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This reason, I replied, would satisfy me upon a private disquisition; but if you will have my own sentiments, let us first consider, whether this difference doth not proceed from the different temper of the body. For of those that are only half drunk, the mind alone is disturbed, but the body not being quite overwhelmed is yet able to obey its motions; but when it is too much oppressed and the wine has overpowered it, it betrays and frustrates the motions of the mind, for men in such a condition never go so far as action. But those that are half drunk, having a body serviceable to the absurd motions of the mind, are rather to be thought to have greater ability to comply with those they have, than to have worse inclinations than the others. Now if, proceeding on another principle, we consider the strength of the wine itself, nothing hinders but that this may be different and changeable, according to the [p. 282] quantity that is drunk. As fire, when moderate, hardens a piece of clay, but if very strong, makes it brittle and crumble into pieces; and the heat of the spring fires our blood with fevers, but as the summer comes on. the disease usually abates; what hinders then but that the mind, being naturally raised by the power of the wine, when it is come to a pitch, should by pouring on more be weakened again, and its force abated? Thus hellebore, before it purges, disturbs the body; but if too small a dose be given, it disturbs only and purges not at all; and some taking too little of an opiate are more restless than before; and some taking too much sleep well. Besides, it is probable that this disturbance into which those that are half drunk are put, when it comes to a pitch, conduces to that decay. For a great quantity being taken inflames the body and consumes the frenzy of the mind; as a mournful song and melancholy music at a funeral raises grief at first and forces tears, but as it continues, by little and little it takes away all dismal apprehensions and consumes our sorrows. Thus wine, after it hath heated and disturbed, calms the mind again and quiets the frenzy; and when men are dead drunk, their passions are at rest.
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