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A former French minister to the United States, is reported to have said that Washington, with one exception, has more essentials for a good dinner than any other place in the world, and that exception is the absence of good cooks. This Gallic remark, the truth of which all familiar with the National Capitol will admit, applies not only to gastronomy but to other things as well; for with all its fine collections, libraries, museums, and the like, there is in Washington a lamentable absence of some one to give concise, crystallized information, and the stranger in search of the same will find no one to give it, unless it be a few ignorant guides with purely mercenary motives. To be sure the functionaries of the various departments are, as a rule, civil and obliging; but it is most discouraging to be turned over to a small boy, as the
THE MATERIA MEDICA COLLECTION OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(10):467–468. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440100035004
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