The Kitchen of Mirth presents
A cup of small Beere

A Gentleman that dwelt tenne miles from London, sent his Footman in all haste to the Citty, to tell a Merchant welcome newes of a rich Unkle of his lately dead, that had left him somewhat to make him merry for his Death, with an out-side mourning in Blacke, and an in-side laughing with Sacke. The Foot-man having his Message, with a Letter, made as much speed as hee could, in hope of Reward for his good tidings, so that he seem'd by his pace to have wings on his heeles, and by the fogge or sweate hee was in, you would have suppos'd him to have beene bloated or stewed body and bones.

Being come to the Merchant, hee deliver'd the Letter, which after he had halfe read, the Contents contented him so, that he called his Maid, commanding her to fill a Bowle of Beere, and give it to the Foot-man, (who stood dropping with sweate as if he had newly beene duck'd) but hee setting it to his mouth, swallowed it with extreame eagernesse, and finding by the taste that it was a poore mortified Liquor, having no vivacity left in it, but meerely cold, comfortlesse, and at the best, a poore decayed single-soal'd drinke, although it were dead, and a deceased remnant of humidious Aquacity, nay though it had not upon the death or departure from its Cinnicall or Diogenicall habitation given so much as a good rellish, a smacke, or a taste to the poore Foot-man, that ever any Malt had beene drown'd, drench'd, or imbrew'd into it, yet hee (as a man of milde temper) amidst his heate, unwilling to speake ill of the dead, did plainely tell the Merchant thus: Sir, I doe thinke that your Beere hath ran as fast as I have ran, and faster. Why sayst thou so? (quoth the Merchant) because said the other, it sweates more then I do: it cannot be said the Marchant: the foote-man replied that if it did not sweate, he was much deceived, for hee was sure it was in a cold sweate, or all of a water.

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

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