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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

You can get anything at Harrods

For example:

The Times 5 February 1916 p3

The Times 5 February 1916 p3

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29 comments to You can get anything at Harrods

  • Paul Marks

    Regulation.

    The Dick Dastardly view of law “Do something Muttley! Do something!”.

    Victorian legal writers such as Maitland just assumed that Parliament could do anything it felt like doing – with vague justifications such as the “the public welfare”.

    It is actually surprising we have any freedom left at all.

  • Didn’t Harrods used to be known for being willing to order you absolutely anything? That’s what my sister used to tell me as a kid, anyway. Said you could buy a white elephant there if you placed an order for it.

  • Alisa

    It looks as if gelatin lamels were what I thought they were – only I thought they were a newer invention.

  • Rob

    Five pounds! Did they appeal?

  • Patrick Crozier

    Before the war five pounds would buy you an ounce of gold (near enough).

  • bobby b

    Those damned soldiers would be able to lessen the pain of gunshot injuries without proper authorization!

  • staghounds

    Actually five pounds WAS an ounce of gold, as were a hundred francs or twenty five dollars.

    And if I were going to the western front in uniform I’d take as much morphine as I could carry.

  • Regional

    The Astrayans added cocaine to rum before bayonet attacks.

  • CaptDMO

    Ah, the good ol’ days. When you wanted a .45 caliber full auto Thompson machine gun, with a high capacity drum magazine, you just ordered one from Sears and Roebuck mail order catalogue!

  • Bod

    … and you tell the young people of today that … and they won’t believe you!

  • Patrick Crozier

    “The Astrayans added cocaine to rum before bayonet attacks.”

    The authorities were getting upset about that too which is odd considering it keeps you awake.

  • Bruce

    Arrrgh, “Bundaberg” over-proof rum! See also: “lunatic soup”.

    Assuming you could keep the rum and cocaine down, AND survived the subsequent foray into no-man’s land, coming DOWN from that concoction would have been pretty ugly; alcohol being a depressant and cocaine, (Columbian marching powder), a stimulant.

    Lets also not forget that Heroin was widely and OFFICIALLY used during the US Civil War as a pain-killer. The name is derived from the word “hero” as applied to the combatants of the time.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Books are only now mentioning the amount of drugs that were taken by soldiers on both sides in both World Wars. I wonder how soon before that drinking and smoking buffoon, Mr. Churchill, becomes a figure of glorious rectitude and abstinence?

  • Rich Rostrom

    Bruce @ October 23, 2016 at 11:12 pm:

    Lets also not forget that Heroin was widely and OFFICIALLY used during the US Civil War as a pain-killer. The name is derived from the word “hero” as applied to the combatants of the time.

    Diacetyl morphine (heroin) was not synthesized until 1874. It was not produced commercially until 1897, when it was again synthesized at Bayer AG.

    However the name may indeed derive from “hero”.

  • Regional

    Bruce, the cocaine consumed in Astraya at time came from Java.

  • Bruce

    Thanks for the heads-up on chronology.

    Not sure from where I “mis-remembered” all that: time for some more research.

    Fairly sure they were using goodies like Opium and Morphine in the Civil War, along with Ether and derivatives for anaesthesia..

    Given the rather “agricultural” state of “trauma medicine” at the start of that war, just about anything would have been an improvement.

  • James Waterton

    You might have been thinking of laudanum, Bruce. Good for what ails you.

    (Particularly so if lack of laudanum is what ails you.)

  • Runcie Balspune

    Books are only now mentioning the amount of drugs that were taken by soldiers on both sides in both World Wars.

    A very good discussion of this from the WW2 Podcast.
    http://ww2podcast.com/ww2-podcast/shooting-up-drug-use-in-wwii/

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Sherlock Holmes used opium to help his over-active mind. (I wonder what Mycroft took?)

  • Paul Marks

    The dispute over whether five Pounds was an ounce of gold or could buy you an ounce of gold is a complex one.

    I am not going to say whether Staghands or Patrick is correct – because the matter was UNCLEAR.

    This is the problem with a gold (or any) “standard” – is the commodity the money, or is the money something else that can “buy you” the commodity?

    That is one of the reasons I hate the very term “standard” as in “gold standard” or “silver standard” (or whatever).

    Either the commodity is the money or it is not.

    The concept of the “standard” confuses the matter – DELIBERATELY confuses the matter.

    And it is something that is still with us – even though money is entirely fiat today (even in the United States – in spite of the Constitution saying, Article One Section Ten, that “legal tender” can only be gold or silver coin in any State, and the Federal government having no Constitutional authority to print money or to set up a bank, or othersuch, to print money – hence the Tenth Amendment).

    The London “gold market” is a fraud – or is it a fraud?

    It is a fraud if one really thinks (as the “reasonable man” such as Staghounds) that a piece of paper saying “one ounce of gold” must actually represent one ounce of physical gold.

    But the “gold dealers” (like the bankers and other “City” people) would reply “we are not criminals – HOW DARE YOU SAY WE ARE FRAUDSTERS!” their argument being that they are selling you a piece of paper with “one ounce of gold” written upon it.

    There you go – you have your piece of paper (bought from the London “gold” market) with “one ounce of gold” written upon it.

    What is your problem?

    Are you complaining you do not like the quality of the paper? Or the ink?

    What? You think you actually have an ounce of physical gold because you have a “bill of sale” saying you have an ounce of gold?

    Read the fine print my dears – read the fine print. You have bought a piece of paper with ink upon it – nothing more.

    If you can not hold the physical gold in your hands – you do not have physical gold.

    Ditto all other commodities.

    So “The City” are not a bunch of lying criminal fraudsters – not if one reads the fine print.

  • llamas

    Nicholas (???) Grey wrote:

    “Sherlock Holmes used opium to help his over-active mind. (I wonder what Mycroft took?)”

    No, he didn’t. In the whole of the canon, he never once uses opium, or any other opiod.

    He used cocaine, which is about as different from opium as you can get. And he took it specifically to stimulate the mind (he says so, repeatedly), not to ‘help his over-active mind.’

    Try and get it right. 👿

    llater,

    llamas

  • Mr Ed

    Coleridge took opium.

  • llamas

    Ask Person from Porlock.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    LLamas, you are most likely right! Years have passed since I read up on the documents, though I still think that Mycroft being another drug-addict seems a logical deduction.

  • llamas

    @ Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray –

    No, I am not ‘most likely’ right. I am completely and absolutely correct in this regard. There’s no wiggle room for ‘most likely’.

    The only time in the entire canon that Holmes is described as taking any opiod, under any circumstance, is the case ‘The Illustrious Client’, where he is injected with morphine in order to suture injuries received in a beating delivered by thugs in the pay of Baron Gruner. That is the sole instance where Holmes and any opiod come together. He simply never ‘used opium to help his over-active mind’, as you stated. There’s no ‘most likely’ about it.

    Why you would suppose that Mycroft was a drug addict baffles me – but then, I have read the stories and you most-likely have not. There is simply no evidence whatever to support such a deduction.

    Try and get it right. 👿

    llater,

    llamas

  • Bruce, the name of Heroin, which was synthesized by Bayer AG or its forerunners, came about because the inventors, experimenting on themselves with lower doses than used by modern addicts, thought it made them feel “heroic.”

    Source — a book I’ve got on the history of Bayer and aspirin, which names the inventor, but bedamned if I can remember it — or the name of the book or author.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Llamas, when did you last read the canon? It was years ago for me. As for Mycroft, I wondered if stimulant-taking was a family trait.

  • Rich Rostrom

    llamas @ October 26, 2016 at 10:26 am:

    No, I am not ‘most likely’ right. I am completely and absolutely correct in this regard. There’s no wiggle room for ‘most likely’.

    The only time in the entire canon that Holmes is described as taking any opiod, under any circumstance, is the case ‘The Illustrious Client’, where he is injected with morphine in order to suture injuries received in a beating delivered by thugs in the pay of Baron Gruner. That is the sole instance where Holmes and any opiod come together. He simply never ‘used opium to help his over-active mind’, as you stated. There’s no ‘most likely’ about it.

    I think maybe you’re overreaching.

    “Which is it to-day?” I asked, “morphine or cocaine?”

    He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume which he had opened. “It is cocaine,” he said, “a seven-per-cent. solution. Would you care to try it?”

    That is the fourth and fifth paragraphs of The Sign of Four. It follows Holmes having just injected himself with something. In this case, it is cocaine, but Watson’s question clearly implies that Holmes also uses morphine.

    Also, in “The Adventure of the Twisted Lip”, Watson encounters Holmes in an opium den, where he was posing as an opium smoker: “the old man at my side… very thin, very wrinkled, bent with age, an opium pipe dangling down from between his knees, as though it had dropped in sheer lassitude from his fingers.” Whether he smoked it at all is not stated, though presumably he would refrain as far as possible. However… Watson was “holding [his] breath to keep out the vile, stupefying fumes of the drug…” during his brief intrusion to extract Isa Whitney, but Holmes could hardly avoid inhaling those fumes at second-hand.

  • llamas

    Rich Rostrom – No, I am not ‘over-reaching’ at all. On the contrary, it is you who is ‘over-reaching’, by assuming things and acts which are not described in the stories as having occurred.

    In the first case you describe, all that there is, is a suggestion that Holmes may have taken morphine at some other time. But he does not this time, and he never does, anywhere else in the stories, except for the one instance I described, where it is administered to him for medical reasons.

    Them’s the words as written. No ‘implied’ acts at some other place or time, just the words on the page. Exactly as I wrote.

    In the second case you describe, Holmes is indeed in an opium den, posing as an opium smoker. Your quote is accurate as far as it goes – but then you neglect to mention, just a couple of paragraphs further on, where Holmes says

    “I suppose, Watson” said he ” that you imagine that I have added opium-smoking to cocaine injections, and all the other little weaknesses on which you have favoured me with your medical views.”

    and he makes it clear, in word and deed, that he has not smoked opium on this occasion – since he is capable within minutes of normal physical activity and a detailed description of a complex case. We don’t have to assume too much about what his mental and physical state would be if he had smoked opium, since Dr Watson is good enough to fully-describe the state of his friend Isa Whitney, in the same opium den, just minutes before.

    Just the words on the page. No assumptions, no presumptions, no implications. Just the words on the page.

    As to when I last read the canon, I have the complete works, as well as Baring-Gould, on my Kindle. I am in the habit of re-reading a few authors I especially admire on a rotating basis, so I have probably read all of the stories within the last year.

    llater,

    llamas