The Kitchen of Mirth presents
Strong Beere

Two soldiers of old acquaintance, having beene long asunder, chanced to meete, and after salutations they agree'd to enter an Ale-house, where a formall fashionable Tapster fill'd them as much nicke and froath with Petars of Tobacco, as made them (in his estimation) to bee reckoned at two shillings; they fell to the discourse of their severall Fortunes and Services, the one of Russia and Poland, the other of Germany and Sweaden; they talk't of hunger and thrift, cold, and nakednesse, sieges, and assaults, Artillery, Ammunition, Guns, and Drummes, wounds, scarres, death, and all the perils incident to men of the Sword.

The Tapster over-hearing them, said, that they were the better welcome for being Souldiers, and that hee had beene one of that Martiall Traine himselfe in the Low-countries, where (hee thank'd God) hee neither did harme, nor took any; the best was, that hee had learn'd so much wit that no man could couzen him: the Souldiers answer'd him, that his labour was worth his travell, in learning so much cunning, and so they paid their reckoning, and departed. They had not gone farre, but they met with another acquaintance, (a cunning shark) to whom they told the bragging confidence of the Tapster: How said he, will he not be couzned? Tell mee where hee dwells, and goe you two and stay at a Taverne that's next him; and I will first be with him, and then come quickly to you.

The place being told, and the Taverne appointed, the witty Soldier went to the Tapster, and call'd for two Gunnes of Beere; Guns quoth the Tapster? Canns you would say; the other reply'd, I doe mean Cannes, but I have been so us'd to Gunnes in the Warres, that I forget my selfe, and call every thing a Gunne: So the Beere was fill'd in, and drank, and the Tapster fill'd his Gunnes or Cannes by couples, which they dranke betweene them; then the Souldier said that hee saw a Tapster winne a Wager lately beyond beleefe; for he brought sixe Cannes of Beere from the Tap all full, in one hand, and set them on the Table, not spilling one drop; Sir, said the Tapster, I dare to lay a Crowne that I can doe that, I will lay as much that you doe it not said the other; so the Wager was layd on the Boord, but whilst the Tapster was filling the Cannes, the Souldier ran away with the money, and straight perceived for all his wit and cunning, yet was able to be couzned.

Drinking at an Ale-house

  • Strong Beere. Source: Taylor, John. Taylor's Feast. London: Printed by J. Okes dwelling in little St. Bartholmews, 1638

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