Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/593

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interest, and a fine lot of hopes, but he hasn't got any butterfly. There is here and there an American who will say he can remember rising from a European table d'hôte perfectly satisfied; but we must not overlook the fact that there is also here and there an American who will lie.

The number of dishes is sufficient; but then it is such a monotonous variety of unstriking dishes. It is an inane dead level of "fair-to-middling," There is nothing to accent it. Perhaps if the roast of mutton or of beef,—a big generous one,—were brought on the table and carved in full view of the client, that might give the right sense of earnestness and reality to the thing; but they don't do that, they pass the sliced meat around on a dish, and so you are perfectly calm, it does not stir you in the least.

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Now a vast roast turkey, stretched on the broad of his back, with his heels in the air and the rich juices oozing from his fat sides.…….but I may as well stop there, for they would not know how to cook him. They can't even cook a chicken respectably; and as for carving it, they do that with a hatchet.

This is about the customary table d'hôte bill in summer:

Soup, (characterless.)

Fish—sole, salmon, or whiting—usually tolerably good.

Roast—mutton or beef—tasteless—and some last year's potatoes.

A pâte, or some other made-dish—usually good—"considering."