"On Drinking Tea" by Lu Tung, Chinese Poet, (around 780 AD)
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you”.
"Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one."
From "The Classic of Tea" by Lu Yu,(8th Century) (trans. F. Carpenter)
"Its liquor is like the sweetest dew from Heaven"
Li Ri Hua, a Ming Dynasty scholar (around 1600)
"One should clean out a room in one's home andplace only a tea table and a chair in the room with some boiled water and fragrant tea. Afterwards,sit salutarily and allow one's spirit to become ranquil, light, and natural."
From "Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzo (1906)
"Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things."
Saki (around 1900)
Find yourself a cup; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things.
|These two verses may come from the same manuscript. Obvious similarities but some pretty drastic differences too.||William E Gladstone (1809-1898), 4-time English Prime Minister was obviously inspired when he wrote this.|
"Tea-Drinking" by Lu Tung (T'ang Dynasty Chinese poet) |
The first cup moistens my lips and throat;
The second cup breaks my loneliness;
The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs;
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration-all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores;
At the fifth cup I am purified; The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.
The seventh cup-ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.
Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.
Attributed to "Chinese mystic - Tang Dynasty" |
"The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second shatters my loneliness.
The third causes the wrongs of life to fade gently from my recollection.
The fourth purifies my soul.
The fifth lifts me to the realms of the unwinking gods.
William E Gladstone (1809-1898)|
"The first bowl sleekly moistened throat and lips,
The second banished all my loneliness.
The third expelled the dullness from my mind,
Sharpening inspiration gained from all the books I've read
The fourth brought forth light perspiration,
Dispersing a lifetime's troubles through my pores”
From "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", by Douglas Adams.
"No," he said, "look, it's very, very simple ... all I want ... is a cup of tea. You are going to make one for me. Keep quiet and listen." And he sat. He told the Nutri-Matic about India, he told it about China, he told it about Ceylon. He told it about broad leaves drying in the sun. He told it about silver teapots. He told it about summer afternoons on the lawn. He told it about putting in the milk before the tea so it wouldn't get scalded. He even told it (briefly) about the history of the East India Company.
"So that's it, is it?" said the Nutri-Matic when he had finished.
"Yes," said Arthur, "that is what I want."
"You want the taste of dried leaves in boiled water?"
"Er, yes. With milk."
"Squirted out of a cow?"
"Well, in a manner of speaking I suppose ..."
From "The Lady's Last Stake", by Colley Cibber (1758)
"Tea! thou soft, sober, sage and venerable liquid;- thou female tongue-running, smile-smoothing, heart-opening, wink-tippling cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moment of my life, let me fall prostrate."
From "Peter Bell the Third" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1892)
"Teas, Where small talk dies in agonies."
From "Barnaby Rudge" by Charles Dickens (1840)
"Polly put the kettle on, we'll all have tea."
Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland (1865)
"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice very earnestly.
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing."
From "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome
It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon it says, "Work!" After beefsteak and porter, it says, "Sleep!" After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, "Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!"
From "Disobedience" by A.A. Milne
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself,
"I can get right down to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."
From "The House at Pooh Corner" by A.A. Milne.
"Christopher Robin was home by this time, because it was the afternoon, and he was so glad to see them that they stayed there until very nearly tea-time, and then they had a Very Nearly tea, which is one you forget about afterwards, and hurried on to Pooh Corner, so as to see Eeyore before it was too late to have a Proper Tea with Owl."
Thomas DeQuincy Confession of an English Opium Eater (1821)
"Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervouse sensibilities...will always be the favored beverage of the intellectual. "
Theodore Roosevelt, Letter, (1912)
"My experience...convinced me that tea was better than brandy, and during the last six months in Afica I took no brandy, even when sick taking tea instead."
Mick Jagger, "Live with Me".
I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.
From "The Amazing Hat Mystery" by P.G. Wodehouse
"...what I feel we ought to do at this juncture is to dash off somewhere where it's quiet and there aren't so many housesdancing the 'Blue Danube' and shove some tea into ourselves. And over the pot and muffins I shall have something veryimportant to say to you. "
From The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (1938)
"The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shadedlights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness."
"Tea! The panacea for everything from weariness to a cold to a murder Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. "
From "Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust
She poured out Swann's tea, inquired "Lemon or cream?" and, on his answering "Cream, please," said to him with a laugh: "Acloud!" And as he pronounced it excellent, "You see, I know just how you like it." This tea had indeed seemed to Swann, justas it seemed to her, something precious, and love has such a need to find some justification for itself, some guarantee ofduration, in pleasures which without it would have no existence and must cease with its passing...
From "Weave-World" by Clive Barker
"...She had that brand of pragmatism that would find her the first brewing tea after Armageddon."
From "Death at Sandringham House" by C.C. Benison
"Poor Mrs. Benefer," Heather murmured. "Well, a nice cup of tea and she'll be right as rain.""Oh, puh-leeze, Heather. A nice cup of tea, indeed. A nice cup of tea, two Prozac, and sleep for a week, maybe..."
Rev. Sydney Smith
"Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea."
"I am a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has for many years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; whom with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning."
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."