(Feb 11th to 17th)

Format: Triple

I explored many of the glass-knobbed drawers that lined the walls, tasted some disconcerting drugs, and, by the aid of a few cardamoms, ground ginger, chloric ether, and dilute alcohol, manufactured a new and wildish drink…


This is from “Wireless” in Traffics and Discoveries.

The narrator is in a pharmacists’s shop, where in the back room the nephew of the proprietor, an enthusiast for the newly discovered posssibilities of radio communications, is planning an experiment. It is a bitter cold winter’s night, so as they wait for all to be ready, the narrator mixes up a drink for the experimenter…

‘I drenched him then and there with a half cup of waters, which I do not say cure the plague, but are excellent against heaviness of the spirits.’
‘What were they?’ …
‘White brandy rectified, camphor, cardamoms, ginger, two sorts of pepper, and aniseed.’
‘Whew!’ said Puck.


This is from “A Doctor of Medicine” in Rewards and Fairies

Nicholas Culpeper, astrologist and herbalist, is in the Sussex village of his friend Jack Margetts, which is much afflicted by the plague. Jack is melancholy, so Nick mixes a powerful draught to lift his spirits. They cure the people, and – by making war on the rats on sound astrological principles – defeat the plague and save the village.

The velvety perfumed liquor, between fawn and topaz, neither too sweet nor too dry, creamed in its generous glass. But I knew of no wine composed of the whispers of angels’ wings, the breath of Eden, and the foam and pulse of Youth renewed. So I asked what it might be.
‘It is champagne,’ he said gravely.


This is from “The Bull that Thought” in Debits and Credits.

On a still moonlit night in the Rhone delta, the narrator has taken his car out on a speed trial, They break the record, and his companion M. Voiron, a distinguished elderly Frenchman, who among his many businesses is a wine grower, opens a celebratory bottle ‘beyond most known sizes, marked black on red.’ They talk, and as they enjoy the wine, he tells the story of “The Bull that Thought”.