The New Gulliver and Other Stories
"We now drink," he said briefly.
"An excellent idea," I began, but he immediately bade me to be quiet, saying that it was not customary to talk while drinking was in progress.
He divided the contents of the bottle (not quite fairly) between the two cups. He gave himself the advantage of the choice and finished his drink at a draught. I followed his example and found that I was drinking distilled water. At this I was somewhat disappointed, but the more disposed to forgive him for the injustice of the division.
"And now, my friend," he said, "we can talk."
"Then," I replied, "you will perhaps tell me what is the reason for the custom which prevents you from taking your drink in a sociable manner. In the country from which I come we like to sit and chat over our glas