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of the scorched skin with the flesh scorching his fingers, as it had done 50 next it, and was cramming it down his son's, and applying the same his throat in his beastly fashion when remedy to them, he in his turn tasted his sire entered amid the smoking some of its flavor, which, make what rafters, armed with retributory cudgel,
sour mouths he would for a pretense, and finding how affairs stood, began proved not altogether displeasing to to rain blows
him. In conclusion (for the manushoulders, as thick as hailstones, script here is a little tedious) both
which Bo-bo heeded not any more father and son fairly sat down to the 10 than if they had been flies. The mess, and never left off till they had
tickling pleasure, which he experi- dispatched all that remained of the 60 enced in his lower regions, had ren
litter. dered him quite callous to any in- Bo-bo was strictly enjoined not to conveniences he might feel in those let the secret escape, for the neighbors remote quarters. His father might would certainly have stoned them for lay on, but he could not beat him a couple of abominable wretches, who from his pig, till he had fairly made could think of improving upon the an end of it, when, becoming a little good meat which God had sent them.
more sensible of his situation, some- Nevertheless, strange stories got about. 20 thing like the following dialogue ensued: It was observed that Ho-ti's cottage
“You graceless whelp, what have was burned down now more frequently 71 you got there devouring? Is it not than ever. Nothing but fires from enough that you have burned me this time forward. Some would break down three houses with your dog's out in broad day, others in the nighttricks, and be hanged to you, but you time. As often as the sow farrowed, must be eating fire, and I know not so sure was the house of Ho-ti to be what—what have you got there, in a blaze; and Ho-ti himself, which I say?”
was the more remarkable, instead of "O father, the pig, the pig, do come chastising his son, seemed to grow 35 and taste how nice the burnt pig eats.” more indulgent to him than ever.
The ears of Ho-ti tingled with At length they were watched, the se horror. He cursed his son, and he terrible mystery discovered, and father cursed himself that ever he should and son summoned to take their trial beget a son that should eat burnt pig. at Pekin, then inconsiderable
Bo-bo, whose scent was wonder- assize town. Evidence was given, fully sharpened since morning, soon the obnoxious food itself produced in raked out another pig, and fairly court, and verdict about to be prorending it asunder, thrust the lesser nounced, when the foreman of the
half by main force into the fists of jury begged that some of the burnt 40 Ho-ti, still shouting out, “Eat, eat, pig, of which the culprits stood ac
eat the burnt pig, father, only taste- cused, might be handed into the box. 90 O Lord”—with such-like barbarous He handled it, and they all handled ejaculations, cramming all the while it, and burned their fingers, as Bo-bo as if he would choke.
and his father had done before them, Ho-ti trembled in every joint while and nature prompting to each of them he grasped the abominable thing, the same remedy, against the face wavering whether he should not put of all the facts, and the clearest charge his son to death for an unnatural which judge had ever given-to the young monster, when the crackling surprise of the whole court, townsfolk,
strangers, reporters, and all present- Of all the delicacies in the whole without leaving the box, or any man- mundus edibilis, I will maintain it to ner of consultation whatever, they be the most delicate princeps ob- 50 brought in a simultaneous verdict of soniorum. Not Guilty.
I speak not of your grown porkersThe judge, who was a shrewd fel- things between pig and pork—those low, winked at the manifest iniquity hobbledehoys—but a young and tenof the decision, and, when the court der suckling—under a moon old
was dismissed, went privily and bought guiltless as yet of the sty-with no 10 up all the pigs that could be had for original speck of the amor immunditiae,
love or money. In a few days his the hereditary failing of the first Lordship's town house was observed parent, yet manifest—his voice as yet to be on fire. The thing took wing, not broken, but something between a 60 and now there was nothing to be seen childish treble and a grumble—the mild but fires in every direction. Fuel and forerunner, or praeludium, of a grunt. pigs grew enormously dear all over He must be roasted. I am not igthe districts. The insurance offices norant that our ancestors ate them one and all shut up shop. People seethed, or boiled—but what a sac
built slighter and slighter every day, rifice of the exterior tegument! 20 until it was feared that the very There is no flavor comparable, I
science of architecture would in no will contend, to that of the crisp, long time be lost to the world. Thus tawny, well-watched, not over-roasted, this custom of firing houses continued, crackling, as it is well called—the very 70 till in process of time, says my manu- teeth are invited to their share of script, a sage arose, like our Locke, the pleasure at this banquet in overwho made a discovery, that the flesh coming the coy, brittle resistance of swine, or indeed of any other ani- with the adhesive oleaginous—0 call mal, might be cooked (burnt, as they it not fat-but an indefinable sweet
called it) without the necessity of ness growing up to it-the tender 30 consuming a whole house to dress it. blossoming of fat-fat cropped in the
Then first began the rude form of a bud-taken in the shoot-in the first gridiron. Roasting by the string, or innocence the cream and quintesspit, came in a century or two later, sence of the child-pig's yet pure food- 80 I forget in whose dynasty. By such the lean, no lean, but a kind of animal slow degrees, concludes the manu- manna-or, rather, fat and lean (if script, do the most useful, and seem- it must be so) so blended and running ingly the most obvious arts, make into each other that both together their way among mankind.
make but one ambrosian result, Without placing too implicit faith common substance. 40 in the account above given, it must Behold him, while he is “doing"
be agreed that if a worthy pretext it seemeth rather a refreshing warmth, for so dangerous an experiment as than a scorching heat, that he is so setting houses on fire (especially in passive to. How equably he twirleth 90 these days) could be assigned in favor round the string! Now he is just done. of any culinary object, that pretext To see the extreme sensibility of that and excuse might be found in ROAST tender age, he hath wept out his PIG.
49. mundus edibilis, edible world. 50. princeps 25. Locke, John Locke (1632-1704), a celebrated obsontorum, chief of delicacies. 57. amor immundiEnglish philosopher.
tae. love of filth. 62. praeludium, prelude.
pretty eyes-radiant jellies-shooting inexplicably intertwisted, and not to stars
be unraveled without hazard, he isSee him in the dish, his second good throughout. No part of him cradle, how meek he lieth! Wouldst is better or worse than another. He 50 thou have had this innocent grow up helpeth, as far as his little means to the grossness and indocility which extend, all around. He is the least too often accompany maturer swine- envious of banquets. He is all neighhood? Ten to one he would have bors' fare.
proved a glutton, a sloven, an obsti- I am one of those who freely and 10 nate, disagreeable animal-wallowing ungrudgingly impart a share of the
in all manner of filthy conversation- good things of this life which fall to from these sins he is happily snatched their lot (few as mine are in this kind) away
to a friend. I protest I take as great
an interest in my friend's pleasures, his 60 Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade, Death came with timply care
relishes, and proper satisfactions, as in mine own.
“Presents," I often his memory is odoriferous-no clown
say, "endear Absents.” Hares, pheascurseth, while his stomach half re- ants, partridges, snipes, barn-door jecteth, the rank bacon-110 coal- chickens (those "tame villatic fowl"),
heaver bolteth him in reeking sausages capons, plovers, brawn, barrels of 20 -he hath a fair sepulcher in the oysters, I dispense as freely as I receive
grateful stomach of the judicious them. I love to taste them, as it epicure--and for such a tomb might were, upon the tongue of my friend. be content to die.
But a stop must be put somewhere. 70 He is the best of Sapors. Pine- One would not, like Lear, "give apple is great. She is indeed almost everything." I make my stand upon too transcendent-a delight, if not pig. Methinks it is an ingratitude to sinful, yet so like to sinning, that the Giver of all good favors, to extrareally a
tender-conscienced person domiciliate, or send out of the house, would do well to pause-too ravishing slightingly (under pretext of friend30 for mortal taste, she woundeth and ship, or I know not what), a blessing
excoriateth the lips that approach her so particularly adapted, predestined, -like lovers' kisses, she biteth-she I may say, to my individual palate. is a pleasure bordering on pain from It argues an insensibility. the fierceness and insanity of her I remember a touch of conscience in relish—but she stoppeth at the palate this kind at school. My good old aunt, -she meddleth not with the appetite who never parted from me at the end -and the coarsest hunger might bar- of a holiday without stuffing a sweetter her consistently for a mutton chop. meat, or some nice thing, into my
Pig-let me speak his praise-is no pocket, had dismissed me one evening 40 less provocative of the appetite than with a smoking plum-cake, fresh from he is satisfactory to the criticalness
In my way to school (it of the censorious palate. The strong over London Bridge) a grayman may batten on him, and the weak- headed old beggar saluted me (I have 90 ling refuseth not his mild juices. no doubt at this time of day that he
Unlike to mankind's 'mixed char- was a counterfeit). I had no pence acters, a bundle of virtues and vices, to console him with, and in the vanity
65. tame villatic fowl, barnyard fowls. 71. Lear, in Shakespeare's play King Lear.
Sapors, delicacies or savory foods.
of self-denial, and the very cox
would be curious to inquire (in & 40 combry of charity, schoolboy-like, I philosophical light merely) what effect made him a present of—the whole this process might have toward incake! I walked on a little, buoyed tenerating and dulcifying a substance up, as one is on such occasions, with naturally so mild and dulcet as the a sweet soothing of self-satisfaction; flesh of young pigs.
flesh of young pigs. It looks like but before I had got to the end of the refining a violet. Yet we should be bridge, my better feelings returned, cautious, while we condemn the in
and I burst into tears, thinking how humanity, how we censure the wisdom 10 ungrateful I had been to my good of the practice. It might impart a
aunt, to go and give her good gift gustoaway to a stranger, that I had never I remember an hypothesis, argued seen before, and who might be a bad upon by the young students, when I man for aught I knew; and then I was at St. Omer's, and maintained thought of the pleasure my aunt with much learning and pleasantry would be taking in thinking that I- on both sides, "Whether, supposing I myself, and not another-would eat that the flavor of a pig who obtained her nice cake and what should I say his death by whipping (per flagella
to her the next time I saw her—how tionem extremam) superadded a pleas20 naughty I was to part with her pretty ure upon the palate of a man more
present—and the odor of that spicy intense than any possible suffering 60 cake came back upon my recollection, we can conceive in the animal, is man and the pleasure and the curiosity justified in using that method of I had taken in seeing her make it, and putting the animal to death?”. I forher joy when she sent it to the oven, get the decision. and how disappointed she would feel His sauce should be considered. that I had never had a bit of it in my Decidedly, a few bread crumbs, done mouth at last—and I blamed my up with his liver and brains, and a
impertinent spirit of almsgiving, and dash of mild sage. But, banish, dear 30 out-of-place hypocrisy of goodness, Mrs. Cook, I beseech you, the whole
and above all I wished never to see onion tribe. Barbecue your whole 70 the face again of that insidious, good hogs to your palate, steep them in for-nothing, old gray impostor.
shalots, stuff them out with plantaOur ancestors were nice in their tions of the rank and guilty garlic; method of sacrificing these tender you cannot poison them, or make victims. We read of pigs whipped to them stronger than they are—but death, with something of a shock, as consider, he is a weakling--a flower. we hear of any other obsolete custom. The age of discipline is gone by, or it
42. lntenerating and dulcifying, making tender and
St. Omer's, a college.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
EXPLANATORY NOTES 1. This amusing sketch is from The Essays of Elia (1820), the work on which Lamb's fame rests. Originally these essays were contributed to the London Magazine; they were somewhat similar to the special articles one finds in daily papers and magazines nowadays. They were on a variety of subjects, whimsical, serious, filled
with humor and pathos, and always remarkable for their conversational quality, by which the author seemed to be talking with his reader. Examples, besides the present selection, are “Dream Children,” “On Poor Relations," "Old China,” and the like. They bear little trace of Lamb's occupation, that of a clerk in the East India House.
2. A "dissertation" is a learned essay on some difficult subject. You will enjoy the sketch most fully if you observe the element of burlesque that runs through it. Lamb pretends to be writing a learned essay on “roast pig.” Therefore he pretends to have found an ancient manuscript; he introduces learned words and quotations; he quotes "authorities” that do not exist. The Chinese names, excepting that of Confucius, are fictitious.
3. While this sketch is one of a collection of “Essays,” the real interest is in the spirited narrative—it is really a short story.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS 1. How does the author try to give authority for the fanciful tale he invented? How does he try to make the reader believe the story? Mention points in the story that seem probable.
2. Lamb was noted for his use of keen satire; what evidences of this characteristic do you find in this story? What examples of exaggeration do you find? At what weakness in human nature does Lamb poke fun?
3. How does the author make his story humorous? Point out good examples of humor.
4. In commenting on the sins” from which the pig “is happily snatched" by being roasted, Lamb quotes from Coleridge's “Epitaph on an Infant”; show the aptness of this quotation.
5. Into what divisions or units does the story fall? What is the most interesting part of the story?
Theme Topics. 1. Compare the humor of Lamb in this story with that of Mark Twain in “How Tom Sawyer Whitewashed the Fence." Compare the humor of this story with that of the present-day newspapers.
THE SPECTER BRIDEGROOM
A TRAVELER'S TALE*
The baron was a dry branch of He that supper for is dight,
the great family of Katzenellenbogen, He lyes full cold, I trow, this night!
and inherited the relics of the propYestreen to chamber I him led
erty and all the pride of his ancestors. This night Gray-Steel has made his bed. Though the warlike disposition of his 20 Sir Eger, Sir Grahame, and Sir Gray-Steel. predecessors had much impaired the
family possessions, yet the baron still On the summit of one of the heights endeavored to keep up some show of of the Odenwald, a wild and romantic
former state. The times were peacetract of Upper Germany, that lies not able, and the German nobles, in genfar from the confluence of the Main eral, had abandoned their inconand the Rhine, there stood, many,
venient old castles, perched like eagles' many years since, the Castle of the nests among the mountains, and had Baron Von Landshort. It is now built more convenient residences in quite fallen to decay, and almost the valleys; still the baron remained 30
buried among beech trees and dark proudly drawn up in his little fortress, 10 firs; above which, however, its old cherishing, with hereditary inveteracy,
watchtower may still be seen, strug- all the old family feuds; so that he gling, like the former possessor I have on ill terms with some of his mentioned, to carry a high head, and nearest neighbors, on account of dislook down upon the neighboring putes that had happened between country.
their great-great-grandfathers. *The erudite reader, well versed in good-for- fi. e., Cat's-Elbow. The name of a family nothing lore, will perceive that the above Tale of those parts very powerful in former times. must have been suggested to the old Swiss by The appellation, we are told, was given in a little French anecdote, a circumstance said to compliment to a peerless dame of the family, have taken place at Paris. (Note by Irving.) celebrated for her fine arm. (Note by Irving.)