A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 17, 2013
“Friendship is the wine of life”

"Friendship is the wine of life” (or “friends are the wine of life") is a saying that has been printed on various gift items. Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606) contained the line “the wine of life is drawn.” The Works of Mr Abraham Cowley (1678) included, “All the good Wine of Life our drunken youth devours.”

English poet Edward Young (1683-1765) created a memorable line in his The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality (1743):

“Friendship’s the wine of life; but friendship new
(Not such was his) is neither strong nor pure.”

.

Wikiquote: Edward Young
Edward Young (1683 – April 5, 1765) was an English poet, best remembered for Night Thoughts.
(...)
Night Thoughts (1742-1745)
Night II
Friendship’s the wine of life; but friendship new
(Not such was his) is neither strong nor pure.
Line 582.

No Fear Shakespeare
Macbeth
Act 2, Scene 3, Page 6
MACBETH (1606?—ed.)
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessèd time, for from this instant
There’s nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead.
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.

Google Books
The Works of Mr Abraham Cowley:
The Fifth Edition

London: Printed by J. M. for Henry Herringman
1678
Pg. 43:
All the good Wine of Life our drunken youth devours; ...

OCLC WorldCat record
The complaint: or, Night-thoughts on time, death, friendship. : Night the second. Humbly inscrib’d to the Right Honourable the Earl of Wilmington.
Author: Edward Young
Publisher: London [i.e. Edinburgh?] : Printed for R. Dodsley, at Tully’s Head in Pall-Mall, and T. Cooper, at the Globe in Pater-Noster-Row, MDCCXLII. [1742]
Series: Eighteenth century collections online.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English : The 3rd ed

Google Books
March 1743, The Scots Magazine, pg. 131, col. 2:
Friendship’s the wine of life; but friendship new
(Not such was his) is neither strong nor pure.
(From “Night II” by Edward Young—ed.)

Google Books
The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
By James Boswell
London: Printed by Henry Baldwin
1791
Pg. 165:
Friendship, “the wine of life,” should, like a well-stocked cellar, be thus continually renewed; and it is consolatory to think, that although we can seldom add what will equal the generous first-growths of our youth, yet friendship becomes insensibly old in much less time than is commonly imagined, and not many years are required to make it very mellow and pleasant.

30 December 1799, Eastern Herald (Portland, ME), pg. 4, col. 2:
“Friendship’s the Wine of Life.”

Chronicling America
11 September 1874, Bolivar (TN) Bulletin, pg. 4, col. 1:
GEMS OF THOUGHT.
Friendship is the wine of life.—Young.

Chronicling America
27 February 1884, Hartford (KY) Herald, pg. 4, col. 1:
Friendship is the wine of life, but love is its alcohol.

18 March 1895, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 4:
Some one says “Friendship Is the wine of life,” and there certainly is a stimulant in it that warms and inspires as we grow older.

Chronicling America
3 March 1909, The Adair County News (Columbia, KY), pg. 2, col. 2:
Friendship is the wine of life, and no man can get enough of it to become inebriated.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, February 17, 2013 • Permalink