« ÎnapoiContinuați »
spirits of a company as drinking does, Milton well depicts the complacent though surely they will not improve con- feelings which are induced by vinous ir versation."'*
dulgence :III. The use of intoxicating liquors is “Soon as the portion works, their human countnance found to impart a false confidence, by which The express resemblance of the gods, is chang’d those who indulge in it assume a disposition Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear, foreign to their natural temper. “Wine," or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
All other parts remaining as they were; says the illustrious individual whose opinion And they, so perfect is their misery, has just been quoted, “makes a man better Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely than before." pleased with himself, but the danger is, that while a man grows better pleased with A drunkard is an object so commonly himself, he may be growing less pleasing to seen in our streets in the present day, that others. Wine gives a man nothing. It his condition rarely excites disgust, or even neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it remark; too often indeed this melancholy only animates a man, and enables him to exhibition of our fallen state is made a bring out what a dread of company has fruitful subject of ridicule and mirth. The repressed. A man should cultivate his ancient Spartans, on the contrary, held this mind so as to have that confidence and vice in such just abhorrence, that with a readiness without wine, which wine gives." view to excite feelings of disgust in the
Sir Joshua Reynolds having maintained minds of the young, they were accustomed that wine improved conversation, Dr. John- to intoxicate their slaves, and to exhibit son replied, “ No, Sir, before dinner men them to public gaze in this degraded state. meet with great inequality of understanding, Many persons have been observed, when and those who are conscious of their in- under the influence of wine, to discover feriority, have the modesty not to talk; those matters, which, while sober, they when they have drank wine, every man feels were desirous to conceal. Thus the old himself comfortable, and loses that modesty, proverb, “ Ingrediente vino egreditur secreand grows impudent and vociferous; but he tum.' As the wine goes in, so the secret is not improved, he is only not sensible of goes out. This, however, must be viewed his defects.”+
in a limited sense, and the popular phrase, The greater the indulgence in strong" in vino veritas," is decidedly not universal drink the less power do we possess over in its application. The general effect of the natural disposition.
stimulating liquor, no doubt, is, in propar" At the beginning of intoxication,”tion to the amount of indulgence, to remove remarks Sir A. Carlysle, " the ideas flow a man from the possession of his faculties, with a more than natural rapidity ; self-love and, very frequently, to infuse into him such soars above our prudence, and shows itself feelings as are alien to his natural disopenly; we lay aside the scale of delibera- position. tion, the slow, pondering, measuring, and Athenæus has preserved the following comparing instruments of judgment. In verse of Ephippas : this condition every man is a hero to him
Οινου σε πληθος πολλ' αναγχαζει λαλειν, self; he feels as he wishes, and the state of
Ουκουν μεθυοντας φασι τ' αληθη λεγειν. his mind is betrayed by boastings and
. falsehoods, by pretensions to abilities beyond “ They who drink deep, to boundless talk incline,
And hence the proverb, " there is truth in wine." his possessions, and by a delusive contempt for the evils that beset him.”
Mr. Pinkerton, with justice, doubts the Addison appears to have been of this truth of this well known adage, which opinion, for he remarks, that not only does implies, he observes, that intoxication reveals the vice of intemperance betray the hidden the real character, inasmuch, as he correctly faults of a man, and show them in the most states, the effects of wine when not stupeodious colours, but it often occasions faults factory are precisely those of an inflamma. to which he is not naturally subject. tory fever.t • Wine,” adds this celebrated moralist, Mr. Boswell, on one occasion, in conversa“ throws a man out of himself, and infuses tion with Dr. Johnson, undertook to defend qualities into the mind, which she is a convivial indulgence in wine, in the course stranger to in her sober moments."
of which he adduced the memorable maxim Hafiz, the Persian poet, characterizes under consideration. “That,” replied the wine as " the leveller of men.”
An Indian doctor, “
may be an argument for drinking, on one occasion, in reply to an inquiry if you suppose men in general to be liars. made by a French officer, said in relation But, Sir, I would not keep company with a to brandy :—" It is made of tongues and fellow who lies as long as he is sober, and hearts ; for when I have drank of it I fear whom you must make drunk before you can nothing, and I talk like an angel.”
get a word of truth out of him."
Thomson, in his Autumn, v. 538, in a * Boswell's Life of Johnson. Conversation with description of rural drunkenness, well deSir Joshua Reynolds.
I Sir A. Carlysle on Moral Influence of Fer- * Voyage de Rouvie, p. 497. mented Liquors.
+ Pinkerton's Recoll. of Paris, vol. ii. p. 345.
scribes the effects of strong drink on the I shall not pretend to decide ; but it appears speech :
to me, the causes exhibited are equal to the “ Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,
stated effects." Vociferous at once from twenty tongues,
This writer then adduces, as one of the Reels fast from theme to theme."
moral effects of Fermented Liquors, “A Philips, in his poem entitled Cyder, b. 2, dissolute carelessness about right and p. 143, thus speaks :then twenty tongues at once,
Dr. Rush viewed this subject in a similar Conspire in senseless jargon;
light. In regard to men“ who are intoxi. Philoxenus, in Athenæus, uses these cha- cated, in any degree, with spirits," he racteristic words, Euppeitas oivos Naudwvos. observes, that they “ violate promises and
Byron made the following characteristic engagements without shame or note of a party at which Sheridan was From these deficiencies in veracity and present, and where the wine as usual was
integrity, they pass on to crimes of a freely circulated : “First silent, then talky, more heinous nature, which it would be to then argumentative, then disputatious, then dishonour human nature only to name.” unintelligible, then altogethery, then in
The Parliamentary Inquiry which has articulate, and then--drunk."
been previously quoted, shows the same Solon, on one occasion, at a drinking results under the head of “Extinction of match, was asked by Periander whether his all moral and religious principle."'* silence was owing to his folly or to the
Dr. Farre observes,—“ Alcohol not only want of discourse. He replied, no fool can
disorganizes the body, but it completely be silent on his cups.
demoralizes the mind, beginning with the IV. The use of intoxicating liquors is destruction of the love of truth, and upon powerfully injurious to the moral faculties, that base proceeds every vice.”+ and destructive of moral principles. The
Horace informs us that the Thracians, position of man, as a moral agent and an who were free drinkers, “lost all distinction accountable being, is of the highest import- of vice or virtue." I He is susceptible of the most refined
The use of strong drink brutalizes the and exquisite feelings, which are capable of feelings, excites the passions, and destroys affording him the highest enjoyment. The the natural affections. It thus forms the happiness of human beings depends in a great strongest inducement to the commission of measure on the proper discipline of the moral every species of crime. Under its madden. feelings. Happiness is essentially progres- ing influence, the passions obtain presive. The mind is ever restlessly engaged eminence over reason. The vilest feelings in searching out new means of occupation of human nature are brought into active
of enjoyment. Activity is operation. Every successive gradation of necessary to preserve the mental faculties vice removes its unhappy victim still further in a healthy condition. Intoxicating liquors from his original and respectable sphere in enervate the moral powers, and weaken the society. Men, naturally' humane in their stability of virtuous resolutions, and have a dispositions, under the influence of intoxi. direct tendency, moreover, not only to blunt cation, commit deeds, which in calmer the acuteness of the moral feelings, but to moments, they view with horror and detesdecrease their activity. Disregard of vera
tation. Strong drink gradually hardens city, violation of engagements, and extinc- the heart, and renders it callous to every tion of shame and repentance, form the humane and generous feeling. The individual leading characteristics of sensuality and who is under its influence, “ fears not God, intemperance. The drunkard is in general neither regards man.” as unfit to be trusted in
Among the consequences of intemperance, the several relations of life; his actions as exhibited by the late Parliamentary are ever viewed with suspicion and dis- Inquiry, are enumerated the following: trust. Swelling of the feet and legs, is so
Irritation of all the worst passions of the characteristic a mark of intemperance in heart; hatred, anger, revenge ; with “a America, that the merchants of Charleston brutalization of disposition that breaks cease to trust the planters as soon as they asunder and destroys the most endearing perceive it. Industry and virtue are sup
bonds of nature and society.” Violation of posed to be extinct in the man, in whom chastity, insensibility to shame, and inthat sympton of disease has been produced
describable degradation ; as proved by by habits of intemperance.*
clegymen, magistrates, overseers, teachers, “Whether,” remarks Sir A. Carlysle, and others, examined by the Committee on “ the dissolution of moral integrity, which so
all these points.ll often accompanies drunkenness, be depen
Mr. Poynder, whose opportunities of dent upon the prevalence of undisguised observing the deleterious influence of spiselfishness, of hasty and crude judgment, or rituous liquors on the morals of the people upon other changes in the moral faculties,
* Parliamentary Report, p. 4. * Ing. into the Effects of Ardent Spirits, by
+ Parl. Evid., p. 103.
I Lib. i. Carm. 18. Benj. Rush, M.D.
|| Report of Select Committee, p. 4, 834.
were great, states among their other effects, him, whether he had not shown great steadi. the obduracy and hardness of the heart ness of hand ? which the habit induces.
". With respect,
Philopater, (Ptolemæus) Prusia, king of he says, “to its tendency to harden the Bithynia, Maximinus, Sylla, and other heart, and extinguish the natural affections, monarchs of ancient times, present addiI have observed that it engenders selfishness tional examples. Of Sylla, it is said, that like and unkindness in the poor, to an extraor- Marius, on his death bed, he wished to dinary degree.” Mr. Poynder feelingly drown the stings of conscience and remorse adverts to the brutality which husbands by being in a state of perpetual intoxication. display to their wives, the desertion of their Tiberius, (Nero) emperor of Rome, was a families, the utter carelessness and neglect most immoral character, conspicuous alone of their own and their relatives temporal and for cruelty, avarice, deceit, and ingratitude. spiritual welfare ; all of which are the During his retreat to Capreæ, this heartless natural consequences of indulgence in strong monster held out suitable inducements to drink. *
such as could invent new pleasures, or Sir A. Carlysle, in his observations on the produce fresh luxuries, and abandoned him. moral influence of strong drinks, states that self to the most hideous and loathsome “they produce insensibility, unfeelingness, vices. In consequence of bis excessive and inhumanity.”
intemperance, Tiberius, in derision, was “In the drunkard,” says Dr. Willan, denominated Biberius, while his surname of “the memory and the faculties depending Nero, was with equal appropriateness on it being impaired, there takes place an changed to that of Mero. Of this emperor, indifference towards usual occupation, and Seneca humorously observed, that he never accustomed society or amucements. No was intoxicated but once in his life, for he interest is taken in the concerns of others-- continued in a perpetual state of inebriation, no love, no sympathy remain; even natural from the time he gave himself up to affection to nearest relatives is gradually drinking, till the last moment of his life. extinguished, and the moral sense obliterated. Nero Claudius, another Emperor of Rome, The wretched victims of a fatal poison fall was celebrated for his cruel and debauched at length into a state of fatuity, and die with habits. His burning of the city of Rome the powers both of body and mind wholly and other diabolical acts, are familiar to exhausted. Some, after repeated fits of every reader of history. This tyrant was a derangement, expire in a sudden and violent most intemperate character. It was his phrenzy; some are hurried out of the world usual custom to frequent taverns, and by apoplexies; others perish by the slower places of gross debauchery. process of jaundice, dropsy," &c.
The records of modern times abound in The pages of ancient history present examples, which exhibit the awful power of innumerable examples of this kind, the inebriation in the production of cruelty and narration of which excites the keenest feel crime; though the numerous instances ings of pity, not unmingled with disgust. which present themselves in common life, Cambyses, king of Persia, delighted to render any further illustration almost unwitness the tortures of his fellow-creatures. necessary. On one occasion, this monarch commanded The Orientals characteristically denomiPrexaspes, a principal officer in his court, nate wine as mater malorum, the mother of to disclose the opinions entertained of him evils ; an appropriate appellation, inasmuch by his subjects. “They admire, sir,” said as its use is productive of almost every Prexaspes, “ many excellent qualities which species of disorder and crime. A Catholic they see in you, but they are somewhat legend informs us that the devil gave a mortified at your immoderate love of wine;" hermit the choice of three great vices, par“I understand you,” replied the king, ricide, incest, or drunkenness. The hermit " That is, they pretend that wine deprives recoiled with horror at the two former, and me of my reason; you shall be judge of that without hesitation made choice of the latter, immediately.” The tyrant then commenced as the least sinful. He became drunk, and drinking excessively, pouring the wine down in that state committed the other two. his throat in larger quantities than he had One of our poets thus depicts the effects ever done before. He afterwards commanded of strong drink on the passions : the son of Prexaspes, who was his chief cup- "He that is drunken may his mother kill, bearer, to stand upright at the end of the Big with his sister ; he hath lost the reins : room, with his left hand placed upon his Is outlawed by himself. All kinds of ill
Did with his liquor, slide into his veins. head. The monster then took his bow,
The drunkard forfeits man ; and doth divest levelled it at the youth, and declaring that All worldly right, save what he hath by beast."* ne aimed at his heart, actually shot him
It is perhaps one of the most remarkable through that vital organ. Cambyses com- but instructive facts connected with this manded the body to be opened, and exhibit- subject, that many of the most horrible ing the heart to the bereaved parent, in an deeds of cruelty and bloodshed, which form exulting and scoffing manner enquired of the worst features of our calendars, committed under the influence of strong drink, your honour, that a gentleman of your are those of individuals who in their sober knowledge would ask such a simple question; state were known to be humane and kind in sure you do not think they would come their dispositions.
* Examination before the House of Commons.
* HERBERT's Poems - The Church Porch.
without preparing themselves ; I will engage Bishop Burnet, who had much intercourse they had two or three glasses of whiskey a with Peter the Great during his memorable man, whatever more they might have visit to this country, describes him as a man drank."'* This simple circumstance is corof very hot temper, and soon influenced.” roborated by universal experience. The Czar, however, was not naturally devoid The murderers of the three brothers, the of feeling or kindness of disposition. His Kaneelly's, in the county of Tipperary, invehement passions were roused by the tended merely to beat them, and frighten maddening influence of strong drink. “ He them, from the possession of a piece of land raises his natural heat,” says the same taken in opposition to the rules of a secret distinguished prelate, “by drinking much society. The leader of the party unforbrandy, which he rectifies himself with tunately gave each of them several glasses great application.” Many dark shades in of whiskey, and maddened by the poison, Peter's character doubtless bad their origin nothing could satisfy them but blood.+ in this unfortunate habit. His biographers One of the persons implicated in the indeed inform us that most of the gross murder (by burning them alive) of the undeeds of cruelty attributed to this monarch, fortunate Sheas, of Wildgoose Lodge, were the results of those debauches in which Tipperary, in a conversation with Coun. he commonly indulged.
sellor Mackay, when asked how he could Mr. Poynder, tells us that Mr. Bonar's be induced to take part in so base and murderer, “when not under the influence cowardly a crime, replied, “I was made of drams, was a civil and obliging man, but drunk; and with the aid of whiskey would when he had been drinking, was fierce and not only commit such another crime, but violent." The papers record, so late as twenty others like it." August 1841, a murder committed in a Malone, the murderer of Mr. Lennard, quarrel on a man who was at the time in a (March 1833) when the verdict, guilty, was state of intoxication. “ The deceased, as pronounced against him, in Kilkenny Courtwell as the murderer, is represented to have bouse, said to the judge, “ Yes, my Lord, been addicted to drinking, and when intoxi- I am guilty ;' and pointing to his mother cated, to be quarrelsome, when sober, he in the same dock, exclaimed, “ She has been was kind and well disposed.”
the cause of it." It appeared that the aged Strong drink has ever been the incentive monster, who was upwards of eighty years of crime and wretchedness. “I am fully old, had agreed for the price of the blood to persuaded,” says Mr. Poynder, “ that in all be shed by her offspring. She watched the trials for murder which take place, with approach of the unfortunate gentleman, and very few (if any) exceptions, it would also handed the pistol to her son, on his appear on investigation that the criminal, coming within their reach. Malone was at had, in the first instance, delivered up first startled—“How can I murder the his . mind to the brutalizing effects of poor gentleman,” he remarked, "Take this, spirituous liquors.” Many criminals, in- you cowardly rascal,” said his unnatural deed, assured Mr. Poynder that it was mother, and gave him the remains of a halfnecessary before they committed crimes of pint of whiskey, obtained for the occasion. particular atrocity, that they should have He drank the demon-poison, murdered the recourse to drams, as a stimulus. With unsuspecting victim, and suffered the penalty this knowledge they resorted to them before- of his crime. hand, for no other object but that they Pegsworth, the murderer, in an exami. might be enabled to harden their natures nation, previous to his trial, remarked, “. It and fortify their minds ; after which, says has been stated that I was perfectly cool that gentleman, they found it easy to en- and collected and sober at the time. I de. counter any risk, and to proceed all lengths. clare to God, at whose bar I must shortly One man in particular said to him: Sir, I appear, that I was not sober; and can say could not enter your house in the dead of to the best of my recollection, that I did not the night, and take the chance of your think of the horrid deed at all, until about shooting me in it, or of my being hung when twenty minutes before it was perpetrated.” I got out of it, unless I was to get well It has already been said that strong drink primed first.
destroys the natural affections. The As. A man in Ireland was for some offence or sistant Medical Commissioner, in his report, other, on one occasion, beaten unmercifully inserted in the appendix to the late Poor by the Whitefeet, and left for dead. On Law Inquiry (Ireland), relates the following the following day a magistrate visited the among numerous other cases which came wounded man, to take his deposition. “Did under his notice at the Jervies Street Hosyou know any of the party?"_"No, Sir," pital, Dublin. “ There have been four “ Were they drunk ?"-" No; they were cases of fatal stabbing, within a short all well able to do their business." hey drank anything ?”—“ Well, I wonder
* Parliamentary Evidence, p. 230.
period caused by drunken quarrels; one liquors is forcibly described as tending to the of these, a wife stabbing her husband "destruction of mental capacity and vigor, (by whom she had four children) in the and extinction of aptitude for learning.”' * abdomen with a knife. The intestines pro- The mental faculties are rapidly impaired truded, and although the best medical advice when under the paralyzing influence of strong was immediately procured, the wounded drink, and gradually become more and more man died of inflammation. In another case incapable of action and less vigorous in their two brothers, grown up, and nearly of the operations. The once strong and active same age, after drinking six days together, mind exhibits evidence of weakness and finished by quarrelling; one stabbed the incapacity, and is unable to exercise its other in the stomach, he vomited blood, and powers with its wonted energy and decision. died in two days. Besides these cases there The desire also for knowledge appears to have been others of a fatal character, from decline with the incapacity to acquire it. rupture of the intestines,” and other causes. Hence, the disinclination to studious exer
The following cases are adduced to show cises manifested by those who are in any that parents are devoid of all natural feeling degree intemperate in their habits. when under the influence of strong drink. 2. Obscurity of mental perception.In March, 1837, a woman was brought to The mind loses its accustomed distinctness the Marylebone Police-office, whose counte- of perception, and is unable to discover nance denoted that she was a confirmed with accuracy and clearness the harmony or dram-drinker, charged with having been discordance of any given objects of concaught in the act of pouring a quartern of templation. The beauty and order of gin down the throat of her infant, eight weeks intellectual perception, become less apparent old. The policeman stated that when his and agreeable. attention was called to the prisoner, she was
For when the wine's quick force has pierc'd the drunk, and had a quartern measure in her
brain, hand full of yin, which she was pouring And pushed the raging heat thro' ev'ry vein, deliberately down the throat of the poor The members all grow dull, the reason weak.-baby, which was nearly strangled by the Marmontel in his Memoirs, furnishes us draught. The mother was taken to the with an illustration in point—"The pleasures police office; the infant which was nearly of the table contributed to obscure my black in the face, was conveyed to the work- mental faculties. I never suspected that house to be taken care of.
temperance was the nurse of genius, and In the month of September in the same yet nothing is more true. I awoke with my year, a crowd of persons were attracted in head troubled, and my ideas heavy with the Leather lane, Holborn, by the screams and
vapours of an ample supper. I was asto. struggling of a boy, about eight years of age, nished that my spirits were not as pure and who was in strong hysterics, and who at- as free as in Mathurin, or in Mason Street. tempted to precipitate himself from the Ah! 'tis that the labour of the imagination window, but was fortunately prevented by a will not be disordered by that of other neighbour. It appeared that his father and
organs. The muses, it has been said, are mother had been drinking until they were chaste, it should have been added, that they dead drunk, and they had plied their
are temperate.”+ child with gin until he raved and fell
An ingenious French writer, remarks into fits. He was found to be in a dan- Mr. Pinkerton, observed to me, that if he gerous state, and placed under medical care. wished to employ his evenings in composiNeed we add a word in comment on these tion, he drank nothing but water at dinner, awful facts ? What events to hand down to as even the smallest quantity of wine was future ages, as having occured at a period sufficient to cloud his ideas, so that he was remarkable for the extension of education obliged to alter on the following morning and the diffusion of Christian principles. the little that he had been able to accomplish
V. The human mind has truly been desig- in the evening. I The wine to which allusion nated the noblest part of man. He holds is made, was, like most French wines, weak, his high rank in creation as an intelligent and but slightly intoxicating, and unlike our and accountable being; and in proportion as modern brandied and fiery compositions. he cultivates or neglects the development of The effects of abstinence in preparing the his intellectual and moral powers, does he mind for those efforts, when not only elevate or sink himself in the scale of mental energy, but a rich and fertile beauty rational beings. How degrading for man of imagination is required, have been obmade in the image of his Creator, thus to served from a very early period of the prostitute his moral powers, and to enervate world. During hours of intense study, his intellect through the influence of inebri- many of the most celebrated philosophers of ating liquors !
old, abstained from everything that was rich Among other effects of strong drink on and stimulating in diet. Demosthenes, the intellectual faculties, may be enumerated the following :
* Parliamentary Report-Select Committee, p. 4. 1. Mental incapacity and inaptitude to
+ Memoirs of Marmontel, vol. i. p. 306. acquire knowledge. -The use of intoxicating 1 Recol. of Paris, vol. ii. p. 356.