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But the placing of the cap-sheaf to all this blundering business was reserved for the scientific Frederick Cuvier, brother to the famous Baron. In 1836, he published a Natural History of Whales, in which he gives what he calls a picture of the Sperm Whale.

Before showing that picture to any Nantucketer, you had best provide for your summary retreat from Nantucket. In a word, Frederick Cuvier’s Sperm Whale is not a Sperm Whale, but a squash. Of course, he never had the benefit of a whaling voyage (such men seldom have), but whence he derived that picture, who can tell? Perhaps he got it as his scientific predecessor in the same field, Desmarest, got one of his authentic abortions; that is, from a Chinese drawing. And what sort of lively lads with the pencil those Chinese are, many queer cups and saucers inform us.

Steak and Mushroom Pie

In history, the very first pies, called “caskets” or “coffyns” meaning a basket or a box were mouthwatering meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and covers. Open-crust pastry ¬†were called “traps.” These pies held various meats and sauce parts and were baked more like a contemporary casserole without […]