A charitable gesture

Tallis Steelyard

Blommendae,_Reyer_Jacobsz._van_-_Xantippe_Dousing_Socrates_-_c._1655

It is at this point I wish to bring before you a good friend of mine, one Tamas Berfett. Tamas is a man of many parts, a successful merchant, a minor poet of modest competence willing to accept criticism, a husband and father of a brood of doubtless delightful children. He is also a man of undoubted courage.

It is this courage I particularly wish to salute. It has to be said that times are getting tough in the world of the middling merchant, dealing mainly in bulk commodities. Shipping costs were rising and prices were slipping and whilst he was farsighted enough to have the resources to ride the metaphorical storm (and cunning enough to spot any easier ways round) he was being forced to watch his spending.

It was at this point that I ought to mention that his brood of delightful children were mainly daughters and they…

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