A NATIONAL VICE.
IN that scene of " Othello" in which Iago betrays Cassio into drunkenness, he sings a clattering drinking song, of which he says to his victim, "learned it in England, where, indeed, they are most potent in potting: your Dane, your German, and your swagbellied Hollander. . . . are nothing to your English." But remember, complacent brother Yankee, that this description of English manners concerns you directly. You cannot say that the galled jade in England may wince, but your withers are unwrung. It is your, forefathers whom Shakespeare thus describes by the lips of that jovial soldier and prince of good fellows, "mine ancient." You have just the same concern in the picture that your British cousin has: no more, but not a whit less. You may have followed Falstaff's advice to himself to leave sack and live cleanly; but if any one is at all implicated in the potting of Englishmen between two and three hundred years ago, you are the man. Nevertheless, there is at the present day a very manifest difference between the two great divisions of the English race in this matter, although the amount of wine and whisky and beer consumed in "America" seems to increase year by year, rather than to diminish.
What may be called domestic drinking has, how
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Publication information: Book title: England without and within. Contributors: Richard Grant White - Author, Hamlet - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin and Co.. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1881. Page number: 464.