With this week’s news concerning minimum alcohol pricing and the ongoing political and economic efforts to address drink-related health and crime issues, I was fascinated to find this boozy and quite disturbing rant from the pen of ‘A Lady’; again, undated, but with a little Wikipedia-ing it’s reasonable to narrow its publication down to sometime between 1908 and 1914.
‘A Lady’s Good Liquor’
Even the least well-connected of family surgeons would consider it a failing of his professional duty to withhold his life-exterminating needle from the vein of anyone finding fault with, or doubting the veracity of, what I am about to declare; which is to state that one should countenance no argument from the appalling do-gooders who seek to deny pleasant society at large the fleeting pleasures occasioned by a draft of good wine.
In all certainty there are legitimate and sensible targets for these would-be prohibitionists – a frightful term befitting the savage administrations of The Americas, bereft of all correct and right-minded governance. The modern-day whore, for example, whose inebriate thrashings of limbs whose number is rarely as even as Our Lord intended – a leg here, and an arm there, lost to the diseases, cankers and witherings so apposite to their sensual and animal calling – she may, yellowing and fitful, upon a bleak mattress or otherwise over the low wall of a kitchen garden, be so inclined to an excess of imbibing that her gentlemanly patrons are forced back upon their wives and healthful mistresses.
It was with this firm and Christian position that I pressed my own wine-moistened lips to the softly-haired ear of Asquith, as he dined last week with us a H_______ Hall (on my left the misfortune of the stammering Winston, with whom, it emerged, ‘A Lady’ shares a birthday, almost to the hour). Herbie patted my thigh most approximate to him and then reached for its ivory companion, whilst making a quite marvellous witticism by stating that the Promotion of Temperance served only to promote his ill temper; further assuring me that no Liberal government would entertain, as he termed it, their despondent doctrine. After which enlightened conversation we played some saucy sport involving some unfortunate and wild-eyed females which the Lord E________ had brought down from the docks.