'Charles Lamb, by contrast, gave the preference to more solid, and substantial meals. "My appetites," said he, "are too high for the Salads which (according to Evelyn) Eve dressed for the Angel: my gusts too excited to sit a guest with a Daniel at his pulse".

The Cowslip, And The Primrose

The Cowslip, And The Primrose, by reason of the delicate flavours which their petals afford, whilst the colours are attractive, find frequent admission now-a-days into Salads at refined tables. Furthermore, the curative virtues which these flowers respectively supply may be thus brought to bear in a pleasant, palatable way. Already we have given some consideration to the Cowslip. Both it, and the Primrose contain a fragrant volatile oil, together with " mannite," and a somewhat acrid principle, "saponin".

Alfred Austin, Poet Laureate, counsels to "make healing salve with Primroses." "Primrose tea," says Gerarde, "drunk in May is famous for curing the phrensie." Count Nesselrode, the venerable Russian diplomatist, who "never grew old," when asked what was the secret cause of his prolonged youth, replied, "Flowers, and muisc," both of which he cultivated with enthusiasm. Primrose blossoms are quieting to the nerves, and will allay spasm, besides tending to the promotion of sleep. They go well with the Lettuce in a Salad for supper. Whilst the petals are fresh they possess a honey-like odour, and a sweetish taste; when collected and dried, they become of a greenish colour. In Devonshire an odd superstition is attached to these flowers: if only a few are brought by anyone into the house for the first time in the early spring, the good wife will say, "Whot a vule yu be tu bring in tu, or dree Primrosen! Now us shant av no chickun vur a brave while, and they that be a-hatched '11 die ov tha gaps." But if a large bunch of Primroses had been gathered, and brought in, the results with regard to chicken hatching, and rearing, would have been quite satisfactory; so goes the rural belief.

"Pale Primroses That die unmarried ere they can behold Bright Phoebus in his strength".

Winter's Tale.

A "Salade des Violettes " is a delicious dish, fit for the table of Apicius, or Lucullus: "Take Batavian endive, finely-curled celery, a sprinkling of minced parsley, a single olive, and the petals of a couple of dozen blue Violets; these several ingredients are to be mixed with the purest olive oil, salt, and pepper, being the only other condiments; add a dash of Bordeaux wine, and a suspicion of white vinegar." Lately, because of a marvellous cure (as reported) of desperate cancer by the outward application of Violet leaves made into infusion, this herb has acquired a resuscitated renown. The case was that of Lady Margaret Marsham, sister to the present Earl of Romney. Her throat had become completely closed by an obstructive malignant growth, and all food had to be administered by artificial means below. Under the continued use of Violet stupes day, and night, the growth gradually subsided, and ultimately disappeared. Far back in 1586 "the whole work of that famous Chirurgeon, Master John Vigo, gave directions ' how to cure cancer.' The prescription (for purgation of the matter antecedent) included confection of Violets, as likewise does the prescription which is ' to take away the matter conjunct.' " This is a much older herbal than that of Culpeper. For making a syrup of sweet Violets: "To one pound of sweet Violet flowers, freshly picked, add two and a half pints of boiling water; infuse these for twenty-four hours in a closed china vessel; then pour off the liquor, and strain it gently through muslin; afterwards add double its weight of the finest loaf sugar, and make it into a syrup, but without letting it boil.

Reference has been made previously to a "Rosebud Salad," as invented at Chicago. And again, a "Nasturtium Salad" is palatable, elegant, and anti-scorbutic. "Shred a lettuce finely, and mix with it some freshly-gathered, young, succulent Nasturtium leaves, together with two hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters; place them in a Salad bowl, and dot with Nasturtium flowers; serve with fresh lemon-juice, or with whatever other dressing is preferred." Lord Beaconsfield said that Primroses make a delicious Salad; and because of this the flower has become associated for ever with his name. A century ago many other materials were introduced into Salads, which are not thought of now for the purpose, such as Fennel, Marsh-Mallow tops, Hops, Wild Marjoram, Elder Flowers, Asparagus, and Nettle. Tennyson makes Lynette ask her scullion:-

"What knowest thou of flowers, except belike To garnish meat with? "

Evelyn has admonished: "Let your herby ingredients be exquisitely cull'd, and cleans'd of all worm-eaten, slimy, cankered, dry, spotted, or anyways vitiated leaves." He enumerates thirty-five different Salad herbs. "Guava Salad," or "Angels' food," is a favourite Cape dish. "Take one and a half dozen guavas, two oranges, sufficient sugar, and a wine-glassful of good sherry; peel, and slice the guavas thinly, lay them on a glass dish, and sprinkle over them a little sugar, then a layer of orange, sprinkled with sugar; again guavas, and again orange, continuing thus till the glass is filled; pour over all the glass of sherry, and let it stand for a while. This makes a delicious dish for dessert. The guava resembles a small apple with many seeds, and is famous for the well-known guava jelly; it is imported from the West Indies, and is occasionally grown in British conservatories. The fruit is somewhat astringent, being sweet, aromatic, and sometimes acid.

For a plain, wholesome Salad-dressing: "Mix the yolk of a hard-boiled egg (dry) with one teaspoonful of newly-made mustard from the pot, one teaspoonful of brown sugar, and half a teaspoonful of salt; when these are thoroughly blended, add one tablespoonful of vinegar, and then three of milk. Be careful to mix the vinegar thoroughly before adding the milk, or else it may turn to curd. Cream may be added, but the dressing is sufficiently good without it".

"Oh, cool in the summer is salad,

And warm in the winter is love: And a Poet shall sing you a ballad,

Delicious thereon, and thereof: Take Endive: like love it is bitter;

Take Beet, for, like love, it is red; Crisp leaf of the Lettuce shall glitter,

With Cress from the rivulet's bed; Anchovies, foam-born, like the lady,

Whose beauty has maddened this bard, And Olives from groves that are shady,

And Eggs (just a hint! ' Boil 'em hard')".

Evelyn, in his Acetaria, has insisted on no less than nine essential requirements for the proper making of a Sallet, and some of these are sufficiently quaint. For instance, "That the knife (according to the super-curious) with which the Sallet-herbs are cut (especially oranges, limons, etc.) be of silver, and by no means of steel, which all acids are apt to corrode, and retain a metallick relish of." Again, "That the Saladiere (Sallet dish) be of porcelane, or of the Holland Delf-ware, neither too deep, nor shallow, according to the quantity of the Sallet ingredients." "And note, that there ought to be one such a dish in which to beat, and mingle the liquid vehicles; and a second to receive the crude herbs in, upon which they are to be pour'd, and then with a fork, and a spoon kept continually stirr'd till all the furniture be equally moistened. Some, who are husbands of their oil, pour at first the oil alone, as more apt to communicate, and diffuse its slipperiness than when it is mingled, and beaten with the acids, which they pour on last of all; and 'tis incredible how small a quantity of oil (in this quality like the gilding of wyre) is sufficient to imbue a very plentiful assembly of Sallet-herbs." "Care must be taken by the collector of such edule plants that as near as he can they should consist of the Oluscula, and ex foliis pubescentibus, or (as Martial calls them) Prototomi rudes, and very tenderest parts - germs, young buds, and even first rudiments of their several plants; such as we sometimes find in the craws of the Wood-culver, Stock-dove, Partridge, Pheasants, and other Upland fowl, where we have a natural Sallet, pick'd, and almost dress'd to our hands." "But now after all let none imagine that whilst we justify our present subject through all the topicks of panegyric, we would, in favour of the Sallet, dress'd with all its pomp, and advantage, turn mankind to grass again; which were ungratefully to neglect the bounty of Heaven, as well as his health, and comfort".