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Now men who drink hard before eating, are usually not very comfortable in their digestion, which are apt to get out of order by such a system, and what they eat often turns sour on the stomach. So that a man who has a regard for his health, ought to take regular exercise, for the sake of promoting frequent perspiration; and he ought also to use the bath regularly for the sake of moistening and relaxing his body. And besides this, and before he bathes, he should drink water, as being an excellent thing,—drinking warm water usually in winter and spring, and cold water in summer, in order not to weaken the stomach. But he should only drink in moderation before the bath or the gymnasium, for the sake of diffusing what he drinks throughout his system beforehand, and in order to prevent the unmixed strength of wine from having too much effect on his extremities. And if any one thinks it too much trouble to live on this system, let him take sweet wine, either mixed with water or warmed, especially that which is called πρότροπος, the sweet Lesbian wine, as being very good for the stomach.

Now sweet wines do not make the head heavy, as Hippocrates says in his book on Diet, which some entitle, “The Book on Sharp Pains;” others, “The Book on Barley-water;” and others, “The Book against the Cnidian Theories.” His words are: “Sweet wine is less calculated to make the head heavy, and it takes less hold of the mind, and passes through the bowels easier than other wine.” But Posidonius says, that it is not a good thing to pledge one's friends as the Carmani do; for they, when at their banquets they wish to testify their friendship for each other, cut the veins on their faces, and mingle the blood which flows down with the liquor, [p. 75] and then drink it; thinking it the very extremes proof of friendship to taste one another's blood. And after pledging one another in this manner, they anoint their heads with ointment, especially with that distilled from roses, and if they cannot get that, with that distilled from apples, in order to ward off the effects of the drink, and in order also to avoid being injured by the evaporation of the wine; ad if they cannot get ointment of apples, they then use that extracted from the iris or from spikenard, so that Alexis very neatly says—

His nose he anoints, and thinks it plain
'Tis good for health with scents to feed the brain

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