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Oyster Eaters

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Possibly the origin of oyster-eating was Bomething like that of tho enting of roast pig, as deaeribed by Charlea Lamb. A prehistorie man inserted his fingers within t!ie shells of a prehistorie oyster, and having thera pinched applied his digits to his mouth, tasted the liquor of tho ,03'ster, and invented the benign science of ostreaphagy. Anyway, around the names of all the great of the earth, in aü aes, there is a doathless halo of oyster shells. The ancient Greeks and Romans wcre great devourers of oj-sters, which, we learn from Pliny, were of three colors - yellow, bls'4'k, and brown, - delightod to be transferred to new waters, and sometimos grew to the size of a foot, so that it took three bitos to dispose of one of thein. There were nine famous beds from which the markets of Rome were supplied, and it is reeorded that the fivst man who took to artilieial breeding did so to mako monej', not out of love for the oyster. Oyster shells cured no end of disorders, and, powdered, were employed as a dentífrico. The Komans believed that oysters ate best in the full of the moon, Horace's preference was for those of Circel: Viteilius put away twelve hundred of the bivalvcs .it one luncheon. "Oysters raw, as many as 3ou like," is usually the first entry on the raenus of classical entertainments that have been presen'ed for our delectation. Louis" VIII. of France, who died in 1226, so keeuly appreciated his cook's way of cooking the oyster, of which he was so fond, that he gave him a patent of nobility and a liberal annual allowance. Louia XI. gave annual oyster suppers to the College of the Sorbonne - the pupils of the College of France had long before that been in the habit of rehearsing their disputations over oysters - n ntil at one merry meeting a learned doctor feil into the Seine and was drowned. Bentij", the great classical scholar, never could pass an oystcr-stall without stopping, at it, to i talk about oysters 11 hc could eat no moro, and in 1740, two years before bis death, and just at the conclusión oí the twenty-seven yeara' lawsuit to eject him from the mastership of Trlnity, to which DeQuincy lias dcvoted such a fascinating essa}r, he vvrote to a fricnd: "My great relief and amusement here is my regular supply of oysters. Tliesc things must have been made in heavcn; they are delectable, satisfying, delicrous, and mentally stimulating in a high degree." Tope, a lover of lobster?, was extremely partial to oysters stewed, and a letter of his to Lord Bolingbroke exists, oiïering to accept an invitation to diftner, but only ou condition ttiat there was a dish of stewed oysters. Thomson, who ate peaches on the tree with his hands in bis pockets, greatly loved oyjters, and died of over-indulgence in them, or of exposure in a boat on his way to have a feed of them. Johnson, I fancy, loved oysters. I know he went to niarket to buy them for liis cat when the footman was too proud to do so. Goldsmith did, and devoted an interesting chapter in his "Animated Nature" to them, telling how he knew a horse that was fond of eating oysters, and how the oysters of India are two feil big, anc one of the "natives" of Coromande furnishes a mea! for ten men. No aDimal, "Noli" tells ns, will venture to open the oyster' s shell, which, like too many statements in "Aüimated Nature," is not strictly true, sinee, apar from the starfish and other marine ene mies, the oyster is Ihe prey of a bird the hantotuuus, the "blooïy foot" o English popular ornithology and the oyster-fisher of America. The oyster-shops of Paris were grea political centers during the revolution Kobespierre, Danton, and Couthon hav ing one favored haunt near the prison of La Force, and Brissot, Condorcet and the other Girondins affecting a ri val establishment near the 'site of La Bastille. Peter the Great alvvays ha oysters served in two or three ways a his meals; fraternized with the old oys ter-women of Woplwieh ship-yavd, an dignified the dealers of Moscow and St Petersburg with the title of his "lifc proservers." Juno ate three hundrei oysters every day before breakfast dur [ug the oyster season, and Cambaceres was long regarded as the champiou oyster-eater of Paris, until the academi cian Baour-Larmian sat down to break fast with him one day, ate oyster for oyster until the arch chancellor of the empire owned his defeat, then swal lowed a few dozen more by himself and desisted lest he should spoil his breakfast. There are traditions of the English oyster-eaters who swallowei. oysters by the dozen, but the English oyster is a trille beside the oyster o: New York, which reminded Thackeray of the ear of Caiphas' servant, anc again of swallowing a baby, and the oyster of our more southern waters, which Sala told his English readers was in size and shape jusD like 'the knifeboard of an omnibus. It is worthy 01 remark that the oyster is almost the only animal substance which we eal raw habitually, and from proference, and that we do this from sound physiological reasons. The favvn colored liver of the oyster, as Dr. W'iUiam Roberts in his "Lectures on the Digestive Ferments," poiuts out, is linie less than a mass of glycolen, associatcd with which, but witheid from actual contact during life; is its appropriate digestive ferment, the hepatic diastase. The act of crushing the oyster brings the two bodies together, and the oyster digests itself. Mem - If you cook an oyster the heat destroys the digestive ferment, and you must digest the oyster yourself. American oysters do not yield to any in the world. I have never tried those of the Oecident, and I must say that I prefer to the giganüe growths, especially of southern waters, that are so much in vogue, the smaü and íinely-ílavored Caraquetto oyster of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which, alas! has been somewhat driven out of favor by the bigger .Buetouche. uyster culture pays wcll in ï'rance, where oyster-faivms novv occupy somt 23,000 acres wad the atteotion of 40,686 persons, the business being steadily on the increase. The dimensions of the business can best be inferred from the fact that of 641,000,000 oysters sold in 1878, only 109,000,000 came from the lisheries; which, however, was an inereasc of 65,000,000 over 1877. Talking of French oysters, the most fashionable are those of Marennes and Ostend, which are small, but very tender and savory, and are green, or rather a grayish-green in color. The oysters are placed in pits fllled with salt water, which is renewed trut very slightly, and in the course of Uvo months take the much-prized luie, which Is due to a green diatom, which s alao found living free in the. pits. The ingenious Frenchmen noiv inmierse common oysters in a solution of salts of copper, which gives them the desired color, and makes them very perceptibly joisonous. In England, as well as in France and ïermany. The supply of oysters is decreasiug. Although, according to ?rank liuckland, an oyster produces rom 276,000 to 829,000 young, it is absolutely neeessary that the water should )e warm when the spat falls, or il will ink to the bottom and die. At a Newport dinner-party a lady juest was so unfortunate as to break a )late belonging to a rare set of French :hina. The lady insisted upon either mr.nding or replacing it, but finding' joth impossible she was obligcd to send abroad and duplícate the entire dfaanerct of over 200 pieces. Louisiana'g rice erop fs estimated g250,000 barrels. There aro eighty-two Morinon churcues iu Eagland ajd Lreland,


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