Jacqueline Pollard wrote:

Richard wrote:
> > Jacque and Peter
> > I always thought he was referring to the Harvard College Houses on Campus.
> > Harvard ain't meager.
> > I think you have to want to look for meager circumstances to find them.

> Although I agree that the rest  of  "Preludes'" settings are rather seedy, I
> certainly haven't thought of the first one as being so.  All of  "Preludes"
> seem (to me) generically urban, but I always think of the speaker composing
> as he wanders the Beacon Hill area--what he did after his tea-time soirees.

I dont' know whether the following helps or not.

1. a. A thick slice or strip of meat cut for roasting by grilling or
frying, sometimes used in a pie or pudding; esp. a piece cut from the
hind quarters of the animal; when used without qualification =
BEEF-STEAK; also with qualifying word indicating the part from which it
is cut, as rump, sirloin steak, or specifying how it should be cooked,
as stewing steak (meat from a less tender cut: see STEWING vbl. n. b).

14.. King & Hermit 373 in Hazlitt E.P.P. (1864) I. 27 Fyll this eft, and
late us lyke, And between rost us a styke. c1420 Two Cookery Bks. 3 To
make stekys of venysoun or Beef. 1426 LYDG. De Guil. Pilgr. 12802 Now to
ffrye, now steykės make, And many other soteltes. c1450 Douce MS. 55
xvij, Take feyre moton of the buttes & kutt it in maner of stekes. 1530
PALSGR. 275/2 Steke of flesshe, charbonnee. 1646 QUARLES Sheph. Oracles
IV. 39 You can convert a dish Of Steakes to Roots. 1735 DYCHE & PARDON
Dict., Stake,..a small Slice of Meat to be broiled before or on the
Fire, when a Person cannot or will not stay till a regular Joint is
boiled or roasted, &c. 1747 H. GLASSE Cookery i. 6 To Broil Steaks...
Take fine Rump Steaks about Half an Inch thick [etc.]. Ibid., As to
Mutton and Pork Steaks, you must keep them turning quick on the
Gridiron. Ibid. ii. 16 Cut a Neck of Veal into Steaks. 1842 TENNYSON
Will Waterproof 148 How out of place she makes The violet of a legend
blow Among the chops and steaks! 1848 DICKENS Dombey iv, Uncle Sol and
his nephew were speedily engaged on a fried sole with a prospect of
steak to follow.

b. A thick slice (of cod, salmon, halibut, or hake). [CLIP]

c. transf. and fig. Now rare or Obs. [CLIP]

2. Similative uses.    a. sea steak. (See quot.) Obs. [Cf. STICK n.]

b. two-eyed steak slang: see quot. 1894. [CLIP]

c. Hamburg steak: a dish composed of flat balls of meat like fillets,
made of chopped lean beef, mixed with beaten eggs, chopped onions and
seasoning, and fried. Cf. HAMBURGER 2.

1884 Boston Jrnl. 16 Feb. 2/2 We take a chicken and boil it. When it is
cold we cut it up as they do meat to make Hamburg steak. 1892 Encycl.
Cookery I. 117/2 Fried Hamburg Steak served with Russian Sauce. 1951
Good Housek. Home Encycl. 502/2 Hamburg steak, a fried or baked flat
cake of freshly minced seasoned steak, very popular in the United

3. attrib. and Comb., as steak dinner, -meat, pie, piece, pudding,
sandwich; in names of implements for beating raw steak to make it
tender, as steak-beater (Simmonds Dict. Trade 1858), -crusher, hammer,
-masher (Knight Dict. Mech. 1875); in names of restaurants or other
eating-places serving mainly beefsteak, as steak bar, house, restaurant;
steak and kidney, used attrib. to designate a pie or pudding containing
a mixture of beefsteak and kidney; also ellipt.; steak au poivre (o
pwavr), beefsteak flavoured with coarsely crushed peppercorns before
cooking; = pepper steak s.v. PEPPER n. 7; steak broiler (see quot.);
steak Diane (dian), a dish consisting of thin slices of beefsteak fried
with seasonings, esp. Worcestershire sauce; steak fish, cod of a size
suitable for cutting into steaks; steak knife, (a) a butcher's knife;
(b) a serrated table knife; steak tartare, a dish consisting of raw
minced beefsteak mixed with egg and seasonings; steak-tongs (see quot.

1910 *Steak and kidney [see SAY v.1 B. 1a]. 1930 H. BURKE Cookery Bk.
103 Steak and kidney pudding... Put in the beef and kidney (see Steak
and Kidney Pie recipe). 1960 I. JEFFERIES Dignity & Purity iv. 59
Cobb..spirited us off to a nearby pub for steak and kidney pud. 1965 L.
SANDS Something to Hide ix. 154 The sight of the steak-and-kidney
glistening succulently between them. 1977 C. MCCULLOUGH Thorn Birds ix.
206 The seven of them sat in the small dining room eating
steak-and-kidney pie.

[All illustrations after 1925 clipped]

1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, *Steak-broiler, a gridiron which catches the
gravy from the steak.

1894 Outing (U.S.) XXIII. 404/1 *Steak fish are cod measuring twenty-two
inches or more in length.

1762 J. BOSWELL Jrnl. 15 Dec. (1950) 86, I went into the City to Dolly's
*Steak-house in Paternoster Row and swallowed my dinner by myself.

1895 Montgomery Ward Catal. Spring & Summer 447/2 *Steak knives,..12
inch blade... No butcher shop would be without them after a trial.

1901 Westm. Gaz. 27 Dec. 2/3 We bought..a pound of beef (it must be
*steak meat) for our black eyes.

1723 J. NOTT Cook's & Confectioner's Dict. sig. Kk2, To make a
*Stake-Pye. 1791 J. WOODFORDE Diary 8 Aug. (1927) III. 291 We did our
best and gave them some Beans and Bacon..Stake Pye and a Codlin Pudding.
1930 H. BURKE Cookery Bk. 103 Steak Pie. Follow the Steak and Kidney Pie
recipe, omitting the kidney. [CLIP]

1844 H. STEPHENS Bk. Farm II. 171 The plan of cutting the line
between..the rump and aitch-bone in the hind quarter, lays open the
*steak-pieces to better advantage.

1747 H. GLASSE Cookery vi. 69 A *Stake-Pudding.

1911 A. FILIPPINI Internat. Cook Bk. 676 (heading) *Steaks, Tartare.
1958 Observer 26 Jan. 5/6 A steak tartare. [CLIP]

1845 E. ACTON Mod. Cookery (ed. 3) vii. 161 should be necessary,
for want of *steak-tongs, to use a fork, it should be passed through the
outer skin..of the steak. 1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, Steak-tongs, small
tongs for turning chops or steaks when broiling on a gridiron.


[Title, Date, Author unknown to me]

No more shall Fame expand her wings
To sound of heroes, states and kings;
A nobler flight the Goddess takes,
To praise our British Beef in steaks,-
A joyful theme for Britons free, (chorus )
Happy in Beef and Liberty.

Oh! charming Beef, of thee possest,
Completely carved in steaks, and dressed,
We taste the dear variety,
Produced in earth, in air, in sea,-
Their flavour's all combined in thee,
Fit for the sons of liberty.

Throughout the realms where despots reign,
What tracks of glory now remain!
Their people, slaves of power and pride,
Fat Beef and Freedom are denied!
What realm, what state, can happy be,
Wanting our Beef and Liberty?

O'er sea-coal fire and steel machine,
We broil the beauteous fat and lean;
Our drink Oporto's grapes afford,
Whilst India's nectar crowns the board,-
A right repast for such as we,
Friends to good cheer and Liberty!