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The way we were: drunkenness

Four extracts from letters and journals about alcohol and its effects

By Ian Irvine   September 2010

26th September, 1763. James Boswell, touring the Highlands of Scotland with Dr Johnson, writes in his journal:

I awaked at noon, with a severe headache. I was much vexed that I should have been guilty of such a riot, and afraid of a reproof from Dr Johnson. I thought it very inconsistent with that conduct which I ought to maintain, while the companion of the Rambler. About one he came into my room, and accosted me, “What, drunk yet?” His tone of voice was not that of severe upbraiding; so I was relieved a little. “Sir,” said I, “they…

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