Fulvius Hirpinus studied the art of fattening them with so much success, that some of his snails would contain about ten quarts. Pliny in his letter to Sextus Erucius Clarus, says (complainiug of his not fulfilling his engagement to sup with him): - "I had prepared, you must know, a lettuce apiece, three snails, two eggs, and a barley-cake, with some sweet wine and snow".*

* Kirby's 'History of Animals,'etc., 'Bridgewater Treatise,' vol. i. p. 284.

In Sir Gardner Wilkinson's Dalmatia and Monte-egro,' he tells us that the Illyrian snails mentioned by liny are very numerous in Veglia or Veggia, the Syractica of Strabo.

Both Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa are eaten abroad to this day, and formerly in England, according to Dr. Gray, the glassmen at Newcastle indulged themselves in a snail-feast once a year, and collected them from the fields and hedgerows on the previous Sunday. Addison, in his 'Travels,' mentions having Seen a snail garden, or "escargotiere," at the Capucins, in Friburg. It was a square place boarded in,.filled with a vast quantity of large snails. The floor was strewn about half a foot deep with several kinds of plants, for the snails to nestle amongst during, the winter. When Lent arrived, their magazines were opened, and a ragoût made of snails. In Barrois, an "escargotière" consists of a cask with the head staved in, covered with a net; or a square hole with the sides lined with wood, and fastened over at the top with an iron trellis, or with a simple hurdle made of light osier-sticks. The snails are placed in as they find them, until there are sufficient for a repast, or for ale. They are also kept in these places till they are ttened, or till they close their shells with their piphragm, which enables them to be more easily transported. In Lorraine, a corner of the garden is often given up to the snails, surrounded with a fine trellis-work to prevent their escaping, and all kinds of vegetables are placed inside which are most appreciated by them. During the winter, the "escargots"(their shells being closed with their epiphragm) are kept in pots, jars, or baskets, in a dry cold place. The vine-growers in the neighbourhood of Dijon keep them in a dry cellar, or dig a trench in the vine-slopes, placing at the bottom some leaves, then their snails, covering them with more leaves and a few spadefuls of earth.

* Pliny's 'Letters,' vol. i. p. 30.

In Silesia, the snails are fed with marjoram, wild thyme, and aromatic plants, to give them a flavour.

Ulm, in Wurtemberg, is celebrated for its "escargotières," and, according to Marteni, more than ten millions of Helix pomatia are sent away to different gardens and "escargotières" to fatten, and when ready for table are sent to various convents in Austria for consumption during Lent.*

Helicidœ are considered rather poor food, and therefore suitable as Lenten fare; and this peculiarity has given rise to a singular custom near Bordeaux, mentioned by M. Fischer, who tells us that every year crowds of people direct their steps towards the township of Canderan, to end the Carnival with gaiety, and to have a foretaste of Lent by feasting on snails. The consumption is considerable, and a dish of twenty-five snails costs one franc fifty centimes.

A friend told me he had often seen the large vinesnail on the dinner table at Vienna; they were served up plain, boiled in their shells, or stuffed with forcemeat. At Naples, snails are generally kept in bran for a week or two, or for two or three days, before they are considered good for the table. They live on the bran, which is said to fatten them.

* Escargotières, or snail gardens Lave been in use for a length of time in various parts of Europe. Dr. Ebrard in his pamphlet Des Escargots,' mentions those of Brunswick and Copenhagen, which latter furnished snails for the tables of the noble Danes, in the eighteenth century.

When first the snails are gathered from the hedges, etc, it is a necessary precaution to starve them for a few days, and not to eat them at once, as they feed on poisonous plants, such as the deadly nightshade, poppy, datura, etc.; cases of poisoning by snails having occurred where they had been gathered near, or had fed upon these noxious plants.

It is a mistake to suppose that the only snails used as food are the Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa* These are naturally preferred on account of their larger size, which makes them less troublesome to eat; but a variety of small kinds of snails, nineteen species in all, including those above mentioned, are also employed in cookery on the Continent, and there is no reason why they should not be as good as the others, nor is there any reason why we should not use snails, and many other molluscous animals, which we now throw aside, but which are doubtless quite as palatable and as wholesome as other kinds which our prejudices permit us to indulge in.

M. A. Docteur Ebrard, in his 'Des Escargots, au point de vue de 1'Alimentation, de la Viticulture, et de Phorticulture,' gives an interesting account of the use of snails both for food and medicine, and he tells us that during a sojourn of some weeks at Hyères, in the month of April, he was struck by seeing suspended at the side of the door of each cottage, a rush basket of a peculiar form. He was curious to find out the contents, and on looking into one he found it full of snails. At the sight of these creatures he made a slight movement of disdain, which was perceived by the master of the house, who said, "These snails disgust you, but we poor people eat no other meat all the year, except at Easter".

* Helix aspersa has a variety of names in France, and in the north it is called Colimacon, Jardiniere, and Axpergiile; at Montpellier, Caraguolo; in Bordelais, Cagouille, Limaou, and Limat; in Provence, Escargot, and Escourgol; at Avignon, Caragoou and Contar; Banarut at Aries; and Bajaina at Grasse. - Dr. Ebrard.