John Baptista Porta
(Giambattista della Porta)
The Fourteenth Book of Natural Magick
("I Shall show some choice things in the Art of Cookery.")
Chapter I - "How flesh may be made tender."
Chapter II - "How flesh may grow tender by secret propriety."
Chapter III - "How Flesh may be made tender otherwise."
Chapter IV - "How Shell Creatures may grow more tender"
Chapter V - "That living creatures may be made more fat and well tasted."
Chapter VI - "How the flesh of Animals is made sweeter."
Chapter VII - "How the Flesh of Animals may be made bitter, and not to be
Chapter VIII - "How Animals may be boiled, roasted, and baked, all at once."
Chapter IX - "Of diverse ways to dress Pullets."
Chapter X - "How Meats may be prepared in places where there is nothing to
roast them with."
Chapter XI - "Of Diverse Confections of Wines."
Chapter XII - "To make men drunk, and to make them loath wine."
Chapter XIII - "How to drive Parasites and Flatterers from great mens
The Cook's Art has some choice secrets, that may make banquets more dainty
and full of admiration. These I purpose to reveal, not that so I might
invite gluttons and parasites to luxury, but that with small cost and
expense, I might set forth the curiosities of Art, and may give occasion to
others thereby to invent greater matters by these. The Art consists about
eating and drinking. I shall first speak of meats, then of drinks, and by
the way I shall not omit some merry pastimes, that I may recreate the
guests, not only with banquets, but also with mirth and delights.
"How flesh may be made tender."
shall begin with flesh, and show how it may be made tender, that Gluttons
much desire. I shall do it diverse ways. Some that proceed from the kind
of their death, others from the secret properties of things. And they will
grow so tender, that they will almost resolve into broth. Then how while
the creatures are yet alive, they may be made tender. For example,
"How to make Sheep's flesh tender."
The flesh of creatures killed by their enemies, especially such as they hate
and fear, will be very tender. Zoroaster in his Geoponics says, that Sheep
killed by Wolves, and bitten, their flesh will be more tender, and so the
sweeter. Plutarch in Symposiacis gives the cause of it. Sheep's flesh, he
says, bitten by a Wolf becomes the sweeter, because the wolf by biting,
makes the flesh more flaggy and tender. for the breath of the Wolf is so
hot, that the hardest of bones will consume in his stomach, and melt. And
for this cause, those things will the sooner corrupt, that the Wolf bites.
And both hunters and cooks can testify, that creatures killed diverse ways
are diversely affected. Some of these are killed at one blow, that with
one stroke they lie for dead. Yet others are hardly killed at many blows.
And which is more wonderful, some by a wound given with the Iron weapon,
have imprinted such a quality upon the creature, that it is presently
corrupted, and would not keep sweet one day. And others, have killed them
as suddenly, yet no such quality remains in the flesh that was killed, and
it would last some time. Moreover, that a certain Virtue, when creatures
are slain or die, comes forth to their skins, and hair and nails. Homer was
not ignorant of, who writing of skins and Thongs. A Thong, says he, of an Ox
slain by force, for the skins of those creatures are tougher and stronger,
when they die not by old age or of diseases, but are slain. On the
contrary, such as die by the bitings of beasts, their hoofs will grow black,
and their hairs fall off, and their skins will wither and flag. Thus far
Plutarch. But I think these things are false. For how should flesh, he
flesh grow tender by the Wolf's breath, I understand not. For other
creatures that are killed by their enemies, and flesh of a contrary nature
does also grow tender, where there are no hot vapors. But I think that the
absence of blood, makes the flesh tender, for these reasons. Quail and
Pheasant killed by Hawks, are very tender, but their hearts are found full
of blood, and hard within them. Deer and Boars, killed by Dogs, are more
tender, but harder if by Guns. And about, the heart the parts are so hard,
that they can scarce be boiled. Fear of death drives the blood to the
heart. The other parts are bloodless, as shall appear by the following
"How Geese, Ducks, Pheasant, Quail, and other birds become most tender."
This is easily done, if we hunt them and fly Hawks, and other birds of prey,
at them. For while they fight, they strive to be gone, and they are
sometime held in the Falcon's Talons, and are wounded with diverse strokes.
And this makes them so tender that it is wonderful. Wherefore, when we
would eat Crammed birds, we should purposely fly a Hawk at them, and being
killed by them, should grow more tender to be desired. So,
"The Ox flesh may grow tender,"
Especially of old Oxen, for they are dry and hard, and will not easily boil.
The Butchers set hounds at them, and let them prey upon them, and they will
for some hours defend themselves with their horns. At last being overcome
by multitudes of Dogs, they fall with their ears torn, and bit in their
skin, these brought into the shambles, and cut out, are more tender than
ordinary. Some of them fighting openly with Bears, and sometimes killed by
them, if any of the body be left, it will be so tender, it will melt in a
man's mouth. We may do the same, if we keep creatures sometime in fear of
death, and the longer you keep them so, the tenderer it will be. For,
"To make Hens tender,"
We fright them of from high towers. So we do Turkeys, Peacocks. And when
they cannot fly away by the weight of their bodies, for fear of death, with
great pains and shaking of their wings, they fall down, that they may take
no hurt by falling. That those are so killed with fear of death, grow very
tender. So old Pigeons that by chance had fallen into deep pits, when they
had long labored, struggling with their stuttering wings above the waters to
save themselves from drowning, with struggling and fear of death they grew
very tender, and by this accident we have learned, that when we would have
them very tender, we purposely drive them in. Horace in Serm. says almost
"How a Cock may grow Tender"
If you must suddenly set him before your friends, and cannot help it. If
that a guest does come by chance at night, and if the Cock be tough, not fit
to eat, drowned him alive in Muscadel outright, and he will soon come to be
tender meat. We use to hang up Turkeys alive by the bills, at the
Saddlebow, when we ride. And these being thus Racked and Toffed with great
pains, at the journeys end you shall find them dead, and very tender.
"How flesh may grow tender by secret propriety."
Some things there are, that by secret propriety make flesh tender. I shall
record two prodigious miracles of nature. One, that hung on a Fig tree,
"Cocks flesh grows tender,"
and so short, that it is wonderful. Another, that wild Cocks bound to a Fig
tree, will grow tame, and stand immovable. Plutarch in his Symposiacis,
gives the reason, why the sacrifices of Cocks hung to a Fig tree did
presently grow tender and short, when the Cook of Aristian, among other
meats, offered to Hercules a tender Dunghill Cock, newly slain, that was
extremely short. Aristio gives the reason of this tenderness to be the Fig
tree. And he maintained, that these killed, though they be hard, will grow
tender, if they be hanged up on a Fig tree. It is certain, as we may judge
by sight, that the Fig tree sends forth a vehement and strong vapor. This
also confirms that which is commonly spoken of Bulls, that the fiercest of
them bound to a Fig tree, will grow tame presently, and will endure to be
touched with your hand, and to bear a yoke, and they puff out all their
anger, and lay aside their courage that thus fails them. For so forcible is
the acrimony of the vapor of that tree, that though the Bull rage never so
much, yet this will tame him. For the Fig tree is more full of milky juice,
then other trees are. So that the wood, boughs, Figs, are almost all full
of it. Wherefore, when it is burnt, the smoke it sends forth, does bite and
tear one very much. And a Lixivium made of them burned, is very Detergent
and cleansing. Also Cheese is Curdled with Fig tree Milk, that comes forth
of the tree, if you cut the bark. Some would have the heat to be the cause,
that the Milk Curds, by the juice of the Fig tree cast in, which melts the
watery substance of the Humour; Wherefore the Fig tree sends forth a hot
and sharp vapor, and that is digesting, and dries and concocts the flesh of
birds, so that they grow tender. So,
"Ox flesh may be made tender."
If you put the stalks of wild Fig trees into the pot, where Ox flesh is
boiled, they will be boiled much the sooner, by reason of the wood. Pliny.
I gave you the reason of it before from Antipathy. The Egyptians alluding
to this, when they would describe a man that was punished to the height,
they painted a Bull tied to a wild Fig tree. For when he roars, if he be
bound to a wild Fig tree, he will presently grow tame. If we will have,
"Pulse grow tender,"
Because I see that there is great Antipathy between Pulse and Chokefitch,
that destroys and strangles them. Some call this Lions Herb. For as a Lion
does with great rage and furiously kill Cattle and Sheep, so does Chokefitch
all Pulse. Wherefore this Herb put to Pulse, when they boil, will make them
boil the sooner. But,
"To make meats boil the sooner,"
All kinds of Docks, though they be dry and juiceless, will do it, that all
flesh will grow tender, and become fit to eat. Wherefore the Ancients
always fed on it, that it might digest the meat in their stomachs, and loose
their bellies. Also the root of wild Nettles boiled with flesh, will make
them tender. Pliny.
"How Flesh may be made tender otherwise."
There be other ways to make flesh tender. First, if flesh killed be hung in
the open air, for they will grow tender, as beginning to corrupt, but they
must not stay there so long till they corrupt indeed. Wherefore you must
know their quality, which will keep longest, and which not. For example,
"Peacocks, Partridge, Pheasants to be made tender."
Isaac says, that a Peacock killed will be kept two days, and three in
winter, that the hard flesh of it may grow soft. Haliabas hangs them up
three days, hanging stones to their feet. Savanrola hangs them up ten days
without weights. Simeon Sethi says, that Partridge newly killed are not to
be ate, but after a day or two, that they may lose their hardness.
Pheasants in summer hung up two days, and three days in winter, will be fit
meat, Arnoleus. And to avoid tediousness, the same must be done with other
flesh. The like,
"That birds may grow tender."
If you hang those in Moonlight, that were killed in the night, they will
grow more tender by boiling. For the Moon has great virtue to make flesh
tender, for it is but a kind of Corruption. Therefore wood, cut by
Moonlight, will sooner grow rotten, and fruit sooner grow ripe. Daphnis the
Physition in Athenaus.
"How Shell Creatures may grow more tender"
Before I end to speak of ways to make flesh more tender, it will not be
amiss to make Crabs tender, and by another way then I have shown before.
How we may make,
"Crab Fish tender shelled."
At Rome they do so, and it becomes pleasant and excellent meat for
noblemen's tables. I speak of those Crabs bred in fresh waters. For at
Venice I have eaten them that breed naturally tender in salt waters, they
call them commonly Mollecas. But they are not so sweet, as they are made at
Rome, and they ask a Julius apiece. The way is, in the months of June,
July, August, and September, the Crabs use to cast their shells, and put off
their old coat. At that time Fishermen search about the banks of the
rivers, where they find their holes and caves half stopped, and by that they
know the time is come to cast their shells. For the more their shells grow
tender, the more they shut up their holes. They grow tender first about the
feet, and by degrees it ascends over their whole bodies. When they have
taken them, they bring them home, and put them every one in several earthen
pots, and they put in water, that it may cover half their bodies, and so
they let them remain eight or ten days, changing the water every day, and
their shells will grow more tender every day. When it is all soft, that it
is transparent as crystal, they fry them with Butter and Milk, and bring
them to the table. So,
"Squils grow tender."
We must do as we did to Crabs, for they cast their shells as Crabs do. And
nature did this for some end, for when their shells are grown too thick and
weighty, they can scarce crawl. Wherefore by the Excrements that go into
it, that are consumed to make a new shell within, the former that was made
is broken, and falls off.
"That living creatures may be made more fat and well tasted."
I shall endeavour to show how living creatures may be made more fat and well
tasted, that we may set more savory meats before our guests. The Ancients
were not negligent in this matter. Wherefore you shall find many ways, not
only among cooks, but such as write concerning Husbandry. Liccorish
Gluttons found out the ways to fat Cattle, that they might feed on them more
plentifully and daintily. Hence they called them Cram'd, because they were
well fed, and had gross bellies. Those were called Birdpens, where they
fatted all sorts of birds. M. Lelius Strabo, was the first that appointed
this, and he appointed Crammers to take care of them, and ordered how much
every Crammed bird should eat. They will fat better in winter than in
summer, because birds at that time of the year are best, being not so much
wasted with young. And Cocks will fat better then Hens, and such as never
Trod nor made Eggs. In summer, when it is at an end, and the sour Grapes
hang yet upon the vines, they are at the best. I shall therefore teach,
"How Hens and other Birds must be Crammed."
Choose a place that is hot and obscure. Shut them all up apart, and so
close in their pens, that they cannot come together, nor turn. And make two
holes, one for their heads to put forth, and the other for their tails,
that, that they may both eat their meat and Shit it out again when it is
digested. Lay soft Hay under them, for if they lie hard, they will never
fat. Pull off all the feathers from their heads, thighs, and from under
their wings, there, that it may breed no Lice, here, that the Dung corrupt
it not. For meat, give them Gobbets of Barleymeal, made up with water. At
the first for some time, more sparingly, then after give them as much as
they can digest, and you must give them no new meat, till you feel their
Crops that all the old is digested. When the bird is full, let him go
awhile, not to wander abroad. But if there be anything that urges him, he
may pick it off with his bill. Let him not be set to fatting before five,
or after twenty months old. Young Pigeons or Chickens, will fat better with
their dams,if you pull off a few of their feathers, and bruise their legs,
that they may stay in their places, and if you give meat plentifully to
their Dams, that they may feed themselves, and their young ones more
sufficiently. Turtles are best fatted in summer. Give them nothing but
meat, especially Millet seed, for they much delight to eat that. But Geese
in winter. They must be put up to fat four months, you need give them
nothing else but Barleymeal and Wheat meal three times a day. So that you
give them water enough to drink, and no liberty to walk about, thus they
will fat in two months. But tender Pullets will not be made fat in forty
days. Ducks will grow fat with all nutriment, if it be in abundance,
especially with Wheat, Millet seed, Barly, and with Water-squils, Locusts,
and creatures found in lakes, Columella. Pheasants, Partridges,
Heathcocks, and Turkyhens, will fat being shut up. And the first day they
eat meat, the next set them water or good strong Wine to drink. Let their
meat be raw Barleymeal, made up with water, giving them it by degrees. Or
else, broken and ground Beans and Barly Sod with water, and whole Millet
seed, Linseed boiled and dry, mingled with Barleymeal. To these you may add
Oil, and make Gobbets of them, and give them to eat to the full, and they
will grow fat a longest in sixty days. Now I shall show how,
"Four-footed Beasts are fatted."
The Sow will soonest fat, for in sixty days she will be fat. First keep
hungry three days, as the rest must be. She grows fat with Barly, Millet,
Acorns, Figs, Pears, Cucumbers. Rest, and not wandering. But Sows will
grow fatter by wallowing in the mire. Figs and Chickpeas, will fat them
soonest, and they desire change of meats, Varro. The Sow is fed with Beans,
Barly, and other grain. For these will not only fat them, but give them a
good relish. The Olive, Wild Olive, Tares, Corn in Straw, Grass, and they
are all the better sprinkled in Brine, but he more effectual they will be if
she Fast three days before. Aristotle. Beanhusks, and Coleworts are
pleasant meat for them. Salt put to them, will make them have a stomach,
which in the summer put into their troughs will season their meat, and make
them eat it up. And by that seasoning of it, they will drink and eat the
more. Columella. Oxen will grow fat with Corn, Grass and Tares, ground
Beans, and Beanstalks. Also with Barly, whole or broken, and parted from
the hulls. Also by sweet things, as pressed Figs, Wine, Elm boughs, and
with a lotion of hot water. Aristotle. We feed them at home with Wine of
Surrentum, or else we put Calfs to two Cows, and thus being fed with
abundance of Milk, that can scarce go for fat. Also in their cratches we
strew Salt stones, that they may lick them, and do drink. And they will
grow exceeding fat and tender.
"How the flesh of Animals is made sweeter."
Now shall I show with some meats, and arts, how not only the parts of
animals, but their whole bodies are made fat, tender, and more delicate.
"How to fat the Livers of Geese."
Our wise ancestors, says Pliny, who knew the goodness of a Goose liver,
taught how by Cramming to make it grow great, also taken forth, it is
augmented by sweet Milk. And it is not without cause demanded, who was the
first man that found out so profitable a thing. Whether it was Scipio
Metellus, that was Consul, or Mar. Sejus, that in the same age was a
gentleman of Rome. Palladius taught the way how. When geese have been
fatting thirty days, if you desire to have their livers tender, you shall
bruise old Figs, and steep them in water, and make Gobbets of them, and feed
the Geese with them twenty days together. But Quintilius ways is, when they
grow fat, you shall break dry wild Radish in small pieces, and tempering
them with water, give them this to drink for twenty days. Some, that the
liver may be made great, and the Geese fat, feed them thus. They shut up
the Goose, and cast to him Wine steeped in water, or Barley the same way.
Wheat makes him fat quickly, but Barley makes the flesh white. Let her be
fed with the said grain, but severally with them both, for twenty days,
giving to her twice a day a moist medicament made thereof. So that seven of
those meats, may be given her for the first five days, and by degrees the
days following, increase the number of these meats, until twentyfive days be
past, that the days in the whole may be thirty. And when they are over,
heat Mallows, and in the Decoction thereof, being yet hot, give her Leaven
moistened therewith. Do so for four days, and in the same days give her
water and Honey. Changing it thrice every day, not using the same again.
And do this the days following, till sixty days. Mingle dry Figs, bruised
all this time with the said Leaven, and after sixty days you may eat the
Goose, and its liver, that will be white and tender. Which being taken
forth, must be put into a large vessel, wherein there is hot water, that
must be changed again and again. But the bodies and livers of the females
are best, but let them be Geese not of one year, but from two years old to
four. Horace in Serm. speaks of this,
"Fat Figs do make the Goose white, Liver great."
And Juvenal, Satyr 5.
"A Goose's Liver fed before him stood,
As big as a Goose, and to eat as good."
"The Liver's greater then the Goose, that's true,
But now you'l wonder where this liver grew."
Athenaus writes, that this was of great account in Rome. When you kill the
Goose, take out the liver quickly and cast it into cold water, that it may
be solid. Then fry it in Goose Grease, in a frying pan, and season it with
spices. It is a dish for a prince, and highly commended by many. So is,
"A Sows Liver fatted."
Pliny. There is art used for Sows livers, as well as for Geese. It was the
invention of Marcus Apicius, when they are fat with dry Figs, give them
sweet Wine to drink, and kill them presently. Add to the liver of a Sow
fatted with Figs, Winepickle, Pepper, Thyme, Lovage, Suet, and a little Wine
and Oil. Aetius. If, says he, any man feed that creature with dry Figs,
the sows liver is preferred before all meat. I said out of Aristotle, that
Figs and Chickpeas will fat a Sow best. Galen. As while sows are living,
their livers are fed for delight with dry Figs. So for Geese. I see their
meats are moistened with Milk, that their livers may be not only most
pleasant meat, but may be fed exceedingly, and be most delicate. If you
"That Cattle may be more excellent to eat."
Cattle that use to feed on Masterwort, and to be first cleansed, will grow
very fat, and their flesh will be exceeding sweet. Pliny. Whence it is that
this Benjamin is not for many years to be found in Cyrene, because the
farmers, that hire the grounds, finding more gain by it, devour them by
their Cartel. Moreover, in India, and chiefly in the country of the Prarsi,
it rains liquid Honey. Which falling down on the Grass, and the tops of
Reeds in the lakes, is admirable food for the Sheep and Oxen. And the
Shepherds drive them thither, where most of this sweet dew falls from the
air, and they are feasted with it, as with pleasant banquets. And they
recompense their Shepherds with a pleasant reward. For they Milk very
sweet Milk from them, and they have no need, as the Grecians do, to temper
Honey with it. Aelian. But,
"How Pullets are made most white, tender, and delicate,"
Such as I use to set before my friends. The way is, I shut them up five
days in chambers or cellars, and I give them a dish full of Chippins of
Bread, wet with Milk, and sometimes with Honey. Fed thus, they will grow
as fat as great Sappers in Fig time, and so tender, that they will melt in
your mouth, and they taste better by far then Pheasants, Heathcocks, or
Thrushes. And it seems the Ancients knew this. For says Pliny, when a
Crammed Hen was forbid to eat at supper, by the laws of the Ancients, they
found out this evasion, to feed Hens with meats wet in Milk, and so they
were far more delicate to set on the table. And Columella. They that will
make birds not only fat, but tender, they sprinkle the foresaid meal with
water and Honey new made, and so they fat them. Some to three parts of
water, put one of good Wine, and wet Wheat Bread, and fat the bird. Which
beginning to be fatted the first day of the month, will be very fat on the
"How the Flesh of Animals may be made bitter, and not to be eaten."
Again, if we will that flesh shall be rejected for the bitterness, and ill
taste of it, we must do contrary to what has been said. Or if we will not
take the pains, we must wait the times that these creatures feed on such
meats, as will do it, whereby sometimes they become Venomous also. As if we
"Deer flesh become Venomous,"
Simon Sethi says, that Deer flesh, that is caught in summer, is Poison,
because then they feed on Adders and Serpents. These are Venomous
creatures, and by eating of them they grow thirsty. And this they know
naturally, for if they drink before they have digested them, they are killed
by them. Wherefore they will abstain from water, though they burn with
thirst. Wherefore Stag flesh, eaten at that time, is Venomous, and very
dangerous. Sometimes also,
"Partridge are nought,"
Namely, when they eat Garlic. The Chyrrhaei will eat no Partridge, by
reason of their food. For when they have eaten Garlic they stink, and their
flesh is stinking meat, that the Fowler will not eat them. So also,
"Quail, and Stares, are rejected,"
At that time of the year, that Black Hellebour is the meat they like only.
Wherefore, when Quail feed on Black Hellebour, they put those that feed on
them into so great danger of their lives, that they swell and suffer
convulsions, and are subject to Vertigo. Wherefore Millet seed must be
boiled with them. Also,
"Birds are not to be eaten,"
When the Gooseberries are ripe. For their feathers will grow black thereby,
and men that eat them, fall into Scowrings. Dioscorides.
The Eggs of the Barbel, or Spawn, not to be eaten."
In May, because they are dangerous. But the Eggs are not dangerous of
themselves, nor do they breed such mischiefs. For they do not do it always.
For often you may eat them without danger. But they are only then hurtful,
when they feed on Willow flowers, that fall into the water. So are,
"Snails to be rejected,"
When they stick fast to Briars and shrubs, for they trouble the belly and
the stomach, and cause Vomiting. Dioscorides.. And not only these animals
themselves cause this mischief, but their Excrements, as Milk, Honey, and
the like. For,
" Milk must not be eaten,"
When Goats and Sheep feed on green food, because it will loosen the belly
the more. But Goat Milk does not try the belly so much, because these
Cattle feed on Binding meats, as on the Oak, Mastick, Olive boughs, and
Turpentine tree. But in such places where Cattle eat Scammony, Black
Hellebour, Perwincle, or Mercury, all their Milk subverts the belly and
stomach, such as is reported to be in the mountains of Justinum. For Goats
eat Black Hellebour, that is given them when the young leaves come first
out, their Milk drank will make one Vomit, and causes loathing and
nauseating of the stomach. Dioscorides. Also there is found,
"Honey that is Venomous,"
That which is made in Sardinia, for there the Bees feed on Wormwood. At
Heraclia in Pontus, sometimes of the year, by a property of the flowers
there, Honey is made, that they which eat it grow mad, and sweat
exceedingly. Dioscorides. There are,
"Eggs laid that stink."
When there are not fruits nor Herbs to be seen, then Hens feed on Dung, and
so do other birds that lay Eggs. But then those taste best that feed on fat
things, and eat Wheat, Millet, and Panick. But such as eat Wormwood, their
Eggs are bitter.
"How Animals may be boiled, roasted, and baked, all at once."
I have thus far spoken to please and Palate. Now I shall represent some
merry Conceits to delight the guests, namely,
"How a Hog may be roasted, and boiled, all at once."
Athenaus in his ninth book of Dipnosophist (Dalachampius translates it more
elegantly) saying; There was a Hog brought to us, that was half of it well
roasted, and half of it was soft boiled in water. And the cook had used
great industry to provide it, that it should not be seen in what part he was
stuck. For he was killed with a small wound under his shoulder, and the
blood was so let out. All his intestines were well washed with Wine, and
hanging him by the heels, he again poured Wine on him, and roasted him with
much Pepper. He filled half the Hog with much Barley Flour, Kneaded
together with Wine and Barley. And he put him into an oven, setting a Brass
platter under him. And he took care to roast him leisurely, that he should
neigher burn, nor be taken up raw. For when his skin seemed somewhat dry,
he conjectured the rest was roasted. He took away the Barleymeal, and set
him on the table. So,
"A Capon may be boiled, and roasted."
Put a Capon well pulled, and his Guts taken out, into a Silver dish, and
fill the one half of him with Broth, and put him into an oven. For the
upper part will be roasted by the heat of the oven, and the under part will
be boiled. Nor will it be less pleasant to behold,
"A Lamprey fried, boiled, and roasted all at once."
Before you boil your Lamprey, take out his bones, to make it more graceful,
for his flesh is full of bones, which you shall do with two little sticks
held in both hands. Fastening the Lamprey in the middle, you shall cut his
backbone in the middle. Then his head and end of his tail, about which the
bones are heaped, by reason of the bones pulled out, being cut off, and his
entrails taken forth, put him on a spit, and wrap about three or four times
with Fillers, all the parts that are to be roasted and fried, strewing upon
the one Pepper, and the Fillets must be made wet in Parsley, Saffron, Mint,
Fennel, and sweet Wine, or with water and Salt, or broth, for the roasted
parts, for the fried parts with Oil. And so let him be turned, always
moistening the Fillets with strewing on the Decoction of Origanum. When
part of it is roasted, take it from the fire, and it will be gallant meat.
Set it before your guests.
"Of diverse ways to dress Pullets."
I shall here set down ways to dress Chickens, that will be very pleasant for
the guests. So that,
"A boiled Peacock may seem to be alive."
Kill a Peacock, either by thrusting a Quill into his brain from above, or
else cut his throat, as you do for young Kids, that the blood may come
forth. Then cut his skin gently from his throat unto his tail, and being
cut, pull it off with his feathers from his whole body to his head. Cut off
that with the skin, and legs, and keep it. Roast the Peacock on a spit.
His body being stuffed with spices and sweet Herbs, sticking first on his
breast Cloves, and wrapping his neck in a white Linen cloth. Wet it always
with water, that it may never dry. When the Peacock is roasted, and taken
from the spit, put him into his own skin again, and that he may seem to
stand upon his feet, you shall thrust small Iron wires, made on purpose,
through his legs, and set fast on a board, that they may not be discerned,
and through his body to his head and tail. Some put Camphire in his mouth,
and when he is set upon the table, they cast in fire. Platira shows that
the same may be done with Pheasants, Geese, Capons, and other birds. And we
observe these things among our guests. But it will be a more rare sight to
"A Goose roasted alive."
A little before our times, a Goose was wont to be brought to the table of
the King of Arragon, that was roasted alive, as I have heard by old men of
credit. And when I went to try it, my company were so hasty, that we ate
him up before he was quite roasted. He was alive, and the upper part of
him, on the outside, was excellent well roasted. The rule to do it is thus.
Take a Duck, or a Goose, or some such lusty creature, but he Goose is best
for this purpose. Pull all the Feathers from his body, leaving his head and
his neck. Then make a fire round about him, not too narrow, lest the smoke
choke him, or the fire should roast him too soon. Not too wide, lest he
escape unroasted. Inside set everywhere little pots full of water, and put
Salt and Meum to them. Let the Goose be smeared all over with Suet, and
well Larded, that he may be the better meat, and roast the better. Put the
fire about, but make not too much haste. When he begins to roast, he will
walk about, and cannot get forth, for the fire stops him. When he is weary,
he quenches his thirst by drinking the water, by cooling his heart, and the
rest of his internal parts. The force of the Medicament loosens and cleans
his belly, so that he grows empty. And when he his very hot, it roasts his
inner parts. Continually moisten his head and heart with a Sponge. But
when you see him run mad up and down, and to stumble (his heart then wants
moisture, wherefore you take him away, and set him on the table to your
guests, who will cry as you pull off his parts. And you shall eat him up
before he is dead. If you would set on the table,
"A young Pigeon with his bones pulled out."
You shall take out his bones thus. Put a young Pigeon, his Entrails taken
forth and well washed, for to lie a night in strong Vinegar. Then wash him
well, and fill him with spices and Herbs, and roast him or boil him, as you
please. Either way you shall find him without bones. Of old, they brought
to the table,
"The Trojan Hog."
The ancient Gluttons invented, how a whole Ox or Camel should be set on the
table, and diverse other creatures. Hence the people had a tale concerning
the Trojan Hog. So called, because he covered in his belly, many kinds of
living creatures, as the ancient Trojan Hog concealed many armed men.
Macrobius reports, 3. Lib. Satur., that Cincius in his oration, where he
persuades to put the practise Fannius his law, concerning moderation of
expense, did object to the men of his age, that they brought the Trojan Hog
to their tables. Collers of Brawn and the Trojan Hog, were forbidden by
the law of regulating expense. The Hog was killed, as Dalachampas
translates it, with a small wound under his shoulder. When much blood was
run forth, all his Entrails were taken out, and cut off where they began.
And after that he was often well washed with Wine, and hung up by his heels,
and again washed with Wine. He is rolled in Musk, Pepper. The the foresaid
dainties, namely Thrushes, Udders, Gnatsnappers, and many Eggs poured unto
them, Oysters, Scallops, were thrust into his belly at his mouth. He is
washed with plenty of excellent Liquor, and half the Hog is filled with
Polenta, that is, with Barleymeal, Wine, Oil, kneaded together. And so he
his put into the oven, with a Brass pan set under. And care must be had to
roast him so leisurely, that he neither burns, nor continue raw. For when
the skin seems Crup, it is a sign all is roasted, and the Polenta is taken
away. Then a Silver platter is brought in, only Gilded, but not very thick,
big enough to contain the roasted Hog, that must lie on his back in it, and
his belly sticking forth, that is stuffed with a diversity of goods. And so
is he set on the table. Athenaus Lib.9. Dipnosophist. But,
"How Meats may be prepared in places where there is nothing to roast them
Sometimes it falls out that men are in places where there want many things
fit to provide supper, but where convenience wants, wit may do it. If you
want a fry pan, you shall know,
"How to fry Fish on a paper."
Make a frying pan with plain paper, put in Oil and Fishes. Then set this on
burning coals, without flame, and it will be done sooner and better. But if
"Roast a Chicken without a fire."
That Chickens may roast while we are in our voyage. Put a piece of Steel
into the fire, put this into a Chicken that is pulled and his Guts taken
forth, and cover him well with cloths, that the heat breath not out, and if
he do smell ill, yet the meat is good. If you want servants to turn the
spit, and you would have,
"A bird to roast himself."
Do thus. For the bird will turn himself. Albertus writes, that a bird
called a Ren, that is the smallest of birds, if you put him on a spit, made
of Hazelwood, and put the fire under, he will turn as if he turned himself.
Which comes from the property of the wood, not the bird. And that is false
the Philosopher said. For if you put fire under a Hazel rod, it will twist,
and seem to turn itself. And what flesh you put on it, if it be not too
weighty, will turn about with it. So,
"Eggs are roasted without fire."
Eggs laid in Quicklime, and sprinkled with water, are roasted. For the Lime
will grow as hot as fire. The Babylonians have their invention, when they
are in the wilderness, and cannot have an opportunity to boil Eggs. They
put raw Eggs into a Sling, and turn them about till they be roasted. But if
for your meats, the seed of Sumach strewed in with Benjamin, will season
anything. Pliny. If you want Salt, and would,
"Keep flesh without Salt,"
Cover what flesh you will with Honey, when they are fresh. But hang up the
vessel you put it into, longer in winter, a less time in summer. If you
"That Salt-flesh should be made fresh."
First boil your salted flesh in Milk, and then in water, and it will be
fresh. Apicius. You shall learn thus,
"To wash spots from linen clothes."
If you want Soap, for red Wine will so stain them, that you can hardly wash
them out without it. But when it does fall down and stain them, cast Salt
upon them, and it will take out the spots. If there want,
"Groundlings, how to make them."
Suidas says, that when Nicomedes, King of Bithynia, longed for some of these
Fish, and living far from the sea, could get none. Apicius the Glutton,
made the pictures of these Fish, and set them on the table, so like, as if
they had been the same. They were prepared thus. He cut the female Rape
root into long thin pieces, like to these Fish, which he boiled in Oil, and
strewed with Salt and Pepper, and so he freed him from his longing. As
Aetheneus says, in Cuphron, Comic. If there want fire, I have shown already
how to make divers sorts of artificial fires.
"Of Diverse Confections of Wines."
Now I come to drink, for I have spoken of meat sufficiently. And I will
teach you to make many sorts of Wine, and that they may be pleasant and
Odoriferous. For I have said already what ways it may be made without
pains. I you will,
"That your Wine shall smell of Musk,"
Take a Glass Vial, and wash it, and fill it with Aqua Vita, and put into it
a little Musk. Stop the mouth close, that it vent not. Set it in the
summer sun two weeks, always stirring the water. The use is, if you put a
drop of this into a gallon of Wine, all the Wine will smell of Musk. And so
for Cinnamon or other spices.
Take the sweetest Wine, we call it commonly, Mangiaguerra, and into four
Vials full of that, pour in two pounds of beaten Sugar, four ounces of
Cinnamon , Pepper, and Grains of Paradise, one ounce and a half. Let them
Infuse one day. Then strain them. Add in the end in a knot a little Musk,
and it will be excellent Wine. Or to powdered Sugar we put a little Aqua
Vita, wherein Cinnamon, Pepper, Grains of Paradise, and musk have been
infused, as I said, and is presently provided, for it draws forth the
Quintessence. I shall show how,
"Wine may freeze in Glasses."
Because of the chief thing desired at feasts, is that Wine cold as ice may
be drunk, especially in summer. I will teach you how Wine shall presently,
not only grow cold, but freeze, that you cannot drink it but by sucking, and
drawing in of your breath. Put Wine into a Vial, and put a little water to
it, that it may turn to ice the sooner. Then cast snow into a wooden
vessel, and strew into it Saltpeter, powdered, or the cleansing of
Saltpeter, called vulgarly Salazzo. Turn the Vial in the snow, and it will
congeal by degrees. Some keep snow all the summer. Let water boil in Brass
kettles, and pour it into great bowls, and set them in the frosty cold air.
It will freeze, and grow harder than snow, and last longer.
"To make men drunk, and to make them loath Wine."
Now we are come to speak of Wine. Before we pass from it, I will show you
how to make your guests Drunk. For Drunkenness at feasts, increases mirth.
And then how to keep them safe from Drunkenness, when they are often
provoked to drink healths, and to strive who shall drink most. You may with
"Make men drunk."
The fruits of the Arbute, and the Lote tree, being eaten, will make men as
though they were Drunk. Also dates eaten in too great a quantity, cause
Drunkenness, and the pain to the head. Sowbread with Wine, makes a man
Drunk. Amber-greese, or Musk, put in Wine, exasperates Drunkenness. The
filth of a dogs ear mingled with Wine, makes one Drunk, as Albertus says.
But Rhases, out of whom he took it, says, that Wine, wherein the seeds of
Ricinus are Infused, if anyone drink it, it will inebriate them. Camel's
froth, drunk with water by a drunken man, will make him mad, as possessed
with a Devil. Let these suffice, for I said in my description of plants.
But on the contrary, these things will,
"Take away Drunkenness."
Because Hemlock, with Wine, is the cause of death by its Venom, it has been
invented and found true, that Hemlock is the cause of life to others. Pliny
seems to intimate as much. Also, Venoms are prepared to drink, some taking
Hemlock before, that they may drink, and die. If a man has drunk too much
Wine, that does him hurt, he shall relieve it thus; Cato bids, that at the
beginning and middle of supper, a man should eat four or five tops of raw
Coleworts, and it will take off his Drunkenness, and remove the hurt that is
comes from Wine, and will make a man as though he had neither eat nor drink.
The Egyptians, before all meat, did eat boiled Coleworts, and so provided
themselves for drink. Many to keep themselves sober, take Colewort seeds
first. The Tibarita, says Simaus, before they drank, fenced themselves by
feeding on Coleworts. Alexis.
Yesterday thou drank'st too much,
And now thy head doth ake: but such
Distemper fasting cures; then
Eat boil'd Coleworts, drink agen.
There is no means can half so well
As sudden trouble drink dispel.
For that will wonderfully cure:
Eat else Radish, that's as sure.
They were wont in a vessel of Amethyst, to make another remedy for
Drunkenness, that they might drink Wine without danger. Athenaus. If you
would otherwise hinder the Vapors of the Wine, drink it well tempered with
water. For they are soonest drunk that drink strongest Wines. Africanus
says, if you have drunk too much, eat before meat three or four bitter
Almonds. They are drying, and will drink up the moisture, and drive away
Drunkenness. Plutarch relates, that there was a Physician with Drufus, who
when he had first eaten five or six bitter Almonds, he always conquered at
the Duel of Drunkenness. The powder Purflex-stone will do as much, if the
drinker takes that first. Theophrastus says it is dangerous, unless he
drink abundantly. So Eudemus drank two and twenty cups, at last into a
bath, and did not Vomit. And Supped, so as if he had drank nothing. For by
its drying quality, it consumes all the moisture. And being cast into a
vessel of new Wine that works, the heat of the Wine is straight allayed.
There are other things prepared by the Ancients, to extinguish Drunkenness,
as to eat Lettuce at the end of supper, for they are very cold. We eat it
now first, to procure appetite. Whence Martial writes,
Why do we first our Lettuce eat?
Our Fathers made it their last meat.
Dioscorides seems to call it Acrepula, because it hinders Drunkenness.
Leeks discusses Drunkenness. And he that takes Saffron before, shall feel
no Drunkenness. There are also Herbs and flowers, that if you make Garlands
of them, they will hinder Drunkenness, as Violets, Roses, and Ivy-berries.
The ashes of the Bill of a Swallow, powdered with Myrrhe, and strewn into
the Wine you drink, will keep you secure from being Drunk. Horus, the King
of Assyria, found out this invention. Pliny. I have said how Drunkenness
may be disposed. Now I shall show how men shall abstain,
"That love Wine, to refrain it,"
There are many who when they have drank much Wine, that is the worst thing
in the world for them, fall sick, and die of it. Now if you would refrain,
and abhor Wine and strong drink, because the Fountain Clitorius is too far
off. Let three or four live Eels, put into the Wine, stay there till they
die. Let one drink of this Wine, who is given to Drunkenness, and he will
loath Wine, and always hate it, and will never drink it again. Or if he do,
he will frink but little, and with much Sobriety. Another way. Wash a
Tortoise with Wine a good while, and give one of that Wine to drink
privately, half a cupful every morning for three days, and you shall see a
wonderful virtue. Myrepsus. When one complained before the King of the Ind
ians, that he had sons born to him, but when once they began to drink a
little Wine, they all died. Jarchus answered him thus. It is better for
them that they died, for had they lived, they would have all run mad,
because they were begot of seed that was too cold. Therefore your children
must abstain fromWine, so that they may not so much desire it. Wherefore if
you have any more sons born, observe this rule. See where an Owl lays her
Eggs, and boil her Eggs rare, and give them your child to eat. For if the
child eats them before he drinks Wine, he will always hate it, and live
sober, because his natural heat is made more temperate. Philostratus, in the
life of Apollonius. Democritus says, the desire of Wine is abolished, with
the watery juice that runs from vines pruned, if you give it a Drunkard to
drink, who knows not of it.
"How to drive Parasites and Flatterers from great mens tables."
It is an easy matter to drive away from out tables, and great men's tables,
all Smell-feast, and Cogging Foisting fellows, and this will make our guests
very cheerful and glad, to see such Cormorants and parasites driven away,
and derided by all men. When therefore he sits down at the table,
"That his hands may grow black when he wipes of the Napkin,"
Beat Vitriol and Galls in a Mortar. Put them in a narrow close sieve, that
the powder may come forth very fine. With this wipe the Napkin, and shake
it. That what sticks not, may fall off. Then rub it with your hands, till
you find that it sticks very fast. Then wiping and shaking off what stays
not within. When the Parasite has new washed his hands and face, cast to
him the towel to wipe himself. And when it is wet, it will make his hands
and face as black as Coal, that will very hardly be washed out with many
washings. Being now washed and wiped,
"That he may not swallow the meat he chews."
And we shall make him feel the more pain, if he be anything dainty. I find
in writing, that if you stick under the table a needle, that has often sowed
the winding Sheer of the dead. And you do this privately before supper, the
guests cannot eat, that they will rather loath the meat, than eat it. But
experience proves this to be false and superstitious. Florentinus says,
that Basil is an enemy to women, and that so such, that if it be put under
the dish, and the woman knows not of it, she will never put her hand to the
dish, before it is taken away. But this is a most fearful lie. For a woman
and Basil agree so well, that they not only sow and plant them with great
diligence in their gardens, hanging in the air. But they frequently feed on
them in meats and Fallers. I have done it often. I Infused in a glass of
Wine one Drachm of the root of an Herb we call Belladonna, Fair Lady, not
bruising it too much. And after twelve hours, or a little more, pour out
this Wine into another cup, and give him that must eat with you, in the
morning a cup of it to drink. Then detain him with you three hours, then
call him to your table. For the morsel he takes in his mouth, he can by no
means swallow down, but he must hurt his Chaps, and be in great pain, so
that he can hardly drink. If you would have him eat or drink, let him
gargle a great quantity of Milk or Vinegar in his mouth, and he will be as
if he had suffered nothing at all. If we will,
"Drive Parasites from great mens tables."
We can easily do it thus. If we strew some of the dry roots of Wakerobin on
the daintiest meats, like Cinnamon or Pepper, in powder. When he takes a
bite of it, it will so burn his Chaps, and bite his mouth and tongue, and so
fetch off the skin of his tongue, that he will so Mump, and draw his Chaps
in and out, and gape, and make such sport, that will make people laugh. And
the pain will not abate, until he has anointed his Chaps with butter and
Milk. Moreover, if you cut the leaves of Cuckowpint small, and mingle them
with Sallets. Those that eat of them, will have their mouths and tongues to
drivel so much, with thick Spittle, that they cannot eat till they have
washed it off. And it will be as good sport, if you like not your guest.
"That all things the Smell-feast eats, may taste bitter,"
If you rub the edge of the knife, and the Napkin he wipes his mouth with,
with the juice of Coloquintida, or flesh of it, and lay it before him. For
when he cuts Bread with the knife, or anything else, and shall touch his
lips with the Napkin, it will give him such a filthy and abominable taste,
that whatever he touches, tastes, or licks, will have a most horrible Smack
with it. And the more often he wipes his mouth, that he may wipe away this
bitter taste, the more will his mouth, palate, and jaws, be tormented, that
he will be forced to forsake the table. We can also delude him so,
"That when he drinks, the cup shall stick to his mouth, that he can hardly
pull it off."
Smear the cup's mouth with the Milk of Figs, and Gum Traganth dissolved in
it. For when they are dry, they will be clear. But when he drinks, the cup
will stick so fast to his lips, that when he is done drinking, he can hardly
pull it off. We shall do thus,
"That flesh may look bloody and full of Worms, and so be rejected."
By Smell-feasts. Boil Hares blood, and dry it, and powder it. Cast the
powder upon the meats that are boiled, which will melt by the heat and
moisture of the meat, that they will seem all bloody, and he will loath and
refuse them. Any man may eat them without any rising of his stomach. If
you cut Harp strings small, and strew them on hot flesh, the heat will twist
them, and they will move like Worms.
The end of The Fourteenth Book of Natural Magick