Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Women's Petition Against Coffee

I know I am depraved beyond redemption. It is not yet nine in the morning, and I am already sipping the rich, dark brew. And thanks to my habit, Thoufands of Buxome Good-Women, are Languifhing in Extremity of Want (sic).

Coffee was introduced into England in 1650, and clever people very quickly lost interest in the Civil War and became scientists and merchants and natural philosophers. The Queen's Lane Coffee House in Oxford was established in 1654, and I often go there when I'm in Oxford and feel like getting in touch with the spirit of the Enlightenment and dispelling a hangover.

But not everyone approved of the change. The Women's Petition Against Coffee is a satirical pamphlet about men who never fight with any weapon except the tongue, and are 'unfit to be the life-guard to a cherry-tree' (mmm, you bitch.)

The women's petition concludes with these stirring words:

Wherefore the Premises considered, and to the end that our just Rights may be restored, and all the Antient Priviledges of our Sex preserved inviolable;
That our Husbands may give us some other Testimonies of their being Men, besides their Beards and wearing of empty Pantaloons: That they no more run the hazard of being Cuckol'd by Dildo's:

But returning to the good old strengthning Liquors of our Forefathers; that Natures Exchequer may once again be replenisht, and a Race of Lusty Hero's begot, able by their Achievments, to equal the Glories of our Ancesters.

We Humbly Pray, That you our Trusty Patrons would improve your Interest, that henceferth the Drinking COFFEE may on severe penalties be forbidden to all Persons under the Age of Threescore; and that instead thereof, Lusty nappy Beer, Cock-Ale, Cordial Canaries, Restoring Malago's, and Back-recruiting Chocholes be Recommended to General Use, throughout the Utopian Territories.

In hopes of which Glorious Reformation, your Petitioners shall readily Prostrate themselves, and ever Pray,&c.

I like my coffee like my women. One or two, first thing in the morning, before I start work. Then another, a couple of hours later.

I am really not sure what a back-recruiting chochole is. It sounds a bit gay, if you ask me.


Michelle said...

Wow. Where did you dig that one up? By the way, I love that pic on your side bar of the women and the shoes. Those shoes are killer. Literally. I bet they'd kill my feet. All the sexy ones do. Why are high heels so sexy? Something to do with vulnerability being ultra feminine?

Gotta go, the coffee pot's done percolating :)

Gordie said...

I found the petition while I was looking for historical articles about coffee houses and 17th century culture. (Lloyd's of London was founded in a coffee house.)

I'll do some research about high heel shoes. I know they're uncomfortable to wear, but I don't think women in heels look vulnerable at all; quite the opposite.

Michelle said...

You're right, those heels could be used as a weapon!