The Joys of Excess (Penguin Great Food)
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As well as being the most celebrated diarist of all time, Samuel Pepys was also a hearty drinker, eater and connoisseur of epicurean delights, who indulged in every pleasure seventeenth-century London had to offer. Whether he is feasting on barrels of oysters, braces of carps, larks' tongues and copious amounts of wine, merrymaking in taverns until the early hours, attending formal dinners with lords and ladies or entertaining guests at home with his young wife, these irresistible selections from Pepys's diaries provide a frank, high- spirited and vivid picture of the joys of over-indulgence - and the side-effects afterwards.
Iron-merchant, who tells me the great evil of discouraging our natural manufacture of England in that commodity by suffering the Swede to bring in three times more then ever they did, and our own Iron workes be lost – as almost half of them, he says, are already. Then I went and sat by Mr. Harrington and some East Country merchants; and talking of the country about Quinsborough [Königsberg, East Prussia] and thereabouts – he told us himself that for fish, none there, the poorest body, will buy a
Paul’s churchyard and bought Barkley’s Argenis in Latin; and so home and to bed. I find at home that Capt. Bun hath sent me four dozen bottles of wine to me today. The King came back to Whitehall tonight. 27. This morning comes one with a vessel of Northdowne ale from Mr. Pierce the purser to me. And after him, another with a brave Turkey carpet and a Jarre of Olives from Capt. Cuttance and a pair of fine Turtle-doves from John Burr to my wife. These things came up today in our smack; and my boy
some could be fetched. When it came, I begun to be merry, and merry we were; but it was an odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops; which it did now, by a leg of mutton that was not above half-boiled; but it seems, at home all his meat is dressed so, and beef and all, and eats it so at nights also. This afternoon my Lord Anglesy tells us that the House of Commons have this morning run into
(but the Souldiers) that were yesterday in the cavalcade; and a most pleasant sight it was to see them in their several robes. And the King came in with his Crowne on and his sceptre in his hand – under a Canopy borne up by six silver staves, carried by Barons of the Cinqueports – and little bells at every end. And after a long time he got up to the farther end, and all set themselfs down at their several tables – and that was also a rare sight. And the King’s first Course carried up by the
did send for, of Sherry from Cales, and mine was put into a hogshead and the vessell filled up with four gallons of Malago wine; but what it will stand us in I know not, but it is the first great Quantity of wine that I ever bought). And after dinner to the office all the afternoon, till late at night. And then home, where my aunt and uncle Wight and Mrs. Anne Wight came to play at Cards (at gleeke, which she taught me and my wife the last week); and so to supper and then to Cards, and so