Thursday, August 16, 2012

A poor spoonful of dead wine, with flies in’t

One has to go to the later French naturalists who were influenced by both Flaubert and Zola to find anything comparable to the poetry which Jonson was able to extract from all the cheap and dirty aspects of London: the ‘poor spoonful of dead wine, with flies in’t’; the gingerbread made of ‘stale bread, rotten eggs, musty ginger and dead honey’; the rogue out of luck,

                                                   at Pie Corner,
        Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks’ stalls,
        Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
        Piteously costive, with your pinched horn-nose,
        And your complexion of the Roman wash
        Stuck full of black and melancholic worms,
        Like powder-corns shot at th’ artillery-yard;

the theater pick-ups, ‘lean playhouse poultry,’ as described by fat Ursula of the pig-roasting booth, ‘that has the bony rump sticking out like the ace of spades or the point of a partizan, that every rib of ‘em is like the tooth of a saw; or will so grate ‘em [their customers] with their hips and shoulders as — take ‘em altogether — they were as good lie with a hurdle.’

—Edmund Wilson, “Morose Ben Jonson”

Friday, April 13, 2012

bousynge & belly chere

"T. Harman" says OED

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prolonged consumption

27 July 1774

[Six Gentlemen] dined and spent the afternoon with me at New College. I borrowed the Chequer Room of the Bursars for my company to dine in. We were very merry and pushed the bottle on briskly. I gave my Company for dinner, some green Pea Soup, a chine of Mutton, some New College Puddings, a goose, some Peas and a Codlin Tart with Cream. Madeira and Port Wine to drink after and at dinner some Strong Beer, Cyder, Ale and small Beer […] I gave my company only for supper cold mutton. After supper I gave them to drink some Arrac Punch with Jellies in it and some Port wine.

17 November 1774

…supped on roast hare, veal collops and woodcock, with port wine and punch to drink afterwards.

— Woodforde, Diary of a Country Parson (quoted in Oxford Food: An Anthology)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The heel of the ewe-milk kebbuck

Scott, Bride of Lammermoor (HT Steph)

Monday, January 23, 2012
Meat powder: add rum, and smear liberally with Squeez Bacon. (This book larded as literature thanks to its use of ‘masticated.’ See also the section on “a whitish sparkling liquid of a tartish and quite pronounced buttery odor … prescribed under the felicitous name of milk of champagne.”)

Meat powder: add rum, and smear liberally with Squeez Bacon. (This book larded as literature thanks to its use of ‘masticated.’ See also the section on “a whitish sparkling liquid of a tartish and quite pronounced buttery odor … prescribed under the felicitous name of milk of champagne.”)