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While speaking of the uses of honey, we ought also to treat of the properties of hydromel.1 There are two kinds of hydromel, one of which is prepared at the moment, and taken while fresh,2 the other being kept to ripen. The first, which is made of skimmed honey, is an extremely wholesome beverage for invalids who take nothing but a light diet, such as strained alica for instance: it reinvigorates the body, is soothing to the mouth and stomach, and by its refreshing properties allays feverish heats. I find it stated,3 too, by some authors, that to relax the bowels it should be taken cold, and that it is particularly well-suited for persons of a chilly temperament, or of a weak and pusillanimous4 constitution, such as the Greeks, for instance, call "micropsychi."

For there is a theory,5 remarkable for its extreme ingenuity, first established by Plato, according to which the primary atoms of bodies, as they happen to be smooth or rough, angular or round, are more or less adapted to the various temperaments of individuals: and hence it is, that the same substances are not universally sweet or bitter to all. So, when affected with lassitude or thirst, we are more prone to anger than at other times.6 These asperities, however, of the disposition, or rather I should say of the mind,7 are capable of being modified by the sweeter beverages; as they tend to lubricate the passages for the respiration, and to mollify the channels, the work of inhalation and exhalation being thereby unimpeded by any rigidities. Every person must be sensible of this experiment- ally, in his own cease: there is no one in whom anger, affection, sadness, and all the emotions of the mind may not, in some degree, be modified by diet. It will therefore be worth our while to observe what aliments they are which exercise a physical effect, not only upon the body, but the disposition as well.

1 "Aqua mulsa." See B. xiv. c. 20, where it is described as Hydro- meli, or Melicraton.

2 Fée says that this must have been a wholesome beverage, but that it would cease to be so after undergoing fermentation. In the description of its uses there are some errors, Fée says, combined with some rational observations.

3 See B. xviii. c. 29; also c. 61 of this Book.

4 This seems to be the meaning of "præparei" here, though it generally signifies "niggardly," or "sordid."

5 Fée combats this theory at considerable length; but there can be little doubt that the same substance has not the same taste to all indi- viduals.

6 Seneca makes a similar observation, De Ira, B. iii. C. 10.

7 "Animi seu potius animæ."

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