Saturday, March 01, 2014


Roast Beef

Henry Fielding (1707-1754), Don Quixote in England (London: J. Watts, 1734), p. 14 (from Act I, Scene VI):
When mighty rost Beef was the Englishman's Food,
It enabled our Hearts, and enriched our Blood;
Our Soldiers were brave, and our Courtiers were good.
    Oh the Rost Beef of Old England,
    And Old England's Rost Beef!

Then, Britons, from all nice Dainties refrain,
Which effeminate Italy, France, and Spain;
And mighty Rost Beef shall command on the Main.
    Oh the Rost Beef, &c.
    Oh the Rost Beef, &c.
7 effeminate: a verb here ("To make womanish or unmanly; to enervate," Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. effeminate, v., sense 2), not an adjective
8 Main: open sea

On different versions and authorship see Edgar V. Roberts, "Henry Fielding and Richard Leveridge: Authorship of 'The Roast Beef of Old England'," Huntington Library Quarterly 27.2 (Feb., 1964) 175-181.

Floris van Schooten, Breakfast

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