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Now, after Democritus had uttered all this long uninterrupted discourse, Pontianus said that wine was the metropolis of all these evils; and it was owing to this that drunkenness, and madness, and all sorts of debauchery took place; and that those people who were too much addicted to it were not unappropriately called rowers of cups, by that Dionysius who is surnamed the Brazen, in his Elegies, where he says—
And those who bring their wine in Bacchus' rowing,
Sailors through feasts, and rowers of large cups.
And concerning this class of men, (for it is not extinct,) Alexis, in his Curia, speaking of some one who drunk to excess, says—
This then my son is such in disposition
As you have just beheld him. An Œnopion,
Or Maron, or Capelus, or Timoclees,
For he's a drunkard, nothing more nor less.
And for the other, what can I call him?
A lump of earth, a plough, an earth-born man.
So getting drunk is a bad thing, my good friends; and the same Alexis says, with great cleverness, to those who swallow wine in this way, in his Opora, (and the play is called after a courtesan of that name,)—
Are you then full of such a quantity
Of unmix'd wine, and yet avoid to vomit?
And in his Ring he says—
Is not, then, drunkenness the greatest evil,
And most injurious to the human race?
[p. 701] And in his Steward he says—
For much wine is the cause of many crimes.
And Crobylus, in his Female Deserter, says—
What pleasure, prithee tell me, can there be
In getting always drunk? in, while still living,
Yourself depriving thus of all your senses;
The greatest good which nature e'er has given?
Therefore it is not right to get drunk; for “A city which has been governed by a democracy,” says Plato, in the eighth book of his Polity, “when it has thirsted for freedom, if it meets with bad cupbearers to help it, and if, drinking of the desired draught too deeply, it becomes intoxicated, then punishes its magistrates if they are not very gentle indeed, and if they do not allow it a great deal of licence, blaming them as wicked and oligarchical; and those people who obey the magistrates it insults.” And, in the sixth book of his Laws, he says—“A city ought to be like a well-mixed goblet, in which the wine which is poured in rages; but being restrained by the opposite and sober deity, enters into a good partnership with it, and so produces a good and moderate drink.”

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