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ance for the license to exaggerate which we grant the poet, we must still conclude that the various kinds of wines of his day were described and computed with difficulty. The temperature of the country in which the grape was ripened; the nature of the vine which was planted; the soil in which it grew, whether marshy, sandy, or dry; the aspect of the heaven towards which it looked; its position, whether on a hill, in a vale, or among other trees; the supports to which it was trained, whether a pole, a tree, a wall, or a rock; the mode also of manufacturing the wine, and which must have varied in different farms and countries; the drugs, "medicaments," or condiments with which it was mixed; and the vessels and place in which it was kept ;must all have given an incalculable variety to the taste, character, and potency of the liquor. The reader of Cato, Columella, Pliny, and others, will find that the modes of manufacturing and preserving wine were exceedingly varied; and should he wish to have such wines as were drunk in the time of our Lord, he has only to adopt the recipes which are still left in plentiful abundance in their writings. And we certainly think that it is the bounden duty of those who tell us that the Scriptures recommend wine, to produce some of the wines of Scripture. If St. Paul commends wine, it behooves us to inquire which of all the hundreds of varieties that then existed, was the drink of which the holy apostle approved.
The wines of that day and of the present, have nothing in common with each other except the name: and to say that because the apostle recommended to a sick friend one of the medicinal wines of that period, therefore, he intended to intimate that all persons, whether healthy or sickly, should drink all the trash which human caprice, cupidity, or passion might denominate "wine," or 66 strong drink," is not only to reason without argument or thought, but also to intimate that the great apostle of the Gentiles recommended the most deadly drinks. To say that he recommended all the wines of that age, is to charge him with approving of liquors deeply impregnated with hellebore, opium, assafoetida, and other nauseous and poisonous drugs; and if he did not, and as a follower of Christ could not, bestow his praise or approbation upon all; then what did he commend?
We have here not only to do with the medical advice, but also with the medicine. The advice, to take a "little medicine," is not enough, but we want the prescription also; or else, when the draughts are so numerous and at the same time so various in their qualities, our ignorance may put its hand upon the wrong phial, and swallow hemlock and death as our panacea.
The generality of persons allow themselves to be misled by the word "wine," taking it for granted that that term has always had the same signification, and always referred to the same description of intoxicating liquor. But nothing can be more fallacious than this sort of reasoning. We have seen from the wines mentioned by Pliny and Virgil, that the drinks which bore that designation were as different to each other as it is possible for two beverages to be, and yet all were called "wines :" and it is only for the reader to consult Horace, Cato, Columella, Plutarch, Atheneus, or the Word of God, to perceive the delusion which those labor under who imagine that the word "wine" always means a drink resembling modern port, sherry, or champagne. Some of the ancient wines were sweet and some were bitter; some were fermented, and some were not; some were thick as sirup, and some were more liquid; some were drugged, and some were the pure must or juice of the grape; some were medicinal, and some were highly poisonous; and yet all were denominated "wines."
Pliny, Columella, Cato, &c., give us recipes for making almost every variety of wine then in use; such as wine from horehound, wine from wormwood, hyssop, suthernwood, and myrtles, &c. &c. Myrtle wine appears to have been a great favorite. Wine from squills also was much recommended. Hellebore wine, in spite of its poisonous nature, was highly esteemed by poets, orators, and others. "Danda est ellebori multo maxima pars," &c., says Horace. Oxymel and hydromel, both of which were compositions of must and honey, were in repute. Mustum Lixivum must have been a luscious drink; the following is a recipe for making it :-" Take from your lake mustum lixivum, that is, the juice which drops into the lake before the grape has been trodden; the fruit from which it is made should be gathered on a dry day from a vine trained to other trees
(arbustivo genere). Throw into four gallons of this must ten pounds of the best honey, and after it has been well mixed pour it into a stone jar, and immediately plaster the vessel with gypsum, and order it to be placed in the store-room. After thirty-one days it will be necessary to open the jar, to strain the must and pour it into another vessel, closed hermetically, and then place it in an oven." Col., lib. 12, cap. 41. This compound of honey and the juice of the grape was called "lixivum vinum," and yet could not be a fermented drink. It is said by Gessenius that the honey sent by Jacob as a present to Joseph was “wine boiled down to the consistency of sirup." The Hebrew word rendered honey, is 2, debash, or dibs. The Arabs at this day apply the word Dipse, to the juice or honey of the palm; to which also they give the name saccharon, a term of the same origin as the shakar, "strong or sweet drink" of Scripture, and the English word sugar. It is probable that the present of Jacob very much resembled the mustum lixivum mentioned above. The Latin lexicons agree in calling this liquor vinum or wine.
The following mode for making "sweet wine" will afford the reader an idea of the ancient way of preserving the juice of the grape from fermentation. "De vino dulci faciendo." "Gather the grapes, and expose them for three days to the sun; on the fourth, at mid-day, tread them; take the mustum lixivum, that is the juice which flows into the lake before you use the press, and when it has settled add one ounce of pounded iris, strain the wine from its faces and pour it into a vessel. This wine will be sweet, firm, or durable, and healthful to the body." Col., lib. 12, cap. 27.
Again, from the same author and book, cap. 29: "Quemdamodum mustum semper dulce tanquam recens permaneat." "That your must may always be as sweet as when it is new, thus proceed :-Before you apply the press to the fruit, take the newest must from the lake, put it into a new amphora, bung it up, and cover it very carefully with pitch, lest any water should enter; then immerse it in a cistern or pond of pure cold water, and allow no part of the amphora to remain above the surface. After forty days take it out and it will remain sweet for a year."
Every one must see that the last-mentioned wine could not be a fermented liquor; for, in the first place, the air, which Chaptal says is essential to the vinous fermentation of the grape-juice, was excluded; and, in the second place, it was put into cold water to keep it below the degree of heat at which fermentation begins; and, thirdly, it was thus preserved as sweet and fresh" as when it was taken from the lake, and therefore the sugar of the must was not converted into alcohol. But, to place this matter beyond the shadow of a doubt, we have the following important testimonies.
Pliny, lib. 14, cap 9, speaking of sweet wines, among many others, mentions one which was called "aigleuces," a term which means 66 always sweet," and adds, "Id evenit cura," "That wine is produced by care." He says that, in making it, mergunt eam protinus in aqua cados donec bruma transeat et consuetudo fiat algendi ;" "they plunge the casks, immediately after they are filled from the lake, into water, until winter has passed away, and the wine has acquired the habit of being cold." Here the reader will observe how nearly the mode recommended by Columella agrees with the custom stated by Pliny. As this wine was "aigleuces, always sweet;" it could not have fermented.
The words of Aristotle are equally conclusive, in his work, Meteor, lib. 4, cap. 9, speaking of "over ', o pev ylukuo” or "sweet wine,” he says, "that it would not intoxicate,” “dio kaι ov μelvokει." This passage is to the point, because it asserts that the beverage here spoken of existed, and was called wine, and yet that it would not intoxicate those that drank it. The same philosopher tells us that "the wine of Arcadia was so thick, that it was necessary to scrape it from the skin bottles in which it was contained, and to dissolve the scrapings in water;" a fact which proves that it had not fermented, otherwise, it could not have been thickened by boiling. This wine must have resembled the preserves called damson cheese, &c., and when drunk, was dissolved in water. In this manner we can make a very pleasant drink from many of our inspissated preserves.
To the same purpose are the words of Polybius: in a frag
ment of his 6th Book he states, Among the Romans, the women were forbidden to drink wine; they drank a wine which is called passon (latine passum), and this was made from dried grapes or raisins. As a drink, it very much resembled Aegosthenian and Cretan (yλɛʊкDG) sweet wine, and which is used for the purpose of allaying thirst." In this quotation we have several proofs that there was a beverage in common use, made from the fruit of the grape, but which was not inebriating. For, 1. Roman females were allowed to drink it, and yet they were not allowed to drink intoxicating liquors. 2. It was a sweet wine, and therefore the sugar had not been converted into alcohol. 3. It was drunk to quench thirst; but fermented and stupefying wines, then as well as now, created rather than repelled thirst. 4. It resembled the wine of Crete, which is known to have been a sweet wine. This passage also shows that, in those days, intoxicating drinks were not used as a beverage for allaying thirst. The Greeks and Romans in those ages had more philosophy than to drink liquid fire, for the purpose of freeing themselves from thirst; they might occasionally drink stupefying draughts, but they did this for their own caprice or pleasure, not to satisfy the wants of nature.
The "Passum vinum," to which Polybius here alludes, was made from the passa uva, the dried grape or raisins. Both Pliny and Columella have left recipes for making it. I have unfermented wine in my possession which is now sixteen months old, which I have made according to the recipe of Columella, a recipe written about the time our Lord lived in Judea.
It may be thought that if these wines were sweet and sirupy, they were very unfit to quench thirst; but it must be remembered that in those days it was very discreditable to drink undiluted wine, or even to take half wine and half water. Homer speaks of the Maronean wine, as diluted with twenty parts water. Pliny says that, in his time, when men were greater tipplers, it was mixed with eight parts; "one part wine, and five parts water was the most common and favorite mixture."*
* See notes on Boyd's small edition of Potter's Greek Antiquaries ; also "Ancient Wines" in the Athenæum.