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In approaching the important and and green predominate, and the fin or difficult topic of the respective merits beard of the fish is of an olive green of the various species of Irish oyster, colour. The flavour is most delicious, the crustaceous enquirer is continually but more Atlantic than that of the reminded that “the action of fancy Carlingford, which, to some amateurs, and taste seems to be affected by is perfection itself. causes too various and minute to be Malahide is peculiarly favoured in its enumerated with sufficient complete. contiguity to the metropolis, two hours ness for the purposes of philosophi- being sufficient to bring the fish from cal theory. Geometry is the same its native bed to market. Their condi. not only at Athens and London, but tion is such as never to disappoint the in the extremes of Nubia and Samar- expectation of the connoisseur, which cand *"-oysters, on the contrary, are sometimes happens with the provincial dissimilar, not only at Carlingford and oyster-indeed, that of Malahide is Lissadell, but at Clontarf and Mala- usually sold too fresh, and is in perhide ; nor can oyster-eaters be re- fection on the second or third day duced to fixed principles of action- after its removal. Its sole defect is Crito likes a mild oyster, mild as old being somewhat oversized; this, how. Chesliire— Aristolarchus delights in a ever, can be remedied by a careful briny bivalve — Nokes decides in selection; as to flavour more cannot favour of a luscious Lissadell—the be said in its behalf than that it has favourite of Stiles, on the contrary, been mistaken for a Carlingford ; must contain, at the very least, a table- more could not be said for the oyster spoonful of the Atlantic ocean ; I of Baiæ, or the Lucrine lake. shall not attempt the impossibility of Lissadell or Sligo stands at the head assigning laws to the caprices of the of the luscious division-large, white, palates, but proceed to state succinctly and fat, of a richness of flavour almost the physical characteristics of each to excess—no oyster suffers more by species, and as far as an extensive carriage than this, and none can afford course of eating has informed me, the to suffer less. To eat it in perfection, claims of our several descriptions of the tourist must visit Sligo-whither oyster to precedence. The natural I am accustomed to repair for the exorder, as it appears to me, of treating press purpose once a-year. this subject is, a division into two I need not say that there are few great genera or classes, the fat or places round the coast destitute of the luscious oyster, and the briny or ma- rock oyster, whose qualities deserve no rine. It is in the due admixture of particular mention. these antagonising flavours that the As I have no wish to take the bread true perfection of the fish, in my out of the mouths of the recently aphumble opinion, mainly consists. pointed Oyster-bed Commissioners, I
The Carlingford oyster wants no. forbear to go into the particulars of thing that it should have, and has the crab and lobster trade, or to give nothing that it should want-round in five minutes as much information, and rough as a walnut, it opens white, and more than they will be enabled to fat, and juicy-neither too large nor collect in two years' time, at a cost to too small, and blending with extreme the country of several thousand delicacy the racy sharpness of the sea pounds. with the milder flavour of the fish–I The supply of lobsters to the me. demand justice for Carlingford. tropolis is scanty and precarious—the
Appearances are greatly against the price high, and the quality indiffeoyster of Burren, but for all that, it is rent - arising altogether from the vastly better than it looks. The eal. want of a proper apparatus for capturcareous tegument is of a copperas tint, ing the fish, which swarm along the how imbibed I really know not; a whole western coast-as well as from sulphureous smell is emitted on the there being no steady market, or exopening of the oyster, which, if the tended consumption of lobsters in Ireshell be pierced with the knife, is re- land. In the remoter parts of the markably pungent; the pearl is tinted country they are ludicrously cheapof various hues, among which, pink in Dublin exorbitantly dear.
* See an elaborate review of the poetry of Rogers, by Sir James Mackintosh.
Crabs are sweet, but of small size, the dissolution of the concern at the never approaching the circumference year's end, when the patriotic subscri. of a Plymouth or a Cromer—and to ber, minus his one-pound note, retired conclude our summary, cray-fish are once again into the bosom of his famiabundant, and periwinkles unknown ly. What becomes of the one-pound as an article of commerce.
notes so accumulated, none of the vic. But, alas! we are neglected, insulted, tims ever venture to enquire, the imand contemned. My blood boils when pression being general, that such enI think of the contumely heaped upon quiry would certainly lead to exposure, our lovely Lissadells— our “green but by no means as certainly to restifins” are devoured with thanklessness, tution. The Poldoody Association, as and their very shells ground into its name sufficiently imports, is a last powder to fertilize the fields of the final-only one more, once more, Saxon and the stranger-our griev. and no more after that—an ultimate ances are not the less grievous, be- experiment for the current year; after cause nobody knows wherein they which a new association, with a new consist—the condition of our oysters subscription, being also a last experiis not less pitiable, in that they main- ment, will be organized for the year tain a dignified silence on the exciting 1840, or, as the late celebrated Mr topic of their wrongs. Apropos to in- Richardson, the puppet-showman, was sults, let me rouse the patriotic indig- accustomed to express himself on simination of every lover of his country lar occasions, “the performances just by a case exactly in point.
over will immediately begin, and so Eating oysters in the Liverpool mar. keep perpetually beginning over and ket one fine morning-not confining over again, ladies and gentlemen, to myself to any fish in particular—mere the end of the fair." Justice to Iredesultory eating-ny attention was land is the ignis fatuus they pursueattracted to a tub promising extraor- nobody knows what it is, or where to dinary excellence. Approaching the have it—and as for catching it, you vender, I pointed to the reservoir, and might as well try tolay hands on Springwith much politeness enquired whence heeled Jack, or the Paddington ghost. they were imported _~ This here in
-So-to use a more becoming illusthat there tub?" replied the merman tration-So, when a four-posted bed. —“them there hoysters is a Malahide, stead is upon the “go," and the hamand no mistake-none of your Irish mer of the officiating George Robins trash!” Shades of departed Pol- vibrates menacingly in the air, the tidoodies, I exclaimed, is it come to morous bidder is eloquently reminded this! Was it for this-0 Ireland, O that he is all done at fifteen and sixmy country!-I could have ostracised pence—no more at fifteen and six. the muffin- headed oyster-monger ; wil. pence_last time at fifteen and sixlingly would I have scraped him to the eagle's eye of the bargain-hunter death with an oystershell.
dilates with anticipated possessionThe awakened recollection of our when lo!-instead of the emphatic wrongs instantaneously directs the “gone!" confirmed by the more emmind to methods of redress, and the phatic hammer's knock, the tantalising impartial historian is led, as naturally auctioneer turns to his attendant funcas pigs squeak, to a recital of the tionary with the freezing ejaculation, origin, means, and ends of the Pol- “Jemmy, pass the lot." doody association.
The subscription to the Association This illustrious body is the fifty. of the current year has been reduced sixth association of the kind within as to a quarter of a hundred of oysters, many years, its predecessors being or one shilling sterling, instead of a thrown off in their turn, as regularly one-pound note, on the principle of as my Lord Mayor's gown, or last small profits and quick return-not year's almanack. The subscription without a hope that the poverty and has been hitherto only a one-pound ignorance of the subscribers may prenote, for which the subscriber was en- clude too narrow a scrutiny of the titled to cry “hear, hear!" three several financial department, so that the batimes within the twelvemonth - that lance in hand may uninterruptedly is to say, once at the formation of the find its way where previous balances society, once at a meeting in Febru- have found their way beforc. Two ary, and the third and last time upon hundred oyster-eaters form a deputation to eat their way into the heart of astically, o now, gentlemen, if you Great Britain in the ensuing spring, please, hallo for Dan!" When the giving a taste of their quality in the cheering had subsided, the burly perdifferent towns as they go along, for sonage thus distinguished settled the the double purpose of puffing off the wig on his occiput by a couple of great Kerry Oyster, and of denouncing lateral twitches, folded his arms like a to the English people that “ traitor fish-fag preparing for battle, leered Guiness's" draft and bottled stout. upon the potato-faced damsels in the
I am happy in the recollection of gallery, and, in a mellifluous Kerry being present at the preliminary meet- brogue delivered himself exactly as ing of the Poldoody Association, hav, follows:—“ Boys, here I am-(cries ing paid a quarter of a hundred of of there you are sure enough, with oysters for admission. Raised seats • more power to your elbow')-I am of rough deal, amphitheatrically dis- here to establish the Poldoody Assoposed round the large room of the ciation—(cheers)—I do establish itOyster Exchange-a long table, co- (cheers)—it is established. (Longvered with inky yellow baize, that had continued cheering.). Down then, once been green, a few forms, and a every mother's son, with his shilling: high-backed chair, completed the fur- (Cries of make it tenpence!') No, I niture of the apartment.
will not make it tenpence—I will go three potato-faced damsels, in gay the whole hog. (Hurra! and a cry of bonnets and shabby cotton shawls, as go it, Dan !') also a little girl, occupied the gallery, • Hereditary bondsmen, know you not while liberal partisans, in greasy
Who would be free-themselves must'collars and cuffs, with beards of two I believe you know the rest. (A days and shirts of a week's standing, voice, “strike the blow!') You have came dropping in, one by one, and hit it. (Cheers.) I confess I am no took their seats, big with a love of longer a Repealer. (Hurra!) I deoysters cad their country. The room mand three cheers for our mild and was now nearly filled, a general scrap- paternal administration. (Hurra, ing of feet began to testify the im- hurra, hurra—a—a!) Honestly, I patience of the auditory, as well as hope for nothing from the Whigs-I occasional cries of « delay of the am a Repealer in my heart-(hurra!) house!” “ up with the rag!” and join with me, then, heart and voice, “ give us back our money!" This in three hearty groans for the beastly last manifestation promptly called up Whigs. (Agh— AaghA-g--h!) a hard-featured, hungry-looking man, One groan more. (Ba-a-a-h!) the treasurer of the embryo associa- One cheer more. (Hurra-a-a-a!) tion, who declared, with great empha. A groan and a cheer both together. sis, " that it was contrary to all pre- (Bah-hurra–bah-whew !) The cedent to return any money on any Tithe Bill is a greater tyranny than pretence whatever," and concluded by ever was imposed upon Greek slaves moving Counsellor Cockle into the by a Turkish House of Commons. chair. A weary pause ensued—the (A voice, you voted for it.') Never learned chairman employing himself you mind that, nabocklish! (Cheers.) studiously in brushing his hat the The appropriation clause was the wrong way—the treasurer in affecting brains of the bill, and they knocked to mend a pen—the potato-faced dam- the brains out. (The same voice, sels in joining noses under their bon- 'you advised that yourself.') Silence, nets, and the little girl in falling fast sir ; I denounce you as an enemy to asleep. Something or somebody was Ireland. (Awful yells, with cries of evidently wanting-scraping of feet, throw him over, Liffey him,' and whistling, and under-growling recom- hit him on the head.') The north is menced, while several of the liberals against us-(yelling)—the Northern put on their gossamers, with an ex- Star is against us-(groans, and a cry pression of their fears that the meeting of put it out')—Carlingford is against was “no go.” In this anticipation us-(war-whoop.) [Here an oysterthey were happily disappointed—a man, with a strong northern accent, bustle at the door announced the en- got up and said that Carlingford and trause of a person of importance, who the north had something else to do was speedily identified by the hard- than lend themselves to a humbug featured treasurer calling out, enthusi- agitation.) (Tremendous uproar.)
You are too far north for me. (Roars tions do not our awakened rememof laughter.) I'll tell you what, my brances invest this noble animal. An boy, you shall have a plenary indul- oyster, sir, is one of the elements of gence if you'll join us. (Cries of you social existence, a delicacy of no age, need it yourself, and a cheer for sex, or condition, but patent to the dirty Dens.') There are sixteen universal family of man. Your Jew different pairs of grievances inflicted abhors not an oyster, neither does upon Ireland by the brutal English your Mussulman throw it over his left faction, besides an odd one ; firstly, shoulder ;-good in a scallop, better (* Cut it short.') [Here the speaker in a stew, best of all in the shell-good was interrupted by a meagre oyster- in pickle, in curry, in sauce—good at man from the county of Down, who luncheon, before dinner, at suppermodestly suggested that a week should good to entertain a friend, good to eat be allowed them for consideration of by yourself-good when you the Society's prospectus.). (Horrible hungry, good, moreover, when you uproar, with cries of 'traitor,' 'spy,' are not. and 'go to Manchester.') Ay, let
Happy the man who, void of care and him go to Jericho. (* Hear him.') No;
strife, I am against hearing him—he can do
In silken or in leathern purse contains us no good (cries of " pitch into him!'); A splendid shilling-he ne'er hears with he only wants to save his shilling. pain (Laughter.) I say, my old cock of Fresh oysters cried.” the north, down with your lily-white hog. (Roars of laughter.) Oh! you So sung the amiable Phillips, who di. see very well he hasn't got one.' vided his affections between the oyster (Shrieks of laughter, with a cry of and the human race. The poor man “three groans for Scrub.")
eats oysters at a stall—you and I at Not being able to discover wherein our favourite tavern—the peer in his the interests of the country in general, “ salle à manger.” In lodgings, in or of the oyster trade in particular, chambers, in barracks, in the public were to profit by the above faithfully- office, in the editor's room, the stureported Demosthenic display, I ven- dent, lawyer, soldier, secretary, and tured timidly to ejaculate « Question, gentleman of the press recruits his exquestion,” whereupon arose a tempest hausted spirits with an oyster—the of horrific yells, under cover of which emaciated valetudinarian thanks his I received a friendly hint from the kind doctor for permission to taste the ugly treasurer to “mug off," an invi- nutritive and grateful food—the jaded tation he had no occasion to repeat. actress, in an interval of her weary toil, I was speedily clear of the frowsy despatches the prompter's boy with a Pandemonium, and amused myself sixpence, and derives the life and endeavouring to recollect, as I walked energy of her closing act from the realong the street, whether history fur- freshing stimulus of an oyster. nished another example of a jesting Dando himself has declared--but buffoon playing off his antics—not bark, do I not hear the blowing horn before a profligate king, or the minions of O'Ryan? It must be so—a fresh of a profligate court, but openly and express arrived—waiter, my hat and daringly, in the face of an acute and pepper-box-quick, quick-gentle and vigorous-minded nation, on whose oyster. loving reader, I bid youbounty he chooses to depend for his daily bread.
If the urgency of the moment had
admitted, we presume our correspond“ Mais, revenons encore à nos huitres!”
ent meant to add " an affectionate With how many pleasing associa- adieu.”
THE CORN LAWS.
The high price of grain, originat- weapon that exists for moving the pasing in the cold and wet summer which sions of the people. Partly under the has just been concluded, has invested effect of the lateness and scantiness of the subject of the Corn Laws with a the harvest, produced by these extranew and unprecedented interest. Ever ordinary rains, the prices rapidly rose since the great constitutional change during last August and September, of 1832, more than average seasons until they reached the point when, unhad rewarded the labours of the hus- der the existing Corn Law, foreign bandmen, and averted the much dread grain was admitted at a nominal duty ed evils of scarcity or famine. The of one shilling a quarter, in consesummers from 1832 to 1836 were be- quence of which, an immense quantiyond all precedent fine, insomuch, that ty of subsistence, lying in bond in the in the year 1835, the price of grain different harbours of the kingdom, was fell, on an average for the whole year, immediately let loose into the counto thirty-nine shillings and fourpence try, and, together with the fine weaa quarter; considerably lower than it ther in England for the last fortnight had been for two hundred years pre- in September, and in Scotland for the ceding; and although the crop of first fortnight of October, have again 1837 was somewhat under an average, lowered the average price of wheat tothe yet the average price of that year was moderate amount of sixty-two shillings fifty-five shillings and tenpence. To a quarter. The apprehensions recently all practical purposes, therefore, the entertained, therefore, of scarcity and continuance of the Corn Laws has high prices, may be considered as in a been, since the passing of the Reform great degree dispelled, and with them Bill, a matter of no importance what- the pressure which it was expected ever ; the produce of the British is would have been brought to bear next lands during that period having been winter upon the landed interest. But fully equal for the maintenance of its still the question of the Corn Laws has numerous inhabitants, and the prices been every where mooted, and in many so low, that, keeping in view the cer- places made the subject of fierce intain advance that would have taken vective against the Constitutional place in the markets of the Baltic if party ; and it cannot be doubted, that the British ports had been entirely in the next session of Parliament the thrown open, hardly any importation force of the Revolutionists will be in a whatever would have taken place from great degree concentrated on the atthe continental states into this coun- tack of that branch of our institutions. try. And the experience of these Be they right, or be they wrong, it years further demonstrates the gratis must be obvious to every one, that fying fact, that, without the assistance they are of the highest importance, of any foreign nations whatever, the and that all parties are alike interestfarmers of the United Kingdom are ed in their correct and dispassionate able to provide ample food for the investigation; the agriculturists from maintenance of its own inhabitants, their vital interest in the produce of and in such abundance, as to have ren- the soil ; the manufacturers from their dered the average price of grain for no less essential dependence on the disthe five years preceding 1838 about posal of their labour. forty-eight shillings a quarter only, It is obvious, at first sight, that it is being a lower rate than the average of for the interest, politically speaking, any five preceding years since the of the supporters of the Reform Bill, time of Charles I.
that, in this great debate, the manufac. The cold winter of 1837.8, and the turing classes, who now so fiercely extraordinary rains of the summer of raise the cry for a total repeal of the 1838, however, both of which, it is be- Corn Laws, should, for a considerable lieved, were unprecedented in the me- time at least, be unsuccessful. That mory of the oldest man living, have any change in the Corn Laws, parti. materially altered the rate of prices, cularly the Radical one for which they and, in consequence, put the Radicals contend, is a matter of the highest in possession of the most formidable importance, no one can doubt; and of