March 8, 2016

Cocktail Talk: Northanger Abbey

nabbeyWell, here’s a first I believe – a Jane Austen Cocktail Talk. Not weird, really, since I love some Jane, and I was also recently in Bath, where I trod the streets she walked (so to speak), and had fun doing it. However, weird in the fact that there’s not a ton of drinking it up in Jane, so the quotes applicable to the Cocktail Talking are fairly few and far between. However, I was re-reading Northanger Abbey recently, cause of the Bath-ing that goes on in and my recent visit, and came across a pretty swell, boastfully funny, bit about drinking at Oxford:

“Lord help you! — You women are always thinking of men’s being in liquor. Why, you do not suppose a man is overset by a bottle? I am sure of this — that if everybody was to drink their bottle a-day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now. It would be a famous good thing for us all.”

“I cannot believe it.”

“Oh! lord, it would be the saving of thousands. There is not the hundredth part of the wine consumed in this kingdom that there ought to be. Our foggy climate wants help.”

“And yet I have heard that there is a great deal of wine drunk in Oxford.”

“Oxford! There is no drinking at Oxford now, I assure you. Nobody drinks there. You would hardly meet with a man who goes beyond his four pints at the utmost. Now, for instance, it was reckoned a remarkable thing, at the last party in my rooms, that upon an average we cleared about five pints a head. It was looked upon as something out of the common way. Mine is famous good stuff, to be sure. You would not often meet with anything like it in Oxford — and that may account for it. But this will just give you a notion of the general rate of drinking there.”

— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

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