By Tou-Fou (715-774)
Ho-Tchi-Tchang, always on horseback, looked like a man rowing a boat. One evening, when he was drunker than usual, he fell from his horse into a deep pit, and it is my belief that he is sleeping there yet.
Yu-Yang always empties three bottles before going to work. If he meets a grain cart he gives up all thought of business, follows along after it, and chats with the coolie about the fermentation of rice.
The minister, Li-Ti-Chy, could swallow a hundred rivers. He cheerfully spends ten million tsein, and declares that he would willingly cut off the heads of all merchants who sell dubious wine.
When Tsoung-Tchi savors a bottle only the whites of his eyes can be seen. Suddenly, there is a great noise! And there on the ground, like an uprooted tree, lies Tsoung-Tchi.
The solemn Sou-Tsin never drinks before the statue of Buddha. But once outside the Monastery, if he ever begins to drink, he must be carried back there on the shoulders of some charitable passerby.
Under the influence of a single measure of wine Li-Tai-Po is capable of writing three hundred verses. One day he zvas sleeping in the tavern of Tchang-nan when he received an order from the Emperor to come to the palace. “Say to the Emperor,” answered he, <(that I am talking with the gods.”
When Tchang-Hio had emptied three cups he could handle the brushes with an inconceivable skill. At that moment, if all the kings of the earth were to eyxter his room, he would not budge.
Five big measures of wine carried the spirit of Tsaio-Soui to its greatest heights, and then the eloquence of our friend threw his guests into bewilderment.
Although I sometimes pledge them a draught I do not at all belong among these illustrious men, I who am more often made drunk by a ray from the moon.
From the Book “Cheerio!”: A book of Punches and Cocktails by Charles (Reinhardt, Charles Nicholas). New York City, 1928.