Fifteen there were in all, making themselves merry with feasting and drinking as they sat around a huge pasty, to which each man helped himself, thrusting his hands into the pie, and washing down that which they ate with great horns of ale which they drew all foaming from a barrel that stood nigh.
"Now," quoth he, "my bow and eke mine arrows are as good as shine; and moreover, I go to the shooting match at Nottingham Town, which same has been proclaimed by our good Sheriff of Nottinghamshire; there I will shoot with other stout yeomen, for a prize has been offered of a fine butt of ale."
He came to me, look you, saying that if I would furnish him with a gallon of ale, wherewith to strengthen himself as he worked, and also the pigments and a board, he would paint for me a noble pied merlin which I might hang along with the blazonry over my door.
Dame Eliza looked doubtfully at him, as though fearing some other stratagem, but, as he made no demand for ale, she finally brought the paints, and watched him as he smeared on his background, talking the while about the folk round the fire.
The doctor, who was universally considered one of the best-tempered creatures on earth, made this demand in such a dreadful tone of anger, that Giles and Brittles, who were considerably muddled by ale
and excitement, stared at each other in a state of stupefaction.
The Squire ate his bread and meat hastily, took a deep draught of ale
, then turned his chair from the table, and began to speak again.
And the horses shook themselves, and the dogs jumped up and barked; the pigeons took their heads from under their wings, and looked about and flew into the fields; the flies on the walls buzzed again; the fire in the kitchen blazed up; round went the jack, and round went the spit, with the goose for the king's dinner upon it; the butler finished his draught of ale
; the maid went on plucking the fowl; and the cook gave the boy the box on his ear.
If you should go near Barnard Castle, there is good ale
at the King's Head.
Weller, shaking up the ale
, by describing small circles with the pot, preparatory to drinking.
At length the dish was lifted on the table, and mugs of ale
having been previously set round, little Nell ventured to say grace, and supper began.
Poyser, who saw his draught of ale
"I wish, mine host," quoth he gravely to Robin, who had soberly drunk but one cup of ale
, "that you would now call a reckoning.
Markham,' said he: 'I'll take a glass of your excellent ale
"But a glass of ale
you may have, and welcome," said I.
Besides these subjects of anxiety, the Saxon thane was impatient for the presence of his favourite clown Wamba, whose jests, such as they were, served for a sort of seasoning to his evening meal, and to the deep draughts of ale
and wine with which he was in the habit of accompanying it.