April 30, 2013

Cocktail Talk: The Old Curiosity Shop, Part III

Well, it’s been a fine week (or, thereabouts. Or, my week may be different than yours. One of those) of Dickens Cocktail Talk posts, with all of them from his lesser-known, but still a book that should be on your “must-read” list, novel The Old Curiosity Shop. You know what’s funny? At least relating to the book and the Cocktail Talking? I could do, oh, at least four more posts with tipsy quotes from the book. Dickens, naturally, liked his drink a bit, and his drinkers, and his bars, and so his books tend to be dandy spots for those us who don’t mind a drink to dwell in. This last quote has to do with the devilish villain of the book, a certain Mr. Quilip, looking in at his lawyer, who is also villainous, but in a weaker and (to be honest) less admirable way. If you’re going to be a villain, at least don’t be mealy-mouthed about it. And while I can’t like him, I can’t really fault his drinking choices.

Applying his eye to this convenient place, he descried Mr. Brass seated at the table with pen, ink, and paper, and the case-bottle of rum – his own case-bottle, and his own particular Jamaica – convenient to his hand; with hot water, fragrant lemons, white lump sugar, and all things fitting; from which materials, Sampson, by no means insensible to their claims upon his attention, had compounded a mighty glass of punch reeking hot; which he was at that very moment stirring up with a teaspoon, and contemplating with a look in which a faint assumption of sentimental regret struggled but weakly with a bland and comfortable joy.

–Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

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