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A Tipple at Lunch 17/03/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1825

The vines of the south [i.e. Italy] seem as if they were meant to supply the waste of animal spirits occasioned by the vivacity of the natives. Tuscany is one huge vineyard and olive ground. What would be fields and common hedges in England, are here a mass of orchards producing wine and oily so that the sight becomes tiresome in its very beauty. You want meadows, and a more pastoral rusticity. About noon, all the labourers, peasantry, and small shopkeepers in Tuscany, may be imagined taking their flask of wine. You see them all about Florence, fetching it under their arms. The effect is perceptible ‘after dinner’; though no disorder ensues; the wine being only just strong enough to move the brain pleasantly without intoxication; a man can get drunk with it, if he pleases; but drunkenness is thought as great a vice here, as gallantry is with us. It is a pity that these wines are not brought into England, for they certainly could be. Some of them can be made as strong as port, for those who want a ‘hot intoxicating liquor’; and the rest might serve to give this universal fillip to northern topers, which the Abbe du Bos says is already perceptible in a partial degree since the introduction of burgundy and champagne.

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