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chef de cuisine, or head cook, as he better likes to be called, is a renowned man in his way, and certainly knows how to serve up a good dinner.
The service of this large establishment is conducted by thirty men and sixty-five women, the women all dressed in a simple black and white dress,-a good hint this, taken from our French neighbours, who insist upon a class dress for domestics. In all matters of detail the very best habits of the private gentleman's house are carried out in this splendid establishment; consequently the traveller may find all the comforts of home, combined with advantages which only a very large establishment can command.
We cannot help thinking the size of the Grosvenor is a happy medium ; less than such leviathan houses as the Louvre or the Hôtel Grand, or Astor House, New York, it is not so large as to bewilder the guest, or to swallow up his individuality amid the mob located under the same roof; and yet it is large enough to contain within itself every necessary accommodation. It is not like Astor House-a mere collection of private apartments, inhabited by private families, covered by one roof; neither is it a gigantic restaurant, with bedrooms which are made to do duty as sitting-rooms, like the grand piles built by the Crédit Mobilier;—but it is a thoroughly English hotel, in which the family of distinction may find a princely home, or the single traveller, studying economy, may get a good bedroom for two shillings, the use of the splendid library for the mere price of the service, a breakfast for half-a-crown, and as good a dinner of three courses as he could desire for five shillings, or for three if he wishes to dine economically. It is everybody's palace.
Let it no longer be said that the seed sown in the Times has borne no fruit, or that the hotels of the British metropolis are the dearest and worst in Europe. On the contrary, it has been clearly shown that a guest can live as cheaply in this grand hotel as in many of the second-rate hotels abroad, and certainly far more economically than our fathers used to do in the stuffy “White Harts” and “White Lions” of their day, with their slipshod, flat-footed, greasy waiters, their buggy four-posters, their splendid variety of “ A steak, sir, or a chop, sir,” or perhaps “a 'biled' fowl, sir,” which inevitably composed the whole repertory of the cuisine, and with their beggarly servants who fleeced you in droves on your departure, never expecting or hoping to see you again.
THE "TIMES” NEWSPAPER OF 1798.
THERE lies before us one of the most eventful pages of that eventful year, in the shape of the Times newspaper, of October 3, 1798, reprinted from the original. The Times of that date, compared with its present size, was a veritable infant-not much bigger, when spread open, than a lady's pocket-handkerchief -but within its little face we see clearly its present features in embryo.
The Americans, with that self-consciousness which is so characteristic of the nation, are for ever “making history," and fidgeting themselves as to how they shall look in the pages of some future Bancroft. What a contrast to the dull Englishman of 1798, who “made history," especially in that year, without being at all aware of the dignity of his occupation. Let us turn over our Times, for example, and the first thing that strikes our attention is the account of Lord Nelson's Victory of the Nile. Our admirals then did their fighting better than their writing—a feature which some seamen of a later date seem to have reversed. The total annihilation of an enemy's fleet is narrated by our hero in fewer words than a Yankee commander would detail the robbing of a hen-roost. Of the French fleet of seventeen line-of-battle ships only four managed to escape. They struck hard and heavy in those days without much boasting. In another part of the paper we have a glimpse of the rebellion in Ireland, a sighting of the Plymouth squadron sent under Sir Borlase Warren to intercept the Brest fleet which was sailing to reinforce the Irish rebels.
We see the working of the dogs of war in a far more vivid manner in these contemporary pages than in those of after-history. The Anson frigate sails so near the Hoche (French admiral's ship), that they can see “on board the whites of the eyes of the marines,” with whom she is so crowded as to cause her “to sail badly.” From Ireland, again, we have tidings of MajorGeneral Trench's defeat of the rebels, “ with great slaughter,” in the neighbourhood of Killaloe ; and there is a charming picture drawn of the French commandant of the town, cooped up with his officers in the Bishop's Palace, with that dignitary himself armed to the teeth against the very rebels he had come to succour. Then there are the paragraphs of courts-martial, in which it is thought sufficient to say “some have been hanged, and various punishments have been inflicted on others.” Little paragraphs hint at the social condition of the period, and show what a robust habit the public had of expressing their opinions; everywhere physical force was in the ascendant.
A singular example of the license which roughs
were allowed in those days is given in a paragraph which states that a mob on the previous evening gathered round the entrance of the Admiralty in honour of the great victory; and adds :
They insisted on every person of genteel appearance pulling off their hats [sic]. Six officers passing along were ordered to pay the same compliment to the mobility, and, refusing to do so, the populace attempted to force their hats off. The officers drew their swords, and it is said that some persons were wounded.
This reads like a scene in a pantomime, or like some of those little Austrian or Prussian affairs we used to hear of, in which the supreme contempt of the military for civilians and the civil law was so conspicuous. Imagine half-a-dozen officers of the guard showing fight with their falchions to roughs now-a-days! Public opinion in those times of forbidden utterance through the press, generally found means to express itself in these rough and terrible scenes; and they were blunt of speech also in the most “genteel places.” For instance, there appeared to have been an unusual amount of cat-calling and abuse of the musicians at Drury Lane that night, because having been wearied with playing “Rule Britannia” and “God save the King,” they would not listen to a boisterous cry on the part of some individual for “ Britons, strike home,” a demand which was silenced by some one singing out in the gallery, " Why, damn it, they have, haven't they ?” The recording of such little episodes as these is strikingly illustrative of the strong stomachs which our ancestors had for forcible language. The reader cannot get