Cocktails And Cigarettes Are Sophistications

by Gaz Regan · Monday, January 20th, 2014 · Quotes

“’Do cocktails go with cigarettes . . . ?’

‘They’ve been known to. But, Salina, don’t profess to be shocked at cocktails,’ I protested. ‘I’ll wager that you have sipped the sugar at the bottom of toddy glasses many a day when you were in pigtails.’

‘I am not shocked. I am trying to understand. Certainly I was brought up in a land of toddies; but please don’t compare those exchanges of courtesy and reminiscence for which toddy merely gave the opportunity with the modern cocktail.’

‘I thought she would take the medical tack,’ whispered Elena.

‘Not at all,’ Maria whispered back. ‘She is making for the upper ether.’

‘Cocktails, from the stories I read, are an artificial stimulus to the appetite, and are taken by women as well as men,’ Salina went on in her Johnsonian manner.

‘Certainly.  Handed about before dinner,’ I admitted.

‘Tossed down, not drank—not a moment for wit or repartee,’ she supplemented.  ‘Of course, in a healthy state of society such an artificial stimulus would not be needed. Compared with pipes or cigars and toddies, cocktails and cigarettes are sophistications and indicate a sophisticated social state. Women were never given to pipes and toddies when I was in the world, and woman is the barometer of any stage of civilization.’

‘Both cigarettes and cocktails are brief,’ I teasingly pleaded in extenuation.”

For East Is East, And West Is West by Mary Gay Humphreys.  Found in Scribner’s Magazine.  Published by Charles Scribners Sons, 1911

east is east

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