The History of Leith

July 3, 2012

The best part of a gallon of claret

Smollett, in his ” Humphrey Clinker,” after detailing
the mode in which the game is played,
says :—” Of the diversion the Scots are so fond
that, when the weather will permit, you may see a
multitude of all ranks, from the senator of justice
to the lowest tradesmen, mingled together in their
shirts, and following the balls with the utmost
eagerness. Among others, I was shown one particular
set of golfers, the youngest of whom was
turned of four-score. They were all gentlemen of
independent fortunes, who had amused themselves
with this pastime for the best part of a century
without ever having felt the least alarm from sickness
or disgust, and they never went to bed without
having each the best part of a gallon of claret in
his belly ! Such uninterrupted exercise, co-operating
with the keen air from the sea, must, without doubt,
keep the appetite always on edge, and steel the
constitution against all the common attacks of
distemper.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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