If people can afford to give large evening parties, it is less trouble and more satisfactory to place the supper in the hands of the confectioner.
For card parties or small companies of thirty or forty per-sons, to meet some particular stranger, or for literary reunions, the trouble need not be great. People would entertain more if the trouble were less.
For especial occasions for a company of thirty or forty, a table prettily set with some flowers, fruit, chicken salad, croquettes or sweet-breads and pease, one or two or more kinds of ice-cream and cakes, is quite sufficient. Either coffee and tea, Champagne, a bowl of punch or of eggnog, would be sufficient in the way of beverage.