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Crotchet Castle

"Perhaps," said Lady Clarinda, "I saw your design, and wished to put your
generalship to the test. But do not contradict anything I have said about you, and
see if the learned will find you out."
"There is fine music, as Rabelais observes, in the cliquetis d'asssiettes, a
refreshing shade in the ombre de salle a manger, and an elegant fragrance in the
fumee de roti," said a voice at the Captain's elbow. The Captain turning round,
recognised his clerical friend of the morning, who knew him again immediately,
and said he was extremely glad to meet him there; more especially as Lady
Clarinda had assured him that he was an enthusiastic lover of Greek poetry.
"Lady Clarinda," said the Captain, "is a very pleasant young lady."
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. So she is, sir: and I understand she has all the wit of the
family to herself, whatever that totum may be. But a glass of wine after soup is,
as the French say, the verre de sante. The current of opinion sets in favour of
Hock: but I am for Madeira; I do not fancy Hock till I have laid a substratum of
Madeira. Will you join me?
CAPTAIN FITZCHROME. With pleasure.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Here is a very fine salmon before me: and May is the very
point nomme to have salmon in perfection. There is a fine turbot close by, and
there is much to be said in his behalf: but salmon in May is the king of fish.
MR. CROTCHET. That salmon before you, doctor, was caught in the Thames,
this morning.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. [Greek text]. Rarity of rarities! A Thames salmon caught
this morning. Now, Mr. Mac Quedy, even in fish your Modern Athens must yield.
Cedite Graii.
MR. MAC QUEDY. Eh! sir, on its own around, your Thames salmon has two
virtues over all others; first, that it is fresh; and, second, that it is rare; for I
understand you do not take half a dozen in a year.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. In some years, sir, not one. Mud, filth, gas-dregs, lock-
weirs, and the march of mind, developed in the form of poaching, have ruined the
fishery. But, when we do catch a salmon, happy the man to whom he falls.
MR. MAC QUEDY. I confess, sir, this is excellent: but I cannot see why it should
be better than a Tweed salmon at Kelso.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Sir, I will take a glass of Hock with you.
MR. MAC QUEDY. With all my heart, sir. There are several varieties of the
salmon genus: but the common salmon, the salmo salar, is only one species,
one and the same everywhere, just like the human mind. Locality and education
make all the difference.
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