augury doggerel

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Nose-painting, sleep, and urine

I was recently rereading Burgess on Shakespeare while propped up at the bar.
It was a city of loud noises--hooves and raw coach wheels on the cobbles, the yells of traders, the brawling of apprentices, scuffles to keep the wall and not be thrown into the oozy kennel. Even normal conversation must have been loud since everybody was, by our standards, tipsy. Nobody drank water, and tea had not yet come in. Ale was the standard tipple, and it was strong. Ale for breakfast was a good means of starting the day in euphoria or truculence. Ale for dinner refocillated the wasted tissues of the morning. Ale for supper ensured a heavy snoring repose. The better sort drank wine, which promoted good fellowship and led to sword fights. It was not what we would call a sober city.

How much do you drink when all you drink is ale?


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