Hogarth blundered when he introduced the brewer's drayman as a type of the |
The man is asleep: he would not willingly hurt a fly, to say nothing of a child, but,
he knows not the mischief his wheels are doing. He can scarcely even be accused of carelessness, for how could he expect a,child to be there unguarded? It is the nurse or mother that is to blame. Nobody who has to do with beer is inhumane. Beer cannot make a rogue an honest man--even the ale of Lichfield could not work that miracle upon Boniface-but it mollifies his temper.
and, though scarcely so near akin, we have much to say in behalf of that brewer's drayman. Look at his smock-frock, his hat, his gracefully-curving, ponderous whip: beside the sceptre of an Ulysses or Agamemnon it would show like the pendent birch beside a bare hop-pole, and yet would crush a Thersites more effectually. When cracked in the horses' ears it knells like a piece of artillery. And so accoutred as the brewer's drayman was in the days of Hogarth, so may he still be seen in the streets of London, perched upon or striding beside his stately dray. He is of the unchanged, unchangeable monuments which live on through all transmutations, telling a story of forgotten generations to a race which remembers them not-like the circle of grey stones which beneath a grove of embowering oaks witnessed the inhuman rites of the Druid, and now obstruct the reaper's sickle amid the golden grain-like the little drummer-boys, all so like each other that the man in his grand climacteric could fancy them the same he gazed after in his childhood, and take the elf, at this moment loitering before the guardhouse in , for the identical to whom the
gave sixpence, and
The brewer's dray is worthy of such an ancient pillar of the constitution. Benjamin the Waggoner and his poet are both right eloquent in praise of their
Nor need it be denied that it had a stately and imposing presence of its own, alike amid the thunder-storm in the mountain gap, or
But every must feel that half of the beauty of the Westmoreland waggon is owing to the associations that cluster around it; whereas the brewer's dray suffices in itself. When the head of the foremost of its colossal horses is seen emerging from of those steep, narrow lanes ascending from the river side to , (sometimes is it there seen, though the coal-waggon has pre-eminence in that locality of dark arches looking like the entrance to the Pit of Acheron,) there is a general pause in the full tide of human life that flows along the thoroughfare. Heavily, as though they would plant themselves into the earth, the huge hoofs, with the redundant locks dependent from the fetlocks circumfused, are set down, clattering and scraping as they slip on the steep ascent; the huge bodies of the steeds, thrown forward, drag upward the load attached to them by their weight alone; in a long chain they form a curve quite across the street, till at last the dray, high-piled with barrels, emerges from the narrow way like a reel issuing from a bottle, and, the strain over, the long line of steeds and the massive structure, beside which the car of Juggernaut might dwindle into insignificance, pass smoothly onwards.
It is no unimportant element of London life that is launched with all this pomp and circumstance into its great thoroughfares. There is a-system organised, by which the contents of these huge emissaries from the reservoirs of the breweries are diverted into a multiplicity of minor pipes and strainers which penetrate and moisten the clay of the whole population. From
the huge, high-piled dray may be seen issuing from the brewery gates to convey barrels to the tap-houses, and -gallon casks, the weekly or fortnightly allowance of private families. At noon and night the pot-boys of the innumerable beer-shops may be seen carrying out the quarts and pints duly received at those hours by families who do not choose to lay in a stock of their own; or the mothers and children of families, to whom the saving of a halfpenny is a matter of some consequence, may be seen repairing with their own jugs to these beer-conduits. You may know when it is noon in any street in London by the circulation of beer-jugs, as surely as you may know when it is A.M. by seeing housekeepers with their everlasting straw reticules and umbrellas. And in addition to these periodical flowings of the fountains must be taken into the account the
of carmen, coal-whippers, paviours, &c. at all hours of the day--of artisans at their
and of medical students and other
It is not easy to form an estimate of the quantity of beer annually strained through these alembics, but we may venture upon what Sir Thomas Browne would have called
In the principal brewers in London brewed no less than barrels of beer. The quantity of malt
|wetted by all the brewers in London in that year was quarters; the quantity wetted by the illustrious , quarters. According to this proportion, the number of barrels of beer brewed in London, in , could not fall far short of . The beer manufactured for exportation and country consumption may be assumed, in the mean time, to have been balanced by the importation of Edinburgh and country ales, and Guinness's stout. In the population of the metropolis was estimated at . This would give, hand over head, an allowance of barrels (or gallons) of beer per annum for every inhabitant of the metropolis-man, woman, and child. This is of course beyond the mark, but perhaps not so much so as would at imagine. At all events, these numbers show that beer is an important article of London consumption: thus corroborating the inference naturally drawn from the high state of perfection to which we find the arrangements for injecting it into all the veins and arteries of the body corporate have been brought.|
There is a passage in Franklin's which illustrates the minuter details of the injecting process in his day :--
The pressman whose bibbing feats are here recorded, it must be admitted, rather verged towards excess in his potations: he did not administer the malt in homoeopathic doses; but his lack of moderation conferred no right upon
christened Franklin) to vilify
by the epithet
Beer is to the London citizen what the water in the reservoirs of the plain of Lombardy, or the kahvreez of Persia (which is permitted to flow into the runnels of the landowners so many hours per diem), is to the village peasantry of those countries. It is of those commonplaces of life-those daily-expected and daily-enjoyed simple pleasures which give man's life its local colouring. The penning of the sheep in a pastoral country-
of Scottish song--is poetical, because the bare mention of it calls up all the old accustomed faces, and sayings and doings, that make home delightful. In London it is our beer that stands foremost in the ranks of these suggestions of pleasant thoughts. Therefore it is that a halo dwells around the silver-bright pewter pots of the potboy, and plays, like the lightning of St. John, about the curved and tapering rod of office of the brewer's drayman. Therefore is it that the cry of
falls like music on the ear; and therefore it is that in the song of the jolly companion, in the gibe of the theatrical droll, in the slang of him who lives
(of the 'bus), in the scratching of the caricaturist, the bare mention of beer is at any time a sufficient substitute for wit. It needs but to name it, and we are all on the broad grin.
Beer overflows in almost every volume of Fielding and Smollett. There never
|was hero who had a more healthy relish for a cool tankard than Tom Jones. There is an incident which all our readers must recollect in the story of Booth's Amelia, that positively elevates brown stout into the region of the pathetic. As for Smollett, the score which Roderick Random and Strap run up with the plausible old schoolmaster, fancying all the while he is teaching them, is perhaps too rural an incident for our present purpose; but the pot of beer with which Strap made up the quarrel with the soldier, after the misadventure which attended his attempt to dive for a dinner, was of genuine London: brewing.|
Goldsmith appreciated the capabilities of beer in an artistical point of view: how could the author of Tony Lumpkin fail? He has immortalised it both in prose and verse. The story of the Merry-Andrew out of employment, whom he picked up in the , would have lost great part of its zest had it not been told over
Who does not feel that the conversation of the imprisoned debtor, porter, and soldier, about an apprehended French invasion, is rendered more pointed by the good malt liquor that takes a part in it?--
And, without the allusion to beer, how dry would have been his description of the region where authors most abound!-
To a poet of a later day than poor Goldy it was given to sing a royal visitation to a London brewhouse; and as our readers may expect us, while upon this subject, to introduce them to the interior of of these great establishments, they may prefer visiting it while a king is there. The hurry of preparation to receive the illustrious guest was spiritedly sung by the modern Pindar:--
The irreverend manner in which the poet describes the rapidity with which the royal questions were huddled on each other may be passed over. Suffice it to say, that, by the clack of interrogatories,--
The picture of Majesty examining
with an opera-glass of Dollond is good, but we hasten to the
elicited on the occasion :
The Muse of Painting, at least the Muse of Engraving, was equally assiduous with the Muse of rhythmic words in its attention to--the staple liquor of London. Hogarth has immortalised its domestic, and Gilray its political history. In his engraving of Hogarth has been rapt beyond himself. There is a genuine
breathed over all the groups. The key-note is struck by the refreshing draughts of the tailors in the garret; it rises to a higher pitch in the chairmen, of whom wipes his bald head while the other drinks; it becomes exuberant in the lusty blacksmith brandishing the astonished French
porter in hand and his pewter-pot in the other ; and it soars to genuine poetic inspiration in the ingenious artist who is painting with such unutterable gusto, |
Gilray, under the inspiration of good ale, became classical and allegorical. The Castor and Pollux of his are lusty brewers of his day-incarnations of strong beer. His are bold and grotesque in conception, yet executed in conformity to the severest rules of sculptural grouping. His
is worthy of Poussin.
This union between beer on the hand and art and literature on the other was not a mere playful fiction of the imagination. The fine spirits of London loved good ale as Burns loved his
whom he not only be-rhymed but took unto his wife. It was no mere Platonic flirtation that they kept up with the beer-barrel. The brows of Whitbread were bound with the triple wreath of brewery, the drama, and senatorial oratory; his own brewhouse, , and were rivals in his affections. The names of Thrale and Johnson must go down to posterity together. We have often had occasion to sigh over the poverty of London in the article of genuine popular legends-- brewhouse is among the exceptions. The workmen at Barclay and Perkins's will show you a little apartment in which, according to the tradition of the place, Johnson wrote his dictionary. Now this story has feature of a genuine legend--it sets chronology at defiance. It is no invention of a bookman, but the unsophisticated belief of those who know books less from personal inspection than by report, as something the knowledge of which makes a learned man.
Before Johnson made his acquaintance with the Thrales, men eminent in their way in literature, the belonging to the generation of authors who preceded the Doctor, the other destined to earn his full harvest of praise after the lexicographer had retired upon his pension, shook hands over a cup of good ale. Mandeville and Franklin had a meeting when the former visited London in
| early life, which is thus noticed by the latter in his Autobiography :-- |
It is worthy of remark that Franklin has not a word to say against: the
when it was imbibed by he felt flattered by being introduced to; and it may also be observed in passing, that we are here introduced to the out-spoken sceptics of London, with whom Franklin sympathised as completely in his youth as he did with those of Paris in his advanced years. The former he found in pot-houses. Mandeville was a gentleman, but Chubb and the others always look like the arguers of some cobblers' debating society. The French wits, on the contrary, were men of fashion; and yet it may be doubted whether there were not more nerve and shrewdness in their homely English predecessors. The difference is illustrative of the varied characters of the cities as well as of the individuals.
scarcely belongs to the very oldest period of our literature. Chaucer gets eloquent at times upon the subject of
and Skelton has sung its praises; but the dramatists of the Elizabethan age made little account of it.
Shakspere speaks rather compassionately of that
Nor was it altogether an affectation of being more in their drink: the ale of the olden time must have been at best but a sorry tipple. Hops only came into cultivation in England about ; before that time brewers made a shift with broom, bay-berries, and ivy-berries-sorry enough substitutes. Ale was almost certain to get
before it was ripe. Nor was this all: in the minute and specific directions for brewing which are to be found in Holinshed it may be seen that it was the custom to eke out the malt with a liberal admixture of unmalted oats. From the trial of Beau Fielding, quoted in a former paper, it would appear that an inferior sort of liquor called oat ale was in use in families.
The truth is, that they were only learning to brew drinkable beer in London about the time of Shakspere. It appears from the information collected by Stow that in the year there were about brewers in the City, suburbs, and ,
Hops appear to have been grown in great quantities in the vicinity of the Pomeranian Hanse Towns as early as the century, and beer to have been of the staple articles of export from these great trading communities. The circumstance of so many of the London brewers in the century being foreigners seems to point to the conclusion that hops, and persons capable of teaching the right way to use them, had been imported about the same time.
The London Company of Brewers was incorporated, it is true, in , and bore for a time their coat of arms impaled with that of Thomas a Becket. The Company, however, and its trade, do not appear to have emerged
| into consequence until the confirmation of their charter in , the of Elizabeth. That there had been songs in praise of ale before this time argues nothing for its goodness. The decoction of malt and oats, bittered by ivy berries, must have been much such a mess as the |
of the Upper Nile and the Niger: it made men tipsy, and when tipsy they bestowed exaggerated praises on the cause of their exhilaration. This is the utmost that Chaucer finds to say for
in his time. The symptoms of his Miller, by which the host saw that he
are those of a man who drinks to get drunk, not because the liquor is palatable. His very gestures show it :
The delicious rapidity and incongruity with which his images crowd upon each other in the prefatory speech he delivers show the state he was in, and, what is more to the purpose, his boasts show that he is proud of his condition:--
This is the full amount of the spirited eulogy:--
In Elizabeth's day beer was rising in estimation: alarmed by the increase of alehouses, the Lord Mayor, aided by the magistrates of and , suppressed above of them within their jurisdictions in , and the example was followed in and other places round London. It was about this time, or perhaps later, that the saying,
came up. Launce, in the
speaks of it as quite of recent origin. But as yet beer (the name is said to have come in with hops, to distinguish the improved liquor from the old-fashioned ale) seems to have been chiefly in request with those who could not afford wine. Prince Hal apologises for longing for it; Falstaff never tasted it; it was the most raffish of all his followers, Bardolph, whose meteor nose glared through the alehouse window, undistinguishable from its red lattice blinds.
The years and are the earliest for which we have found any statistics of the beer trade of London. The brewers in brewed among them barrels of beer. This they sent to their customers in open barrels before the process of fermentation was completed; at least it is to the loss occasioned by its being transmitted in that state that, in their answer to a complaint against them made to the Chancellor, they attribute the enormous deficiency of gallon in . In the
brewed yearly the quantity of or brewings of sweet beer or strong beer for exportation to Embden, the Low Countries, Dieppe, &c. The produce of all these brewings might amount, year with another, to barrels. This trade was often interrupted; for as soon as corn began to rise in price, the exporting brewers were complained of as the cause, and a proclamation issued to
or what was called . The apprehensions were probably unfounded, for the foreign beer trade seems to have been little more than a cloak for the smuggling of very different commodities.--A complaint was made to the treasurer of England in , that
Falstaff made bitter complaints, and swore there was no faith in villanous man, because he found a little lime in his sack: had he been a beer-drinker, how he would have grumbled at such a dainty mixture as is here described! The return barrels were employed in the conveyance of more delicate wares :--
Some notice was taken, in--the paper on , ancient and modern, of the persecution of the alehouse-keepers under the Long Parliament. Enough was said then to show that ale, as a drink, had become a popular favourite. That the excise imposed upon beer, in , was found worth the continuing, may be taken as a proof that the liquor was improving.
would have been driven out of the market by such an increase of price. Down to the time of the Revolution, however, although good ale might be met with in wealthy families who could afford the expense of making it-or in corn districts, which, in that age of bad or no roads, enjoyed no facilities for conveying their surplus grain into more sterile districts (which may account for the high terms in which Boniface speaks of his ale in the )-English beer seems to have been rather an indifferent liquor. The ecstacies in which lamb's-wool, and other ways of disguising it, are spoken of, show that it was taken merely for its intoxicating effects, and that its taste required to be disguised. Who would think of spoiling the XXX of Barclay or Goding with foreign admixtures?
An anonymous writer in the
enables us to trace the progress of the London beer-trade from the Revolution down to the accession of George III. In the beginning of King William's reign, the brewer sold his brown ale for per barrel; and the small beer, which :was made from the same grains, at per barrel. The customers paid for their beer in ready money, and fetched it from the brewhouse themselves. The strong beer was a heavy sweet beer: the small, with reverence be it spoken, was little better than the washings of the tubs, and had about as much of the extract of malt in it as the
|last cup of tea which an economical housewife pours out to her guests has of the China herb.|
A change came over the character of London beer in the reign of Queen Anne, owing to very different causes: the duty imposed upon malt and hops, and taxes, on account of the war with France, on the hand, and the more frequent residence of the gentry in London on the other. The duty on malt exceeding that on hops, the brewers endeavoured at a liquor in which more of the latter should be used. The people, not easily weaned from the sweet clammy drink to which they had been accustomed, drank ale, mixed with the new-fashioned bitter beer, which they got from the victualler. This is the earliest trace our antiquarian researches have enabled us to detect of the very palatable beverage
The gentry introduced the pale ale, and the pale small beer, which prevailed in the country; and either engaged some of their friends, or some of the London trade, to brew their liquors for them. The pale beers being originally intended for a more affluent and luxurious class, the brewers who engaged in this new branch of the business paid more attention to the condition in which it was delivered, increased their store of casks, and kept them in better order. The pale ale was more expensive than the old London beers: its price was a barrel, while the brown ale was selling at or , and the bitter beer at But the spreading of a taste for the new drink, and the establishment of
such as. that in which Franklin met Mandeville, stimulated the brown beer trade to produce a better article than they had hitherto made.
says the writer before alluded to,
This we may imagine to have been the state of the beer-trade when Sir Harry Quickset, Sir Giles Wheelbarrow, Knt., and company, accompanied Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., to Dick's Coffeehouse :--
About the year a bright thought, we are told, occurred to the brewers--that they might improve their trade by improving their liquor; at least such is the only meaning we can attach to this oracular passage :--
The author proceeds:--
Thus auspiciously commenced the high and palmy age of London's beer, which has ever since gone on improving in quality and estimation. Thus commenced the age in which it was to become the favourite beverage of a succession of racy thinkers and learned men, from Mandeville to Dr. Parr and Charles Lamb. Thus commenced the age in which it was to prove a Helicon to a peculiar and unrivalled race of artists and poets in prose and verse--of Hogarth and Fielding, of Smollett, of Goldsmith, of Gilray. Thus commenced an age in which it was to become a word of household love throughout the busy and hearty land of Cockaigne-itself a familiar and cherished friend, known in the playful moods of affection as
and all the varieties of X's.
It was beer that kept the race of Brunswick on the throne in the days while
were still alive. The
were seminaries of true Protestant and revolution principles. There were the adult adherents of the new dynasty to be found-
--when their leaders wanted to get up an anti-popery panic and row; and there did the apprentices bold of London imbibe the principles of their seniors, not diluted, but rendered palatable, by the liquid in which they were administered. More anxious and watchful for the interests of the established government than that government itself, they nosed out Jacobite plots before they were concocted, and not unfrequently drubbed the civil and military servants of the powers that were, because their efforts came short of the exorbitant demands of their own beer-blown zeal. Often were the authorities obliged to repel the furious love of these idolaters, lest they should be killed with kindness; and hard knocks seem to have had no effect in rendering them less loving. They were as ardent Hanoverians after a score of them had been knocked on the head for a row as before. They were the mob of the corporations, for the unincorporated mob of London--a much more numerous but less disciplined body-owned a divided allegiance to the prize-fighters and pickpockets on the hand, and to the Jacobites on the other--both parties in general uniting against the heroes of the
yet unable, with all their superiority of numbers, to make head against them. Gin was the liquor of this less reputable rabble; but gin only gave courage, not thewes and sinews; beer gave both, and therefore the mug-houses triumphed; These are tales of the times of old, for both mug-houses and their frequenters have been long extinct. Their last warlike display was in setting on foot Lord George Gordon's anti-popery riots. Gilray drew upon his antiquarian lore when
| he portrayed Charles James Fox conciliating the pot-boys of , and his enraptured auditors bellowing |
The wonderful magnitude of the great London breweries is a familiar source of wonderment. The stacks of casks that might reach, placed side by side, from London to Eton--the vats in which parties could dine and have dined-the colossal machinery which performs the functions discharged by men and women in the puny brewages of domestic and antique beer-making--the floods of brown stout accumulated in the huge receptacles, large enough to be the reservoirs of the water companies of moderate towns--the coopers, smiths, sign-board painters, and other artisans, who lend to the interiors of the great breweries the appearance of small towns-all these matters are familiar to the flying visitors of London and their home-keeping cousins, who listen with wonderment to their tales of the metropolis. Is any man ignorant of these things?-he may find them written in the thus:--
|With other matters to a similar purport.|
In Murray's edition of the curious reader will find an estimate of the immense profits which have been made by brewers; and from the records of the Bankruptcy Court he will learn with what ease and in how short a time large fortunes have been sunk in that branch of business. Generally speaking, however, brewers appear, like their horses and draymen, to be a substantial race. They belong, many of them, to the old city families: the names of the leading brewers at the beginning of the reign of George III. are, in not a few instances, the names of the leading brewers of our own day; and in some cases the
is, properly speaking, the same, though the names have been changed. The increase of brewers has kept pace with London's increase in other respects. The brewhouses of the reign of Elizabeth had become about in -, and upwards of in . The number of barrels of beer brewed by the principal brewers in London was- in ; in ; and in .
The genuine London beer (although we learn from the that there are only brewers in London-Reid, Meux, and Courage--who do not brew pale ale, and that there are a few who brew nothing else) is the brown stout. It is the perfection--the ideal of the
of the old songs. It is what the poet of those antediluvian days fancied, or a
| lucky accident enabled their brewers at times to approach. No disparagement to the pale and amber ales, infinite in name as in variety; to the delicious Winchester; to the Burton, which, like Sancho's sleep, |
to Hodgson's pale India ale, so grateful at tiffin when the thermometer is upwards of , and the monotonousness-creating punkah pours only a stream of heated air on the guests; to the Edinburgh (we mean the Edinburgh as it is to be had in London[n.14.1] ) ;
is the perfection of malt liquor. As Horace says of Jupiter, there is nothing
--not even among liquors of its own complexion. Guinness is a respectable enough drink, but we must say that the ascendancy it has gained in many coffee-houses and taverns of London is anything but creditable to the taste of their frequenters. Its sub-acidity and soda-water briskness, when compared with the balmy character of London bottled stout from a crack brewery, are like the strained and shallow efforts of a professed joker compared with the unctuous, full-bodied wit of Shakspere. As for the mum of Brunswick, which enjoys a traditional reputation on this side of the water, because it has. had the good luck to be shut out by high duties, and has thus escaped detection, it is a villainous compound, somewhat of the colour and consistence of tar--a thing to be eaten with a knife and fork. We will be judged by any man who knows what good liquor is-by a jury selected from the musical amateurs of the
the penny-a-liners who frequent the
near , and the more sedate but not less judicious tasters who dine or lunch daily at
in Pope's Head Alley. Should it be objected that such a tribunal, composed exclusively of Londoners, might be suspected of partiality, let it be a jury half composed of foreigners--Lübeck, Goslar in Saxony, and any town in Bavaria can furnish competent persons to decide such a question. The German students are in general (at least in the north) devout beer-drinkers, but they are of the class who love
--they drink without discrimination. It is among the of Germany that you must look for connoisseurs in beer.
But the favour in which London beer stands in so many and various regions of the earth may be received as the verdict of a grand jury of nations in its favour. Byron sings-
and he might have added that wherever tobacco is known and appreciated, there too have the merits of London porter been acknowledged. The learned Meibomius, [n.14.2] who, in a Latin quarto, has dilated upon the subject of
with the completeness and minuteness of a true German naturalist, and with that placid seriousness which might make what he says pass for a joke if there were only wit in it, or for
|learning if it contained anything worth knowing, has judiciously remarked that smoke-drinking and beer-drinking are natural and necessary complements of each other. The mucilaginous properties of the beer are required to neutralise the narcotic adustness of the Nicotian weed; and London beer, being the perfection of its kind, naturally takes the lead of all other kinds of beer. Accordingly we find it not only on the shores of the Baltic, where the habit of swilling their own indigenous malt liquors might be understood to have predisposed the natives to its use, but under tropical skies, and among the disciples of the great teetotaller, Mahomet.|
On the Nile and Niger, as has above been hinted, this is not so astonishing. There the natives had already a kind of beer of their own; and where once a taste for malt has taken root, it would take a cleverer fellow than Mahomet to eradicate it. Burckhardt, in his Nubian travels, gives us a tolerable notion of how vainly the Faquirs and Santons preach against indulgence in boosa; and the last letter from poor Anderson, the only of Park's European companions who survived to perish with his leader, boasts of having got drunk upon boosa with a Moor, and licked his boon companion in his cups. That people accustomed to put up with bad liquor should take kindly to good when it came within their reach is quite natural.
It is among the Osmanli, and the Arabs, and the multiform sects of Hindustan, that we are to look for the real triumph of London beer. In the country last mentioned it is true the high-hopped pale ale of Hodgson, Bass, and others famous in that line, appears to be in greater demand; yet the genuine brown stout will be found in a respectable minority. Probably, too, a minute examination would show that it is only at the tiffins of the Europeans that Hodgson's beer is most run upon, and that the dusky natives do more affect the generous liquor that comes nearer to their own complexion. In the tropical climates of the West, among the fiery aristocracy of Barbadoes, the shrewd hard-headed book-keepers of Jamaica, the alternate votaries of the gaming-table and the languishing Quadroons of New Orleans, bottled porter reigns supreme.
Pale ale is a favourite of long-standing in India. It and the darker kinds of beer crept into Arabia, through the English merchants trading to the Red Sea, at least as early as the time of Niebuhr. That traveller saw a serious elderly Mussulman tipple down repeated glasses of Mr. Scott's beer; gravely remarking
The Scheich must either have been a notorious old humbug, or profoundly simple, to say of good London beer that it did not intoxicate.
The Turks, of whom Dr. Clarke tells us in his voyages about the Dardanelles and Egypt, were scarcely more candid, but considerably more ingenious. After the French had been driven out of Egypt, a British trading vessel, which had been fitted out to Alexandria by a speculative dealer in beer counting upon the thirst of a British army in a hot climate, arrived just too late for the market it had counted upon. This was a black look-out for the poor fellow who united in
|his person the responsibilities of skipper and supercargo; but by good luck there were then, as now (though not to the same extent), some of those questionable characters called antiquaries and the like prowling about Egypt, who were on a convivial footing with some of the laxer sort of Turks. The Osmanli tasted the porter at the houses of their Frank friends, and, rather liking it, were not slow to discover that Mahomet could not possibly have prohibited a liquor of which he had never heard, and, without effecting, like Niebuhr's friend, to believe that it did not intoxicate, drank copiously. The skipper found the Turks better customers than the Franks; and we believe the sale of the article has continued to increase both at Alexandria and Constantinople.|
Porter-drinking needs but a beginning; wherever the habit has once been acquired it is sure to be kept up. London is a name pretty widely known in the world: some nations know it for thing, and some for another. In the regions of the East India Company, where missionary exertions are not much favoured, it is known as the residence of
in the islands of ocean it is known as the place whence the missionaries come; the natives of New Holland naturally regard it as a great manufactory of thieves the inhabitants of Spanish America once looked upon it as the mother of pirates. But all nations know that London is the place where porter was invented; and Jews, Turks, Germans, Negroes, Persians, Chinese, New Zealanders, Esquimaux, Copper Indians, Yankees, and Spanish Americans, are united in feeling of respect for the native city of the most universally favourite liquor the world has ever known.
[n.14.1] Good Edinburgh ale must be allowed time to ripen into excellence. When bottled, it ought to be cloyingly sweet, and so glutinous that when some is poured upon the palm, and the hand held closed for five minutes, immersion in warm water is required before it can be opened again. After bottling, the ale ought to stand five years in a cool dry cellar, and four months near a Dutch oven in frequent use. It is then at its best; but even then it is more like a liqueur to be sipped than a liquor to be drunk.
[n.14.2] Joan. Henrici Meibomii de Cervisiis Potibusque et Ebriaminibus extra Vinum aliis Commentarius: Helmestadii, 1668. 4to.
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|CHAPTER LXXVI: Beer|
|CHAPTER LXXVII: Banks|
|CHAPTER LXXVIII: The Fleet Prison|
|CHAPTER LXXIX: Fleet Marriages|
|CHAPTER LXXX: Westminster Abbey. No. 1, General History|
|CHAPTER LXXXI: Westminster Abbey. No. 2, The Coronation Chair|
|CHAPTER LXXXII: Westminster Abbey. No. 3, The Regal Mausoleums|
|CHAPTER LXXXIII: Westminster Abbey. No. 4, Poets' Corner|
|CHAPTER LXXXIV: Westminster Abbey. No. 5, A Walk Through the Edifice|
|CHAPTER LXXXV: Old London Rogueries|
|CHAPTER LXXXVI: London Burials|
|CHAPTER LXXXVII: London Fires|
|CHAPTER LXXXVIII: Billingsgate|
|CHAPTER LXXXIX: Something about London Churches at the Close of the Fourteenth Century|
|CHAPTER XC: Sketches of the history of Crime and Police in London|
|CHAPTER XCI: Old St. Paul's|
|CHAPTER XCII: Old St. Paul's, No. 2|
|CHAPTER XCIII: Somerset House|
|CHAPTER XCIV: The Old Bailey|
|CHAPTER XCV: Public Refreshment|
|CHAPTER XCVI: New St. Paul's, No. 1|
|CHAPTER XCVII: New St. Paul's, No. 2|
|CHAPTER XCVIII: Inns of Court: the Inner and Middle Temple|
|CHAPTER XCIX: Innos of Court. No. 2, Lincoln's Inn-Gray's Inn|
|CHAPTER C: The Reading Room of the British Museum, by James M'Turk, Esq.|