CHAP. 19.—PARTICULARS RELATIVE TO WINE.
We have already1
described the various kinds of wine, the
numerous differences which exist between them, and most of
the properties which each kind possesses. There is no subject
that presents greater difficulties than this, or, indeed, a more
varied field for discussion, it being extremely difficult to pronounce whether wine is more generally injurious in its effects,
or beneficial. And then, in addition to this, how very uncertain is it, whether, the moment we have drunk it, it will be
productive of salutary results, or turn out no better than so
much poison! However, it is only with reference to its medicinal properties, that we are now about to speak of it.
Asclepiades has composed a whole treatise (which has
thence received its name2
) on the proper methods of administering wine; and the number of commentators who have since
written on this treatise, is almost innumerable. For my own
part, with all that gravity which becomes a Roman, and one
zealous for the furtherance of liberal pursuits, I shall enter into a
careful examination of this subject, not, indeed, in the character of a physician, but as a careful investigator of the
effects which wine is likely to produce upon the health of man-
kind. To treat, however, of the medicinal properties of each
individual kind, would be a labour without end, and quite inexhaustible; the more so, as the opinions of medical men are
so entirely at variance upon the subject.