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or eight P.M. In 1839, a large part That fact speaks for itself :-—Breakof London is still doing the very same
fast and luncheon never could have thing, taking one meal at two, and been confounded; but who would be another at seven or ‘eight. But the at the pains of distinguishing two names are entirely changed: the two shadows ? In a gambling-house of o'clock meal used to be called dinner, that class where you are at liberty to and is now called luncheon ; the eight sit down to a splendid banqueto'clock meal used to be called supper, anxiety probably prevents your sitting and is now called dinner.
down at all; but, if you do, the same Now the question is easily solved : cause prevents your noticing what you because, upon reviewing the idea of eat. So of the two
seudo meals of dinner, we soon perceive that time has Rome, they came in the very midst of little or no connexion with it: since the Roman business ; viz from nine both in England and France, dinner A. M. to two P. M. Nobody could has travelled, like the hand of a clock, give his mind to them, had they been through every hour between ten a. M. of better quality. There lay one cause and ten P. M. We have a list, well at of their vagueness, viz.—in their potested, of every successive hour between sition. Another cause was—the comthese limits having been the known esta- mon basis of both.
Bread was so blished hour for the royal dinner-table notoriously the predominating "fea. within the last 350 years. Time, there. ture” in each of these prelusive banfore, vanishes from the equation : it is quets, that all foreigners at Rome, who a quantity as regularly exterminated communicated with Romans through as in any algebraic problem. The true the Greek language, knew both the one elements of the idea, are evidently and the other by the name of á Toritos, these:-1. That dinner is that meal, or the bread repast. Originally this no matter when taken, which is the name had been restricted to the earlier principal meal; i. e. the meal on which meal. But a distinction without a difthe day's support is thrown. 2. That ference could not sustain itself: and it is the meal of hospitality. 3. That both alike disguised their emptiness it is the meal (with reference to both under this pompous quadrisyllable. Nos. 1. and 2.) in which animal food in the identity of substance, therefore, predominates. 4. That it is that meal lay a second ground of confusion. which, npon necessity sing for the And then, thirdly, even as to the time, abolition of all but one, would natu- which had ever been the sole real dis. rally offer itself as that one. Apply tinction, there arose from accident these four tests to prandium :-How a tendency to converge. For it liapcould that meal answer to the first pened that while some had jentaculum test, as the day's support, which few but no prandium, others had prandium people touched ? How could that but no jentaculum; a third party meal answer to the second test, as the had both: a fourth party, by much meal of hospitality, at which no body the largest, had neither. Out of sate down? How could that meal which varieties (who would think that answer to the third test, as the meal a nonentity could cut up into so many of animal food, which consisted ex. somethings ?) arose a fifth party, of clusively and notoriously of bread ? compromisers, who, because they Or to the fourth test, of the meal en- could not afford a regular cæna, and title: to survive the abolition of the rest, yet were hospitably disposed, fused which was itself abolished at all times the two ideas into one; and so, bein practice ?
cause the usual time for the idea of Tried, therefore, by every test, a breakfast was nine to ten, and for prandium vanishes. But we have some- the idea of a luncheon twelve to thing further to communicate about one, compromised the rival pretenthis same prandium.
sions by what diplomatists call a I. It came to pass, by a very natu- mezzo termine ; bisecting the time at ral association of feeling, that pran- eleven, and melting the two ideas into dium and jentaculum, in the latter cen
But by thus merging the se. turies of Rome, were generally con- parate times of each, they abolished founded. This result was inevitable. the sole real difference that had ever Both professed the same basis. Both divided them. Losing that, they lost came in the morning.
all. fictions. Hence they were confounded. Perhaps, as two negatives make one
affirmative, it may be thought that We presume that no rational man two layers of moonshine might co- will henceforth look for “ dinner"alesce into one pancake; and two that great idea according to Dr JohnBarmecide banquets might compose son—that sacred idea according to one poached egg.
Of that the com- Cicero-in a bag of moonshine on one pany were the best judges. But pro- side, or a bag of pollution on the bably, as a rump and dozen, in our other. Prandium, so far from being land of wagers, is construed with a very what our foolish dictionaries pretend liberal latitude as to the materials, so -dinner itself—never in its palmiest Martial'sinvitation,“ to take bread with days was more or other than a miserhim at eleven,” might be understood able attempt at being luncheon. It by the ouvilou as significant of some- was a conatus, what physiologists call thing better than αρτοσιτος.
Other- a nisus, a struggle in a very ambitious wise, in good truth, "moonshine and spark, or scintilla, to kindle into a fire. turn-out" at eleven A. M., would be This nisus went on for some centuries; even worse than “tea and turn-out" but finally issued in smoke.
If prana at eight P. M., which the “fervida ju- dium had worked out bis ambition, had ventus" of young England so loudly " the great stream of tendency" acdetests. But however that might be, complished all his wishes, prandium in this convergement of the several never could have been more than a frontiers, and the confusion that en- very indifferent luncheon. But now, sued, one cannot wonder that, whilst II. We have to offer another fact, the two bladders collapsed into one
ruinous to our dictionaries on another idea, they actually expanded into four ground. Various circumstances have names, two Latin and two Greek, disguised the truth, but a truth it is, gustus and gustatio, γευσις, and γευσμα that “prandiun" in its very origin and which all alike express the merely incunabula, never was a meal known tentative or exploratory act of a to the Roman culina. In that court prægustator or professional "taster”. it was never recognised except as an in a king's household: what, if ap- alien. It had no original domicile in plied to a fluid, we should denominate the city Rome. It was a vox cas. sipping.
trensis, a word and an idea purely At last, by so many steps all in one martial, and pointing to martial necesdirection, things had come to such a sities. Amongst the new ideas propass--the two prelusive meals of the claimed to the recruit, this was one Roman morning, each for itself sepa- “look for no 'cona, no regular din. rately vague from the beginning, had so ner, with us. Resign these unwarlike communicated and interfused their notions. It is true that even war has several and joint vaguenesses, that at its respites ; in these it would be poslast no man knew or cared to know sible to have our Roman cæna with all what any other man included in his its equipage of ministrations. Such idea of either; how much or how luxury untunes the mind for doing little. And you might as well have and suffering. Let us voluntarily rehunted in the woods of Ethiopia for nounce it ; that, when a necessity of Prester John, or fixed the parish of the renouncing it arrives, we may not everlasting Jew, * as have attempted feel it, among the hardships of war. to say what "jentaculum” might be, From the day when you enter the or what “prandium.” Only one thing gates of the camp, reconcile yourself,
clear - what they were not. tyro, to a new fashion of meal, to what Neither was or wished to be any thing in camp dialect we call prandium.” that people cared for. They were This “prandium,” this essentially miliboth empty shadows; but shadows as tary meal, was taken standing, by way they were, we find frorn Cicero that of symbolizing the necessity of being they had a power of polluting and always ready for the enemy. Hence profaning better things than them. the posture in which it was taken at selves.
Rome, the very counter-pole to the
* " The everlasting Jew;">the German name for what we English call the Wandering Jew. The German imagination has been most struck with the duration of the man's life, and his unhappy sanctity from death, the English by the unrestingness of the man's lifehis incapacity of repose.
luxurious posture of dinner. A writer by way of interposing some refresh. of the third century, a period from ment between the stages of forensic which the Romans naturally looked business, would adopt this hurried and back upon every thing connected with informal meal. Many would wish to their own early habits, and with the see their sons adopting such a meal as same kind of interest as we extend to a training for foreign service in parour Alfred, (separated from us as ticular, and for temperance in general. Romulus from them by just a thousand It would also be maintained by a years,) in speaking of prandium, says, solemn and very interesting comme* Quod dictum est parandium, ab eo moration of this camp repast in Rome. quod milites ad bellum paret. Isido. This commemoration, because it has rus again says, “ Proprie apud veteres been grossly misunderstood by Salprandium vocatum fuisse omnem masius, (whose error arose from not militum cibum ante pugnam;" i. e. marking the true point of a particular “that, properly speaking, amongst our antithesis,) and still more, because it ancestors every military meal taken is a distinct confirmation of all we before battle was termed prandium." have said as to the military nature of According to Isidore, the proposition prandium, we shall detach from the is reciprocating, viz. that, as every series of our illustrations, by placing it prandium was a military meal, so in a separate paragraph. every military meal was called pran. On a set day the officers of the army dium. But, in fact, the reason of that were invited by Cæsar to a banquet ; is apparent. Whether in the camp or it was a circumstance expressly nothe city, the early Romans had pro. ticed in the invitation, by the proper bably but one meal in a day. That officers of the palace, that the banis true of many a man amongst our. quet was not a “cæna," but a “pranselves by choice; it is true also, to our dium." What followed, in conseknowledge, of some horse regiments quence? Why, that all the guests in our service, and may be of all. sate down in full military accoutreThis meal was called cena, or dinner ment; whereas, observes the historian, in the city-prandium in camps. In had it been a cona, the officers would the city it would always be tending to have unbelted their swords ; for, he one fixed hour. In the camp innumer- adds, even in Cæsar's presence the able accidents of war would make it officers lay aside their swords. The very uncertain. On this account it word prandium, in short, converted would be an established rule to cele- the palace into the imperial tent: and brate the daily meal at noon, if nothing Cæsar was no longer a civil emperor hindered ; not that a later hour would and princeps senātûs, but became a not have been preferred had the choice commander in-chief amongst a council been free; but it was better to have a of his staff, all belted and plumed, and certainty at a bad hour, than by waits in full military fig. ing for a better hour to make it an On this principle we come to underuncertainty. For it was a camp pro stand why it is-that, whenever the verb— Pransus, paratus ; armed with Latin poets speak of an army as his daily meal, the soldier is ready for taking food, the word used is always service. It was not, however, that prandens and pransus ; and, when the all meals, as Isidore imagined, were word used is prandens, then always indiscriminately called prandium ; but it is an army that is concerned. Thus that the one sole meal of the day, by Juvenal in a well-known satireaccidents of war, might, and did, re
“ Credimus altos volve through all hours of the day.
Desiccasse amnes, epotaque flumina, Medo The first introduction of this mili
Prandente.” tary meal into Rome itself, would be through the honourable pedantry of Not conante, observe : you might as old centurions &c., delighting (like. well talk of an army taking tea and the Trunnions, &c., of our navy) to toast : · Nor is that word ever applied keep up in peaceful life some image to armies. It is true that the converse or memorial of their past experience, is not so rigorously observed: nor so wild, so full of peril, excitement, ought it, from the explanations already and romance, as Roman warfare must given. Though no soldier dined, have been in those ages. Many non- (cænabat,) yet the citizen sometimes military people for health's sake, many adopted the camp usage and took a as an excuse for eating early, many prandium. But generally the poets
use the word merely to mark the time tional mourning would probably have of day. In that most humorous ap- been celebrated, and the “ sad augurs” peal of Persius—" Cur quis non pran
would have been called in to expiate deat, hoc est ?” • Is this a sufficient the prodigy, had the general dinner reason for losing one's prandium ?” lingered beyond four. He was obliged to say prandium, But, meantime, what has our friend because no exhibitions ever could been about since perhaps six or seven cause a man to lose his cæna, since in the morning? After paying his none were displayed at a time of day little homage to his patronus, in what when any body in Rome would have way has he fought with the great attended. Just as, in alluding to a enemy Time since then ? Why, reader, Parliamentary speech notoriously de- this illustrates one of the most interlivered at midnight, an English sa- esting features in the Roman charactirist must have said, is this a speech ter. The Roman was the idlest of to furnish an argument for leaving - Man and boy," he was “ an one's bed?-not as what stood foremost idler in the land.” He called himself in his regard, but as the only thing and his pals rerum dominos, genthat could be lost at the time of night. temque togatam ;” the gentry that
On this principle, also, viz. by wore the toga. Yes, and a pretty afgoing back to the military origin of fair that “ toga" was.
Just figure to prandium, we gain the interpretation yourself, reader, the picture of a hardof all the peculiarities attached to it: working man, with horny hands like viz.--1, its early hour_2, its being our hedgers, ditchers, weavers, portaken in a standing posture-3, in the ters, &c., setting to work on the open air—4, the humble quality of its high-road in that vast sweeping toga, materials_bread and biscuit, (the filling with a strong gale like the mainmain articles of military fare.) In all sail of a frigate. Conceive the roars these circumstances of the meal, we with which this magnificent figure read, most legibly written, the exotic would be received into the bosom of a and military character of the meal. poor-house detachment sent out to at
tack the stones on some new line of Thus we have brought down our road, or a fatigue party of dustmen Roman friend to noonday, or even sent upon secret service. Had there one hour later than noon, and to this been nothing left as a memorial of the moment the poor man has had nothing Romans but that one relic—their imto eat. For, supposing him to be not measurable toga,*- -we should have impransus, and supposing him jentâsse known that they were born and bred beside; yet it is evident, (we hope,) to idleness. In fact, except in war that neither one nor the other means the Roman never did any thing at all more than what it was often called, but sun himself. Ut se apricaret was viz. Bernouos, or, in plain English, the final cause of peace in his opinion; a mouthful. How long do we intend in literal truth, that he might make to keep him waiting? Reader, he will an apricot of himself., The public radine at three, or (supposing dinner put tions at all times supported the poorest off to the latest) at four. Dinner inhabitant of Rome if he were a citizen. was never known to be later than the Hence it was that Hadrian was so tenth hour in Rome, which in summer astonished with the spectacle of Alexwould be past five; but for a far andria, “ civitas opulenta, fæcunda, in greater proportion of days would be quâ nemo vivat otiosus." Here first he near four in Rome, except for one or saw the spectacle of a vast city, sea two of the Emperors, whom the mere cond only to Rome, where every man business attached to their unhappy had something to do; “ podagrosi station kept sometimes dinnerless till quod agant habent; habent coci quod six. And so entirely was a Roman faciant; ne chiragrici” (those with gout the creature of ceremony, that a na- in the fingers) apud eos otiosi vivunt."
** Immeasurable toga.” It is very true that in the time of Augustus the toga had disappeared amongst the lowest plebs, and greatly Augustus was shocked at that spectacle. It is a very curious fact in itself, especially as expounding the main cause of the civil wars. Mere poverty, and the absence of bribery from Rome, whilst all popular competition for offices drooped, can alone explain this remarkable revolution of dress.
No poor. rates levied upon the rest of ters of the world, who rained Arabian the world for the benefit of their own odours and perfumed waters of the paupers were there distributed gratis. most costly description from a thouThe prodigious spectacle (so it seem- sand fountains, simply to cool the ed to Hadrian) was exhibited in Al- summer heats, would have regarded exandria, of all men earning their the expense of light; cedar and other bread in the sweat of their brow. In odorous woods burning upon vast alRome only, (and at one time in some tars, together with every variety of of the Grecian states,) it was the very fragrant torch, would have created meaning of citizen that he could vote light enough to shed a new day over and be idle.
the distant Adriatic. In these circumstances, where the However, as there are no public whole sum of life's duties amounted to spectacles, we will suppose, and the voting, all the business a man could courts or political meetings, (if not have was to attend the public assem- closed altogether by superstition) blies, electioneering, or factious. would at any rate be closed in the orThese, and any judicial trial (public dinary course by twelve or private) that might happen to in- o'clock, nothing remains for him to do, terest him for the persons concerned, before returning home, except perhaps or for the questions, amused him to attend the
palæstra, or some public through the morning ; that is, from recitation of a poem written by a eight till one. He might also extract friend, but in any case to attend the some diversion from the columne, or public baths. For these the time pillars of certain porticoes to which varied; and many people have thought they pasted advertisements. These it tyrannical in some of the Cæsars affiches must have been numerous ; that they imposed restraints on the for all the girls in Rome who lost time open for the baths; some, for a trinket, or a pet bird, or a lap- instance, would not suffer them to dog, took this mode of angling in open at all before two, and in any case, the great ocean of the public for the if you were later than four or five in missing articles.
summer, you would have to pay a fine But all this time we take for granted which most effectually cleaned out the that there were no shows in a course baths of all raff, since it was a sum of exhibition, either the dreadful ones that John Quires could not have proof the amphitheatre, or the bloodless duced to save his life. But it should ones of the circus. If there were, be considered that the Emperor was then that became the business of all the steward of the public resources for Rumans; and it was a business which maintaining the baths in fuel, oil, atwould have occupied him from day tendance, repairs. We are prepared light until the light began to fail. to show on a fitting occasion, that Here we see another effect from the every fourth person * amongst the ciscarcity of artificial light amongst the tizens bathed daily, and non-citizens, ancients. These magnificent shows of course, paid an extra sum. Now went on by daylight. But how in the population of Rome was far comparably greater would have been larger than has ever been hinted at the splendour by lamp-light! What a except by Lipsius. But certain it is, gigantic conception ! Eighty thousand that during the long peace of the human faces all revealed under one first Cæsars, and after the annonaria blaze of lamp-light! Lord Bacon saw provisio, (that great pledge of poputhe mighty advantage of candle light larity to a Roman prince,) had been for the pomps and glories of this world. increased by the corn tribute from But the poverty of the earth was the the Nile, the Roman population took ultimate cause that the Pagan shows an immense lurch ahead. The subproceeded by day. Not that the mas- sequent increase of baths, whilst no
* That boys in the Prætexta did not bathe in the public baths, is certain ; and most un. questionably that is the meaning of the expression in Juvenal so much disputed—“ Nisi qui nondum ære lavantur.” By æs he means the ahenum, a common name for the public bath, which was made of copper ; in our navy, “ the coppers” is a name for the boilers. “ Nobody believes in such tales except children,” is the meaning. This one exclusion cut off three-eighths of the Roman males,