Tags: Billy Sedlmayr
In the beginning, punch was a simple mixture of five canonical ingredients: lemon or lime juice, sugar, water, "spice" (which could have been anything from nutmeg or tea to ambergris, a musky whale secretion now used only in perfume making), and, of course, liquor. Batavia arrack, a fiery but highly aromatic molasses-and-rice distillate imported from the Dutch East Indies, was the preferred spirit, but Caribbean rum and French brandy were right behind it. The earliest known reference to the drink dates from 1632, appearing in a letter to an India-bound merchant from an English colleague, who strongly warned against drinking it (if punch has a fault, it's the ease with which one can absorb too much of it).
“The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”That perfect-for-conservatives quote should have set off the editors' crap detectors—light flashing, sirens screaming. All it takes is a quick internet search to find the words didn't come from Cicero. The top three Google hits name the source. It's from a 1965 novel, A Pillar of Iron, by Taylor Caldwell. And even there, it's different from what's in the letter. The lines in the novel aren't spoken by Cicero. They're the fictional words of another character, Antonius, paraphrasing Cicero, meaning the wording in the Star "quote" had to be tweaked a bit. And the last sentence is a reworking of Caldwell's words, mainly for the purpose of replacing the Caldwell/Cicero/Antonius phrase, "the mob" with a more acceptable "people."
“I wull have satisfaction o’ thee,” answered the squire: “so doff thy clothes. At unt half a man, and I’ll lick thee as well as wast ever licked in thy life.”The fight doesn't take place, but the squire keeps yelling at Tom. Until I read this passage, I was sure the phrases, "I'm gonna kick your ass!" and "Kiss my ass!" were reasonably modern, along with the term, "Ass kisser." Apparently not. Listen to Fielding describing, rather delicately (this is 17th century England, after all, not Chaucer's 14th century England), the phrases he says one often hears "among the lower orders of the English gentry."
"[Squire Western] then bespattered the youth with abundance of that language which passes between country gentlemen who embrace opposite sides of the question; with frequent applications to him to salute that part which is generally introduced into all controversies that arise among the lower orders of the English gentry at horse-races, cock-matches, and other public places. Allusions to this part are likewise often made for the sake of the jest. And here, I believe, the wit is generally misunderstood. In reality, it lies in desiring another to kiss your a — for having just before threatened to kick his; for I have observed very accurately, that no one ever desires you to kick that which belongs to himself, nor offers to kiss this part in another."