish besides.
52. Rampion, Rapunculus, or the Esculent Campanula: The tender Roots eaten in the Spring, like those of Radishes, but much more Nourishing.
53. Rocket, Eruca Spanish; hot and dry, to be qualified with Lettuce, Purcelain, and the rest, &c. See Tarragon.
Roccombo. See Onions.
54. Rosemary, Rosmarinus; Soverainly Cephalic, and for the Memory, Sight, and Nerves, incomparable: And tho' not us'd in the Leaf with our Sallet furniture, yet the Flowers, a little bitter, are always welcome in Vinegar; but above all, a fresh Sprig or two in a Glass of Wine. See Flowers.
55. Sage, Salvia; hot and dry. The tops of the Red, well pick'd and wash'd (being often defil'd with Venomous Slime, and almost imperceptible Insects) with the Flowers, retain all the noble Properties of the other hot Plants; more especially for the Head, Memory, Eyes, and all Paralytical Affections. In short, 'tis a Plant endu'd with so many and wonderful Properties, as that the assiduous use of it is said to render Men Immortal: We cannot therefore but allow the tender Summities of the young Leaves; but principally the Flowers in our cold Sallet; yet so as not to domineer.
Salsifax, Scorzonera. See Vipergrass.
56. Sampier, Crithmum: That growing on the Sea-Cliffs (as about Dover, &c.) not only Pickl'd, but crude and cold, when young and tender (and such as we may Cultivate, and have in our Kitchin-Gardens, almost the Year round) is in my Opinion, for its Aromatic, and other excellent Vertues and Effects against the Spleen, Cleansing the Passages, sharpning Appetite, &c. so far preferrable to most of our hotter Herbs, and Sallet-Ingredients, that I have long wonder'd, it has not been long since propagated in the Potagere, as it is in France; from whence I have often receiv'd the Seeds, which have prosper'd better, and more kindly with me, than what comes from our own Coasts: It does not indeed Pickle so well, as being of a more tender Stalk and Leaf: But in all other respects for composing Sallets, it has nothing like it.
57. Scalions, Ascalonia, Cepae; The French call them Appetites, which it notably quickens and stirs up: Corrects Crudities, and promotes Concoction. The Italians steep them in Water, mince, and eat them cold with Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, &c.
58. Scurvy-grass, Cochlearia, of the Garden, but especially that of the Sea, is sharp, biting, and hot; of Nature like Nasturtium, prevalent in the Scorbute. A few of the tender Leaves may be admitted in our Composition. See Nasturtium Indicum.
59. Sellery, Apium Italicum, (and of the Petroseline Family) was formerly a stranger with us (nor very long since in Italy) is an hot and more generous sort of Macedonian Persley, or Smallage. The tender Leaves of the Blancht Stalk do well in our Sallet, as likewise the slices of the whiten'd Stems, which being crimp and short, first peel'd and slit long wise, are eaten with Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, and Peper; and for its high and grateful Taste, is ever plac'd in the middle of the Grand Sallet, at our Great Mens Tables, and Praetors Feasts, as the Grace of the whole Board. Caution is to be given of a small red Worm, often lurking in these Stalks, as does the green in Fennil.
Shallots. See Onion.
60. Skirrets, Sisarum; hot and moist, corroborating, and good for the Stomach, exceedingly nourishing, wholsome and delicate; of all the Root-kind, not subject to be Windy, and so valued by the Emperor Tiberius, that he accepted them for Tribute.
This excellent Root is seldom eaten raw; but being boil'd, stew'd, roasted under the Embers, bak'd in Pies, whole, sliced, or in pulp, is very acceptable to all Palates. 'Tis reported they were heretofore something bitter; See what Culture and Education effects!
61. Sorrel, Acetosa: of which there are divers kinds. The French Acetocella, with the round Leaf, growing plentifully in the North of England; Roman Oxalis; the broad German, &c. but the best is of Green-Land: by nature cold, Abstersive, Acid, sharpning Appetite, asswages Heat, cools the Liver, strengthens the Heart; is an Antiscorbutic, resisting Putrefaction, and imparting so grateful a quickness to the rest, as supplies the want of Orange, Limon, and other Omphacia, and therefore never to be excluded. Vide Wood-Sorrel.
62. Sow-thistle, Sonchus; of the Intybus-kind. Galen was us'd to eat it as Lettuce; exceedingly welcome to the late Morocco. Ambassador and his Retinue.
63. Sparagus, Asparagus (ab Asperitate) temperately hot, and moist; Cordial, Diuretic, easie of Digestion, and next to Flesh, nothing more nourishing, as Sim. Sethius, an excellent Physician holds. They are sometimes, but very seldom, eaten raw with Oyl, and Vinegar; but with more delicacy (the bitterness first exhausted) being so speedily boil'd, as not to lose the verdure and agreeable tenderness; which is done by letting the Water boil, before you put them in. I do not esteem the Dutch great and larger sort (especially rais'd by the rankness of the Beds) so sweet and agreeable, as those of a moderate size.
64. Spinach, Spinachia: of old not us'd in Sallets, and the oftner kept out the better; I speak of the crude: But being boil'd to a Pult, and without other Water than its own moisture, is a most excellent Condiment with Butter, Vinegar, or Limon, for almost all sorts of boil'd Flesh, and may accompany a Sick Man's Diet. 'Tis Laxative and Emollient, and therefore profitable for the Aged, and (tho' by original a Spaniard) may be had at almost any Season, and in all places.
Stone-Crop, Sedum Minus. See Trick-Madame.
65. Succory, Cichorium, an Intube; erratic and wild, with a narrow dark Leaf, different from the Sative, tho' probably by culture only; and for being very bitter, a little edulcorated with Sugar and Vinegar, is by some eaten in the Summer, and more grateful to the Stomach than the Palate. See Endive.
66. Tansy, Tanacetum; hot and cleansing; but in regard of its domineering relish, sparingly mixt with our cold Sallet, and much fitter (tho' in very small quantity) for the Pan, being qualified with the Juices of other fresh Herbs, Spinach, Green Corn, Violet, Primrose-Leaves, &c. at entrance of the Spring, and then fried brownish, is eaten hot with the Juice of Orange and Sugar, as one of the most agreeable of all the boil'd Herbaceous Dishes.
67. Tarragon, Draco Herba, of Spanish Extraction; hot and spicy: The Tops and young Shoots, like those of Rochet, never to be secluded our Composition, especially where there is much Lettuce. 'Tis highly cordial and friendly to the Head, Heart, Liver, correcting the weakness of the Ventricle, &c.
68. Thistle, Carduus Mariae; our Lady's milky or dappl'd Thistle, disarm'd of its Prickles, is worth esteem: The young Stalk about May, being peel'd and soak'd in Water, to extract the bitterness, boil'd or raw, is a very wholsome Sallet, eaten with Oyl, Salt, and Peper; some eat them sodden in proper Broath, or bak'd in Pies, like the Artichoak; but the tender Stalk boil'd or fry'd, some preferr; both Nourishing and Restorative.
69. Trick-Madame, Sedum minus, Stone-Crop; is cooling and moist, grateful to the Stomach. The Cimata and Tops, when young and tender, dress'd as Purselane, is a frequent Ingredient in our cold Sallet.
70. Turnep, Rapum; moderately hot and moist: Napus; the long Navet is certainly the most delicate of them, and best Nourishing. Pliny speaks of no fewer than six sorts, and of several Colours; some of which were suspected to be artificially tinged. But with us, the yellow is preferr'd; by others the red Bohemian. But of whatever kind, being sown upon the Hot-bed, and no bigger than seedling Radish, they do excellently in Composition; as do also the Stalks of the common Turnep, when first beginning to Bud.
And here should not be forgotten, that wholsome, as well as agreeable sort of Bread, we are taught to make; and of which we have eaten at the greatest Persons Tables, hardly to be distinguish'd from the best of Wheat.
Let the Turneps first be peel'd, and boil'd in Water till soft and tender; then strongly pressing out the Juice, mix them together, and when dry (beaten or pounded very fine) with their weight of Wheat-Meal, season it as you do other Bread, and knead it up; then letting the Dough remain a little to ferment, fashion the Paste into Loaves, and bake it like common Bread.
Some roast Turneps in a Paper under the Embers, and eat them with Sugar and Butter.
71. Vine, Vitis, the Capreols, Tendrels, and Claspers (like those of the Hop, &c.) whilst very young, have an agreeable Acid, which may be eaten alone, or with other Sallet.
72. Viper-grass, Tragopogon, Scorzonera, Salsifex, &c. tho' Medicinal, and excellent against the Palpitation of the Heart, Faintings, Obstruction of the Bowels, &c. are besides a very sweet and pleasant Sallet; being laid to soak out the bitterness, then peel'd, may be eaten raw, or Condited; but best of all stew'd with Marrow, Spice, Wine, &c. as Artichoak, Skirrets, &c. sliced or whole. They likewise may bake, fry, or boil them; a more excellent Root there is hardly growing.
73. Wood-Sorrel, Trifolium acetosum, or Alleluja, of the nature of other Sorrels.
To all which might we add sundry more, formerly had in deliciis, since grown obsolete or quite neglected with us: As among the noblest Bulbs, that of the Tulip; a Root of which has been valued not to eat, but for the Flower (and yet eaten by mistake) at more than an hundred Pounds. The young fresh Bulbs are sweet and high of taste.
The Asphodil or Daffodil; a Sallet so rare in Hesiod's Days, that Lobel thinks it the Parsnep, tho' not at all like it; however it was (with the Mallow) taken anciently for any Edule-Root.
The Ornithogalons roasted, as they do Chestnuts, are eaten by the Italians, the wild yellow especially, with Oyl, Vinegar, and Peper. And so the small tuberous Roots of Gramen Amygdalosum; which they also roast, and make an Emulsion of, to use in Broaths as a great Restorative. The Oxylapathum, us'd of old; in the time of Galen was eaten frequently. As also Dracontium, with the Mordicant Arum Theophrasti, which Dodonaeus teaches how to Dress. Nay, divers of the Satyrions, which some condited with Sugar, others boil'd in Milk for a great Nourisher, now discarded. But what think we of the Cicuta, which there are who reckon among Sallet Herbs? But whatever it is in any other Country, 'tis certainly Mortiferous in ours. To these add the Viola Matronalis, Radix Lunaria, &c. nay, the Green Poppy, by most accounted among the deadly Poysons: How cautious then ought our Sallet-Gatherers to be, in reading ancient Authors; lest they happen to be impos'd on, where they treat of Plants, that are familiarly eaten in other Countries, and among other Nations and People of more robust and strong constitutions? bessides the hazard of being mistaken in the Names of divers Simples, not as yet fully agreed upon among the Learned in Botany.
There are bessides several remaining, which tho' Abdicated here with us, find Entertainment still in Foreign Countries: As the large Heliotrope and Sun-flower (e're it comes to expand, and shew its golden Face) which being dress'd as the Artichoak, is eaten for a dainty. This I add as a new Discovery. I once made Macaroons with the ripe blanch'd Seeds, but the Turpentine did so domineer over all, that it did not answer expectation. The Radix Personata mounting with their young Heads, Lysimachia siliquosa glabra minor, when fresh and tender, begins to come into the Sallet-Tribe. The pale whiter Popy, is eaten by the Genouese. By the Spaniards, the tops of Wormwood with Oyl alone, and without so much as Bread; profitable indeed to the Stomach, but offensive to the Head; As is also Coriander and Rue, which Galen was accustom'd to eat raw, and by it self, with Oyl and Salt, as exceedingly grateful, as well as wholsome, and of great vertue against Infection. Pliny, I remember, reports it to be of such effect for the Preservation of Sight; that the Painters of his Time, us'd to devour a great quantity of it. And it is still by the Italians frequently mingled among their Sallets. The Lapatha Personata (common Burdock) comes now and then to the best Tables, about April, and when young, before the Burrs and Clots appear, being strip'd, and the bitterness soaked out, treated as the Chardoon, is eaten in Poiverade; Some also boil them. More might here be reckon'd up, but these may suffice; since as we find some are left off, and gone out, so others be introduc'd and come in their room, and that in much greater Plenty and Variety, than was ever known by our Ancestors. The Cucumber it self, now so universally eaten, being accounted little better than Poyson, even within our Memory, as already noted.
To conclude, and after all that has been said of Plants and Salleting, formerly in great esteem, (but since obsolete and quite rejected); What if the exalted Juice of the ancient Silphium should come in, and challenge the Precedency? It is a Plant formerly so highly priz'd, and rare for the richness of its Taste and other Vertues; that as it was dedicated to Apollo, and hung up in his Temple at Delphi; So we read of one single Root brought to the Emperor Nero for an extraordinary Present; and the Drug so esteem'd, that the Romans had long before amass'd a quantity of it, and kept it in the Treasury, till Julius Caesar rob'd it, and took this away, as a thing of mighty value: In a word, it was of that Account; that as a sacred Plant, those of the Cyrenaic Africa, honour'd the very Figure of it, by stamping it on the Reverse of their Coin; and when they would commend a thing for its worth to the Skies, [Greek: Bat-ou silphion], grew into a Proverb: Battus having been the Founder of the City Cyrene, near which it only grew. 'Tis indeed contested among the Learned Botanosophists, whether this Plant was not the same with Laserpitium, and the Laser it yields, the odoriferous Benzoin? But doubtless had we the true and genuine Silphium (for it appears to have been often sophisticated, and a spurious sort brought into Italy) it would soon recover its pristine Reputation, and that it was not celebrated so for nothing extraordinary; since bessides its Medicinal Vertue; it was a wonderful Corroborater of the Stomach, a Restorer of lost Appetite, and Masculine Vigour, &c. and that they made use of it almost in every thing they eat.
But should we now really tell the World, that this precious Juice is, by many, thought to be no other than the Faetid Assa our nicer Sallet-Eaters (who yet bestow as odious an Epithet on the vulgar Garlick) would cry out upon it as intolerable, and perhaps hardly believe it: But as Aristophanes has brought it in, and sufficiently describ'd it; so the Scholiast upon the place, puts it out of Controversy: And that they made use both of the Leaves, Stalk, (and Extract especially) as we now do Garlick, and other Hautgouts as nauseous altogether. In the mean time, Garcius, Bontius, and others, assure us, that the Indians at this day universally sauce their Viands with it; and the Bramins (who eat no Flesh at all) inrich their Sallets, by constantly rubbing the Dishes with it. Nor are some of our own skilful Cooks Ingnorant, how to condite and use it, with the Applause of those, who, ignorant of the Secret, have admir'd the richness of the Gust it has imparted, when it has been substituted instead of all our Cipollati, and other seasonings of that Nature.
And thus have we done with the various Species of all such Esculents as may properly enter the Composition of our Acetaria, and cold Sallet. And if I have briefly touch'd upon their Natures, Degrees, and primary Qualities, which Intend or Remit, as to the Scale of Heat, Cold, Driness, Moisture, &c. (which is to be understood according to the different Texture of their component Particles) it has not been without what I thought necessary for the Instruction of the Gatherer, and Sallet-Dresser; how he ought to choose, sort, and mingle his Materials and Ingredients together.
What Care and Circumspection should attend the choice and collection of Sallet Herbs, has been partly shew'd. I can therefore, by no means, approve of that extravagant Fancy of some, who tell us, that a Fool is as fit to be the Gatherer of a Sallet as a Wiser Man. Because, say they, one can hardly choose amiss, provided the Plants be green, young, and tender, where-ever they meet with them: But sad experience shews, how many fatal Mistakes have been committed by those who took the deadly Cicutae, Hemlocks, Aconits, &c. for Garden Persley, and Parsneps; the Myrrhis Sylvestris, or Cow-Weed, for Chaerophilum, (Chervil) Thapsia for Fennel; the wild Chondrilla for Succory; Dogs-Mercury instead of Spinach: Papaver Corniculatum Luteum, and horn'd Poppy for Eringo; Oenanthe aquatica for the Palustral Apium, and a world more, whose dire effects have been many times sudden Death, and the cause of Mortal Accidents to those who have eaten of them unwittingly: But supposing some of those wild and unknown Plants should not prove so deleterious and unwholsome; yet may others of them annoy the Head, Brain, and Genus Nervosum, weaken the Eyes, offend the Stomach, affect the Liver, torment the Bowels, and discover their malignity in dangerous and dreadful Symptoms. And therefore such Plants as are rather Medicinal than Nourishing and Refreshing, are studiously to be rejected. So highly necessary it is, that what we sometimes find in old Books concerning Edules of other Countries and Climates (frequently call'd by the Names of such as are wholsome in ours, and among us) mislead not the unskilful Gatherer; to prevent which we read of divers Popes and Emperors, that had sometimes Learned Physicians for their Master-Cooks. I cannot therefore but exceedingly approve of that charitable Advice of Mr. Ray (Transact. Num. 238.) who thinks it the Interest of Mankind, that all Persons should be caution'd of advent'ring upon unknown Herbs and Plants to their Prejudice: Of such, I say, with our excellent Poet (a little chang'd)
Happy from such conceal'd, if still do lie, Of Roots and Herbs the unwholsome Luxury.
The Illustrious and Learned Columna has, by observing what Insects did usually feed on, make Conjectures of the Nature of the Plants. But I should not so readily adventure upon it on that account, as to its wholsomness: For tho' indeed one may safely eat of a Peach or Abricot, after a Snail has been Taster, I question whether it might be so of all other Fruits and Herbs attack'd by other Insects: Nor would one conclude, the Hyoscyamus harmless, because the Cimex feeds upon it, as the Learned Dr. Lyster has discover'd. Notice should therefore be taken what Eggs of Insects are found adhering to the Leaves of Sallet-Herbs, and frequently cleave so firmly to them, as not easily to be wash'd off, and so not being taken notice of, passing for accidental and harmless Spots only, may yet produce very ill effects.
Grillus, who according to the Doctrine of Transmigration (as Plutarch tells us) had, in his turn, been a Beast; discourses how much better he fed, and liv'd, than when he was turn'd to Man again, as knowing then, what Plants were best and most proper for him: Whilst Men, Sarcophagists (Flesh-Eaters) in all this time were yet to seek. And 'tis indeed very evident, that Cattel, and other [Greek: panphaga], and herbaceous Animals which feed on Plants, are directed by their Smell, and accordingly make election of their Food: But Men (bessides the Smell and Taste) have, or should have, Reason, Experience, and the Aids of Natural Philosophy to be their Guides in this Matter. We have heard of Plants, that (like the Basilisk) kill and infect by looking on them only; and some by the touch. The truth is, there's need of all the Senses to determine Analogically concerning the Vertues and Properties, even of the Leaves alone of many Edule Plants: The most eminent Principles of near the whole Tribe of Sallet Vegetables, inclining rather to Acid and Sowre than to any other quality, especially, Salt, Sweet, or Luscious. There is therefore Skill and Judgment requir'd, how to suit and mingle our Sallet-Ingredients, so as may best agree with the Constitution of the (vulgarly reputed) Humors of those who either stand in need of, or affect these Refreshments, and by so adjusting them, that as nothing should be suffer'd to domineer, so should none of them lose their genuine Gust, Savour, or Vertue. To this end,
The Cooler, and moderately refreshing, should be chosen to extinguish Thirst, attemper the Blood, repress Vapours, &c.
The Hot, Dry, Aromatic, Cordial and friendly to the Brain, may be qualify'd by the Cold and Moist: The Bitter and Stomachical, with the Sub-acid and gentler Herbs: The Mordicant and pungent, and such as repress or discuss Flatulency (revive the Spirits, and aid Concoction;) with such as abate, and take off the keenness, mollify and reconcile the more harsh and churlish: The mild and insipid, animated with piquant and brisk: The Astringent and Binders, with such as are Laxative and Deobstruct: The over-sluggish, raw, and unactive, with those that are Eupeptic, and promote Concoction: There are Pectorals for the Breast and Bowels. Those of middle Nature, according as they appear to be more or less Specific; and as their Characters (tho' briefly) are describ'd in our foregoing Catalogue: For notwithstanding it seem in general, that raw Sallets and Herbs have experimentally been found to be the most soveraign Diet in that Endemial (and indeed with us, Epidemical and almost universal) Contagion the Scorbute, to which we of this Nation, and most other Ilanders are obnoxious; yet, since the Nasturtia are singly, and alone as it were, the most effectual, and powerful Agents in conquering and expugning that cruel Enemy; it were enough to give the Sallet-Dresser direction how to choose, mingle, and proportion his Ingredients; as well as to shew what Remedies there are contain'd in our Magazine of Sallet-Plants upon all Occasions, rightly marshal'd and skilfully apply'd. So as (with our sweet Cowley)