Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/145

This page has been validated.


English and French Cookery, The Science and Progress of Cookery, Reasons for Cooking, Methods of Cooking, with instructions for Broiling, Roasting, Baking, Boiling, Stewing, Frying, Hints for Amateur Cooks, The Preservation, Adulteration and Prices of Food, Digestive Time Table, Quantities and Measures, and Table of Equivalents.

In the Fine Arts the progress of mankind is marked by a gradual succession of triumphs over the rude materialities of nature. Plain or rudely-carved stones, tumuli, or mounds of earth, are the monuments by which barbarous tribes denote the events of their history, to be succeeded, in the long course of a series of ages, by beautifully proportioned columns, gracefully sculptured statues, triumphal arches, coins, medals and the higher efforts of the pencil and the pen, as man advances by culture and observation to the perfection of his faculties. So is it with the art of cookery. Man, in his primitive state, lived upon roots and the fruits of the earth, until by degrees he was driven to seek for new means by which his wants might be supplied and enlarged. He then became a hunter and a fisher. As his species increased, greater necessities came upon him, and he gradually abandoned the roving life of the savage for the more stationary pursuits of the herdsmen. These begat still more settled habits, as the result of which he began the practice of agriculture, formed ideas of the rights of property, and had his own both defined and secured. The forest, the stream and the sea were then no longer his only resources for food. He sowed and he reaped, pastured and bred cattle, lived on the cultivated produce of his fields, and revelled in the luxuries of the dairy; raised flocks for clothing, and assumed, to all intents and purposes, the habits of permanent life and the comfortable condition of a farmer. This was the fourth stage of social progress, up to