Love And Scandal Are The Best Sweeteners Of Tea
Henry Fielding Quote
Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea; Henry Fielding musing on the tongues of the tattlers recipe for sweet tea party success
How sweet is your tea on the Richter scale of scandal? It would appear it matters not what the tea tastes like as long as the tongues of the tattlers are vilifying the scandalised.
The introduction of tea to Europe in the early 1600's was well received and its popularity as a refreshing drink grew across the continent.
In 1720's England a trend developed where milk and sugar were added to tea which was unheard of in a millennia of tea consumption back in its historical home of China.
The Dawn Of The Tea Party
The popularity of tea in eighteenth century England was to give rise to the dawn of the tea party which opened the door for societies tattlers to sit with their peers and indulge in idle chit chat.
Tea parties fast became a hotbed of gossip for the chattering classes which was something that did not go unnoticed by the satirical pen of novelist and playwright Henry Fielding.
However Fieldings first play was called 'Love in Several Masques' and it only ran for four short nights in February 1728 at Londons Theatre Royal until the curtain came down on its final ever performance.
The quote "Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea" is a classic line from this not so memorable play and it is ironic that nearly 300 years later this quote is more famous than the play itself.
In every play, book or novel, regardless of its success, there will be one or two lines so memorable they transcend the life of their vessel and the 'love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea' quote is a perfect example of this.
People always remember great quotes and while the line still resonates with sections of society it will be repeated until it loses relevance before it fades to the annuls of literary history.
It will be interesting to see how long Henry Fieldings quote will remain popular before it too, like the play it was taken from, fades to literary obscurity.