After a fast of twelve or thirteen hours, the System requires something substantial as preparation for the labors of the day; consequently, I consider the American breakfasts more desirable for an active people than those of France or England.
In France, the first breakfast consists merely of a cup of cof fee and a roll. A second breakfast, at eleven o'clock, is more substantial, dishes being served which may be eaten with a fork (déjeuner à la fourchette), as a chop with a potato soufflé. No wonder there are cafés in Paris where American breakfasts are advertised, for it takes one of our nationality a very short time to become dissatisfied with this meagre first meal.
In England, breakfast is a very informai meal. After some fatiguing occasion, if one should desire the luxury of an extra nap, he is not mercilessly expected at the table simply because it is the breakfast-hour; for there the breakfast-hour is any time one chances to be ready for it. Gentlemen and ladies read their papers and letters in the breakfast-room - a practice which, of course, is more agreeable for guests than convenient for servants. However, if one can afford it, why not ? This habit requires a little différent setting of the table. It is dec-orated with flowers or plants, and upon it are placed several kinds of breads, fruits, melons, potted meats, and freshest of boiled eggs. But the substantial dishes must be served from the sideboard, where they are kept in silver chafing-dishes over spirit - lamps. As members of the family or guests enter, the servant helps them each once, then leaves the room. If they have further wants, they help themselves or ring a bell.
The American breakfast is all placed upon the table, unless oatmeal porridge should be served as a first course. Changes of plates are also necessary when cakes requiring sirup or when melons or fruits are served.