Page view | Print view




S H E W I N G,
What Care is to be taken in the Choice
of Water, Malt, and Hops: And in what
Proportions they are to be Mixed, and how
Boyled and Fermented,for Making the best
March, or October Beer, Strong Ale, &c.

In a Method never before Publish’d.

Useful for all such as are Curious in Malt

By a Countrey Gentleman.

A   S A T Y R  upon   B R A N D Y,
By another Hand.

L O N D O N,
Printed for J. Nutt,J. Nutt: John Nutt, eclectic printer who in 1705 set up a shop in the Savoy and printed law books. In 1701 he printed Joseph Haines' quasi-factual biography. near Stationers-Hall.Stationers-Hall: Stationer's Hall; the Stationer's Company bought Abergavenny House in Ave Maria Lane in London. 1 7 0 0.

( 1 )




THEY who are Curious in Malt Drinks, as it is fit every one shou’d be that uses ‘em, (unless their Circumstances be such that they must be contented with what they find) generally make out all their first WortWort: the infusion of malt or other grain which after fermentation becomes beer (or may be used for the distillation of spirits), unfermented beer (OED). alone into Ale or Strong Beer. Ale is the only word used in the North of England for strong Malt Drink: And was likely the only strong Drink out fore-fathers made of Malt. This was the English Beverage Celebrated by our Poets, who yet cou’d

( 2 )

not forbear to blame the foul Thickness of it. One says,

Men drink it Thick, and piss it Thin,
Mickle Faith by St. Eloy,Mickle: great in amount or degree (OED). St. Eloy: a mild oath. See General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, line 120. what leaves it within?

Which seems thus Translated by another, unless good Wits jump.good Wits jump: an English proverb equivalent to modern "great minds think alike."

–––––––––––Nil spissius illa,
Dum bibitur, nil clarius est dum mingitur; ergo
Constat quod multas fæces in ventre relinquit.Nil spissius illa ...: this passage is from Analecta Bollandiana 112 by Henry of Avranches, poet laureate to King Henry III. A modern translation reads: Nothing is thicker than that / While it is being drunk, nothing is clearer while it is being pissed; therefore / It is agreed that it leaves many dregs in the stomach. Translated by Lewis Stiles.

Indeed before the use of Hops, which began in England about the Year 1540, as I take it, it was hard to Brew Drink, which wou’d be Fine before it was Eagar.Fine: free from foreign or extraneous matter, clear, pure, refined; Of superior quality; of liquids: free from turbidity or impurity, clear (OED). Eager: sour, acid, tart; pungent, acrid, keen to the taste or other senses (OED). In this sense Whitaker is referring to the difficulty of brewing good, clear ale. All good Ale is now made with some small mixture of Hops, tho’ not in so great Quantity as Strong Beer, design’d for longer keeping: And is for that purpose usually Brewed in March or October.

He that will Brew well, must be careful in the Choice of his Water, Malt, and Hops, and in the manner of mixing and fermenting them.

( 3 )

1. As to Water, Pond-Water and other Standing Waters in fat Grounds,fat Grounds: fertile soil. if clear and sweet, make a Stronger Drink with less Malt, then Well, Pump or Conduit Waters: Tho` any of these that are not hungry, and will bear Sope, hungry water: lacking (desireable elements) and therefore capable of absorbing them to great extent (OED). bear Sope: soap; water that will create lather with soap (OED). and lather without breaking, are good. Rain-Water, which Lathers the best of any, if saved from Lead, or where it brings no Salt from the Mortar Rain-Water, which...the Mortar: rainwater that is not contaminated with the lead or salty mortar on the side of buildings. over which it may pass, is good to Brew Ale to be drank new, but is not proper for Drinks to be long kept: It being very apt change, and unless kept cool and in great Quantities, as in the Leaden Cesterns in Cellers at Amsterdam, will corrupt and putrify the soonest of any Water. Thames-Water taken up about Greenwich at Low Water, where it is free from all Brackishness of the Sea, and has in it all the Fall and Sullage from this great City of London, makes very Strong Drink. It will of it self alone, being carryd to Sea, ferment wonderfully, and after its due Purgations,purgation: the action of making something physically clean by the removal of dirt or waste matter; the removal of impure or extraneous matter; (also) an instance of this, i.e. filtering (OED). and three times stinking (after which it continues sweet) it will be so strong, that Several Sea Commanders have told me it wou'd burn, and has often fuddled their Marriners. Other Commanders have

( 4 )

denyed this, which I thought I had Reason to impute to their want of Observation. However I conceive Thames-Water is by no means fit Brew Strong Beer to keep, for that, let the Drink which is Brewed of it be never so clear, it is apt on any considerable and sudden change of Weather, to ferment and grow foul. And I take this for a Rule, That no Malt Drink is truly good, which is not perfectly fine. Upon the whole, the best Liquor to Brew with, is that which is taken from a small clear Rivulet or Brook, undistrub'd by Navigation or Fording: And taken up in dry Weather, when no Rain has lately washed the Banks. My first two Brewings were made of such Water; which with all my Care and Experience I cou'd never equal since: Though I have been very curious and sent some Miles for my Water. Possibly much the best Water in England is that at Castleton in Derbyshire, commonly called, The Devils Arss, &c.The Devils Arss: Devil's Arse; natural cave known today as "Peak's Cavern," though the nickname "The Devil's Arse" is still used. Supposedly a pub existed within it at one time. From the depths of a certain cavern it is said you can hear the source of the river Styx. Whitaker might be fond of this water due to the fact it is natural spring water. Which Owzes from a great Rock, covered over with a shallow Earth and short Grass a top. It is incredible that so much Water shou'd percolate through so vast a Quantity of one Rocky Stone, were it not obvious to any one who goes into Pools Hole, where he

( 5 )

will find the Water continually dripping through the Top, and running down the Sides, till it makes a kind of Chrystal Rivulet at the Bottom of that Prodigious Rocky Concave. I have seen the Ale made of Castleton-Water as clear in three days after it was Barrelled, as the Spring-Water it self, and impossible to be known by the Eye in a Glass from the finest Canary Wine.Canary Wine: a pale yellowish wine from the Canary Islands that "is not so white in colour as Sacke, nor so thin in substance" (Venner). Brewers shou'd be as curious in the Choice of Water for their first Wort, as Cooks are for their Boyling of Yellow Pease. For as some Waters will never Boyle them soft; so will they never make good Ale or Strong Beer. However if the best Water be not to be had, but at too great a distance and charge, you may for your Second and Third Worts which are quickly spent, and used only for Table Drink, make use of such Water as you have near at hand.

2. As for your Malt. The North Country Malts from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cheshire, Lancashire, &c.Nottinghamshire, et al.: counties in England located northwest of London, near the Wales border. are the best, especially for Ale, but are generally too slack dryed for March or October Beer, which is to be kept at least half a Year before it be Drank. The Goodness of these Northern Malts proceeds partly from the

( 6 )

Corn which grows on Grounds more rested than in the Southern Countrys, where the Rents are more racked, and the Grounds more worn by continual Sowing; and partly from the making, in which they take more time then in other parts, and dry it leisurely with Pit Coal Charkt, called in some Places Coak, and in others Culm,Culm: refuse coal used to dry malt (OED). which is sweet and gives a gentle and certain heat. Whereas in the South East parts, they dry their Malt with Straw, which is hard to keep to a moderate and equal heat. And in the West Countrys with Wood, which gives a most ingrateful Tack to such as are not by Custom familiarized to it. Besides, in the North, they do not run out their Barley in Malting to such Lengths as in other parts: And in Grinding they set their Upper Millstone so high, that it breaks off only the Tops of the Clevel,Clevel: a grain of corn (OED). which makes their Drink so fine. And Malt small ground will never make fine Drink.

There is possibly some Reason for the Observation, that Malt mixt of several kinds makes the best Drink: And that it ought to ly ground in the Sacks three of four days before it is used.

( 7 )

3. Your Hops must be bright, well scented, well dryed, cured and bagg'd; and generally speaking are best about a Year old. They are a very uncertain Crop, and consequently of a very uncertain Price, sometimes sold at about Six Pence, sometimes at about half a Crown per Pound. And I believe it may be truly said, That better Hops have been sold for Six Pence or under, then ever were sold for Two Shillings per Pound, or upwards. Indeed all Fruits are best when they are cheapest. Those Years that are kindest for the Quality allways producing the greatest Quantity. So that it is certainly a wise way, on all accounts, to furnish one self well with Hops well cured in a cheap Year.

4. In your mixing and fermenting all these three together, That is in Brewing, after you have made a discreet Choice of your Matterials; You must first consider what sort of Drink you design to Brew, and accordingly proportion your Quantities. If you design your first Wort for strong Ale or March or October Beer; you must proportion five Gallons of Drink to every

( 8 )

Bushell of Malt (that is to say avoiding Fractions) Eleven Bushells of Malt to an Hogshead of Ale or Beer. But it must be remembred, that in so great a disproportion a Third of your Liquor in the first Wort will be absorped by the Malt, never to be return'd, and an allowance is to be made of about a Sixth Part to evaporat in Boyling. So that if you expect to clear a Hogshead of Drink, that is fifty four Gallons, from your first Wort, you must put into your Mesch-TubMesch-Tub: Mash tub; a receptical to hold mash (OED). near Ninety Gallons of Liquor. But for your Second or Third Worts, the Goods being wet before, you need put up no more Liquor then you intend to make Drink, except an allowance of about a Tenth part for wast, that not Boyling so long as your first Wort make one Hogshead of good middle Beer or Ale, as Strong as the common Ale-house Drink in London. And your Third Wort will make one Hogshead of good Small Beer.

I propose in this Case the drawing of Three Worts because of the great Quantity of Malt to a smaller of Liquor. Other-

( 9 )

wise in Ordinary Brewings, where you design not very Strong Drink, six or seven Bushells of Malt will make one Hogshead of good strong, and another of small Beer. And in such case, two MoaksesMoakses: moaks; mash (OED). will as well take out the strength of your Malt, as three in the other.

It is certain that in either of these cases your Malt will not be run out as the Common Brewers uses to be, so that if you take up an handful of the Graines you may blow them out of your hands with your Breath.

But it is hardly worth any Man's while, who is not indigent, to run out farther for his own Family; for all the Drink you can after make of it, will be but like the washing of Graines, it will prove poor Stuff. and if not drank presently, it will be apt to stink, unless you mix it with some of the former Worts which it will but spoil. Besides, what you leave in your Graines, by the way proposed, is not lost. For if you live in the Countrey, they will nourish your Cattle and Swine, and if in a Town, the Poor will be gratified by letting them put

( 10 )

up some cold Water to run through them, which they will carry away cold in Pails, and boyl at home without any trouble or charge to you; so that in effect you really relieve the Poor only with a little of your Cold Water which they themselves draw.

The Proportion of Hops may be half a Pound to an Hogshead of strong Ale; one Pound to an Hogshead of ordinary strong Beer to be soon Drank out: And two Pounds to an Hogshead of March or October Beer: And for the after Worts, which are not to be kept long, what comes from the first Wort will serve well enough to Boyl again with them.

If you put into your first Wort a greater Proportion of Hops, and Boyl them all the while your Wort Boyls, you will make it too bitter: But I conceive it adviseable to double the Proportion, by taking out the first parcell when your Wort has Boyled half the time you design it, and then adding the same Quantity of fresh Hops to continue Boyling till you take your Wort out of the Copper.copper: a vessel made of copper, particularly a large boiler (OED). This will somewhat encrease your Charge, but that will be very

( 11 )

inconsiderable, if you furnish your self in a cheap year of Hops.

By this way you will take out only the fine quick Spirits of the Hops, (which I take to be an useful and wholesome Vegetable) and will have a good Quantity left fit for the use of the Poor, if you give them the last running from your Malt.

Hitherto of the Qualities and Proportions of your Materials. Now concerning the manner of putting them together.

After you have put your Liquor in your Copper, strew an handful two or three of Bran or Meal upon it, not so much to strengthen your Liquor, as to make it heat quickly, for simple Water alone will be long ere it Boyl. But you must take your Liquor out of the Copper when it begins to simmer, and not suffer it to Boyl: For though it were granted that the Boyling did no harm to your Liquor, by evaporating the Natural Spirit of the Water (which it likely does) yet 'tis a needless expence of Fuel and Time, first to make it too hot, and after to stay till 'tis cooler again. For

( 12 )

you must by no means mix your Malt with Boyling hot Liquor, which will make the Malt clot and cake together, and the most flowery parts of it run whitish, glewyglewy: gluey. and fizy, like Saddlers Paste, so that it will never mix kindly, and give out its Strength equally to the Liquor.

I had not dwelt so long on this Head, but that I know many put their Malt first in the Mesch-Fat,Mesch-fat: Mash vat; a vat or tub in which malt is mashed (OED). and then pour in their Liquor for the first Wort, which is indeed necessary in the Second and Third Worts.

The contrary Practice of putting in your Liquor first, has these Advantages.

First, You can never otherwise guess when your Liquor is just cool enough to be mingled with your Malt: But in this case, you have a certain Criterion and Rule to judge by, that is, you must let your Liquor remain in your Mesch-Fat till the Vapour from it be so far spent, that you can see your Face in the Liquor: And then pouring your Malt upon it, you have this farther Advantage, that you keep your Liquor longer hot, and it sinks gradually, distributing it's

( 13 )

strength to your Liquor equally, without matting, and if it does not descend fast enough of it self, you must press it down with your Hands or Rudder,Rudder: a kind of paddle used in stirring malt in a mash tub (OED). with which you use to stir your Moaks.Moaks: mash (OED). This must be done by degrees: Allways remembring, that you shake your Sacks before you remove them over the sides of your Mesch-Fat, to get out the Flower of your Malt which sticks to them. And after all your Malt is settled, and your Liquor appears above it, you must put up in your Mesch-Fat as much more hot Water out of your Copper, as will make in all Ninety Gallons, for one Hogshead. Then stir it almost without ceasing, till it has been in the Mesch-Fat about two hours from the first putting up your Malt, in which your Servants may help and relieve you another.

After this pull out your Rudder,and putting a little dry Malt a top, cover it close, and let it stand half an hour undisturbed, that it may run off clear, and the Malt being sunk to the bottom, the Liquor a top will run through it all again, and bring away the strength of it. After this, you must lift up your Tap-staffe,Tap-staffe: tap staff; a staff used to stop the tap-hole of a mash-tub (OED). and let

( 14 )

out about a Gallon, not into your Tub underneath or Under-back, which is to receive your Wort, but into your long-handle Jett,Jett: a large ladle (OED). and put it up back again, stopping your Tap hole:  This do two or three times, till you find it runs clear, which it will not do at first, though your Tap-hose be never so well adjusted.

Throughout the whole Course of your Brewing, you must be very careful to do all you can to promote the Fineness and Clearness of your Drink.

In the North of England, where much the best Malt-Drink is made, they are so careful of making their Drink Fine, that they let their first Wort stand in their Receivers till it is very clear, all the gross parts being sunk to the Bottom, this they continue to do about Three hours in Summer, and Ten or Twelve hours in Winter, as occasion requires, which they call Blinking,Blinking: the operation of giving a sharp taste to beer by letting the wort stand for some time. Also of beer: Turning sour during fermentation. (OED) after which, leaving the Sediment behind, they only lade out the Clear Wort into the Copper. Which Custom is peculiar to the North and wholly unpracticed in other parts.

( 15 )

When all is run out into your Receiver or Under-Back, Lade or Pump out your Second Liquor, ordered so as to be just then ready to Boyl, on your Moaks:Moaks: mash (OED). And puting your first Wort into your Copper again, let it Boyl reasonably fast (which Boyling the Hops put on it will much accelerate) for about one hour and an half, for March or October Beer to be kept long: And one Hour for Strong Ale, to be Drank new. I know that a longer Boyling is generally advised. But I shall answer that when I come to shew the Reasons why Common Brewers seldom or never make good Malt Drinks. I advise the Wort rather to be Boyled reasonable fast, for the time, then to stand so long to simmer, because common Experience shews it wafts less, and Ferments better, after so long Boyling, than Simmering. And this Observation, grounded on Experience, will not seem strange to Philosophers; who know, that Six hours of a kindly insensible Perspiration shall make a Man lighter in the Morning, then so many hours of ordinary Sweating.

( 16 )

Possibly a less Fermentation and greater Evaporation is best for the Blood, and greater Fermentation and less Evaporation is best to prepare other Liquors for a new Fermentation.

Your first Wort, being thus Boyled, must be Pump'd or Laded off into one or more Coolers or Cool-Backs, in which leave the Sullage behind, and let it run off Fine. The more Coolers, and the thinner it stands, and the sooner it Cools (especially in hot Weather) the better: Let it run from your Cool-backs into your TunTun: a mashing-vat (mash-tun) or fermenting-vat (gyle-tun) (OED). very Cool, and set it not there to Work, in Summer, till 'tis as cool as Water. In Winter it must be near Blood Warm, at least the Bowl in which you put your YestYest: yeast. to set the rest on Working must have a mixture of Wort hot enough to make it all Ferment. When you find it begins to work up thick to a Yest, mix it again with your Hand Jett,Jett: a large ladle (OED). and when it has workt it self a Second time to a Yest: If you design'd it for Ale and speedy Drinking, and hopp'd it accordingly, then beat in the Yest every five hours, for two days together, in the Summer time,

( 17 )

or more, according as the Weather is; and for three or four days in Winter, covering your Fat close that it fall not into your working Tun.Tun: a mashing-vat (mash-tun) or fermenting-vat (gyle-tun) (OED).

When your Yest begins to work sad, and upon turning the Concave of your Bowl downwards sticks fast to the inside, then, skimming off the Yest first, cleanse the rest into your Vessel, leaving all your Dregs in the bottom of your Tun, and putting only the clear up: After it has a little Fermented in your Vessel, you will find it in a few days fine, and fit for your Drinking. Though according to the Quantity of your Hops you may proportion it for longer keeping.

If you Brew in March or October, and have hopp'd it for long keeping, you must then upon its Second Working to a Yest (after once beating in) cleanse it into your Vessel with the Yest in it, filling it still as it works over, and leaving when you stop it up a good thick head of Yest to keep it.

( 18 )

In Brewing, March and October Beer, it is advisable to have large Vessels bound with Iron Hoops, containing Two, Three, or Four Hogsheads, according to the Quantity you intend to make, putting all into one Vessel. This sort of Drink keeping, digesting and mellowing, best in the largest Quantities.

Your Vessels must be Iron hoop'd, else your March Beer will be in danger to be lost or spoiled: Leaving your Vent Peg allways open Palls it,Palls it: to make flat or stale by exposure to air (OED). and if it happen to be fastned but Six Hours together in the Summer, a sudden Thunder or Stormy Night may happen next Morning to pre sent you in your Cellar an empty Vessel and a covered Floor.

It is pretended that March is the best Month for Brewing, and the Water then better than in October: But I allways found that the October Beer, having so many cold Months to digest in, proves the better Drink by much; and requires not such watching and tending as the March Beer does, in opening and stopping the Vent hole on every change of Weather.

( 19 )

Many Countrey Gentlemen talk of, and magnify their stale Beer of Five, Ten, or more years old. 'Tis true more Malt and Hops than I propose will keep Drink longer than I use to do: But to small purpose; for that it will not exceed mine in any thing desirable, except such an extraordinary Strength as few Men care for. I allways broach mine at about Nine Months end, that is my March Beer at Christmas, and my October Beer at Midsummer, at which times it is generally at the best. But will keep very well in Bottles a year or two more. Stop your Vessel close with Cork, not Clay, and have near the Bung-holeBung-hole: the ‘mouth’ of a cask. Bung: a stopper (OED). a little Vent-hole stop'd with a Spile, which never allow to be pull'd out, till you Bottle or draw off a great Quantity together. By which means it is kept so close stopt, that it sloushes violently out of the CockCock: a spout or short pipe serving as a channel for passing liquids through and having an appliance for regulating or stopping the flow; a tap (OED). for about a Quart, and then stops on a sudden, and Perles and SmilesPerles: condense or run together so as to form pearl-like drops or beads (OED). Smiles: sparkles i.e. effervesce with small glittering bubbles (OED). in a Glass like any Bottled Beer, though in the Winter time. But if once you pull out the Vent-Peg, to draw a Quantity at once, it will sensibly loose this BrisknessBriskness: effervescence, i.e. agreeableness to taste; not flat (OED). and be sometime before it recovers it.

( 20 )

I propose no Directions for the Second and Third Worts: He that can manage the first well, can never fail in the rest. Your Third Wort, being poured on hot Goods, may be only Cold Water.

Now that I have given the best Directions for Brewing that readily occur to my Memory. I come to shew the Reasons why Common Brewers very seldom or never make good Drink. This I know is generally attributed to their Underboyling their strong Worts, which to prevent, some Brewers to their Detriment, and no manner of Advantage to their Drink, have Boyled them three hours, which is thrice as long as needed; and all to no purpose.

  In most (if not all) of the Northern Counties there are few or no Common Brewers. The Inn-keepers and Publick Ale Houses Brewing what they Retail in their own Houses. And Private Families for themselves. And in all these Counties 'tis as rare to find any ill Malt Liquors, as it is to find good in London, or the adjacent Counties.

( 21 )

This may serve to shew the Mistake of those, who ground their Computation of the Number and Proportion of Inhabitants, between some Southern and Northern Cities and Towns, on the Kings Revenew of Excise arising out of them. For that, in the Eastern and Southern Counties, abounding in Common Brewers, almost all the Inhabitants of Cities and great Towns there, and the meaner People of their Neighbourhood, take their Drink of the Common Brewers, clog'd with Excise; which few or none of all the Inhabitants of the Northern Towns do.

In the West of England, They have some Common Brewers, but not in Proportion to the East and South. In most parts of the West, their Malt is so stenched with the Smoak of the Wood, with which 'tis dryed, that no Stranger can endure it, though the Inhabitants, who are familiarized to it, can swallow it as the Hollanders do their thick Black Beer Brewed with Buck Wheat.

( 22 )

In BristolBristol: city in western England near the coast of the Mouth of The Severn, which separates Wales and England. they have considerable Quantities of Malt by Sea from Wales, some dryed with Straw, some with Coak or Culm,Culm: refuse coal used to dry malt (OED). much the best way of Drying. Yet have little good Drink made from it, which is generally imputed to the Brackishness of their Water.

In short, the Reason why Publick and Common Brewers seldom or never Brew good Drink is, That they Wet more Malt at once, then 'tis possible they can have Vessels and Servants enough to Work, and set it cool enough to Ferment kindly: And withall, Brew so often, that they cannot sufficiently, between one Brewing and another, cleanse and scald their Brewing Vessels and Barrels, giving them due time to dry, but that they will retain such a Rest as will always Char and Sour their Liquors. And the Mischiefs accrewing by such Neglects are incredible to Persons unexperienced.

( 23 )

My Brewers have been so cautious in this Particular, that if any Servants of the House, have by accident made use of any long handled Jett, hand Jett,Jett: a large ladle (OED). or Pail, with cold Water during the Brewing; they have scalded it a new, and let it dry before they wou'd use it again.

This practice of the Common Brewers Wetting such vast Quantities of Malt at once, and Brewing so often, puts me in Mind of the Story of MelibeusMelibeus and Menalcas: both characters in Virgil’s (70-19 BC) pastoral poetry (LION). the Mantuan Shepherd in Boccalin, who tells the Roman Empire, that whilst he and Menalcas kept Five Hundred Sheep each, as they long did, they made a Crown a Head by the Wooll and Lambs, amounting to Five Hundred Crowns Per Annum. But when Menalcas, from Covetuousness doubled his Flock to a Thousand Sheep, expecting to get thereby a Thousand Crowns a Year, he made but Three Hundred Crowns; and when he trebled his Flock, and made them Fifteen Hundred Sheep, he got nothing.

( 24 )

This is but a Course A P P L I C A T I O N of a S T O R Y, fram'd with a great Contexture of Witt and Political Wisdom.












FArewel damn'd StygianStygian: of or pertaining to the river Styx, one of the rivers of the underworld. In classical mythology the souls of the dead were ferried across it (OED). Juyce, that dost bewitch,
From the Court Bawd, down to the Country Bitch;
Thou Liquid Flame, by whom each firey Face (Bitch;
Lives without Meat, and blushes without Grace,

Sink to thy Native Hell to mend the Fire,5
Or if it please thee to ascend yet higher,
To the dull Climate go, from whence you came,
Where Wit and Courage do require your Flame;


Where they Carouse it in VesuvianVesuvian: of or pertaining to Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in 79 a.d. and buryed Pompeiia nd Herculaneum. It erupted again in 1631 killing three to four thousand people. Bowls,
To crust the Quagmire of their spungy Souls:10
Had DivesDives: Latin, "a wealthy person" (OED). for thy scorching Liquor cry'd,
AbrahamAbraham: a Biblical figure commonly believed to be the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He pleaded for God not to destroy Sodom if ten righteous people could be found (Gen. 18:16). The implication is that everyone is a drunkard and so ten righteous people can not be found. in Mercy had his suit deny'd;
Had BonnerBonner: probably Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London also known as "Bloody Bonner" for his role in the persecution of protestant heritics under Queen Mary (Foxe). known thy force, the Martyrs Blood
Had hiss'd in thee, and sav'd the Nations Wood: sav'd the Nation's Wood: Possible reference to Bonner's role in condemming heretics to be burned by fire.
Essence of Ember, scum of melting flint,15
With all the Native sparkles floating in't;
Sure the Black-ChymistBlack-Chymist: the devil; in the Middle Ages the devil was commonly thought to have horns, a tail, and cloven hooves (WE). with his Cloven foot,
All Ætna'sÆtna's: Mt. Etna; active volcano on the East coast of Sicily. The most violent historical eruption was in 1669 destroying a dozen villages (EBrO). in one Lymbecksimples: unadulterated (liquid), i.e. pure lava (OED). Lymbeck: alembic; an apparatus for distilling (OED). put,
And double still'd, nay quintessenc'd thy Juyce,
To charcoal Mortals for his future use.20
Fire-ship of Nature, thou dost doubly wound,
For they that graple thee, are burnt and drown'd:
As when Heaven prest th' Auxiliaries of Hell,
A flaming storm on cursed SodomSodom: An extremely wicked or corrupt place. Freq. coupled with Gomorrah, the two cities destroyed by God in Genesis 19. fell,
And when it's single Plagues would not prevail,25
Egypt was scalt with kindled Rain and Hail.
So Natures feuds are reconcil'd in thee,
Thou two great Judgments in Epitome.
God's past and future Anger breath in you,
A Deluge and a Conflagration too.30
   View yonder Sott,Sott: Sot; One who dulls or stupefies himself with drinking and/or habitually drinks to excess (OED). I do not mean Shr---Sh–––Shr---Sh–––: Sheriff Shute; Samuel Shute (d. 1685) was elected Sheriff of London and Middlesex for 1681-2, and was invested in whig efforts, keeping Shaftesbury and Monmouth (who were involved in the same Rye House Plot as Edward Whitaker) in his company. John Dryden and Nahum Tate called Shute as often "warm with wine" as "drunk with zeal" (ONDB).
Grilled all o're, by thee, from head to foot,
His greasie Eye-lids shoar'd above their pitch,
His Face with Carbuncles, and Rubies rich,
carbuncle: a red spot or pimple on the nose or face caused by habits of intemperance (OED). Rubies: a red pimple or red tinged skin (OED).
His Scull instead of Brains supply'd with Cinder,35
His Nose turns all his Handkerchiefs to Tinder;


He breaths like a Smiths Forge, and wets the fire
Not to allay the flame but raise it higher.
His Stomach don't concoct, but bake his Food,
His Liver even vitrefies his Blood;40
His trembling hand scarce heaves his Liquor in,
His Nerves all crackle under's Parchment Skin;
His Guts from Natures drudgery are freed,
And in his Bowels
Salamanders salamander: mythical lizard-like creature said to live in fire or to be able to withstand its effects (OED). breed,
He's grown too hot to think, too dull to laugh,45
And steps as tho' he walkt with Pindars staff.
The moveing Glass-houseGlass-house: house where glass is blown, which must be heated to an extremely high temperature (OED). lightens in his Eyes,
Singes his Cloaths, and all his Marrow frys,
Glows for a while, and then in Ashes dyes.
Thus like a sham PromethiusPromethius: Prometheus; in Greek mythology, he was a Titan who disobeyed Zeus and brought fire to mortals. we find,50
Thou stol'st a Fire from Hell, to kill mankind.
But stay, least I the Saints dire Anger merit,
By stinting their Auxilliary Spirit;
I am inform'd, whate're we wicked think,
Brandy's reform'd, and turn'd a godly Drink.55
E'er since the Publick Faith for Plate did Wimble,
And Sanctifi'd thy
Gill with Hannah's Thimble,E're since … Hannah's Thimble: these two lines are presumably a double-entendre with a very sexual overtone. Publick Faith for Plate did wimble: public attitudes toward religion were replaced with a desire for plate, i.e. money. Wimble: to bore into. Wimble can also have a sexual meaning, which drives the next passage. Gill: A measure for liquids containing one fourth of a standard pint, or about 142 ml (OED). It may also mean "girl." Hannah's Thimble: possibly female sexual organs. A possible interpretation is that the worship of liquor (and debauchery) is replacing the sanctification of religion.
Thou'st left thy old bad Company of Vermin,
The swearing Porters, and the drunken Carmen,
And the new drivers of the Hackney Coaches,60
And now tak'st up with sage discreet debauches;
Thou freely drop'st upon Gold Chains and Fur,
And Sots
Sot: one who dulls or stupefies himself with drinking and/or habitually drinks to excess (OED). of Quality thy Minions are.
No more shalt thou foment an Ale-house brawl,
But the more sober Riots of Guild-Hall;Riots of Guild-Hall: 1682 riot at the London guild-hall at which Samual Shute was convicted and assault and battery were commited against the late Lord Mayor.65


Where by thy Spirits fallible Direction,
The Reprobates once pol'd for an Election:
If this trade hold, what shall we Mortals do,
The Saints Sequester even our Vices too.
For since the Art of Whoring's grown precise,70
And Perjury has got demurer Eyes,
'Tis time, high time to circumcise
circumcise: the "ir" is illegible in the Whitaker edition, but the word "circumcise" can be confirmed from Joseph Hains "A Satyr Against Brandy," published by the Black-Bull Publishing company, 1683. the Gill,
And not let Brandy be PhilistianPhilistian: Philistine; an uneducated or unenlightened person (OED). still.
Go then thou Emblem of their torrid Zeal, }  
Add flame to flame, and their stiff tempers kneal, 75
'Till they grow ductile to the Publick Weal.ductile: susceptible, pliant. Weal: wealth, prosperity (OED).  
And since the Godly have espous'd thy cause,
Don't fill their heads with Liberty and Laws,
Religion, Priviledges, Lawless Charters,
Mind them of Falstaff's Heir-Apparent-Garters,Falstaff: a notorious drunkard from Shakespeares's Henry IV. Heir-Apparent-Garters: 1 Henry IV, II, ii. 777-780 "Go hang thy selfe in thine own heire-apparant-Garters: If I be tane, Ile peach for this: and I haue not Ballads made on all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a Cup of Sacke be my poyson." (Internet Shakespeare Edition) Heir apparent: The heir (of one still alive) whose right is indefeasible, provided he outlives his ancestor, at whose death he is heir-at-law. (OED).
And keep their outward man from Ketches quarters.Ketches quarters: Ketch's quarters; i.e. Hell. A 'ketch' was a hangma. The nickname derives from Jack Ketch, who was appointed public executioner in 1663 under King Charles II and was known for his prolongued executions, taking at least eight strokes of the axe in the beheading of James Scott, Duke of Monmouth in 1685 (EB).
One caution more, now we are out of Hearing,
Many have dy'd with drinking, some with swearing:
If these two Pests should in conjunction meet,
The Grass would quickly grow in e'ry Street:85
Save thou the Nation from that double blow,
And keep thy fire from
Salamanca T.O.T.O.: Titus Oates; he purportedly recieved a doctorate in divinity at Salamanca University, Spain, and was ridiculed as the "Salamanca Doctor" later in his life and labelled as "the Doctor of Devility." He was a renegade Anglican priest and famous turncoat who supposedly converted to Catholicism only to betray the religion by fabricating the Popish plot of 1678, spreading rumours of a Catholic plot to kill King Charles II and strengthening the anti-Catholic whig party.