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town house, Billy Weston entertained. a few fellow-servants at the Mitre in Cheap.
This youth had a reasonable share of cunning, and was skilled in all the mis. chief which formed the pastimes of the vicious, during the profligate reign of the first James. His father had been servant to the husband of Mrs. Turner, and in that capacity acquitted himself to the satisfaction of his employer. On the death of Turner, who by the way was a practitioner of medicaments, such as were then usually prescribed by the faculty and vended by the druggists to the public, Richard Weston, the father, continued an useful, and, at the same time, a favoured servant of the widow. From circumstances of tolerable affluence, Mistress Turner gradually sunk to the situation in which she now appearsa go-between-to Rochester and the Countess of Essex. With the for
tunes of his mistress, Richard Weston contrived to accommodate himself, and the prospects which glittered before his eyes when he waited upon the Viscount, served to continue for a time his diligence in Turner's household. The Countess of Essex, in return for the father's assiduity, had taken the son, Billy, as her page; and on the day in question, this youngster had no sooner seen his lady safely housed, than he hastened to the Mitre in Cheap, where he met with Henry Peyton, Simon Marson, and Lawrence Davies, who had been enjoying themselves at Rochester's expence.
Peyton and Davies were servants of Sir Thomas Overbury, Marson had been a strolling musician, till fortune threw him within the purlieus of the court, where he played and sang for the diversion of his superiors, and the amusement of his companions.
“ Come hither, Sir Landlord,” quoth
Billy Weston, after the usual salutations had passed between him and his old friends, “ how sayest thou, mitred fillpot, to a stoup of braket ?”
“ Braket, my young master!" ejaculated the host, ’yclept. Cambro Mead,
why, look ye, Sir, this clarey drinks excellent well--my service to you But if ye will ha' braket, braket it shall be, equal to your Cantab theologicum."
" Drink again, Cambro Mead,” said Billy, “ pledge the musician, or he 'll tip you a stave, in honour of your Irish swash, as Dr. Andrew Borde makes his Welchman say,
I do love, cawse bohy, good toasted cheese;
Drink, I say drink, and give your guest the best content o' re night, out of hope to please yourself in the morning.” “Gramercie," quoth Cambro Mead,
“ but this savours of my wife's regency in the kitchen-your health, second fiddle, at this honourable board.”
“ Bow, wow, hear the fellow? know
not sirrah," cried Marson,“ every one who enters here, takes his chamber for the time he stays, as his own, with no less assurance than Billy the Norman's barons took your ancestor's castles as their own ?"
.“ Drawer, drawer, fetch the braket -now, my masters, call you that not excellent palatable stuff ?"
“ This,” rejoined Weston, drinking, " this, this is the cursedest stuff ere pawned on travellers—’tis adulterate, mingled."
“ Let me taste it,” interrupted Cambro Mead" This mixt!
I call you to witness, my 'masters, this is the very purest braket in London-drawer, I say, drawer, did you fetch this from the third cask on the right hand turning to
the left and then to the south, marked March or the mourning garment?-God bless the memory of Elizabeth — My masters, I say, your newes from Barthoa lomew Fayre, names no house where there is March or October braket half so mellow as this.”
« Pooh! fellow, none of your gib: berish about Bartholomew fayre, I can sing it myself,” cried Lawrence Davies,
give us delicate diet for dainty mouthed drunkards, a stoup of dagger ale, and pledge me a cup full, or a malison on your mitre and braket.”
“ Cry you mercy, my master,” quoth Cambro Mead, but ne'er a malison comes on my mitre or my braket either, be it double beer, march ale, dagger ale or theologicum I pledge you in-But
wife's tongue to our tapster-How like ye these notes, my second fiddle ???
" Ah! go to, thou who ventures what ::: CSKA!!
there goes my