Men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke, Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791).
Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
The best of life is but intoxication:
Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk
The hopes of all men and of every nation;
Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk
Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion:
But to return,—Get very drunk; and when
You wake with headache, you shall see what then.
Voluptuous habits speedily bind all the powers of the soul in loathsome vassalage, and exclude every thought except such as relate to the beastly pleasures of which it is the slave. Distracted by cravings as inexorable as they are base, and in their vileness perpetually reproduced, — tantalized by the impure fountains of a diseased imagination, and oppressed with its own effeminacy, — the mind loses its vigor and its productiveness. Every faculty rapidly deteriorates and decays; memory becomes extinguished, inanity destroys resolution, and the heart is as cold and callous as a cinder extinct. It ceases to love, to sympathize, and diffuse the delicious tears that sanctify friendship's shrine. The whole countenance assumes an expression of obdurateness and repugnance. The features, marked with premature decay, proclaim that the source of gentle sentiments, pure emotions, and innocent joys, is exhausted, like a limpid fountain invaded by the scoria and flame of a volcano. All the elements of life seem to have retreated into their abused organs only to perish there. Even the organs themselves are withered, and worse than dead; their infirmities, maladies, sufferings, rush in a multitude upon the degraded victim, and overwhelm him in awful retribution.
Elias Lyman Magoon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 354.
Soon as the potion works, their human count'nance,
Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd
Into some bruitish form of wolf or bear,
Or ounce or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
All other parts remaining as they were;
And they, so perfect in their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright: at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me, I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast!
The wine of Love is music,
And the feast of Love is song:
And when Love sits down to the banquet,
Love sits long:
* * * * *
Sits long and rises drunken,
But not with the feast and the wine;
He reeleth with his own heart,
That great, rich Vine.