[Dinner was] washed down with cider, weak or strong beer, then white wine…they keep drinking right through desert, toward the end of which any ladies…leave the table and withdraw by themselves, leaving the men free to drink as much as they please, because the bottles then go the round continuously, each man pouring for himself. Toasts are drunk, cigars are lighted, [and] diners run to the corners of the room hunting night tables and vases which will enable them to hold a greater amount of liquor.
What matters what of Stirling may become?
The quintessence of whisky, soul of rum;
Fractious at nine, quite gay at twelve o’clock;
From then ‘til bed-time stupid as a rock