also AS WHOLESOME AS A SHOULDER OF MUTTON TO A SICK HORSE
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1546 - A Dialogue Conteinyng the Nomber in Effect of all the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue, John Heywood;
"Thou art, to be plaine, and not to flatter thee,
As holsome a morsell for my comely cors.
As a shoulder of mutton for a sicke hors."
From: Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humour
Edited by Henry B. Wheatley
New Edition, 1891
Act II Scene I