Now the author of the Cyprian poems, whoever he was, says—
No better remedies than wine there are,And Diphilus the comic poet says—
O king, to drive away soul-eating care.
O Bacchus, to all wise men dear,And Philoxenus of Cythera says—
How very kind you do appear;
You make the lowly-hearted proud,
And bid the gloomy laugh aloud;
You fill the feeble man with daring,
And cowards strut and bray past bearing.
Good store of wine which makes men talk.But Chæremon the tragedian says, that wine inspires those who use it with
Laughter and wisdom and prudence and learning.And Ion of Chios calls wine
Youth of indomitable might,And Mensitheus says—
With head of bull; the loveliest wight
Who ever rank'd as Love's esquire,
Filling men with strength and fire.
Great was the blessing, when the gods did show
Sweet wine to those who how to use it know;
But where bad men its righteous use pervert,
To such, I trow, it will be rather hurt.
For to the first it nourishment supplies,
Strengthens their bodies, and their minds makes wise;
A wholesome physic 'tis when mix'd with potions,
Heals wounds as well as plasters or cold lotions.
[p. 59] Wine to our daily feasts brings cheerful laughter,
When mix'd with proper quantities of water;
Men saucy get if one-third wine they quaff;
While downright madness flows from half-and-half;
And neat wine mind and body too destroys;
While moderation wise secures our joys.
And well the oracle takes this position,
That Bacchus is all people's best physician.