This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Much has been said on this subject, in most of the Horticultural Journals, and all, or nearly all, in favor of the general use of wine, as a prevention of intemperance. I fear sufficient caution has not been used in making this recommendation, and perhaps too superficial an examination has been made of the condition of those countries where it is extensively adopted as a drink. How did so many instances of intemperance occur among the ancients - which induced king Solomon to describe its effects as "woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, wounds, and redness of eyes" and as " biting like a serpent and stinging like an adder?" These were rather strong terms to apply to the remedy for intemperance. What was it that caused king Alexander to murder his guiltless friend - and what destroyed his own life? This same remedy for intemperance. What led to the destruction of a whole Scythian army by the Medes? A free use of the same remedy. Now permit me to ask with all respect, hoping an answer with all candor, whether, seeing that distillation has since greatly concentrated the peculiar power of wine, it will be any safer now to acquire a taste for it, with this concentrated liquor standing ready at all times to gratify the increased appetite often produced by habit? If the first man that history informs us of, whoever planted a vineyard, became prostrated from intoxication, without the addition of the little brandy which is now applied in making wine- - a man of snch self-denial and extraordinary strength of purpose, as to withstand without flinching, the sneers and opposition of the world - can wo expect that the weaker portion of the human family will now do better, if we place this drink freely before them, with half a dozen other and stronger drinks ready to take its place as soon as increased appetite shall render this too weak?
I ask these questions simply for the consideration of the readers of this Journal - which I hope I may be permitted to do as a matter of justice, because what has been previously said has all been on the other side of the question - leaving it entirely with them to draw their own conclusions. T.