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some round, and some arched ably and serenely as if they and pinnacled fantastically. were in Blacksod Bay.
But I preferred the moun- But in our farthest port of tains. These were not the old call there was trouble. Breeze familiar friends ; they also were Harbour looks like a threat of new to me. Down the steep trouble ; and only one man is slopes, through mazes of cre- crazy enough to take a big vasses, over stupendous falls ship into it. The trouble was the ice kept its purity un- that a very much bigger icesullied by mud or moraine ; berg had come in after her and and where it broke into the threatened to carry away her sea in cliffs three hundred feet moorings and push her into a high, it did not show a speck cul-de-sac where she might be from top to bottom-a contrast stuck for the winter. One of to the dirty snouts of Alpine her catchers was steaming up glaciers. Again, it was new against it to try and push it to see nine thousand feet of out of the way ; but as it was rock and snow rising from the a thousand times her weight, level of the straits, in which the effects were not conspicuous. at times the floes became so I had arranged for an excurnumerous that one had almost sion up the glacier here, but the illusion of a huge glacier that confounded iceberg disfilling a flat valley, unlike the appointed me. At any moment tilted slopes which merge grad- it might change its front and ually into a face, becoming only attack us instead of the factory more steeply tilted.
ship, so we were under short A little farther on came an- notice for steam. Meanwhile other type of scenery, this a the captain of that vessel took more thoroughly Antarctic type. me for a trip round the coast The high mountains retreated in his launch. I would have behind flattened domes of nevé; given up as many mountain the only rocks seen were such ascents for those three hours ; as, rising from the water, were mountains I may climb again, too sharp to support the crumb- but never shall I have such an ling and top-heavy snow-cap intimate acquaintance with icethat covered all the more sub- bergs. We sported round them, stantial land. As we progressed we darted across them in a the rocks became more numer. swirl of pale green water beous; we were among a group tween their shining pinnacles ; of small islands where, tucked we squeezed between rocks red, into impossible creeks between grey, and yellow, and ice-cliffs impending ice-cliffs (but in this white and blue. We squeezed, cold climate they do not fall as I think, rather imprudently often as one would think), were near the latter.
One berg, a steamers of eight or ten thou- huge tricuspid affair, had, as sand tons, cutting in and boil- is their manner, its towers set ing down whales as comfort- upon its very edge, and sadly undermined by the sea; but catcher, steadies the helm, and one underestimates the tough- then strolls off the bridge toness of southern ice.
wards the gun platform. On This fairyland, for so it was, the fore-deck he passes the I did not see at night, when its look-out man, who has just inhabitants adopt their proper come down from the crow's form; by day I believe they nest, and borrows a fill of change themselves into pen- tobacco from him. The latter guins. I had seen penguins goes to the wheel, if there is before, but did not know their no one already there. Meanorigin.
while spectators emerge from I came back to port to find various parts of the ship. two more catchers reinforcing When all these adjustments the push-party at the iceberg, have been made, the whale and with some help from the blows again, right ahead, and tide actually moving it clear of a hundred yards away. The the parent ship. These catchers helm is shifted a little, and the are most efficient little vessels, engines rung slow, the gunner fast, handy, perfectly equipped, looks for a convenient lee to and of necessity kept in first- light his pipe in, then mounts class order, for a chipped the platform and casts loose the propeller, a loose rudder-head, gun. Nobody runs about or or a slack bearing would give shouts, the few orders are given the alarm as they steal on their in an undertone. quarry. They are small enough It seems an age of waiting to turn and twist in the chase, till we see a vague greyness yet large enough to keep the in the blue sea ahead of us. sea in any weather. It is hard The helmsman gives a little to understand how a steam- sheer to bring the target well boat some 110 feet long and out on the bow and expose her of 130 tons can get within broadside ; then the waters twenty yards of a whale, for are parted and a flat head that is about as far as one can emerges ; the great nostrils trust the harpoon gun, but a follow, throwing a jet of vapour whale sighted is generally a into the air, and sink again. whale killed. I do not know An interminable length of how it is done, though I have curved back rolls by, the gunner seen the performance. This is keeps his sights on the waterhow it appears to the spectator. line, and not till half the whale
We raise a spout, perhaps a has passed does he fire. And mile away. The whale usually that is the end of her! blows two or three times in Of course, it is not always quick succession before going so easy. In bad weather the down again for ten minutes or gun platform must be a very so, thus one can judge in unhealthy spot, nor could one what direction she is travelling. trace the whale's movements so The gunner, the captain of the well in broken water. Some whales, moreover, are perverse, I did not go so far south to and do not steer a steady see whaling, for that one can course. Our second was an do as well at home. I went to expert in the art of zigzagging, see ice-ice compacting into and it was some time before glaciers ; ice falling in ice-falls ; the gunner got the run of her ice forming lofty sea-cliffs ; ice maneuvres. In the end it breaking off those cliffs into was a lucky shot, at extreme icebergs ; and, above all, the range, that got us fast.
marvellous blue ice in the caviIn the head of the harpoon ties of those floating mountains is a bursting charge fired by which are only the remnant a time-fuse, and a close shot, of the huge islands that have well directed, will scatter scrap- drifted up from the far Antiron all through the whale's arctic. Or, if you like, bevitals and kill her instantane- cause anybody who does anyously. Our forlorn hope got thing nowadays without an home, but only crippled her, ostensibly commercial motive and she set off on the surface is suspect, I went to prospect with our ship in tow.
for an anchorage in the Belgica Then we saw the wonderful Straits in which to moor that gear that makes steam whaling visionary ship which will carry possible. Between the harpoon a select party of mountaineers and the winch the line is played to a place where the snow is by a tremendous battery of always in good condition for coiled springs fitted in the hold. walking or ski-running; where Their effective extension is some avalanches are almost unknown thirty feet, through which the and séracs take a year to fall; strain increases to fifteen tons, where the weather is always the limit of safety of the rope. fine and no winds ever blow; With such fishing-tackle the and where, if any one wants to whale, once fast, has a poor desert the honest ice for acrochance. We hauled up along- batic feats on rock, he can get side and gave her another shot as good steep granite as at that settled her.
Chamonix. All the interest of modern I fear that I have not enough whaling lies in the stalking; information to float the affair. I should imagine that it re- Mail steamers cannot be at quires more skill and knowledge the same time surveying ships, to bring a steam-vessel into and the exigencies of trade position for discharging a gun took me away all too soon, with a limited arc of training back to stormy Stanley. And than to get fast with a harpoon as Stanley was fearful bathos thrown in any direction from after the Solvay Mountains, I any one of three or four small lost no time in getting my ship boats. The subsequent pro- ready for sea and my papers ceedings are merely butchery. made out for Dublin.
THE CLASSICS OF THE TABLE.
BY STEPHEN GWYNN AND ELIZABETH LUCAS.
SINCE French cookery is the spect the French have always best in Europe, the classics of studiously qualified for their gastronomy belong naturally duty as hosts. Also, they have to French literature ; and per- constantly taken the view of haps English readers do not the old noble who dressed ceresufficiently realise that such monially when he dined alone, works exist and are delightful saying that no more respected reading — first, because, like guest sat at his table. But books on sport, they are re
with the French this self-respect cords of enjoyment. But eat- expressed itself in the dinner ing covers a larger field in life rather than in the dress. than fishing, hunting, golf, or France's supremacy in the even gardening; the history gastronomic art is comparaof the table is closely con- tively recent. Cooks and cooknected with the history of ery perished in the dark ages civilisation. “Tell me what except along the Mediterranean, you eat, and I will tell you where civilisation was oldest ; what you are,” is an aphorism and at the Renaissance this in the chief of these classics, learning also had to be diffused and “how you eat is even from Italy. Still we know that more important to ascertain. the other arts blossomed with Man is not only gregarious, extraordinary speed and vigour but a social animal : nutrition, in France when the impulse the first animal need, links came, and it is hard to believe itself rapidly with necessities that a French omelette of the for companionship that involve fifteenth century was not alhis spirit; and ultimately he ready all that an omelette shows himself for what he is should be. Yet maybe it lacked in the act of eating and of one thing-pepper. Cookery, assisting others to eat. Hos- like war, has developed out of pitality is one of the pleasantest knowledge in modern times. expressions of humanity, and Pepper certainly existed in the the French traditional quality early Middle Ages, but it was of politeness is never more scarce, like all the spices, till admirably displayed than in the mariner's compass and the care which they constantly Columbus and the rest brought take to devise entertainment strange new material from for a guest. To plan a good across the ocean. Coffee was repast you must be able to offered for sale in Paris first appreciate it, and to appreciate at the Foire de St Germain in you must enjoy; in this re- 1670. Liqueurs were only invented by the combined device markably lit up by the study of chemists and cooks to warm of Grimod de la Reynière and the old age of Louis XIV., and his group, published by M. they were not in common use Desnoiresterres in 1877. His until the time of his successor, father was a fermier-général, Even sugar was almost a rarity and immensely rich. Tradition in the seventeenth century. relates that the fortunes of the From the grand siècle onwards family began in
family began in a sausageit may be said that the art maker's shop, and that the possessed all its necessary re- author of the Almanach des sources, and made great strides ; Gourmands' delighted to embut though there were cooks, bellish his apartments with they at best, like the early festoons of sausages. It is painters, received merely verbal probable that Grimod did this, commendation. Criticism as a or anything else that could branch of literature scarcely annoy his parents ; but he was begins before the eighteenth certainly no sausage - maker's century; and to cookery it son : : the dynasty of taxwas only applied after a social farmers whose opulence he inupheaval had threatened to herited was richly established abolish this most social of all a century before the Revoluthe arts. There were, of course,
tion. The second of these died technical treatises, some dating at Paris 1754, of an indigestion away back into the Middle caused by pâté de foie-gras. Ages ; but the modern litera. He kept the best table in Paris, ture of the kitchen begins with and Voltaire wrote him a letter Grimod de la Reynière, and requesting that the poet's cook though he was a forerunner and might be allowed to assist for founded a school, he actually a few days in the financier's outlived Brillat - Savarin, the kitchen. “A cook grows rusty creator of its masterpiece. Both in an invalid's establishment," men were, as Balzac puts it, Voltaire wrote, “and the fine astride of two centuries; both arts ought to be encouraged." saw the transition from the Grimod de la Reynière the old régime to the new, and third, succeeding to his share both wrote under the stimulus of a fortune reckoned at fourof this change. They felt the teen million in francs, it is impulse to express an enjoy- true, but still not a bagatelle), ment which the circumstances succeeded also to the taxof their time had rendered more farming post, and looked out vivid, and also to characterise for a distinguished marriage. the great alteration in manners The bride was Mlle. de Jarente, which they had observed. niece to the Bishop of Orleans,
Anybody interested in the and she always resented an curious and morbid phase of alliance that put her out of Parisian society which preceded the court circle : it was said the Revolution will find it re- that she