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the celebrated Grecian orator, as a beverage, their diet. Euler attained to the age of drank water only. Protogenes, a painter of seventy-six years. In society he was most great eminence among the ancients, when acceptable, ever adding to its gratification executing some splendid design, lived in the by his agreeable wit, and cheerful and most frugal manner. Painters of our own uniform temper. The light and abstemious age have adopted a similar plan. Fresnoy, in his maxims for the artist, thus remarks:
"To temperance all our liveliest powers we owe,
diet of La Place alone enabled him, until within two years of his death, without exhaustion or inconvenience, to persevere in his accustomed habits of continued and intense study. John Locke, by his abstemious habits attained to the age of seventy-three
Individuals distinguished in the annals of years. In the former part of his life he had literature and science, in more recent times, a feeble constitution; the asthma for many have adopted a similar practice. Milton years proved to him a source of considerable To the use of and Dryden form illustrious examples. depression and distress. Milton not unfrequently recommends absti- water, which was his common drink, Locke nence in diet. To the lyric and elegiac very justly attributes the prolongation of his poet, he admits of the use of wine and good life. Boyle, who undoubtedly ranks as the cheer; but to the epic, which requires intellect first chemist of his age, also made use of of a higher and more comprehensive char- water. Although possessed of an exceedacter, the diet of Pythagoras must suffice.
"For many a god o'er elegy presides,
Or howls, that loud through Pluto's dungeons ring;
ingly delicate constitution, this distinguished patron of science lived to the age of sixtyfive years. Sir Isaac Newton was habitually abstemious in his diet; he died at the advanced age of eighty-five years; and it is a well known fact, that when he composed his admirable Treatise upon Optics, he abstained altogether from stimulating liquors and animal food, restricting himself to water and to vegetables. Luther also, and Johnson, may be cited as equally illustrious examples. Of the former, one of his biographers states:-"It often hapDryden is evidently satirized by Baynes, pened, that for several days and nights he who thus alludes to his preparation for study locked himself up in his study, and took no by a course of medicine. "When I have a other nourishment than bread and water, grand design, I ever take physic and let that he might the more uninterruptedly blood; for when you would have pure pursue his labours." In 1737, Dr. Johnson, swiftness of thought, and fiery flights of fancy, according to Boswell, abstained entire! you must have a care of the pensive part, from fermented liquors, "A practice to in fine, you must purge the belly!!!" This which he rigidly conformed for many years practice, we are informed by La Motte, the together, at different periods of his life." physician, was actually adopted by Dryden. Dr. Johnson himself made the following Dr. Cheyne, in allusion to the intimate remarks:-" By abstinence from wine and connexion which exists between the con- suppers, I obtained sudden and great relief, dition of the body and the state of the mind, and had freedom of mind restored to me, makes use of this emphatic observation, which I have wanted for all this year, "He who would have a clear head must have without being able to find any means of a clean stomach." Kotzebue remarks that a obtaining it."*
disordered stomach extinguishes the flame Mr. Croker, in his edition of Boswell's of genius. Cicero tells us to take care of the Life of Johnson, makes the following health of the body, for that without it the mind pertinent remarks on the passage just quoted can effect nothing. A physician of modern from that work:-"At this time his (Dr. times correctly observes that that genius is Johnson's) abstinence from wine may percomparativly lost to the world which is not haps be attributed to poverty, but in his sustained by a sound body: it perishes in subsequent life, he was restrained from that its own fire. indulgence by, as it appears, moral, or Franklin, in his youthful days in particular, rather, medical considerations. He prowas remarkable for his abstemiousness. bably found, by experience, that wine, His food was principally vegetable-his though it dissipated for a moment, yet drink water. To this diet he attributes his eventually aggravated, the hereditary disease progress in study, which was accompanied under which he suffered; and perhaps, it with clearness of ideas and quickness of may have been owing to a long course of conception. abstinence, that his mental health seems to Euler and La Place, the one celebrated have been better than in the earlier portion for his proficiency in mathematical science, of his life. Selden had the same notion : the other distinguished as a natural philo
sopher, were each habitually abstemious in
* Prayers and Meditations, p. 13.
for being consulted by a person of quality, scattered by too much bodily motion, and whose imagination was strangely disturbed, again revived by strong drink, makes a he advised him not to disorder himself with person unfit for Divine meditation, I suppose eating or drinking, to eat very little supper, will not be denied; and as multitudes of and say his prayers daily, when he went to people are in this practice, who do not take bed; and he (Selden) made but little question so much as to hinder them from managing but he would be well in three or four their affairs, this custom is strongly supdays."*"These remarks," further observes ported; but as, through Divine goodness, I Mr. Croker," are important, because depression of spirits is too often treated on a contrary system, from ignorance of, or inattention to, what may be its real cause." To these examples might be added a voluminous list of individuals celebrated in the annals of literature and science.
have found that there is a more quiet, calm, and happy way, intended for us to walk in, I am engaged to express what I feel in my heart concerning it." "The frequent use of strong drink, works in opposition to the celestial influence on the mind." "This is plain, when men take so much as to Mr. Foster makes some judicious remarks suspend the use of their reason; and though on this branch of our investigation. "A there are degrees of this opposition, and a person," he observes, "suffering from a man, quite drunk, may be furthest removed temporary loss or disappointment, has from that frame of mind in which God is recourse to the use of wine or spirits, the worshipped; yet a person being often nearly stimulus of which affords a momentary spent with too much action, and revived by relief from mental sufferings. A disordered spirituous liquors, without being quite drunk, state of the digestive organs, is, however, inures himself to that which is a less degree invariably the consequence of such practices, of the same thing; and by long continuance which, re-acting on the sensorium, increases thereof, must necessarily hurt the mind. the mental disorder, and gives it a peculiar Nor is it reasonable to suppose, that character. The patient, now, is not only so many thousand hogsheads of this fiery distressed about the original subject of grief, liquor, can be drunk every year, and the but takes atrabiliary views of every surround- practice continued from age to age, without ing object. The constant habit of drinking, altering in some degree the natures of men, by weakening the digestive powers, pre- and rendering their minds less apt to receive disposes the viscera to disorder; and by the pure truth in the love of it."*
this means renders them more liable to be Examples of abstinence from strong affected by the mind, and to re-act on it to drink, in connexion with remarkable exhibithe aggravation of the original disturbance. tions of intellectual strength are not uncomThus spirituous and fermented liquors can mon. The Senior Wrangler, in the University convert common grief, which in health of Cambridge, for the year 1803, was and is would soon subside, into a compound of a water drinker. The same statement is true mental and bodily derangement, that, by its in regard to the Senior Wrangler and very nature, must be aggravated in its Senior Medallist for the year 1809.† progress, and may produce organic disease, 3. Incorrect Judgment. The mind, incontrollable by medicine, and eventually enervated by artificial stimulants, loses its terminating in madness."† power of forming a correct judgment. Woolman, in more than one of his produc- The faculties by which the judgment comes tions, refers in pointed language to the effects to a decision, are weakened, and rendered of strong liquors on mental perception. more or less inoperative by the want "I have found," he remarks, "that too of reflection. The judgment, therefore, much labour in the summer heats the blood, is little exercised, and loses its force and that taking strong drink to support the body activity, and when formed, is crude and under such labour, increaseth that heat, and unstable. "Wine," remarks an eminent though a person may be so far temperate as writer, "raises the imagination, but denot to manifest the least disorder, yet the presses the judgment. He that resigns his mind in such circumstances, doth not retain reason, is guilty for everything he is liable that calmness and serenity, which we should to in the absence of it." The effects of endeavour to live in."‡ And again, "When intoxicating liquors on the judgment are people are spent with action, and take these strongly adverted to in the scriptures. "It liquors, not only as a refreshment from is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for their past labours, but also to support them kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong to go on, without nature having a sufficient drink: lest they drink and forget the law, time to recruit, by resting; it gradually and pervert the judgment of the afflicted."+ turns them from that calmness of thought, "The known effects of fermented liquors which attends those who apply their hearts on the intellects," observes Sir A Carlysle, to true wisdom. That the spirits being are the increased rapidity of thought, the
destruction of continuity in the memory, able examples of loose morality, combined and the derangement of the natural faculty with intellectual acquirements. Many of of judging or concluding upon the sum of the heathen philosophers seem to have any sort of evidence." Sumptuary laws, viewed occasional drunkenness as perfectly both in ancient and modern times, relating compatible with a virtuous life. Cato, in to magistrates and other official characters, the words of Horace, presents a remarkable have been framed on the same principle. instance;-Corvinus, the stoic philosopher, These will be detailed at length in a also indulged in vinous potations :succeeding Section.
The statements of historians in every age evidence a necessity for such salutary restrictions. De Foe thus writes,
"Come, Corvinus, guest divine
Bids me draw the smoothest wine
Seneca, another philosopher, states, that
The seat of judgment's so debauched with wine, Justice seems rather to be drunk than blind; Let's fall the sword, and her unequal scale, Makes right go down, and injury prevail.* 4. Impaired Memory.-The strength of the memory is materially impaired by Cato occasionally indulged in wine, as a .he use of intoxicating liquors. In relief from the cares of public business. the words of Sir A. Carlysle, its con- Cato vino laxabat animum curis publicis tinuity is destroyed. "The memory," fatigatum; and elsewhere himself remarks, remarks this writer, "is always weakened that people reproached Cato with drunkenby a rapid succession of evanescent im- ness, but that such reproach was rather an pressions, the objects of thought are loosely honour to him than otherwise. Catoni assorted by a disorderly imagination; and ebrietas objecta est, et facilius efficiet quisthe power to give a close and continuous quis objecerit honestum quam turpem attention to particular studies, is destroyed Catonem. Seneca himself even recomby an acquired habit of slovenly and heedless mended occasional drunkenness, as a means inductions. The mind is often diverted of banishing sorrow. Anacharsis, the from more serious activity by idle wit, by Scythian philosopher, at times indulged ludicrous combinations, or vain and un- to a free extent in the use of inebriating profitable wanderings." "Who has a liquors.* Elian includes in his catalogue stupid intellect," says Dr. South, "a broken of hard drinkers, Amasis, the lawgiver of memory, and a blasted wit, and, which is Greece. Zenocrates and Zeno, were subworse than all, a blind and benighted ject also to the same vice. Stilpo, of conscience, but the intemperate and lux-Megara, who was one of the chiefs of the urious, the epicure and the smell-feast." Stoics, when about to die, intoxicated himDecay of memory is one of the first prog-self, with the view to alleviate the terrors nostics of the intellectual ravages effected of death. Other heathen philosophers of by strong drink.
note might be aduced, as degrading
VI. It is a subject of deep regret, as well as a cause of intellectual and moral degradation to themselves, that many of the most eminent literary characters of both ancient and modern times, have, in a greater or less were often interspersed with encomiums on degree, indulged in the use of intoxicating wine, and their conduct frequently exhibited liquors. The mental excitement to which a pitiable want of moral correctness and such persons are subject, forms, no doubt, strength. Ion, the tragic poet, according to the predisposing cause, to this unhappy Ælian and Euripides, was noted for vinous propensity, in connexion with the peculiar indulgence. Philoxenus declared that he temptations which beset most public cha- longed for a neck like a crane, that he racters. Hence, the moral powers in par- might the longer enjoy the taste of wine, of ticular are in continual danger of losing the which he was immoderately fond. Ennius purity, as well as vigor, which constitutes and Alceus, rank also in the class of noso essential a portion of the character of a torious topers. The former poet died of the well-regulated mind. gout, induced by habits of gross intemperA prominent cause of the intemperance of ance. Timocreon, of Rhodes, a comic poet, literary characters, consists in the irregular moral training to which most of them are subject. Modern education is directed in a great measure, to intellectual development, while moral culture is almost if not altogether neglected. Hence, in too many instances, intellectual exhaustion is sought to be relieved by artificial excitement.
also was addicted to the same debasing vice.
Pausanias informs us, that when he was at Athens, he saw the statue of Anacreon, The biographies of ancient celebrated which represented that poet as drunk and philosophers and statesmen present lament- singing. The lays of Anacreon are chaunted
* Reformation of Manners, Part 2.
† Ælian, lib. ii. 2.
by every votary of Bacchus, and the verses of intellectual degradation, where we should of Homer (who is described as having been naturally expect the highest examples of temperate in his habits) teem with the mental cultivation, issuing in the purest praises of wine. The poets in ancient days principles of moral rectitude. It is evident are said to have met together once a year, that the amount of moral evil influence thus in the month of March, to celebrate a festi- exhibited by men of superior talents, must val in honour of Bacchus and wine. Ovid have been productive of most pernicious thus alludes to this practice :
"Illa dies hæc est, qua te celebrare poetæ,
Si modo non fallunt tempora, Bacche, solent,
Inter quos memini, dum me mea fata sinebant,
Non invisa tibi pars ego sepæ fui."* The poets in the time of De Foe, appear to have been no less noted for their attachment to the bottle :
"Poets long since Parnassus have forsaken,
And good King Bacchus governs in his stead;
As wine must needs excell Parnassus water."t
Philips, in his well-known poem, claims:
"See! the numbers flow Easy, whilst, cheer'd with her nectareous juice, Her's and my country's praises I exalt."
Dr. Trotter remarks that we are apt to imbibe sentiments in praise of wine with our classical education, and preserve them through life, on account of the elegant taste and language in which they are written. But he further remarks, when we come to engraft them on the useful affairs of the world, they elevate the mind above the realities around it, and give a dangerous bias to the moral character.*
In more recent times, men of intellectual eminence and mental strength, have displayed a similar fondness for strong drink, and want of moral restraint.
Pitt, the celebrated statesman, according ex-to a recent writer, would retire in the midst of warm debate, and indulge to the extent of a couple of bottles of wine. "The quantity of wine that would have closed the oratory of so professed a Bacchanalian as Geoffery Chaucer had a pitcher of wine Sheridan, scarcely excited the son of Chatapportioned to him every day. Ben Johnson ham."+ His friend, Lord Melville, (Henry had an annual allowance of a third of a pipe Dundas) was also much addicted to vinous of wine, of which liquor the laureates of our indulgence. Of Fox, a similar statement country have had a larger or more limited may be made. The habits of Sir Richard portion allowed to them down to the present Steele, Addison, Porson, Sheridan, and period. Whether this practice had its Burns, are too well known to require further origin in the bibulous propensities of our detail. It is recorded of Addison, that on ancestors, or to some supposed poetic power one occasion, when in company with Voltaire, inspired by wine, it is difficult to say. "I he drank to such excess as to vomit, on am ignorant," says Dr. Trotter," of what which that French writer remarked, in a stupendous works of genius have been sarcastic manner-that the only good thing planned by fancy, in a fine frenzy rolling,' that came out of Addison's mouth in his over the fumes of wine. I rather suspect Voltaire's) presence was the wine that had that such buildings may be compared to gone into it. castles in the air."
Ben Johnson in his admired poem, "Inviting a Friend to Supper," says— "But that which most doth take my muse and me Is a pure cup of rich Canary wine,
Which is the mermaid's now, but shall be mine."
"Of this we will sup free, but moderately;
Elian informs us that Antigonus, the Emperor, on one occasion, when in drink. met Zeno, the philosopher, who was one of his favourites, and kissed him, and promised to grant him any favour which he might desire. Zeno, mildly replied that if he would go and ease his stomach by vomiting, that was all at present he would require.
To this catalogue of illustrious topers, might be added, if necessary, others distinguished in the pages of modern literature. Those already cited, however, are amply sufficient to establish the point at issue. They present to our notice melancholy Johnson, unfortunately, like many of his examples of exalted genius, closely connected brother poets, did not himself practice the with this most debasing vice, in too many moderation he recommends. Aubreux in- instances, to the utter extinction of moral forms us that "he would many times exceed excellence in their brilliant characters. in drink ;" and that "Canary was his be- VII. The influence of intemperance on the loved liquor." Drummond also asserts that character of the literary productions of "Drink was the element in which he lived." celebrated men, forms an interesting subThe examples here adduced are illustrations ject of inquiry.-Writers, both in ancient
*OVID, Trist. v. 3.
True-born Englishman-Part ii.
Essay on Drunkenness, p. 184.
+ Rede's Memoir of the Right Hon. George Canning.
and in modern times, are described as having cure a matter of more difficulty and lengthcomposed under the influence of strong ened accomplishment. In a letter, written drink. Eschylus is said never to have to Murray, his publisher, Lord Byron composed but when in a state of intoxication. acknowledges the influence which this conIt is stated, that the imagination of the dition of his body had on the character of poet was strong and comprehensive, but his writings. "The third act (of Manfred) disorderly and wild; fruitful in prodigies, is certainly
bad, and like the Arch
but disdaining probabilities. It is said, bishop of Grenada's homily, (which savoured further, that when he composed, his coun- of the palsy,) has the dregs of my fever, tenance betrayed the greatest ferocity; and, during which it was written. It must on according to one of his scholars, when his no account be published in its present state.” Eumenides were represented, many children-Mr. Moore says, so far from the powers died through fear, and several pregnant of his intellect being at all weakened or women actually miscarried in the house, at dissipated by these irregularities, he was the sight of the horrible masks that were perhaps at no time of his life so actively in introduced. His general style was pecu- the full possession of all its energies." This liarly obscure.
Horace thus speaks of Ennius :—
"Ennius ipse pater nunquam nisi potus ad arma Prosiluit dicenda.*
Alcæus also, we are told, never sat down to compose tragedy, but when in a state of
opinion is no less erroneous than inconclusive. The effects of Lord Byron's excesses might not perhaps be obvious at that precise period. Changes of temperament are gradual in their operation, and the effects produced are not in general either immediate or distinct. It was at this period Aurelius, the sophist, according to some that Lord Byron commenced Don Juan. writers, composed his most popular de- Leigh Hunt states that "Don Juan was writclamations in his cups. The disciples of ten under the influence of gin and water.* Paracelsus, it is said, got him to dictate
when in a state of inebriation.
Horace makes the following bold assertion: it is entitled to rank among other of his poetical fictions:
"Nulla placere diu, nec vivere carmina possint, Quæ scribuntur aquæ potoribus."
In another epistle, addressed to Mr. Murray, some months afterwards, he acknowledges "About the stern necessity for reform. the beginning of the year, (1819,) I was in a state of great exhaustion, attended by such debility of stomach, that nothing remained upon it; and I was obliged to reform my How far intemperance may have impaired way of life,' which was conducting me from the genius, perverted the morals, and thus the yellow leaf to the ground, with all influenced the tone of the writings of ancient deliberate speed. I am better in health and and modern authors, is a subject well morals." Even at this period of his reform, he suffered much from irregular and unworthy of investigation. Many examples natural habits. Late hours formed another might be adduced from the records of modern times, where eminent writers have direct cause of bad health, and consequent composed under the influence of strong wonder at the records of his Journal. In depression of spirits. We need not therefore
hisDiary, dated January 6th, 1821, he asks, "What is the reason that I have been, all then he informs us that temperance_and my life time, more or less ennuye?" and exercise make little or no difference. Lord Byron's actions were ever characterized by
extremes. At one time, he indulged in the most irregular excesses-then adopted a equally far removed from the confines of rigorously unwise course of abstinence, both
Lord Byron presents a most instructive example of the effects of injudicious diet on disposition, and the character of literary productions. The education of this melancholy wreck of genius, was imperfect, and unsuited to his peculiar nature and hereditary predisposition. His general habits, however, of indulgence, roused his natural imperfections to an ungovernable extent, and hence the origin of numerous excesses, which in his sober moments occasioned bitter feelings of regret and disgust. When at Venice, in 1817 and 1819, Lord Byron's nocturnal excesses were frequent and long continued. During the former year he writes as follows:-"Sitting up late, and some subsidiary dissipations, have lowered my blood a good deal; but I have at present the quiet and temperance of Lent before green tea, without milk or sugar, formed The pangs of me." After this he was subject to a slow the whole of his sustenance. fever, which he describes with truth as tobacco and smoking segars." This system hunger he appeased by privately chewing endemical in that district. But his pre-of diet Lord Byron seems to look upon as vious excesses, doubtless predisposed his system to the attack, as well as rendered its
* 1 Ep. xix. 7.
Mr. Moore describes the diet of Byron, diet was regulated by an abstinence almost at Diodati, as follows:-" His system of
incredible. A thin slice of bread, with tea, at breakfast-a light vegetable dinner, with a bottle or two of Seltzer water, tinged with Vin de Grave-and in the evening a cup of
+ Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries By Leigh Hunt.