The Kitchen of Mirth presents
Twelve Woodcockes in a Dish

About sixe or seaven new molded Gallants, (whose outsides were silke and slashes, and their insides jeeres and flashes) were invited to a worthy cittizens House to dinner, where amongst a great deale of other good cheare, there was brought to the Board a Jury of Woodcockes in one Dish, laid Head to Head in the center of the platter, as fantastick Travailers and their Wives doe lie feete to feet in the great Bed of Ware, sometimes by dozens. These Guests (beeing loath to conceale their small Talents of wit) had an especiall Art to breake ten good jeasts of other mens, before they were able to make one good one of their own: they began to jybe at the Woodcockes, and said they were a Jury Empanaell'd; another sayd, it was hard to judge whether they were a petty, or a Grand-Jury: a third said, that he thought that those twelve were an Embleme of the twelve Companies. The Citizen (being a Gentleman of place and eminence) not thinking their eering worthy of his anger, would not set his gravity against their foppery; yet thus mildly he answered them. You are welcome Gentlemen, and I do wish that my entertainment were better for you, but it shall be taken away, for I do assure you, that I never had so many Woodcockes at my Table at one time in all my life; but I thinke the fault is not in my Cater, for here are at least halfe a dozen more then he provided. So hee commaunded one that waited on, to take away the roasted Woodcockes from the rest.

  • Twelve Woodcockes in a Dish. Source: Taylor, John. Taylor's Feast. London: Printed by J. Okes dwelling in little St. Bartholmews, 1638

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