A DECAY OF THAT TRUE OLD ENGLISH VIGOR
In 1674, the good women of London, England began circulating a rather funny petition designed with one intent, ban men from drinking coffee. SAY WHHAAAT!?!
Yep, according to this petition the women were accusing coffee of "stealing away their "Old English Vigor", if you get my drift. Right from the first paragraph this petition gets personal.
The fame in our Apprehensions can consist in nothing more than the brisk Activity of our men, who in former Ages were justly esteemed the Ablest Performers in Christendome; But to our unspeakable Grief, we find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigor; our Gallants being every way so Frenchified...
So, if you didn't catch the drift here, the petition is suggesting a specific impairment was affecting men who drank coffee. The impairment, according to the petition, was exclusive to men.
NOTHING STIFFE BUT THEIR JOINTS
And then, the petition just gets down right rude if I do say so myself:
That Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE, which Riffling Nature of her Choicest Treasures, and Drying up the Radical Moisture, has so Eunucht our Husbands, and Cripple our more kind Gallants...They come from it with nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears:
MEN WILL SOON EXCEED US IN TALKATIVENESS
In this next excerpt the incredibly eloquent writers have broken down a secondary culprit to what is described as, " a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigor";
We have reason to apprehend and grow Jealous, That Men by frequenting these Stygian Tap-houses will usurp on our Prerogative of tattling, and soon learn to exceed us in Talkativeness: a Quality wherein our Sex has ever Claimed preheminence: For here like so many Frogs in a puddle, they sup muddy water, and murmur insignificant notes till half a dozen of them out-babble an equal number of us at a Gossipping, talking all at once in Confusion, and running from point to point...
In 1674, the writers of this petition, all women, were making fun of their guys for spending too much time chatting in the coffee house and claimed if this behavior kept up, the guys would "usurp" the women as most chatty.
I wasn't alive in 1674, but I can imagine without television, radio or air conditioning life was kind of boring in terms of entertainment. So what better way to pass the time than with buds, talking politics and having some coffee. One big mistake, they didn't invite their significant others. Maybe that was the point.
THE RESULT OF THE PETITION
The end result of this petition is described as not accomplishing much except "the newspapers and mail were delivered to coffeehouses rather than homes".
Pretty funny stuff.