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“But to drink to the degree of drunkenness,” says Plato, in his sixth book of the Laws, is neither becoming any- Where—except perhaps in the days of festival of the god who gave men wine for their banquets,—nor is it wholesome: and, above all, a man ought to guard against such a thing who has any thoughts of marriage; for at such a time, above all other times, both bride and bridegroom ought to be in full possession of their faculties; when they are entering upon what is no small change in the circumstances of their life; and also they ought to be influenced by anxiety that their offspring shall be the offspring of parents in the fullest possible possession of all their faculties; for it is very uncertain what day or what night will be the originating cause of it. “And in the first book of his Laws he says—” But respecting drunkenness it may be a question, whether we ought to give way to it as the Lydians do, and the Persians, and the Carthaginians, and the Celtæ, and the Spaniards, and the Thracians, and other nations like them; or whether like you, O Lacedæmonians, one ought wholly to abstain from it. But the Scythians and the Thracians, who indulge altogether in drinking unmixed wine, both the women and all the men, and who spill it all over their clothes, think that they are maintaining a very honourable practice, and one that tends to their happiness. And the Persians indulge to a great extent in other modes of luxury which you reject; but still they practise them with more moderation than the Scythians and Thracians.
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