Friday, March 14, 2014

How to Break Up a Party, 1659

Jan Steen, A Merry Party (c. 1660)
"A fine Conceit, to clear a Room of drunken, or rude company. Take a Chafingdish of clear Charcoals, or live Wood-coals; throw Giney Pepper on it, and put it under the table, and they will both cough, sneez, fart, and spew, if they have drunk hard. You may do the like with Assa-fÅ“tida, and Euforbium. The same put into a hollow Tooth, easeth the pain." 
Richard Amyas, An Antidote Against Melancholy (1659)
House filled with drunken merrymakers? This 17th-century smoke bomb will send them out the door with a fanfare of explosive convulsions. (Also note that, like any good Early Modern remedy, it doubles as a cure for toothache. Hopefully without the above-mentioned side effects.)


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