Sirach 31:29Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
27 Wine is very life to human beings if taken in moderation. What is life to one who is without wine? It has been created to make people happy. 28 Wine drunk at the proper time and in moderation is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul. 29 Wine drunk to excess leads to bitterness of spirit, to quarrels and stumbling. 30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his own hurt, reducing his strength and adding wounds. 31 Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine, and do not despise him in his merrymaking; speak no word of reproach to him, and do not distress him by making demands of him.
Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2.2Paedagogus
By an immoderate quantity of wine the tongue is impeded; the lips are relaxed; the eyes roll wildly, the sight, as it were, swimming through the quantity of moisture; and compelled to deceive, they think that everything is revolving round them, and cannot count distant objects as single. And, in truth, methinks I see two suns, said the Theban old man in his cups. For the sight, being disturbed by the heat of the wine, frequently fancies the substance of one object to be manifold. And there is no difference between moving the eye or the object seen. For both have the same effect on the sight, which, on account of the fluctuation, cannot accurately obtain a perception of the object. And the feet are carried from beneath the man as by a flood, and hiccuping and vomiting and maudlin nonsense follow; for every intoxicated man, according to the tragedy, — Is conquered by anger, and empty of sense, And likes to pour forth much silly speech; And is wont to hear unwillingly, What evil words he with his will has said. And before tragedy, Wisdom cried, Much wine drunk abounds in irritation and all manner of mistakes. Wherefore most people say that you ought to relax over your cups, and postpone serious business till morning. I however think that then especially ought reason to be introduced to mix in the feast, to act the part of director (pædagogue) to wine-drinking, lest conviviality imperceptibly degenerate to drunkenness. For as no sensible man ever thinks it requisite to shut his eyes before going to sleep, so neither can any one rightly wish reason to be absent from the festive board, or can well study to lull it asleep till business is begun. But the Word can never quit those who belong to Him, not even if we are asleep; for He ought to be invited even to our sleep. For perfect wisdom, which is knowledge of things divine and human, which comprehends all that relates to the oversight of the flock of men, becomes, in reference to life, art; and so, while we live, is constantly, with us, always accomplishing its own proper work, the product of which is a good life. But the miserable wretches who expel temperance from conviviality, think excess in drinking to be the happiest life; and their life is nothing but revel, debauchery, baths, excess, urinals, idleness, drink. You may see some of them, half-drunk, staggering, with crowns round their necks like wine jars, vomiting drink on one another in the name of good fellowship; and others, full of the effects of their debauch, dirty, pale in the face, livid, and still above yesterday's bout pouring another bout to last till next morning. It is well, my friends, it is well to make our acquaintance with this picture at the greatest possible distance from it, and to frame ourselves to what is better, dreading lest we also become a like spectacle and laughing-stock to others. It has been appropriately said, As the furnace proverb the steel blade in the process of dipping, so wine proves the heart of the haughty. A debauch is the immoderate use of wine, intoxication the disorder that results from such use; crapulousness (κραιπάλη) is the discomfort and nausea that follow a debauch; so called from the head shaking (κάρα πάλλειν).
Notes and References
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