Brazilian blocos ignore ban on Carnival celebrations.
The Romans of the Decadence (detail), by Thomas Couture, 1847. Musée d’Orsay.
Volume VI, Number 1 | winter 2012
In 1387 the physicians to Charles II of Navarre, in order to treat his illness, soaked his sheets in aqua vitae, a distilled wine, and wrapped him in them to enhance the curative power that the liquid was supposed to possess. The sheets were then sewn shut by a maid, who, instead of cutting the final bit of string, set a candle to it. The alcohol-soaked king went up in a blaze and the maid ran away, leaving him to burn to death.
Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations—wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.—Edmund Burke, 1795
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