The Enduring Beauty of the Public House

'We dined at an excellent inn at Chapel House, where Johnson expatiated on the felicity of England in its taverns and inns, and triumphed over the French for not having, in any perfection, the tavern life:

DrJohnson 

There is no private house [said he] in which people can enjoy themselves so well, as at a capital tavern.  Let there be ever so great plenty of good things, ever so much grandeur, ever so much elegance, ever so much desire that everybody should be easy; in the nature of things it cannot be: there must always be some degree of care and anxiety.
The
master of the house is anxious to entertain his guests; the guests are anxious to be agreeable to him; and no man (but a very impudent dog indeed) can as freely command what is in another man's house, as if it were his own.
Whereas, at a tavern, there is a general freedom from anxiety.  You are sure you are welcome: and the more noise you make, the more trouble you give, the more good things you call for, the welcomer you are…  No sir, there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.'

[Boswell, recording the words of Dr Johnson, in about 1775]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s