If you want to form a correct opinion of the English character, you must
not confine your observations to the metropolis. You must go forth into
the country, you must sojourn in villages and hamlets; you must visit
castles, farm-houses, cottages; you must wander through parks and
gardens, along hedges and green lanes and see the people in all their
conditions, and all their habits and humors.
PUBS AND CLUBS
паше — 'The Pig and Whistle' or 'The Elephant and Castle' — with a gay
painting depicting the name. There is a good deal of folklore behind the
names which pubs bear. A pub near Ambleside is called 'The Drunken Duck'
for a very strange reason. One day the ducks of this hostelry (which was
also a farm) drank some spirit which had leaked from a barrel. Where
upon they fell into a stupor. The good wife, thinking them dead, plucked
them, and was about to cook them when she observed signs of life — one
of the plucked birds was wandering drunkenly round the yard.
Most pubs, besides beer, sell all kinds of alcohol, from whisky to wine.
Many of them also offer light meals. Normally pubs are divided into at
least two separate bars — the public and the saloon bar, which is more
comfortable and slightly more expensive. 'Bar' also means the counter at
which the drinks are served Beer and cider, a drink made from apples, is
always sold in pint or half-pint glasses. A pint is equivalent to 0.57
litre. Pubs have not 'gone metric' yet.
No alcoholic drinks may be served to young people under eighteen, and no
children under sixteen are allowed inside the bar.
Most pubs favour the 'traditional' image — a roaring log fire, old oak
beams supporting a low ceiling, and brass ornaments on the walls. At
Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, one of the authors of this book had an
opportunity to see a brass plaque on the wall inside 'Grace Neill's
Bar’. The plaque contained the names of dignitaries (for instance,
Jonathan Swift), who stayed in this seaside resort's famous bar. Among
them was the name of Peter the Great, who supposedly had visited the
place in 1698 when he was in Britain studying shipbuilding. Another
legend of Peter I is associated with another Irish town, Portpatrick. It
is said he stayed there in 'The Blair Arms' and the room he occupied is
still called the Emperor's Room. These touching legends are cherished
wholeheartedly both by the pub owners and the inhabitants of the two
corresponding towns. Despite the fact, that Peter the Great might have
never crossed the Irish Sea for a mere pint of bitter. For there was no
large-scale shipbuilding in Ireland that time.
Comfort is essential, for here people do not drop in for a quick drink
and then go. They tend generally to 'make an evening of it' and stand or
sit, glass in hand, talking to friends or strangers, until closing time,
when, with a cry of 'Time, gentlemen, please!' the landlord ceases to
serve further drinks, and the assembled company gradually disperses into
0