And in tribute to one of the world's great drinkers, here's some thoughts on the subject from Samuel Johnson:
- Boswell: "You must allow me, Sir, at least that it produces truth; in vino veritas, you know, Sir." Johnson: "That would be useless to a man who knew he was not a liar when he was sober."
- "Exercise!! I never heard that he used any: he might, for aught I know, walk to the alehouse; but I believe he was always carried home again."
- "In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence."
- Boswell: "I think, Sir, you once said to me, that not to drink wine was a great deduction from life." Johnson: "It is a diminution of pleasure, to be sure; but I do not say a diminution of happiness. There is more happiness in being rational."
- "A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting
- "Claret is the liquor for boys; port, for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
- "There are, indeed, few who are able to drink brandy. That is a power rather to be wished for than attained."
- "Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking."
- "This is one of the disadvantages of wine. It makes a man mistake words for thoughts."
- "I must entreat you to be scrupulous in the use of strong liquors. One night's drunkenness may defeat the labours of forty days well employed."
- "As soon as I enter the door of a tavern, I experience an oblivion of care, and a freedom from solicitude : when I am seated, I find the master courteous, and the servants obsequious to my call; anxious to know and ready to supply my wants : wine there exhilarates my spirits, and prompts me to free conversation and an interchange of discourse with those whom I most love : I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinion and sentiments I find delight."
- "There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern. A tavern chair is the throne of human felicity."
- "Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it."