Monday, July 14, 2008

Coffee—A Stinking, Nauseous Puddle-Water

I have been searching for quotes related to coffee for a story I have floating around in my head. I found the usual quotes that appear in gift books and painted on coffee-shop walls, but the best quotes I have found come from 1674—The Women's Petition Against Coffee. Here is what the disgruntled women said:

"Certainly our Countrymens pallates are become as Fantastical as their Brains; how ellse is't possible they should Apostatize from the good old primitve way of Ale-drinking, to run a whoring after such variety of distructive Foreign Liquors, to trifle away their time, scald their Chops, and spend their Money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking, nauseous Puddle-water: Yet (as all Witches have their CHarms) so this ugly Turskish Enchantress by certain Invisible VVyres attracts both Rich and Poor; so that those that have scarece Twopence to buy their Children Bread, must spend a penny each evening in this Insipid Stuff: Nor can we send one of our Husbands to Call a Midwife, or borrow a Glister-pipe, but he must stay an hour by the way drinking his two Dishes, & two Pipes."

The women of England did not approve of the male-only coffee houses and the dire effect they had on their men. They suggested "Lusty nappy Beer, Cock-Ale, Cordial Canaries, Restoring Malago's, and Back-recruiting Chochole be Recommended to General Use, throughout the Utopian Territories" instead.

The men would not sit still for all of this complaining and had this to say in response:

"You may well permit us to talk abroad, for at home we have scarce time to utter a word for the insufferable Din of your ever active Tongues, the Foolish extravagancies of our lives, are infinitly out-done by the wild Frolliques of yours; 'Till Noon you lie a Bed hatching Concupiscence, then having paid your Adorations, to the Ugly Idol in the Glass, you descend to Dinner were you gormondize enough at one Meal to Famish a Town Besiedg'd; after that, you are call'd out by a Cozen, and hurried out in his Honours Coach (whose jogging, serves as a Preparative to your Letchery) away to the Play-house, where a Lascivious Dance, a Bawdy Song, and the Petulant Gallants Tickling of your hand, having made an Insurrection in your Blood, you go to Allay it with an Evenings Exercise at the Tavern, there you spend freely, yet being Rob'd of nothing we can miss, home you come in a Railing humour, and at last give us nothing for Supper but a Butter'd Bun. Cease then for the Future your Clamours against
our civil Follies. Alas!"

Ugly idol in the glass indeed. It seems the battle of control between the sexes is age old.


Rich said...

Would you lie to meet me for coffee,Robyn? Maybe we could settle this once and for all, for the good of man AND woman kind.

Scout said...

No, I would not lie to meet you for coffee. Let's just settle this thing right here once and for all.

dive said...

The Women's Petition Against Coffee?
Woohoo, Robyn! You sure do manage to find 'em.

It's too late in the evening to brew up a Joe, so I'll console myself with a good old pint of Cock-Ale before hying away to the Playhouse to tickle a good lady's hand.

What an excellent post!

Rich said...

ooops excuse my typo I meant "like" not lie. Are you making fun of me?

MmeBenaut said...

I realise that I might be letting down the womanhood but I'm with Rich on this one. Absolutely LOVE coffee; will always pass up the ale!
Bravo for these gems, Robyn.