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A Catholic Taste [22nd of April]


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The table was spread royally. Like all good food it was mainly meat, meat and meat.. with fat. Most notable tongue of a calf, pigeon pie, duck and pheasant. There was also of course fish (the much sought after carp), lobster, pullet in almond sauce, tansy of eggs, cheese, and fruits, prominent among them the orange and the pine apple. With snow crème, candied fruit and jellies for dessert. Claret flowed liberally and the men all felt a trifle heated through the alcohol consumed.


To add to this dainty feel, the King had laid out his table with two-fangled forks which hailed from France, the latest fad of tableware, though only the richest households could afford it. Being the high lords that they were, with no littel French influence, of course Arundel and others knew how to handle this. When supper was done, coffee was served, with a little cream. While the brew of rebels, the King secretly liked it. It sharpened his mind after such a liberal dinner.


"Honestly, Arundel," Charles Rex argued "I need my friends about me these days. I need you in Lords, and I need you in my government. What would it coast you to take the Oath of Allegiance? Its just words. God knows who you are in your heart. I firmly believe this." To accentuate this the King took a sip of his strong brew of coffee. "Thursday will be crucial. I cannot afford having the Exclusion Act pass Lords. I've given up on the Commons, they are all embroiled in the issues of the merchants of London and we all know that they are not real patriots." He had no need to remind the current public, a collection of the most powerful Catholic lords, that most London merchants had sympathized with Cromwell when he was in power and greatly despised Catholics.


The ladies present, Louise among others, smiled prettily and didn't pretend to understand the conversation. Arundel had not brought his wife, who was recovering of a miscarriage, but instead his mistress knowing that the King would do the same.


The evening continued, in much affability, until finally the King withdrew to prepare himself for his card game. All those present had felt much honoured and such was his game. He knew he had to flatter everybody to get anywhere in London.



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