Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Alwayes foaming, or drivelling"

From Dainty Ballerina, a 17th century description of the "nature and character of a drunkard," notable for the hilariously anticlimactic way it ends:

A Gentleman of worth, rising to make water, could finde no fitter place to do it in than the chimney; where, being a few live embers, he fell downe, and not being able to rise againe, had his belly puckerd together like a sachell before the Chamberlaine could come to helpe him. Whereupon, being in great torture, he dranke twenty two double jugs of beer, and so died, roaring and crying that he was damned. Some fall down dead as a dore naile. Some againe fall into the water, and are drowned, as is commonly seene. Some fall and batter their faces, bruise their bodies, breake their armes, their legs, and many breake their necks in the very act of drunkennesse. Others are wounded, beaten, and many times murdered, as often times they stab and murder others.
The drunkard commonly hath a swollen and inflamed face beset with goodly jowles; swimming, running, glaring, goggle eyes, bleared and red; a mouth nasty with offensive fumes, alwayes foaming, or drivelling; a feverish body; a sicke and giddy braine; a mind dispersed; a boyling stomacke; rotten teeth; stinking breath; a drumming eare; a palsied hand; gouty, staggering legs, that would go, but cannot; a drawling, stammering, tongue, clamped to the roofe and gumms; (not to speake of his odious gestures, lothsome nastinesse, or beastly behaviour, his belching, hickups, vomitings, ridiculous postures, and how easily he is knocked down).
Re drowning while shitfaced: I am reminded of this horrifying story about the epidemic of drowning in Russia during last year's heatwave.

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