I’m looking at a pamphlet from the end of the Popish Plot. It’s a satire on the false accusations and fabrication of evidence that were rife at the time. There’s some nice swearing – a good set of epithets: “cross-biter” and “bogg trotter” for Catholics and the Irish for a start. It also has some nice curses ( “Smoke for it in the Devil’s Kitchin (sic)” ) and oaths (“I swear then (look this way) by all contained in the round world and twenty-thousand miles beyond it.”)

What I like most about it, though, is the opening exchange. Possibly the best description of a hangover I’ve ever read:

NED: Come Wil. Unstring and pay thy groat, for I am confident thou wast fuddled last night, thou look’st so thin and small-beerish this morning.

WIL: Fuddled, quoth’a, I would that were the worst on’t Ned, for then a Nap might do one’s business, and set a body to rights again; But I tell thee my Head’s broke, my Brains are split, i am distracted and my senses are turned the wrong side outwards;

We’ve all had days like that…

The Swearing-master: Or, a Conference Between Two Country-Fellows Concerning the Times. Ned and Wil
Publisher N.T., 1681