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So that it is not at all wonderful that men who lived in such a way as they did were healthy and vigorous both in mind and body. And he, pointing out how wholesome and useful a thing moderation is, and how it contributes to the general good, has represented Nestor, the wisest of the Greeks, as bringing wine to Machaon the physician when wounded in the right shoulder, though wine is not at all good for inflammations; and that, too, was Pramnian wine, which we know to be very strong and nutritious. And he brings it to him too, not as a relief from thirst, but to drink of abundantly; (at all events, when he has drank a good draught of it, he recommends him to repeat it.)
Sit now, and drink your fill,
says he; and then he cuts a slice of goat-milk cheese, and then an onion,
A shoeing-horn for further draughts of wine;1
though in other places he does say that wine relaxes and enervates the strength. And in the case of Hector, Hecuba, thinking that then he will remain in the city all the rest of the day, invites him to drink and to pour libations, encouraging him to abandon himself to pleasure. But he, as he is going out to action, puts off the drinking. And she indeed, praises wine without ceasing; but he, when he comes in out [p. 16] of breath, will not have any. And she urges him to pour a libation and then to drink, but he, as he is all covered with blood, thinks it impiety.

Homer knew also the use and advantages of wine, when he said that if a man drank it in too large draughts it did harm. And he was acquainted, too, with many different ways of mixing it. For else Achilles would not have bade his attendants to mix it for him with more wine than usual, if there had not been some settled proportion in which it was usually mixed. But perhaps he was not aware that wine was very digestible without any admixture of solid food, which is a thing known to the physicians by their art; and, therefore, in the case of people with heartburn they mix something to eat with the wine, in order to retain its power. But Homer gives Machaon meal and cheese with his wine; and represents Ulysses as connecting the advantages to be derived from food and wine with one another when he says—

Strengthen'd with wine and meat, a man goes forth:2
and to the reveller gives sweet drink, saying—

There, too, were casks of old and luscious wine.3

1 Ib. xi. 629.

2 Iliad, xxii. 427.

3 Odyss. ii. 340.

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