Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Thomas Fuller: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/806/
An extract can be found here:
Fuller was known for his wit, but sheer length and amount of detail still make the Church History a long slog. The experience is livened by conceits like the following, though:
"as it hath been observed that the sin of drunkenness was first brought over into England out of the Low Countries, about the midst of the reign of queen Elizabeth; . . . so we must sadly confess, that since that time, in a spiritual sense, many English souls have taken a cup too much of Belgic wine; whereby their heads have not only grown dizzy in matters of less moment, but their whole bodies stagger in the fundamentals of their religion."
"And how dangerous it is for wit-wanton men to dance with their nice distinctions, on such mystical precipices, where slips in jest may cause deadly downfalls in earnest, the Roman orator doth in part pronounce, Mala est et impia consuetudo, contra Deum disputandi, sive seriò id fit, sive simulatè.”
We can still get some sense of why Sam was captivated by this book.
"drunkenness was first brought over into England out of the Low Countries"
Obviously this is not true, rather wishful thinking on the part of Fuller. The funny thing is that by the time he was writing this, wine production in the Low Countries was on the verge of disappearing.
Originally introduced by the Romans, local wines had never been great (due to the climate), and from the 16th century onwards could not compete with French, German, Spanish and Italian wines - which were now easy to obtain. The home market in the Netherlands was also more beer oriented - the traditional drink. Wine was rather for the elite, who found their tastes better suited for by import wines.
Ports in the Low Countries (particularly Antwerp) did however serve as turning point of a lively transit trade. So the "Belgic wines" Fuller is referring to almost certainly were of German (most likely) and/or mediterranean origin.
all politicians of all stripes do like to find the estranger that led me to the waters of evil and of course I drank, fool me [ for I know not wot I do]My kind , could not, did not, do not, lead me in to temptation, 'tis always the kid next door......Men's fault do seldom to themselves appearBard - Rape of of Lucrece
Fuller, Thomas, 1608-1661.
The church-history of Britain; from the birth of Jesus Christ, untill the year M.DC.XLVIII. Endeavoured by Thomas Fuller.London : printed for Iohn Williams at the signe of the Crown in St. Paul’s Church-yard, Anno 1656.
2mo., , 171, , 200, 153-427, , 235, , 114, , 115-116, , 117-238 p. : port. Each part has either a divisional or special t.p. with separate paging.Wing (2nd ed.), F2417 -- [There was an earlier edition in 1655]
The church history of Britain; from the birth of Jesus Christ until the year M.DC.XLVIIIEndeavoured by Thomas Fuller.London : printed for Iohn Williams at the signe of the Crown in St. Paul’s Church-yard, Anno 1655.
(Googlw book scan) http://is.gd/hjQxO
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