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Various ingredients were used by our an- be exported. To render strong beer highly cestors, and also by the ancients, to render aromatic and remarkably clear, according liquors prepared from grain less insipid and to Dr. Ure, directions are given to add four more fit to keep. Columella in the follow- and a half pounds of hops to a quarter of ing lines alludes to this practice:
Sectaque præbetur madido sociata lupino
malt. The same writer states that the rule in England, when preparing the stronger kinds of ale or porter, is to use a pound of The lupine was a bitter herb or plant, and hops for every bushel of malt, or eight would render the zythum of the ancients not pounds to a quarter. In the preparation, unlike the beer of our ancestors. Andreas however, of common beer, it is usua, not to Baccius, in reference to the malt liquors of add more than a quarter of a pound of hops the ancients, remarks, ac delectabile esse acri to the bushel of malt. punctione addita ex Siseris radicibus, et Lu- The hop possesses narcotic properties, and pinis, that they were accustomed to add to has been used in a medicinal form, with them the root of the Siser and Lupines in more or less advantage. George III. was order to render them pleasant and sharp. directed to rest on a pillow of hops in order Our ancestors, like the ancients, had no to procure sleep. "Hops," remarks Hooper, certain principle as to the grain best suited" are highly intoxicating." The hopfor brewing. The roll of the household flower exhales a considerable quantity of expenses of certain noblemen in the nine- its narcotic power in drying; hence those teenth century shows that barley, wheat, who sleep in hop-houses are, with difficulty, oats, and sometimes a mixture of each of roused from their slumbers.t them, were used to make beer. The beer, Dr. Chapman, in his work on Therathus prepared was insipid, and soon became peutics, speaks of the hop as an anodyne unfit to be used. It was customary to re- which may be substituted for opium, where move the mawkish flatness of such beer by the latter, from idiosyerasy, or other causes, the addition of spices and other strong in-does not suit the case." gredients. Long pepper was for this pur- On reference to the medical dispensatory, pose employed some time after the introduc- it will be seen, that the hop, when prescribed tion of hops.* for medicinal purposes, is recommended to Bitter ingredients, in the form of herbs, be taken in the form of powder, in doses of were held in much repute by our forefathers, from three to twenty grains. Morrice (see The principal remedies of the herbalists, or his Treatise on Brewing) states, that the leeches, the medical practitioners of those average quantity of hops employed in the days, consisted of the leaves of bitter plants manufacture of beer or ale is an ounce to a infused in malt liquor, which from thence gallon of beer, or two pounds to the barrel. were termed herb-ales. This practice is According to this calculation, the individual common to some parts of the country, who drinks two quarts or eight glasses of even in the present day. Herb-ales, among malt liquor, per diem, swallows not less the people, became popular as remedies for than half an ounce of hops, in addition, of most diseases; and, in course of time, a course, to a greater or less quantity of taste was acquired for these nauseous medi-alcohol, which would necessarily be present. In defence of this practice, the following
The hop grows only in rich soils, and respectable authority has been advanced: hence its generic name, humulus, from humus, "The narcotic power does not exist, in a which signifies "moist earth." Lupulus, very great degree; but as it is united to a the specific name of this plant, is a contrac- bitter extract which is grateful to the tion from lupus salictarius, a designation stomach, it is occasionally found useful for which Pliny informs us was given to it medicinal purposes, where opium is objec because it grew among the willows, and, tionable on account of its injurious effects twining round them and choking them up, proved as destructive to those plants as the wolf is to the flock.
on the digestive organs. The narcotic property appears to reside in a resinous aromatic principle of a volatile nature, so that in the It is a singular circumstance that llewig usual method in which hops are employed blaidd, the ancient British name for the hop, in brewing, it is probably dissipated, and signifies "bane of the wolf," a title which it nothing remains but the bitterness." The derives, perhaps, from its narcotic properties. existence of a bitter principle in malt liThe popular denomination of this plant, hop, quors, combined with a certain proportion owes its origin to the Anglo-Saxon word, of alcohol, certainly is not sufficient to account hoppan, to climb, a title peculiarly applic-for the rapid stupor which hopped malt able to its well-known habits. liquors produce on the functions of the
The quantity of hops added to the wort human system. The remarks and experience varies according to the strength of the beer, of Professor Mussey, of America, contribute the length of time it is to be kept, or the much to elucidate this interesting subject. heat of the climate where it is intended to In addition," he observes, "to alcohol,
*Hooper's Medical Dictionary, Art. Hops.
† Edinb. Encyclop. vol. xii., p. 423.
which is universally acknowledged to be a ment of dyspeptic complaints, or what are a poison, beer contains a narcotic principle called weak digestion. Some people are derived from the hop, which can never be very fond of herb-ale and diet drinks, the habitually taken, even in a small quantity, ingredients of which are bitter herbs and without injury. All narcotic substances, of roots, and are equally pernicious when long every name and nature, are known to be continued or frequently resorted to."* poisons. The impressions they make upon Dr. Darwin remarks, that "a continued the healthy actions of life are always un- use of bitter medicines is supposed to induce natural and uncongenial; and no familiarity apoplexy or other fatal diseases. Hence produced by habitual use can make them it would appear that the daily use of hops in harmless and healthful like bland and nu- our malt liquor must add to the noxious trient articles of diet. They disturb the quality of the spirit in it; and when taken equilibrium of action in the living organs, to excess must contribute to the production and bring on premature decay by the need- of the same disorders."†
the most wholesome."*
less waste of the principle of life. At the Dr. Falk makes a similar observation on age of twenty years, while occupied during the admixture of hops with malt liquors, a the hay season, upon my father's farm, I practice which he deems hazardous and dedrank hop beer for about three weeks, but trimental.‡ was induced to discontinue it on account of Howell, who dates his letter, A. D. 1634, a peculiar organic weakness, as well as a enumerates those nations where beer was diminution of the general strength, which I used at that period. In the Seventeen Proattributed to that beverage. The local dis- vinces, all Low Germany, Westphalia, all order immediately subsided, and, in about the lower circuit of Saxon, Denmark, Swedetwo weeks from the time of ceasing to land, and Norway, beer was "the common drink the beer, my strength was restored. natural drink, and nothing else." The The beer was made from a pound of hops, Prussians had " a beer as thick as honey." a gallon of molasses, and a barrel of water, In the "Duke of Sax's Country," the beer with a little yeast to ferment it. This kind was as yellow as gold, made of wheat of beer was at that time much in vogue and inebriated as quickly as sack. Beer among the farmers in the neighbourhood, blended with spice was made in some parts but it soon fell into disuse as a drink not of Germany. It would keep for many years, so that at some weddings a butt of The habitual use of hops ought, however, beer would be drunk as old as the bride. to be deprecated, not only for the narcotic The same writer also mentions Poland as a influence they possess, but for the injurious beer country.§ effects of bitters on the human system, when It would be impossible, in the brief limits long continued. The use of bitters in some of an essay like the present to enumerate persons augments the appetite and thus the varieties of inebriating liquors in use, causes an undue proportion of food to be both in ancient and modern times. A brief taken into the system. An unnecessary summary must, therefore, suffice, with reamount of chyle may be thus eliminated, gard to those which have not yet received and a plethoric condition of the blood-vessels consideration. Most of these liquors are induced.. All medical writers agree that prepared by fermenting different substances bitters, when habitually used, impair the peculiar to the climate in which they are functions of digestion. As "appetite and produced. Not a few, however, have been disgestion," remarks Dr. A. T. Thomson, introduced by intercourse with European "are promoted by the operation of tonics and other civilized nations. on the stomach itself, it may appear singular Mead appears to have been the common that their frequent and long-continued use beverage of the primitive inhabitants of this is generally followed by a loss of tone; but country. It consisted simply of honey and such is really the case."t water reduced to a state of fermention. Dr. Thomson is not alone in this opinion. Among the ancient Irish it was termed Dr. Thackray, in reference to domestic miodh, and mil-fion; that is, "honey-wine."|| medicines, remarks, that "bitters, though This appears in the Life of St. Berach, who they sometimes improve the appetite for a flourished in the seventh century, and also time, tend, when long continued, to weaken in the Annals of Ulster, under the year 1107. digestion. They ought not to be taken Mead was held in much esteem by the without medical direction. The views of ancient Britons. In the court of the ancient Dr. Trotter accord with those just expressed. Princes of Wales, the mead-maker was held "Bitters of all kinds seem to possess a nar- as the eleventh person in point of dignity. cotic power, and, when used for a consider-By an ancient law of the Principality, three able length of time, destroy the sensibility things in the court were ordered to be comof the stomach. This is a class of medicines municated to the King, before they were that requires much caution in the treat
*American Temperance Intelligencer, 1835. † Professor Thomson, Materia Medica. Thackray on Digestion and Diet, p. 145.
*Trotter on Drunkeness, p. 113.
† Zoonomia, vol. ii., p. 735.
made known to any other person: 1st, Every sentence of the judge; 2nd, Every new song; and 3rd, Every new cask of mead. The solace which this or some similar liquor afforded is termed by Ossian "the joy of the shell."
There many a pile of flaming oak they raise;
A mimic wine from servis' harshest juice.
The natives of those countries which lie Howell enumerates, besides ale and beer, between the arctic circle, such as Greenmetheglin, braggot, and mead, among the land, Norway, and Lapland, use for the natural drinks of our ancestors. These, he same purpose the berries of the juniper remarks, differed in strength according to tree. They also extract a brandy from the the three degrees of comparison. "The same liquor, which has a similar effect to first of the three," remarks this writer, that distilled from the grape.* "which is strong in the superlative, if The Egyytians, in the present day, pretaken immoderately, doth stupify more than pare a fermented liquor from barley, maize, any other, and keeps a humming in the millett, and rice. The Nubians make free brain, which made one say, that he loved use of an intoxicating liquor called bouza, not metheglin, because he was used to speak which is prepared from dhourra, or barley.† too much of the house he came from, mean- The Abyssinians inebriate themselves with ing the hive."* This writer mentions Rus- beer and mead. Honey, from which the sia, Muscovy, and Tartary, as nations in latter liquor is prepared, is found in great which mead was used; which, he adds, "is abundance in Africa. The Caffres and the naturallest drink of the country." Tambookies prepare an intoxicating comHowell, in the same letter, mentions cyder pound by the fermentation of millet or and perry among the natural drinks of our Guinea corn. In the language of that forefathers. Cyder is a beverage in com- country it is denominated pombie. mon in some parts of this country at the Congoese and natives of Ashantee, with present day. The counties of Hereford and various other nations in the warm climates Devon, as well as the Norman isles of of the torrid zone, ferment the juice of the Jersey and Guernsey, are famous for the palm tree.‡ The natives of Siberia and production as well as consumption of cider. Kamschatka prepare a liquor from a species It is a liquor of considerable antiquity. The of mushroom, which, by fermentation, beNormans obtained a knowledge of it from comes so powerful, that writers assert that Biscay, into which country it is supposed to the urine of individuals who become intoxihave been introduced by the Carthaginians.† cated by it, possesses an inebriating quality.§ Pliny speaks of wine made from apples. The Kamschatkans have a curious method St. Augustin states, that the Manichæans of preparing a liquor by means of a grass, drank a delicious liquor made from the which they call slatkaia-trava. This grass, juice of the same fruit. Tertullian also after it has undergone some preliminary speaks of a liquor pressed from apples, process, is steeped in water of a sufficient which he describes as very vinous or temperature until fermentation takes place, strong. His words are succum ex pomis when a liquor called raka is afterwards disvinosissimum. Petrarch includes ale and tilled from it. It is most pernicious in its cyder as the most common drinks of the effects on the health, and produces sudden English in his time.‡ nervous disorders.
Perry also is an ancient beverage. The natives of Otaheite and the Sandwich Among the Latins, it was named pyratia, Islands obtain a strong spirit from the root pyrarium, as cyder, in like manner, was of the tee, a plant which grows in great termed pomata or pomatium. Jerome, For- plenty in their mountains, and in some tunatus, and other writers, refer to this respects resembles the beet-root of our own liquor as a drink in common use. The land. It is, of course, first mixed with water, oivos aπirns of Dioscorides, according to and afterwards undergoes fermentation. A Turnebus, is perry, or pear wine.§
Northern nations, from a remote period, obtained an inebriating liquor from the juice of the apples or berries of the service tree. Virgil thus describes this custom:
Ipsi in defossis specubus secura sub alta
To subterraneous caves the natives fly,
common beverage among this people is made from a root which they call ava-ava, and which is fermented by means of the saliva, being first well masticated by individuals appointed for the purpose.
The natives of Horn Island prepared a similar liquor so early as 1616, and probably from a more remote period. It was made from a herb called cana.
The native Indians of America adopt Numerous other ingenious methods are similar methods. One of these barbarous used in all parts of the globe to produce intribes make a powerful liquor of certain ebriating liquors. Almost every species or roots, putrefied and infused in water. Others tree and every variety of grain and fruit is extract an inebriating liquor, called chica, employed for this destructive purpose. The from maize, or from the manioc root: the lat-limits of this essay will not allow of further ter is, in the first instance, chewed by the extension. women. The saliva excites a vigorous fermentation, and a liquor is produced of which these people are devotedly fond.*
III. The history of distilled liquors.-The discovery of distillation forms a remarkable and important epoch in the history of intoxicating liquors. This fatal invention placed within the reach of man a readier, more speedy, and more effectual means of sensual gratification.
In the Chinese empire much ingenuity is displayed in the production of intoxicating liquors. The natives of the province Quang Tong, in particular, distil a liquor from the The date and authors of this invention are flowers of a variety of the lemon-tree, which are said to possess a strong saccharine pro- circumstances involved in considerable obperty. The inhabitants of the celestial scurity. The Chinese, whose perseverance empire, however, carry their powers of in- in scientific pursuits is well known, are, by vention to a still greater extent; even the some writers, supposed to have been acflesh of sheep is subjected to fermentation; quainted at an early period with the art of the liquor is then submitted to the still. distillation. This supposition, however, is The spirit thus extracted is said to be very destitute of the necessary proofs. strong. Lamb-wine, or, as the natives call it,Kaw-yang-tsyew, has long been a favourite beverage among the Tartars.
The Chinese and Saracens had long been acquainted with a species of distillation, by means of which they were enabled to extract the essence, or aroma, of flowers. Perfumes and essences were held in great esteem among these oriental nations.
The inhabitants of Tartary are enabled to procure inebriating liquors by a variety of means. Koumiss, their principal beverage, is prepared by fermenting mare's milk. The Pliny, who flourished in the first century Affghans manufacture a similar drink from of the Christian era, does not make the the fermented milk of sheep.§ In Iceland slightest allusion to the art of distillation. a liquor of the same kind is made by the Galen, also, is silent on this subject. This fermentation of whey. celebrated physician flourished about a cenThe inhabitants of China and the conti- tury after Pliny. He alludes only to disguous islands commonly prepare a liquor tillation as a means of extracting the aroma from rice, which may be denominated rice-of plants and flowers. wine. The natives of Japan, who excel in The same observations apply to the this art, prepare a strong liquor in large Arabians, who were famed for their prequantities from this nutritious grain, which tended knowledge of alchemy, and the prothey term sacki. Rice-wine is also used by fession of medicine. Rhazes, Albucassis, the inhabitants of Formosa.** The natives and Avicenna, three celebrated physicians, of several of those islands which lie conti-who lived about the tenth and eleventh cenbut guous to Japan and Formosa, obtain an in- turies, allude to the distillation of roses, ebriating liquor by fermenting corn, rice, are silent with regard to any process by pulse, and other kinds of grain or fruit, which an intoxicating spirit could be exwhich they denominate awamuri.†† tracted from fermented liquors.
The Swedes, whose propensity for strong Arnoldus de Villa, or Villanova, a phydrink is well known, flavour their brandy sician of some eminence, and professor of by distilling over with it a large species of medicine at Montpelier, who flourished in the black ant. These insects contain a resin, the thirteenth century, is the first writer an oil, and an acid, which are highly valued who distinctly alludes to the discovery of for the flavour and potency which they im- ardent spirit. It appears that the ancients part to the brandy. They are found in abundance at the bottom of the fir-trees, in small round hills, and are taken in that state for use.‡‡
* Acosta, Hist. Nat. des Indes, fol. 162; Dam-
Grosier, vol. ii., 319; Du Halde, vol. i., p. 303.
were not acquainted with the process, that it had only become recently known, and that when discovered it was believed to be the universal panacea which had so long been the object of philosophical investigation.
Raymond Lully, a native of Majorca, and a disciple of Villanova, dwells in the most enthusiastic terms on the properties of this newly-discovered medicine. This philosopher was born A. D. 1236, and died in 1315. Lully believed it to be an emanation of divinity, sent for the physical renovation of mankind. He was, in consequence of this notion, induced to believe that the end of Consett's Remarks in a Tour through Sweden. the world was not far distant. This writer
|| Mackenzie's Iceland, 4to, pp. 156-277. ¶ Kæmfer, vol. i., p. 121; Titsingh's Account of Japan.
**Candidius's Account of the Island of Formosa, pud Churchill, vol. i., p. 405.
++ Mod. Univ. Hist., vol. vii., p. 993.
first applied to it the name of alcohol. For In the 16th century, alcohol became more a considerable length of time the discovery generally known. As a medicine it was highly of this potent fluid was kept a profound extolled, and several treatises were written secret, and it was not generally made known in commendation of its virtues. In one of until the lapse of many years. Such is an these issued by Michael Savonarole, an ediillustration of the effects produced on the tion of which was published about a cenminds of those who were first acquainted tury after his death, it is stated that at that with this important event. Through the in-period the spirit of wine was used as a fluence of Villanova and Lully this medicine medicine only, and was known under the gradually extended its influence northward, name of aqua vitæ, or water of life, from its and through the other divisions of Europe. supposed power to prolong life. This The first product of the still, of which we writer, in the following characteristic quotahave record in Europe, was manufactured tion, alludes with some degree of enthusiasm from the grape, and sold in Italy and Spain to the personal benefit he himself had deas a medicine. The Genoese were the first rived from a trial of his favourite panacea: to prepare alcohol from grain. In the thir-" Est et aqua vitæ dicta, quoniam in vitæ teenth century they sold it in small bottles prorogationem quâm maximê conferre senat a high price, under the name of aqua tiat. Sum etenim memor ejus verbi quod vitæ or water of life. It still retains this sæpe hilari corde gravissimus ille vir et in name among the common people in France, orbe sua ætate clarissimus medicus, Anin which country distillation was first made tonius Delascarparia, exclamando pronunknown in 1313. tiabat, qui, dum octogesimum annum duIn the fourteenth century medicated ceret, dictabat: O aqua vite! per te jam spirits were in much request in Hungary. mihi vita annos duo et viginti prorogata A queen of that country acquired consider- fuit."
able fame by the invention of a medicine In Hollinshed's Chronicles, allusion is composed of aqua vitæ and rosemary, made to a treatise written by an individual which was supposed to possess extraordinary named Theoricus, who thus highly extols medicinal properties. The recipe for making the sanative proprieties of alcohol: this far-famed remedy, as copied from her sloweth age, it strengtheneth youth, it breviary by Prevôt, is as follows: Three helpeth digestion, it cutteth phlegme, it parts of aqua vitæ, four times distilled, and abandoneth melancholie, it relisheth the two parts of the tops and flowers of rose- heart, it lighteneth the mind, it quickeneth mary, were put into a close vessel, and there the spirits, it cureth the hydropsia, it healeth allowed to remain in a gentle heat for fifty the strangurie, it pounces the stone, it exhours, and afterwards distilled. One dram pelleth gravel, it puffeth away ventositie; it of this mixture was to be taken in the keepeth and preserveth the head from morning, once only every week, either in whirling, the eyes from dazzling, the tong food or drink, and the face and diseased from lisping, the mouth from snaffling, the parts were to be washed with it every morn- teeth from chattering, and the throat from ing. The recipe further states, that it rattling; it keepeth the weasan from renovates the strength, purifies the marrow stiffling, the stomach from wambling, and and nerves, restores and preserves the sight, the heart from swelling; it keepeth the and prolongs life.
hands from shivering, the sinews from shrinking, the veins from crumbling, the bones from aching, and the marrow from soaking."
Ulstadius, another writer of those days, adduces this most singular proof of its excellence: "It will burn, being kindled."
Charles the Bad, King of Bavaria, lost his life in the most miserable manner, through the prevalent notion that the external application of spirits was a restorative of strength. This monarch was wrapped in sheets steeped in eau de vie, with the view to infuse new vigour into a Up to this period it is probable that alframe debilitated by debauch and excess. cohol was considered only as a medicinal His attendant, by accident, set fire to them, agent. It was too potent, however, and too and after the third day the unfortunate pleasurable in its effects to remain long in monarch died in the most dreadful tortures. so confined a sphere. Mankind gradually These notions, which became prevalent introduced it into use as an article of diet, throughout the German states, made the and many individuals even laboured under distillation of aqua vitæ an object of con- the delusion that it was necessary to their siderable importance. Numbers of nobles existence.
erected stills in order to distil waters of Distillation, according to M. le Normand, various kinds for the benefit of their families was not conducted on a large scale until and the poor. A princess of Brunswick, about the end of the seventeenth century. for example, consort of Philip II. Duke Its manufacture, even at that period, was of Grubenhagen, in 1560 erected a still and laboratory of this kind at her palace, Grubenhagen, Lower Saxony.*
*Beckman's Hist. Invent., vol. iii., p. 148.
unimportant when compared with the product of the still about the commencement of the eighteenth century.
Distillation is generally supposed to have been introduced into England during the