Drunk on Chaucer

I’m reading a great book by a guy named Chaucer.  He gets credit for writing a lot of stories first because he was the first.  His biggest work came out about the time he died around 1400, called Canterbury Tales.

I had to read it for some class back in the dim times.  Now I’m taking my own sweet time and enjoying the stories for what they are.  Some of them are way too naughty for teaching to high school students.  So why didn’t I get to read them back then?

No crying now, only laughing.  This is some funny stuff.  Here’s a wide smile that also pertains to behavior that I found buried way in the back.  It’s a note from Professor Coghill about drinking, on page 524.

In the middle ages the learned recognized four states or stages of drunkenness, which corresponded to the four “humours” or dispositions of man: lion-drunk, or choleric; ape-drunk, or sanguine; mutton-drunk or phlegmatic; swine-drunk, or melancholy.

I think it’s great that way back then, when most of us think our society is way more sophisticated than the middle ages, they had FOUR different states of drunk.  From lion, ape, to lamb and swine.  What does it all mean?

Page, Butler, Confidant, Bureaucrat, Poet

It doesn’t matter any more.  It’s way more fun than simply saying someone is buzzed, high, blitzed or whatever the terms are nowadays.  Personally, I think we should start a movement to bring back some great terms for scrambling our brains.

Are you with me?  Shall we drink on it?

 

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