Francis Beaumont (1584-1616) and John Fletcher (1579-1625), The Elder Brother
, Act I, Scene 2 (speakers are Andrew, Cook, and Butler):
And. Unload part of the Library, and make room for th'other dozen of Carts; I'le straight be with you.
Cook. Why, hath he more Books?
And. More than ten Marts send over.
But. And can he tell their names?
And. Their names! he has 'em as perfect as his Pater Noster; but that's nothing, h'as read them over leaf by leaf three thousand times; but here's the wonder, though their weight would sink a Spanish Carrock, without other Ballast, he carrieth them all in his head, and yet he walks upright.
But. Surely he has a strong brain.
And. If all thy pipes of Wine were fill'd with Books, made of the Barks of Trees, or Mysteries writ in old motheaten Vellam, he would sip thy Cellar quite dry, and still be thirsty: Then for's Diet, he eats and digests more Volumes at a meal, than there would be Larks (though the Sky should fall) devoured in a month in Paris. Yet fear not Sons o'the Buttery and Kitchin, though his learn'd stomach cannot be appeas'd; he'll seldom trouble you, his knowing stomach contemns your Black-jacks, Butler, and your Flagons; and Cook, thy Boil'd, thy Rost, thy Bak'd.
Cook. How liveth he?
And. Not as other men do, few Princes fare like him; he breaks his fast with Aristotle, dines with Tully, takes his watering with the Muses, sups with Livy, then walks a turn or two in Via Lactea, and (after six hours conference with the Stars) sleeps with old Erra Pater.
But. This is admirable.