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and brings Peter Belon to what he evidently
likesa good dinner in a general way. "You
may talk," he says, "of Spaniards, Portuguese,
English, Flemings, Italians, Hungarians,
or Germans, but none of them, in
dinner-giving, come up to the French. The
latter begin with meats disguised a thousand
ways (mille petits desguisements de chair);
and this first entry, as it is called, consists of
what is soft and liquid, and ought to be sent
in hot, such as soups, fricassees, hashes, and
salads "! (Hot salads are a rarity now-a-
days). The second course is roast and boiled,
of different kinds of meat, as well of birds as
of terrestrial animals, " it being well understood
that no fish is eaten except on fast-
days." The dinner ends with " cold things,
such as fruits, preparations of milk and
sweets." This is the outline of a dinner
only; but when Peter Belon enters into a
detailed bill of fare, the newspaper report of
a Lord Mayor's dinner pales beside it. A
few of the names of these dishesas well as
they can be translatedare worth preserving.
What do you think of pilgrim caponslions
made of the white meat of pullets; wild
boar venison with chestnuts; diamond-pointed
jelly; goslings dressed with malvoisie; feet
(whose feet?) with infernal sauce (pieds à
la saulce d'enfer); counterfeit sea-hog;
laurelled quails; partridges with capers;
veal sausages; hop salad; chestnut butterflies;
golden-backed woodcock pasties; ox-
heel pasties; plumed peacocks; tipsy cake
(gasteaux joyeux); little cabbages all hot
(petits chouy tous chaulds); and, amongst
other varieties, pomegranate salad?

In treating of the uses to which birds have
been applied, Peter Belon does not omit
divination. It is pretty clear, however, that he
has no faith in the auruspices, though he
lets them down gently. " These soothsayers
exercised their mystery in the contemplation
of the inward parts as well of birds as of
other animals, when offered up for sacrifice.
The question must then be asked, whether,
by this inspection, they really could foretell
the things that were to come, and if there
were any probability, what they promised
turning out true? There can be little doubt
that this system of divination had a very
simple origin, beginning by cajoling private
persons, and promising them what they
desired (which is the greatest pleasure men
can receive), and afterwards, by investing it
with a religious character, and turning the
same to their own profit." The French
soldiers, in Belon's time, imitated the Romans
so far as to carry the sacred cock with their
baggage when they took the field; but it was
for a very intelligible species of augury,— to
know, by his crowing, when the day was
about to break. Belon had much too good
sense to credit either the superstitions of the
Romans or those of his own day, and was
probably only restrained by his fear of the
Church, from expressing his opinions too
plainly. Passing from divination to sorcery,
he says: " Every contemplative man must
have had reason to despise the ignorant
people who believe that sorcerers have the
power attributed to them. We have seen
many condemned to death; but all have been
either poor idiots or madmen. Now, of two
things, one must happen: that if they do
mischief, it must either be by the employment
of some venomous drug put into the mouth,
or otherwise applied, or by invocations. It
is not often that one hears of people of quality
being accused of sorceryonly the poorer
sort; and to tell the truth, no man of judgment
would apply his mind to such absurdities.
To prevent the common people from
doing so, it is the custom once a-week to
prohibit them formally. It may easily happen
that one of this sort, troubled in his wits,
should fancy incredible things, and even
acknowledge to having committed them; but
we must set this down to the nature of their
disease." In this way sensible Peter Belon
disposes of the lycanthropists and other self-
created wizards. On the subject of antipathies,
however, he entertains a belief that it
is reasonable; as in the case of the fox and
the stork, which are sworn foes, ever since
the practical jokes, I suppose, which we all
know they played on each other.

Being himself a physician, Peter Belon
enlarges upon the maladies of birds; but he
tells us that, with the exception of falcons,
which are more especially under the
care of man, they are their own doctors.
"The pelican, which builds its nest on the
ground, finding its young stung by a serpent,
weeps bitterly, and piercing its own breast,
gives its own blood to cure them." (This is
a new reading of the old story). "Quails,
when they are indisposed, swallow the seeds
of hellebore; and starlings take hemlock.
The herb chélidoine (celandine, from the
Greek kelidon, a swallow) derives its name
from the fact that the swallow administers
the juice of the plant to her young. The
stork physics himself with marjoram. Wood
pigeons, ravens, blackbirds, jays and
partridges take laurel; while turtle-doves, pigeons,
and cocks prescribe bird-weed. Ducks and
geese eat sage." (Sage enters largely into the
affair, in combination with onions, when
ducks and geese are eaten). " Cranes and
herons employ marsh rushes. Thrushes and
many smaller birds swallow the seeds of the
ivywhich would be hurtful diet for man
(qui seroit viande mauvaise à l'homme)."
Not much worse, however, than hellebore or
hemlock! But it would seem that the eagle
family are exempt from the ordinary ailments
of birds; for, in speaking of the
Chrysaëtos, or great royal eagle, Belon tells us:
"Eagles never change their place of abode,
but always return to the same nest. It has
thus been observed that they are long-lived.
But becoming old, the beak grows so long
that it becomes bent, and prevents the bird