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Ebrietatis Encomium or, the Praise of Drunkenness   By: (1694-1723)

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[Transcriber's Note:

This text is intended for users whose text readers cannot use the "real" (Unicode/UTF 8) version. A few letters such as "oe" have been unpacked, and curly quotes and apostrophes have been replaced with the simpler "typewriter" form. Greek quotations have been transliterated and shown between marks.

This book was originally published in 1714 as "Eloge de l'Yvresse" by Albert Henri de Sallengre, and translated in 1723 by Robert Samber with the present title. The 1812 edition updates the spelling and punctuation, and omits part of the title page (see Errata), but is otherwise the same text.

In the original text, footnotes were identified with and other marks. For this e text they have been numbered from 1 within each chapter. Footnotes added by the transcriber are identified with letters [1a] and [[double brackets]]. The word "possibly" means that an attribution exists but the transcriber has not personally seen the source text.

Typographical errors are listed at the end of the e text. Unless otherwise noted, quotation marks are as printed.]




Wherein Is Authentically, and Most Evidently Proved,


And, That the Practice Is Most Ancient, Primitive, and Catholic.

By BONIFACE OINOPHILUS, De Monte Fiascone, A. B. C.

Vinum lætificans cor hominis. Narratur et prisci Catonis, Sæpe mero caluisse virtus. HOR.

LONDON: Printed For C. Chapple, Pall Mall.


Harding & Wright, Printers, St. John's Square, London.






If ever preface might serve for an apology, certainly this ought to do so. The bare title of the book is enough to have it universally cried down, and to give the world an ill opinion of its author; for people will not be backward to say, that he who writes the Praise of Drunkenness, must be a drunkard by profession; and who, by discoursing on such a subject, did nothing but what was in his own trade, and resolved not to move out of his own sphere, not unlike Baldwin, a shoe maker's son, (and a shoe maker), in the days of yore, who published a treatise on the shoes of the ancients, having a firm resolution strictly to observe this precept, Ne sutor ultra crepidam .

To this I answer, I am very well contented, that the world should believe me as much a drunkard, as Erasmus, who wrote The Praise of Folly, was a fool, and weigh me in the same balance.

But some will say, what good can a man propose to himself in being a panegyrist for drunkenness? To solve this difficulty I shall make use of a comparison.

M. Pelisson, in his History of the French Academy, says, that Menage did not compose that famous Requete des Dictionaires, in which he ridicules all the academics, on account of any aversion he had to them, but purely to divert himself, and not to lose the witty turns that came into his head upon that subject. In the same manner, I declare that I did not undertake this work on account of any zeal I have for wine, you must think, but only to divert myself, and not to lose a great many curious remarks I have made upon this most catholic liquid.

It may farther be objected, that this work is so stuffed with quotations, that they hinder the book itself from being seen; like what I heard say of a country fellow, who complained when he left London, that he could not see it for the houses. As an excuse for all the others, I shall make use of one quotation more, and this I shall borrow from Mr... Continue reading book >>

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