Philemon Holland, translator (1601): C. Plinius Secundus The Historie of the World. Book XIIII. (Pages 403-428).
THE XIIII. BOOKE OF
THE HISTORIE OF NATVRE,
WRITTEN BY C. PLINIVS
Containing the Treatise of Trees bearing fruit.a
HUS farre forth have wee discoursed of all forraine and straunge trees in a manner, such I meane as know not how to live in any other places but where they naturally first did grow, and which willingly goe not into other countries, nor can abide their soile or aire. Good leave may I now have to write of Plants and Trees common to all lands, and namely, to ours of Italie, which may seeme to bee the very Hort-yard and naturall garden that bare them all. This onely would I advertise the readers and learners to remember, that for this present we purpose to describe their natures and vertues onely, leaving out the manner of husbandrie that belongeth unto them: albeit in their tending and keeping appeareth the greatest part of their properties, and of Nature's workes. And verily, I cannot chuse but marvell still and never give over, how it comes to passe, that the remembrance, yea, and the very names of some trees which auncient writers have delivered in their bookes, should bee quite gone and abolished. For who would not thinke, that our life should ere this have gained much by the majestie of the Roman Empire; have discovered all things by the meanes of the commerce we have had with the universall world, by the trafficke, negotiations and societie I say that we have entred into during the blessed time of peace which we have enjoied: considering that by such trade & entercourse, all things heretofore unknown, might have come to light. And yet for all this, few or none (believe me) there are who have attained to the knowledge of many matters which the old writers in times past have taught and put in writing. Whereby we may easily see, that our auncestors were either farre more carefull and industrious, or in their industrie more happie and fortunate. Considering withall, that about two hundred years past Hesiodus (who lived in the very infancie of learning and good letters) began his worke of Agriculture, and set downe rules and precepts for the husbandmen to follow. After whose good example, many others having travelled and taken like paines, yet have put us now to greater labour. For by this meanes we are not onely to search into the last inventions of later writers, but also to those of auncient time, which are forgotten and covered with oblivion, through the supine negligence and generall idlenesse of all mankind. And what reasons may a man alledge of this drowsinesse, but that which hath lulled the world asleepe? The cause in good faith of all, is this and none other, Wee are readie to forgoe all good customes of old, and to embrace novelties and change of fashions: mens minds now adaies are amused and occupied about new fangles, and their thoughts be rolling; they wander and rout at randon; their heads be ever running; and no arts & professions are now set by and in request, but such as bring pence into our purses. Heretofore whilest kings and potentates contained themselves within the Dominion of their owne Nations, and were not so ambitious as now they bee, no marvell if their wits and spirits kept still at home: and so for want of wealth and riches of Fortune, were forced to employ and exercise the gifts of their mine in such sort as an infinite number of Princes were honoured and renowned for their singular knowledge and learning. Yea, they were more brave in port, and carried a goodlier shew in the World for their skill in liberall sciences, than others with all their pompe or riches: beeing fully persuaded and assured, that the way to attaine unto immortalitie and everlasting fame, was by literature and not by great poßessions and large seignories. And therefore as learning was much honoured and rewarded in those daies, so arts & sciences tending to the common good of this life daily encreased. But afterwards when the way was once made to enlarge their territories farther into the world; when princes and states began to make conquests and grow rich and mightie, the posteritie felt the smart and loße thereby. Then began men to chuse a Senatour for his wealth; to make a judge for his riches; in the election of civile magistrate and martiall captaine, to have an eie and regard onely to goods and substance, to land and living: when rents and revenues were the cheefe and onely ornaments that made men seeme wise, just, politike, and valiant. Since time that childlesse estate was a point looked into, and advaunced men into high place of authoritie and power, procuring them many favourites in hope of succession; since time I say that every man aimed and reached at the readiest meanes of greatest lucre and gaine, setting their whole mind, and reposing their full content and joy in laying land to land, and heaping together poßessions; downe went the most precious things of this life, and lost their reputation: all those liberall arts which tooke their name of libertie and freedome, (the soveraigne good in this world which were meet for princes, nobles, gentlemen, and persons of great state) forwent that prerogative, and fell a contrarie way, yea, and ran quite to wracke and ruine: so as in stead thereof, base slaverie and servitude be the only waies to arise and thrive by: whiles some practise it one way, some another, by flattering, admiring, courting, crouching, and adoring: and all, to gather good and get money. This is the only marke they shoot at, this is the end and accomplishment of all their vowes, praiers, and desires. Insomuch as we may perceive every where, how men of high spirit and great conceit are given rather to honour the vices and imperfections of others, than to make the best of their owne vertues and commendable parts. And therefore we may full truly say, that Life indeed is dead: Voluptuousnesse and Pleasure alone is alive, yea, and beginneth to beare all the sway. Nevertheleße, for all these enormities and hinderances, give over will not I to search into those things that bee perished and utterly forgotten, how small and base soever some of them be; no more than I was affrighted in that regard, from the treatise and discourse of living creatures. Notwithstanding that I see Virgil (a most excellent Poet) for that cause onely forbare to write of gardens and hort-yards, because he would not enter into such pettie matters:1 and of those important things that he handled, he gathered only the principall flowers, & put the down in writing. Who albeit that he have made mention of no more than 15 sorts of grapes, three kinds of Olives, and as many of Peares, and setting aside the Citrons and Limons, hath not said a word of any apples; yet in this one thing happie & fortunate he was, For that his worke is highly esteemed, and no imputation of negligence charged upon him. But where now shall we begin this treatise of ours? what deserveth the cheefe & principall place, but the vine? In which respect Italie hath the name for the very soveraigntie of Vineyards: insomuch, that therein alone, if there were nothing els, it may well seeme to surpasse all other lands, even those that bring forth odoriferous spices and aromaticall drugs. And yet to say a truth, there is no smell so pleasant whatsoever, that outgoeth vines when they bee in their fresh and flouring time.
Of Vines, their nature, and manner of bearing.
Vines in old time were by good reason for their bignesse reckoned among trees. For in Populonia,2 a citie of Tuscane, wee see a statue of Iupiter made of the wood of one entire Vine, and yet continued it hath a world of yeares incorrupt and without worme. Likewise at Massiles there is a great standing cup or boll to be seene of vine wood. At Metapontum there stood a temple of Iuno, bearing upon pillars of Vine wood. And even at this day there is a ladder or paire of staires up to the temple of Diana in Ephesus, framed of one Vinetree, brought (by report) out of the Island Cyprus, for there indeed vines grow to an exceeding bignesse. And to speake a truth, there is no wood more durable and lasting than is the Vine. Howbeit, for my part I would thinke that these singular peeces of worke beforenamed, were made of wild and savage vines: for that these our tame and gentle Vines here planted among us, are by cutting and pruning every yeare kept downe: so as all their whole strength is either drawne without forth into branches, or els downward into the root for to put out new shoots ever fresh out of the ground: and regard is onely had of the fruit and juice that they doe yeeld diverse waies, according to the temperature of the aire & climate, or the nature of the soile wherein they be planted. In the countrey of Campaine about Capua,3 they bee set at the roots of Poplers, and (as it were) wedded unto them: and so being suffered to wind and claspe about them as their husbands, yea, and with their wanton armes or tendrils to climbe aloft, and with their joints to run up their boughes, they reach up to their head, yea, and overtop them: insomuch as the grape-gatherer in time of Vintage, putteth in a clause in the covenants of his bargaine when hee is hired, that in case his foot should faile him, and he breake his necke, his maister who sets him aworke should give order for his funerall fire and tombe at his owne proper cost and charges. And in truth Vines will grow infinitely: and unpossible it is to part them, or rather to plucke them from the trees which they be joined and coupled unto. Valerianus Cornelius making mention of many properties and singularities of a vine, thought this among the rest worthie of especiall note and remembrance, That one onely stocke of a Vine was sufficient to compasse and environ round about a good ferme-house or countrey messuage, with the braunches and pliable shoots that it did put forth. At Rome there is one vine growing within the cloistures of the porches and galleries built by the Empresse Livia, which running and trailing upon an open frame of railes, covereth and shaddoweth the covert allies made for to walke in:4 and the same Vine yeeldeth one yeare with another a dozen Amphores of good new wine yearely. An ordinarie thing it is, that Vines will surmount any Elmes whatsoever, be they never so tall and loftie. It is reported, that Cyneas the Embassadour of king Pyrrhus, wondering at the Vines of Aricia, for that they grew and mounted so high; would needs tast of the wine that came of their grapes: and finding it to bee hard and tart, merrily skoffed and said, That by good right and justice they had done well, to hand the mother that bare such unpleasant wine, upon so high a gibbet. Beyond the river Po in Italie, there is a tree growing which the peasants there call Rumbotinus,5 by another name * Opulus; it putteth forth great armes and boughes, and those spread broad and beate a round compasse, howbeit, the Vines that be planted at the root of these trees, doe fill and cover the said boughes: for yee shall have the very old crooked braunches of the Vine (bare as they be and naked of leaves) to wind about the armes, and crawle in manner of a serpent or dragon along the broader and flatter base of the boughes, and then the new shoots, top twigs, and tendrils, will devide themselves to the utmost branches and shoots of the tree, that they will lode and clog her withall. These Vines again grow sometime no taller than the ordinarie height of a man of middle stature, and being supported and underpropped with stakes and forkes, cleave and cling thicke together, and in this order fill whole Vineyards. Others also there bee, which with their excessive creeping upon frames, with their overgrowne braunches, and some artificiall helpe of the maisters hand, spread so far every way, that they take up wide and large courts, overspreading not onely the sides, but the very mids thereof. See what sundrie sorts of Vines even Italie alone is able to affourd! But in some provinces without Italie, ye shall see a Vine stand of it selfe without any prop or stay at all, gathering and drawing in her boughes and braunches together: thus indeed she groweth but short, howbeit so close couched and trussed round, that the thicknesse makes amends for all. And yet otherwhiles in some coasts the winds are so big and boisterous, that they will not suffer them thus to grow upright; as namely in Affricke, and Languedoc, the province of Narbon. Vines being thus debarred to run up in height, resting upon their owne joints and braunches, and ever like to those that be laid along whiles they are a trimming, by delving about their roots, and pruning their superfluous branches, traile and creepe too and fro along the ground, as weedes and hearbes; and all the way as they spread, sucke the humor of the earth into their grapes: by which meanes, no marvell it is, if in the inland parts of Affricke there bee found some of those grapes bigger than pretie babes. And in no countrie are the grapes of a thicker skin than those of Affricke, whereupon it may well be, that they took the name ** Duracina [i. having hard skins.] For infinite sorts there be of grapes, according to the difference observed in their quantitie and bignesse, in their colour, tast, stones or kernils: and yet more still, in regard of the divers wines made of them. In one place they are of a fresh and bright purple, in another, of a glittering, incarnate, and rosate colour: and yee shall have them of a faire and lively greene. As for the white and blacke grapes, they be common every where. The grapes Burnasti have their name, for that they bee so swelling and round, like strutting paps or dugs. The Date grapes Dactyli, are long, both grape and kernill, fashioned in manner of fingers. Moreover, Nature seemeth to take her pleasure and make good sport in some kind of them, where ye shall find among them some that be exceeding great, others againe that be as small, howbeit pleasant they are, and as sweet as the rest: and such be called Leptorrhagæs.6 Some last all winter long, being knit in bunches together, and so hanged aloft arch-wise in manner of a vault: with others they make no more ado, but put them up presently as they come from the vine, into earthen pots, whiles they be fresh & in their vigor; and afterwards they are bestowed, well lapped over with their leaves, in other greater vessels over them; and for to keepe them better, they be stopped close with kernels heaped and piled upon, sweating round about, to condite and preserve them in their naturall heat. Others they suffer to be dried in the smoke of smiths forges, wherby they get the very tast of enfumed wine, so ordered in the smoke. And in truth Tiberius Cæsar the Emperour gave especiall credite and name by his example to such grapes dried in the furnaces of Affricke. For before his time, the Rhetian grapes and those that came out of the territorie of Verona, were ordinarily served up to the table first, for the very best. As for the Raisins called Passæ, they took that name in latine of their patience to endure their drying and confiture. Some grapes there be that are condite in Must or new wine, and so they drinke their owne liquor wherein they lie soking, without any other seething. Others againe are boiled in Must abovesaid, untill they loose their own verdure, and become sweet and pleasant. Moreover, yee shall see old grapes hang still upon the Vine of their mother, until new come: but within glasses, that a man may see them easily through:7 howbeit, to make them to last and continue in their full strength, as well as those which bee preserved in barrels, tuns, and such like vessels aforesaid, they use the helpe of pitch or tarre, which they poure upon the stalkes that the cluster hangeth to, and wherewith they stop close the mouth of the said glasse.8 It is not long since that there was a devise found, that wine of it selfe (as it came naturally from the grape growing upon the Vine) should have a smacke and sent of pitch. And surely this kind of *** Pitch-wine, brought the territorie about Vienna9 into great name and reputation: and before that this Vine was knowne, those of Auverne, Burgundie, and the Helvij were in no request at all. But these devises as touching Vines and Wines, were not in the daies of the Poët Virgil, who died about ninetie yeares past. But behold what I have to say more of the Vine-tree: the Vine wand is now entred into the campe, and by it our armies are raunged into battaillons: nay, upon the direction thereof dependeth the maine estate of our soveraigne Empire: For the Centurion hath the honour to carie in his hand a Vine rod: the good guidance and ordering whereof advaunceth after long time the Centeniers (for a good reward of their valorousness and faitthfull service) from the leading of inferiour bands, to the captaineship of that regiment and cheefe place in the armie, unto which the maine standard of the Ægle is committed: yea, and more than that, the Vine wand chastiseth the trespasses and lighter offences of the souldiors; who take it for no dishonour nor disgrace to be thus punished at their Centurions hand. Over and besides, the planting of Vineyards hath taught martiall men how to approch the walls of their enemies, to give an assault under a frame devised for the purpose, which thereupon took the name of Vinea. Lastly, for medicinable vertues in Physicke, the Vine is so profitable to mans health, that the use of it alone is a sufficient remedie for the distemperature of mans bodie, caused by wine it selfe.
Of the diverse kinds of Vines.
Democritus was the onely Philosopher ever known, who made profession to reduce all the sorts and kinds of Vines to a certaine number, and indeed he vaunted and made his boast that he had the knowledge of all things that were in Greece. All others besides himselfe, and those comming nearer to the truth, (as shall appear more evidently by the varietie of wines) resolutely have set downe, that there be infinite sorts of Vine trees. Looke not therefore at my hands, that I should write of them all, but onely of the principall: for that in truth there bee in manner as many and as sundrie kinds of them, as are of grounds. Wherefore I will content my selfe, and thinke it sufficient to shew those that bee singular and most renowned among them; or such as have some secret proprietie worth admiration. And first to begin with the Aminean Vines, all the world giveth them the cheefe praise and greatest name; as well for their grapes, of so lasting and durable a nature, as for the wine made thereof, which in all places continueth long in vigor, and is ever the better for the age. And hereof there be five sundrie sorts. Of which, the kindly vines named Germanæ, have both lesse grapes and graines within, but they burgen and bloume better than others: and after the flower is gone, they can abide both raine and tempest. But the second kind (which is the grater) is not so hardie: howbeit, lesse subject to wind & weather when they be planted to run up a tree, rather than to creepe upon a frame. A third sort are called Gemellæ, for that their grapes grow double like twins, and they be very harsh and in tast untoothsome, howbeit their vertue and strength is singular. The smaller sort of these take harm by the South wind: but all other winds nourish them, as we may see in the mount Vesuvius, and the little hils of Surrentum: for in all other parts of Italie, yee shall never find them but wedded to trees, and growing upon them. As for the fift kind of Amminean Vines, they bee called Lanatæ, so freezed they are with a kind of downe, or cotton, insomuch as we need not wonder any more at the Seres or Indians for their cotton and silken trees.10 The first kind of these Amminean grapes come soonest to their ripenesse and perfection, and most quickly do they rot and putrifie. Next to these Amminean Vines, those of Nomentum11 are in most account: and for that their wood is red, some have called them Rubellæ. These grapes yeeld no great plentie of wine, but in stead thereof their stones and kernils, and other refuse remaining, grow to an exceeding big cake: howbeit, this propertie they have. The frost they will endure passing well, lesse harme they take also by raine than drought, and thrive better in cold than heat: and therefore in cold and moist grounds they excell and have no fellow. Of these vines, they are more plentifull which beare grapes with smaller stones, and leaves with lesse cuts and jags endented. As touching the Muscadell Vines, Apianæ, they tooke that name of Bees, which are so much delighted in them, and desirous to settle and feed of them. Of two sorts they are: and both carie cotton and down. Howbeit, this difference is betweene them, that the grapes of the one will bee sooner ripe than the other, and yet there is neither of them both but be hastie ynough. These Muscadell grapes like well and love cold countries: and yet none sooner rot than they, if showers take them. The Muscadell wines are at the first sweet: but with age become harsh and hard, yea, and red withall. And to conclude, there is not a grape that joieth more to hang upon the vine, than it doth.12 Thus much of the very flower of Vines, and the principall grapes that be familiar and proper unto our countrey of Italie, as their native soile.
The rest be straungers come out of Chios or Thasos. As for the Greeke grapes of Corinth,13 they be not in goodnesse inferior to the Aminean aforesaid. They have a very tender stone within: and the grape it selfe is so small, that unlesse the soile be exceeding fat and battle, there is no profite in planting and tending such Vines. The quicke sets of the Vine Eugenia were sent unto us from the Taurominitane hils in Sicilie, together with their surname pretending a noble and gentle race. Howbeit, they are never in their kind with us, but onely in the Albane countrey: for if you transplant them, they prove very bastards and changelings presently. And in faith, some Vines there be that take such an affection and love to a place, that all their goodnesse and excellence they will leave there behind them, and never passe into another quarter whole and entire as they be in their owne nature. Which evidently is to bee seene in the Rhetian Vine, and that of Savoy and Dauphinie, of which in the chapter before we said, that it gave the tast of pitch to the wine made thereof: for, these Vines at home in those countries are much renowned for the said tast: but elsewhere if they bee transplanted, they loose it whole, and no such thing may a man acknowledge in them. Howbeit, plentifull such are, and for default of goodnes, they make amends and recompence in abundance fo wine that they yeeld. As for the Vine Eugenia, it taketh well in hote grounds. The Rhetian liketh better in a temperate soile. The Allobrogian Vine of Savoy and Dauphine delighteth most in cold quarters: the frost it is that ripeneth her grapes, & commonly they are of colour blacke. Of all the grapes above rehearsed, the wines that be made, the longer they be kept, the more they change colour & in the end become white, yea, though they came of blacke grapes, and were of a deepe colour at first. Now for all other grapes whatsoever, they are reckoned but base in comparison of the former. And yet this is to bee noted and observed, that the temperature of the aire may be such, and the soile so good, that both the grapes will endure long, and the wine bear the age very well. As for example, the vine Fecenia, and likewise Biturica, that bloumeth with it, which beare grapes with few stones within: their flowers never miscarie, for they ever prevent and come so timely, that they be able to withstand both wind and weather. Howbeit, they doe better in cold places than in hote: in moist also, than in drie. And to say a truth, there is not a vine more fruitfull, and yeelding such store of grapes growing so thicke together in clusters:14 but of all things it may not away with variable and inconstant weather: let the season be staied and settled, it matters not then whether it bee hot or cold, for well it will abide the one and the other alone, hold it never so long. The lesser of this kind is held for the better. Howbeit, in choosing of a fit soile for this vine, it is much adoe to please and content it: in a fat ground it soone rotteth; in a light and lean, it will not grow at all: very choise it is therefore, daintie, and nice, in seeking a middle temper betweene, and therefore it taketh a great liking to the Sabine hills, and there it loves to be. The grapes that it beareth, be not so beautifull to the eye, but pleasant to the tooth: if you make not the more hast to take them presently when they be ripe, they will fall off, although they bee not rotten. This vine putteth foorth large and hard leaves, which defend the grapes well against hailestones.
Now there are besides, certain notable grapes of a middle colour between black and purple, and they alter their hue oftentimes; whereupon some have named them Varianæ:15 and yet the blacker they be, the more they are set by: they beare grapes but each other yeare, that is to say, this yeare in great plentie, the next yeare very little: howbeit, their wine is the better when they yeeld fewer grapes. Also there be two kinds of vines called Pretiæ,16 differing one from the other in the bignesse of the stones within the grape: full of wood and braunches they are both: their grapes are very good to be preserved in earthen pots: and leafed they be like to Smallach. They of Dyrrhachium doe highly praise the Roiall vine Basilica, which the Spaniards call Cocolobis. The grapes grow but thin upon this plant: they can well abide all South winds, and hote weather: they trouble and hurt the head, if a man eat much of them.17 In Spaine they make two kinds of them; the one having a long stone or grain within, the other a round: these be the last grapes that are gathered in time of vintage. The sweeter grape that the Cocolobis beareth, the better it is thought: howbeit that which was hard and tart at the first, will turne to bee pleasant with keeping; and that which was sweet, will become harsh with age: and then they resemble in tast, the Albane wine: and men say, there is an excellent drink made thereof, to help diseases and infirmities of the bladder. As touching the vine Albuëlis, it beareth most grapes in the tops of trees, but Visula is more fruitfull beneath toward the root: and therefore if they be set both under one and the same tree, a man shall see the diversitie of their nature, and how they will furnish and enrich that tree, from the head to the foot. There is a kind of blacke grape, named Inerticula,18 as a man would say, dull and harmelesse; but they that so called it, might more justly have named it The sober grape: The wine made therof is very commendable when it is old, howbeit nothing hurtfull for never maketh it any man drunke; and this propertie hath it alone by it selfe. As for other other vines, their fruitfulnes doth commend them; and namely above all, that which is called Helvenaca: wherof be two kinds; the greater, which some name The long: and the smaller, called Arca19: not so plentifull it is as the former, but surely the wine thereof goeth downe the throat more merrily. It differeth from the other in the perfect and exquisite roundnes of the leafe, as it were drawne by compasse: but both the one and the other is very slender, and therefore of necessitie they must be underpropped with forkes, for otherwise they will not beare their own burden, so fruitfull they be. They delight greatly to growe neare the sea side, where they may have the vapours of the sea to breath upon them: and indeed their very grapes have a sent and smell of a brackish dew.20 There is not a vine can worse brooke Italie. Her grapes are small, they hang thin, and rot even upon her: and the wine made thereof, will not last above one Summer: and yet (on the other side there is not a vine that liketh better in an hungrie and leane ground. Græcinus (who otherwise compiled his worke out of Cornelius Celsus in manner word for word) is of this opinion, That this vine could love Italie well enough, and that of the owne nature it misliketh not the countrey; but the cause why it thriveth no better there, is the want of skill and knowledge to order and husband it as it ought to bee; for that men strive to overcharge it with wood, and load it with too many braunches: and were it not that the goodnes of a fat and rich soile maintained it still, beginning to faint and decay, the fruitfulnesse thereof were enough to kill it. This vine (by report) is never blasted:21 a singular gift verily of Nature, if it be true, That any plant or tree should bee so exempt from the jurisdiction (as it were) of the heavens, that they had no power to doe it harme. The vine Spionia, which some call Spinea, feareth no extremitie of heat: her grapes prosper well in Autumne and much abundance of raine: This is the only grape that is nourished with foggie mists, and therefore it liketh no place well but the territory of Ravenna. The vine Venicula22 (which is counted one of the best for kindly blooming and shedding the flowers, and for grapes most meet to be preserved and kept in pots) the Campaines rather name Sirculus; others Stacula: and they of Tarracina call it Numisiana: and as they say, the grape therof hath no singularitie nor vertue in it selfe, but only according to the soile where it groweth: howbeit those that grow about Surrentum, have the most strength, and are excellent to bee preserved in vessels; I meane, as farre as up to the hill Vesuvius: for there also is the vine Murgentina, the best of all those that come out of Sicilie, which some call Pompeiana, of Pompeii, a towne within the kingdome of Naples: & being gotten once into Latium, it beareth grapes abundantly: like as the vine Horconia in Campaine, yeeldeth plentie of grapes with the best, but good they are for nothing save only to be eaten at the table. As for the grape Mærica, it will last and endure a long time; it feareth neither wind nor tempest, nor any blast of planet: blacke it is, and hath blacke stones: howbeit the wine that it maketh, waxeth red with age, namely, if it be long kept.
Of the divers kinds likewise of vines according to the properties of the places and regions where they grow.
Hitherto have we treated of the sundrie sorts of vines in generall: now will we write of them according to the nature of the places and regions, which are proper and familiar unto them; or, as they be mingled one with another, by transplanting and graffing. And first and formost, the vine Tudernis;23 also Florentia (bearing the name of the citie Florence) are peculiar to the Tuscans: but about Aretium, there is no talke both for plentie and goodnesse, but of the Talpana,24 Etesiaca, and Conseminia. The Talpane grape is blacke as the Mouldwarpe, wherof it taketh the name,25 but yet doth it yeeld a white wine. The Etesiacke vine [so called of the winds Etesiæ26] is a deceitfull plant, and often misseth and faulteth; but the more grapes it beareth, the better wine it yeeldeth and more commendable: mary this is straunge and wonderfull in it, In the mids of this fruitfulnesse of hers, she giveth over sodainly and dieth. The vine Conseminia, bringeth blacke grapes: the wine will not last, but the grapes will keepe and continue passing long: the vintage thereof is fifteene daies after all other: it beareth ordinarily her full burden, but the fruit is onely good for meat to be eaten, and not for wine to be drunke. The leaves of this vine (in manner of the wild vine Labrusca) before they fall, become as red as bloud. This propertie happeneth to some others besides; but take it for a certaine token of the worst vines. The vine and grape Irtiola,27 is proper unto Umbria, to the territorie of the Mevenates, and the Picene countrey: like as that which they call Pumula, to the Amiternine region. They have among them also another kind, named Bannanica: and although it oftentimes doth not take, yet they love the plant and cherish it. There is a grape which they call the Burrough or Burgeois grape, after the name of the burrough towne Pompeij; and yet there is more plentie of them bout the citie Clusium. The Tiburtines also, named their grapes after their town Tybur: yet of late daies they have found another sort, which of the resemblance of Olives, is called the Olive grape: and in truth, this is the last grape of any account, to this day knowne to have been found out. The Sabins and Laurentines only are acquainted with the grape Vinaciola: for well I wot, that the vines Gauranæ came first out of the territorie of Falerij, and thereupon were named Falernæ: but transplant them from thence whithersoever you will, they will very quickly degenerat in all places, & prove bastard. Moreover, some have made a several kind by it selfe of the Tarentin vine,28 which bringeth forth an exceeding sweet grape. As for the grapes called Capnias,29 Bucconiatis, and Tarrupia, there is no vintage of them in the vineyards of the hils about Thurinum, before the cold frost. As for the citizens of Pisæ, they set great store by the grapes Phariæ: like as Modenna by those Prusiniæ;30 which are very black, stone and all: yet the wine therof, within foure yeeres will turne to a pallet and whitish colour. A straunge thing it is which men report of a certaine grape, that evermore will turne with the Sunne; and thereupon it is called Streptos:31 as also that we in Italie are delighted with the French grapes and they in Fraunce beyond the Alpes, are much in love with our in the Picene countrey. Virgill hath made mention of other grapes, namely, Thasiæ, Mareotides, and Lageæ,32 besides many other outlandish plants, not at this day to be found throughout all Italy. Howbeit there be yet many vines of good marke & well accepted of, not for any wine that they yeeld, but only for their grapes which they carie; to wit, Ambrosiaca, and Duracina, which may be kept hanging still upon the vine, without any vessell to enclose them: so durable be they and hardie, against cold, heat, wind, and rain, or any weather whatsoever. As for the vine Orthampelos, it needs neither tree to climb on, nor forkes to support it, but is able to maintaine and uphold it selfe upright. But the Dactylides (so called for that they beare not wood above a finger thicke) cannot so doe: for they must be shored and underpropped. Of all vines, the Columbines yeeld most gleaning, for that the gatherers leave behind them greatest store of small grapes: and so doe the purple grapes, named also Bimammiæ (as one would say, with two teats or bigs) more than the rest; seeing that they beare not small grapes, but put forth new great ones indeed, after the other be gathered and gone. In like manner, the vine Tripedanea, which tooke that name of the measure of three foot. Semblably the vine Scirpula, the grapes wherof seeme as if they were Raisons of the sunne, dried alreadie. Moreover, in the maritime Alpes toward the sea side, there is a kind of Rhetian vine, but far inferiour to that other above-mentioned and so much commended for the rellish of pitch that it giveth to the wine made of her grapes: for these about the Alpes be little and small; and albeit they beare grapes thicke, yet the wine thereof commeth farre short of the other, and is more degenerate: howbeit the skin of the grapes is of all other the thinnest, having but one kernell within, which they call Gigarton,33 and the same very small; and a man shall not find a bunch, without one or two passing great grapes above the rest. There is also a kind of blacke Aminean grape, which some name Syriaca: likewise the grape of Spaine, which of the base and common kinds carrieth the greatest credit, and is most commended. As touching both vines and grapes that run and traile upon frames; there be those which are called Escariæ, good only for to eat, and namely those which have graines or stones like to Ivie berries, as well white as black. Grapes resembling grat dugs, named thereupon Bumasti, both blacke and white, are caried upon frames in like sort. But all this while we have not spoken of the Ægyptian34 and Rhodian grapes, ne yet of the Ounce-grapes,35 whereof every one weigheth a good ounce, and thereupon tooke that name. Item, the grape Pucina,36 the blackest of all others: the Stephanitis also, wherein Nature hath seemed to disport her selfe, for the leaves runne among the grapes in manner of a guirland plaited with them.37 Moreover, the market-grapes called Forenses, they grow and are ripe with the soonest; vendible at the very first sight, and sold with the best, and most easie to be carried from market to market. But contrariwise, the ash-coloured grape Cinerea, the silke-russet grape Ravuscula, the asse-hued grape Asinisca,38 please not the eye, but are presently rejected: and yet the fox-tailed grape Alopecis (for that it resembleth Rainards taile) is not so displeasant nor so much discommended as the former. About a cape or crest of the Hill Ida, which they call Phalacra, there is a vine named Alexandrina, small of growth, and putteth forth braunches of a cubit in length: the grapes be blacke, as big as beanes; the pepin or kernell within, soft, tender, and exceeding small; the bunches are crooked, full of grapes, passing sweet; & finally, the leaves little, round, and not cut or jagged at all. Within these seven yeeres last past, about Alba Elvia, a citie in Languedocke or the province of Narbon, there was found a vine, which in one day both flowred and shed her flowers: by which meanes most secured it was from all daungers of the weather. They call it Narbonica, or the vine of Languedoc: and now it is commonly planted all that province over, and every man desireth to store his vineyard therewith.
Notable considerations about the husbandrie and ordering of Vineyards.
That noble and worthy Cato, the first of that name, renowmed among other dignities for his honorable triumph, and the incorrupt administration of his Censorship;39 & yet more famous and renowmed to posteritie for his singular knowledge and learning; and namely for the good precepts and ordinances tending to all vertues and commendable parts, which hee left in memorie for the people of Rome; and principally as touching agriculture [as he was by the common voice and generall accord of that age wherein hee lived reputed for an excellent husbandman, and one who in that profession had neither peere nor second that came neare unto him.] This Cato (I say) hath in his workes made mention but off a few kinds of vines: and yet some of them alreadie be growne out of knowledg, so as their very names are quite forgotten. Yet neverthelesse his opinion and judgement would be set downe in particular, as it may be gathered out of his whole treatise: to the end that we might both know in every kind of vine which were of most account in his daies (to wit, in the 600 year after the foundation of Rome, about the time that Carthage and Corinth were forced and woon, when hee departed this life:) and also learne how much we have profited and proceeded in good husbandrie and agriculture, from his death unto this present day; namely for the space of 230 yeares. As concerning vines and grapes therefore, thus much hath Cato delivered in writing, and in this manner following.40 All places or grounds (quoth he) exposed to the Sun-shine, and which in other regards shall be found good for to plant vineyards in, see they be employed for the lesse Aminean, for both the Eugenian vines, and the smaller Helvine. Item, in every tract that is more grosse, thicke, and misty, looke that you set the greater Aminean, or the Murgentine: the Apician also, and the Lucane vine. All other vines, and the common mingled sort especially, will agree well enough with any ground. The right keeping of grapes, is in a small thin wine of the second running. The grapes Duracina, and the greater Aminean, are good to be hanged, or else dried before a black-smithes forge, and so they may be well preserved and goe for Raisons of the Sunne. Loe what the precepts of Cato be; neither are there any of this argument more auncient, left unto us written in the Latine tongue. Whereby we may see, that wee live not long after the very first rudiments and beginnings of knowledge in these matters. [But by the way, the Amineans last named, Varro calleth Scantians.] And in very truth, few there be even in this our age, who have left any rules in forme of Art, as touching the absolute skill in this behalfe. Yet such as they be, and how few soever, wee must not leave them behind, but so much the rather take them with us; to the end it may be known, what reward and profit they met with, who travailed in this point of husbandrie: reward, I say, and profit, which in every thing is all in all.
To begin therefore with Acilius Sthenelus, (a meane commoner of Rome descended from the race of Libertines or Slavs newly enfranchised) he attained to the highest glorie and greatest name of all others: for having in the whole world not above sixtie acres of land lying all in vineyards within the territorie of Nomentum,41 he plaied the good husband so well therein, that he sold them againe at the price of 400000 Sesterces. There went a great bruit and fame likewise of one Verulenus Aegialus, in his time a man but of base condition by birth, and no better than the former (namely, come of the stocke of freed-men) who by his labour and husbandrie, greatly enriched a domaine or living at Liternum in Campaine:42 and the more renowmed hee was by occasion of the favour of so many men affectionate unto Africanus, whose very place of exile he held in his hands and occupied so well: for unto Scipio, the abovesaid Liternum appertained.43 But the greatest voice and speech of men was of Rhemnius Palamon (who otherwise by procession was a famous and renowmed Grammarian) for that hee by the meanes and helpe of the aforesaid Sthenelus, bought a ferme within these twentie yeares for 600000 Sesterces in the same territorie of Nomentum, about ten miles distant from Rome, lying somewhat out of the high way. Now it is well knowne farre and neare, of what price and account all such fermes are, and how cheape such ware is lying so neare to the city side: but among the rest, this of Palæmons in that place was esteemed most cheape and lowest prised, in this regard especially, That he had purchased those lands, which through the carelesnesse & bad husbandrie of he former owners, lay neglected and fore-let, and were not of themselves thought to be of the best soile, chosen and piked from among the worst. But beeing entred once upon these grounds as his owne livelode and possession, he set in hand to husband and manure them, not so much of any good mind and affection that he had to improove and better any thing that he held, but upon a vaineglorie of his owne at the first, whereunto he was wonderously given: for he makes fallows of his vine-plots anew, and delveth them all over againe, as he had seen Sthenelus to do with his before: but what with digging, stirring, and medling therewith, following the good example and husbandrie of Sthenelus, he brought his vineyards to so good a passe within one eight yeeres, that the fruit of one yeares vintage was held at 400000 Sesterces, and yeelded so much rent to the lord: a wonderfull and miraculous thing, that a ground should bee so much improoved in so small a time! And in verie truth, it was straunge to see what numbers of people would run thither only to see the huge and mightie heapes of grapes gathered in those vineyards of his: and all idle neighbours about him, whose grounds yeelded no such encrease, attributed all to his deepe learning, and that he went to it by his booke, & had some hidden speculation above other men; objecting against him, that he practised Art Magicke, and the blacke Science. But last of all Annæus Seneca, esteemed in those daies a singular clerke, and a mightie great man, (whose overmuch learning and exceeding power cost him his overthrowing in the end) one who had good skill and judgement in the world, and used least of all others to esteeme toies and vanities, brought this ferme into a greater name & credit: for so farre in love was he of this possession, that he bought out Palæmon, and was not ashamed to let him goe away with the prick and praise for good husbandrie, and to remoove him into other parts where he might shew the like cunning: and in one word, paid for these foresaid vineyards of his four fold as much as they cost, not above ten years before this good husbandrie was bestowed upon them. Certes, great pitie it is, that the like industrie was not shewed and emploied in the territories about the hills Cecubus and Setinus, where (no doubt) it would have well quit all the cost, considering that many a time afterwards, every acre of vineyard there, yeelded seven Culei, that is to say, 140 Amphores of new wine one year with another. But least any man should thinke, that we in these daies have surpassed our auncestors in diligence, as touching good husbandrie; know he, that the abovenamed Cato hath left in writing, How of an acre of vineyard there hath arisen ordinarily ten Culei of wine by the year. Certainly these be effectuall examples and pregnant proofes, that the hardie and adventurous voiages by sea, are not more advantageous; ne yet the commodities and merchandise, and namely Pearles, which be set as farre as the red sea and the Indian ocean, are more gainfull to the merchant, than a good ferme and homestall in the countrey, well tilled and carefully husbanded.
As touching the Wines in old time, Homer writeth, that the Maronean wine made of the grapes growing upon the sea-coast of Affricke, was the best and most excellent in his daies.44 But my meaning is not to ground upon fabulous tales and variable reports, as touching the excellencie or antiquitie of wine. True it is, that Aristæus was the first, who in that very nation mingled honey with wine; which must needs be a passing sweet and pleasant liquor, made of two natures so singular as they bee of themselves. and yet to come againe to the foresaid Maronean wine, the same Homer saith, That to one part thereof, there would be put twentie parts of water: and even at this day, that kind of wine continueth in the said land of the same force, and the strength thereof will not be conquered nor allaied. For Mutianus, who had been thrice Consull of rome, and one of those that latest wrote of this matter, found by experience (being himselfe personally in that tract) that every sextar or quart of that wine, would beare eight of water: who reporteth moreover, that the wine is of colour blacke, of a fragrant sweet smell, and by age commeth to be fat and unctious. Moreover, the Pramnian wine (which the same Homer hath so highly commended45) continueth yet in credit and holdeth the name still: it commeth from a vineyard in the countrey about Smyrna, neare to the temple of Cybele the mother of the gods. As for other wines, no one kind apart excelled other.
One yeare there was, when all wines proved passing good; to wit, when L. Opimius was consull, at what time as C. Gracchus a Tribune of the Commons (practising to sow sedition within the citie among the common people) was slaine:46 for then such seasonable weather happened, and so favourable for all fruit, that they called it (Coctura) as a man would say, the ripening time; so beneficiall was the Sunne to the earth: and this fell out in the yeere after the nativitie & foundation of the citie of Rome, 634.47
Moreover, there be some wines so durable, that they have been knowne to last two hundred yeeres; and are come now by this time to the qualitie and consistence of a rough, sharpe, and austere kind of honey: and this is the nature of all when they bee old: neither are they potable alone by themselves, unlesse the water be predominant; so tart they are of the lees and so mustie withall, that they are bitter againe. Howbeit a certaine mixture there is of them in a very small quantitie with other wines, that gives a pretie commendable tast unto them. Suppose now, that according to the price of wine in those daies of Opimius, every Amphore were set but at an hundred Sesterces, yet after the usurie of six in the hundred yeerely (which is the ordinarie proportion and a reasonable interest among citizens, for the principall that lyeth dead and dormant in stocke) by the hundred and sixtieth yeere after the said Amphore was bought (which fell out in the time that C. Caligula Cæsar the son of Germanicus was Emperour48) no marveile if an ounce in measure of the same wine (to wit, the twelfth part of a Sextarius) cost ¶ so many Sesterces: for as we have shewed by a notable example, when we set downe the life of Pomponius Secundus the Poët, and the feast that he made to the said prince Caligula, there was not a ¶¶ Cyathus of that wine drawne, but so much was paid for it. Loe what a deale of money lieth in these wine-cellars, for keeping of wine! And in very truth, there is nothing more gainfull nor groweth to a better reckoning than it, for twentie yeares space after it is laid up: neither is there greater losse againe by any thing, if ye passe that tearme; by reason that the price will not grow and rise accordingly: for seldome hath it been knowne to this day, (and never but at some excessive ryot and superfluous expence of wine) that an Amphore hath been sold for a thousand Sesterces. True it is indeed, that they of Vienna only have made a better reckoning of their wines, and sold them deerer: I meane those that give a tast of pitch, (the several kinds whereof we have delivered before:49) but they are thought so to doe among themselves onely, and for the love of their countrey, that it might have the name of wines, so deere and costly. To conclude, this wine of vienna, is reputed colder than the rest; when the question is of cold drinke, and that the bodie is to be cooled.
Of the nature of Wine.
The nature and propertie of wine, is to heat the bowels within, if it be drunke; and to coole the exteriour parts, if it be applied outwardly. And here it shall not be amisse to rehearse in this very place, that which Androcydes (the noble, sage, and wise Philosopher) wrote unto King Alexander the Great, for to correct and reforme his intemperate drinking of wine, whereto he was very prone and over-much given: My good lord (saith he) remember when you take your wine, that you drinke the very blood of the earth: Hemlocke (you know Sir) is poison to man, even so is wine to Hemlocke. Now if that Prince had been so wise as to have obeyed these precepts of his, certes, he could never have killed his best friends as he did, in his fits of drunkennesse. In summe, this may be truly said of wine, That being taken soberly and in measure, nothing is more profitable to the strength of the bodie; but contrariwise, there is not a thing more dangerous and pernicious, than the immoderate drinking thereof.
Of kindly wines made of the best Grapes.
Who doubteth, that some wines be made more pleasant and acceptable than others? nay out of the very same vat ye shall have wines not alike in goodnes, but that some go before their brethren, pressed though they be at one time, and from the same kind of grape: which may be long either of the vessell whereinto they be filled, or of some accidentall occasion: and therefore as touching the excellencie of wine, let every man be his own taster and judge. The Empresse Iulia Augusta would commonly say, That she was beholden to the Pucine wine for living as she did 82 yeares:50 for she never used to drinke any other. This wine came of the grape that grew along the Adriaticke sea, or Venice gulfe, upon a stonie and raggie hill, not farre from the source or spring of the river Timavus, nourished with the vapours breathed from the sea; and many Amphores there were not drawne thereof at a vintage: and by the judgement of all men, there is not a wine more medicinable than it is. I would thinke verily therefore, that the wine Pyctanon (which the Greekes so highly praise) is the very same; for it commeth from the coasts of the Adriaticke sea.51 The emperor Augustus Cæsar preferred the Setine wine above before all others: and after him in manner, all the Emperours his successours, for the ordinarie experience they found thereby, That lightly the liquor of that wine would not hinder digestion nor breed raw humors in the stomacke: and this wine commeth of the grape about the towne Forum Appij. Before that time, the wine Cæcubum was in best account; and the vines which yeelded it, grew to the Poplars in the marish grounds within the tract of Amyclæ.52 But now is that wine cleane gone, as well through the negligence of the paisants of that countrey, as the streights of the place: and so much the rather, by reason of the ditch or trench which Nero caused to be made navigable, beginning at the lake or gulfe Bajanus, and reaching as farre as to Ostia. In the second degree of excellencie, are ranged the wines of the Falerne territorie, and principally that which came from the vineyards of Faustian:53 and this excellencie it grew unto by passing good order & carefull husbandrie. Howbeit this wine also in these daies beginneth to grow out of name and request, whiles men love rather to have plentie from their vines, than otherwise lay for the goodnes thereof. Now these Falerne vineyards, begin at the Campaine bridge on the left hand as men go to the city-colonie erected by Sylla, and lately laid to Capua & under the jurisdiction thereof. But the Faustian vineyards lie about foure miles from a village neare Cediæ, which village is from Sinuessa six miles distant. And to say a truth, this Faustian wine is inferiour to none in reputation: so piercing and quicke it is, that it will burne of a light flame, a propertie that you shall not see in any other wine. Three sorts there be of these Falerne wines: the first be hard and harsh; the second, sweet and pleasant; the third, thin and small.54 But some have distinguished them in this wise: Those that come from the top of the hills, be called Gaurane wines; from the mids, Faustian; and last of all from the bottome and foot thereof, the Falerne. But by the way this would not be forgotten, That the grapes whereof be made these wines so singular and excellent, are nothing pleasant to the tast for to be eaten. As touching the Albane wines from about Alba neare the citie of Rome, they reach to the third ranke in goodnes, for a certaine varietie they have in their tast: sweetish they be, and yet otherwhiles they have an unripe and harsh rellish of the wood, & tast like the hedge-wine.55 In like manner the wines of Surrentum, & namely those of grapes growing onely in vineyards, are excellent good for weake persons that be newly recovered of sicknesse; so small they are, and holesome withall. And in truth, Tyberius Cæsar was woont to say, That the Physicians had laid their heads togither, and agreed to give the Surrentine wine so great a name; for otherwise it was no better than a very mild and pleasant vinegre: and C. Caligula (his successor in the Empire) used to say of it, That for a wine that had lost the heart and was a going, it was verie good.56 The Massike wines, which come from the Gaurane hills looking toward Puteoli and Bajæ, come nothing behind the rest, but strive to match them every way. For as touching the Statane vineyards, that confine and border upon the Falerne, their wines doubtlesse are now come to be the principall and chiefe of all the rest: whereby it is evidently seene, that every territorie and vine-plot hath their times and seasons, like as all other things in the world, one while rise and another while fall. For in times past, the Calene wines made of the grapes growing hard by Rome, were wont to goe before all others: as also the Fundane vines of their time, as well those that are planted in vineyards, as they which run upon trees: like as those of the other side, neare also to the citie of Rome, and namely from Veliternum and Privernum. For as touching the wine of Signia, it is held for a medicine onely; and by reason of an astringent verdure that it hath, it is excellent good to stay the flux of the belly.57 In the fourth place of this race of vines, Iulius Cæsar (late Emperour of famous memorie) hath raunged (for to serve the publicke and solemne feasts of the cittie) the Mamertine wines, from about Messana in Sicilie: for he was the first (as appeareth by his letters missive) that gave credit and authoritie unto them. And of those, the Potulane wines (so called of them who first planted the vines wherof they came) are most commended, & namely those that are upon the next coast of Italy. Within the same Sicilie, the Taurominitane vines are highly esteemed, insomuch as many times they goe for Messana wine, and are so sold by whole pottles. Now for all other wines from about the coast of the Tuscane sea Northward, good reckoning is made of the Prætutian and such as come from Ancone: also of the Palmesian58 wines, which haply took that name, for that the first plant of that vine came from a Palme or Date tree. But in the midland parts of Italie within the firme land, good regard there is of the Cesenatian and Mecænatian wines. Within the territorie of Verona, the Rhetian wine carrieth the price: which Virgill ranged next after the Falerne wines.59 Anon you come to the wines Adriane, and those that grow far within the tract of the Venice gulfe. Now from the nether sea about Lions, ye have the Latiniensian, the Graviscane, and the Statonian wines. Throughout all Tuscane, the wines about Luna beare the name: like as those of Genes, for Liguria. Between the Pyrenæan hills and the Alpes, Massiles hath the commendation for wines of a double tast: for the vines there, do yeeld a certain thicke and grosse wine, which they call Succosum, [i. full of juice and liquor] good to season other wines, and to give them a pretie tast. When ye are passed once into Fraunce or Gaule, the wine of Beterræ is in chiefe request.60 As for the rest of Languedoc and the province of Narbon, I am not able to avouch any thing for certain, such a brewing and sophistication of them they make, what with fuming, perfuming, and colouring them: and would God they put not in some hearbs and drugs among, that be not good for mans bodie. For certaine it is, that they commonly buy Aloë to give the wine both another tast and also a counterfeit color. Moreover, in the farther and more remote coasts of Italie toward the Ausonian sea, there be wines which are not without their praise and commendation, and namely those of Tarentum, Servitium, and Consentia: likewise of Tempsa, Bavia, and Lucania: howbeit the Thurine wine goeth before them all. As for the wines of Lagaria, which bee made of the grapes not farre from Grumentum, there goeth a right great name of them, by reason that Messala used ordinarily to drink thereof, and thereby was supposed to preserve his health so well. Of late daies there bee certain wines in Campaine growne into credite (like as they have gotten new names) by good ordering and husbandrie, or by chaunce, I know not whether; namely, those of Trebellia, foure miles from Naples; of Caulium neare to Capua: and last of al, the Trebulaine wines within their own territorie: for beforetime they were ever counted no better than common wines for every man to drinke, no more than the Trifolines, from whence they vaunt of their descent. As for the wine of Pompeij, a towne in the kingdome of Naples,61 neither it nor the Vine whereof it commeth, will last above ten years at the most: after which tearme, the elder they both bee, the worse they are. Besides, they are found by experience to cause the headach, insomuch, as if a man drink thereof over night, hee shall be sure not to have his head in good tune untill noone the morrow after. By which examples above rehearsed, it is plaine in my conceit, that the goodnesse of the wine standeth much upon the soile and the climate, and not in the grape: so as a needlesse and endlesse matter it is to reduce all kind of wines to a certaine number, considering, that one and the selfsame Vine planted in diverse places, hath sundrie operations, and maketh varietie of wines. Now as concerning the wines of Spaine, the Laletane vineyards are much spoken of for the plentie and abundance of wine that they yeeld: but those of Tarracon, Arragon, and Laurone, are much praised and renowned for the fine and neat wines which they make. As for the wines that come out of the Islands, and namely, the Baleares, they are comparable to the very best in Italie.
I am not ignorant, that most men who shall read this Treatise, will thinke that I have omitted and overpassed many wines: for every man liketh his owne; and as ones fancie leadeth, so goeth the voice and the crie, and there runs the Hare away. It is reported, that one of Augustus Cæsars freed men (reputed for the finest taster that hee had about his court, and who knew best what would content his pallat, and please his tooth) upon a time when he tasted the wine that was for the Emperours bourd, at what time as he made a feast, said to one of the guests at the table, That the said wine indeed had a new and straunge tast, and was none of the best, and those that were in name; howbeit (quoth he) this is for the Emperours cup, and willingly will he drinke of no other, notwithstanding it be but a homely wine made hereby in the countrey, and not far fetched. And now for a small conclusion of this matter, I cannot denie but that there bee other wines which deserve to bee numbered among those that are right good and commendable, howbeit, suffice it shall to have written of these, which by the common opinion and consent of the world are held for the better.
Of Wines beyond-sea.
It remaineth now to speake of outlandish Wines beyond the sea. First and formost therefore, next to those wines renowned by the Poët Homer, and whereof we have written before, best esteemed alwaies were the wines of the Islands Thasos and Chios: and namely that of Chios which they call Arusium or Arvisium.62 Erasistratus the most famous Physician of his time, matched with these the Lesbian wine; and his authoritie gave credite unto it: & this was much about the sixe hundred63 yeare after the foundation of Rome. But in these daies there is no wine to that of Clazomene, ever since that they began to put thereto lesse sea-water for to season it than their custome was. As for the wine of Lesbos, it hath a sent and rellish of the salt water naturally of it selfe. Neither is the wine that commeth from the hill Tmolus in any regard as a wine to be drunk alone but it serveth as a sweet cuit to mingle with other wines that bee hard:64 for thereby their greene verdure will seeme more mild and pleasant, yea, and withall to have their ripe age: for no sooner is it tempered therewith, but they tast presently elder than they bee. Next after these for goodnesse, follow in their course the wines of Cycione, Cypres, Telmessus, Tripolis, Berytus, Tyrus, and Sebennys. As for this wine last rehearsed, it is made in Ægypt, a countrey much renowned for three kinds of grapes there, to wit, Thasia, Æthalos, and Peuce. Next in price & account be these following, the Hippodomantian, the Mysticke, Cantharite, and the Gnidian wine of the first running and unpressed, also that of Catacecaumene,65 a region so called, for that it seemeth all burnt; of Petra, and Mycone. As for the wine of Melogites,66 it is knowne to make headach: neither is the wine of Ephesus holsome & healthfull, because it is sophisticated and with a kind of cuit halfe sodden, called Defrutum, and sea-water.67 As for the wine of Apamea, by report it commeth very neare to a kind of Mede, and will very well agree withall, like as Prætutium in Italie. For otherwise, this is the propertie in generall of all sweet wines, that they will not well sort together, & be good still. Touching the wine Protagium, it is now growne out of remembrance: and yet the Physicians of Asclepiades his sect and schoole, gave praise unto it next the Italian wines. The learned physician Apollodorus, in his treatise that he compiled of good wines, which he recommended unto king Ptolomæus for to drink, as meet for the health of his person, (for default of Italian wines then unknowne) highly praised the wines in Pontus, and principally that which is called Naspercenites: next to it the Orœoticke, the Oeneates, that of Leucadia, of Ambracia; and (which is preferreth above all the rest) the wine of Peparethus: and yet hee said, that there went the lesse name and opinion of it, because after sixe yeares it looseth the strength and pleasant tast that it had.68
Seven kinds of salt wine.
Thus farre forth have we discoursed of the very flower of good wines, according to the regions where naturally they come of the grape. And first, among such wines is that, which they call Biæon (an invention of the Greeks) which above all others was most esteemed: and great reason, for devised it was for the cure of many maladies, as we shall shew hereafter in our treatise of Physicke.69 The making whereof is in this manner: Take grapes gathered somewhat before they bee ripe: let them lie to drie and parch in the hot Sunne for three daies, and be turned duly thrice a day: upon the fourth day presse them forth for wine, put the liquor up in barrels, and so let it worke in the Sunne. Howbeit, hereto they put a good quantitie of salt sea-water. But this devise was learned first of a false theevish knave, who having robbed his maister and drunke up a good deale of his wine, filled up the vessel again and made just measure with sea-water. White wine if it bee ordered in this sort, is called Leucochrum70 by the Greekes: but in other nations the like wine so made is named Tethalassomenon. As for Thalassites, it is a kind of wine so called, for that the vessels when the wine is new tunned, be cast into the sea, and there let to remaine for a time, by which meanes the wine will soon seeme old and readie to be drunke. Furthermore, Cato also here among us hath shewed the way how to make the Greekish wine Coum, of our owne Italian wine: but above all hee hath set downe an expresse rule, to let it first take the maturitie and perfection foure yeares in the Sunne.71 As for the wine of Rhodes, it is much like to that of Coos. But the Phorinean wine is more salt than the wine of the Isle Coos. finally, all transmarine or beyond-sea wines are thought in seven or sixe yeares at the least to come unto their middle age.
Fourteene sorts of sweet wines.
Alwaies the sweeter they be in tast, the lesse fragrant & odoriferous they are: the thinner and smaller that they be, the more ever they smell to the nose.72 Of wines there be foure principall colours, white, yellow, red, and blacke.73 As for Psythium and Melampsythium, they be certaine kinds of cuit, having a severall tast apart by themselves, not resembling wine indeed. And for Cicibelites74 made in Galatia, it tasteth alwaies like new wine: so doth Halyntium in Sicilie. For as touching Syræum, which some call Hepsema, and we in Latine Sapa [i. Cuit] it is a meere artificiall thing, the devise of mans wit, and no worke of Nature: namely, when new wine is sodden away a third part: for when it boileth to the halfe, we call it Defrutum. And in very deed, all these bee inventions to sophisticate and counterfeite honie. But those beforenamed retaine the naturall tast of the grape and the soile whereof they doe consist. Next to these cuit-wines of Candie, those of Cilicia, Affrick, Italie, and the provinces confronting thereupon, are held for the best. Certaine it is, That they be made of one grape, which the Greekes call Stica,75 and we Apiana [i. the Muscadel] and of another named Scirpula: the which have been suffered a long time to hang in the Sunne upon the Vine untill they bee scorched or parched: or else over the vapour of scalding oile. Some there be that make them of any sweet grapes whatsoever, so that they be let to concoct before in the Sunne, untill they be white and drie, so farre forth, as little lesse than halfe of their weight be consumed: which done, they stamp them and so gently presse them: Then looke how much liquor they have pressed foorth, so much pit water they put to the cake that is pressed, that thereof they may hae a cuit of a second running. But they that be more curious & take upon them to make a daintier cut, drie the grapes in manner aforesaid, but they take forth the stones and graines within: they strip them also from the steeles and tailes that they hung by: and so after they bee well drenched and infused in some excellent wine, untill they bee swelled and plumpe, they presse them. And certainely this fashion is simplie the best of all others. Put to the cake thereof, water as before, and after the same manner yee shall have a cuit of a second sort. Now there is a kind of wine which the Greekes call Aigleuces, that is to say, alwaies sweet like new wine, of a middle nature betweene the common simple wine and the sweet: and this commeth not unto it by kind, but by heed taken in the boiling; for it is not suffered to seeth and worke: and this is the tearme, wherby is signified the alteration of new Must into wine. To hinder therefore that it worke not, (as naturally it will) they have no sooner tunned or filled it out of the Vat, but immediately they dousse the vessels full of new Must in the water, and let them there continue untill mid-December be past, and that the weather be setled to frost and cold, and likewise the time expired of the working within the said vessels. Moreover, there is another sort of wine naturally sweet, which in Provance & Languedoc is called Dulce [i. sweet]76 and namely, in the territorie of the Vocontians. For this purpose they let the grapes hang a long while upon the Vine, but first they wryth the steele that the bunch hanged to. Some make incision into the very Vine braunch, as farre as to the pith and marrow within (to diver the moisture that feedeth the grape:) others lay the clusters a drying upon tile-houses: and all this is done with the grapes of the vine Helvenaca. There be that range in a ranke of these sweet wines, that which they call Diachyton. For which effect, they drie the grapes against the Sunne (howbeit in a place well enclosed) for seven daies together, upon hardles, seven foot likewise from the ground: in the night season they save them from all dews, and so upon the eight day they tread them in the wine presse: and thus they draw forth a wine of an excellent savor and tast both. A kind of these sweet wines, is that which they name Melitites, [in manner of a Brager, Meade, or Metheglin.] Howbeit, different it is from meade or honied wine which the Latines call Mulsum; made of old wine that is hard, and a little honnie: whereas the foresaid Melitites consisteth of five gallons of new tart wine still in the verdure, whereto is added one gallon of honie, and a ¶¶¶ cyath of salt, and so boiled all together. But I must not forget to place among these sundrie kinds of drink, the liquor Protropum, for so some call new wine running it selfe from the grapes, before they bee trodden and pressed. But to have this good, and so to serve the turne, so soone as it is put up into proper vessels for the purpose, it must be suffered to worke: and afterwards to reboile and worke againe for fortie daies space the Summer following, even from the very beginning of the dog daies, and so forward.
Of weake and second Wines, three kinds.
The second Wines (which the Greekes call Deuteria, Cato and wee Romanes name Lora77) cannot properly and truly be called wines, being made of the skins and seeds of grapes steeped in water: howbeit, reckoned they are among course houshold wines for the hines and meinie78 to drinke. And three kinds there be of them. for sometime to the tenth part of the new wine that hath beene pressed out, they put the like quantitie of water, and suffer the foresaid refuse of the grapes to soke therein a day and a night: which done, they presse it forth againe. A second sort there is, which the Greekes were wont to make in this manner: They take a third part of water in proportion of the wine that was pressed forth, and after a second pressing, they seeth it to the wasting of the third part. The third is that which is pressed out of the wine lees, and this Cato calleth Fœcatum,79 [i. Wine of Lees.] But none of these wines or drinkes will endure above one yeare.
What neat wines began of late to be in request in Italie.
In this treatise I cannot omit this observation: That whereas all the good wines, properly so called and knowne in the whole world, may bee reduced in fourescore kinds or thereabouts; two parts of three in this number, may well be counted wines of Italie: which in this regard farre surpasseth all other nations. And hereupon ariseth another thing more deepely to be noted, That these good wines were not so rife nor in such credite from the beginning, as now they be.
Observations touching wine.
To say a truth, Wines began to grow into reputation at Rome, about six hundred yeares after the foundation thereof, and not before. For king Romulus used milke when hee sacrificed to the gods, and not wine: as may appeare by the ceremoniall constitutions by him ordained, as touching religion; which even at this day bee in force, and are observed. And king Numa his successour made this law Posthumia in his latter daies, Let no man besprinckle the funerall fire with wine. Which Edict no man doubteth but he published and enacted in regard of the great want and scarsitie80 of wine in those daies. Also by the same Act hee expressely did prohibite to offer in sacrifice to the gods, any wine comming of a Vine plant that had not been cut and pruned:81 intending by this devise and pretence of religion, to enforce men to prune their Vines, who otherwise would set their minds upon husbandrie only and plowing ground for corne, and bee slow ynough in hazarding themselves for to climbe trees, whereunto Vines were planted. M. Varro writeth, That Mezentius the king of Tuscane aided the Rutilians of Ardea in their wars against the Latines, for no other hire and wages but the wine and the vines which then were in the territorie of Latium.
Of the auncient usage of wine: and the wines in old time.
In auncient time, women at Rome were not permitted to drinke any wine.82 We read moreover in the Chronicles, That Egnatius Mecennius killed his owne wife with a cudgell, for that he tooke her drinking wine out of a tun; and yet was hee cleared by Romulus, and acquit of the murder.83 Fabius Pictor in his Annales reporteth, That a certaine Romane dame, a woman of good worship, was by her owne kinsfolke famished and pined to death, for opening a cupbord, wherein the keies of the wine-sellar lay. And Cato doth record, that hereupon arose the manner and custome, That kinsfolke should kisse women when they meet them to know by their breath whether they smelled of Temetum: for so they used in those daies to tearme Wine: and thereof drunkennesse was called in Latin Temulentia.84 Cn. Domitius (a judge in Rome) in the like case pronounced sentence judicially against a woman defendant, in this forme, That it seemed she had drunke more wine without her husbands knowledge, than was needfull for the preservation of her health, and therefore awarded definitively, That she should loose the benefit of her dowrie. Certes, the Romans for a long time made great spare of wine. L. Papyriuslord Generall of the Romane armie, when he was at the point to joine battell with the Samnites, made no other vow, but this, That he would offer under Iupiter a little cup or goblet of wine, in case hee atchieved the victorie and woon the field. Over and besides, we find in histories, that among donatives and presents, certaine sextars or quarts of milke have been many times given, but never any of wine. The same Cato abovenamed, after his voiage into Spaine (from whence he returned with victorie and triumph) in a solemne speech that hee made unto the people, professed in these words and said, No other wine have I drunke since I went, than the very marriners have. How farre unlike was he to men in these daies, who sitting at the table, have their cup of strong wine by themselves, and give to their guests other small wines to drinke: or if they suffer them to drinke all one and of the best at the beginning of the feast, they will be sure to chaunge and to serve them with worse soone after. In old time, the best wines used at feasts were aromatized and spiced with sweet Myrrhe: as appeareth in the Comoedie of Plautus entituled Persa.85 And yet it should seeme there, that sweet Calamus was to be added besides. And hereupon it commeth, that some have thought, how our forefathers in times past tooke most delight in such spiced cups and Ippocras wines. But Fabius Dorsenus the Poet,86 sufficiently declareth and decideth this point in these verses, when he saith:
Mittebam vinum pulchrum, Murrhinam.
I sent neat wine,
Which hight Myrrhine.
And againe in his Comedie Acharistio:
Panem & Polentam, vinum Murrhinam.
Both bread and grewell I did present,
And Myrrhine wine of pleasant sent.
I see moreover that Scævola, Lælius, and Atticus Capito were of the same mind. for in the Comedie of Plautus entituled Pseudolus, thus it is written:87
Quod si opus est ut dulce promat
Indidem, ecquid habet? Char. Rogas?
Murrhinam, paßum, Defrutum, mella.
Of Dulcet wine if there be need,
What hope is there from thence to speed?
Char. Why aske you that? he furnish'd is
With Murrhin, Cuits, and Meade ywis.
By which a man may see evidently, that Murrhina was not only counted a wine, but reckoned also among the sweet and delicate wines.
Of wine store-houses: and of Opimian wine.
That there were wine-sellars at Rome, and that they used there to tun up wine in the 633 yeare after the foundation thereof,88 appeareth plaine by a good proofe of the Opimian wine: and even in those daies Italie knew her owne good, and what it was to maintain vineyards. Howbeit, as yet were not those wines in credite, which now are so rife and in so great account. And therefore it is, that all the wines of that time beare the onely name of that one Consull, and be called Opimian.89 And thus afterwards also in processe of time, the wines that came from beyond the seas for a long space, were in much request, even untill our grand-fathers daies: yea, and after that, the Falerne wines were in name and called for, as may appeare by that verse of the Comicall Poët:90
Quinque Thasij vini inde depromam, Falerni bina.
To measure five of Thasian wine,
I will draw twaine of Falerne fine.
In the 675 yeare91 after the building of Rome, Pub. Licinius Crassus and L. Iulius Cæsar, Censors for the time being, published an edict and proclaimed, That no man should sell any Greeke wine or Aminean, but after eight Asses the Amphor or Quadrantum. For these be the very expresse words of the said Edict. Now was Greeke wine of so great price and estimation, that a man was allowed but one draught thereof at a meale, were the cheare never so great, and the feast right sumptuous. But what wines were in request ordinarily at the bord, M. Varro sheweth in these words: L. Lucullus (quoth he) while he was a boy, never saw at his fathers boord Greek wine served up but once at a meale; how good soever the fare was otherwise. Howbeit, himselfe when he returned out of Africa, in a congiarie or largesse that hee gave unto the people, made a dole and distribution of more than an hundred thousand measures of gallons apeece. C. Sentius, whom of late daies we saw Pretour of rome, testified, that hee never saw any wine of Chios brought into his house, before that the Physician prescribed: and set it downe for the Cardiaca passio, or the trembling of the heart, whereunto hee was subject. But contrariwise Hortensius when he died, left above ten thousand barrels full of that wine to his heire. And thus much out of Varro.
Of Cæsars bountie and liberalitie in wine.
But what should wee say of C. Iulius Cæsar Dictatour? In that solemne feast of his which hee made at his triumph, did not he distribute among his guests Falern wines by the whole barrels, and Greeke wine of Chios by the rundlets?92 After his returne out of Spaine with victorie and triumph, he likewise gave away a largesse of wine as well Chian as Falerne. But at the roiall dinner which he made when he entred upon his third Consulship, he caused all the hall to bee served throughout with Falerne, Chian, Lesbian, and Mamertine wines: which was the first time that ever any man saw the service of foure severall wines at one feast. Now in farther processe of time, and namely about the 700 yeare after Rome citties foundation, all other wines began to beare a name and come in request.
Of artificiall or made wines.
Considering all that hath beene written, I nothing marvell at such an infinite numbers of compound and artificiall wines devised in old time, all for the use of Physicke, whereof wee will now treat in more ample manner. To begin therfore with Wine-verjuice called Omphacium, how it should be made (for perfumes and odoriferous ointments) wee have shewed in the former booke.93 As for the wine named Oenanthinum, it is made of Labrusca, that is to say, the wild Vine, in this wise: Take two pound of the flowers of the wild Vine aforesaid; let the same bee steeped in a measure of new wine, containing about twelve § gallons, for the space of thirtie daies, and then be chaunged out of that vessell into another. Moreover, the root and the grapes of the said wild Vine, are good for curriers to dresse their leather. The same grapes a little after they have done blooming, are taken to be a singular remedie for to coole those that be troubled with hote and ardent diseases, for naturally they be (as men thinke) exceeding cold: and indeed many of these grapes die in the hote time of Summer before the rest which are called Solstitiales: but all of them never come to full and perfect ripenesse. Now if you would keepe Pullein from pecking grapes, take these of the wild Vine before they be throughly ripe, mingle & seeth them with their meat: for this will take away all their appetite that way, and breed a loathing after all grapes.
To come now unto the artificiall wines beforenamed: the first of them, namely that which they call Adynamon [i. without strength] is made of very wine in this manner: Take of new white wine twentie Sextars [i. quarts:] of water halfe as much: let them boile together untill the measure of water beforesaid bee consumed. Some take of sea-water ten Sextares, of raine water as much: and when they be mingled together, suffer them to worke in the hote Sunne for the space of fortie daies. This drinke they use to give unto patients, for such maladies as they feare wine would be hurtfull to. A second made wine there, is called Millet wine, after this sort: Take of Millet seed that is ripe, huske, head and all, a pound and a quarter, put it into two gallons of Must or new wine: after that it hath lien there infused seven moneths, let the liquor run from it into another vessell, and keepe it for your use. As touching the wines of Lotus, as well the tree and shrub, as the hearbe, wee have shewed sufficiently how they ought to be made.94 Moreover, there bee many wines made of sundrie fruits, which wee will write of hereafter more at large: with a supplement and addition of such interpretations onely as be necessarie. And in the first place commeth the Date-wine, which the Parthians, Indians, and all the nations of the East in generall doe ordinarily use. A Modius or pecke of ripe and sweet Dates, which they call Chydeæ,95 they let lye to steepe in three gallons of water, and so presse for a liquor for the Date wine. Also the Figge-wine Sycites, of the figge which some call Palmiprimum (as a man would say, Dates fellowes, or next to Dates) others Catorchites,96 is made after the same fashion. But if a man list not to have it so sweet, in stead of water they use to put as much of the stones, skins, and seeds of grapes. Of the Figge of Cypresse there is an excellent vinegre made: yea and a better than it of the Alexandrine figges, to wit, growing upon the Sycomore. Likewise a wine is made out of the fruit in Syria, called Siliquæ;97 as also of peares and all kind of apples. As for the wine of Pomegranates, the Greekes name it Rhoïtes: besides the fruit of the Cornel or wild Cherrie-tree; Medlars, Cervises, drie Mulberries, and Pine-nuts, doe yeeld several sorts of wines. As for these Pine-nuts, they must lie steeped in new wines before the wine be pressed out of them. The rest all be pleasant enough of themselves, and will serve alone for to make wines. The manner of making Myrtle wine (according to the receit and prescription of Cato) wee will declare soone hereafter. For the Greekes have another way of their owne, to wit, when they have sodden in white Must or new wine, the tender braunches of the Myrtle, togither with the leaves, and then stamped the same, they put a pound thereof in three gallons more of Must, and cause it to boile untill such time as a third part of the wine be consumed. Now that which is made after the same manner of the wild Myrtle-berries, they call Myrtidanum; and this will colour and staine ones hands blacke.
Furthermore, the hearbs of the garden doe affourd us many wines, namely Radish, Sparage, Savorie, and Majoran, Origan, Smallach seed, Southernwood, wild Mints, Rue, Nep or Calaminth, running Thyme, and Horehound. To make these wines, take of the hearbs abovesaid, two handfuls, and when they be stamped, put them into a little barrell of new wine containing twelve or thirteene gallons togither with a wine quart of Cuit sodden to the thirds, and a pint of seawater. But for the wine of Navewes, you must take eleven drams of them, and two quarts of new wine, and so put them togither in manner aforesaid. In like sort also the wine Squillitium is made of the root of Scilla, or the sea Onion.
To proceed unto wines made of flowres, you have first and foremost wine Rosat, after this manner: Take the weight of fortie deniers98 [i. five ounces] of Rose-leaves well stamped, put them into a linnen cloth, togither with a little weight, that they may settle downward and not flote aloft; let them hang thus in twentie Sextars [i. three gallons] and two wine quarts of Must; keepe the vessel close stopped in any case for three moneths, then open it and straine the said floures unto the liquor. In like manner is there a wine made of the Celticke Spikenard, as also of the Nard-savage. I find also, that they use to make a kind of spiced wine or Ipocras, not for sweet perfumes and ointments onely, but also for to drinke. At first (as I have shewed99) they made these aromaticall wines with myrrhe onely, but soone after they added thereto Nard Celtick, sweet Calamus, and Aspalathus: either slicing these drugs, or putting them by gobbets into new Must or some dulcet wine. Some aromatize their wine with Calamus, Squinanth, Costus, Spikenard, Amomum, Casia, Cinamon, Saffron, Dates, and Azara-bacca, put thereto in like manner by gobbets. Others take Spikenard and Malabathrum, of each halfe a pound to two gallons of new wine. Much after the same manner we spice our wines now adaies also, but that we added pepper and honey thereto: which some call Condite, others Pepper-wines. Moreover, there is devised a wine called Nectarites, made of Elecampane, named by some Helenium, of others Medica, Symphyton, Idæa, Orestion: and there be also that tearme this hearb Nectares. Now the order of it, is to take of the root fortie drams100 to six Sextars of Must or new wine, and hang it in a cloth togither with a weight, in manner abovesaid. Moreover, there be wines made of other hearbs, to wit of Wormwood, in this sort: Take of Ponticke wormwood one pound, seeth it in fortie Sextars [about six gallons and a halfe] of new wine, untill a third part bee consumed: or without boiling, put certaine handfuls or bunches thereof into a vessell of wine, and so let it lye infused. After the same sort is Hyssope wine made, to wit, of thre ounces (which is a quarter of a pound) of Cilician Hyssope cast whole as it is into two gallons of Must, and so let them worke togither: or else stampe the Hyssope, and so put it into wine: but both these wines are made another manner of way, namely, by sowing or setting Wormwood and Hyssope at the verie root of the vine-plant: for so Cato teacheth us to make Ellebore wine, of blacke Ellebore or Bearesfoot growing at the vine root.101 And in like manner also is made the Scammonite wine. A wonderfull nature and propertie that these vines have, To draw and sucke into them the very tast of other hearbs and plants that are set neare unto them: for even so all the grapes about Padua have a rellish of the Willowes and Osiers that grow there in the marish grounds. In this wise the men of Thasos doe plant and sow either Ellebore or wild Coucumber, or els Scammonea, about their vines, to make thereof their devilish wine Pthorium, so called, because it causeth a slip and procureth untimely birth. Of more hearbs besides, there bee other wines made: the vertues of which hearbs, we will set downe elsewhere in place convenient: and namely, of Stoechos, the root of Gentian, of Tragoriganum, of Dictamum, Sarabacca, of Daucus or yellow Carot, Sauge, Panace, Acorus or Galangal, Conyza or Cunilago, Thyme, Mandragoras, and Squinanth. More such wines there were yet, which the Greekes called Sczinum, Itæomelis, and Lectispagites; but as they be growne now out of use, so the manner of making is unknowne.
As touching wines made of trees and shrubs, their manner was to seeth the berries or the greene wood of both the Cedars, the Cypresse, the Bay, Iuniper, Terebinth, Pine, Calamus, and Lentiske, in new wine. In like manner, the very substance of Chamelæa, Chamæpithys, and Germander. Last of all, the flowers also of the said plants serve to make wines, namely by putting in to a gallon of new wine in the vat, the weight of ten deniers or drams of the flowers.
Of Hydromel, and Oxymel: [i. honyed water, and honyed vinegre.]
There is a wine called Hydromel, made of water and honey onely: but to have it the better, some doe prescribe raine water, and the same kept five yeeres for that purpose. Others who are more wise and skilfull herein, doe take raine water newly falne, and presently seeth it, untill a third part be boiled away; then they put thereto a third part also of old hony in proportion to it: and so let them stand togither in the Sunne for fortie daies togither, from the rising of the Dog-starre. Others, after they have remained thus mingled and incorporate togither ten daies, put it up and reserve it close stopped for their use; and this is called Hydromel: which when it is come to some age, hath the very tast of wine: and no place affourdeth better than Phrygia.
Moreover, vinegre was wont to be tempered with honey, [See how curious men have been to trie conclusions in every thing!] which they call Oxymel, and that in this manner: Recipe, of honey, ten pounds or pints; of old vinegre, five pints; of sea salt, one pound; of raine water, five Sextares [i. a gallon within one quart:] Boile them all togither at a soft fire, untill they have had ten plawes or waulmes: which done, poure them out of one vessell into another, and so let the liquor stand & settle a long time, untill it be stale. All these wines and compositions thus brued, Themison (an Author highly renowmed) hath condemned and forbidden expressely to be used. And to say a truth, it seemeth that the use of them was never but in case of necessitie: unlesse a man would beleeve and say, that Ipocras, spiced wines, and those that be compounded of ointments, are Natures worke; or that shee brought foorth plants and trees to no other end, but that men should drinke them downe the throat. Howbeit, the knowledge surely of such experiments, be pleasant and delectable unto men of great wit and high conceit, whose noble spirits cannot be at rest, but ever inventive and searching into all secrets. Now to conclude this point, certaine it is and past all question, that none of all these compositions (unlesse it be those which come to their perfection by age and long time) will last one yeere full out: nay most of them will not keepe good one moneth to an end.
Certaine straunge and wonderfull kinds of wine.
Wine also hath prodigious and miraculous effects: for (by report) in Arcadia102 there is a wine made, which being drunke will cause barrain women to beare children and contrariwise drive men into madnes.103 But in Achaia principally about Carynia, the wine maketh women fall into untimely travell: nay if a woman great with child doe eat but the very grapes, they will slip the fruit of her wombe before their time: and yet both grape and wine differ not in tast from others. They that drinke the wine comming from the cape of Troezen, are thought unable for generation. It is reported, that the Thasiens doe make two kinds of wine of contrary operations; the one procureth sleepe, the other causeth watching. Among them there is a wine called Theriace, the grape whereof, as also the wine, cureth the stings and biting of serpents, as it were a most especiall Treacle. As for the wine Libanios, it carrieth the odor and smell of Frankincense, and therefore is used in sacrifices to the gods. But contrariwise another named Aspendios, is utterly condemned for that purpose, and no wine thereof is employed at the altar; they say also, that no Foule will touch the grapes thereof. There is a kind of grape in Ægypt, which they call Thasia, exceeding sweet it is, and looseth the bellie. But contrariwise there be in Lycia, that bind as much and cause costivenesse. The grapes Ecbolides in Ægypt, if they bee eaten, cause women with child to be delivered before their time. Some wines there be, that as they lie in the verie cellar, will turne and proove sower about the rising of the Dog-starre; but afterwards wil recover their verdure, and become quick and fresh againe. In like manner there be wines, that upon the sea will chaunge: howbeit the agitation thereof, causeth those wines that endure it to the end, to seeme twice as old as they be indeed.
What Wines they be that may not be used in Sacrifices: and what waies there are to sophisticate new wines.
Forasmuch as our life standeth much upon religion and divine service, we are to understand, That it is held unlawful to offer unto the gods before sacrifice, the wine of any vine that hath not been cut and pruned; or that hath been smitten and blasted with lightning; or standing neare to a jebbit or tree whereon a man hath hanged dead; or the grapes whereof have been troden by men whose leggs or feet have been wounded; neither is that wine allowable for this purpose, which hath been pressed and run from the refuse of grape-stones and skins once bruised and crushed in the presse; or last of all, if the grapes have been files by any ordure or dun falne from above thereupon. Moreover, Greeke wines are rejected from this holy use, because they have water in them. Furthermore the vine it selfe is holden good to be eaten, namely, when the burgens and tendrils bee first sodden, and afterwards preserved and kept in vinegre, brine, or pickle. Over and besides, it were very meet and convenient to speake also concerning the manner of preparing and ordering wine, seeing that the Greekes have travailed in that point severally, and reduced the rules thereto belonging, into the forme of an Art; and namely, Euphronius, Aristomachus, Coniades, and Hicesius, are therein great professors.104 The Africans use to mitigate and allay the tannesse of their wines with plastre, yea and in some parts of their countrey, with lime.105 The Greekes contrariwise doe fortifie and quicken them with clay, with powder of marble, with salt, or sea water. And in some places of Italy, they use (to the same effect) the shavings and scrapings of stone-pitch. Also it is an ordinarie thing in Italy and the provinces thereto confining, for to condite their new wines and to season them with rosin: yea and in some places they mingle therewith the lees of other old wine or vinegre. Oftentimes also they make slibber-sauces106 of it selfe and without any other mixture; namely, when they boile new wine sufficiently to the proportion of the strength, untill the hardnesse do evaporate, and that it wax mild and sweet: but being thus ordered, it will not last (they say) above one yeare. In some countries they use to seeth their new wine to the consumption of a third part, and make it cuit, with which they are wont to delay the sharpnesse and strength of other wines, and make them pleasant. But both in this kind of wine and in all others, the vessels ought to be prepared for the purpose, and seasoned with pitch: the treatise of which, we will put off unto the next booke,107 where wee purpose to treat thereof, and the manner of making it.
Of divers kinds of Pitch and Rosins. The manner of the seasoning and conjecture of new Wines. Also of vinegre and Salt.
Among trees that yeeld from them a liquid substance, some there be in the East countries, and others in Europe, which ingender Pitch and Rosin. Asia likewise between both, hath of either side of it, some such trees. As for the East, the Terebinths put our Turpentine, the best and cleerest Rosin of all others: next to them, the Lentiskes also have their Rosin, which they call Masticke. After which, the Cipresse bringeth forth a third rosin, but it is of a most sharp and biting tast. All these trees (I say) carie a rosin only, and the same thin and liquid: but the Cedar sendeth out a thicke substance, and good to make pitch and tarre. As for the rosin or gum Arabicke, it is white of colour, strong in smell, untoward & troublesome to him that shall boile it. That of Iurie is harder, yea, and of a stronger savour than Turpentine. The Syriacke gum resembleth the honie of Athens. The Cyprian excelleth all others: of a fleshie substance it is, and like in colour to honie. The Colophonian is deeper of colour, and reddish: beat it to powder in a morter, it proveth white: but it carieth a strong smell with it; which is the reason, that the perfumers and makers of ointments have no use thereof. As for that which the Pitch trees of Asia doe yeeld, it is passing white, and the Greekes call it Spagas. All rosins generally will dissolve in oile. Some thinke verily, that potters clay will likewise doe the same. But I am abashed and ashamed to report, how in these daies the same pitch whereof we speak, should be in so great account as it is, for making of pitch plaisters, to fetch off the haire of mens bodies, and all to make them more smooth and effeminate. Howbeit, the manner of seasoning new Must therewith (that when it is perfect wine it may smell of pitch, and bite at the tongues end) is to bestrew it with the pouder of pitch at the first working, the heat whereof is commonly past and gone in nine daies. And some thinke, that the wine will bee the stronger, if the raw and greene flower of the rosin, as it issueth fresh out of the tree, bee put therein; for it will quicken a small and weake wine. Now this mixture and medicine of wine [called Crapula] made thus of rosin, hath contrarie effects: for if the wine be over-headie and strong, it allaieth and mortifieth the hurtfull force thereof: but if it be too weake, or drinke dead and flat, it reviveth againe, and giveth it a strong tast. In Liguria, and principally along the Po, they use to season their wines, and bring them all to their severall perfections in this manner. If the wine when it is new, be mightie and strong, they put in the more of this medicine or confection called Crapula if it be mild and small, then the lesse goes into it: and keeping this gage with their hand, they make both good. Some would have one wine brued with another, the weaker with the stronger, and so (forsooth) there must needs arise a good temperature of both together: and verily there is not a thing in the world againe, which hath in the nature thereof so great varietie.
In some countries, if new wine worke of it selfe a second time, it is thought to bee a fault and meanes to corrupt it: and indeed, upon such a chaunce and unhappie accident it looseth the verdure and quicke tast: whereupon it getteth the name of Vappa, and is cleane turned to bee dead or soure: in which regard also, we gave a man that name by way of scorne and reproch, calling him Vappa, when is is heartlesse, void of reason and understanding.108 If it were vinegre indeed, it were another matter: for surely although wine degenerat into it by way of corruption and putrifaction, yet a vertue and force it hath, good for many speciall uses, and without which it were not possible to live so delicately at our table as we doe. Moreover, the world is so much given to keepe a bruing, tempering, and medicining of wines, that in some places they sophisticate them with ashes, as it were with plaister: in other, they fortifie, recover, and make them again by such devises as are before specified. But to this purpose they take the ashes to chuse, of vine cuttings, or of the oke wood, before any other. And forsooth if there be occasion to occupie sea-water for this busines, they prescribe them to fetch it far from land in the deep sea; & kept besides from mid March or the spring Æquinox, or at leastwise from mid-Iune or summer sunne-stead; and drawne in the night season, and when the North wind doth blow: but if it bee gotten neare the time of vintage, then it ought to be well boiled before it will serve the turn. As for the pitch in Italie, that of Brutium109 or Calabria is reputed for the best, to trim those vessels which are to keep wine. There is made of the rosin of the tree Picea (as also in Spain there commeth from the wild Pines) a certain pitch, which of all other is worst: for the rosin of those trees is bitter, drie, and of a strong savor. The difference and sundrie kinds of pitch, as also the manner of making the same, we will set downe in the booke next following, in the treatise of wild & savage trees. The faults & imperfections of pitch, over and besides those even now rehearsed (to wit, bitternesse, drinesse, & strong sent) are knowne by the sourenesse, by the stinking smoke, and the very adustion thereof. But yee shall know good pitch by these experiments, If the peeces broken from it doe shine, if betweene the teeth it relent and be clammie like glew, and have a pleasant sharpenesse and soure tast withall of the vinegre. In Asia the pitch is thought bet which commeth of the trees in mount Ida. The Greeks esteem the trees of the hill Pieria cheefe for this purpose and Virgil commendeth that of Narycia before all.110
But to returne againe to our bruing and sophistication of wines, they that would seeme to be cunninger, or at leastwise more curious than their fellowes, doe mingle therewith blacke Masticke, which is engendred in Pontus, and is like to Bitumen; and thereto adde the root of Iris or the flower de Luce, and oile. For this is found by experience, That if the vessels be sered with wax, the wines therein will not hold, but turne soure quickly. Moreover, we daily see, that better it is to put up wine into those vessels, wherein vinegre hath been kept afore, than into such as had dulcet or honies wine. Cato setteth down a receit to trim and concinnate wine (for that is the very tearm which he useth111) in this manner: Take of lie ashes sodden with cuit boiled to the halfe, on fortieth part, temper it with a pound and a halfe of peniroiall, or salt, and otherwhiles with marble braied and beaten into pouder among. Hee maketh mention also of brimstone, but rosin hee nameth with the last. But above all he willeth to refresh & renue the wine when it now beginneth to come unto maturitie & perfection, with new wine which he calleth Tortivum, & I take it, that he meaneth that which ran last out of the wine-presse: which hee prescribeth also to bee put unto new wines for to get them a fresher colour, as the very tincture of wine: and so it will be also of a more fattie substance, and goe downe more glib and merrily. See, see, how many devises of medicines and slibber-sauces the poore wine is forced to endure, and all to please our pallat, our eie, and other sences: and yet ywis we marvell that it is so hurtfull to our bodies. Well, would you have an experiment to know when wine is going, or enclining to be dead and soure? dip therein a thin plate of lead; if it chaunge colour, take it for a signe, that it is the way of decaying. Of all liquors, wine hath this propertie to vinew, to pall, and to change into vinegre. But a thousand medicines it doth affoord, and bookes of Physicke are full thereof. Moreover, wine lees being dried, will serve as a match to keepe fire: and without any other fewell to feed it, yee shall have it burne and flame of it selfe.112 The ashes thereof is of the nature of Nitre, and hath the same vertues: and in this regard somewhat more, for that it is found to be more fattie and unctuous.
Now when wine is made and tunned up in manner aforesaid, there is as great difference and diversitie in the bestowing of it in cellars. They of Piemont about the Alpes, doe put up their wines in woodden barrels, bound well with hoopes, for warmth: and moreover, if the winter be very cold, they make fires in their cellars or butteries, to keep them for being frozen. I will tell you a strange wonder, yet true and to be verified, not by hearesay but plain eiesight. There were seene upon a time whole heapes and huge lumpes of wine congealed into ice, by occasion that the hoopes of the hogsheads burst that contained the wine: and this was held for a prodigious token. For indeed wine of it owne nature will not congeale and freeze, onely it will loose the strength, and become appalled in extremitie of cold.113 In warmer climates and more temperate, they fill their wines into great stands and steanes of earth,114 which they set into the ground, either over the head all whole, or els by halfe; deeper or shallower, according to the situation and temperature of the region. Likewise they give the wine open aire in some places: whereas in other they keepe it close within house in tavernes and cellars. And thereto belong these and such like rules. First, that one side of the wine-cellar, or at leastwise the windowes, ought to stand open to the North, or to the East in any wise, where the Sunne riseth at the time of the Æquinoctiall. Item, that there be no muckhils nor privies neare: no roots of trees, nor any thing of a strong and stinking savor: for that wine is of this nature, to draw any smell very quickly into it: and above all, Fig trees (as well the wild as the tame) be hurtfull to wine-cellars. Item, as touching the order of placing the wine vessels, they ought to stand a pretie distance one from another: for feare of contagion, for that wine is alwaies most apt to catch infection very soone. Moreover, it mattereth much of what proportion and fashion the pipes, tubs, and such vessels be made. Those with great bellies and wide mouths, are not so good. Also they must bee nealed with pitch, presently upon the rising of the dog starre: afterwards doused and washed all over either in the sea or els salt water, then to bee seasoned and strewed with vine ashes or cley: and when they bee scoured, they ought to sweeten them with a perfume of Myrrhe; which were good to be done also unto the very cellars oftentimes. Furthermore, if the wines be weake and small, they had need to be kept in tubs and hogsheads, let downe within the ground: but the strong and mightie wines may lie above ground in the open aire. Provided alway, that wine vessels bee never filled top full: but the void part that is left, and standeth above the wine, would be throughly dight with thicke wine made of withered grapes, or sodden wine to the halfe, and saffron mingled withall, yea, and old pitch, together with cuit. Thus also the lids and bungs of the vessels to bee ordered, with an addition besides of masticke and pitch. In the deepe of winter115 they must not be unstopped and opened in any case, unlesse the weather bee faire and cleare. Neither when the wind is Southerly, or the Moone in the full. This also is to be noted, that the flower or mantle which the wine casteth up to the top, is good when it is white: if it be red, it is a very bad signe, unlesse the wine it selfe bee of that colour. Moreover, if the vessels bee hote, or the lids doe sweat, it is no good signe. Note also that the wine which soone beginneth to mantle and cast up a floure incontinently, or to yeeld another smell than the owne, will not continue long good. As for the cuits, whether they be sodden to the halfe or the thirds, they ought to be boiled & made when the skie is without a Moon, that is to say, in the chaunge, and upon no day els. Moreover, the decoction must be in leads, and not in coppers; with walnuts among to receive all the smoke, which otherwise might infect the cuit. In Campaine they let their best wines lie abroad in vessels, even in the open aire, to take the Sunne, the Moone, raine, and wind, and all weathers that come: and this is thought to bee best for them.
Of avoiding Drunkenneße.
If a man marke and consider well the course of our life, we are in no one thing more busie and curious, nor take greater pains, than about wine: as if Nature had not given to man the liquor of water, which of all others is the most holesome drinke, and wherwith all other creatures are well contented. But we thinking it not sufficient to take wine our selves, give it also to our Horses, Mules, and labouring beasts, and force them against Nature to drinke it.116 Besides, such paines, so much labour, so great cost and charges we are at, to have it; such delight and pleasure wee take in it; that many of us thinke, they are borne to nothing els, and can skill of no other contentment in this life: notwithstanding, when all is done, it transporteth and carrieth away the right wit and mind of man, it causeth furie and rage, and induceth, nay, it casteth headlong as many as are given thereto, into a thousand vices & misdemeanors. And yet forsooth, to the end that we might take the more cups, and poure it downe the throat more lustily, we let it run through a strainer, for to abate and gueld (as it were) the force thereof; yea, and other devises there be to whet our appetite thereto, and cause us to quaffe more freely. Nay, to draw on their drinke, men are not afraid to make poisons, whiles some take hemlocke before they sit down, because they must drink perforce then, or else die for it: others, the pouder of the §§ pumish stone, & such like stuffe, which I am abashed to rehearse and teach those that bee ignorant of such leaudnesse. And yet wee see for these that bee the stoutest and most redoubted drinkers, even those that take themselves most secured of daunger, to lie sweating so long in the baines and brothel-houses for to concoct their surfet of wine, that otherwhiles they are caried forth dead for their labour. Yee shall have some of them againe when they have been in the hot house, not to stay so long as they may recover their beds, no not so much as to put on their shirts: but presently in the place, all naked as they are, puffing and labouring still for wind, catch up great cans and huge tankards of wine (to shew what lustie and valiant champions they bee) set them one after another to their mouth, poure the wine downe the throat without more adoe, that they might cast it up againe, and so take more in the place; vomiting and revomiting twice or thrice together that which they have drunke, and still make quarrell to the pot: as if they had been borne into this world for no other end but to spill and marre good wine: or, as if there were no way els to spend & wast the same, but through mans bodie. And to this purpose, were taken up at Rome these forraine exercises, of vaulting and dancing the Moriske; from hence came the tumbling of wrastlers in the dust and mire together; for this, they shew their broad breasts, beare up their heads, and carie their neckes farre backe. In all which gesticulations, what doe they else but professe that they seeke means to procure thirst, and take occasion to drinke? But come now to their pots that they use to quaffe and drinke out of: are there not graven in them faire pourtraits thinke you of adulteries? as if drunkennesse it selfe were not sufficient to kindle the heat of lust, to pricke the flesh, and to teach them wantonnesse. Thus is wine drunke out of libidinous cups: and more than that, he that can quaffe best and play the drunkard most, shall have the greatest reward. But what shall we say to those (would a man think it?) that hire one to eat also as much as hee can drinke, and upon that condition covenant to yeeld him the price for his wine drinking, and not otherwise. Yee shall have another that will enjoyne himselfe to drinke every denier that hee hath woon at dice. Now when they are come to that once, and be throughly whitled, then shall ye have them cast their wanton eyes upon mens wives; then fall they to court faire dames and ladies, and openly bewray their folly even before their jealous and sterne husbands;117 then (I say) the secrets of the heart are opened & laid abroad. Some ye shall have in the mids of their cups, make their wills, even at the very board as they sit: others againe cast out bloudie and deadly speeches at randon, and cannot hold but blurt out those words which afterwards they eat againe with the swords point: for thus many a man by a lavish tongue in his wine, hath come by his death and had his throat cut. And verily the world is now growne to this passe, That whatsoever a man saith in his cups, it is held for sooth; as if Truth were the daughter of Wine. But they escape these daungers: certes speed they never so well, the best of them all never seeth the sun-rising, so drowsie and sleepie they are in bed everie morning; neither live they to be old men, but die in the strength of their youth. Hence commeth it, that some of them looke pale, with a paire of flaggie blabd-cheekes;118 others have bleared and sore eyes: and there be of them that shake so with their hands, that they cannot hold a full cup, but shed and poure it down the floore. Generally they all dreame fearfully (which is the very beginning of their hell in this life) or els have restlesse nights: and finally, if they chaunce to sleepe (for a due guerdon and reward of their drunkennesse) they are deluded with imaginary conceits of Venus delights, defiled with filthie and abominable pollutions: and thus both sleeping and waking they sinne with pleasure. Well, what becomes of them the morrow after? they belch sowre, their breath stinketh of the barrell, and telleth them what they did over night; otherwise they forget what either they did or said, they remember no more, than if their memories were utterly extinct and dead. And yet our jollie drunkards give out and say, That they alone enjoy this life, and rob other men of it. But who seeth not, that ordinarily they loose not onely the yesterday past, but the morrow to come? In the time of Tiberius Claudius the Emperour, about fortie years since, certain out-landish Physicians and Monte-banks, who would seem to set themselves out by some straunge novelties of their owne, and so get a name, brought up at Rome a new devise and order, to drinke fasting; and prescribed folke to take a good heartie draught of wine before meat, and to lay that foundation of their dinner. Of all nations, the Parthians would have the glory for this goodly vertue of wine-bibbing: and among the Greekes, Alcibiades indeed deserved the best name for this worthy feat. But here with us at Rome Novellius Torquatus a Millanois, wan the name from all Romans & Italians both. This Lombard had gone through all honourable degrees of dignitie in Rome; he had been Pretor, and attained to the place of a Proconsull. In all these offices of state he woon no great name: but for drinking in the presence of Tiberius, three gallons of wine at one draught and before he tooke his breath againe, he was dubbed knight by the surname of Tricongius, as one would say, §§§ The three gallon knight: and the Emperour, sterne, severe, and cruell otherwise though he was, now in his old age (for in his youthfull daies hee was given overmuch to drinking of wine) would delight to behold this renowmed and worthie knight, with great wonder and admiration. For the like rare gift and commendable qualitie, men thinke verily that C. Piso first rise:119 and afterwards was advanced to the Provostship of the citie of Rome, by the said Tiberius: and namely, for that in his court being now Emperor, he sat two daies and two nights drinking continually, and never stirred foot from the bourd. And verily Drusus Cæsar (by report) in nothing more resembled his father Tiberius, than in taking his drinke. But to return again to noble Torquatus, herein consisted his excellencie, That he did it according to art [for this you must take withall, there is an art of Drinking, grounded upon certaine rules & precepts.] Torquatus (I say) drank he never so much, was not known at any time to falter in his tongue, never eased himselfe by vomiting, never let it go the other way under bourd: how late soever he sat up at the wine overnight, he would be sure to relieve the morning watch & sentinell. He drunke most of any man at one entire draught before the pot went from his head; and for smaller draughts besides, he went beyond all other in number; his wind he never tooke while the cup was at his mouth, but justly observed the rule of drinking with one breath; he was not knowne to spit for all this: and to conclude, he would not leave a drop behind in the cup, not so much as would dash against the pavement, & make the least sound to be heard: a speciall point & precise law to prevent the deceit of those that drinke for a wager. A singular glorie no doubt in him, and a rare felicitie. Tergilla challenged M. Cicero the younger,120 sonne to that M. Cicero the famous Oratour, and reproched him to his face, that ordinarily he drunke two gallons at ones: and that one time above the rest when he was drunke, he flung a pot at M. Agrippa his head. And truly this is one of the fruits and feats of drunkennesse. But blame not young Cicero, if in this point yet hee desired to surmount him that slew his father, M. Antonius I meane; for he121 before that time strained himselfe, and strove to win the best game in this feat, making profession thereof, as may appeare by a booke that he compiled and set forth with this title, Of his owne drunkennesse: wherein he was not ashamed to avow and justifie his excesse and enormities that way: and thereby approved (as I take it) under pretence and colour of his drunkennesse, all those outrages of his, all those miseries and calamities that hee brought upon the whole world. This treatise he vomited and spued out a littel before the battell of Actium, wherein he was defeated: whereby it may appeare very plainely, that as hee was drunken before with the bloud of citizens, so still hee was the more bloud-thirstie. For this is a propertie that necessarily followeth this vice, That the more a man drinketh, the more he may, and is alwaies drie. And herein spake to good purpose a certain Embassadour of the Scythians, saying, That the Parthians the more they drunke, the thirstier they were.
As touching the nations in the West part of the world, they have their drinkes also by themselves made of corne steeped in water, whereof they will drinke to the utterance, and be drunke: and namely in Spaine and Fraunce, where the manner of making the same is all one, howsoever they have divers names. And in Spain they have devised means that these drinks (Ale or Beere) wil abide age, and continue stale.122 In Ægypt likewise they have invented such king of drinks made of corne: so that no part or corner of the world there is, but drunkennesse reigneth. And verily these liquors howsoever they bee named, they use to drinke entire as they bee, and made of the very strength of Malt: never delaying the same with water, as we doe wines. But it may bee said, That Nature hath endowed and enriched those countries with abundance of corn, and therfore they may well doe it. Oh how industrious we are to maintaine our vices! There is a devise found (would ever any man have thought it?) how water also should make men drunke. Two liquors there be, most pleasing and acceptable to mens bodies, Wine within, & Oile without. Both proceed from two speciall trees, howbeit, of the twaine, Oile is necessarie, and Wine may be better spared. And verily, men have not been idle in the making of good Oile: howbeit, they have been more addicted and given to make Wines for drinke; as may appeare by this, that reckoning but the generall kinds thereof, a man may find 195 sorts of wine: but if a man would subdivide and destribute those heads into their braunches, hee should meet almost with twice as many: but of Oiles there bee not so many kinds by farre. Whereof wee purpose to treat in the booke next following.
The running title is "The fourteenth Booke of // Plinies Naturall Historie. " Notes with numbers (superscripted in the text) are mine; notes with glyphs (*, §, etc.) are Holland's marginalia.
a. The subtitle clearly doesn't belong with this book, which treats of the vine, but with the group of this and the next two books (if we take "Trees" in a very large sense; this book treats of the vine). But there it is, and there it stays.
1. Virgil ... pettie matters: presumably referring to the Georgics, 4.116 ff., but it's hard to see how even Pliny, not always a close reader, could reach the conclusion presented here from that passage.
2. Populonia: or Populonium, on which see Dennis (Pliny's Populonium may be the better form, but Virgil Aen. X.16 has Populonia.)
3. About Capua: an explanatory note by Holland, not in the text of Pliny (there was but one Campania, that about Capua, in antiquity).
4. Covert allies: Pliny's pergula, on which see Smith's Dictionary s.v. Pergula.
5. Rumbotinus: or rumpotinus: see also Columella V.7: a shrub (or a tree) that supports vines. The (now standard) readings of rumpotinus and opulus for rumbotinus and populus are based on this passage.
* Opite. [Thus 1601. 1634 "opieta", and 1635 (probably, but it's hard to read) "opiet". The word is rare. It occurs three times in Holland's Pliny. Probably here and certainly in XXIV.19 it means poplar (in the latter, rumbotinus is said to be "in the manner of" opiets or poplars). In XVII.11 it means "Wich-Hazels". It is possible that the underlying word, opulus, does not mean any particular tree but any small tree or large shrub that might be suitable for supporting vines. Lewis and Short, who are not always as helpful as they might be when they are dealing with botanical terms, define opulus as "a kind of maple-tree".]
** Quasi duris acinis. [The stone of the berry, of course, not the berry itself.]
6. Leptorrhagæs: sc. leptorages: λεπτὸν + ῤαξ.
7. Within glasses, etc.: That is, the old grapes hang on the vine until the new grapes come, their skins becoming thin as glass, so that one may see the flesh within (like gooseberries). Or so I read the Latin. Holland's translation, in any case, makes little sense.
8. The said glass: Pliny's doliis amphorisve.
*** πισσἰτης οἶνος. Plutarch. [Symp. lib. V. qu. 3.; Holland's translation of the passage in question (1603, p. 717):
It is an ordinary thing with all men, to pitch those vessels into which they put up their wines, yea, and some there be who put rosin even into the wine: as for example, those of Eubæa in Greece, and Italy, the inhabitants by the Po side; and that which more is, from out of Gaule by Vienna, there is brought a certeine pitch-wine, called Pißites, which the Romanes set much store by, because it giveth it not onely a delectable sent, but also a better strength, taking from it in a small time the newnesse and the watery substance thereof, by the meanes of a milde and kinde heat.
Compare the modern wine Retsina. Hardouin says that the Gaulish grape was the raisin de livre, ou de Dauphiné.]
9. Vienna: in Gaul, i.e., Vienne.
10. Cotton tree of Seres and Indias: Book VI and Book XII, respectively.
11. Nomentum: read instead Nomentana, the countryside rather than the city. Cf. Macrobius Sat. III.20; Columella de Re rustica III.
12. Red withall ... joieth to hand upon the vine: Holland takes the interpolated accipiunt, et rubra fiunt. Nulla magis vite gaudet rather than the textual (and now standard) accipiunt. Etruria nulla magis vite gaudet or accipiunt. Et rubria nulla magis gaudet, and so on: there are several similar readings.
13. Grapes of Corinth: raisins de Corinthe, whence English currant for the raisin-type currant. The ribes-type currant was vulgarly believed to be the source of currants and thence it came to share the same name. Compare the popular notion that capers are the pickled seeds or buds of the nasturtium.
14. And to say a truth ... not a vine more fruitful: Holland is straddling a fence here. The text reads either visul[l]a or vix ulla: he opts for the latter, but throws in a whiff of the former. Visul[l]a is the more likely reading. If visul[l]a, then this statement and the following is about another vine rather than Biturica or Fecenia. There's more on Visula in Sect. 31 below.
15. Varianæ: or helvolæ; Holland leaves out the parallel term. See Columella, III; cf. Isidore Etymol. XVII.5.26. Hardouin: "Ex iis uvis vinum conficitur, dubii coloris, quod Gallis dicitur, vin paillet. Græci χιῤῥὸν vocant. Helvus color Varroni de de R.R. lib. II, cap. 5, inter rubeum et album."
16. Pretiæ: Pliny has præciæ; Columella (l.c., note above) pretiæ; Virg. Georg. II.95 preciæ or præciæ.
17. If a man eat much of them: Pliny says "they hurt the head, in large quantities". It's not clear whether Pliny means "eats the grape" or "drinks the wine". Dalechamps says the latter: "Tale vinum est ex ea pressum, quod Monspessulani vocant piquardant."
18. Inerticula: see Isidore, Etym. XVII.5.24, Columella (l.c.).
Amethystos, Columell. [loc. cit. above].
19. Arca: the MSS read marcum, arcum, emarcum, and arcam. Columella (l.c.) "earum altera, quam Galliarum incolae emarcum vocant, mediocris vini" etc.
20. Smell of a brackish dew: reading roscido odore (and applying a bit of license) rather than the textual roscida odere.
21. Blasted: "carbunculari"; on which see more in Book XVII.
22. Venicula: or venucula; see Horace lib. II Sat. 4, Macrobius III.20.6, Columella III.2. Hardouin says this is the Marzemina of the Veneto; modern wine dictionaries say further that marzemina bianca is the same as chasselas.
23. Tudernis: from the city of Tuderte, today's Todi.
24. Talpana: All mss have talpona at this point; but some have talpana in the occurrence on the next line. The readings of the names of the other grapes also vary slightly from ms to ms and from edition to edition.
25. Black as the moldwarp, from whence it takes its name: as though from talpa; possible. The phrase is Holland's insertion, not in Pliny, who says merely that the talpana (or talpona) grape is black and gives white wine. Hardouin notes the same possibility, comparing talpa → talpana to etesiis ventis → etesia.
26. Winds Etesiæ: all editions of Holland's Pliny have wines Etesiæ, but this is clearly a typo. Again, the phrase is Holland's gloss; it does not appear in Pliny.
27. Irtiola: the mss have Irciola. Columella l.c. has irtiola. Hardouin notes "Andr. Baccius, lib. V, pag. 258, legit Itriola, quoniam ἰτριὸν apud Athenæum ex Aristophane dulciarii genus est. Nunc utrumque nomen Italicis auribus ignotum. Pro Italiæ passulis accipi eam vocem posse idem putat, pag. 269; Mevaniæque agrum his uvis hodie abundare." The most "abundant" grapes in the territory today are Sangiovese, which produces Brunello and Rosso di Montefalco, and Sagrantino, which makes the (sweet) Passito di Sagrantino. Mayhoff reads itriola.
28. Tarentin: or Surrentine, the reading preferred by most modern editors (since Mayhoff, anyway). The wines of Tarentum are treated later in the book.
29. Capnias: "smoky", from the Greek καπνίας, referring to the color of the grape, or of the heavy bloom on the grape. Athenaeus, lib. I, says that the excellent οἶνος καπνίας of Benevento is named for the color of the grape from which it is made. Grapes gathered after the first hard frost are often made into sweet wines; the late harvest and the cold concentrate the sugars in the grape. Think of the modern vendanges tardives of Alsace and auslese (beerenauslese, trockenbeerenauslese) of Germany and Austria.
30. Phariæ ... Prusiniae: for Phariæ, you may read Pariana or Paria; for Prusiniae, Perusinia, Perusiniæ, etc.
31. Of a certaine grape ... Streptos: the grape may be the one Pliny was just talking about (the Perusina or Prusinia) rather than another grape, depending on whether one reads mirum ibi (conjectured by Dalechamps) or mirum alicubi (or ubique). Streptos, Greek στρεπτὸς, pliable, twistable.
32. Virgill... Lageæ: Georgics II, 91-95. Thasian vines, from the island of Thasos; Mareotides, from Egypt; Lageas, mentioned by Macrobius III.20.7; according to Isidore, XVII.5.16, it gets its name because it matures faster than a hare.
33. Gigarton: Pliny says that they are called Chium, or Chii. I do not know why Holland has substituted gigarton, which is the Greek for grape seed (of any kind). Possibly he misread a note in the edition he was using.
34. Ægyptian: Thus in all editions of Holland's Pliny. This should read Ægian, from Ægius near Corinth in Achaia.
35. Ounce grapes: uncialis vel unciaria (cf. Isidore Etym. XVII.5.15, Columella R.R. III).
36. Pucina: thus the printed editions of Holland's day; the mss have picina. (Chifflet says "a colore picis", from the color of pitch.) Hardouin mentions that it could be the grape that makes the Pucine wine mentioned later in the book (Chap. VI).
37. Stephanitis: i.e., "for making crowns or wreaths", στεφανῖτις.
38. Asinisca: Holland follows the editions of his day; should be asinusca, as in the MSS (and Macrobius, loc. cit.).
39. Cato the Elder: on his triumph and his censorship, see Plutarch.
40. Cato: in de Agri cultura, chaps. 6 and 7.
41. territorie of Nomentum: i.e., the Nomentanum.
42. Liternum: mentioned in Book III: "in this delightsome pleasure of mankind, the Oscians, Grecians, Umbrians, Tuscanes, and Campanes have striven who could yeeld best".
43. Scipio ... Liternum: cf. Augustine City of God Book III chap. 21; Sueton. Ep. Morales Ep. 86 (Englished, more or less, at stoics.com [warning: a very long page, and local links at the top are false!]); Livy XXXVIII.52-56.
15, according to Ful. Ursinus. [ad Varr. de r.r. lib. I c.2. "Sexenas urnas" says Columella de r.r. III.3.]
44. Maronean ... Affricke: a very puzzling translation. Pliny writes Maroneo in Thraciae maritima parte genito, "of the Maronean wine from the seacoast of Thrace"; even an ancient geographer could hardly move Thrace to Africa. Maronean from Μάρων son of Evantheus (who is the son of Dionysus) and king of Thrace, who gave his name to the district and the wine. Homer, Odyssey IX.197 ff.
45. Homer commended Pramnian wine: in the Iliad, XI.638.
46. On C. Gracchus: see XXXIII.xiv.
47. A.U.C. 634: thus the edition Holland follows. Hardouin, following two manuscripts and his own knowledge, 633, which most modern editions follow.
48. C. Caligula Cæsar: Pliny does not use the name "Caligula".
¶ Bud. 22 Sest.
¶¶ i. an ounce and a halfe. [Neither the word nor the precision are in Pliny, so this is Holland's note on his own interpolation.]
49. Delivered before: in Chap. I (reminder: Vienne in France, not the capital of Austria).
50. Julia Augusta ... 82 yeares: 86 years, says Cassius Dio LVIII,2,1, and it's entirely possible that Pliny had LXXXVI, since V's and I's tend easily to interchange. This is Livia Drusilla, wife of Augustus, who took the name of Iulia Augusta after the death of Augustus.
51. Pyctanon: a conjectural emendation for the textual Praecianum or Praetinaum or Praictanum, etc. Mayhoff: Praetetianum.
52. Territory of Amyclae: Pliny's sinu Amyclano. Perhaps the area where once dwelt the Amyclæ or Amynclae, destroyed by serpents (Book III, Chap. V).
53. Falernian: probably the most famous of ancient wines; now making a comeback as Falciano, one of the newer D.O.C.
54. Three sorts: Holland's translation is perhaps tendentious: Pliny's austerum, dulce, tenue, which admit of varying readings. The pejorative translations Holland gives the first and third do not seem on the face of it to fit in well with the rest of the passage; if they are correct, they need some 'splainin. (See also the next note.)
55. Hedge-wine: reading with Pintianus "in arbusto", as though referring proleptically to the "Fundane grapes" of Sect. 65 that grow on shrubs (though Holland calls those trees). While the text is not entirely clear at this point, this emendation is neither necessary nor justified. Hardouin notes "In austero. Ita MSS. omnes. Rara esse ait Albana vina, quibus sit austera suavitas, ut ait Tullius de orat. lib. III, n. 101 . Falernum quoque geminum Athenæus agnoscit [lib. 1, pag. 16] αὐστηρὸς καὶ γλυκάζων". Cf. Holland's rendering of austere, "hard and harsh", note above.
56. Wine that had lost its heart ... was good: "nobile vappam," in the text. "Turned", "turning", "won't keep longer" etc.
57. Signia wine ... belly: thus Celsus IV.12.8.
58. Palmesian: Palmensian, on which see Book III.
59. Virgil: Georgics II.95 ff.
60. Beterræ: or Baeterrae. Hardouin: "haud procul Bæterris vinum generosum ab agro in quo provenit, nomen habet, vin muscat de Frontignan. Sed et reliqua gallica vina sunt regalibus coenis expetita: e Campania Remense, et quod vin d'Aï, de Sillery, vocant, aliaque propemodum infinita."
61. Kingdom of Naples: Holland's explanatory gloss. Pompei had not yet been (re)discovered in 1601.
62. Arusium or Arvisium: or Ariusium. Various readings of the text, not a choice proposed by Pliny. Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagog. II, cap. 2, who seems to make a distinction between the wines of Chios and Ariusium; Virgil, Eclogue V.71, etc.
63. 600: most manuscripts, and most editions, have 450 (CCCCL) [or 401 (CCCCI)]; only the 1524 Cologne edition has DC. (A sure sign of which edition Holland was using, at this point, in any case.)
64. Tmolus: the wine is praised by Vitruvius, VIII.3.12 (the English translation is incorrect, or based on an incorrect text). Cuit: vin cuit, boiled down to a syrup and use as an ameliorative or additive for other wines. So the OED, in any case.
65. Catacecaumene: the Κατακεκαυμενἰτην οἴνον of Maeonia, says Vitruvius, loc. cit. The gloss in the text is Holland's.
66. Melogites: according to Dioscorides (V.vi.9.4-5), this wine is from Tmolos: ὁ δ'[οἶνος] ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίας, Μεσωγίτης ἐκ τοῦ Τμώλου, κεφαλαλγὴς καὶ νεύρων βλαπτικός.
67. Defrutum: see sect. 80.
68. After six years: Pliny has ante sex annos, "before six years"; Holland once again follows the Cologne edition, which has post.
69. Treatise of Physic: Book XXIII.
70. Leucochrum: sc. with most modern editors (the more probable) Leucocoum: "white of Cos" (λευκόκρουν = "of a whitish color").
71. Cato: de Agri cultura cap. 113.
72. Sweeter the wine: Aristotle, Problemata sect. III. qu. 13 agrees with the first part of this statement; in Gaza's (1561) translation, "Addo etiam, quod vinum dulce inodorum, austerum autem odorum est: odor autem omnis caput tentat & ingravat."
73. Four principal colors: I suppose we'd say two, or three. Galen (K. 15, pag. 644-5) says six: λευκὸς, κιῤῥος, ἐρυθρος, ξανθὸς, μέλας, ώχρὸς. It may be seven if πυῤῥος ὠχρὸς isn't a variant or description of ξανθὸς. White, tawny, (blood) red, (straw) yellow, black, and pale yellow, although it ought to be noted that Galen uses the word of the yolks of eggs, hardly "pale yellow" even with supermarket eggs. The seventh, if it different, would be something like "yellowing reddish", or red turning to yellow: possibly something like rosé.
74. Cicibelites: sc. Scybelites.
75. Stica: Hardouin reads sticham, most mss. sticam, Mayhoff from "M" (codex Monei rescriptus) psitaeum. Hardouin defends sticham: "Graecis στίχαν a στὶξ, hoc εst, ab acinorum ordine. Raisin muscat.... Passi ex uva apiana conficiendi modum docet Columella, lib. XII, cap. 39, pag. 442" [XII.39(3), no local links!]
76. Dulce: Pliny's word. Hardouin thinks this is vin doux de Limoux, or blanquette de Limoux; or perhaps (or in addition) vin muscat d'Azile, adducing the work of "G. du Catel".
¶¶¶ an ounce and a halfe.
77. Lora, or lorea, loriola: cf. Cato de Agri. Cult. caps. 7, 25, 57; Varro R.R. cap. 54.
78. Meinie: household followers (cf. ménage). Already limited to Scots usage in Holland's day.
79. Foecatum: sc. faecatum. The seventeenth century was iffy in distinguishing between oe and ae in Latin, and what came out depended partly on the mood of the author, partly on the whims of the compositor.
80. Scarsitie: 1601 has "scarcisitie". The upshot is that this was a sumptuary law. Cf. Cicero de Leg. II.xxiv.60.
81. Unpruned vines: Cf. Levit. 19.23-25, and Plutarch in Numa Pompilius. See also below.
82. Women not permitted to drink wine: cf. Valerius Maximus II.1.5; Aulus Gellius, Noct. Attic. X.xxiii, "ex oratione M. Cato", says that they were allowed to drink "lauream" or lora (Englished); Athenaeus, lib. X; Dion. Halic. II 25.6; Plutarch Qu. Rom. 6.
83. Egnatius Mecennius: or Mecenius; cf. Valerius Maximus, VI, cap. 3.9 (some editions have "Metellus"). The story is mentioned by Tertullian, Apolog. chap. 6. (Tertullian, by the way, is also one of the origins of the absurd pseudodox of the origins of kissing.) Most of the stories that follow are also to be found in Valerius Maximus, Aulus Gellius, or Tertullian, or some combination of them.
84. Temulentia: Also "abstemius", construed by the Romans to be from abs temetum, "keeping away from wine", whence the English "abstemious", whose sense is broader. See Nonius, cap. 1, "Temulentum dicta est ebriosa, dicta a temeto, quod est vinum, quod attentet mentem, M. Tull. de rep. lib. IV. Ita magnam habet vim disciplina verecundiæ: Carent temeto omnes mulieres." This passage does not survive in what we have left of de Re Publica.
85. Comedy of Plautus: Act I scene 3, lines 7 ff. of Persa; "calamaus", not myrrh.
86. Fabius Dorsenus: sc. Dossennus.
87. Laelius: or Aelius, L. Aelius, Laecum. [Furious debates may be seen in the footnotes of older annotated editions of Pliny, to which I refer you.] Pseudolus: II.4 ll. 51 ff.
88. Wine sellars ... tun up: i.e., cellars (apothecas), not "sellers". Tun up would better be translated "bottle": diffundo, to transfer from large casks (dolia) to smaller containers (amphorae or smaller) for serving. Presumably before this time wine was served directly from the cask or amphora, or poured into skins (although such wines could conceivably still be called diffusa, I suppose). "Tunning up" is what is done with grape juice before it becomes wine.
89. Opimian: cf. Cicero, Brutus 287. On Opimius, see above.
90. Poet: Holland quotes the Latin from the editions of his day. Sc. Quinque Thasi vini depromam, bina Falerni. Hardouin throws a little snit over the presence in earlier editions of inde: "Voculam inde," inquit, "quæ binis syllabis constant, conflatam esse ex posteriore vocis prioris syllaba et ex priore subsequentis, nemo non videt."
91. 675 yeare: only the 1524 Cologne edition reads 675, probably a mistake. Sc. 665 (although some editors read 565).
92. Rundlets: or runlets, barrels of size varying from 3 to about 18 gallons. The "feast" is Pliny's convivium; Falernian wines by the amphora, wines of Chios by the cadus, says Pliny.
93. The former book: better, "a previous book". Book XII, where "verjuice" is Pliny's omphacium.
§ 12 congios. [Pliny's cadus, equal to about 1-1/2 amphorae, or 12 congii, about 72 pints.]
94. Lotos: Book XIII. Pliny does not talk about how the wine is made in that passage.
95. Chydeæ: chydæas. These dates are called caryotes in Book XIII.
96. Catorchites: emended out of Dioscorides, lib. V, from the troc[h]in of the manuscripts.
97. Figs, siliqua: see Book XIII on these. On siliqua, XIII, Chap. VIII. On the Cyprian fig-tree, see XIII, S. 58.
98. Forty deniers: Thus the editions of Holland's day. According to Mayhoff, we should read fifty deniers, 𝈂 L, the denarius siglum read as an X.
99. I have shewed: above.
100. Forty drams: once again, (the weight of) fifty denarii. See note 98.
101. Cato: de Agri Cult. cap. 114, 115.
102. Arcadia: all editions of Holland's Pliny have Arabia, a mistake.
103. Beare children: whether they are barren or not. Cf. Athenaeus, lib. I; Aelian, Var. Hist., XIII, 6 (in Heraea in Arcadia, he says); Theophrast. Histor. lib. IX.19-20.
104. Coniades: sc. Commiades.
105. Mitigate wine with plaster: At first glance this seems unlikely (and possibly dangerous), but cf. Columella R.R. XII.xx.8, Pliny XXIII.xxiv.45 and XXXVI.xlviii.166. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allows the use of calcium sulfate (gypsum) to lower the pH of sherry and wine (but not beer) (see this PDF file: "BATF also permits it to lower pH in sherry wine, provided that the sulfate content of the finished wine does not exceed 2.0g/L, expressed as potassium sulfate (27 CFR 24.246). Use in alcoholic beverages is limited to 16.69 pounds per 1,000 gallons").
106. Slibber-sauces: "A compound or concoction of a messy, repulsive, or nauseous character, used esp. for medicinal purposes ", says the OED (whose citation, from this passage of this edition, has "sliber-sauces"; that spelling is in fact from the 1634 edition. Tsk, tsk). Pliny's medicamina.
107. Next book: "proximo volumine"; in fact, Book XVI, 52.
108. Vappa: see, for instance, Horace Satires 1.2.12.
109. Brutium: Bruttia.
110. Virgil: Georgics II, 438.
111. The very word: R.R. 114, 115, etc., concinnare, quod, inquit Festus, "est apte componere".
112. Keep fire: cf. Pliny XXIII.xxxi.63.
113. Wine will not freeze: cf. Macrobius, Saturn. VII.xii. Wine of course will freeze; and Dalechamps points out that in "the northern parts even the very spirit of wine , l'eau-de-vie, is frozen".
114. Steanes of earth: that is, large earthen-ware pots. Steane means literally a stone or stoneware jug.
115. pitch. In the deep of winter: Holland is translating from an edition that reads "mastiche ac pice. Bruma apeiri" rather than "mastiche ac pice Bruttia. apeiri", the reading preferred by most modern editors, and which makes more practical sense.
116. Horses: cf. Homer VIII.184 ff, although it seems the horses, or their souls, asked for the wine.
§§ Vide lib. 36. cap. 21. [XXXVI.xlii.156]
117. Jealous and stern husbands: graves, to which Hardouin adds a note vino graves, indeed the effect of drink on many.
118. Blabd-cheeks: i.e., blabbed cheeks: swollen (as with "blebs" or "blobs", obsolete word for various swellings).
§§§ not The thrice-gallant knight. [A joke of Holland's: makes no sense in Latin.]
Whereupon he was called Biberius Mero, for Tiberius Nero.[Sueton. in Tiber. cap. 42 (Englished)]
119. C. Piso: sc. L. Piso (Holland's error). See Seneca Epist. Moral. LXXXIII.14 (Englished; no local links in either (spurious local links in the English): look for LXXXIII).
120. M. Cicero the younger: "M. F. Cicero", says Pliny; son of M. T. Cicero. The phrase following is Holland's gloss, not in Pliny.
121. He: M. Antonius.
i. Malt [of any grain].
Zythus and Curmi, Ale and Beere. [Cf. Pliny XXII.164: zythus in Egypt, caelia and cerea in Spain, cervesia in Gaul. Curmi is from the Gaelic word for an ale or beer.]
122. Continue stale: stale, of ale and beer, means that it has stood long enough that all dregs, lees and impurities have settled out.
This page is by James Eason.