rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[personal profile] rymenhild
Today I've been reading assorted seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature in order to plan a class. This is always entertaining and educational. I shall present, for your entertainment, one of the poems I found in my search. I give you "Nestor", or "Upon the Drinking of a Bowl," by the notorious seventeenth-century drunkard and libertine John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. (In the edition I found this morning, some of the language had been expurgated. I of course have posted the non-expurgated version.)

Nestor (ca. 1670, as far as I can tell; I haven't seen a precise date)

Vulcan contrive me such a Cupp
As Nestor us'd of old:
Show all thy skill to trim it up
Damask it round with gold.

Make it so large that fill'd with sack
Up to the swelling brim
Vast Toasts on the Delicious lake
Like shipps at sea may swim.

Engrave no Battail on its Cheek
(with warr I've nought to doe):
I'me none of those that took Mastricht
Nor Yarmouth Leaguer knew.

Let it no Name of Planetts tell
Fixt starrs or Constellations
For I am no Sir Sidrophell
Nor none of his Relations.

But Carve theron a spreading vine
Then add Two lovely Boyes;
Their limbs in amorous folds entwine
The Type of Future Joyes.

Cupid and Bacchus my saints are,
May Drink and Love still Reign.
With wine I wash away my cares,
And then to Cunt again.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 02:44 am (UTC)
gramarye1971: Jim Hacker about to receive some illegal alcohol in "The Moral Dimension" (YM: Diplomacy)
From: [personal profile] gramarye1971
I'm increasingly curious as to what sack with toast in it would actually taste like. I may have to experiment with it if I can figure out what happened to the sherry I was sure I had in my liquor cabinet. *adventures in history!*

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 02:52 am (UTC)
angevin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] angevin
I've never seen "toast" used to refer to non-bread items, though, at least not on its own (you could toast cheese, as well as bread, but toasted cheese generally gets called toasted cheese). And toast in wine is an attested medieval/renaissance thing (for some reason).

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-31 02:47 pm (UTC)
cursor_mundi: Girl!Tony, this can't end well (Girl!Tony)
From: [personal profile] cursor_mundi
*pops head in* What about biscotti? I'm not sure of the historical lineage, but in Italy biscotti are small, super-dry and dense, and made to be dipped in vin santo or other beverages (coffee included). I've never tried floating them, but it could be done...

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 04:31 am (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
I thought he meant toasts as in toasting to honor somebody, so a toast would be swimming on a lake of drink more... metaphorically. Then again, Wikipedia claims "the word toast became associated with the custom in the 17th century, based on a custom of flavoring drinks with spiced toast", so I guess it could be both!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 02:37 pm (UTC)
ivorygates: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivorygates
It would be a variant of "sops in wine", with the sops being bread. Toasting the bread would keep it from just disintegrating. I am not, however, sure why our ancestors had a thing for alcohol-laden soggy bread. Except they also did it with milk (sops in milk, milk porridge), and ale/beer (sops in beer, "lambswool".)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 03:25 am (UTC)
ceitfianna: (paper butterfly)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
This is charming and feels like it would do well read aloud as glasses are raised, also some of the lines feels like they would do for romance novel titles. I also saw your new pup and when I'm not as sleepy will tag with someone.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 12:22 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (Tiwa playful)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
Never mind, I completely mixed you up with someone else. Don't mind me.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 03:29 am (UTC)
adiva_calandia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adiva_calandia
Oh, Rochester, I had forgotten how fabulous you are.

If you ever need more libertine literature, I can wholeheartedly recommend When Flesh Becomes Word -- we used it in my "Pirates, Pickpockets, and Prostitutes" class freshman year and it's one of the few school texts I hung on to. (Because, I mean, who wouldn't?)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 02:37 pm (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnhammer
Oo, that looks excellent.

---L.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amelia-petkova.livejournal.com
That has got to be one of the best class titles ever. (I took an excellent one in undergrad called "Freaks and Monsters" but yours rolls off the tongue better.)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-30 04:20 pm (UTC)
adiva_calandia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adiva_calandia

The official title was the much stuffier "Social Deviancy in the 18th Century," because the grad student teaching didn't think she could get the department to sign off on the unofficial title. So that was our little in-class secret.

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rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
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