Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More on travel

I came across this which I hadn't posted. It's from Felix LeClerc again about his voyage from France to America in 1816. The service received looks pretty good, even to modern eyes!

"I profit by this opportunity to speak of our steward and cook; and when I shall have spoken of the first, I shall speak of the second. Our steward is named Joseph Sexton. He is a young man, very intelligent, diligent, laborious, dexterous, civil, complaisant, obliging and all that we could wish. When we are up in the morning, he presents to us some water to wash our faces and our hands. When we are yet in bed and sleepy, he never forgets to awake us and to tell us that breakfast is soon to be ready. At breakfast he takes care that we want nothing. At dinner he is very watchful and changes our plates, knives and forks in proportion to the number of courses served, and at supper he is not less provident. Besides all that he makes our beds well every day and sweeps our rooms and cabin as neatly as possible.

Our cook is also a young man but taller and stronger. He is a negro man and a very skillful cook. In the morning he makes us good coffee and serves us with fresh eggs or an omelet. At noon he prepares for us a well-seasoned thigh or side of a hog, an excellent dish of rice pudding, another of choice victuals, another of fine beans, another of exquisite fish, another of rare cabbages, another of choice potatoes. He dresses and roasts every day two admirable ducks or hens or cocks. In the evening he prepares good tea. Indeed, our cook is an excellent man, and I do not doubt that if any lord knew him, his lordship would entice him away."

Of course I was reading LeClerc as research for my novel The Rogue's Return, which was out in March.

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