In 1894, for example, a bombardier and gunner of the Royal Malta Artillery, on leaving a grogshop, became embroiled in an argument with a taxi driver.
In 1880, Sir Penrose Julyan determined Valletta had a surplus of "grogshops".
Sergeant William Porter testified that grogshops remained open until 3 am when the Fleet was in, and that drunkenness on the part of soldiers was greater in Malta than he had seen in Egypt or India.
Tancred Curmi, the superintendent of police at the time of the enquiry, supplied the committee with official figures concerning the number of grogshops. There were 254 licensed premises in Valletta: 8 hotels, 19 restaurants, 7 bottle license, 65 grocery shops, 38 common wine shops, and 155 grogshops.
There was a great deal of gambling going on in Valletta, the governor said, and most of it took place in grogshops and unlicensed houses.
In a series of articles about life in Malta, a naval officer described the Maltese as "sober and industrious, law abiding and remarkably intelligent." They did not seek over-indulgence at grogshops for amusement, but preferred activities associated with religious festivals, including processions, illuminations, and music.
Given the impropriety and irregularity associated with singing and dancing girls, the police did not want to become moral guarantors of entertainment in grogshops. (49) Savona continued to goad Strickland about the number of aliens resident in Malta.
"Husband, Don't Stay Long," a three-page soliloquy signed "Pollyphine Steptoe," describes in melodramatic third person the thoughts and actions of a wife waiting for her husband to return from a grogshop. (14) "Ira Perkins" which, in the text proper carries the longer title "John Allen and Ira Perkins," is a seven-page playlet that centers on teacher Allen walking Perkins through the economic implications of intemperance and demonstrating with great specificity how Perkins could educate and feed his children on the money he spends on alcohol, that Perkins has probably wasted "enough to have a handsome little farm" in his twelve years of drinking (66), and that, in essence, Perkins's drinking has helped make the town grocer/grogshop owner a rich man.
I promised her I would; but when night came, I was in the grogshop, so drunk I couldn't go.
One noted temperance advocate deplored that "our returned soldiers are left to seek sympathy in the grogshops
." (38) The spectacle of a one-armed soldier "more or less intoxicated" was so common that Bourne issued an impassioned plea to the New York State Liquor Dealers' Association, asking it to revoke the membership and license of any vendor known to furnish spirits to discharged Union amputees.