Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell Page: 47
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women; Cavalier lyricists promoted these ideals of male friendship. These ideals that the
Cavaliers who supported the reign of Charles I (1625-1649, through the Interregnum, and
Restoration) upheld-loyalty to the monarchy and to homosocial male friendship, for example
similarly apply to libertine friendship during the Restoration, especially in terms of the socio-
sexual aspect of male friendship where men deem their relationships with Cavaliers as more
reliable and less "transient [and] subject to change" than relations with women (Miner 252).
Libertine friendship, then, in "Upon His Drinking a Bowl" takes precedence over heterosexual
romantic relationships and friendships.
The narrator opens the poem invoking Vulcan, the "god of fire and metal working" to
design him a cup. He wants a large cup "As Nestor us'd of old" and asks Vulcan to "Shew all
thy skill to trim it up/Damask it round with Gold" ("Drinking" 1. 1, 2-3). Essentially, the narrator
wants a large goblet adorned with gold that resembles a cup Nestor might have used during the
Classical era. However, the narrator soon shifts his focus from instructions to Vulcan regarding
the details about the physical materials and dimensions of the cup to a depiction of Cavalier
and Libertine-friendship when he describes the images he wants Vulcan to engrave upon the
In listing his specifications for the designs adorned on his drinking glass, the poetic
persona expresses a preference for associating with fellow libertines in more leisurely settings.
He prefaces his descriptions of the images he wants depicted on the cup with equally specific
instructions to Vulcan about the scenes he does not want portrayed on it:
Engrave not Battail on his Cheek,
With War I've nought to do;
I'm none of those that took Mastrich,
Nor Yarmouth Leager knew.
Here’s what’s next.
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Smith, Victoria. Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell, dissertation, May 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6051/m1/53/?q=rochester: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .