CHAP. 20.—THE SURRENTINE WINES: THREE REMEDIES. THE
ALBAN WINES: TWO REMEDIES. THE FALERNIAN WINES: SIX
Our ancestors set the highest value upon the wines of
but at a later period the preference was given
to the Alban, or the Falernian wines. More recently, again,
other varieties of wine have come into fashion, quite in accordance with that most unreasonable mode of proceeding, according to which, each person, as he finds a wine most to his
taste, extols it as superior to all others. Suppose, now, that all
persons were quite agreed as to the superiority of some particular kind of wine, how small a proportion of mankind
would be enabled to make use of it! As it is, even the rich never
drink it in an unsophisticated state; the morals of the age
being such, that it is the name only of a vintage that is sold,
the wines being adulterated the very moment they enter the
vat. Hence it is, by Hercules!—a thing truly astounding—that, in reality, a wine is more innoxious in its effects, in pro-
portion as it enjoys a less extended renown. The three kinds,
however, of which we have made mention, appear to have
maintained, with the least diminution, their ancient repute.
The Falernian wine, it a person should be desirous to know
the marked characteristics of wines according to age, is injurious to the health, either too new or too old; at fifteen
years it begins to be of medium age. Falernian wine of this
age, taken cold, is good for the stomach, but not when taken
warm. For an inveterate cough and for quartan fevers, it is
a good plan to drink it neat, fisting. There is no wine that
quickens the action of the venous system so much as this; it
acts astringently upon the bowels, and is feeding to the body.
It has been thought, however, that this wine is productive of
injury to the sight, and that it is far from beneficial to the
and the bladder.
The Alban wines are more salutary to the nervous system,
but the sweet kinds are not so beneficial to the stomach. The
rough wines of Alba are even better than those of Falernum,
but they do not promote the digestion so well, and have a
slight tendency to overload the stomach.
As to the Surrentine wines, they have no such effect upon
the stomach, nor are they at all trying to the head; they have
the property also of arresting defluxions of the stomach and
intestines. The Cæcuban wines are no longer grown.