E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The most ingenious method of fasting I know of is that recorded in the Mappemonde Papistique, p. 82. A Venetian saint had certain boxes made like mass-books, and these book-boxes were filled, some with Malmsey wine, and some with the fleshiest parts of capons and partridges. These were supposed to be books of devotion, and the saint lived long and grew fat on them.