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The late Sir Jonas Clutterbuck had, in addition to a host of other virtues, a very good appetite and an excellent digestion; to those endowments I was indebted (though some years the junior of my revered husband) for many hours of connubial hapiness.
Sir Jonas was not a 'gourmand', although a man of great gastronomical experiance. Richmond never saw him more than once a month, and he was as rare a visitor to Blackwall and Greenwich. Of course he attended most of the corperation dinners as a matter of duty (having been elected alderman in 1839), and now and then partook of a turtle feast at some celebrated place in the city; but these were only exceptions, his general practice being to dine at home; and I am consoled in believing that my attention to the the requirements of his appetite secured me the possession of his esteem until the last. My experiances in the confidences of many of my female friends tell me, alas! that others are not so domestic relations as I was. That their daily life is embittered or misapplied; a surplusage of cold mutton or a redundency of chops; are gradually making the Club more attractive than the Home, and rendering "business in the city" of more frequent occurance that it used to be in the earlier days of their connubial experiance; while the ever-recurring inquiry of WHAT SHALL WE HAVE FOR DINNER? makes that matutinal a time of dread, only exceeded in its terrors by the more awful hour of dinner!
It is to recue many fair friends from such domestic suffering, that I have consented to give to the world THE BILLS OF FARE which met with the approval of Sir Jonas Clutterbuck, believing that by a constant referance to that most difficult of questions, - "WHAT SHALL WE HAVE FOR DINNER?" M. C.