Zuppa alla Modanese. Modenese soup.
Merluzzo in salamoia. Cod with sauce piquante.
Pollastro in istufa di pomidoro. Stewed chicken with tomatoes.
Porcelletto farcito alla Corradino. Stuffed suckling pig.
Insalata alla Navarino. Navarino salad.
Bodino di semolino. Semolina pudding.
Frittura di cocozze. Fried cucumber.
The Fifth Day
The following day was very warm, and some half-dozen of the party wandered into the garden after lunch and took their coffee under a big chestnut tree on the lawn. "And this is the 16th of June," said Lady Considine. "Last year, on this very day, I started for Hombourg. I can't say I feel like starting for Hombourg, or any other place, just at present."
"But why should any one of us want to go to Hombourg?" said Sir John. "Nobody can be afraid of gout with the admirable diet we enjoy here."
"I beg you to speak for yourself, Sir John," said Lady Considine. "I have never yet gone to Hombourg on account of gout."
"Of course not, my dear friend, of course not; there are so many reasons for going to Hombourg. There's the early rising, and the band, and the new people one may meet there, and the change of diet--especially the change of diet. But, you see, we have found our change of diet within an hour of London, so why--as I before remarked--should we want to rush off to Hombourg?"
"I am a firm believer in that change of diet," said Mrs. Wilding, "though in the most respectable circles the true-bred Briton still talks about foreign messes, and affirms that anything else than plain British fare ruins the digestion. I must say my own digestion is none the worse for the holiday I am having from the preparations of my own 'treasure.' I think we all look remarkably well; and we don't quarrel or snap at each other, and it would be hard to find a better proof of wholesome diet than that."
"But I fancied Mrs. Gradinger looked a little out of sorts this morning, and I'm sure she was more than a little out of temper when I asked her how soon we were to taste her dish of toadstools," said Miss Macdonnell.
"I expect she had been making a trial of the British fungi in her bedroom," said Van der Roet; "and then, you see, our conversation isn't quite 'high toned' enough for her taste. We aren't sufficiently awake to the claims of the masses. Can any one explain to me why the people who are so full of mercy for the mass, are so merciless to the unit?"
"That is her system of proselytising," said the Colonel, "and if she is content with outward conversion, it isn't a bad one. I often feel inclined to agree to any proposition she likes to put forward, and I would, if I could stop her talking by my submission."
"You wouldn't do that, Colonel, even in your suavest mood," said Van der Roet; "but I hope somebody will succeed in checking her flow of discourse before long. I'm getting worn to a shadow by the grind of that awful voice."
"I thought your clothes were getting a bit loose," said the Colonel, "but I put that phenomenon down to another reason. In spite of Mrs. Wilding's praise of our present style of cooking, I don't believe our friend Vander finds it substantial enough to sustain his manly bulk, and I'll tell you the grounds of my belief. A few mornings ago, when I was shaving, I saw the butcher bring into the house a splendid sirloin, and as no sirloin has appeared at table, I venture to infer that this joint was a private affair of Vander's, and that he, as well as Mrs. Gradinger, has been going in for bedroom cookery. Here comes the Marchesa; we'll ask her to solve the mystery."
"I can account for the missing sirloin," said the Marchesa. "The Colonel is wrong for once. It went duly into the kitchen, and not to Mr. Van der Roet's bedroom; but I must begin with a slight explanation, or rather apology. Next to trial by jury, and the reverence paid to rank, and the horror of all things which, as poor Corney Grain used to say, 'are not nice,' I reckon the Sunday sirloin, cooked and served, one and indivisible as the typical fetish of the great English middle class.