Give A Dinner 
A dinner, no matter how recherché, how
sumptuous, will never go off well if the wine is bad,
the guests not suited to each other, the faces dull, and
the dinner eaten hastily.
But some impatient reader will exclaim, How can we
manage to unite all these conditions, which enhance, in
a supreme degree, the pleasures of the dinner-table?
I will reply to this question, so listen attentively,
Let them be so collected
that their occupations are different, their tastes
similar, and with such points of contact that it is
not necessary to go through the odious form of
Let the number of your guests
never exceed twelve, so that the conversation may
constantly remain general.
Let your dining-room be
brilliantly lighted, your cloth perfectly clean, and
the temperature of the room from 13 degrees to 16
Let the men be clever
without presumption, the women amiable without
Let your dishes be limited
in number, but each excellent, and your wines
first-rate. Let the former vary from the most
substantial to the most light; and for the second,
from the strongest to the most perfumed.
Let everything be served
quietly, without hurry or bustle; dinner being the
last business of the day, let your guests look upon
themselves as travellers who have arrived at the end
of their jouney.
Let the coffee be very hot,
and the liqueurs of first quality.
Let your drawing-room be
spacious enough to allow a game to be played, if
desired, without interfering with those addicted to
Let the guests be retained
by the pleasant company, and cheered with the hope
that, before the evening is over, there is something
good still in store for them.
Let the tea not be too
strong; the hot toast well buttered; and the punch
Let no one leave before
eleven, but let every one be in bed by midnight.
Handbook of Dining, or Corpulency and Leanness
Scientifically Considered, by Brillat-Savarin,
Godey's Salad - Obeying Orders
"But speaking of olive oil, let me tell you an
anecdote of my friend Godey, of Philadelphia, of the 'Lady's Book',
sir, the best-hearted man of that name in the world. Well, sir, Godey
had a new servant-girl; I never knew anybody that didn't have a new
servant-girl! Well, sir, Godey had a dinner-party in early spring,
when lettuce is a rarity, and of course he had lettuce. He is a
capital hand at a salad, and so he dressed it. The guests ate it; and
- sir - well, sir, I must hasten to the end of the story. Said Godey
to the new girl next morning: 'What has become of that bottle of
Castor-Oil I gave you to put away yesterday morning?' "sure, said
she, 'you said it was castor-oil, and I put it in the caster!'
'well,' said Godey, 'I thought so.' " - Cozzen's Press. We
give the above, because we found it in our friend Cozzen's paper, but
we won't vouch for the truth of it. Cozzens, it is well known, is one
of the most lively and pleasant writers of the day. It is fame enough
for one man to be the author of "The Sparrowgrass Papers."
Godey's Ladys Book, Vol.LIII July to December 1856,