By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness
Author: Sallengre, Albert-Henri de, 1694-1723
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by the Posner Memorial Collection

[Transcriber’s Note:

This e-text includes characters that require UTF-8 (Unicode) file
encoding, including a few lines of accented Greek:

  φεύ τινες ὕδωρ

If these characters do not display properly or if the apostrophes and
quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage, make sure your text
reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set to Unicode (UTF-8).
You may also need to change the default font. As a last resort, use the
Latin-1 version of the file instead.

This book was originally published in 1714 as “Eloge de l’Yvresse”
by Albert-Henri de Sallengre, and translated in 1723 by Robert Samber
with the present title. The 1812 edition updates the spelling and
punctuation, and omits part of the title page (see Errata), but is
otherwise the same text.

In the original text, footnotes were identified with marks: * † For this
e-text they have been numbered from 1 within each chapter. Footnotes
added by the transcriber are identified with letters [1a] and [[double
brackets]]. The word “possibly” means that an attribution exists but
the transcriber has not personally seen the source text.

Typographical errors are listed at the end of the e-text. Unless
otherwise noted, quotation marks are as printed.]

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: VIVIMUS DUM BIBIMUS]



           Wherein Is Authentically,
             Most Evidently Proved,

                 THE NECESSITY

    And, That the Practice Is Most Ancient,
            Primitive, and Catholic.

          De Monte Fiascone, A. B. C.

    Vinum lætificans cor hominis.
    Narratur et prisci Catonis,
    Sæpe mero caluisse virtus. --HOR.

  Printed For C. Chapple, Pall Mall.


Harding & Wright, Printers, St. John’s Square, London.






If ever preface might serve for an apology, certainly this ought to do
so. The bare title of the book is enough to have it universally cried
down, and to give the world an ill opinion of its author; for people
will not be backward to say, that he who writes the Praise of
Drunkenness, must be a drunkard by profession; and who, by discoursing
on such a subject, did nothing but what was in his own trade, and
resolved not to move out of his own sphere, not unlike Baldwin,
a shoe-maker’s son, (and a shoe-maker), in the days of yore, who
published a treatise on the shoes of the ancients, having a firm
resolution strictly to observe this precept, _Ne sutor ultra crepidam_.

To this I answer, I am very well contented, that the world should
believe me as much a drunkard, as Erasmus, who wrote The Praise of
Folly, was a fool, and weigh me in the same balance.

But some will say, what good can a man propose to himself in being a
panegyrist for drunkenness? To solve this difficulty I shall make use of
a comparison.

M. Pelisson, in his History of the French Academy, says, that Menage did
not compose that famous Requete des Dictionaires, in which he ridicules
all the academics, on account of any aversion he had to them, but purely
to divert himself, and not to lose the witty turns that came into his
head upon that subject. In the same manner, I declare that I did not
undertake this work on account of any zeal I have for wine, you must
think, but only to divert myself, and not to lose a great many curious
remarks I have made upon this most catholic liquid.

It may farther be objected, that this work is so stuffed with
quotations, that they hinder the book itself from being seen; like what
I heard say of a country fellow, who complained when he left London,
that he could not see it for the houses. As an excuse for all the
others, I shall make use of one quotation more, and this I shall borrow
from Mr. Bayle.[1] “There is no room to doubt,” says he, “but some
readers will judge, that there are a little too many quotations in this
work, which is no less a disorder, they will say, than what happens in
some cities, where the strangers are more numerous than the citizens.
But of what importance is it to travellers, that such disorder appears
in any country, provided they find in it honest folks. There is no
reason why reading may not be compared to travelling. We should
therefore be very little concerned, whether, according to the ancient
country frugality, we are entertained with what is of its proper growth;
or if, instead of the flesh of domestic animals, and the fruits of our
own vineyards and gardens, we are served with what comes from the
market. That which really is of consequence is, that the meat be
wholesome and well dressed, and the wine good, &c. _Unde habeat quærat
nemo, sufficit habere._”

As to the rest, I am very far from the sentiments of a certain writer,
who having found in his book _one_ fault only, consulted one of his
friends, whether he should put down Errata or Erratum. For my part,
I subscribe with all my heart to the Errata of Benserade, and in his
words frankly own, that

  Pour moy, parmi des fautes innombrables,
  Je n’en connois que deux considerables,
  Et dont je fais ma declaration,
  C’est l’entreprise et l’execution,
  A mon avis fautes irreparables,
                      En ce volume.

    Though num’rous faults I see in this small book,
    (And so may any one that will but look),
    I know but _two_ of much consideration,
    Of which I here make public declaration,
    The _undertaking_ and the _execution_,
    Faults too extravagant for absolution.

    [Footnote 1: Pref. des Rep. aux Quest. d’un Pr. T. 1.]


  CHAP. I. That one must be Merry                                  1
  CHAP. II. That Wine drives away Sorrow, and excites Mirth       16
  CHAP. III. That it is good for one’s Health
    to get Drunk sometimes                                        29
  CHAP. IV. That old People ought to get Drunk sometimes          35
  CHAP. V. That Wine creates Wit                                  38
  CHAP. VI. That Wine makes one Eloquent                          46
  CHAP. VII. That Wine acquires Friends, and reconciles Enemies   49
  CHAP. VIII. That the Custom of getting Drunk is most ancient    53
  CHAP. IX. That the Primitive Christians got Drunk               57
  CHAP. X. Of Churchmen                                           61
  CHAP. XI. Of Popes, Saints, and Bishops,
    that used to get Drunk                                        67
  CHAP. XII. A Catalogue of some illustrious Topers               73
  CHAP. XIII. Of Philosophers that used to get Drunk              78
  CHAP. XIV. Of Poets that used to get Drunk                      85
  CHAP. XV. Of Free Masons, and other learned Men,
    that used to get Drunk                                        88
  CHAP. XVI. Of Nations that used to get Drunk                   104
  CHAP. XVII. Of the Drunkenness of the Germans                  112
  CHAP. XVIII. Of Nations that get Drunk with certain Liquors    121
  CHAP. XIX. Other Considerations in favour of Drunkenness       126
  CHAP. XX. An Answer to the Objection, That Drunkenness
    causes infinite Evils                                        130
  CHAP. XXI. An Answer to the Objection, That the Mirth
    which Wine inspires is chimerical                            133
  CHAP. XXII. An Answer to the Objection, That one loses
    one’s Reason in getting Drunk                                142
  CHAP. XXIII. An Answer to the Objection, That one cannot
    trust a Man that gets Drunk                                  150
  CHAP. XXIV. An Answer to the Objection, That Drunkenness
    makes one incapable of performing the Duties of civil Life   152
  CHAP. XXV. Burlesque, ridiculous, and out-of-the-Way
    Thoughts against Drunkenness                                 157
  CHAP. XXVI. A ridiculous Aversion that some have to Wine       160
  CHAP. XXVII. Rigorous Laws against Wine and Drunkenness        164
  CHAP. XXVIII. Rules to be observed in getting Drunk.
    I. Not too often. II. In good Company                        169
  CHAP. XXIX. Third Rule, With good Wine                         171
  CHAP. XXX. Fourth Rule, At convenient Times                    177
  CHAP. XXXI. Fifth Rule, To force no one to drink               181
  CHAP. XXXII. Sixth Rule, Not to push Drunkenness too far       184
  POSTSCRIPT                                                     193







If on one hand I have reason to fear that the title of this book will
offend the delicate ears of a great many, and make them say, that no
vice ever wanted its advocate, _Nullo vitio unquam defuit advocatus_; I
am not, perhaps, less exposed on the other to the criticisms of as many
folks, who will probably apply to me that which was said heretofore to
one in Lacedemonia, who had a mind to make an encomium on Hercules, viz.
Who ever blamed Hercules?

  Quis Herculem vituperavit?

However, though I should have no readers at all, yet am I resolved to
continue my discourse at the hazard, in some manner, of imitating Pyrrho
the philosopher, who one day, as he was haranguing the people, seeing
himself abandoned by all his auditors, pursued very magnanimously his
declamation to the end. To enter, therefore, upon the present subject,
I lay down this as my first position, viz. That it is lawful to get
drunk sometimes. Which I prove thus:--

Sadness is in the highest degree prejudicial to health, and causes
abundance of distempers. There is no one ignorant of this truth. Joy
(or mirth) on the contrary, prevents and forces them away. It is, as the
Arabians say, the flower and spirit of a brisk and lively health[1]. Let
us run over, and examine all the different states of life, and we shall
be forced to own, that there is not one of them all but what is subject
to chagrin and sadness; and, consequently, that joy, or mirth, is most
necessary to men. Which very probably the philosopher had in his head,
when he defined man a risible animal. But be that as it will, one must
certainly look upon that maxim which recommends mingling of pleasures
with the affairs of life as a very wise one.

  Sometimes with mirth and pleasure lard your cares[2].

We shall confirm this precept by a beautiful passage out of Seneca,
whose writings most certainly contain no loose morality, and which is as
follows:-- “The soul must not be always bent: one must sometimes allow
it a little pleasure. Socrates was not ashamed to pass the time with
children. Cato enjoyed himself in drinking plentifully, when his mind
had been too much wearied out in public affairs. Scipio knew very well
how to move that body, so much inured to wars and triumphs, without
breaking it, as some now-a-days do, with more than womanly pleasures;
but as people did in past times, who would make themselves merry on
their festivals, by leading a dance really worthy men of those days,
whence could ensue no reproach, when even their very enemies had seen
them dance. One must allow the mind some recreation: it makes it more
gay and peaceful. And as it is not good too much to cultivate soil the
most fertile, least, by yielding too large crops, it may soon run to
decay and ruin: so in the same manner is the mind broken by a continued
labour and application. Those who respite a little, regain their
strength. Assiduity of labour begets a languor and bluntness of the
mind: for sleep is very necessary to refresh us, and yet he that would
do nothing else but sleep night and day, would be a dead man and no
more. There is a great deal of difference between loosening a thing, and
quite unravelling it. Those who made laws have instituted holydays, to
oblige people to appear at public rejoicings, in order to mingle with
their cares a necessary temperament. There have been several very great
men (as I have mentioned) who would set apart certain days of the month
for that end; and some others, who had every day set hours for work, and
other set hours for recreation. One must therefore allow the mind some
recreation. One must allow it some repose and leisure, which may serve
for new strength and nourishment. You must sometimes walk in the open
air, that the mind may exalt itself by viewing the heavens, and
breathing the air at your ease; sometimes take the air in your chariot,
the roads and the change of the country will re-establish you in your
vigour; or you may eat and drink a little more plentifully than usual.
Sometimes one must go even as far as to get drunk; not, indeed, with an
intention to drown ourselves in wine, but to drown our cares. For wine
drives away sorrow and care, and goes and fetches them up from the
bottom of the soul. And as drunkenness cures some distempers, so, in
like manner, it is a sovereign remedy for our sorrows[3].”

It must be confessed, indeed, that properly speaking, this passage of
Seneca is levelled only against too great assiduity in labour and
business; the application, however, is very just, in relation to
chagrin, which causes in men’s minds a far greater alteration than can
be excited by the most rude labour either of mind or body.

The ancients had, besides this, another motive which induced them to
make merry, and pass their time agreeably. They considered the short
duration of their life, and for that reason endeavoured to make the best
use of it they could. It will be no difficult matter for me to prove
what I here advance.

Every one knows that the Egyptians made use of a very extraordinary
custom in their festivals. They shewed to every guest a skeleton: this,
according to some, was to make them think of death. Others again assure
us, “That this strange figure was made use of to a quite contrary end;
that this image of death was shewn for no other intent but to excite
them to pass away their life merrily, and to employ the few days of its
small duration to the best advantage; as having no other condition to
expect after death, but that of this frightful skeleton[4].”

This last sentiment is, without doubt, most probable; for what
likelihood is there that people would make reflections the most sad and
serious, at a time when they proposed only to divert, and make
themselves merry. This influence had the sight of a skull upon the mind
of Trimalchion, who Petronius[5] tells us, thus expressed himself on
that object:-- “Alas! alas! wretched that we are! what a nothing is poor
man! we shall be all like this, when Fate shall have snatched us hence.
Let us therefore rejoice, and be merry while we are here.” The Latin is
much stronger:--

  Heu! heu! nos miseros! quam totus homuncio nil est,
  Sic erimus cuncti, postquam nos auferet orcus.
  Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse, bene.

A little before he said almost the same thing. “Alas! wine therefore
lives longer than man, let us then sit down and drink bumpers; life and
wine are the same thing.” _Heu! heu! ergo diutius vivit vinum, quam
homuncio. Quare Tangomenas faciamus, vita vinum est._ This puts me in
mind of what Athenæus[6] reports of an Egyptian, called Mycernius. This
man having been told by the oracle that he had but a very short time to
live, resolved to make the most of that short space, and to that end did
nothing but drink night and day.

This thought of an approaching death is not so importunate as is
believed, since it is, says an[7] anonymous French author, a principal
beauty of an ancient hymn of the poet Cecilius. “Let me be assured, says
he, that I shall live six months, and I shall employ them so well, as to
die the seventh without any regret in the world.”

The same author goes on thus:-- “The moderns have not failed imitating
the elegant flights of the fine wits of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
I find, especially, that the Italians come nearer to them; perhaps,
because they are more proper than others to refine on pleasure. This is
the character of the nation, of the truth of which I shall give no other
proof than the last lines of an elegy, written by Samazarius,
a Neapolitan gentleman.” The sense of which in English runs thus.

  Since vig’rous youth, all blooming, brisk, and gay,
  Excites our tender souls to sport and play,
  Let’s taste ambrosial pleasures while we may.
  Those joys to which our souls are most inclin’d,
  And suit the throbbing passions of the mind.
  Let’s love while soft ecstatic fires engage,
  And shew us lovers on the world’s great stage,
  Dull reason only suits with frightful age.
  And see, she comes, for ever to destroy,
  For ever all our bliss, and all our joy.
  Unwelcome age comes on with swiftest pace;
  Let’s then prevent this wretched sad disgrace.
  O may the terrors of approaching fate,
  Excite new fires, inspire fresh vig’rous heat;
  That love may sov’reign reign in ev’ry part,
  And drive unworthy weakness from our heart.
  Thrice happy, if surpriz’d by death one day,
  Absorpt in sweetest bliss we die away.

But to return to my subject. We are told for certain, that the Scythians
used to drink out of a skull; and probably they had the same design in
doing so as the Egyptians had in looking on their skeletons. But leaving
these objects, which cannot be very diverting, in what view soever one
may consider them, let us come to the Romans. Gruter tells us in his
Inscriptions[8], that they used to cry out at their feasts,


That is, “Friends, while we live, let us be merry.” For Raderus has
evidently made it appear, by several examples out of Catullus, Cecilius,
Varro, Anacreon, and other ancient authors, that _vivere_, or _to live_,
signifies to make merry, to give one’s self up to all kinds of
pleasures, making good cheer, &c.

I know not whether the Gascogns, who pronouncing the _V_ consonant like
_B_, instead of VIVIS _et regnas in secula seculorum_, say (as I have
been informed, how true it is I know not) BIBIS _et regnas in secula
seculorum_, are of the same sentiment with Raderus in this point: but
very probably that good honest German was, who in a kind of ecstasy over
a bottle cry’d out,

  O felices populi, quorum _vivere_ est _bibere_!

However, to prove this, as also at the same time to confirm what has
been said above, in relation to the motives that induced people of old
times to make merry, I shall instance some passages of the ancients. But
first let us not omit this inscription in Gruter[9], which is not much
unlike the former.


“Be merry, landlord, and enjoy yourself while ’tis in your power, as for
the rest, adieu.”

Martial says somewhere, “Be merry to-day, depend not on to-morrow.”

  Sera nimis vita est crastina, vive hodie.

Catullus expresses much the same sentiments in these beautiful verses:--

  “Vivamus --------
  Rumoresq; senum severiorum,
  Omnes unius estimemus assis.
  Soles occidere et redire possunt;
  Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
  Nox est perpetua una dormienda.”[9a]

    “Let us be merry --------
    And all the rigid cant of peevish age,
    Count as poor straws that on the surface float.
    The sun may roll his swift diurnal course,
    And from the ocean raise again his head,
    But when our glimm’ring lamp of life’s expir’d,
    One long perpetual night we then must sleep.”

Horace, in several places, says how we ought (according to him) to
employ to the best advantage the little time we have to live; but
especially in one of his odes, which in English would run thus.


  “All things hereto invite. Come, come, away,
  Let’s seize the present hours, nor vainly care
  For future time, but wisely, only fear
  To lose of life one short uncertain day,
  Or moment, which in death must soon decay,
  No human force can her strict laws withstand:
  Her cruel rigour no one spares,
  The blooming cheek, and hoary hairs,
  Alike submit to her victorious hand.
  O’er all she bears unbounded sway,
  All her impartial scythe relentless mows:
  Th’ ill-manner’d tyranness no difference shows,
  Betwixt imperial and plebeian clay.


  When we the dark and dismal beach
  Of dreaded floods below shall reach,
  And vain cold phantoms quiv’ring stand,
  In those sad gloomy shades of night,
  No Cynthia’s charms will then command,
  Nor Iris with her angel’s voice delight;
  Nor Doris with soft dying languors move.
  These dreary realms exclude, alas! for ever love.


  Nor are there any boon companions _there_,
  To laugh, and sing, and make good cheer:
  There shall we taste no more that wondrous juice,
  That nectar which the blessed vines produce,
  The height of all our joy, and wishes _here_.
  Nor those sweet entertainments gay,
  When by the glass inspir’d so many kings,
  We tope, and speak, and do heroic things,
  And count ourselves more happy far than they.
  These days of ours the fatal sisters spin,
  To consecrate to love and wine,
  Let’s now, e’er ’tis too late begin.
  Alas! without these pow’rs divine
  What should one do with a vain useless thread?
  What does it aught avail to breathe and move?
  One had as good be dead,
  Much better be no more, than not to drink and love.”

I shall close this chapter with one of the Anacreontic odes of the
famous Monsieur La Motte, author of the _Fables Nouvelles_, lately
translated into English under the title of “_Court Fables_.”

  “Bûvons, amis, le temps s’enfuit,
  Menageons bien ce court espace.
  Peut-etre une eternelle nuit
  Eteindra le jour qui se passe.

  Peut-etre que Caron demain
  Nous recevra tous dans sa barque,
  Saisissons un moment certain.
  C’est autant de pris sur la parque.

  A l’envi laissons-nous saisir,
  Aux transports d’une douce ivresse:
  Qu’importe si c’est un plaisir,
  Que ce soit folie ou sagesse.”

    “Let’s drink, my friends, time flies away,
    Let’s husband well this little space;
    For what we know, this very day
    May to eternal night give place.

    Let’s snatch from Fate one certain minute,
    Perhaps to-morrow Charon’s wherry,
    May every mother’s son take in it,
    And waft us o’er the Stygian ferry.

    In giddy transports without measure
    With wine lets drown all melancholy.
    No matter if it be a pleasure,
    Whether ’tis wisdom call’d, or folly.”

    [Footnote 1: Elle est, comme disent les Arabes, la fleur et
    l’esprit de la santé vive et remuante.]

    [Footnote 2: Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis.]

    [Footnote 3: Seneca de Tranquilitate.]

    [Footnote 4: Histoire de Sept Sages, &c. p. 137.]

    [Footnote 5: Chap. 34.]

    [Footnote 6: Lib. 10. cap. 10.]

    [Footnote 7: Reflex. sur les Morts Plais. p. 22.]

    [Footnote 8: P. 609.]

    [Footnote 9: P. 699.]

    [[Footnote 9a: Catullus V.1-6 (“Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque



Of all the means proper to drive away sorrow, and excite mirth in the
minds of men, wine is certainly the most agreeable and efficacious.

For in the first place it banishes all manner of cares, and makes us
entirely forget them, producing the same effect as the waters of the
River Lethe on those souls which were destined to enter into other

  ------------ Animæ quibus altera fato
  Corpora debentur, Lethei ad fluminis undam
  Securos latices, et longa oblivio potant[1].

    ------------ Those souls which Fate decrees
    Shall other bodies take, upon the strand
    Of Lethe sit, and drink secure the flood,
    And long oblivion.

For the same reason, undoubtedly, Isidore defined drunkenness a certain
forgetfulness caused in the mind, through indulgence of immoderate
drinking. His words are these:-- _Ebrietas est per quam menti quædam
oblivio generatur ex superfluorum potuum indulgentia_[2].

A certain French poet[3] sings thus much in the same tune:--

  “Oui, Thirsis, c’est le vin qui nous fait rejeunir,
  Et qui bannit de nos pensees;
  Le regret de choses possees,
  Et le crainte de l’avenir.”

    Yes, Thirsis, ’tis the vine’s prolific juice
    Can youth and beauty re-produce,
    Banish the sad regret of former years,
    And of futurity the fears.

In the next place, wine is a sovereign remedy against a particular
species of sorrow or chagrin, I mean a sort of inward wearisomeness,
which the French call _ennui_. I shall explain myself a little farther,
and for my expositor I cannot make choice of a fitter person than Mr. de
St. Evremont[4], who, after having discoursed a little on this subject,
adds, “That good cheer with one’s friends, is a sovereign remedy against
this kind of chagrin; for besides that conversation at such times
becomes more free and gay, it insensibly sweetens it. It is certain that
wine rouses up the forces of nature, and gives our soul a vigour capable
to drive away all sorts of uneasiness. I know very well that certain
morose people, at least externally so, and in appearance, will shew a
great deal of aversion for a remedy, the delights of which they do not,
however, too much despise. But all grimace aside. I don’t trouble myself
with their ill-understood severities, since the most severe philosopher
in the world has advised us to make use of this remedy; and the most
morose of our illustrious men have submitted, if we may say so, their
most austere virtues to the charms of this sweet pleasure; and the most
well-bred people have not disdained its usage.”

In a word, (I must speak a little French now and then,)

  [5]Le vin fait que les annees,
  Nous durent moins que les journees.

    Wine makes whole years to pass away,
    And seem much shorter than one day.

But it does more than all this, it even assuages choler; it is an
admirable cataplasm for rage. To cite a vast number of examples to prove
this important truth would be superfluous. Amongst the many illustrious
ones I could instance, I shall content myself to mention that of the
Emperor Maximin[6], who, having been declared an enemy to the people of
Rome, by the senate, fell into such a rage and fury, that no other way
could be thought on to bring him back to his natural temper than by
making him drunk.

But let us return to the two principal qualities of wine, which consist
in driving away care and sorrow, and exciting mirth and joy.

A certain French author[7] has a few verses on this subject, which, as
not _mal-apropos_, I shall here insert. Talking of the good qualities of
wine, he says,--

  “Tu sais, mon cher Thirsis, qu’il a le privilege
  D’etouffer les ennuis dont l’aigreur nous assiege.
  Et que cette liqueur chasse de nos esprits,
  Tous les facheux pensers dont nous sommes surpris,
  C’est ce qui nous oblige a cherir la bouteille.”

    You know, dear Thirsis, and full well you know,
    To wine this privilege we owe,
    It stifles all those sad invading cares
    Which irksome chagrin ever wears.

    This sprightful liquid makes us brisk and gay,
    And drives effectually away
    Those thoughts vexatious that surprise our soul,
    And makes us cherish the full bowl.

Seneca, whom I have mentioned in the foregoing chapter, confirms what
has been said, “Sometimes,” says he, “one must go even so far as
drunkenness; not, indeed, that it may drown us, but drown our cares: for
drunkenness washes away care, and moves the very bottom of the soul. And
as it is a sovereign remedy against some distempers, so is it a perfect
cure for heaviness and sorrow. _Nonnunquam usque ad ebrietatem
veniendum, non ut mergat nos, sed ut deprimat curas. Eluit enim curas,
et ab imo animæ movet, et ut morbis quibusdam, ita tristitiæ
medetur_[8]. On this account certainly it was, Pliny maintained that
Nepenthe, whose virtues Homer so much exaggerates, was nothing in the
world but generous wine.

Horace, in like manner, insists that wine is the only proper expeller of
the most racking cares.

  ---------------- Neque
  Mordaces aliter diffugiunt sollicitudines[9].

    Nor otherwise are cank’ring cares remov’d.

And thus advises the sage Plancus to have recourse to this remedy:--

  “Sic tu sapiens finire memento
  Tristitiam, vitæque labores
  Molli, Plance, mero.”[9a]

    So, thou, sage Plancus, this _memento_ keep,
    To lull the cares and toils of life asleep
    With cordial juleps of old mellow wine;
    The grand and universal anodyne.

In another place he thus beautifully sounds the praises of

  “Ebrietas quid non designat? operta recludit
  Spes jubet esse ratas: in prælia trudit inertem,
  Sollicitis animis onus eximit: addocet artes.
  Facundi calices, quem non fecere disertum?
  Contracta quem non in paupertate solutum.”[9b]

    In drunkenness what pow’rful magic lies,
    What’s most envelop’d from researching eyes,
    (Transparent thing!) it evidently shows,
    The innocent no dark disguises knows.
    By her commands our hopes maturely rise,
    Push’d on to war the coward dauntless dies,
    And sinking minds beneath unwieldy care,
    Cast off the load, and move with sprightful air.
    To her, all arts their origin must owe:
    What wretch so dull but eloquent must grow,
    When the full goblets with persuasive wine,
    Inebriate with bright elegance divine,
    The drunken beggars plume like proudest kings,
    And the poor tipsy slave in fetters sings.

After all this, will any one accuse me for a plagiary, and that I steal
from the most common places? No matter. I have company enough: do not
all modern authors do so? However, I shall not, for all that, pass over
in silence what Ovid has said of this same drunkenness. The passage is

  “Vina parant animos, faciuntque coloribus aptos.
  Cura fugit, multo diluiturque mero.
  Tunc veniunt risus, tunc pauper cornua sumit,
  Tunc dolor et curæ, rugaque frontis abit.
  Tunc aperit mentes, ævo rarissima nostro
  Simplicitas, artes excutiente Deo.”[9c]

As I am nothing less than a poet, I shall not presume _to dance with the
Nine Sisters_, to make use of the thought of the ingenious Sarasin.
However, here follows an Ode of Anacreon, which may supply the place of
a translation of those verses of Ovid.


  When I hold a full glass in my hand,
  I laugh and I merrily sing;
  I think I have sov’reign command
  And the treasures possess of a king.


  Let who will try their fate in the field,
  In war all their days let them pass:
  No arms but the bottle I’ll weild,
  Fill, boy, then, a thundering glass,


  If Bacchus the victory gain,
  On the ground tho’ I’m motionless laid;
  All agree it, _a truth very plain_,
  ’Tis better be _drunk_ than be _dead_.

And very probably the Greek philosopher had wine in view, when he caused
an inscription to be made over his door in these words, in capitals,
“Here are remedies for all sorts of afflictions: here are cures for all
distempers of the soul.”

The philosopher so often quoted by Seneca, desired no more than bread
and cheese, to rival Jupiter in happiness. For my part, though I am no
less a philosopher, yet I desire nothing to effect this but good wine.
For when I take a hearty glass, I find myself so much transported with
joy, that I could almost cry out with that little fool in the Latin
comedy[10], “Now could I pardon any one that would kill me, so much
afraid am I lest some accident may trouble the purity of my happiness,
and mingle some ungrateful bitter with the exquisite sweets I now
enjoy.” And, indeed, it is amongst bottles and glasses that one may
truly say,

  -------- “Mediis videat discumbere in astris,
  Cum Jove, et Iliacâ porrectum sumere dextrâ
  Immortale merum[11].”

    Far from the earth remov’d in realms above,
    I seem amongst the stars to sit with Jove:
    Lolling in ease celestial, lie supine,
    And taste from Ganymede immortal wine.

And without doubt Asclepiades had all this in his head, when he
maintained that the gods produced nothing that equalled wine in
goodness. Philostratus is much of the same sentiment, who after having
taken notice of the edict of the Emperor Domitian, who forbad men to be
castrated, and vines to be planted, he adds, that this admirable emperor
did not reflect that he made the earth in some sort an eunuch, at the
same time that he spared men.

Varro sounded the praise of drunkenness in terms no less pathetic.

  “Vino nil quicquam jucundius eluet,
  Hoc continet coagulum convivii;
  Hoc hilaritatis dulce seminarium
  Hoc ægritudinem ad medendam invenerunt.”[11a]

    Than wine no orient jewels finer play,
    And dart more pleasantly their glittering ray.
    This vital juice, the cream of all the feast,
    Strong cement, close uniting every breast,
    The sweet prolific seed of gay desires,
    Bright mirth, and gen’rous amity inspires.
    This was found out a certain remedy
    To set mankind from all distempers free.

Monsieur La Motte, whom I must ever admire for his inimitable Court
Fables, before mentioned, will furnish us with a beautiful ode to close
this chapter[12].

  “Bacchus contre moi tout conspire,
  Viens me consoler de mes maux:
  Je vois au mépris de la lire
  Couronner d’indignes rivaux.

  Tout me rend la vie importune
  Une volage me trahit,
  J’eus peu de bien de la fortune,
  L’injustice me le ravit.

  Mon plus cher ami m’abandonne,
  En vain j’implore son secours,
  Et la calomnie empoisonne.
  Le reste de mes tristes jours.

  Bacchus viens me verser a boire
  Encore----bon----je suis soulagé,
  Chaque coup m’ôte la memoire
  Des maux qui m’avoient affligé.

  Verse encore----je vois l’allegresse
  Nager sur le jus precieux.
  Donne, redouble----O douce yvresse!
  Je suis plus heureux que les dieux.”

    Help, Bacchus, or I’m quite undone,
    All things against my peace conspire;
    Unworthy rivals many a one,
    I find, despising song and lyre.

    My life’s entirely irksome grown,
    By an inconstant I’m betray’d,
    On that small fortune, once my own,
    Injustice has severely prey’d.

    Forsaken by my dearest friend,
    In vain his succour I implore;
    And calumnies rank poisons send,
    And what is left of life devour.

    Bacchus, some wine; fill higher yet
    Again----so----I some comfort find;
    Each smiling glass makes me forget
    Those evils that have rack’d my mind.

    Some more----I see gay images
    On the rich surface sprightly move,
    Fill double----O sweet drunkenness!
    I’m happier than the gods above.

    [Footnote 1: Virgil. Æneid. lib. vi. v. 713.]

    [Footnote 2: Lib. 3. Etymol.]

    [Footnote 3: Rec. Poes.]

    [Footnote 4: Miscel. vol. i.]

    [Footnote 5: Rec. de Poes.]

    [Footnote 6: Jul. Capit. Hist. Aug. Script. fol. p. 359.]

    [Footnote 7: Nicol. Rec. de Vers. p. 44.]

    [Footnote 8: Seneca de Tranquil.]

    [Footnote 9: Lib. i. ode 18.]

    [[Footnote 9a: Horace, _Odes_ I.vii.17-19.]]

    [[Footnote 9b: Horace, _Epistulae_ I.v.16-20.]]

    [[Footnote 9c: Ovid, _Ars Amatoria_ I.237-242.]]

    [Footnote 10: Nunc est profecto cum me patior interfici, ne hoc
    gaudium aliquâ contaminetur ægritudine. --_Eunuch._]

    [Footnote 11: Statii Sil. 2. lib. iv.]

    [[Footnote 11a: Varro, Menippean Satires, fragment from _Est
    modus matulae_.]]

    [Footnote 12: Ode ix. Anacr.]



Although mirth and joy be absolutely necessary to health, yet it must be
allowed that there are a great many pleasures very injurious and
prejudicial to it; and we should act with precaution in using those we
make choice of[1]. But this precaution is not necessary in those we seek
in the sweet juice of the grape. So far is drunkenness from prejudicing
our health, that, on the contrary, it highly preserves it. This is the
sentiment of the most able physicians. These worthy gentlemen are
arbiters of life and death. They have over us, _jus vitæ et necis_. We
must therefore believe them. _Ergo_, let us heartily carouse. Every one
knows that Hippocrates, the prince of physicians, prescribes getting
drunk once a month, as a thing very necessary to the conservation of
health; for, according to him, in the words of a certain French
lady [2],

  “Une utile et douce chaleur
  Fait qu’on pense au sortir de table
  Avoir pris de cet or potable,
  Qui triomphe des ans, qui chasse la douleur,
  Qui fait tout, et qui par malheur
  N’a jamais été qu’une fable.”

    When from the bottle, flush’d with wine, we rise,
    The brisk effluvia brighten in our eyes;
    This sweet and useful warmth still makes us think,
    That cups of potable rich gold we drink,
    Which baffles time, and triumphs over years,
    Drives away grief, and sad perplexing cares;
    Does all, and yet in fables sweet disguise,
    O dire mishap! its only essence lies.

“Avicenna and Rasis, most excellent physicians of Arabia, say[3], that
it is a thing very salutary and wholesome to get drunk sometimes.”

Monsieur Hofman confirms what has been just now said in relation to
Avicenna, and adds thereto the testimony of another physician.
“Avicenna,” says he[4], “absolutely approves getting drunk once or twice
every month, and alleges for it physical reasons.” --Dioscorides says,
“That drunkenness is not always hurtful, but that very often it is
necessary for the conservation of health.” --Homer says, “That Nestor,
who lived so long, tossed off huge bocals of wine[5].”

Monsieur Hofman believes also, that wine is an excellent preservative
against distempers, and of an admirable use in their cure. In like
manner, several divines believe, that there is no manner of harm in
getting drunk, when it is done for health’s sake and not for pleasure.
In this class one may reckon Pere Taverne, a Jesuit[6]. These are his
words: “Drunkenness,” says he, “is a mortal sin, if one falls into it
for pleasure only; but if one gets drunk for any honest end, as for
example, by direction of one’s physician in order to recover health,
there is no manner of harm in it at all.”

But, however, not to digress too much from our subject, to preserve
their health the Africans drink a great deal of wine; and this they do
to help the digestion of the vast quantity of fruits they eat.

Montaigne[7] tells us, that he heard Silvius, an excellent physician of
Paris, say, “That to keep up the powers of the stomach, that they faint
not, it would be very proper to rouze them up once a month by this
wholesome excess. And if we believe Regnier, a young physician does not
see so far as an old drunkard[8].

We also say with the French poet[9],

  “Si Bourdaloue[10] un peu severe
  Nous dit: craignez la volupté
  Escobar[10], lui dit on mon pere
  Nous la permet pour la santé!”

    If Bourdaloue, somewhat severe,
    Warns us to dread voluptuous sweets,
    Good honest father Escobar,
    To fuddle for one’s health permits.

And, by the bye, if the number of physicians, who used to get drunk,
proves any thing, I could insert a good round catalogue, amongst whom I
do not find any English doctors, for they are the most abstemious
persons in the world; however, being unwilling to trouble my gentle
reader with so long a bead-roll, I shall instance only two very
illustrious topers of the faculty. The first is no less a man than the
great Paracelsus, who used to get drunk very often; and the other is the
famous master Dr. Francis Rabelais, who took a singular pleasure to
moisten his clay; or to make use of one of his own expressions, _Humer
le piot_.

I could, after these, mention Patin[11], who tells us, That when he gave
his public entertainment for his _decanat_, or deanship, at which
thirty-six of his colleagues assisted, he never saw in all his life so
much toping. From all which, however, one may very reasonably infer,
that so many able persons would never have drunk so much, had they not
thought it was no ways prejudicial to their health.

To conclude, let any one allege this verse as a maxim, that

  Pocula non lædunt paucula, multa nocent.

    It does no harm to take a glass or two,
    But in great numbers mighty ills accrue.

And I shall do myself the honour to answer him with another verse, that

  Una salus sanis multam potare salutem[12].

    The only health to people hale and sound,
    Is to have many a tippling health go round.

And that this is true, witness the great Hippocrates, who says,

  That what to health conduceth best,
  Is fuddling once a month at least[13].

    [Footnote 1: _Voluptates ut mel summo digito degustandæ non plerâ
    manu sumendæ._ Dionys. Sophron. apud Philostr.]

    [Footnote 2: Mad. Deshoul. t. ii. ep. p. 104.]

    [Footnote 3: Div. Lec. de P. Messie, part ii. ch. 15.]

    [Footnote 4: Hofman, t. ii. 9 dissert. ch. 6.]

    [Footnote 5: Bocal, an Italian word, and signifies a pot or jug
    holding about three pints.]

    [Footnote 6: Synopses Theolog. Pract.]

    [Footnote 7: Essays, lib. ii. cap. 2.]

    [Footnote 8: Satir.]

    [Footnote 9: Boileau.]

    [Footnote 10: The names of two jesuits, the former a famous
    preacher, and the other as famous a casuist.]

    [Footnote 11: Esprit de Pat. p. 51.]

    [Footnote 12: Owen, Ep.]
    [[John Owen (1564-1622): _possibly_ I.ii.42.]]

    [Footnote 13:
      Qu’il faut a chaque mois.
      Du moin s’enyvrer une fois.



Wine taken with some excess is excellent for old people.

  ---- Ubi jam validis quassatum est viribus ævi
  Corpus et obtusis ceciderunt viribus artus[1].

    When shaken by the powerful force of age
    The body languid grows, and ev’ry joint
    Its proper juice exhal’d, all feeble droops.

And is not the reason plain? because it moistens their dry temperament,
and nourishes their radical moisture. Hence came the proverb, which
says, “That wine is the milk of old men[2].” Tirellus, in his history,
declares the same thing, when he says, “That wine is the nutriment of
natural heat[3].” Conformably to this truth that old man acted, of whom
Seneca makes mention, who being pressed to drink wine cooled in snow,
said, “That his age made him cold enough, and that he did not desire to
be more cold than he was[4].” Than which, certainly no answer could be
more just and true.

Besides, the infirmities of an advanced age require some consolation and
diversion. Let us see what Montaigne says, who was not much given to
tippling; for he plainly says, that his gout and complexion were greater
enemies to drunkenness than his discourse. His words are these, “The
inconveniencies attending old age, which stand in need of some support
and refreshment, might with reason produce in me a desire of this
faculty, since it is as it were the last pleasure that the course of
years steals from us. The natural heat, say the boon companions, begins
first at the feet; this is the case of infancy; thence it ascends to the
middle region, where it continues a long while, and there produces in my
mind the only true pleasures of the corporal life; at last exhaling
itself like a vapour, it moves upwards, till it comes to the throat,
and there it makes its last little stay[5].”

Athenæus, after Theophrastus, says, That wine drives away those irksome
inquietudes to which old people are unhappily subject[6]. And to
conclude, the divine Plato assures us, that, “Wine is a medicine as well
for the body as the mind, the dryness of old people have great occasion
for this kind of moistening, and their severe genius of the brisk gaiety
inspired by wine, without which they would not be able to perform their
part in the concert, and consequently would be no longer useful members
in the commonwealth, which is no other ways supported and preserved than
by harmony.”

    [Footnote 1: Lucret. lib. iii.]

    [Footnote 2: Vinum lac senum.]

    [Footnote 3: Vina calidi innati pabula.]

    [Footnote 4: Ætas meo frigore contenta est.]

    [Footnote 5: Essays, lib. ii. cap. 2.]

    [Footnote 6: Lib. xi. cap. 7.]



As wine increases the quantity of animal spirits, by the fumes which it
sends to the brain, it is easy to comprehend that it cannot but be of
great advantage to dull and heavy wits; so that one may particularly
apply to them the common proverb, “Wine sets an edge to wit[1].” And the
emblem of Adr. Junius, in which he represents Bacchus as a youth with
wings on, and with this inscription, “Wine kindles wit[2],” agrees
admirably well with these people. But the application of both proverb
and emblem is no less just in relation to all the world; for it is most
certain, that the god Bacchus, by warming the thoughts, renders them
more acute, and inspires a greater plenty of witty sallies. For “Bacchus
had not the name of Lysian, or Opener, if I may use the term, bestowed
upon him for nothing but purely because he opens the mind, by putting it
into an agreeable humour, and renders it more subtile and judicious[3].”
For this reason it is grown into a proverb, That water-drinkers are not
near so knowing as those who drink wine[4].

Plutarch assures us, That wine collects and increases the powers of the
mind. He observes also, That it produces excellent effects on the minds
of persons, who, though naturally timid, want no penetration. Plato
maintains, as I have observed in the foregoing chapter, That wine warms
as well the mind as the body. Monsieur Hofman says a great deal more,
viz. That experience proves, that those climates which produce good
wine, produce also people that “have infinitely more wit than those of
the north, who drink nothing but beer. Gryllus believes, That the Greeks
were called fathers of wisdom, on account of the excellency of their
wine; and, that they lost their ancient lustre by reason of the Turks
rooting out their vines. The Heathens placed Pallas and Bacchus in the
same temple, to shew, that wine increased their wisdom, and that the
Gods were represented wiser than men, only because they drank nectar and

In respect of poets the world was always so sensible of the necessity
they lay under, of having their imagination roused by wine, that nobody
ever had any good opinion of the productions of a poet that drank water,
that _Non est Dythyrambus si aquam bibat_; and wine was called the poets
great horse. “There never were any excellent poets,” says Mr. Bayle,
“that could versify, till after drinking pretty plentifully[5].”

And if we believe Plato, “He could never open the gates of poesy till he
was a little beyond himself. The soul can speak nothing grand, or above
the common, if it be not somewhat agitated[6].”

Horace[7], who knew by experience this truth, goes yet farther.

  Nulla placere diu, nec vivere carmina possint,
  Quæ scribuntur aquæ potoribus.

    Poor water-drinkers sing an irksome tune,
    Short-liv’d their numbers, and their airs jejune.

Ovid bewailed himself very bitterly for want of wine in his exile.

  “Impetus ille sacer, qui vatum pectora nutrit
  Qui prius in nobis esse solebat, abest.”[7a]

    That sacred rage that feeds a poet’s breast,
    Common to me, is now no more possest.

La Motte[8], my beloved Frenchman, has something not unlike it.

  “Loin une raison trop timide
  Les froids poetes qu’elle guide
    Languissent et tombent souvent.
  Venez yvresse temeraire,
  Transports ignorez du vulgaire
    Tels que vous m’agitiez vivant.”

    Away, too fearful reason, haste, be gone,
    Those frozen poets, whom thy phantoms guide,
    Languish, and often feebly slide,
    Down to the lowest ebb of wretchless song,
    Insipid notes, and lifeless numbers sing.
    O come, sweet drunkenness, thou heady thing,
    With transports to the vulgar herd unknown,
    Which agitates my soul, and gives it wing.
    With kind enthusiasms then ecstatic grown,
    It takes unusual flights, sublimely soars,
    Spurns the dull globe below, and endless worlds explores.

One may very well apply to Bacchus, what the same gentleman says of the
graces in this ode[9].

  “Tout fleurit par vous au Parnasse,
  Apollon languit, et nous glace,
    Sitot que vous l’avez quitté,
  Mieux que les traits les plus sublimes
  Vous allez verser sur mes rimes
    Le don de l’immortalité.

      The sprightly influence you shed,
    Bright constellation! makes Parnassus gay.
      Apollo droops and hangs his head,
    His frozen fingers know not how to play;
    And we his sons the sad distemper find,
      Which chills the fancy, and benumbs the mind,
    When cruel you withdraw your magic ray.
      You finely paint on ev’ry rhyme
      Features most noble and sublime,
      Resplendent all the images,
      In rich immortal draperies.
    You give me colours that can never die,
    But baffle time, and live through all eternity.

It is to wine we owe the productions of Eschylus and Anacreon, whose
muses were very chilly, till Bacchus warmed them. Aurelius, the sophist,
composed his best declamations in his cups. Herodes, called Saginatus
Orator, the fattened Orator, never talked better, than after drinking
pretty plentifully. And according to Horace, this was the case with

  “Ennius ipse pater nunquam nisi potus ad arma
  Prosiluit dicenda ------------ [10].”

    Ennius himself ne’er sung of arms,
    Martial exploits and wars alarms,
    Till the good father’s face did shine,
    Enrich’d with ruby beams of wine.

Alcæus, the famous poet, never sat down to compose tragedy till he was
tipsy. The disciples of the great Paracelsus took the opportunity, when
he was fuddled, to make him dictate. The venerable Messire Francis
Rabelais composed over the bottle the acts and jests of Gargantua,
and his son Pantagruel, a work which gained him such great reputation.
“Pontius de Thiard, bishop of Chalons sur Saone, had greater obligations
to Bacchus than Apollo for his good verses; who, not reckoning what wine
he drank all day long, never slept without drinking a pretty large
bottle[11].” So true is it, that

  “A la fontaine ou s’enyvre Boileau
  Le grand Corneille et le sacré troupeau
  De ces auteurs que l’on ne trouve guere
  Un bon rimeur doit boire a pleine éguyere,
  S’il veut donner un bon tour au rondeau[12].”

    At that rich fountain where the great Boileau,
    Corneille, Racine, to whom so much we owe,
    Th’ immortal Dryden, and the sacred band
    Of those bright authors, whom we cannot find,
    Whose names, (so does oblivion’s power command,)
    Alas! we no where know,
    Supp’d largely to inebriate their mind.
    Here a good versifier, fond of rhime,
    Should swill, to make his jingling couplets chime.

    From hence, good natur’d B----d, arose your flame,
    Hence your inimitable numbers came,
    When you so prais’d his house and Buckingham.

And certainly Cicero was much in the wrong, when he said, that “what
people do when they are drunk, is not done with the same approbation as
if they were sober; they hesitate, and often recall themselves, and
frame a weaker judgment of what they see[13].” But had he consulted
experience, he would have found that drunkenness, far from making people
fearful, inspires them with boldness and temerity.

    [Footnote 1: Vinum acuit ingenium.]

    [Footnote 2: Vinum ingenii fomes.]

    [Footnote 3: Hist. des. vii. sag. p. 123.]

    [Footnote 4: Non idem sapere possunt qui aquam et qui vinum

    [Footnote 5: Resp. aux Quest. d’un Prov. t. i. ch. 12.]

    [Footnote 6: Sive Platoni credimus, frustra poetices fores compos
    sui pepulit. Non potest grande aliquid et supra cæteros loqui nisi
    mota mens.]

    [Footnote 7: 1 Ep. xix. 3.]

    [[Footnote 7a: Ovid, _Ex Ponto_ IV.ii.25-26.]]

    [Footnote 8: La Motte, Ode Pind. 1.]

    [Footnote 9: Ode 2. Pindar.]

    [Footnote 10: Ep. xix. 7.]

    [Footnote 11: Menagiana, t. i. p. 384.]

    [Footnote 12: ---- p. 189.]

    [Footnote 13: Ne vinolenti quidem quæ faciunt qua’ sobrii,
    hesitant, revocant se interdum, usque quæ videntur, imbecillius
    assentiuntur. Acad. Quest. lib. 4.]



    What wretch so dull, but eloquent must grow,
    When the full goblets with persuasive wine,
    Inebriate with bright eloquence divine?

  Fæcundi calices quem non fecere disertum?[a]

Let us make a few commentaries on this verse of Horace.

We read, that “the sages of Portugal having undertaken to convert those
of Melinda, gained as much upon them by wine as by reason, which, in the
end, facilitated the conquest of the whole country[1].”

To draw a consequence from this, we say, That one must reasonably
believe, that wine gave those sages an eloquence necessary to convert
the people of Melinda, and them a necessary penetration to discover the
truth through the thick veils of their ignorance.

Books of travels farther inform us, that “the priests of the kingdom of
Tibet, whom they call Lamas, drink a good quantity of wine on their days
of fasting and devotion, that they may have, to use their own words, the
tongue prompt and ready to say their orisons[2].”

According to this doctrine, Palingenius was much in the wrong to say,
that wine makes churchmen uncapable to perform the duties of their

  Nec bene tractabit vinosus sacra sacerdos[3].

    No priest, who tipples wine that’s good,
    Will do his duty as he should.

Surely our author never conversed much with the religious. The friers
would have told him, they never perform their office without taking a
choir cup. Experto crede Roberto, as the saying is. There is no false
Latin in this, says a good monk to me once upon a time, drawing from
under his cassock a double flask. You are much in the right on’t,
brother Peter, said I, I believe as the church believes, and so--my
service to you, and here’s to the pious memory of St. Boniface. And
indeed the vehicle proved capaciously orthodox.

In relation to what hath been said I shall add a remark of the famous
M. Bayle. “It cannot be denied,” says he, “that the christians of Europe
are subject to two great vices, drunkenness and lewdness. The first of
these reigns in cold countries, the other in hot. Bacchus and Venus
share these two climates between them. We find that the reformation
having divided this portion of christianity, that part which was subject
to Venus continues as it was, but the greatest part of what was subject
to Bacchus has renounced popery[4].”

But you will say, what coherence has this remark with the matter in
question? Have a little patience, and you shall presently see the
application. I say then, that a thorough true blue hearty Protestant
would conclude from this quotation, that wine bestowed so much eloquence
and penetration to these northern people, as to put them into that happy
state, to discover the truth, and conquer all prejudices against it
whatsoever. But of this enough.

  Pon, pon; pata pon: tara rara, pon pon[5].

    [[Footnote a: Horace, _Epistulae_ I.v.19. (_Same passage as note

    [Footnote 1: Rem. sur Rabel. t. i. lib. 1. cap. 5.]

    [Footnote 2: Divers. cur.]

    [Footnote 3: Lib. iii. p. m. 43.]

    [Footnote 4: Bayle Dict. t. ii. p. 1163.]

    [Footnote 5: Racine.]



Friendship is a good so precious and valuable, and at the same time so
very rare, that one cannot take too much care in order to procure it.
The most efficacious means to do this is feasting. It is by eating and
drinking together that conversation becomes more easy and familiar; and,
to use the words of Monsieur de la Mothe le vayer, “We hold, that table
communion unites people’s very souls, and causes the strictest
friendships.” Unde Philotetius Crater[1]. And, in reality, can any thing
be more agreeable and engaging, than to take a friendly bottle in
pleasant and delightful company?

And therefore Cleomedes had great reason to say, “Take away the
pleasures of the table, where we open ourselves so agreeably to each
other, and you rob us of the sweetest cordial of human life[2].” This
was also the sentiment of Cicero, in his Book of old Age; of Aristotle,
in his Ethics; and Plutarch, in his Questions. Let who will, then, look
on trencher friends to be false, and say with those of whom Ovid makes

  Dum fueris felix multos numerabis amicos,
  Tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris.[2a]

    In happy times, while riches round you flow,
    A thousand friends their obligations own,
    But when loud adverse winds begin to blow,
    And darksome clouds appear, you’re left alone.

Daily experience teaches us, that one of the best means to push one’s
fortune, is often to regale with those who are in credit; for, to one
that may have ruined himself by so doing, ten have made their fortunes.
We may therefore say of entertainments, that,

  Hæc res et jungit, et junctos servat amicos.[2b]

    These unite friends, and strictly keep them so.

But what is more, wine does the office of a mediator between enemies.
Of which truth I shall instance two illustrious examples, M. Crassus
reconciled himself to Cicero at a feast; Asdrubal and Scipio did the
same on the like occasion. And one may see, in a description which a
very learned person[3] has given of Switzerland, that when the
inhabitants of that country quarrel with one another, and come to blows,
they are immediately reconciled, by returning to their cups, and no harm
ensues, but sitting up all night, and amicably getting drunk together.
The Latin has more force in it, which I shall therefore here transcribe.
_Quin et si quando vehementius in se insurgunt, depositis in medium
armis, pugnis rem manibusque decernunt, sed eodem momento conveniunt,
iisdemque epulis, iisdemque poculis à quibus surrexere conciliantibus;
et nullo alio ex contentionibus damno, nisi quod innovata pocula in
noctem ducantur._

Tacitus had said the same thing long before of the Germans.

But to come nearer. The bishop of Bitonto, one of the fathers of the
Council of Trent, and a famous preacher, frequently in his sermons,
exhorting the Germans to unity, and to return to the church, made use of
this topic of friendly drinking, conjuring them thereto as undoubtedly,
by the strongest, and most efficacious argument he could make use of,
by remembering how merry and sociable heretofore they had been in their

    [Footnote 1: Dial. 2. d’Or, Tuber. p. m. 118.]

    [Footnote 2: Hist. 7 Sap.]

    [[Footnote 2a: Ovid, _Tristia_ I.ix.5-6.
      _First line is more often read as_
      Donec eris sospes (_or_ felix) ...]]

    [[Footnote 2b: Horace, _Satire_ I.iii.54.]]

    [Footnote 3: Dan. Eremit. Descript. p. 416.]



After having displayed the good qualities of wine and drunkenness,
I come now to shew, that it is generally received by all the world. To
do this effectually I shall enter into some particular detail, and after
having remarked, _en passant_, how the custom of fuddling is very
ancient, I shall then shew, that the primitive christians used to get
drunk: I shall speak something of the tippling of churchmen in general,
afterwards I shall take a cursory review of popes, saints, and bishops,
then I shall come to kings and emperors, and give a small catalogue of
these illustrious topers; I shall not forget the philosophers, and much
less the poets, who loved drinking. Freemasons, and other learned men,
who after having wearied themselves with important studies have taken
this diversion, shall also appear upon the stage. After this I shall
enumerate the several nations that have been, and those which yet are
subject to get fuddled; whether they make use of wine for that purpose,
or such liquors as produce the same effect with wine. And from this
enumeration I shall draw some consequences in favour of drunkenness.

But before I enter into this detail, I hope I shall be permitted a
general remark, which is, that my readers must not expect I should set
down a complete list of all the several sorts of topers I just now
mentioned; such an exactitude would take up too much time. Much sooner
may one reckon up what numbers die away every spring by the doctor;
and how many dispose of their maidenheads before marriage.

In every different class you will find no other jolly drinkers, but such
as I have met with in my great reading, and as shall occur to my
remembrance. Neither shall I be very scrupulous in placing them
according to the strict rules of chronology, but put them down as they
present themselves to my imagination.

If the antiquity of a custom makes it always good and laudable,
certainly drunkenness can never deserve sufficient recommendation. Every
one knows, that Noah got drunk after he had planted the vine. There are
some who pretend to excuse him, that he was not acquainted with the
strength of wine. But to this it may very well be answered, that it is
not very probable so wise a man as Noah should plant a vine without
knowing its nature and property. Besides, it is one thing to know,
whether he got drunk at all: and another, whether he had an intention to
do so.

But if we give any credit to several learned persons, Noah was not the
first man that got fuddled. Father Frassen maintains, “That people fed
on flesh before the flood, and drank wine. There is no likelihood,
according to him, that men contented themselves with drinking water for
fifteen or sixteen hundred years together. It is much more credible,
that they prepared a drink more nourishing and palatable. These first
men of the world were endued with no less share of wit than their
posterity, and, consequently, wanted no industry to invent every thing
that might contribute to make them pass their lives agreeably. Jesus
Christ says, that in the days of Noah, before the Flood, men married,
and gave their children in marriage. These people, Father Frassen
observes, regaled each other, and made solemn entertainments. Now who
can imagine, that they drank at those festivals nothing but water, and
fed only on fruits and herbs! Noah, therefore, was not the inventor of
that use which we make of the grape; the most that he did, was only to
plant new vines[1].”

This good father was not singular in his opinion; another very learned
person also believed, that from the passage of Scripture above cited,
one might draw a very probable argument, that men before the flood drank
wine, and that too even to be drunk[2].

As for Procopius of Gaza[3], one of the most ancient interpreters of
Scripture, he thinks it no less true, that the vine was known in the
world before Noah’s time, but he does not allow that the use of wine was
known before that patriarch, whom he believes to be the inventor of it.

    [Footnote 1: Disq. Biblic. Journ. des Sçavans.]

    [Footnote 2: Jo. Chr. Becman. Annal. Hist.]

    [Footnote 3: Torner de Ebriet. lib. i. c. 3.]



There is no one that has ever so little dipped into ecclesiastical
history, but knows very well, that in the primitive church it was a
custom to appoint solemn feasts on the festivals of martyrs. This
appears by the harangue of Constantine, and from the works of St.
Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Chrysostom. People generally got drunk at
these feasts; and this excess was looked upon as a thing that might be
permitted. This evidently appears by the pathetic complaints of St.
Augustin and St. Cyprian: the former of these holy fathers expresses
himself after this manner:---- “Drunken debauches pass as permitted
amongst us, so that people turn them into solemn feasts, to honour
the memory of the martyrs; and that not only on those days which are
particularly consecrated to them, (which would be a deplorable abuse
to those, who look at these things with other eyes than those of the
flesh,) but on every day of the year[1].”

St. Cyprian, in a treatise attributed to him, says much the same thing.
“Drunkenness, says he, is so common with us in Africa, that it scarce
passes for a crime. And do we not see Christians forcing one another to
get drunk, to celebrate the memory of the martyrs[2]!”

But it was not only at these repasts that the Christians got drunk, they
did the same on several other occasions; and it was on this account that
St. Augustin wrote to his dear Alipius in these terms: “However the
corruption of manners, and the unhappiness of the times, have induced us
to wish, I do not say that people should not get drunk in particular
houses, but that they should not get drunk any where else[3].”

Cardinal du Perron tells us, “That the Manichæans said, that the
Catholicks were people much given to wine, but that they never drank

Against this charge St. Augustin no otherwise defends them, than by
recrimination. He answers, “That it was true, but that they (the
Manichæans) drank the juice of apples, which was more delicious than all
the wines and liquors in the world. And so does Tertullian, which liquor
pressed from apples, he says, was most strong and vinous.” His words
are, _Succum ex pomis vinosissimum_[5].

Here one may observe also, that the use of cider was very primitive and
antient, but as strong and delicious as it was, the Catholicks stuck
close to the juice of the grape, as what was entirely orthodox and no
wise conversant with the heretics of those days.

But to return to these feasts just now mentioned, it is certain, that it
was not only customary for the Christians of Africa to get drunk. They
had this custom in common with the Christians of Italy, where these
kinds of repasts were forbidden by the Council of Laodicea, which was
held in the fourth century. Paulinus, however, (and I do not wonder at
it, being a poet,) has endeavoured to excuse the Christians, on pretence
that they only got drunk out of a good intention, which, say the
casuists, judges all human actions[6]. His words are,

  ---- “Ignoscenda tamen puto talia parvis
  Gaudia quæ ducunt epulis, quia mentibus error.
  Irrepit rudibus, nec tantæ conscia culpæ
  Simplicitas pietate cadit, male credula sanctos
  Perfusis halante mero gaudere sepulchris.[6a]

    But yet that mirth in little feasts enjoy’d,
      I think should ready absolution find;
      Slight peccadillo of an erring mind,
    Artless and rude, of all disguises void,
    Their simple hearts too easy to believe
      (Conscious of nothing ill) that saints in tombs
    Enshrin’d should any happiness perceive
      From quaffing cups, and wines ascending fumes,
    Must be excus’d, since what they did they meant,
    With piety ill plac’d, yet good intent.

    [Footnote 1: Ep. 22.]

    [Footnote 2: Pamel. p. 416.]

    [Footnote 3: Ep. 29.]

    [Footnote 4: Perron, p. 64.]

    [Footnote 5: Ibid.]

    [Footnote 6: Quicquid agunt homines intentio judicat omne.]

    [[Footnote 6a: St. Paulinus of Nola (Paulinus Nolensis),
    _possibly_ Carmen IX. in St. Felicem.]]



If one formed a judgment of the manner of Churchmen’s lives by their
discourses, certainly one would take them for models of sobriety. But
there is a great deal of difference between preaching and practising.
This distinction is very solid, and daily experience confirms it. And if
those gentlemen would do themselves justice, how many amongst them might
say in particular,

  Alas! how can I ever dare pretend,
    From man this ancient error to remove,
    Which they, ev’n to distraction, fondly love:
  If I, who blame it, with such pain defend
  Myself from this contagious malady,
    This epidemic poison of the mind.
    Weak reason, feeble thing, of which mankind
  So boasts, this we can only build on thee,
  Unjust continuing still, and false and vain,
  In our discourses loudly we complain
  Against the passions, weakness, vice, and yet
  Those things we still cry down, we still commit.

One cannot, therefore, without indignation, hear Churchmen declaim
against drunkenness, while they themselves are such ruddy examples
of it.

  _Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione quærentes._[1]

    With patience who can hear west-country cudden
    Rail against roasted beef and good plum pudden?

If the law of prescription take place, one cannot dispute with them that
of fuddling with any colour of reason, for in St. Jerom’s time, the
priests were very much given to wine. This we learn from an epistle of
that father, in which he very severely reprehends them. They have been
no changelings since. We read in the adages of Erasmus, that it was a
proverb amongst the Germans, that the lives of the monks consisted in
nothing but eating, drinking, and----Monachorum nunc nihil aliud est
quam facere, esse, bibere. Besides, a vast number of councils, who made
most severe canons against priests that should get drunk, evidently
shew, that they used frequently to do so. Such were the Councils of
Carthage, Agathon, the first of Tours, that of Worms, Treves, &c. To
make this more clear, we shall copy a little of what H. Stephens says on
this subject, in his apology for Herodotus:-- “But to return, says he,
to these proverbs, theologal wine, and the abbots, or prelates table.
I say, that without these, one could never rightly understand this
beautiful passage of Horace, viz.

  “Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero
  Pulsanda tellus: Nunc saliaribus
  Ornare pulvinar Deorum
  Tempus erit dapibus sodales.”[1a]

    “Come, boys, lets put the flowing goblet round,
    Drink hard, and with brisk measures beat the ground.
    The tables of the gods now bright shall shine
      With cheer luxurious, fit for mouths of priests,
      When holy epicures become your guests,
    And venerably quaff large cups of wine.”

Nor this other,

  “Absumet hæres cæcuba dignior
  Servata centum clavibus: & mero
  Tinget pavimentum superbo
  Pontificum potiore cænis.”[1b]

    “A worthy heir shall then with joy unbind
    Cæcubian, by a hundred locks confin’d,
    And tinge with better wines the ground,
    Than e’er at feasts pontifical are found.”

“You see how necessary these proverbs are, to let us into the true
understanding of these two passages of this poet. Here follows, word for
word, what a certain gloss says of the last of them, _Mero dicit potiore
(meliore) cænis pontificum, quam quo pontifices in cænis suis, quæ
semper sumtuosissimæ fuerunt, unde nunc theologicum dicunt vinum, usi
sunt_. That is, with better wine than that which the chief priests used
at their suppers, which were always most sumptuous and expensive, and
which sort of wine we call now theological.

“By this you plainly see how much attached to divines and prelates those
gentlemen are who make profession of being expositors of the poets. But
in relation to this same theologal, or theological, I know very well
that it is a great question if it should be called _vinum theologale_,
or _vinum theologalis per appositionem_; for the wicked laity, some of
them will have it, that when these good men get tipsy they agree no
otherwise than dogs and cats. But I shall leave this dispute to be
decided by the readers. And as to these two proverbs, they put me in
mind of another, and that is, an abbot’s face, which proverb being very
ancient, makes me believe that formerly the abbots had their faces
illuminated. --But without going any farther for witnesses, I shall
content myself with presenting my readers with the following piece of
antiquity, viz.

  “Sanctus Dominicus sit nobis semper amicus,
  Cui canimus rostro jugiter preconia nostro
  De cordis venis siccatis ante lagenis.
  Ergo tuas laudes si tu nos pangere gaudes
  Tempore paschali, fac ne potu puteali
  Conveniat uti, quod si fit undique muti
  Semper erunt fratres qui non curant nisi ventres.”

    “O good Saint Dominic, be ay propitious,
    Whose praise we daily chirp in notes delicious
    From all the veins of all our hearts,
    Having toss’d up some double quarts.
    Therefore, if’t be thy true desire,
    We chaunt thy lauds at Easter quire.
    Let not thy saintship think it meet
    We drink from well tho’ ne’er so sweet,
    Liquor unworthy priest or parson,
    If so, your friers will hang an arse on,
    Who nothing mind, I need not tell ye,
    Most holy patron, but their belly.
    So used, they’ll ev’ry soul be dumb,
    No _dixit dominus_, but -------- mum.”

Not unlike this is what follows:--

  “O monachi, vestri stomachi sunt amphora Bacchi,
  Vos estis, Deus est testis, teterrima pestis!”

    “O monks, ye reverend drones, your guts
    Of wine are but so many buts;
    You are, God knows (who can abide ye?)
    Of plagues the rankest, _bona fide_!”

    [Footnote 1: Juvenal.] [[_Satire_ II. 24.]]

    [[Footnote 1a: Horace, _Odes_ I.xxxvii.1-4.]]

    [[Footnote 1b: Horace, _Odes_ II.xiv.25-28.]]



After having spoken of the drunkenness of churchmen in general, it will
not, perhaps, be a thing altogether needless, to put the whole in the
clearest light, to confirm what has been said, by the example of Popes,
Saints, and Bishops, who have practised that laudable custom of getting

A little song, mentioned by H. Stephens, in his apology for Herodotus,
affords matter of speculation in relation to the sobriety of sovereign

  “Le Pape qui est a Rome,
  Boit du vin comme un autre homme
  Et de l’Hypocras aussi.”

    The Pope at Rome, his holiness,
    Of wine drinks many a hearty glass,
    And pleasant Hypocras also,
    As any other man I trow.

If one reads over the popes lives, we shall be fully convinced that
these holy fathers were no enemies to wine. Alexander the Fifth was a
great drinker, and that too of strong wines, says his own historian,
Theoderic de Neim. If one may give any credit to the letters of the king
of Spain’s ambassador to his master, Sixtus Quintus was a terrible

And Pope Boniface instituted indulgencies for those who should drink a
cup after grace (called since St. Boniface’s cup). A plain argument that
his sanctity did not hate wine.

This puts me in my mind of what I have formerly read, though the
author’s name is now slipped out of my memory, that when cardinal
Pignatelli, afterwards Innocent the Twelfth, was advanced to the papacy,
his name signifying little pots or mugs, three of which he bore for his
arms; and whose mother was of the house of Caraffa, which signifies a
jug, a Frenchman made these lines:--

  “Nous devons tous boire en repos
  Sous le regne de ce saint pere
  Son nom ses armes sont des pots
  Une Caraffe etoit sa mere.
  Celebrons donc avec eclat
  Cet auguste Pontificat.”

    Under this holy father’s reign
    Hang sorrow, let us ne’er complain;
      I think all of us should turn sots,
    And fuddle with one another,
      His name, and so his arms, are pots,
    And a gallon pot was his mother;
      Then let us brightly celebrate
      This most august Pontificate.

In the main, this is nothing but a little punning or playing with words,
but it is one of those agreeable trifles that may now and then be worth
our thinking on.

One may add to the number of such popes as loved fuddling, all those who
sat at Avignon; for if we believe Petrarch[2], the long residence that
the court of Rome made at Avignon, was only to taste the good French
wines; and that it was merely on that account they stayed so long in
Provence, and removed with so much reluctance.

Let us now pass on to Saints and Bishops. I shall only instance one of
each, because I hate prolixity. The first Saint that presents himself to
me, is the renowned St. Augustin, who himself owns, that he used to get
drunk sometimes. _Crapula autem nonnunquam surrepit servo tuo
misereberis ut longe fiat à me._ Thy servant has been sometimes
crop-sick through excess of wine, have mercy on me, that it may be ever
far from me. It is true, [3]M. Cousin maintains against my author,
M. Petit, the Journal des Sçavans, of the year 1689, 27th June, that St.
Augustin, however, never got drunk. The arguments on both sides you may
find in Bayle’s Dictionary, under the article Augustin. But yet there
are somewhere in St. Augustin these words, viz. My soul certainly being
a spirit cannot dwell in a dry place. _Anima mea certè quia spiritus
est, in sicco habitare non potest._

I shall make no comment upon these words, only insert one already made,
which I take from M. Duchat in his Remarks on Rabelais[4]. On these
words of Saint Augustin, says he, mentioned in the second part of the
Decretals, caus. 32, q. 2, c. 9, the commentator says, “And this is an
argument for the Normans, English, and Poles, that they may drink
largely, that the soul may not live in the dry. _Et est argumentum pro
Normannis, Anglicis, et Polonis, ut possint fortiter bibere, ne anima
habitet in sicco._ To which Peter Chatelain, a Flemish physician, made
this pleasant addition, It is very probable, that the commentator was an
entire stranger to the nature of the Flemings. _Verisimile est
glossatorem ignorasse naturam Belgarum._”

And, perhaps, this argument from St. Augustine’s words, is as just as
one of a merry fellow I knew, who would prove, from St. Paul’s going to
the Three Taverns[5], That he loved a hearty bottle.

Amongst the Bishops, I cannot instance a more illustrious example of a
great drinker than that of Pontus de Thiard. We are told[6], “That this
gentleman, after having repented of the sins of his youth, came to be
bishop of Chalons sur Soane; but, however, he did not renounce the power
of drinking heartily, which seemed then inseparable from the quality of
a good poet. He had a stomach big enough to empty the largest cellar;
and the best wines of Burgundy were too gross for the subtility of the
fire which devoured him. Every night, at going to bed, besides the
ordinary doses of the day, in which he would not suffer the least drop
of water, he used to drink a bottle before he slept. He enjoyed a
strong, robust, and vigorous health; to the age of fourscore.

    [Footnote 1: Thuan. p. 447.]

    [Footnote 2: Perron, p. 387.]

    [Footnote 3: Petit Nepænth, p. 137.]

    [Footnote 4: Liv. i. ch. 5.]

    [Footnote 5: Acts, cap. xxviii. v. 15.]

    [Footnote 6: Rep. des Lett. Febr. 1687, art. 7.]



Since, according to Horace’s observation, every one conforms himself to
the example of the prince.

  “Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.”[a]

And that, according to Seneca’s maxim, one must regulate one’s conduct
by illustrious models.

  “Vita est instituenda illustribus exemplis.”

It must not be wondered at that people so generally get drunk, since in
this they follow the examples of great kings, amongst whom are very few
that this verse of Ovid, which Guy Patin applied to Naudæus and
Gassendi, agrees with[1].

  “Vina fugit gaudetque meris abstemius undis.”[1a]

  Flies wine abstemious, but the limpid stream,
  Pure and unmixed, his thirsty heat subdues.

And, perhaps, this is the reason, why in comedies they bestow crowns to
those that are drunk.

  ---------- Quid ego video
  PS. Cum coronâ ebrium pseudolum meum[2].

And in Amphytrion, Mercury says,

  Ibo inter et capiam ornatum qui potius decet.[2a]

“I’ll go in and take the ornament which better becomes me.” For he had
said a little before,

  Capiam coronam in caput, assimulabo me esse ebrium.[2a]

    I’ll put a crown upon my head, and feign myself drunk.

Lipsius[3] furnished me with these examples.

But I should never have done, if I endeavoured to give a list of all the
kings that got drunk.

  -------- “Quorum si nomina quæras
  Promptius expediam quot amaverat Hippia mæchos,
  Quot themison ægros autumno occiderat uno[4].”

    -------- Whose names, if you require,
    With greater expedition could I tell,
    To Hippia’s lust how many prostrate fell;
    How many only in one autumn died,
    By doctors, and their slip-slops ill applied.

I shall content myself, therefore, to instance some of the most
illustrious, as they come into my mind, without observing any certain

Alexander the Great first offers himself to my imagination. It will be
sufficient to mention his name, without saying any more. _Nomen non
amplius addam._

Cæsar, to make use of Balzac’s words, was not always the sober destroyer
of the commonwealth, and he did not at all times hate the pleasure of

Cambyses was also very much given to wine, as may be judged by what I am
going to say. This prince, having been told by one of his courtiers,
That the people took notice he got drunk too often, taking, some time
after, his bow and arrow, shot the son of that courtier through the
heart, saying no more than this to the father, Is this the act of a

Darius, the first king of Persia, had these words put upon his tomb:--

  Vinum multum bibere potui idque perferre.

    I could drink much wine and bear it well.

King Antigonus may come in here. Ælian reports of this prince, That one
day when he was much in drink, meeting Zeno the philosopher, whom he had
a great kindness for, he kissed him, and promised to give him whatever
he would desire. Zeno only answered very mildly, Go and ease your
stomach by vomiting, that’s all I ask of you at present.

Philip, king of Macedon, got drunk sometimes; witness what a woman, whom
he had not done justice to, said to him, viz. I appeal from Philip
drunk, to Philip when sober.

Dionysius[5] the younger, tyrant of Sicily, was sometimes drunk for nine
days successively; he drank himself almost blind, and the lords of his
court, to flatter him, pretended they themselves could scarce see, so
that they neither eat nor drank but what he reached to them.

Tiberius was called Biberius, because of his excessive attachment to
drinking; and, in derision, they changed his surname of Nero into Mero.

Bonosus was a terrible drinker, if one may give any credit to his own
historian, Flavius Vopiscus. He used to make ambassadors, that came to
him from foreign powers, drunk, in order, by that means, to discover
their secret instructions.

Maximin[6], the father, drank very often a pot containing two gallons.
One might very well, therefore, have given him this epitaph:--

  Hic jacet amphora vini.

Trajan and Nerva, those excellent princes, took sometimes a pleasure in
getting drunk.

Galerius Maximinus, who, according to Aurelius Victor, was a prince of
sweet temper, and loved men of probity and letters, had a very great
passion for wine, and frequently got drunk. Having once given orders
when he was in this condition, which he repented of when sober, he
solemnly forbad any one to obey such orders that he should give when he
should get drunk for the future.

    [[Footnote a: Claudian, _De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti_
    (VIII) 300.]]

    [Footnote 1: Esprit de Pat. p. 22.]

    [[Footnote 1a: Ovid, _Metamosphoses_ XV.323.]]

    [Footnote 2: Plautus.] [[_Pseudolus_ 1286-87.]]

    [[Footnote 2a: Plautus, _Amphitryon_ 1007; _Amphitryon_ 999.]]

    [Footnote 3: Ant. Lect. lib. iii.]

    [Footnote 4: Juvenal, satire x. v. 220.] [[i.e. 219-221.]]

    [Footnote 5: Ælian, chap. 6.]

    [Footnote 6: J. Capitolin.]



Though the example and authority of Philosophers prove nothing, yet one
must not imagine with Boileau,

  “---------------- Que sans Aristote,
  La raison ne voit goute, et le bon sens redote.”

    That reason, void of Aristotle’s rule,
    Insipid grows, good sense a doating fool.

It is, however, very true, that we shall find ourselves wonderfully
disposed to get fuddled, when we consider that those of antiquity,
for whom we have most respect and veneration, have made no manner of
difficulty to get drunk sometimes, and have praised drunkenness not only
by their actions but discourse. This I am going plainly to make appear.
I begin with the Seven Sages of Greece, who were acknowledged as such by
all antiquity. These philosophers did not look upon drunkenness as a
thing incompatible with virtue, of which they made strict profession.
History tells us, that they drank largely at the entertainment Periander
the Tyrant, or king of Corinth, gave them.

Solon, that famous, yet so rigid, legislator of the Athenians, composed
a song in the praise of wine, in which he introduced Venus and the
Muses. Seneca is of opinion, that he was suspected to be as much given
to wine as Arcesilaus. And M. Chevreau[1] observes very well, that “The
wisdom of Solon was not of such an austerity as to frighten people, when
he said, That the ladies, wine, and the Muses, were the pleasures of
human life.”

Zeno, whose philosophy was so severe, got, notwithstanding, drunk
sometimes. Being one day at an entertainment, he was asked how he came
to be so joyful, he answered, that he was like lupins, which were bitter
naturally, but grew sweet after they were moistened.

Socrates, whom the oracle declared the wisest man of Greece, was, in
like manner, a very great drinker. M. Charpentier, in his Life, tells
us, That though he did not love to drink, yet when he was forced to it,
no one could come up to him; and that he had this wonderful happiness,
as not afterwards to find himself incommoded by it.

Cato, that hero of stoicism, got drunk sometimes, in order to relax his
mind, fatigued with the cares of public employment. These are the very
words of Seneca, Cato _vino laxabat animum curis publicis fatigatum_.
And the same author says elsewhere, that “People reproached Cato with
drunkenness, but that reproach was rather an honour to him than
otherwise.” _Catoni ebrietas objecta est, et facilius efficiet quisquis
objecerit honestum quam turpem Catonem._ Horace gives us the same idea
of the great Cato, in these words:--

  “Narratur et prisci Catonis
  Sæpe mero caluisse virtus.”[1a]

    Tradition tells, that oftentimes with wine,
    Ev’n Cato’s virtue moisten’d, shone divine.

If one knew the Scythian philosopher Anacharsis no otherwise than by his
apophthegms against wine and drunkenness, one would take him for the
soberest man in the world, but we know very well that his theory varied
very much upon this point, and no way agreed with his practice. One day
above the rest, having got drunk at an entertainment given by Lybis,
brother to Pittacus, he demanded the prize that was to be given to the
greatest drinker. With which action, when he was afterwards reproached,
he replied, “Can a man better signalize himself in battle than by
glorious wounds? and at table, than with that gaiety you call
drunkenness? Did not Homer, the wisest of your poets, make not only
Agamemnon drunk, but Jupiter too, and made nectar flow in full goblets
at the table of the Gods[2]?” Ælian[3] also tells us, that this
philosopher drank largely at Periander’s feasts, and alleged for an
excuse, That to drink a great deal was essential to the Scythians.

Plato, another hero of antiquity, not only permitted, but commanded,
that people should get drunk at some certain times. To prove what I say,
one has no more to do than to read his laws.

Seneca, who was so severe a philosopher, at least his rigid precepts
would make one think him so, thought it no harm now and then to get
drunk, and ranges drunkenness amongst the means he prescribes to
maintain the strength and vigour of the mind. I have quoted what he says
in this respect in the first and second chapter of this work.

The philosopher Arcesilaus, who lived about the 120th Olympiad, might be
reckoned amongst those who loved wine, since he died by drinking too
much of it unmixed. A greater, and more convincing proof of his sincere
love to the creature could not be given.

  For he that hangs, or beats out’s brains,
  The devil’s in him if he feigns[4].

Xenocrates[5], one of the most illustrious philosophers of ancient
Greece, and of a virtue very rigid and severe, got drunk sometimes.
Ælian has put his name into the catalogue of those who loved drinking,
and could bear a good deal of liquor. Athenæus, says this philosopher,
gained the crown of gold which the tyrant of Syracuse had promised him
that should empty a certain measure of wine. Diogenes Laertius confirms
this last particular. “He had moreover acquired such an empire over his
passions, that a very beautiful courtesan (Phryne) who had laid a wager
she could subdue his virtue, lost it, though she had the liberty to lie
with him, and use all her little toyings to incite him to enjoy her.”
You see here (adds Mr. Bayle) a triumph as remarkable as that of
S. Aldhelme, and some other canonized saints, who came off victorious on
such attacks.

Cicero[6] assures us, That Stilpo of Megera, the philosopher, a man of
much wit and ability for the times he lived in, loved wine as well as
women; and, that his friends wrote this of him in his praise, and not

Athenæus says, That the philosophers Lacides and Timon, once upon a
time, past two whole days successively in drinking. Ælian puts their
names into his catalogue of hard drinkers; to which he adds Amasis,
the lawgiver of the Egyptians.

Chrysippus the philosopher, native of Solos, a town of Cilicia, or of
Tharsus, according to others, got drunk pretty often. It is said, That
some of his disciples having prevailed upon him to come to a sacrifice,
he drank so much pure wine, that he died five days afterwards. There are
other authors, however, will have it, that he died of immoderate
laughter, seeing an ass eat figs out of a dish, and upon which he
commanded they should give him drink.

    [Footnote 1: Solonem et Arcesilaum credunt indulsisse vino.]

    [[Footnote 1a: Horace, _Odes_ III.xxi.11-12.]]

    [Footnote 2: Hist. Sep. Sap.]

    [Footnote 3: Lib. ii. 2.]

    [Footnote 4: Hudibras.]

    [Footnote 5: Bayle Dict. Art. Xenoc.]

    [Footnote 6: Lib. de Fab.]



As wine is the poet’s great horse, so it must not be wondered at, that
the major part of them fuddle their noses; for, in reality, they cannot
properly be said to be mounted on their great horses, till they have
drunk pretty heartily. These gentlemen speak then on horseback, for the
discourse of poets is quite opposite to that of orators, which Horace
says, is a discourse on foot[1], but when they drink nothing we can only
say, that they are mounted upon.

The attachment that Homer had to wine, appears in the frequent eulogiums
he gives that liquor. And if we examine Anacreon never so little, we
shall find his inclinations, as well as his verses, were divided between
wine and love. As much delicacy and fine turns as one finds in his
works, an honest man cannot see without indignation, but that they tend
absolutely to debauch. One must drink, one must love. The moments that
are not employed in the pleasures of the senses are lost. Pausanius
tells us, that he saw at Athens the statue of Anacreon, which
represented him drunk and singing.

The poet Philoxenus wished he had a neck as long as a crane, that he
might the longer have the pleasure of swallowing wine, and enjoy its
delicious taste.

Ion, the poet of Chios, was not much more sober in respect of wine,
according to Ælian and Euripides.

Horace must by no means be forgotten, whose satires derive from the
grape their sprightfulness and gaiety.

Timocreon of Rhodes, a comic poet in the 75th Olympiad, was a great
drinker. Athenæus has given of him this epitaph:--

  Multa bibens et multa vorans, mala plurima dicens
  Multis hic jaceo Timocreon Rhodius.

To these we may add Alceus and Eunius, of whom we have already made
mention; but what signifies this enumeration, since it is most certain,
that almost all the poets in the world, of all ages, got drunk, which
puts them under the protection of Bacchus. This made them heretofore in
Rome celebrate once a year, in the month of March, a festival in honour
to this God with solemn sacrifices. What Ovid[2] has said on this point
puts the matter out of all doubt:--

  “Illa dies hæc est, qua te celebrare poetæ
    Si modo non fallunt tempora, Bacche, solent,
  Festaque odoratis innectunt tempora sertis
    Et dicunt laudes ad tua vina tuas.
  Inter quos memini, dum me mea fata sinebant,
    Non invisa tibi pars ego sæpe fui.”

    This is the day, unless the times are chang’d,
      That poets us’d to sing in merry lays,
    And with sweet garlands crown’d, promiscuous rang’d,
      To thy rich wines, great Bacchus, chaunt thy praise.
    With these gay chorists, when my fates were kind,
      Free, unreserv’d, to thee, immortal power!
    (The pleasing object fresh salutes my mind)
      Without disguise a part I often bore.

    [Footnote 1: Sermo pedestris.]

    [Footnote 2: Trist. v. 3.]



If what brother Eugenius Philalethes, author of Long Livers, a book
dedicated to the Free Masons, says in his Preface[1] to that treatise,
be true, those mystical gentlemen very well deserve a place amongst the
learned. But, without entering into their peculiar jargon, or whether a
man can be sacrilegiously perjured for revealing secrets when he has
none, I do assure my readers, they are very great friends to the
vintners. An eye-witness of this was I myself, at their late general
meeting at Stationers’ Hall, who having learned some of their catechism,
passed my examination, paid my five shillings, and took my place

We had a good dinner, and, to their eternal honour, the brotherhood laid
about them very valiantly. They saw then their high dignity; they saw
what they were, acted accordingly, and shewed themselves (what they
were) men[2]. The Westphalia hams and chickens, with good plum pudding,
not forgetting the delicious salmon, were plentifully sacrificed, with
copious libations of wine for the consolation of the brotherhood. But
whether, after a very disedifying manner their demolishing huge walls of
venison pasty, be building up a spiritual house, I leave to brother
Eugenius Philalethes to determine. However, to do them justice, I must
own, there was no mention made of politics or religion, so well do they
seem to follow the advice of that author[3]. And when the music began to
play, “Let the king enjoy his own again,” they were immediately
reprimanded by a person of great gravity and science.

The bottle, in the mean while, went merrily about, and the following
healths were begun by a great man, The King, Prince and Princess, and
the Royal Family; the Church as by Law established; Prosperity to Old
England under the present Administration; and Love, Liberty, and
Science; which were unanimously pledged in full bumpers, attended with
loud huzzas.

The faces then of the most ancient and most honourable fraternity of the
Free Masons, brightened with ruddy fires; their eyes illuminated,
resplendent blazed.

Well fare ye, merry hearts, thought I, hail ye illustrious topers, if
liberty and freedom, ye free mortals, is your essential difference,
richly distinguishes you from all others, and is, indeed, the very soul
and spirit of the brotherhood, according to brother Eugenius
Philalethes[4]. I know not who may be your alma mater, but undoubtedly
Bacchus is your liber pater.

  ’Tis wine, ye Masons, makes you free,
  Bacchus the father is of liberty.

But leaving the Free Masons, and their invaluable secrets, for I know
not what they are worth, come we now to speak of other men of learning,
who loved to indulge their genius with the delicious juice of the grape.
And here we need not fly to antiquity, which would swell this work into
a large volume, later times will furnish us with many a bright example.
_Non semper confugiamus ad vetera._

A man of learning, after ten or twelve hours daily study, cannot do
better, than to unbend his mind in drinking plentifully of the creature;
and may not such a one say to himself these verses of the French poet:--

  “Dois-je mal a propos secher a faire un livre
  Et n’avoir pour tout fruit des peines que je prends
  Que la haine de sots et les mepris des grands[5].”

    Why should I pass away my time in vain,
    And, to compose a book, dry up my brain,
    When all the recompense I’m like to find,
    For all the toil and labour of my mind,
    Is the unthinking silly ideot’s hate,
    And the contempt and scorn of all the great

I must own I would have the indefatigable labour of such a one gain an
immortal reputation after his death; but after all, to weary one’s self
all one’s life long with those views, is very chimerical. And certainly,
he that makes but little account of the honours that might accrue to him
after his death, acted like a man of sense. _Si venit post fata gloria
non propero_[6].

Is it not infinitely better to divert one’s self while one lives, than
to idle all one’s life away on poring upon books? Much better will the
following song become the mouth of a man of letters, which I have
transcribed out of the Mercure Galant, of the year 1711, p. 67.

  “De ceux qui vivent dans l’histoire,
  Ma foi je n’envierai le sort.
  Nargues du Temple de Memoire
  Ou l’on ne vit que lorsque l’on est mort.
  J’aime bien mieux vivre pendant ma vin
  Pour boire avec Silvie;
  Car je sentirai
  Les momens que je vivrai
  Tant que je boirai.”

    Faith, I shan’t envy him, whoe’er he be,
    That glorious lives in history;
    Nor memory’s rich fane amuse my head,
    Where no one lives but when he’s dead.
    I had much rather, while I life enjoy,
    The precious moments all employ,
    With my lov’d Silvia, and delicious wine,
    Both wonderful, and both divine.
    For that I truly live, and healthy prove,
    Is that I drink, and that I love.

This is exactly the same thing that Racan said to Maynard in this

  “Je sai, Maynard, que les merveilles
  Qui naissent de tes longues veilles
  Vivront autant que l’univers;
  Mais que te sert il que ta gloire
  Eclipse au Temple de Memoire
  Quand tu seras mangé des vers?
  Quitte cette inutile peine,
  Bûvons plûtôt a longue haleine
  De ce doux jus delicieux,
  Qui pour l’excellence précéde
  Le bruvage que Ganimede
  Verse dans la coupe des dieux.”

      Maynard, I know thy thoughts express’d in rhyme,
    Those wonders of thy bright immortal pen,
    Shall live for ever in the minds of men,
      Till vast eternity shall swallow time.
    Yet should thy glories, now so radiant bright,
    In Memory’s rare temple lose their light;
    Suffer eclipse, when to the worms a prey,
    Those reptiles eat thy poor remains away.
    Does this reflection chagrin thee, my friend,
    Thus to the useless thought decree an end?
    Drink, and drink largely, that delicious juice,
    The em’rald vines in purple gems produce,
    Which for its excellence surpasses far
      That liquor which, to bright celestial souls,
    Jove’s minion, Ganimede, with steady care,
      Richly dispenses in immortal bowls.

So much for poetry, let us come to the point, and instance some learned
men, that have loved this diversion. And first, enter Erasmus, who
certainly was no enemy to wine, since he chose rather to continue where
the plague was than drink water. To prove this, I shall instance part of
a letter written to this great man by Armonius, an Italian, and a very
learned person:-- “Immediately after my arrival in England,
I endeavoured to inform myself where you were, because in your last you
told me, the plague had forced you to quit Cambridge. At length I was
told for certain, that you had indeed left the town, but retiring into a
place where there was no wine, which to you being worse than the plague,
you returned thither, and where you now are. O intrepid soldier of
Bacchus, whom so eminent a danger could not compel to desert his
general!” The Latin having much more force, for the sake of those who
understand that language, I shall take the liberty to insert it, as
follows:-- _Simul atque Anglicum solum tetigi, ubi locorum esses rogare
cepi, siquidem Cantabrigiensem pestem fugere te scripsisti. Unus tandem
sixtinus mihi dixit te quidem Cantabrigiam. Ob pestem reliquisse et
concessisse nescio quo, ubi cum vini penuria laborares, et eo carere
gravius peste duceres, Cantabrigiam repetiisse atque ibi nunc esse.
O fortem Bassarei commilitonem, qui in summo periculo ducem deserere

“Daniel Heinsius loved to drink a little. One day, when he was not in a
condition to read his lectures, having got drunk the day before, some
arch wags fixed these words on the school-door:-- _Daniel Heinsius,
non leget hodie, propter hesternam carpulam_[9].”

“George Sharpe, a Scotchman, professor, and vice-chancellor of
Montpelier, who died in the year 1673, on his birth-day, aged fifty-nine
years, was a great drunkard[10].”

Barthius may also be reckoned amongst those learned topers, if what
Coloniez says be true. “I knew,” says he, “some learned men in Holland,
who spoke of Scriverius as of a man extremely amorous. M. Vossius,
amongst others, related to me one day, that Barthius being come from
Germany to Haerlaem to see Scriverius, had in his company a lady
perfectly beautiful, whom Scriverius had no sooner seen, but he found
means to make Barthius drunk, that he might entertain the lady with
greater liberty, which he accomplished. It was not, however, so well
managed, but Barthius coming to himself had some reason to suspect what
had past, which grew so much upon him, that he took the lady along with
him in a rage, and drowned her in the Rhine[11].”

Scaliger treats as a drunkard, John Kuklin, a calvinist minister, native
of Hesse, and a very learned man[12].

“Nicolas de Bourbon, of Bar sur l’Aube, was nephew’s son to the poet
Nicolas Bourbon, who lived in the time of Francis the First; after
having been king’s professor, then canon of Langres, made himself father
of the oratory. ----He was a prodigious dry soul, and loved good wine,
which made him often say, That though he was of the French academy, yet
that when he read French verses he fancied he was drinking water.”

The great Buchanan, so famous for his fine writings, was a terrible
drinker, if we may give any credit to Father Garasse. What follows is
taken out of his Doctrine Curieuse, p. 748. “I shall,” says he, “recount
to our new atheists, the miserable end of a man of their belief and
humour, as to eating and drinking. The libertine having passed his
debauched youth in Paris and Bourdeaux, more diligent in finding out
tavern bushes than the laurel of Parnassus; and being towards the latter
end of his life, recalled into Scotland, to instruct the young prince,
James VI. continuing his intemperance, he grew at last so dropsical by
drinking, that by way of jeer he said he was in labour. _Vino
intercute_, not _aquâ intercute_. As ill as he was, he would, however,
not abstain from drinking bumpers, and them too all of pure wine, as he
used to do at Bourdeaux. The physicians who had care of his health, by
order of the king, seeing the extravagant excesses of their patient,
told him roundly, and in a kind of heat, that he did all he could to
kill himself, and that, if he continued this course of life, he could
not live above a fortnight, or three weeks, longer. He desired them then
to hold a consultation amongst themselves, and let him know how long he
might live if he abstained from wine. They did so, and told him, he
might on that condition live five or six years longer. Upon which he
gave them an answer worthy his humour. Go, says he, with your regimens
and prescriptions, and know, that I had rather live three weeks, and get
drunk every day, than six years without drinking wine. And as soon as he
had thus dismissed the physicians, he caused a barrel of wine of Grave
to be placed at his bed’s head, resolving to see the bottom of it before
he died; and carried himself so valiantly in this encounter, that he
drank it up to the lees, fulfilling literally the contents of this
quaint epigram of Epigonus upon a frog, who falling into a pipe of wine,
cried out,

      φεύ τινες ὕδωρ
  πίνουσι μανίην σώφρονα μαινόμενοι.

“Having death and the glass between his teeth, the ministers visited him
to bring him to himself, that he might take resolution to die with some
thought and reflection; one of them especially exhorted him to recite
the Lord’s Prayer; upon which, opening his eyes, he looked very ghastly
upon the minister, And what is that, says he, that you call the Lord’s
Prayer? The standers by answered, It was the Our Father; and that, if he
could not pronounce that prayer, they desired him that at least he would
recite some christian prayer, that he might die like a good man. For my
part, replied he, I never knew any other prayer than this,

  “Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis,
  Contractum nullis ante cupidinibus.”[12a]

    Cynthia’s fine eyes, me wretched, first could move,
    Before that time I knew not what was love.

“And scarce had he repeated ten or twelve verses of that elegy of
Propertius, but he expired, surrounded with cups and glasses, and of him
one may really say, that he vomitted his purple soul out, _Purpuræam
vomit ille animam_[13].”

I shall not vouch for the truth of this story, but you have it as I find
it; nor must it be expected that Buchanan, who was their mortal enemy,
should find any favour from the priests of the church of Rome.

Justus Lipsius got sometimes drunk; he tells us so himself, in his
Commentary on Seneca, for in that passage where the philosopher says,
that drunkenness cures some certain distempers, he makes on the word
distempers this remark following--Melancholy (we know it by experience)
or cold. And in the discourses which he says were carried on between
Carrio Demius and Dusa, upon subjects of literature, and which he
inserts in his Ancient Lessons, they had always a glass in their hand.

Every one knows that Baudius, professor in the university of Leyden, was
a great drinker, and Culprit himself pleads guilty to the indictment.
_Habemus rerum confitentem._ Here follow his own words, which I own I
cannot translate without losing their beauty in the Latin, but the
substance is, that he defies envy itself to say any thing against him,
but that like the ancient Cato, he drank pretty liberally of the juice
of the grape. _Concurrant omnes_, says he, _non dicam ut ille satiricus,
Augures, Haruspices, sed quicquid est ubique hominum curiosorum, qui in
aliena acta tam sedulo iniquirunt ut ea fingant quæ nunquam fuerunt,
nihil inveniet quod in nobis carpere possit livor, quam quod interdum ad
exemplum prisci Catonii liberalitatis invitare nos patiamur, nec semper
constitimus ultra sobrietatem veterum Sabinorum_[14]. And in another
letter he says, that the most virulent detractor could never reproach
him with any thing, but that he got sometimes drunk. _Malignitas
obtrectatorum nihil aliud in nobis sigillare potest quam quod nimis
commodus sum convivator, et interdum largius adspargor rore liberi

Balzac made also some little debauches with some of his friends at his
country-house; and what he wrote to an officer who was then prisoner in
Germany, makes it evidently appear that he thought it lawful so to do.
“In relation,” says he, “to the German manner of drinking healths, which
you speak of with such trouble, as if they were so many Turkish
bastinadoes, I think your sobriety in that respect to be a little too
delicate, you must learn to howl when you are in company of wolves, as
the proverb has it, and not to instance great generals. Don’t you know,
that wise ambassadors of kings have heretofore got drunk for the good of
their master’s affairs, and sacrificed all their prudence and gravity to
the necessity of great men, and the custom of the country where they
were. I do not advise you here to any forbidden acts of intemperance,
but I think it no manner of harm now and then to drown your chagrin in
Rhenish wine, and to make use of that agreeable means to shorten the
time, the long continuance of which is ever extremely tedious to

The illustrious professor of Utrecht, whose name shall live as long as
the republic of letters shall subsist, was a great drinker, and valued
himself for drinking a great deal. It is reported of this learned man,
that at the congress of the last peace, a certain German prince, of a
sovereign house, came on purpose to have a brush with our professor, who
accepted the challenge, and came off victorious, having fairly laid his
enemy speechless on the floor.

    [Footnote 1: Vide Preface, p. 17, l. 6, where are these words,
    viz. Thus shall princes love and cherish you as their most
    faithful children and servants, and take delight to commune with
    you, inasmuch as amongst you are found men excellent in all kinds
    of sciences, and who, thereby, may make their names, who love and
    cherish you, immortal]

    [Footnote 2: Page 6, l. 9.]

    [Footnote 3: Page 16, l. 19.]

    [Footnote 4: Page 5, l. 12. Page 42, l. 13.]

    [Footnote 5: Oeuv. div. du Sieur D’Espreaux, p. 246.]

    [Footnote 6: Martial.]

    [Footnote 7: Parnass. Franc, p. 97.]

    [Footnote 8: Bayle Dict. Art. Ammon.]

    [Footnote 9: Menagian, t. i. p. 26.]

    [Footnote 10: Patinian, p. 106.]

    [Footnote 11: Rec. de Partic. p. 318, ed. 4.]

    [Footnote 12: Scaliger, p. 409.]

    [[Footnote 12a: Propertius I.i.1-2.]]

    [Footnote 13: Bayle Dict. Art. Buchan. D.]

    [Footnote 14: Ep. xxxiii. centur. 3.]

    [Footnote 15: Ep. xxvi. centur. 3.]

    [Footnote 16: Lett. Chois. lib. ii. lett. 5.]



The plot now begins to thicken upon us, and we are come to give an
account of such nations with whom the custom of getting drunk was
heretofore very much in vogue; and of those with whom this same custom
reigns at this very day.

When we consult ancient histories upon this point, we learn from
Plato[1], that the Scythians, Thracians, Celtæ and Iberians, were the
greatest drinkers that ever were. Ælian[2] says the same in relation to
the Thracians and Illyrians. It is also reported of the Parthians[3],
that the more they drink the more thirsty they grow.

Athenæus[4] also assures us, that the Thracians were great drinkers; and
he says the same thing of the Milesians, Illyrians, Lydians, Persians,
Carthaginians, Gauls, and Spaniards.

The Tapyrians were so much given to wine, that they past their whole
lives in drinking, and even bathed their bodies in wine[5].

The Tarentins used to drink from morning till night, and got quite drunk
in public[6].

The Leontins, a people in Sicily, were such great drunkards, that they
occasioned this proverb, viz. the Leontins are always near a cup of

The Byzantins must not be refused a place in this chapter. Ælian
reports[8], that Leonides, their general, being besieged, and unable to
make his men keep their posts, which they quitted every moment to go and
get drunk at the taverns, he immediately gave orders that the vintners
should repair with all their liquors to the ramparts, by which stratagem
he kept them to their duty.

But as it may be said that the nations we have already mentioned were
all barbarous, we shall, for that reason, verify what Montaigne says,
that amongst nations the best regulated, and most polite, this essay of
drinking deep was very much in use[9].

The Greeks, whom one may look upon as the only nation of the world for
politeness and good sense, are a proof of what I advance. They
celebrated the feasts of Bacchus with a great deal of solemnity; it is
from them that Pergræcari, of which every one knows the signification,
is derived. Ælian assures us, that they were so very luxurious, that
they put perfumed oils into their wine, which they called wine of myrrh.

The Romans had also a very strong passion for wine, so that at Rome
there were frequently very great seditions for want of it. _Seditiones
sunt concitatæ graves ob inopiam vini_[10], says Ammianus Marcellinus,
in the Life of Constantius and Gallus; and in the reign of Constantius
only, the same historian says, there was a sedition also upon that very

Titus Livius tells us, that the Clusians passed the Alps, and came to
inhabit the country that the Etrurians possessed before, to have the
pleasure of drinking wine[11].

Let us now descend to some nations, with whom, at present, this custom
of getting drunk is received.

Sir Paul Ricaut[12] assures us, that the Turks considering that wine
rejoices the heart, and comforts the stomach, have begun to drink it;
adding, that at present there are only a few (ulamah) ecclesiastical
hypocrites or some ignorant bigots, or superannuated people, that
abstain from that liquor; but at the same time drunkenness is grown very
common amongst them.

M. Du Mont confirms this truth, “As to wine,” says he, “though it be as
expressly forbidden as swine’s flesh, it is nevertheless very certain
that a great many Mahometans transgress that precept; and the justest
thing that I can say in that respect is, that abstinence from wine is
observed there almost after the same manner as Lent in France[13].”

The Persians too drink wine to excess, though their law forbids the use
of it; and they say for an excuse, “That it is to pass away the time,
and sweeten the cares that surprise them[14].”

The Armenians are no way behind the Persians, if we may believe
Tavernier, who says, that with them, “He that treats thinks he has
handsomely acquitted himself of his entertainment, if his guests cannot
find the door when they have a mind to go home, which would very often
happen, without the assistance of their servants, who lead them, and yet
have not power enough sometimes to keep them from falling down in the
room, or in the street, which is a great satisfaction to the host; for
if he finds any of them master of so much judgment as to guide himself,
though he reels never so much, he laments very much, as having the
misfortune of spending his money to no purpose[15].

The Siameze drink wine very heartily when they can get it, though every
thing that may intoxicate them is forbidden by their law[16].

Father le Clerc, author of a Relation of Gaspesia, assures us, that
drunkenness is the favourite vice of the inhabitants of that

The inhabitants of the coast of Africa are great drunkards; they would
give all they had in the world for a glass of brandy. At Loanda, capital
of the kingdom of Angola, a firkin of wine sells for above thirty pounds
sterling. They love it extremely, and they tell you a pleasant story
hereupon of the great duke of Bamba, which is a province of the king of
Congo, viz. that he once refused the crown, as he himself owned to the
fathers missioners, that he might be always near the Portuguese, and
drink, by their means, sometimes a little wine or brandy[18].

The Muscovites love wine with a kind of fury, and it has been known,
that when a man who has drunk to excess, and can swallow no more, they
wash him soundly with it. And in Germany you are not looked upon to have
treated your guest like a friend, if you do not reduce him to that
condition, as quite to forget himself, and know not what he does[19].

“As Georgia produces strong wines, so its inhabitants are great
drunkards, the strongest liquors is what they love most; and at their
entertainments they drink more brandy than wine, women as well as

Sir John Chardin[21] assures us, That there is no country in the world
where they drink so much wine, and more excellent, than they do at
Georgia; adding, that the Georgians are great drunkards, and that the
clergy get drunk as well as the laity.

  Like people like priest.

    Quales populus talis sacerdos.

We have taken care not to forget Germany. _Vocabitur hæc quoque votis._
Which we reserve to the next chapter.

    [Footnote 1: Lips. cent. 3, ep. li.]

    [Footnote 2: Lib. ii. cap. 15.]

    [Footnote 3: Erasm. Adag.]

    [Footnote 4: Lib. x. cap. 10.]

    [Footnote 5: Ælian, lib. iii. cap. 13.]

    [Footnote 6: Lib. xii.]

    [Footnote 7: Forner de Ebriet. lib. i. cap. 12.]

    [Footnote 8: Lib. iii. cap. 14.]

    [Footnote 9: Essays, l. ii. cap. 2.]

    [Footnote 10: Hist. Aug. Script. ed. 1609. fol. p. 414, and
    p. 425.]

    [Footnote 11: P. 85.]

    [Footnote 12: Hist. of the Turks.]

    [Footnote 13: Voyage, t. 3, let. v.]

    [Footnote 14: Tavernier’s Trav. 1. lib. v. cap. 17.]

    [Footnote 15: Tavern. t. 1, lib. v. cap. 17.]

    [Footnote 16: Loubere, liv. i. ch. 9.]

    [Footnote 17: Bibl. Univ. t. xxiii. p. 44.]

    [Footnote 18: Viaggo del Congo.]

    [Footnote 19: Chevrean, t. ii. p. 215.]

    [Footnote 20: Tavern. t. 1, liv. iii. ch. 9.]

    [Footnote 21: Voyag. t. ii. p. 129.]



The Germans were, in all times and ages, great drinkers, and in the
words of one of their own poets,

  “Illic nobilitas, æterno nomine digna
  Exhaurire cados, siccareque pocula longa[1].”

    ---------------------- worthy eternal fame!
    ’Tis there a piece of true nobility,
    To empty casks, and drink deep goblets dry.

To demonstrate the origin of their bibacity, it is absolutely necessary
to go higher than Tacitus, who in the treatise which he composed in
relation to their customs and manners, thus speaks: “It is no shame with
them to pass whole days and nights in drinking; but quarrellings are
very frequent amongst them, as are usual amongst folks in that respect,
and more often end at daggers drawing than in Billingsgate. It is,
however, in such meetings, that alliances and reconciliations are
formed. Here they treat of the election of princes. In short, of all
affairs, of peace and war. Those opportunities they think most proper,
inasmuch as then people shake off all disguise of thought and
reflection, and the heat of debauch engages the soul of man to
resolutions the most bold and hardy[2].”

Owen, our countryman, has made an epitaph in honour of these our
substantial topers, the Germans; the sense of which is, that if truth
lies hidden in wine, they are the first people in the world that will
find it out. His words are,

  Si latet in vino verum, ut proverbia dicunt,
  Invenit verum Teuto vel inveniet.

Let us see now what travellers have said on this subject of the Germans:
and we will begin with M. Aug. de Thou[3], an eye-witness thereof.
“There is,” says he, “before Mulhausen, a large place, or square, where,
during the fair, assemble a prodigious number of people, of both sexes,
and of all ages; there one may see wives supporting their husbands,
daughters their fathers, tottering upon their horses or asses, a true
image of a Bacchanal. The public-houses are full of drinkers, where the
young women who wait, pour wine into goblets out of a large bottle with
a long neck, without spilling one drop. They press you to drink with
pleasantries the most agreeable in the world. People drink here
continually, and return at all hours to do the same thing over again.”

This pleasant sight, so new to M. de Thou, continues almost all night.
And what is very particular amongst such a great concourse of people,
and such a number of drunkards, every thing passes without dispute and

Let us now see what the duke de Rohan says on this head, whose words are
these[4]:-- “From thence I came to Trent, a place noways agreeable, and
famous for nothing but the last council which was held there; and if it
was not that it was half Italian, (being glad of coming out of little
Barbary, and a universal tippling-house,) I would take no notice of it;
being well satisfied, that the mathematicians of our times can no where
find out the perpetual motion so well as here, where the goblets of
Germans are an evident demonstration of its possibility--they think they
cannot make good cheer, nor permit friendship or fraternity, as they
call it, with any, without giving the seal brimful of wine, to seal it
for perpetuity.”

M. Misson, who was also some time in Germany, gives us yet a larger
description. “The Germans,” says he[5], “are, as you know, strange
drinkers. There are no people in the world more caressing, more civil,
more officious, but still another cup. They have terrible customs on
that article of drinking. Every thing is transacted over the bottle; you
can do nothing without drinking. One can scarce speak three words at a
visit, but you are astonished to see the collation come in, or at least
a good quantity of wine, attended with crusts of bread cut into little
pieces, upon a plate with salt and pepper, a fatal preparative for bad
drinkers. I must instruct you in the laws they observe in their cups;
laws sacred and inviolable. You must never drink without drinking some
one’s health, which having done, you must immediately present the glass
to the party you drank to, who must never refuse it, but drink it to the
last drop. Reflect a little, I beseech you, on these customs, and you
will see how, and by what means, it is impossible to cease from
drinking. After this manner one shall never have done. It is a perpetual
circle to drink after the German fashion; it is to drink for ever.
You must likewise know, that the glasses too are respected in those
countries as much as the wine is loved; they range them all about in
ranks and files; most of their rooms are wainscotted up two thirds of
the wall, and the glasses are ranged all about, like organ pipes, upon
the cornish. They begin with the small, and end with the large ones,
which are like melon glasses, and must be taken off at one draught, when
they drink any health of importance.”

Let us observe here[6], “That it was the custom of the ancient Greeks to
drink largely after meals, and that this custom is now practised in
Germany.” This was what Æneas, and the people of his train, used to do,
as we learn from these verses of Virgil[7]:--

  “Postquam prima quies epulis, mensæque remotæ,
  Crateras magnas statuunt et vina coronant.

    After the teeth had gain’d their first repose,
      The dishes ta’en away, the cloth remov’d,
    The rich repast gigantic tankards close,
      Replete with wines, by nicest tastes approv’d.

It is the same thing with the Armenians, they never drink till at the
end of their meals. “After they have said grace, the dishes are removed,
in order to bring in the desert, and then they prepare themselves to
drink to excess.”

We come now to the Swiss. Here follows what Daniel Eremita, a very
learned man, who published a description of their country, has said of
them. “[8]They have the same simplicity in drinking, but they do not
keep the same moderation. Wine is what they place their delight in, and
they prefer it to all things in the world. At their assemblies, both for
pleasure and business, or any other affairs, wine always makes a party;
with which, when they have overloaded their stomach, they discharge it,
and sit down to it again, and drink as they did at first. They leave the
care of their family to their wives and children, who live with the
utmost economy, in favour of their husbands, who are continually at the
tavern. They talk with glass in hand, and please themselves in that
posture to recount their acts and jests, and those of their ancestors,
as examples to posterity. They speak freely all they know, and know not
what a secret is. In short, this way of life does not only continue
whole days successively, but all the time they live.”

Nor have things now taken another aspect in Switzerland. The author of a
travel lately into that country, tells us for certain, that “wine is a
singular attractive, a powerful charm, against which the Swiss can make
no manner of resistance[9].”

Before I close this chapter I shall take notice of the Flemings, whom we
ought to look upon as making part of Germany, who, though they are
surrounded by water, take care never to drink any, which made Scaliger,
when in Holland, say to Douza,

  “In mediis habitamus aquis, quis credere possit
  Et tamen hic nullæ, Douza, bibuntur aquæ[10].”

    Amidst the waters here we live,
    Yet who can any credit give
    To what I say, for, Douza, here
    No water drinkers e’er appear.

Guicciardin, in his description of the low countries, accuses the people
of drinking too much. _Hanno_[11], says he, _poi per la maggior parte
quel vitio del bere troppo_. He adds, however, “That they are in some
sort excusable, because the air of the country being for the most part
of the year humid, and apt to inspire melancholy, they could not,
perhaps, make use of a more efficacious remedy to expel this irksome,
unwholesome melancholy, than wine, which, I suppose, was Horace’s
sentiment, when he said, With wine drive away care. The words in the
original are, _Ma sono in qualche parte scusabili, per che essendo
l’aria del paese il pui del tempo humida et malinconica, non potrieno
peraventura trovar instromento piu idoneo a scacciare et battere la
malinconia odiosa et mal sana che il vino, si come pare che accerni
Horatio dicendo. Vino pellite curas._”

But without any farther talking of the Germans, I shall end this chapter
with this necessary remark, that one need not go out of England for
examples of hard drinking, our country, God bless it, does not come
behind any other in this particular.

    [Footnote 1: G. Brusch. Inter. p. 405.]

    [Footnote 2: Diem noctemque continuare nullum probium, crebræ ut
    inter vinolentos rixæ, raro conviciis sepius cede et vulneribus
    transiguntur. Sed et de reconciliandis invicem inimicitiis et
    pangendis affinitatibus et adsciscendis principibus, de pace
    denique ac bello plerunque in conviviis consultant; tanquam nullo
    magis tempore aut ad simplices cogitationes patea animus, aut ad
    magnas incalescat.] [[Tacitus, _Germania_ 22.]]

    [Footnote 3: Memoir de Thou. liv. ii. p. 63.]

    [Footnote 4: Voyag. p. 27. ed. 1646.]

    [Footnote 5: Voyage de Italie, t. i. let. 9.]

    [Footnote 6: Chevreana, t. ii. p. 188.]

    [Footnote 7: Æneid, lib. i. v. 723.] [[i.e. 723-724.]]

    [Footnote 8: Ed. viii. p. 411.]

    [Footnote 9: Voyag. de Rouvier, p. 89.]

    [Footnote 10: De admir. Holland.]

    [Footnote 11: Ed. fol. 1567, p. 29.]



As every country does not produce wine, but, according to the poet[1],

  “Hic segetes, illic veniunt fælicius uvæ.”

    _Here_ wheat, more happily _there_ grows the grape.

Those nations, with whom there are no vines, have invented other drinks
to make themselves merry. Pliny[2] tells us, That the western people got
drunk with certain liquors made with fruits; and that these liquors have
different names in Gaul and Spain, though they produce the same effect.

Ammianus Marcellinus reports, That the Gauls having no wine in their
country, though they are very fond of it, contrive a great many sorts of
liquors, which produce the same effect as wine. _Vini avidum genus
adfectans ad vini similitum dinem multiplices potus._

The Scythians had no wine, as appears by the answer of Anacharsis, the
philosopher, who being asked, If they had none that played on the flute
in Scythia, replied, That they had not so much as any wine there.
However, for all that, they got drunk with certain liquors which had the
force and strength of wine. This also we learn from these words of

  “Ipsi in defossis specubus, secura subaltâ
  Otia agunt terrâ, congestaque robora tolasque
  Advolvere focis ulmos, ignique dedere.
  Hic noctem ludo ducunt, et pocula læti
  Fermento, atque acidis imitantur vitea sorbis.”[2a]

    Secure, in quiet ease, they dwell in caves
    Deep dug in earth, and to their chimneys roll
    Whole oaks and elms entire, which flames devour.
    Here all the night, in sport and merry glee,
    They pass and imitate, with acid service,
    By fermentation vinous made, the grape.

The Thracians intoxicate themselves by swallowing the fumes of certain
herbs, which they cast into the fire.

The Babylonians, according to Herodotus, used likewise to get drunk,
by swallowing the fumes of certain herbs that they burned.

Strabo reports, That the Indians made a certain drink with sugar canes,
which made them merry; very probably not unlike what we now call rum.

Benso, in his History of America, says the same of the inhabitants of
the island of Hispaniola, and several other provinces of America.

Pliny and Athenæus tell us, that the Egyptians fuddled themselves with a
drink made of barley; by this it seems the liquor of Sir John
Barley-Corn is very ancient.

Leri[3], in his Voyage to Brazil, tells us, That the inhabitants of that
country are as great drinkers as the Germans, Flemings, Lansquenets,
Swiss: and all those merry gentleman who love carousing, and drink
supernaculum, ought to agree, that they are even with them. Their drink
is made of certain roots, which they boil and ferment, and is then
called by them in their language, _cahou-in_. The author adds, “That he
has seen them not only drink three days and nights successively without
ceasing, but that they were so very drunk, that they could swallow no
more till they had disgorged, which was in order to begin again.

“There [4]grows in the Eastern countries certain particular drugs, with
which the inhabitants are wonderfully delighted, and which produce a
kind of drunkenness, or agreeable folly, which continues some time. They
are so much accustomed to the use of these drugs, by a long habit, that
they imagine that life must be very sad and unhappy without them.
The Indians and Persians have their bangué, the Egyptians their bola,
and the Turks their opium.”

In relation to the Persians, Tavernier[5] has these words, viz. “They
have a sort of drink to divert and make themselves merry, which they
call kokemaar, made of poppy-seeds boiled. They drink it scalding hot;
and there are particular houses, called kokemaar kronè, where people
meet, and give a great deal of pleasure and delight to those who see the
ridiculous postures which this kind of liquor makes them perform. Before
it operates they quarrel with one another, and give abusive language,
without coming to blows; afterwards when the drug begins to have its
effect, then they also begin to make peace. One compliments in a very
high degree, another tells stories, but all are extremely ridiculous
both in their words and actions.” And after having spoken of other
liquors that they make use of, he adds, “It is difficult to find in
Persia a man that is not addicted to some one of these liquors, without
which they think they cannot live but very unpleasantly.”

I take no notice here of that admirable drink called Punch with us; nor
Juniper-water, (vulgarly called Geneva, a corruption from the French
word Genevre, which signifies the same thing,) nor that dram called
All-fours, which have such wonderful effects on the wretched commonalty.

    [Footnote 1: Virgil.] [[_Georgics_ I.54.]]

    [Footnote 2: Const. et Jul. lib. 16.]

    [[Footnote 2a: Virgil, _Georgics_ III.376-380.]]

    [Footnote 3: P. 126, ed. 1594.]

    [Footnote 4: L’Emer. des Alim. part iii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 5: T. 1, lib. v. ch. 17.]



Drunkenness will (and ought to do so) appear excusable to people the
most sober, if they would but make these two reflections following, viz.

I. _That drunkards are not generally given to lewdness._

Aristotle says, “That too much drinking makes one very improper for the
acts of Venus, and gives his reasons. Athenæus reports the same thing in
that passage, where he makes mention of the drunkenness of Alexander the
Great, a vice,” says he, “which, perhaps, was the cause of his little
inclination for the ladies.”

Montaigne[1] speaks very well on this article, “These,” says he, “are
two things which vigorously oppose each other; this weakens our stomach
on one hand; whereas, on the other, sobriety serves to make us more
quaint and delicate in the exercise of love.”

Ovid[2] says much the same thing.

  “Vina parant animum veneri, nisi plurima sumas,
  Ut stupeant multo corda sepulta mero.”

    Wine, not too much, inspires, and makes the mind
    To the soft joys of Venus strong inclin’d,
    Which buried in excess, unapt to love,
    Stupidly lies, and knows not how to move.

II. _That in those countries where they do not drink to excess, they are
very much addicted to debauchery._

It is certain, that in hot countries they drink a great deal less
than they do in cold, but in lieu of that, lewdness reigns much more.
Montaigne[3], after having observed, that they began to drink less
than they used to do, adds, “Does any one think it tends to amendment?
No, indeed; but, perhaps, we are much more given to whoring than our

This puts me in mind of an Italian, who having reproached a German with
the drunkenness of his country, by these verses, viz.

  “Germani multos possunt tolerare labores
  O utinam possint tam tolerare sitim.”

    The Germans (patient) toil, inur’d to pain,
    Oh! could they but their thirst so well sustain!

The German answered him extempore in these other two:--

  “Ut nos vitis amor, sic vos Venus improba vexat
  Est data lex veneri Julia, nulla mero.”

    As we love wine, so wicked Venus you,
    Twas _this_, not _that_, the Julian Edict knew.

In order to draw a consequence from all this, let us speak once more of
Montaigne[4], whose words are, “And if we cannot give any pleasure but
what costs us something, as the ancients maintain, I find this vice
costs the conscience less than all the rest, besides, it is in this
respect no despicable consideration, that a man advanced in honours,
amongst three principal conveniencies of life, that he told me he yet
enjoyed, he reckoned this for one.”

After having shewn, in the foregoing chapters, That drunkenness reigns
all the world over, _Nulla in parte mundi cessat ebrietas_. Let us see
what we may hence infer in its favour: and I ask, if the agreement of so
many different nations, to do one and the same thing, proves nothing,
and may not, in some measure, serve as an apology for drunkenness?
For if one considers, that the surprising variety of the humour and
temperament of men, do, notwithstanding, in nowise hinder them from
agreeing unanimously in this point, one shall have a very strong
temptation to believe, that the desire of getting drunk is an innate
quality, and we shall be confirmed in this sentiment, after tasting
experimentally the exquisite sweetness caused by drunkenness.

To conclude,

  All drink, throughout the universe, ’tis plain,
  The moon drinks up the sea, the earth the rain,
  The sun the air, and ev’ry tree, we know,
  The earth’s prolific juice imbibes to grow.
  The air sups up the water too, ’tis said,
  Why then, my dearest friends, d’ye plague my head,
  And angry grow, because, dry soul[5], I swill
  New wine, drink fit for gods, and quaff my fill.

    [Footnote 1: Essais, l. ii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 2: De Remed. Amor.]

    [Footnote 3: Essais, liv. ii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 4: Essais, liv. ii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 5: Anima mea non potest habitare in sicco. S. Aug.]



After having specified the good qualities of drunkenness, let us now
answer some frivolous objections that may be made against what we have
here advanced. For example, people will not be wanting immediately to
object, that drunkenness has been the cause of infinite evils.

To this I answer, that it has been only the cause of these evils when
people have pushed it too far, and not observed the rules they ought to
keep in drinking, and which we shall see here prescribed by and by. For
where do we find that any one, of so many grave philosophers that used
to get drunk, made any disorders? It was for this reason that
Chrisippus’s maid said, That her master was drunk in the hams. And it
was on this very account, perhaps, that the Stoics said of their sage,
“That he was, indeed, to be overcome with wine, but would not, however,
be drunk, _Vino obrutum iri non ebrium tamen futurum_.”

On the other hand, without being willing to excuse those disorders which
drunkenness has been the cause of, one may say, nevertheless, that some
of these disorders have produced effects highly advantageous. “Suppose,
for example, that Lot had not got drunk, and his two daughters had not
been possessed with the furious desire of having children, and the fear
of dying maids, you ruin, by this means, whole families, who bore a
great part in the wonderful events of the children of Israel[1].”

Their high mightinesses the States of Holland, have eternal obligations
to drunkenness, since to this they owe, in some sort, the establishment
of their republic, which was after this manner, according to Strada:--
[2]The same day that Brederode, accompanied by above two hundred
gentlemen, had presented that famous petition to Margaret of Parma, who
then governed the Netherlands, he gave a magnificent entertainment in
the house of the Count of Culenbourg, there was no want of drinking;
and as they saw the Count of Hoocstrate, who by chance passed that way,
they began, with a great deal of joy, to give one another the name of
Gueux[3]; upon which taking each of them all together great glasses in
their hands, they made vows and oaths to each other by the name of
Gueux, and cried out with one voice and general applause, Long live the
Gueux! After which they promised mutual fidelity; and the Prince of
Orange and the Counts of Egmont and Horn coming to them, they began to
drink again, and with great acclamation renewed vows and wishes with
these new comers, as they had already done, for the Gueux. At last, in
the heat of wine, they took those vigorous resolutions, the effects of
which were afterwards seen, which was the liberty of the United

    [Footnote 1: Lett. xvi. sur la Crit. du Calvin.]

    [Footnote 2: Strada de Bello Belgico, part i. lib. 5.]

    [Footnote 3: The French word for beggars.]



It will be objected, without doubt, that the mirth which wine inspires
is imaginary, and without any foundation, and that, as Boileau has it,

  “Rien n’est beau que le vrai. Le vrai seul est aimable.”

    Nothing so beautiful as what is true,
    That it is only lovely is its due.

I very willingly own, that this joy and mirth is nothing else than the
effect of our imagination.

  Full well I’m satisfied ’tis nothing all
  But a deceitful hope, less solid far,
  A thousand times, than is the moving sand;
  But are not all things so with wretched man?
  All things soon pass away like rapid streams
  Which hasten to the sea, where lost for ever
  In th’ ocean’s vast abyss unknown they lie.
  Our wisest wishes and desires are vain,
  Abstracted vanities, gay painted bubbles,
  That break when touch’d, and vanish into air.
  Love, wisdom, knowledge, riches, phantoms all.

But before we thoroughly refute this objection, I shall observe by the
way, that errors and illusions are necessary to the world. “[1]In
general, indeed, it is true to say, that the world, as it is now, cannot
keep itself in the same condition, were not men full of a thousand false
prejudices and unreasonable passions; and if philosophy went about to
make men act according to the clear and distinct ideas of reason, we
might, perhaps, be satisfied, that mankind would quickly be at an end.
Errors, passions, prejudices, and a hundred other the like faults, are
as a necessary evil to the world. Men would be worth nothing for this
world, were they cured, and the greatest part of the things which now
take up our time, would be useless, as Quintilian well knew, namely,

Things are in this condition, and will not easily change, and we may
wait long enough for such a happy revolution, before we shall be able to
say, with Virgil,

  “Magnus ab integro sæculorum nascitur ordo.”[1a]

    A series long of ages now appear,
    Entirely new to man, before unknown.

On the other hand, “[2]If you take away from man every thing that is
chimerical, what pleasure will you leave him? Pleasures are not things
so solid, as to permit us to search them to the bottom; one must only
just touch them and away. They resemble boggy and moorish ground, we
must run lightly over them, without ever letting our feet make the least

  No, wheresoe’er we turn our wishing eye,
  True pleasures never can our souls enjoy.

Let us add, “[3]That if we did not help to deceive ourselves, we should
never enjoy any pleasure at all. The most agreeable things in this world
are, in the bottom, so trivial, that they would not much affect us, if
we made but never so little serious reflection upon them. Pleasures are
not made to be strictly examined into, and we are obliged every day to
pass over a great many things in them, about which it would not be
proper to make one-self uneasy.”

Besides, “[4]Is not the illusion we enjoy as valuable as the good we
possess? M. Fontenelle makes a very excellent observation hereupon in
these verses[5]:--

  “Souvent en s’attachant a des fantômes vains
  Notre raison seduite avec plaisir s’egare.
  Elle-même joüit des objets qu’elle a feints.
  Et cette illusion pour quelque tems repare
  Le defaut des vrais biens que la Nature avare
  N’a pas accordez aux humains.”

    Often enchanted by the ’luring charms
    Of phantoms gay, our reason all seduc’d,
    With pleasure roams thro’ endless desarts wild,
    Enjoys the objects which herself has form’d.
    And this illusion for some time repairs
    The want of real joys, which niggard Nature
    Never has granted to unhappy man.

“Enjoyment,” says Montaigne[6], “and possession, belong principally to
imagination, which embraces more eagerly that which it is in pursuit of,
than that which we have in our power.”

And certainly, one may pronounce them happy, who thus amuse themselves,
and believe themselves to be so. And indeed, when a man is so far gone
in this persuasion, every thing that is alleged to the contrary is
rejected as a fable.

But to shew, at present, the reality, if one may say so, of mere
illusion, we need go no farther than the poets, who are certainly the
happiest mortals living in that respect.

To instance no more, there’s Mr. --------, who would fain be a rhimer,
and that is his folly; but though the poor man, for his insipid verses,
and improper epithets, richly deserves our pity, yet is he wonderfully
pleased with his performances, and with a great deal of tranquillity
mounts up Parnassus, in his own conceit, in loftier tracts than Virgil
or Theocritus ever knew. But, alas! what would become of him, if some
audacious person should dare unbind his eyes, and make him see his weak
and graceless lines, which, however smoothly they may run, are, at best,
but exquisitely dull; contain terms that have no meaning in them, and
have no other ornament, but unintelligible jingle, and initial letters?
How would he curse the day which deprived his senseless soul of that
happy error that so much charmed his thoughts, and amused his

What is here said of the poets is applicable to all mankind; and so a
man, whom any one should undertake to persuade, that the mirth and joy
inspired by wine is chimerical, would do well to answer him, after the
manner as a certain madman did the doctor that cured him. The story is

Once upon a time a certain bigot, otherwise a man of sense, had his
brain a little touched with whimsies, and continually fancied he heard
the heavenly music of the blessed spirits. At last a physician, very
expert in his profession, cured him, either by his skill, or by chance,
no matter which; but when he came to demand his fees; for what? says the
other, in a violent passion, by your damned slip-slops and hellish art,
you have robbed me of my Paradise, though you have cured me of my error.
This I borrow from Boileau[7], as he did from Horace[8].

“[9]There are,” says Pere Bouhours, writing to Bussi Rabutin, “agreeable
errors, which are much more valuable than that which the Spaniards
called desengano, and which might be called in our language
disabusement, if this word, which one of our best writers has ventured
upon, had been received.”

We shall conclude with M. de Sacy[10], “That it is not always doing
mankind an agreeable service to dissipate their illusions.” And we say
of those who taste those satisfactions wine inspires, what M. Bayle says
very pleasantly of news-mongers who are still in hopes of what they wish
for. “They are[11],” says he, “the least unhappy, whatever happens.
There is a great deal of reality in their agreeable sentiments, how
chimerical soever their foundation may be; so that they do not willingly
suffer themselves to be disabused; and they sometimes say, when one
gives them reasons why they should believe the news, that makes them so
joyful, is doubtful or absolutely false, Why do you envy us the
pleasures we enjoy? Do not disturb our entertainment, or rob us of what
we hold most dear. A friend more opposite to error than charity is a
very troublesome reasoner; and if he meddles with their chimeras they
will endeavour to do him a diskindness.”

We come now to another objection, and that is, that this joy inspired by
wine is but of a very short continuance; and the pleasure one tastes in
so short a space, dearly repaid with a long and tedious uneasiness.
_Ebrietas unius horæ hilarem insaniam longo temporis tedio pensat._

I own that it is a very great misery, that our pleasures are so short:
and the shorter too, the more exquisite they are. And, perhaps, this may
be a kindness to us, since some are so superlatively so, that should
they continue a much longer space, mankind could not support themselves
under these ecstacies. But be this as it will, can we make them
otherwise than they are? We must therefore have patience, and take them
as we find them. In short, there is no present happiness in the world;
all we can do, is to be contented with the present, not uneasy at what
is to come, but sweeten with an equality of soul the bitter miseries of
human life.

    [Footnote 1: Lett. xvi. sur la Crit. de Calvin, p. 516.]

    [[Footnote 1a: Virgil, _Eclogues_ IV.5.]]

    [Footnote 2: Fontenelle Dial. d’Elisab. et du D. d’Alençon.]

    [Footnote 3: Fontenelle Dial. des Morts de Callirh. et de Paulin.]

    [Footnote 4: Nov. Dial. des Dieux. p. 68.]

    [Footnote 5: Poesies Pastor.]

    [Footnote 6: Essais, lib. iii. ch. 9.]

    [Footnote 7: Satire iv. M. la Vayer.]

    [Footnote 8: Lib. ii. ep. 2.]

    [Footnote 9: Lett. de Rab. t. iii. lett. 63.]

    [Footnote 10: De l’Amitié, p. 2.]

    [Footnote 11: Rep. aux Quest. d’un Prov. t. i. ch. 20.]



It is objected here, that reason ought to be the motive of all our
actions; and, of consequence, that we ought not voluntarily to lose it.

To this objection I answer several ways:-- First and foremost then,
I say, people do well to talk to us so much of reason, when almost all
mankind acts without reason, so that it may pass for a thing that has no
manner of existence but in the imagination. We shall prove this from
M. Bayle. “[1]We are defined,” says he, “a reasonable animal. A very
fine definition indeed, when none of us do any thing but without reason.
I assure you, sir, that one may say of reason, what Euripides said in
the beginning of one of his tragedies, and which afterwards was
corrected, on account of the murmurings of the people. O Jupiter, for of
thee I know nothing but only the name! In relation to the faculty I am
talking of, we know nothing more of it than that, so that we may well
laugh at the complaints of that heathen philosopher, who found that
reason was a very troublesome present sent to us by the gods for our
ruin; for he supposed, that reason busied herself in our affairs,
whereas the truth of it is she never meddles in the least with them.
We act nothing but with prejudice, by instinct, by self-love, and the
sudden starts of a thousand passions, which drag and turn our reason as
they will, insomuch that one may most justly define the principle which
rules and domineers over us, a mass of prejudices and passions which
knows how to draw consequences. I remember to have seen a man, who
having never heard mention made of the Cotta of Cicero, said
nevertheless as well as he, that it would have been much better that God
had not made us reasonable, since reason poisons all our affairs, and
makes us ingenious to afflict ourselves, upon which a certain person
said to him in raillery, That he had what he desired; that he had
received so small a share of reason that it was not worth his while to
complain. For my part, I turned the thing otherwise, that people were
much in the wrong to murmur against reason, since it is not that which
guides us; and that it is not too possible it should, without
overthrowing the order which has reigned so long in the world. The
learned Erasmus, continued I, deserves the highest praise in this
respect; he has written The Praise of Folly, wherein he shews that she
sheds every where her influence, and without her, the whole world would
in a short time be turned topsy turvy. I make no doubt, sir, but you
know the merit of that work. The author speaks, though in a merry
manner, the greatest truths in the world; and I do not know whether he
believed himself as profound a philosopher, as he really was in that
ingenious satire.”

Secondly, This is not all, “[2]It is sometimes necessary, for the
general good of the world, to follow prejudices, popular errors, and the
blind instincts of nature, rather than the distinct ideas of reason.”
Mr. Bayle extends himself farther on this idea in another place[3],
which I shall here insert. “Errors,” says he, “irregular passions, and
unreasonable prejudices, are so necessary to the world to make it a
theatre of that prodigious diversity of events which make one admire his
providence. So that he who would reduce men to do nothing but according
to the distinct ideas of reason, would ruin civil society. If man was
reduced to this condition, he would have no longer any desire of glory;
and having no longer that desire, is it not true, that then mankind
would be like ice? I say, he would have no desire of glory, for right
reason shews us, that we should not make our happiness depend on the
judgment of other men; and consequently, that we should not toil and
fatigue ourselves, to make other people say this, or that, of us----.
The earnest desire of being praised after death is an instinct of
morality that God has impressed in the mind of man, to keep up society.
And it is certain, that earnest desire has been the cause of the
greatest events; and this ought to instruct us that the world stands in
need of a great many instincts, which, examined according to the ideas
of our reason, are ridiculous and absurd. For there is nothing so
opposite to reason as to torment ourselves in this life, that we may be
praised after we are dead, since neither philosophy, nor experience, nor
faith, nor any thing whatsover, makes it appear, that the praises given
us after death can do us any good. It would be a thing uneasy to the
heart of man, if we did nothing but according to the light of reason;
and how many designs would come to nothing at the same time?”

Thirdly, Besides, reason very often serves for nothing but to make us
wretched. “The happiness of man is never the work of reason.” Of all our
evils reason is often the worst; it frightens us in the full career of
our pleasures, and with importunate remorses comes to bridle our fleet
desires. The horrid thing reserves for us most cruel and matchless
rigours. It is like a troublesome pedant one is forced to hear, who
always growls, but never touches us, and frequently like D------,
and such like venerable impertinents, lose the time they employ in

“If there be any happiness[4],” says Fontenelle, “that reason produces,
it is like that sort of health which cannot be maintained but by the
force of physic, and which is ever most feeble and uncertain.” And in
another place he cries out, “[5]Can we not have sound sight without
being at the same time wretched and uneasy? Is there any thing gay but
error? And is reason made for any thing else but to torment and kill
us?” “[6]What cause have not men to bewail their wretched condition?
Nature furnishes them but with a very few things that are agreeable, and
their reason teaches them how to enjoy them yet less.” “[7]And why has
Nature, in giving us passions which are sufficient to make us happy,
given us reason, that will not suffer us to be so?”

It was this same troublesome reason that made Sophocles say, “[8]It is
very sweet to live, but none of your wisdom, away with her, she spoils

  Vaunt less thy reason, O unhappy man!
  Behold how useless is this gift celestial,
  For which, they say, thou should’st the rest disdain.
  Feeble as thou wert in thy infant days,
  Like thee she mov’d, she totter’d, and was weak.
  When age mature arriv’d, and call’d to pleasures,
  Slave to thy sense, she still was so to thee,
  When fifty winters, Fate had let thee count;
  Pregnant with thousand cares and worlds of woes,
  The hateful issue in thy breast she threw,
  And now grown old thou loosest her for ever.

Before I end this chapter, let every body take notice, that if for
having spoken so much against reason, any one should say, that it is a
plain sign the author has none; and that there are a great many others,
who, in the words of M. La Motte[9], will be apt to say:--

  “Heureux cent fois l’auteur avec qui l’on s’oublie
  Qui nous offre un charmant poison,
  Et nous associant a sa douce folie
  Nous affranchit de la raison.”

    Happy the author, whose bewitching style,
    Life’s tedious minutes can beguile,
    Makes us, with him, forget uneasy care,
    And not remember what we are.
    Who by a charm, which no one can withstand,
    Enchanting poison can command,
    Can make us share his pleasing foolery,
    And from dull reason set us free.

And I shall not be wanting to answer in the words of the same gentleman:

  “[10]Bûveurs brisez le joug d’une raison trop fiere
  Eteignez son triste flambeau
  D’autres enseignent l’art d’augmenter sa lumiere
  Mais l’art de l’eteindre est plus beau.”

  Break, jolly topers, break th’ ungrateful chain
    Of reason, if she too imperious grow,
  Of being disturb’d you never need complain,
    If you put out her troublesome flambeau.
  Others may teach the art t’ increase her fires,
  To put them out a finer art requires.

    [Footnote 1: Lett. xxii, sur la Crit. du Calv. p. 756.]

    [Footnote 2: Lett. sur la Crit. du Calv. Lett. xvi. p.504.]

    [Footnote 3: Ibid. p. 535.]

    [Footnote 4: Dial. de M. Stuart, et P. Riccio.]

    [Footnote 5: Dial. de Parmen. et de Theb.]

    [Footnote 6: Dial. de Alexand. et Phryne.]

    [Footnote 7: Nouv. Dial. des Dieux, p. 99.]

    [Footnote 8: Moriæ Encom.]

    [Footnote 9: La Motte, Od. la Vanité.]

    [Footnote 10: Od. Thalia.]



There is a proverb amongst the Jews. “[1]_Ingrediente vino egreditur
secretum._” As the wine goes in so the secret goes out. Seneca[2] makes
the same objection. “As,” says he, “new wine bursts the vessel, and the
heat makes every thing go upwards, so the force of wine is such, that it
brings to light, and discovers, what is most secret and hidden.”

In answer to this objection I say, that people who are naturally secret,
are not less so after drinking. “[3]And Bacchus was not said to be the
inventor of wine, on account of the liberty of his tongue, but because
he freed our minds from disquiet, and makes them more firm and resolute
in what we undertake.”

Besides, do we not see every day, people of all ranks, conditions, and
characters, get drunk, and yet we trust them with secrets, and it very
rarely happens they speak of them when they are drunk. Thus, if we
consult history, we shall learn from Seneca[4] himself, that the design
of killing Cæsar was as well communicated to Tullius Cimber, who was a
great drinker, as to C. Cassius, who drank nothing but water. And though
L. Piso, governor of Rome, got frequently drunk, he, notwithstanding,
excellently acquitted himself of his duty. Augustus made no manner of
difficulty to give him secret instructions, bestowing on him the
government of Thrace, the conquest of which he entirely completed.
Tiberius, before he left Rome, where he was generally hated, in order to
retire into the Campania, made choice of Costus, who was extremely given
to wine, for governor of that city, to whom he communicated such things
as he dared not trust his own ministers with.

    [Footnote 1: Voyage de Rouvie, p. 497.]

    [Footnote 2: Ep. 83.]

    [Footnote 3: Seneca de Tranquill.]

    [Footnote 4: Seneca, ep. 83.]



I deny this absolutely, and to prove the contrary, I say, the Persians
had a custom to deliberate on things the most serious, and of the
greatest importance, after hard drinking. Tacitus reports the same thing
of the Germans. Dampier assures us, that the same custom is practised
with the inhabitants of the Isthmus Darien. And to go higher, one finds
in Homer, that during the siege of Troy, the Greeks, in council, did eat
and drink heartily. An evident proof, that this objection is contrary to
experience. But to go farther, this same experience made the ancients
look on those who could carry a great deal of wine, as persons of a
genius very much superior to those who could not drink at all. On this
account it was, that Cyrus, in writing to the Lacedemonians the reasons
which rendered him more capable of government than his brother, amongst
other things, takes notice, that he could drink more wine than he. And
so many fine productions, for which we are obliged to the drunkenness of
the poets, make it evidently appear, that wine, far from rendering us
incapable of doing any thing that is good, rather helps and incites us
to it. This important truth we shall confirm by several examples.

Plutarch relates, that Philip king of Macedon, after having conquered
the Athenians, made a feast, at which he got drunk; and that all proud
with that happy success, he nevertheless did a great many things
entirely ridiculous; but being informed that the ambassadors that the
Athenians sent to him to desire peace, wished to see him, he changed his
countenance all of a sudden, and having heard their proposals with all
possible attention, answered them with a great deal of justice.

The emperor Bonosus, who Amelian said was born not to live, but to
drink, acted always with greater prudence after drinking, says Flavius
Vopiscus, after Onesimus[1].

We have taken notice, in the foregoing chapter, that L. Piso, governor
of Rome, though he was often drunk, acquitted himself, notwithstanding,
punctually of his duty.

Christiern[2], the fourth king of Denmark, drank like a templer, and
never king was more laborious, a greater lover of his subjects, or more
beloved by them.

Scaliger[3] says, that a German has as much reason when he is drunk,
as when he has drank nothing. _Non minus sapit Germanus ebrius quam

Montaigne[4] speaks in his Essays, of a great lord of his time, who,
though he drank every day a prodigious quantity of wine, was,
nevertheless, equally careful in his affairs. According to which, that
which Cicero says is not generally true, viz. “That one must never
expect prudence from a man that is always drunk.” _Nec enim ab homine
nunquam sobrio postulanda prudentia_[5].

Another proof that drunkenness does not render us incapable of doing any
thing that is good, is, that it inspires people with courage, and even
makes the coward valiant. _Ad prelia trudit inertem._ Experience
confirms this truth. “We see,” says Montaigne[6], “that our Germans,
though drowned in wine, remember their post, the word, and their rank.”

We read in Spartien, that a certain general having been vanquished by
the Saracens, his soldiers laid all the blame of their defeat on their
want of wine.

The soldiers of the army of Pescennius Niger pressed earnestly for wine,
undoubtedly to make them fight the better; but he refused them in these
words, “You have the Nile,” said he, “and do you ask for wine?” In
imitation, I suppose, of the emperor Augustus[7], who, when the people
complained of the dearness and scarcity of wine, said to them, “My
son-in-law, Agrippa, has preserved you from thirst, by the canals he has
made for you.”

By what has been said it plainly appears, that wine is so far from
hindering a man from performing the duties of life, that it rather
forwards him, and is an admirable ingredient in all states and
conditions, both of peace and war, which made Horace[8] thus bespeak the
god of wine.

  “Quanquam choreis aptior et jocis
  Ludoque dictus, non sat idoneus
  Pugnis ferebaris, sed idem
  Pacis eras mediusque belli.”

    Tho’ thou more apt for love than furious war,
    And gay desires to move, thy chiefest care,
    Yet war, and sweetest pleasures, you can join,
    Both Mars and Venus are devotes to wine.

    [Footnote 1: Flav. Vopisc. in vita Bonos.]

    [Footnote 2: Amel. de la Houssai sur Tacit. Ann. liv. xi. ch. 35.]

    [Footnote 3: Scaligeriana, p. 169.]

    [Footnote 4: L. ii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 5: Orat. ii. Philip.]

    [Footnote 6: Essais, l. ii. ch. 2.]

    [Footnote 7: Sueton. in Vit. August.]

    [Footnote 8: Lib. ii. Od. 19.]



It is reported that Gerson should say, That there was no difference
between a man’s killing himself at one stroke, or to procure death by
several, in getting drunk.

Somebody has burlesqued this verse of Ovid[1]:--

  Vina parant animos, faciuntque coloribus aptos.[1a]

And thus changed it,

  Vina parant asinos, faciuntque furoribus aptos.

Cyneas[2] alluding to those high trees to which they used to fasten the
vines, said one day, discoursing on wine, that it was not without reason
that his mother was hanged upon so high a gibbet.

“[3]The diversion that people took heretofore in making one another
drunk, appeared more heinous to St. Augustine than an assassination, for
he maintained, that those who made any one drunk, did him greater injury
than if they had given him a stab with a dagger.

“A Greek[4] physician once wrote a letter to Alexander, in which he
begged him to remember, that every time that he drank wine, he drank the
pure blood of the earth, and that he must not abuse it.

“[5]Some poets say, that it was the blood of the gods wounded in their
battle with the giants.

“[6]The Severians in St. Epiphanius, hold, that it was engendered by a
serpent, and it is for that reason that the vine is so strong. And the
Encratites, in the same author, imagine to themselves that it was the
gall of the devil.

“Noah[7] in an hour of drunkenness,” says St. Jerom, “let his body be
seen naked, which he had kept covered for six hundred years.”

    [Footnote 1: Sphinx Theol. p. 682.]

    [[Footnote 1a: Ovid, _Ars Amatoria_ 237.]]

    [Footnote 2: Diver, cur. t. i. p. 141.]

    [Footnote 3: Rep. des Lett. Janv. 1687. Art. I.]

    [Footnote 4: Androcydes.]

    [Footnote 5: Entret. de Voiture, et de Costar, Lett. 29.]

    [Footnote 6: Lib. i. Heres. 47.]

    [Footnote 7: Ep. ad Ocean.]



An aversion to wine is a thing not very common; and there are but a very
few but will say with Catullus:--

  “At vos quo lubet, hinc abite lymphæ
  Vini pernicies.”[a]

    Pernicious water, bane to wine, be gone.

One should certainly be very much in the wrong to put in the number of
those who had an aversion to wine the duke of Clarence. His brother,
Edward the Fourth, prejudiced with the predictions of Merlin, as if they
foretold, that one day that duke should usurp the crown from his
children, resolved to put him to death, he only gave him the liberty to
choose what death he would die of. The duke being willing to die a merry
death, chose to be drowned in a butt of Malmsey. Not unlike him on whom
this epigram was made.

  “[1]In cyatho vini pleno cum musca periret;
  Sic, ait Oeneus, sponte perire velim.”

    In a full glass of wine expir’d a fly;
    So, said Oeneus, would I freely die.

But let us come in earnest to those who have really had an antipathy to
wine. Herbelot[2], in his Bibliotheque Orientale, says, that there are
some Mussulmans so superstitious, that they will not call wine by its
true name, which is Schamr and Nedibh; and that there are some princes
amongst them that have forbidden the mentioning of it by express laws.
The reason of all this is, the prohibition of Mahomet to his followers,
which enjoins them not to drink wine. The occasion of which prohibition
is as follows: “[3]They say, that passing one day through a village,
and seeing the people in the mirth of wine embracing and kissing one
another, and making a thousand protestations of friendship, he was so
charmed with the sight, that he blessed the wine, as the best thing in
the world. But that, at his return, observing the same place full of
blood, and having been informed, that the same men whom he had seen
before so merry, had, at last, changed their mirth into rage, and been
fighting with their swords, he recalled his benediction, and cursed wine
for ever, on account of the bad effects it produced.”

It is one of the chief commandments amongst the Siameze, to drink no
wine, nor any liquor that will procure drunkenness[4].

“[5]Drunkenness is detested in most parts of hot countries. It is looked
upon there as infamous. The greatest affront you can give a Spaniard,
is to call him drunkard. I have been assured, continues M. Bayle,
a servant, if his master should call him so, might bring his action at
law against him, and recover damages, though any other name he will
suffer very patiently, and without any right of complaint of being
injured in his reputation, as rogue, hang-dog, b----, &c.”

Empedocles, we may well conclude, loved wine, which he called, Water
putrified in wood.

[6]Amongst the Locrians, Seleucus had such an aversion to wine, that he
forbad any one to drink it under pain of death, or even give it to the

Apollonius Thyanæus never drank any wine, no more than St. Fulgentius,
bishop, S. Stephen, king of Poland, and cardinal Emeri.

“[7]The Severians, disciples of Severus, in the time of pope Sotherus,
condemned absolutely wine, as a creature of the devil.”

[8]The emperor Frederick the Third, seeing his wife barren, consulted
the physicians upon the case; who told him, that if the empress would
drink wine she might be fruitful. But he told them, like a simpleton as
he was, That he had rather his wife should be barren and sober, than be
fruitful and drink wine. And the empress, being informed of the wise
answer of the imperial ninny-hammer, her husband, said full as wisely,
That if she was to be put to her choice, to drink wine or die, she
should make no manner of hesitation, but prefer death.

  De nimia sapientia libera nos domine.

    [[Footnote a: Catullus XXVII.5-6.]]

    [Footnote 1: Rem. sur Rabel. t. iv. ch. 93.]

    [Footnote 2: Page 777.]

    [Footnote 3: Du Mont. Voyag. t. iii. let. 5.]

    [Footnote 4: Chaumont Voyag. de Siam.]

    [Footnote 5: Bayle Dict. t. ii. p. 1266.]

    [Footnote 6: Ælian, lib. ii. ch. 33.]

    [Footnote 7: Du Mont. Voyag. t. iii. lit. 5.]

    [Footnote 8: Rec. choise d’Hist.]



It is easy to imagine, that princes who did not love wine themselves,
would make very rigorous laws against drunkenness, and fall into that
fault which Horace speaks of.

  Dum vitant stulti vitia in contraria currunt.[a]

But this maxim, _Nullum violentum durabile_, has been verified a great
many times, upon this subject of drunkenness, for all the laws made
against it have not long subsisted.

Pentheus[1], king of Thebes, endeavoured to extirpate entirely the
custom of getting drunk; but he did not find his account in it, for he
was very ill-treated by his subjects for his pains.

Lycurgus[2], king of Thrace, commanded all the vines of the country to
be cut up; for which he was justly punished by Bacchus. He also made
laws against drunkenness, which one may reckon amongst the bad ones that
he instituted. As,

  I. _The using women in common._

  II. _The nudity of young women in certain solemn festivals._

“Pittacus[3], one of the wise men of Greece, commanded, that he who
committed a fault when he was drunk, should suffer a double punishment.
And amongst the laws of Solon, there was one, which condemned to death
the chief magistrate if he got drunk. Amongst the Indians, who only just
touch wine in the ceremonies of their sacrifices, the law commands, that
the woman who killed one of their kings, should get drunk, and marry his

[4]The Athenians had also very severe laws against those that should get
drunk; but one may say, these laws resembled those of Draco, which were
written rather with blood than ink.

We come now to the Turks. Sir Paul Ricaut[5] tells us several
particulars on this head. Amurath, says he, resolved, in the year 1634,
to forbid entirely the use of wine. He put out a severe edict, which
commanded all the houses where they sold wine to be razed, the barrels
wherever they should be found to be staved, and the wine to be let out
into the streets. And that he might truly be satisfied his orders were
obeyed, he frequently disguised himself, and walked in that manner about
the city; and when he found any one carrying wine, he sent him to
prison, and had him bastinadoed almost to death. One day he met in the
streets a poor deaf man, who not hearing the noise usually made at the
approach of the sultan, did not soon enough avoid a prince whose
presence was so fatal. This negligence cost him his life. He was
strangled by order of the grand seignior, who commanded his body to be
cast into the street. But this great severity did not last long, and all
things returned to their former condition.

However, matters took again another turn under the reign of Mahomet the
IVth. who, in 1670, resolved to forbid all the soldiery the use of wine.
The terrible seditions that liquor had formerly raised were remembered,
and especially that which happened under Mahomet the Third, who saw his
seraglio forced by a great multitude of soldiers full of wine, and whose
fury he could not free himself from, but by sacrificing his principal
favourites. An edict was published, to prohibit entirely the use of
wine, and to command all those who had any in their houses, to send it
out of town. The same extended all over the empire. The sultan condemned
to death those who should violate this decree, in which he spoke of wine
as of a liquor infernal, invented by the devil to destroy the souls of
men, to disturb their reason, and put states into combustion. This was
rigorously put in execution, and to that extremity, that it cost the
ambassador of England, and the christian merchants of Constantinople,
great solicitations, and large sums of money, to get leave to make only
as much wine as would suffice for their own families. At Smyrna, the
officers of the grand seignior had not the same indulgence for the
christians, who were one whole year without wine; and it was with great
difficulty they got leave to import it from the isles of the
Archipelago, and other places not comprised in that prohibition; for
this prohibition reached only those places where there were mosques.
Besides all this, they made every Friday sermons stuffed full of
declamations against those who should drink it. In short, this edict was
so severe, that wine seemed to be banished for ever the states of the
grand seignior. But in about a year’s time its severity was somewhat
remitted. The ambassadors, and other christians, had leave to make wine
within themselves; and about a year after that, the indulgence for wine
was general, the taverns were opened, and at this day that liquor is as
common as it was before.

    [[Footnote a: Horace, _Satire_ I.ii.24.]]

    [Footnote 1: Sphinx. Theol. p. 669.]

    [Footnote 2: Hist. 7 Sap.]

    [Footnote 3: Chevreana, t. i. p. 217.]

    [Footnote 4: Hist. 7 Sap.]

    [Footnote 5: See his Turkish Hist.]



To avoid the disorders that drunkenness might cause, here are some rules
that ought to be observed in this important affair of getting drunk;
for, according to Pliny, the art of getting drunk has its laws.

  Hæc ars suis legibus constat.[a]

I. The first, and principal of these, is not to get drunk too often.
This is what Seneca[1] recommends very much. “You must not,” says he,
“do it often, for fear it grow into a habit; it is but only sometimes
you should make your spirits gay in banishing gloomy sobriety.”

And if any person objects, That if one gets drunk sometimes, one shall
do it often. I deny the consequence, and say in the words of the
philosopher, an axiom held by both universities, that

  Ab actu ad habitum non valet consequentia.

II. Second rule. One must not get drunk but in good company. That is to
say, with good friends, people of wit, honour, and good humour, and
where there is good wine. For example, a man in former times would have
done very ill to get drunk with Heliogabalus, whose historian[2]
reports, that after having made his friends drunk, he used to shut them
up in an apartment, and at night let loose upon them lions, leopards,
and tigers, which always tore to pieces some of them. On the other hand,
the best wine in the world will taste very bad in bad company. It is
therefore that Martial reproaches one, that he spoiled his good wine
with his silly babbling.

  ------------ Verbis mucida vina facis.[2a]

    [[Footnote a: Pliny, _Natural History_ XIV.50
    (or XIV.xxviii.146).]]

    [Footnote 1: De Tranquillitate.]

    [Footnote 2: Ælius Lamprid. in Vit. Heliogab.]

    [[Footnote 2a: Martial VIII.vi.4.]]



When one has a mind to get drunk, one should make choice of good wine,
and not drink bad, which is prejudicial to health. For example, green
wine is very bad; this Guilleaume Cretin[1], a great punster, has
expressed in these verses, which, I own, I am not able to put into

  “Par ce vin verds Atropos a trop os
  Des corps humains ruez envers en vers
  Dont un quidam apre aux pots a propos
  A fort blâmé les tours pervers en vers.”

Good wine, on the contrary, has very good effects. Erasmus[2] preserved
himself from the plague, by drinking a glass of Burgundy at a proper

You see now the efficacy of good wine, which, to be in its perfection,
the adepts in the free-schools of Liber Pater say, must have these four
properties, and please these four senses:-- the taste by its savour, the
smell by its flavour, the sight by its clean and bright colour, and the
ear by the fame of the country where it grows. Old wine was looked upon
to be the best by the ancients.

  A beauty, when advanc’d in age,
  No more her lovers can engage;
  But wine, the rare advantage, knows,
  It pleases more, more old it grows.

And were they never so old themselves, they would still, if possible,
have the wine older than they were. _Nec cuiquam adeo longa erat vita,
ut non ante se genita potaret_[3]. Which these words of Seneca[4] also
confirm, “Why at your house do you drink wine older than yourself? _Cur
apud te vinum apud te vetustius bibitur._”

Martial says, “Do you ask me of what consulate this wine is? It was
before there were any consuls in the world.

  “De sinuessanis venerunt massica prælis:
  Condita quo quæris consule? nullus erat.”[4a]

At present the fame of the best wine in Europe is reckoned to be, that
of Monte Fiascone, two days journey from Rome. Here it was a German
abbot killed himself by drinking too much of this delicious creature.
The story is this, and it is related in Lassell’s Travels:--

A certain German abbot, travelling to Rome, ordered his servant to ride
before him, and when he found the best wine, to chalk upon the door of
the inn (in order to save time) the word _EST_. Coming to Monte
Fiascone, he found it so excellent, that he put down, _Est, Est, Est_,
which the abbot finding true, drank so plentifully of it, that he went
no farther on his journey, but lies buried, they say, in the cathedral
church, with this epitaph, written by his servant the purveyor.

         Est, Est, Est,
      Propter nimium Est,
    Herus meus Dominus Abbas
          mortuus Est.

The wine called Lachrymæ Christi, or the Tears of Christ, is a most
delicious wine. At least a master of arts of the university of Cologn
thought so, who going also to Rome, drank at the same place pretty
heartily of it, and out of the abundance of his heart cried out,

  Utinam Christus lachrymatus fuisset in nostra patria.

    I wish Christ had shed tears in our country.

M. Hofman believes, that Rhenish wine is the best of all wines for one’s

There grows also most excellent wines in France, such as Champagne.

Wenceslaus[5], king of Bohemia and the Romans, being come into France on
account of some negociations with Charles the Sixth, arrived at Rheins
in the month of March, 1397. When he was in that city he found the wine
so good, that he got drunk more than once; and being one day in that
condition, that he could not enter into any serious discourses, he
rather chose to grant what was asked of him than leave off drinking.

The wines of Burgundy must not be forgotten, which some prefer to
Champagne. “Baudius called vin de beaulne, vinum deorum, the wine of the

The wines of Ai are also very excellent. S. Evremont[7] says, that Leo
the Tenth, Charles the Fifth, Francis the First, and Hen. VIII. king of
England, did not think it below their dignity, amongst the most
important affairs of state, to take care to have the wines of Ai.
Henry IV. caused himself to be styled lord of Ai and Gonesse.

But I shall desire my readers here to observe two things, First, That
artificial wines, and a many other liquors, containing a great deal of
gross, viscous matter, excite a drunkenness more long and dangerous than
that which is produced by ordinary wines. Another thing is, Never to get
drunk with brandy, spirits, and strong waters. Patin[8] says very
pleasantly, that these are sugared poisons which surely kill: they give
life to those who sell them, and death to those who use them.

    [Footnote 1: Rem. sur. Rabel. t. iii. p. 39.]

    [Footnote 2: Journ. des Sçav. June, 1706.]

    [Footnote 3: Plin.] [[_Natural History_ XIX.20 (or XIX.xix.53).]]

    [Footnote 4: De Vit. beat. c. 17.]

    [[Footnote 4a: Martial XIII.111.]]

    [Footnote 5: Journ. de Sçav. June, 1706.]

    [Footnote 6: Patimana, p. 34.]

    [Footnote 7: Lett. S. Evrem.]

    [Footnote 8: Vign. Marvill, t. ii. p. 7.]



Though one must not get drunk every day, one may, notwithstanding,
on certain occasions. One must sometimes unbend the mind.

  Neque semper arcum tendit Apollo.[a]

And when a man puts on the air of a philosopher, it is then he turns
fool in affecting to be wise.

There is a time for all things, and so there is in getting drunk, that
is, getting drunk with decency and decorum; and there are some times
which are not convenient to do so. As for example, (for I love to
illustrate what I advance,) it does not suit with decorum for a judge to
be drunk on the bench; nor a crier in the court exercising his office,
[hiccup, ki---- book;] a parson in the pulpit; an experimental
philosopher in shewing of his gimcracks; nor a freemason on the top of a

But it suits very well with strict decorum, to get drunk at a public
rejoicing after a signal victory.

  When the proud Gaul sustain’d an overthrow
  By the immortal MARLBOROUGH,
  Ever invincible! then you and I,
  My Thirsis, shar’d the common joy.
  Blenheim and Ramillies were then our song,
  The day tho’ short, the night was long,
  Till both with mighty claret glow’d,
  And tipsy, to our beds were shew’d.

We may also very decently get drunk with a friend we have not seen a
long while.

    Here ’tis----O welcome, flask divine,
  How bright does thy vermillion shine!
  Thou charming native of Dijon[1],
  At thy approach my cares are flown,
  Sad melancholy is no more,
  Which rack’d and plagu’d my soul before.
  Whether thy influence incites,
  (Sweet influence) to soft delights;
  Or else dost other measures keep,
  And gently urge to peaceful sleep.
  O may’st thou still such streams bestow,
  Still with such ruddy torrents flow.
  Damon, this bottle is your due,
  And more I have in store for you
  Under the sun the faithfullest friend;
  I’ve kept them for no other end.
  Drink then a bumper, ’tis a folly,
  Dear Damon, to be melancholy.

However rigorous the Roman laws were against drunkenness, they permitted
it nevertheless on their festivals; witness what a young man said to his
father in presence of the people. “[2]No father,” says he, “I have no
reason to be ashamed for having taken a little more wine than ordinary
at a feast with my companions.” _Non est res qua embescam, Pater, si die
festo inter æquales largiore vino fui usus._

The Persian soldiers, who otherwise lived very soberly, were permitted
to get drunk once a year[3].

In Georgia, he who did not get quite drunk at their principal holidays,
as at Easter and Christmas, was not looked upon to be a christian, and
ought to be excommunicated. [4]So that, according to this, getting drunk
at certain convenient times amongst these christians, was so far from
being unlawful, that a man was not looked upon to be orthodox, without
he did so. Getting drunk is therefore very orthodox.

    [[Footnote a: Horace, _Odes_ II.x.19-20.]]

    [Footnote 1: Dijon, chief city in Burgundy.]

    [Footnote 2: Tit. Liv. lib. iv. ch. 14.]

    [Footnote 3: Alex. ab Alex, lib, ii. ch. 11.]

    [Footnote 4: Voyag. de Chard. t. ii. 129.]



It is very ridiculous and unreasonable to force any one to drink,
because the taking away liberty spoils company, the benefit of which
cannot subsist without freedom. Besides, every man’s capacity of
drinking is not the same; one shall be able to drink a gallon, and
another a pint; the latter, therefore, by drinking a pint, has drank as
much as the former when he has taken off his gallon, because they both
have drank as they can, and ------ Ferdinando ------ No man can do more
than he can do. Let every man, therefore, have the liberty to drink as
he pleases, without being tied up to the mad laws of drinking. I am of
the same opinion in this matter with brother Horace:--

  ------------ Prout cuiq; libide est
  Siccat inequales calices conviva solutus
  Legibus insanis, sen quis capit acria fortis
  Pocula, seu modicis humescit lætius----[a]

We learn from history, that there was an ancient law amongst the
Persians, that forbad anyone to force another to drink. The
Lacedemonians also had that laudable custom.

Charlemagne also made a law, that prohibited forcing any one to drink.

Mr. Bayle reports a very pleasant revenge that M. Peyren gave to Raphael
Thorius, a very learned person, who would force him to drink, which take
as follows. “[1]M. Peyren dining at London with several persons of
learning, could not be discharged from drinking a health that Dr.
Thorius toasted. The glass was of a prodigious size, which M. Peyren,
for that reason, a long while refused, and alleged a thousand reasons,
but all in vain; he must empty the glass. Before he did it he made this
agreement with his antagonist, that he should drink a health afterwards
that he should toast to him; which being consented to, he took off the
bumper, and filled the glass full of water, and drank it off to the
doctor, who thereupon was thunderstruck, but seeing he could not get
off, sighed deeply, and lifted the glass a thousand times to his lips,
and as often drew it back again: he called to his assistance all the
quaint sayings of the Greek and Latin poets, and was almost the whole
day drinking that cursed bumper.”

This is not much unlike what M. Chevreau reports of Marigni, who,
“[2]after having dined at one of the best eating-houses in Frankfort,
with six or seven persons of quality, was called to the sideboard, where
one of them began the emperor’s health. This he must drink, and as he
foresaw very well, that this extravagance would be attended with others,
he ordered three or four great pieces of bread to be brought to him, and
having eaten half of one to the health of the king of France, he gave
the other half to the other, who took it, indeed, but would not so much
as put it to his mouth. The company surprized at so unexpected a
novelty, let him alone without any contradiction.”

Nevertheless, one should be very diligent in observing this rule, which
is, That when we find ourselves in the company of people that drink, and
would not run those lengths they are going to do, to retire; and this
was a standing law amongst the Greeks in their festivals, and ought to
be as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, viz.


    [[Footnote a: Horace, _Satires_ II.6.67-70.]]

    [Footnote 1: Diction, p. 2875. Art. Thor.]

    [Footnote 2: Chevræana, t. ii. p. 188.]



It is certain, that to do well, we ought continually to have an eye to
this maxim of Horace, viz. _Est modus in rebus_. And the _Ne quid nimis_
of Terence; but especially, in this grand and most important affair of
drunkenness. Seneca very well distinguishes two sorts of drunkenness,
one which entirely _buries_ our reason; and the other, which only
_diverts_ melancholy and chagrin. The last we believe to be very lawful;
but we would have it go farther, even so far, as not only _to divert_,
but to _drive away_ our cares entirely, or else not to get drunk at all.
That which is between these, if any such there can be, does one an
injury, according to the poet:--

  Aut nulla ebrietas, aut tanta sit ut tibi curas
  Eripiat, si quæ est inter utramque nocet.[a]

After this manner would we have people use the juice of the grape; that
is, to go so far as to make our hearts merry, gay, and sprightly, and so
as to forget our cares.

It would be here useless to shew, by a great many examples, the
disorders that drunkenness has caused, when pushed too far, because it
was never the intention of this work, but to divert (as wine was
designed to do) and make merry, I shall therefore conclude the whole
with an Ode to Bacchus, as follows:--

    [[Footnote a: Ovid, _Remedium Amoris_ 809-810.]]



  Let’s sing the glories of the god of wine,
    May his immortal praise
  Be the eternal object of our song,
  And sweetest symphonies; may ev’ry tongue
    And throat sonorous, vocal music raise,
  And ev’ry grateful instrument combine
  To celebrate, great god, thy power divine.
  Let other poets to the world relate,
  Of Troy, the hard, unhappy fate;
    And in immortal song rehearse,
  Purpled with streams of blood the Phrygian plain;
  The glorious hist’ry of Achilles slain,
    And th’ odious memory of Pelop’s sons revive in verse.


    God of the grape, thou potent boy,
  Thou only object of our cordial vows,
  To thee alone I consecrate my heart,
  Ready to follow thee in ev’ry part:
  Thy influence sweet mirth bestows,
    For thee alone I’d live and die in scenes of joy.
  Thy bounty all our wishes still prevents;
  Thy wond’rous sweetness calms to soft repose
  Our wild regrets and restless woes,
  And richly ev’ry craving mind contents.
  Without thee Venus has no charms;
  You constancy to am’rous souls impart,
  And hopes bestow to each despairing heart,


  But, what involuntary transports roll,
  And seize, at once, my agitated soul!
  Into what sacred vale! what silent wood!
  (I speak not by the vulgar understood,)
  Am I, O god! O wond’rous deity!
  Ravish’d, brimful of thy divinity and thee!
  To my (once infidel) believing eyes
  Bacchus unveils entire his sacred mysteries.
  Movements confus’d of joy and fear
  Hurry me I know not where.
    With boldness all divine the god inspires;
  With what a pleasing fury am I fill’d!
    Such raging fires
  Never the Menades in Thracian caves beheld.


  Descend, O mother-queen of love,
  Leave a while the realms above;
  With your gay presence grace the feast
  Of that great god, who bears a boundless sway,
  Who conquer’d climates where first rose the day.
  Descend, O mother-queen of love,
  At rich repasts an ever welcome guest;
  But O ----, too long you stay,
  Already young Amyntor, brisk and gay,
    His lovely Doris o’er the plain pursues:
  The sparkling juice at Sylvan nymphs command
  Richly distils from their ambrosial hand,
    And old Silenus copiously bedews.


  Hence, ye profane,
    I hate ye all, fly, quit the field,
  My ready soul gives way
  To those gay movements, this important day
    Inspires, so to the conq’ror willing captives yield.
  Come, faithful followers of Bacchus’ train,
  (Bacchus, most lovely of the gods)
  Enter these bless’d abodes.
  On high his verdant banners rear,
  And quick the festival prepare.
  Reach me my lute, a proper air
  The chords shall sound; the trembling chords obey,
  And join to celebrate this glorious day.


    But ’midst the transports of a pleasing rage
  Let’s banish ever hence,
  By a blind vapour rais’d, and vain pretence,
    Those loud seditious clamours that engage
    Only inhuman, brutish souls,
  By barb’rous Scythians only understood,
  Who cruelly their flowing bowls
    At banquets intermix with streams of blood.
  Dreadful, preposterous, merriment!
  Our hands all gayly innocent,
  Ought ne’er in such confusion bear a part,
  Polluted with a savage Centaur’s mortal dart.


  From this sweet innocent repast,
  (Too exquisite, alas! to last)
  Let’s ever banish the rude din of arms,
  Frightful Bellona, and her dread alarms.
  The dire confusions of pernicious war,
  The satyrs, fauns, and Bacchus, all abhor.
    Curs’d be those sanguinary mortals, who
  Of reeking blood with crimson tides
    The sacred mysteries imbrue
  Of our great god who over peace presides.


    But if I must wage war,
  If so necessity commands,
  Follow, my friends, advance your hands,
    Let us commence the pleasing jar.
  With wreaths of ivy be our temples bound,
  Hark! to arms, to arms, they sound,
  Th’ alarm to battle calls,
  Lend me your formidable Thyrse, ye Bacchanals.
    Double your strokes. Bold----bolder yet,
  ’Tis done-------- How many rivals conquer’d lie?
    How many hardy combatants submit?
  O son of Jupiter, thy deity,
    And sovereign power, we own, and aid divine;
  Nothing but heaps of jolly topers slain
  I see extended on the plain,
    Floating in ruddy streams of reeking wine.


  Io victoria to our king,
  To Bacchus songs of triumph let us sing;
  His great immortal name
  Let us aloud to distant worlds proclaim.
  Io victoria to our king,
  To Bacchus grateful strains belong;
  O! may his glories live in endless song,
  The vanquish’d welt’ring on the sand,
  One health from us their conqu’ror demand.
    Fill me a bumper. Trumpet sound,
  Second my voice, loud, louder yet,
  Sound our exploits, and their defeat,
    Who quiet, undisturb’d, possess the ground.
  Io victoria to our king,
  To Bacchus, songs of triumph let us sing.

To this great work now finished (God be thanked) I subscribe as usual in
the like cases of books, for I love decorum, and have an utter aversion
to particularity, prolixity, and circumlocution. I say, to make short,
I subscribe as usual, &c. in the like cases, &c. for I love, &c. and
have an aversion, &c. the universally famous and most noted name which
is subscribed to all books by what name or titles dignified or
distinguished: or of what sort, species, size, dimension, or magnitude
soever, pamphletary and voluminous; whether they be first or foremost,
plays, either comical, tragical, comi-tragical, tragi-comical, or
pastoral; godly, or profane songs or ballads; sermons high or low,
popish or protestant, dissenting, independent, enthusiastical,
Brownistical, heterodox, or orthodox; Philadelphian, Muggletonian,
Sacheverelian, or Bangorian, quaking, rhapsodical, prophetical, or
nonsensical; legends golden or plain; breviaries, graduals, missals,
pontificals, ceremonials, antiphonaries, statutes, spelling-books.
Or, secondly and lastly, tracts, treatises, essays; pandects, codes,
institutes; primers, rosaries, romances; travels, synods, history books;
digests, decretals, lives; commentaries anagogical, allegorical, or
tropological; journals, expositions, vocabularies, pilgrimages, manuals,
indexes common or expurgatorial; almanacks, bulls, constitutions, or
lottery books, viz. i. e. namely, to wit, or, that is to say,


Which being interpreted is,



Having received the following letter from a merry friend, wherein are
some (not unpleasant) remarks on the foregoing treatise, I thought fit
to send it to the press, which the reader, as he is at liberty either to
read, or let alone, so it is the same thing to me, whether he does read
it, or let it alone.

To the renowned Boniface Oinophilus de Monte Fiascone, A. B. C. author
of the most inimitable (and non-pareil) treatise, Ebrietatis Encomium,
to be left with that mirror of privative perspicuity, Signor Edemondo
Curluccio, at the Bible and Dial, over against Catherine-Street, in the

Right trusty, and well-beloved, I greet you well,

Having perused (at the bookseller’s, who shewed me the sheets) your
Ebrietatis Encomium all through, even unto Finis, or the End, I own I
was not a little diverted thereat. But as I never flatter any body, so
my friends may least of all expect I should begin with them. I must,
therefore, be frank and free with you, most renowned and
never-to-be-forgotten Boniface, _post nullos memorande sodales_, and
tell you, that you have omitted several things very material, and highly
conducible to the elucidation, or illustration, (choose you whether) of
your agreeable subject. But perhaps they either did not occur to your
memory; or, which is the same thing, (_quoad lectorem_) you were
entirely ignorant of them, but which take as follow.

First and foremost, amongst your philosophers, you have taken no notice
of the stupendous Des Cartes, with his wonderful system of whirlpools
(vortices) and particles, cubic, conic, striate, oblong, globular,
hooked, crooked, spiral and angular: for who the devil but a mere tipsy,
giddy brains, could have dished up such a confounded hotch-potch and
gallimatias of whimsical rotations, or fancied that the whole earth
whirled round like a town-top, had not _Vinorum materia subtilis_,
the circling effluvia of _Liber Pater_, abundantly invaded his capital

    So have I seen in days of yore a dame,
  At Winchester, who seventy winters knew,
  Not more nor less, my mistress then yclept,
  Hight Margaret, deceas’d long since I trow,
  Whose fate I thus bemoan’d in song sublime.
    She’s gone, alas! the beauteous nymph is dead,
  Dead to my hopes, and all my eager wishes:
  Such is the state of poor unhappy man,
  All things soon pass away, nought permanent,
  That rolls beneath the vortex of the moon.
  So when we’ve screw’d up to the highest Peg[1]
  Our ample lines of future happiness,
  Some disappointments dire, or chance disastrous,
  Snaps the extended chords. Oh! then farewell,
  No more shall visual ray of form acute
  Affect her wondrous mien. Farewell those lips
  Of sapphire tincture, gums of crocus die
  Freed from th’ungrateful load of cumbrous teeth.
  Mantle farewell, of grograin brown compos’d,
  Studded with silver clasp in number plural:
  With jacket short, so famous, tory red,
  Not hemm’d, but bound about with good galloon
  Of deepest mazarine (delightful hue!)
  Farewell (I sighing speak) those non-such shoes
  Of obfusc colour (heel of form cylindrous)
  Worn only upon days non-ferial.
  In love’s true knot of verdant ferrit tied.

    But Oh! farewell, a long and last farewell,
  To large Ampull with vital water fraught,
  Wherein the effluvia soft and delicate
  Of dulcet aniseseed (not coriander)
  In its capacious rim of form anguillar
  Whirl in sweet vortex. Hence it was observ’d,
  The subtile matter, when in throat retir’d,
  Kept still its roulant quality, and oft
  Would mount in circling spires to pericranium
  Of she-philosopher, when in elbow chair,
  Deep and profound, would the grave matron reve,
  And learnedly pronounce (like great RENATUS[2])
  With equal verity the world turns round.

Secondly and foremost, you should have added at the end of the
philosophers chapter, the song of the Tippling Philosophers, which I
send you here enclosed.

The bookseller to whom I mentioned this, fancied truly, that you might
think it too mean and trifling to insert. But without troubling myself
to know, whether this be your sentiment, or whether he spoke this of his
own head, I shall trouble myself to tell you, as this song is taken from
an excellent French one, which you may find in a very famous book[3],
and which (to follow your method) you may know by the note at the
bottom. The song (whether you have ever seen it, or not, I neither know,
nor do I care) is as follows, and will go with the same tune as the
English (if I am not mistaken).

    [Footnote 1: You must remember my Mrs.’s name was Margaret.]

    [Footnote 2: Des Cartes’s christian name.]

    [Footnote 3: Fureteriana, p. 205.]



  Je cherche en vin la vérité,
    Si le vin n’aide a ma foiblesse,
  Toute la docte antiquité
    Dans le vin puisa la sagesse.
  Oui c’est par le bon vin que le bon sens eclate
  J’en atteste Hypocrate,
  Qui dit qu’il fait a chaque mois
  Du moins s’enivrer une fois.


  Socrate cet homme discret
    Que toute la terre revere,
  Alloit manger au cabaret
    Quand sa femme etoit en colere.
  Pouvons-nous mieux faire que d’imiter Socrate
  Et de suivre Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Platon est nommé le divin
    Parce qu’il etoit magnifique,
  Et qu’il regala de son vin
    La cabale philosophique.
  Sa table fût toujours splendide et delicate,
  Il suivit Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Aristotle bûvoit autant,
    Et nous avons lieu de le croire
  De ce qu’Alexandre le grand,
    Son disciple, aimoit tant a boire,
  Qu’il degela cent fois sur les bords de l’Euphrate
  En suivant Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  L’on veut que Diogene aimoit l’eau,
    Mais il n’eut point cette folie,
  Il se logea dans un tonneau
    Pour sentir le gout de la lie.
  Et pour mieux boire au pot, il jetta la sa jatte
  Et tint pour Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Democrite près de sa fin,
    Par une invention jolie,
  En flairant seulement le vin,
    De trois jours prolonga sa vie.
  Le vin retarde plus la mort, qu’il ne la háte,
  Temoin notre Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Heraclite toujours etoit
    En pleurs a cè que dit l’histoire,
  Mais ce que le vin lui sortoit
    Par les yeux à force de boire.
  Par ce remede seul il guerissoit sa rate
  Comme ordonne Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Epicure sans contredit,
    De bons bûveurs est le vrai pere,
  Et sa morale nous induit
    Au plaisir, a la bonne chere.
  En vain l’homme ici bas d’un autre bien se flatte;
  Suivons donc Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Esope quelque fois la nuit,
    De complot avec la servante,
  Chalumoit sans faire de bruit
    Les tonneaux de son maitre Xante.
  Il en eut mis dix pots sous sa grosse omoplate,
  Il suivit Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.


  Galen, ce fameux docteur
    En traittant du jus de la vigne,
  Dit qu’il faut defendre le cœur
    Contre la qualité maligne
  Qui trouble nos humeurs, les altere et les gâte
  Et rapporte Hypocrate,
  Qui dit, &c.



  Diogenes, surly and proud,
    Who snarl’d at the Macedon youth,
  Delighted in wine that was good,
    Because in good wine there is truth;
  But growing as poor as a Job,
    Unable to purchase a flask,
  He chose for his mansion a tub,
    And liv’d by the scent of the cask, &c.


  Heraclitus ne’er would deny,
    To tipple and cherish his heart,
  And when he was maudlin he’d cry,
    Because he had empty’d his quart:
  Tho’ some are so foolish to think
    He wept at men’s folly and vice,
  ’Twas only his fashion to drink
    Till the liquor flow’d out of his eyes.


  Democritus always was glad
    Of a bumper to cheer up his soul,
  And would laugh like a man that was mad,
    When over a good flowing bowl.
  As long as his cellar was stor’d,
    The liquor he’d merrily quaff,
  And when he was drunk as a lord
    At those that were sober he’d laugh.


  Copernicus too like the rest,
    Believ’d there was wisdom in wine,
  And thought that a cup of the best
    Made reason the better to shine.
  With wine he’d replenish his veins,
    And make his philosophy reel,
  Then fancy’d the world, like his brains,
    Turn’d round like a chariot wheel.


  Aristotle, that master of arts,
    Had been but a dunce without wine,
  And what we ascribe to his parts,
    Is due to the juice of the vine.
  His belly most writers agree,
    Was as big as a watering-trough,
  He therefore leap’d into the sea,
    Because he’d have liquor enough.


  Old Plato, that learned divine,
    He fondly to wisdom was prone,
  But had it not been for good wine,
    His merits had never been known;
  By wine we are generous made,
    It furnishes fancy with wings,
  Without it we ne’er shou’d have had
    Philosophers, poets, or kings.

Thirdly and lastly, I wish in Chap. XXIII. in your answer to the
objection, “That one cannot trust a man that gets drunk,” you had been
pleased to have taken notice of the taciturnity and continency of the
right worshipful the free masons in this respect. For though otherwise
they are _free_ enough of speech, yet I do assure you, as to secrets,
though some of them love the creature very heartily, and carouse
abundantly, yet has it never been known, though never so fuddled, (for
free masons will get fuddled,) that they ever discovered any of their
secrets. This is irresistible, irrefragable, irrefutable, or if you
will, to speak (_norunt dialectici_) _in stylo infinito_,
non-resistible, non-refragable, and non-refutable, and, indeed, is my
_Argumentum palmare Scotisticum_.

But, and Fourthly also, and Finally, you will give me leave to remark to
you, That in relation to St. Boniface’s cup, which you take notice of in
Chap. XI. p. 68, l. 13, I do assure you, sir, the practice was some
years ago, to my certain knowledge, much in vogue, (and, as I am
credibly informed, is still wonderfully catholic,) and, by the bye,
take the following relation.

In the beginning of the last wars, when I was very young, I had the
misfortune to be prisoner in Luxembourg, and not too civilly treated by
the governor, the morose Count Dautel. Close confinement, (though in the
postmaster’s house,) with the unusual smell of the stoves, (for it was
in the cold month of March,) made me very ill, and worse, in all
probability, should have been, had I not obtained the liberty of the
town, which, after many fruitless solicitations, I despaired, from the
ill-natured governor, nor should ever have had, were it not by the
pressing instance of Father Cripps, a German Franciscan friar, of the
convent of Luxembourg, whom they called there Heer[1] Cripps, being
confessor to the governor, and having been once sent on a message of
moment from him to the king of Spain, Philip the Fifth, now reigning.

This Father was really a good man, and a man of honour; him I gained by
the good-nature of the postmaster, whose son was then in his noviceship,
in the noviciate of their Order at Ulflingen. I need not tell you, that
by noviceship is meant that year of probation, which those who have a
mind to enter into any religious order in the church of Rome, must pass
through, before they can be professed, or take their vows. This you,
who have been abroad, must know as well as I.

This good father, with much ado, obtained what I desired from the
governor, who he said was, _homo mirabilis in negotiis suis_, which, by
the sequel of his discourse, I understood signified, a very strange man
in his affairs. Gratitude obliged me to invite this reverend father to a
glass of Rhenish, the wine of the country, which, he frankly accepted of
in the afternoon, and, indeed, drank very plentifully, more Germanorum,
as you have described. But though he would drink largely as well as his
companion, yet I must own, that in none of the many merry bouts we had
together (for he visited me very often afterwards, as I did him, I never
saw him so far advanced as to lose his reason) he never failed a large
glass brimful to St. Boniface, which he drank to the pious memory of the
good Father, _ad piam memoriam boni patris_, and sometimes only to the
good Father, _ad bonum patrem_. I found afterwards the same laudable
custom of St. Boniface’s cup in the Low Countries, France and Italy, &c.
amongst the religious.

And now, before I subscribe myself,


  Your most obedient, &c.

give me leave to tell you, that the French religious, who do not speak
much Latin, drink healths in their own language. But I was surprised,
when I heard in a certain monastery every one of the fathers drink a
full glass to each other in these words, “a bumper,” as I thought. I am
obliged to your reverence (reverend father, said I to the procurator,
who sat next me, and drank to me in the same words) in drinking in our
country language, you do me a great deal of honour. It may be your
country phrase, said the prior to me, very gravely, for what I know;
your countrymen make use of a great many of our words, but the thing
itself, let the word (or _vox significans_) be what it will, the thing
(or _res significata_) is very laudable, and every one will practise,
who has any respect for the sacred see, holy church, and the good of his
own soul. Did you never hear of the indulgences that the good father,
holy pope St. Boniface, has granted to such as drink his cup, and which
we have just now piously done? I ask your reverence’s pardon, reverend
father, said I, I thought we had only been drinking a bumper to one
another. _Seulement au bon pere_! replied he a little warmly (for the
conversation was all in French, and which word I till then mistook for a
bumper.) Why, that is all, said he, _mais_ (continued he) _c’êtoit au
bon pere_ Saint Boniface. You see, sir, the _double entendre_[2], and
that drinking of bumpers, which some precisians have ignorantly called
profane, is a practice very orthodox and catholic.

_Heigh Church militant, rare Church militant, dainty Church
militant, O_!

_Dub. Dub. Dub. Dub a dub. Dub. Dub._

_Tan. Tan. Tan. Tan. tara rara ra._

  _Adieu, mon tres-cher,_
    _Votre ami tres-affectioné_
    _Valet bien humble_

  May 1, 1723,
  From my Garret in
  Bandy-legged Walk.


  _P.S._ I paid the waterman six-pence.


    [Footnote 1: Heer, in High Dutch, is the same as Monsieur in
    French, and is given to persons of the highest destinction.]

    [Footnote 2: The transition from _au bon pere_, which is pure
    French, to a _bumper_, is very natural, and infinitely more so,
    than that golden pippin should be derived from Cooper, which was
    said to be effected, in process of time, after this manner,
    Cooper, Hooper, Roper, Diaper, Napkin, Pipkin, King Pepin, Golden

_Lately published by C. CHAPPLE, Pall Mall_.

Embellished with an interesting Frontispiece, designed by Craig,
and engraved by Rhodes, price 7s. extra boards, small 8vo.

1. THE TEST OF VIRTUE, and other Poems.
  By the late Miss P. Barrel.

4s. boards.

3. POETICAL PANTHEON; or, Fabulus History of the Heathen Gods and
illustrious Heroes, with Notes, and embellished with twelve elegant
Engravings, rendered into easy Verse. By W. R. Johnson, A.M. price 6s.
extra boards.

4. POEMS; chiefly Comic and Hudibrastic, containing Burlesque
Translations, Dramatic Pieces, and Miscellanies. By W. C. Oulton, Esq.
With a Portrait of the Author, Price 9s. boards.

This volume includes some Dramas, Addresses, Songs, &c. which have been
performed, spoken, and sung at the different Theatres.

5. LOVE OUTRIGHT!!! By a Lady. Small 4to. price 7s. extra boards.

whole of the excellent Poetry, and the permanent Parts of the Prose of
that highly esteemed Work. 1 vol. demy 12mo. 5s. boards.

7. LOVE’S LYRICS; or, CUPID’S CARNIVAL; original and translated. By
J. Scott Byerley, Esq.

  “Frustra laborat, qui omnibus placere studet.”

small 8vo. price 7s. extra boards.

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

Errors and Inconsistencies (noted by transcriber)

_Errors in French are noted separately, below._

Most non-standard spellings are carried over from the 1723 original.

The title page of the 1723 edition included this paragraph, immediately
before the author’s name:

  Confirmed by the example of heathens, Turks, infidels,
  primitive Christians, saints, popes, bishops, doctors,
  philosophers, poets, free masons, and other men of learning
  in all ages

Corrected text:

  Omnes unius estimemus assis.  [uninus]
  Montaigne[7] tells us  [tell us; _1723 has “tells”_]
  in his apology for Herodotus  [hi apology: _1723 has “his”_]
  PS. Cum coronâ ebrium  [P. S.]
  pars ego sæpe fui  [sepæ]
  Hic segetes, illic veniunt fælicius uvæ.
    [Hic segetis; misspelling “fælicius” for “felicius” unchanged]
  There grows also most excellent wines in France  [text unchanged]

Unchanged text:

  holydays  [one word]
  frier  [“friar” also occurs]
  ... lets put ...  [no apostrophe]
  desert  [modern spelling “dessert”]
  desart  [modern spelling “desert” (noun)]
  THE TIPLING PHILOSOPHERS.  [spelled “tippling” elsewhere]
  [Advertising] Fabulus History

  [Some Latin passages use the abbreviation “q;” for “que”.]
  Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione quærentes.
    [error for “querentes”]
  mæchos  [correct form is “mœchos”; ae/oe variation is common]

  Spelling of names (representative list):
  Final “e” omitted: Jerom, Augustin
  Simple “e” for “ae” or “æ”: Lacedemonia, Cecilius, Megera, Eschylus
  French forms: Gascogn, Trimalchion

Punctuation and Typography:

  [Contents] CHAP. II. That Wine ...  [CHAP II.]
  [Contents] out-of-the-Way Thoughts  [out-of-the-Way-Thoughts]
  Be merry to-day, depend not on to-morrow  [1723 has hyphen]
  _... ex superfluorum potuum indulgentia[2]_.  [” at end]
  “Sanctus Dominicus sit   [‘ for ”]
  “Illa dies hæc est  [‘ for ”]
  but undoubtedly Bacchus is your liber pater
    [invisible hyphen at line-break “un-/doubtedly”]
  [Chapter XVI] [Footnote 21: Voyag. t. ii. p. 129.]  [t. ii p. 129.]
  _Hanno_[11], says he ...  [not italicized]
  say this, or that, of us----.  [. missing]

Unchanged quotation marks (unless otherwise noted, close quote is
missing at end):

  a perfect cure for heaviness and sorrow.
  so far as an old drunkard[8].
  That experience proves ... people that “have infinitely more wit
    [1723 has open quote before “That...” instead of “have...”]
  Le don de l’immortalité.
  Perfusis halante mero gaudere sepulchris.
  Nor this other,  [open quote missing]
  habitet in sicco._ To which ... addition, It is very probable
    [missing close quote after “in sicco”; open quote before “It is”]
  to the age of fourscore.
  spending his money to no purpose[15].
    [the footnote symbols shown as [15] and [17] were also misprinted]
  Crateras magnas statuunt et vina coronant.
  drive away care. ... pellite curas._”
    [close quote should be after “care”]
  namely, eloquence.


_Unless otherwise noted, accents were printed as shown. This includes
pairs such as a:à and ou:où. Some questioned readings were checked
against the 1714 French original._

  Qu’ importe si c’est un plaisir,  [Qu’ importe]
  “Oui, Thirsis, c’est le vin qui nous fait rejeunir,  [cest]
  Le regret de choses passees,  [possees]
  Chaque coup m’ôte la memorie  [memorie]
  Nous la permet pour la santé!”  [sante]
  Qu’il faut a chaque mois.  [Qui’l]
  Venez yvresse temeraire,
  Transports ignorez du vulgaire  [temerarie ... vulgarie]
  “Nous devons tous boire en repos  [boirè]
  Son noms ses armes sont des pots  [son noms]
  “De ceux qui vivent dans l’histoire,  [historie]
  Ma foi je n’envierai le sort.  [fois]
  Nargues du Temple de Memoire  [Memorie]
  J’aime bien mieux vivre pendant ma vie  [ma vin]
  Mais que te sert il que ta gloire  [glorie]
  Quand tu seras mangé des vers?  [mangè]
  Elle-même joüit des objets qu’elle a feints.
    [Elle-méme joûit l’objets qu’elle a fenits:
    _line corrected from 1714 original_]
  “[10]Bûveurs brisez le joug d’une raison trop fiere  [Bûveur’s briser]
  D’autres enseignent l’art d’augmenter sa lumiere  [d’augmente]
  Mais l’art de l’eteindre est plus beau.”  [l’art eteindre]
  Qui dit qu’il faut a chaque mois  [fait]
  De ce qu’Alexandre le grand,  [qu’ Alexandre]
  Le vin retarde plus la mort, qu’il ne la hâte,  [háte]
  En pleurs a ce que dit l’histoire,  [cè]
  Au plaisir, a la bônne chere.  [bônne]


    φεύ τινες ὕδωρ / πίνουσι μανίην σώφρονα μαινόμενοι.

  Quotation as printed:
    φεύ τίνες ὔδωρ / πίυουσι μανίην σώφρονα μαινόμενοι.
  [The 1723 edition, or its reprint, has far more errors.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.