Luther And Drunkards

“Nobody doubts that the best age was before the Flood. Then men lived to an advanced age in great moderation, without drunkenness, war, and strife. They served only God and fellow-men, and in an admirable way they contemplated God’s heavenly and earthly creatures. A spring of fresh water was more pleasing to them then than all the malmsey wine is to us now.” Thereupon he vehemently damned drunkenness and gluttony. “The Germans [he added] are the best* nation, and I think the h has been changed to g and that they used to be called Hermans^.”

Which is, if you think about it, a bit odd for several reasons. First, the age before the flood was excessively wicked according to Genesis, which is why there was a flood in the first place. And second, Luther drank like a fish himself.

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* – by which he meant the ‘best’ at being drunks.
^ – i.e., drunks.