Methinks we need an antidote to yesterday’s post about the shocking and gluttonous secular clergy of the Middle Ages. I have just the thing in a little poem (or perhaps it is a prayer) from Poetry for Children, selected by W. Burdon (1805.)
THE voice of the glutton I heard with disdain,
I've not eaten this hour, I must eat again;
O! give me a pudding, a pye, or a tart,
A duck, or a fowl, which I love from my heart;
How sweet is the picking
Of capon or chicken,
A turkey and chine
Is most charming and fine;
To eat and to drink, all my pleasure is still,
I care not what 'tis if I have but my fill.
O! let me not be like the glutton inclin'd,
In feasting my body, and starving my mind;
"With moderate viands be thankful, and pray
That the Lord may supply me with food the next
But little and sweet,
Be the food that I eat;
To learning and wisdom, O! let me apply,
And leave to the glutton his pudding and pie.
Moderation in all things is the only sensible option, is it not, for those of us who should be grateful that we do have options? I see no harm in a little piece of rich cake now and again.
A Rich Cake.
Prepare and plump before the fire seven pounds of currants, four pounds of dried flour, four pounds of nice fresh butter, two pounds of prepared almond paste, four pounds of eggs, leaving out half the whites ; three pounds of double-refined sugar; mace, cloves, and cinnamon, of each a quarter of an ounce; three large nutmegs, beaten fine, a little ginger; sack and brandy, of each half a pint; orange, citron, lemon-peel, and almonds in fillets, half a pound of each. When the eggs have been well beaten, work in the almond paste; mix the butter, worked to a cream; add them together, and beat till white and thick; add the flour, wine, brandy, and spices, sifting in the sugar by degrees; see that the oven is ready; prepare and butter the hoop, and just as it is to be filled, put in the fruit. It must have a quick oven: it will take four hours. Test it, by running a knife into the centre.