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half-and-half is by no means below the attention of a philosopher. No speciality in beer ever urged on me unheard its special claims. I like it best in huge tankards adorned with armorial bearings, when a thirsty draught allows the beautiful daylight to emerge through the glass below; but under no shapeespecially in the dog-days-is this refreshing liquor to be shunned, especially the lager beer.
Beer and Britisher seem to be tolerably synonymous. I heard Mr. Gladstone say one night in the House of Commons that a man might take a gallon of it, but the right honourable gentleman was obviously misinformed, The feat would be physically impossible. I am of course aware of the enormous capacity of the drayman. They are sometimes mere human beer-casks. Beer circulates in their system instead of blood. The scratch of a nail on the finger would, to many of them, cause mortification and death. There is something very picturesque about the London drayman, and he has active political sympathies, as was shown in the case of Marshal Haynau. As you see him on his waggon climbing some narrow thoroughfare from the river-side to the City, the appropriate guardian of those piled-up pyramids of casks, he gives you one of those comparatively rare bits of the picturesque which London still affords. It is worth noting, however, that the British taste for beer has been of gradual growth, and has been developed from very small beginnings. In all these things a man naturally goes to Shakespeare. You cannot mention any subject under the sun, but Shakespeare has his say upon that subject. Though Chaucer talks of a glass of moist and corny ale,' and his miller prayed for enough good ale, and indeed took more than was good for him, yet Shakespeare speaks of that 'poor creature small ale’; and Prince Hal and his followers by no means took kindly to beer. The taste has been a gradual taste, just as the improvement in beer has been a very gradual improvement. People liked it when brewed, not ‘small' but strong. The saying soon crops up : • Blessed be her heart, for she brewed good ale.' We find that the astute statesman Charles James Fox shouted out to the electors, 'A mug, a mug!' to popularise himself.
The famous Isaac Bickerstaff, when he went to Dick's Coffee-House, asked for
'I observed that the gentlemen did not care to enter upon business till after their morning draught.' Beer is essentially a Hanoverian drink. It is said that it kept the race of Brunswick on the throne during the era of the Pretender. It is a large political influence at the present day, and may be said to have a daily newspaper to represent the beery section of the British mind. The material interests
There are many tanks which would float a large-sized barge. Very large fortunes have been gained by beer, but very large fortunes have
mug of beer.'
been lost by the brewers. Many brewers not only make their money, but keep their money, and do a great deal of good with it. But such well-known cases as the Delafield bankruptcy show how vast fortunes accumulated this way may be dissipated. Society may be said to divide itself between the wine-drinkers and the beer-drinkers. The tastes are frequently amicably interchanged, but the wine-drinker, as a rule, does not care much for beer, and the man accustomed to sound beer will require sound wine before he will exchange. I think that the Elizabethan age was rather a wine age, and the Victorian a beer age. We hear indeed much more of sack and malmsey than we do of beer; but at the present day every household is a large consumer of hops and malt.
Most people were much amused with Mr. Leland's * Hans Breitmann's Barty,' and the other ballads which were known all over the Union during the American War. They reproduce the curious broken English of the German immigrants to America. Der Breitmann made a raid into Maryland, fired with a noble ambition to get some lager beer. It will be noted that the chief peculiarity of the German-American - English dialect is, that it confounds the hard and soft sounds of the consonants
*Der Breitmann mit his gompany
Rode out in Marylandt:
Mine droat's as dry as sand.
It's light canteen and haversack,
It's hoonger mixed mit doorst;
Gling, glang, gloria !
In a similar way, among other exploits in love and war, he goes into Kansas
‘Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas,
To see vot he could hear;
Py makin' lager beer.' In Germany the magic 'lager beer'is only less inspiring than the famous ‘Die wacht am Rhein.'
I believe there is no more refreshing and wholesome beverage, unless you are given to gout or rheumatism, than the pale, strawy, amber-coloured bitter. I believe there is high medical authority for saying that if a poor fellow has a shilling to spend on his dinner, he will get more good by taking ninepence worth of food and threepen'orth of beer than if he spent the whole on food. If he drinks less, he eats more; if a teetotaller craves a stimulant he will eat more, for food is a stimulant as much as beer. The fact seems to be that beer acts favourably on the nervous system, on which, in these days, the chief tear and fret of life rests. I remember thoroughly knocking myself up once by many hours' mountaineering work, to which I was unaccustomed. My nervous system was terribly shaken. I slept very badly after my stupendous efforts.
Felt very seedy next day. Breakfasted and took tea. Still very all-overish. A happy thought'struck me
' ‘ —bring me a jug of ale. A foaming jug of good home-brewed Westmoreland.ale was brought me. The effect was extraordinary. Every jaded nerve, tingled with the 'bracing influence; I felt - restaurated,' and next night slept about twelve hours. I was cured from the effects of that over-exhaustion which is frequently so perilous to climbers. I think that in the presence of the immense recuperative effect which good beer, et hoc genus omne, has at times, our teetotal brethren ought to be more guarded in their language. In some parts of the country, teetotalism is absolutely a mania. Even those who are not teetotallers will talk the teetotal fetish. They make a religion of it, and erect chapels where they actually preach about it; at times, as it has appeared to me, with real if not intended irreverence. Every man who has signed the pledge perches himself on a tremendous moral pedestal from which he reproves the weak, beer-imbibing community. If he had been a sufficient gentleman to have been strictly temperate, he probably would not have signed. Do not let them be so severe on my modest pint of my country's bitter. Finally, I have very pleasant associations with beer.
It makes me think of the days when I was one of a lot of young fellows—claret, Burgundy, and champagne were at prohibitive prices then, and we did not often indulge