Publisher: London, J. Wilford, 1724
Or a Treatise wherein is Declared by Many Reasons, that Beer so Qualified, is Far More Wholesome than that which is Drank Cold; with a Confutation of such Objections as are Made against it. Intersperst with Divers Observations, Touching the Drinking of Cold Water. And Publish'd for the Preservation of Health
Second edition. First published in 1641 in Cambridge under the title Warme Beere, this is the scarce second edition of this treatise; two further editions followed in 1725 and 1741. The work proposes the case that cold beer is detrimental to health, but that warm beer is beneficial and indeed therapeutic, stating that, 'according to the rules of physick, drink is used for three purposes. First to allay our thirst; secondly to intermingle with our food; thirdly to be the vehiculum and carrier of nourishment into the universal body' (p. 2). The effects of hot and cold drinks including wine, tea, and beer, are variously considered and discussed with regard to gout, the liver and kidneys, the stomach and digestion, the blood, the nervous system, and numerous ailments, and the author bases his arguments on ancient and contemporary authorities, citing Galen, Aristotle, and Plato, supplemented by more modern ones, including Nicolas Monardes, Arnoldus de Villa Nova, Marsilio Ficino, and Giovanni Pietro Maffei.
Although the first three editions are anonymous, the prefaces are signed 'F.W.'; the fourth edition has a dedication to the eminent physician Richard Mead, signed by Martin Grindal (who notes that he has amended the orthography and terminology, where they appear archaic). The preface 'of the publisher to the reader' sets out the case for warm beer (and against cold) by citing the editor's own experiences and opinions: 'But some will say, cold beer is very pleasant to one that is thirsty: I answer it is true: but pleasant things for the most part are very dangerous. Cold beer is pleasant when extream thirst is in the stomach, but what's more dangerous to the health? How many have you known and heard of, who by drinking of a cup of cold beer in extream thirst, have taken a surfeit and killed themselves? What's more pleasant than for one that hath gone up a hill in summer-time and is exceeding hot, to sit down and open his breast that the cool air may blow therein? and yet how dangerous is it? For a man in a very short time, forgetting himself, taketh a sudden cold, and surfeits thereon, which costeth his precious life for his pleasant air' (pp. [vi]-[vii]). Interestingly the text varies slightly through these editions: the case is cited of the wife of Mr Clark of Jarck's Hill in Kent, whose malady responds well to warm beer, but badly to cold; in the first edition this incident is dated to 1590 (p. 105), in this edition the date has been amended to 1693 (p. 36), and in the 1741 edition no date is given (p. 37).
8vo. 20th-century calf-backed cloth boards, gilt leather lettering-piece on spine; pp. [8 (title, verso blank, preface and poem 'In Commendation of Warm Beers')], 48; type-ornament headbands and decorations, roman and greek types; occasional light browning, spotting and marking, small paper-flaw on B2, but generally a very good crisp copy; provenance: early manuscript amendment on p. 2.
This edition is rare: ESTC locates only two copies in the United Kingdom (both at the British Library; Maclean erroneously states that the BL 'copy of the 1724 edition has been lost or mislaid') and four in North America (Brigham Young University, NLM, University of Pennsylvania Van Pelt-Dietrich, and University of Tulsa; the Lilly Library catalogue only cites an electronic resource). In addition, Maclean cites a copy in the Library of Congress, which cannot be traced in their online catalogue. Similarly, no copy can be traced in Anglo-American auction records since 1975 (and only two copies of the more common 1641 edition are recorded in that period).
ESTC T52237; Maclean p. 64; NLM/Blake p. 481