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IT is an aphorism of Brillat Savarin, the intelligent writer
on the pleasures of the palate, that in inviting a person to
your house, his comfort and happiness are in your hands so long as he remains under your roof. No Englishman, unless he is undeserving of the hospitable character our nation possesses, will hesitate to indorse the Frenchman's precept, and carry out with all earnestness the duties of a generous host. The admission made, that we ought to care for the well-being of our equals who are with us as visitors only, and for a short space of time, it will easily be allowed that to the humbler creatures who are to pass their lives with us, we are bound to be so much the more attentive, kind, and indulgent. For no one, upon whose cranium the bump of benevolence asserts itself ever so modestly, will deny that we should be at least as watchful to supply the wants of the little chirping chicken, or the blind kitten, as to see that our human guest has his hot water and slippers at the proper moment.
Believing that an acquaintance with the characters of those you entertain is necessary to your fulfilling, with the happiest effect, your devoir as host or keeper, we have, in this volume, not contented ourselves with writing bare instructions as to the practical treatment of the moulting hen or distempered