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Who would have believed fifty years ago that the time would come when, passing along one of our Kentish roads, the traveller would have forty acres of strawberries on one side and the same extent of raspberries on the other ?

Full directions are given for the drying and cooking of fruit in general, and for the preparation of strawberries, raspberries, and currants in particular.

We come next to a subject of far greater importance, because of its universal interest—the dressing and cooking of vegetables. Never was there greater need of instruction. First of all for owners of gardens and mistresses of households to follow the example of the authoress. Nothing in her book is so admirable and suggestive as her declaration of independence. I have studied very hard, she tells us, both in gardening and cooking, and in this way one becomes independent of gardeners and cooks, because if they leave we can always teach another. If gentlemen who employ gardeners, and ladies who employ cooks, would learn only the rudiments of gardening and cooking, they would be amply and quickly repaid. As a rule, when the proprietor of a garden has an interview with his gardener, he appears in that presence as a mere imbecile and duffer. If he opens his mouth he announces, if he shuts it he shows, his ignorance. When he asks for something quite out of season, and calls a hollyhock a dahlia, he is listened to with a sweet disdain. His wife can rebuke, but she cannot reform her cook, though she be one of those who justify the accusation that the 'English have a peculiar gift for taking the taste out of the best materials that are to be found in the world,' reminding us of Martha Penny's description of the German soup, that it had no more flavour than if a cow had tumbled into the Rhine.

Accordingly, we have instructions in cookery for every month in the year. With some of these expensive luxuries for the epicure, and especially with one, which commends the roasting of baby chickens,' with a covering of delicate white mayonnaise sauce, we could have cheerfully dispensed. It suggests Herods and ogres and weasels and cats. But for the numerous and simple lessons by which we are to do justice to those esculents which most of us regard as only second in importance to our daily bread, we must offer our grateful praise.

How can a cook be expected to dress vegetables wlien she has never been taught? In England her one instruction has usually been to throw a large handful of coarse soda into the water, with the view to making it soft and keeping the colour of the vegetables, whereas, in fact, she by so doing destroys the healthgiving properties; and every housekeeper should see that it is not done.

Potatoes may be cooked in an endless variety of ways: some of the best are given. Many young gardeners do not know that the secret of young potatoes being good, and not watery, is to take them out of the ground several days before they are boiled. There is, in

short, some new and useful information about all the vegetables which we use the most, about salads for the different seasons (few know that watercresses can be grown in ordinary garden soil, if sown every spring), about soups and sauces, jellies and jams. There is one omission-the easy culture of the mushroom. Dr. Repin, of the Pasteur Institute, tells us in a recent number of the Revue Générale des Sciences that half the manure made in Paris goes to the mushroomgrowing establishments, and is used afterwards in the surrounding districts for forage plants; and in the neighbourhood of London, Canterbury, and elsewhere this culture is rapidly increasing.

Wise men will ponder these things. None wiser than the men of ancient Rome, and Cato tells us that the principal citizens had their great vegetable gardens near the city. These gardens were extensively cultivated by the owners themselves, and the success of some as specialists gave rise to family names, such as Piso from the pea, Cicero from the vetch, Fabius from the bean, Lentulus from the lentil. Had some of our distinguished statesmen lived in those times, the descendants of Mr. Gladstone might have taken the name of Arboreus ; of Mr. Balfour, Golfius ; Mr. Chamberlain, Orchidaceus; and Lord Rosebery, Hippodromus.

Seriously, these subjects of horticulture and cookery are of great national, social, and moral importance. So far from underrating the advantages which they confer upon the rich, in healthful recreations and comfort, or from restricting them to those who can best afford to pay, we would magnify their influence, wherever the opportunity presented itself, and to the full extent which the circumstances allowed among all classes of the community. We would induce the farmer to renovate those miserable collections of dead and dying trees which in so many instances he calls his orchard, we would have him restore the old waste places which he calls his garden, and would give to every cottager who desired to have it a sufficient space for vegetables, fruit, and flowers, instruct him in the selection of the fittest, and teach his wife to cook. If a man does not find happiness at home, he will seek it elsewhere in vain ; but when, after his day's work is done, you refresh his eyes and his palate with the results of his own handiwork, you do much to make him satisfied with his surroundings, and to restrain him from wandering to those perilous places where the wild asses quench their thirst.

It may seem to some to be a hopeless enterprise to create in working men that love of a garden which Sir William Temple declares to be the inclination of kings and the choice of philosophers; nor can the most sanguine anticipate from its existence that emancipation from vice which the Prince de Ligne associates with horticulture, 'Il me semble qu'il est impossible qu'un méchant puisse l'avoir mon goût pour les jardins ;' but it is not so hard as it seems; and the writer of this commentary is familiar with hundreds of cases, in which farm

labourers, shoemakers, stockingers, bricklayers, hewers of wood and drawers of water, have been enthusiastic and accomplished gardeners, and whose lives have been made better and brighter among the flowers by Him Whose breath perfumes them and Whose pencil paints.

No more excellent work has been undertaken by our County Councils, notably by those of Kent and Surrey, than the establishment of school gardens at selected centres, to be cultivated in plots by boys of thirteen years of age and upwards, under a local instructor ; the encouragement of cottage gardening and allotments by the lectures and visits of qualified persons, by prizes awarded to successful culture, and by the organisation, as at Maidstone and elsewhere, of schools of cookery.

There is no time for further enjoyment of this sweet, spicy Potpourri; no space for further extracts from this clever and comprehensive book; only for two more earnest words to the reader-Buy it.



MR. GRAHAM WALLAs's Life of Place, closely following Mr. Robert Leader's Life of Roebuck, will revive the interest even of arm-chair politicians in the public life and public men of the first half of the century. Mr. Wallas has treated his subject in a thoroughly conscientious spirit. He has succeeded in drawing vividly and authoritatively a character of singular strength and singular roughness. Place's father was an unmitigated ruffian, who knocked his children down whenever he saw them. But Place himself managed to get the rudiments of education, and he made better use of those rudiments than' most first-class men make of their degrees. He was apprenticed in boyhood to a maker of leather breeches. The trade was decaying, and Place, who married young, suffered miserable privation. His misfortunes, instead of breaking him down, braced and hardened him. He set up for himself as a general tailor, and acquired a lucrative business. He was a pupil of Bentham, the only man whom he regarded with unqualified respect, and throughout his life an ardent politician. His shop was in Charing Cross, and in his back room the Radicals of Westminster used to meet. He obtained great influence with his neighbours, and became a sort of Grand Elector for Westminster. He hated and distrusted the Whigs, from Fox and Sheridan to Melbourne and Russell. He was an extreme Radical and pronounced Free Thinker, who regarded Whigs and Tories, Churchmen and Dissenters, with almost equal contempt. Robert Owen absurdly called him the leader of the Whig Party. In the Greville Memoirs there is one scornful allusion to · Place and his rabble.' Greville erred on one side as much as Owen did on the other. Place was an unseen power, but a power nevertheless. If he did not exactly make and upmake Ministries—his own friends were never in office--he nominated candidates, he composed the People's Charter, and he issued in 1832 the famous placard. Stop the Duke, go for Gold.' Though almost illiterate, and a writer whom even a biographer cannot read, he was consulted as an oracle by men far more highly cultivated than himself and in far higher social positions than his own.

His case is singular, so far as I know, in English politics. He never sat in Parliament, never fought a constituency, never edited a newspaper. never wrote a book, and never suffered persecution for his opinions. Yet he wielded an authority none the less important because it was indirect, and he was chiefly instrumental in removing their grossest iniquities from the Combination Laws. He was not, however, a Socialist, but an Individualist of the most determined sort, and he had no sentimental love of the working classes. What he had was a genuine hatred of oppression, a passionate love of justice and equality. His capacity for invective was unbounded ; and his best friend, James Mill, objected to his ' raving. He was a good hater and an implacable enemy; but honest, high-minded, and full of public spirit. Mr. Wallas deserves the gratitude of all historical students for his portrait of this extraordinary man.

Mr. Leader’s Life of Roebuck is a good instance of the rage for biography which struggles with gambling for possession of the human mind. The late Mr. Roebuck, who died nearly twenty years ago, was a strenuous and prominent politician of the second or third rate. He did little which anybody now remembers ; he wrote nothing which anybody now reads. He was a rather clever, rather eloquent, rather noisy, rather sincere man, who made his own way in the world by dint of energy and self-reliance. A thin volume of some fifty pages would have adequately described his motives and his acts. Mr. Leader has given him nearly four hundred, with the result of dangerously diluting the essential spirit into a somewhat thin and vapid draught. I find no fault with Mr. Leader, who has done his work well. Probably he could not help himself. We are all the creatures of circumstances, and biography is the vice of the age. Moreover, there is an excuse for Mr. Leader which cannot be pleaded for all his rivals in the art. Mr. Roebuck lived too much for the day, and even for the hour, to be very interesting now. But he was connected in early life with a group of remarkable men, who, if their practical capacity had corresponded with their intellectual powers, might have broken political parties and altered the history of England. I mean, of course, the philosophical Radicals, the disciples of Jeremy Bentham and of James Mill, such as John Mill and George Grote and Sir William Molesworth and Charles Buller and Joseph Hume (though he was no great philosopher) and Perronet Thompson and Mr. Wallas's hero, Francis Place, who prompted the party behind the scenes.

With these men Mr. Roebuck was in his early days intimately associated. His own mind was anything rather than philosophical. His education was defective, his temper was imperious, his principles were versatile, and even his resentments were not lasting. But the course of his life brought him into fellowship with the Mills, and, like many young men, he could not bear, when he was young, that anybody should be thought more Radical than himself. The austere doctrines of his original friends did not insure the consistency of his own public career. Consistency,

VOL. XLIII-No. 254


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