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He says too that the Athenians were taught the proper proportions in which wine should be mixed by Amphictyon when he was king; and that on this account he erected a temple to the Upright Bacchus. For he is then really upright and not likely to fall, when he is drunk in proper proportions and well mixed; as Homer has it—
Hear me, my friends! who this good banquet grace,—
'Tis sweet to play the fool in time and place.
And wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic and the serious smile;
The grave in merry measures frisk about,
And many a long-repented word bring out.1
For Homer does not call wine ἠλεὸς in the sense of ἠλίθιος, that is to say, foolish and the cause of folly. Nor does he bid a man be of a sullen countenance, neither singing nor laughing, nor ever turning himself to cheerful dancing in time to music. He is not so morose or ill-bred. But he knew the exact proportions in which all these things should be done, and the proper qualities and quantities of wine to be mixed. On which account he did not say that wine makes the sage sing, but sing very much, that is to say, out of tune and excessively, so as to trouble people. Nor, by Jove, did he say simply to smile, and to frisk about; but using the [p. 295] word merry, and applying that to both, he reproves the un- manly propensity to such trifling—
Makes . . . . . . . .
The grave in merry measure frisk about,
And many a long-repented word bring out.
But in Plato none of these things are done in a moderate manner. But men drink in such quantities that they cannot even stand on their feet. For just look at the reveller Alcibiades, how unbecomingly he behaves. And all the rest drink a large goblet holding eight cotylæ, using as an excuse that Alcibiades has led them on; not like the men in Homer—
But when they drank, and satisfied their soul.
Now of these things some ought to be repudiated once for all; but some ought to be enjoyed in moderation; people looking at them as at a slight addition or appendage to a repast; as Homer has said—
Let these, my friend,
With song and dance the pompous revel end.

1 Odyss. xiv. 464.

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