March 16, 2012

Cocktail Talk: Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, Part III

Much like Mr. Sponge himself, the Sporting Tour has lounged around the Spiked Punch couches and guest rooms and breakfast buffets for awhile (read the first Mr. Sponge Cocktail Talk post here for more background), but we need one or two more quotes to round out the experience. And the following, dear reader, are them:

He exclaimed in a most open-hearted air, ‘Well, now, what shall we have to drink?’ adding, ‘You smoke of course–shall it be gin, rum, or Hollands–Hollands, rum, or gin?’

‘O! Liquor them well, and send them home to their mammas,’ suggested Captain Bouncey, who was all for the drink. ‘But they won’t take their (hiccup),’ replied Sir Harry, holding up a Curaçao bottle to show how little had disappeared.’ ‘Try them with cherry brandy,’ suggested Captain Seedeybuck, adding ‘it’s sweeter.’

–Cocktail Talk, R.S. Surtees, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour

March 14, 2012

Cocktail Talk: Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, Part II

I liked the first round of Mr. Sponge cocktail-talking so much that I’ve decided to extend his run on the Spiked Punch with two more quotes, one today and one the next time I decide to post (which should be later this week, but who knows, really? I could be called off to battle Gamera. That stuff happens). This time, there’s a bit of a party and Mr. Sponge is invited. And you are too (at least through this quote):

Sir Harry and party had had a wet night of it, and were all more or less drunk. They had kept up the excitement with a Champagne breakfast and various liqueurs, to say nothing of cigars. They were a sad, debauched-looking set, some of them scarcely out of their teens, with pallid cheek, trembling hands, sunken eyes, and all the symptoms of premature decay.

–Cocktail Talk, R.S. Surtees, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour

March 12, 2012

Cocktail Talk: Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour

You know, I like to think I know my mid-1850 literature. And thereabouts. I mean, Dickens and I are tighter than Cher’s pants. And Trollope and I are close as two beers in a six-pack. But up until very recently when I came across it in a big pile of books at the Library Book Sale, I’d never heard of Mr.Sponge’s Sporting Tour, or its author R.S. Surtees. I’m going to guess he didn’t hang that much with the earlier authors, as he seems a bit more, um, sporting, in that English kind of way (think foxes and horses and billiards). The book follows the Pickwick Papers in a sort-of romping adventure style, tracking its main very sponge-y character as he hunts with the hounds and, well, sponges off of people. At first, you think, this Mr. Sponge is too spongey (hah! Can I really say that?), but then I, at least, just started wondering why I was slaving every 8 to 5:30 instead of just selling horses and abusing lame-o’s hospitality. Heck, I may end up doing that yet.

Spigot presently appeared with a massive silver salvar, bearing tumblers, sugar, lemon, nutmeg, and other implements of negus. ‘Will you join me in a little wine-and-water?’ asked Jawleyford, pointing to the apparatus and bottle ends,’ or will you have a fresh bottle?—plenty in the cellar,’ added he, with a flourish of his hand, through he kept looking steadily at the negus tray. ‘Oh–why–I’m afraid–I doubt–I think I should hardly be able to do justice to a bottle single-handed,’ replied Sponge. ‘Then have negus,’ said Jawleyford; ‘you’ll find it very refreshing; medical men recommend it after violent exercise in preference to wine.

–Cocktail Talk, R.S. Surtees, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour

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