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Vinegar1 even has been mixed with honey; nothing, in fact, has been left untried by man. To this mixture the name of oxymeli has been given; it is compounded of ten pounds of honey, five semi-sextarii of old vinegar, one pound of sea-salt, and five sextarii of rain-water. This is boiled gently till the mixture has bubbled in the pot some ten times,2 after which it is drawn off, and kept till it is old;3 all these wines, however, are condemned4 by Themison, an author of high authority. And really, by Hercules! the use of them does appear to be somewhat forced,5 unless, indeed, we are ready to maintain that these aromatic wines are so many compounds taught us by Nature, as well as those that are manufactured of perfumes, or that shrubs and plants have been generated only for the purpose of being swallowed in drink. However, all these particulars, when known, are curious and interesting, and show how successfully the human intellect has pried into every secret.

None of these wines, however, will keep beyond a year,6 with the sole exception of those which we have spoken of as requiring age; many of these, indeed, there can be no doubt, do not improve after being kept so little as thirty days.

1 See B. xxiii. c. 9.

2 "Subfervefactis." "Just come on the boil."

3 The oxymel of modern times contains no salt, and is only used as a medicament.

4 As drinks, no doubt; and with good reason, as to most of them.

5 Coactus.

6 Our medicinal wines will mostly keep longer than this, owing probably to the difference in the mode of making the real wines that form their basis.

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