Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

temperate. It was certainly admirably | Therefore and thereunto I conclude this calculated to foster and increase, if not to day's diary."

generate those morbid feelings which sub- Immediately after the above description jected his Lordship to continual mental of his dinner, Lord Byron makes the followdepressions. A diet composed of green tea, ing admission:-"The effect of all wines unmixed with nutritive milk or sugar, and and spirits upon me is, however, strange. tobacco, upon an empty stomach, could not It SETTLES, but IT MAKES ME GLOOMYbut be deleterious in its effects. gloomy at the very moment of their effect, At Milan, in October of the same year, and not gay, hardly ever. But it composes we are told that he "often sat up all night for a time, though sullenly." in the ardour of composition, and drank a What a miserable state of mind-how sort of grog, made of Hollands and water-a unwise to seek relief from so questionable a beverage in which he indulged rather copi-source of cure. The consequences were ously, when his muse was dry."* In a lamentable, as his diary testifies, and may letter from Verona, not long after this, he well serve to warn others to avoid the same says, "My health is very endurable, except irregular habits. A day or two afterwards, that I am subject to casual giddiness and he feels "rather in low spirits certainly faintnesses." Mr. Moore describes his hippish-liver touched"-and will take a breakfast, which he rarely took before three dose of salts. This condition was the or four o'clock in the afternoon, as speedily result of late hours, strong drink, and a pardespatched, being ate standing, the meal roxysm of rage-into which latter state, from in general consisting of one or two raw eggs, some comparatively trivial cause, he fell on a cup of tea, without either milk or sugar, the 18th of the same month. and a bit of biscuit. In Venice, Lord Byron was most pro-"at nine, P.M., went out at eleven fligate in his life. He writes (January 28th, 1817,) to Moore in the following strain"The remedy for your plethora is simple abstinence. I was obliged to have recourse to the like some years ago, I mean in point of diet; and with the exception of some convivial weeks and days, (it might be months, now and then,) have kept to Pythagoras ever since. For all this, let me purely animal life all day. I mean to try hear that you are better. You must not indulge in filthy beer,' nor in porter, nor eat suppers. The last are the devil to those who swallow dinner."

February 16th, 1831, Lord Byron says,

returned. Beat the crow for stealing the falcon's victuals-read Tales of my Landlord "-wrote a letter-and mixed a moderate beaker of water with other ingredients." -February 25th, he also says,-" Came home-my head aches-plenty of news, but too tiresome to set down. I have neither read, nor written, nor thought, but led a

66

to write a page or two before I go to bed. But as Squire Suilen says, 'My head aches consumedly: Scrub, bring me a dram!' Drank some Imola wine and some punch.' Now let us ascertain the dinner taken by The night following, he remarks, “ I this noble disciple of Pythagoras, as detailed suffered horridly, from an indigestion, I in his Diary at Ravenna, January 5th, 1821, believe." He then tells us that he was after having risen late in a dull and prevailed upon the previous night (contrary depressed state of mind." Dined versus to usual practice) to sup, or to use his own six of the clock. Forgot there was a words, swallow a quantity of boiled plumb pudding, (I have added, lately, eating cockles, and to dilute them, not reluctantly, to my family of vices) and had dined before with some Imola wine." "When I came I knew it. Drank half a bottle of some home," he further states, "apprehensive of kind of spirits-probably spirits of wine; the consequences, I swallowed three or four for what they call brandy, rum, &c., &c., glasses of spirits, which men (the venders) here, is nothing but spirits of wine coloured call brandy, rum, or Hollands, but which accordingly. Did not eat two apples god's would entitle spirits of wine, coloured which were placed by way of a dessert." or sugared. All was pretty well till I got January 6th, he asks why he has all his life in bed, when I became somewhat swollen, been more or less ennuye, as well as the cause and considerably vertiguous. I got out, of "waking in low spirits, which I have in-and mixing some soda powders, drank them variably done for many years." January off. This brought on temporary relief. I 14th, he writes as follows:-"Read Diodorus returned to bed, but grew sick and sore once Siculus-turned over Seneca, and some again. Took more soda water. At last I other books. Wrote more of the tragedy. fell into a dreary sleep. Woke and was ill Took a glass of grog; after having ridden all day, till I had galloped a few miles. hard in rainy weather, and scribbled and Query was it the cockles, or what I took to scribbled again, the spirits, (at least mine) correct them, that caused the commotion? need a little exhilaration, and I do not take I think both. I remarked in my illness laudanum now as I used to do. So I have the complete inertion, inaction, and destrucmixed a glass of strong waters and single tion of my chief mental faculties. I tried waters, which I shall now proceed to employ. to rouse them, and yet could not-AND

* Galt's Life of Byron. Appendix.

THIS IS THE SOUL!!!" A soul not the image of i's divine Creator, but the effects

of luxury-deadened with excess-its original | Mr. Newnham, in his valuable " Essay brightness obscured by the demoralizing on the Disorders incident to Literary Men," influence of corporeal excess. Need we makes the following judicious remarks: wonder that such habits often terminate in "Some persons employ alcoholic stimuli, open scepticism-or can we feel surprised and others opium, in order to make themthat the literary productions of such men selves up to high intellectual action. To all exhibit in every page marks of moral de- such let me say, instantly, energetically, basement? In September of the same year, in uncompromisingly, abandon now and for giving some directions concerning papers ever such a habit, if you value life, if you and letters in the event of his death, he value usefulness, if you value social character, remarks, "I am not sure that long life is if you value present happiness, if you value desirable for one of my temper and con- peace of mind, if you desire the continustitutional depression of spirits, which of ance of intellectual power, if you would avoid course I suppress in society, but which all the miseries of a paralytic old age, and breaks out when alone, and in my writings, premature imbecility; and if you would not in spite of myself." His removal to Pisa, plant the thorn of bitterest remorse, arising and his diet in that place, contributed little from reflection on intellectual power abused, either to his mental or bodily improvement. and talent relentlessly destroyed, on the Mr. Moore informs us that at midnight pillow of sickness, and the bed of death. until the morning was far advanced, he And to all those who might in future be drank and talked with Captain Medwin. tempted to have recourse to similar means, These continued irregular habits had their let me say, avoid it as your deadliest foe, due effect on his character as a writer. He the implacable enemy to usefulness, to wrote but little, and that little displayed vigor, to health of body and peace of mind, evident symptoms of an impaired genius. to all that intellectual men should hold most His articles in the Liberal, written at this dear, and even to life itself." period, are neither characterized for their moral tone nor their intellectual vigor.

Lockhart, in his "Life of Sir Walter Scott," informs us that he had heard that well known writer exclaim, "Depend upon it, of all vices, drinking is the most incompatible with greatness.'

These characteristic extracts lead us to reflect on a passage in a letter dated, Venice, 1818. "I will work the mine of my youth to the last veins of the ore, and then-good VIII. The influence of strong drink on night! I have lived, and am content." individuals may be discovered in its effects Fallacious notion! His spirit was harassed as exhibited in the various active conditions with anxieties and depressions, not the result of life.

[ocr errors]

"And should Apollo now descend and write, In virtue's praise 'twould never pass for wit.

*

* *

*

of temperament and hereditary transmission Man was intended to possess feelings alone, but the consequences of irregular diet, of personal and national independence. and unrestrained passions. Poor Byron! The demoralizing and impoverishing inHe suffered both in a mental and corporeal fluence of strong drink, diminishes from point of view, the penalties of imprudence. personal independence, and hence, to this His conduct and its results, present a beacon source we may trace innumerable applicato warn others to avoid the same destructive cations for relief from the various charitable path. institutions of this country. Thousands of De Foe, thus satirizes the style of Poems intemperate characters in the present day in his day, as well as the taste of the apply to these benevolent establishments, public, which encouraged light and immoral for the support of those families whose productions :wants ought to have been supplied by the industry of its head, had it not been rendered abortive by habitual intoxication. Were it not for intemperance, few persons, comparatively speaking, would be necessitated to apply for relief from our public charitable institutions, and the various private feeding and clothing associations, now in active Mr. Thackrah, in his well known work, operation, would, in all probability, be done "The Effects of Arts, Trades and Profes- away with, because the savings of the sions, on Health and Longevity," remarks, temperate poor would be reserved for occa"Some literary men have been in the habit sions of extraordinary necessity. No state of taking vinous and spirituous liquors, but of things can be more dangerous to national this practice is decidedly injurious. The welfare, than the decay of personal indeintellectual excitement it produces at the pendence. When men are ordinarily intime is more than counterbalanced by the duced to apply for support to public or subsequent depression; and ruin of health, private charities, they are in danger, from and the abbreviation of life, are the ultimate results. Fermented liquors are decidedly injurious."

The sprightly part attends the God of Wine,
The drunken stile must blaze in every line.
These are the modern qualities must do,
To make the poem and the poet too."*

• Reformation of Manners-Part ii.

the degradation to which the mind is thereby more or less subjected, of losing that spirit of personal freedom, which is both a powerful and honourable stimulus to industry and perseverance. Let an examination be made

of the great mass of persons thus applying for relief, and there is every probability that a large majority will be found to have been brought to that degrading condition from the direct or indirect influence of intemper

ance.

Man is evidently intended to be both a benevolent and a social being. His nature requires the endearing bonds of human sympathy and reciprocal aid. Strong drink uniformly exercises a selfish influence over its votaries. It detaches a man, as it were, from his natural disposition, alienates him from his social attachments and duties, paralyzes his sense of benevolent obligation, and creates a centre of feelings and sympathies in his vitiated affections, purely selfish and personal. A principal source of human happiness in our present state of existence, is to be found in the endearing relations of social and domestic intercourse

1.

Introductory observations, and examples of the evils which result from national intemperance in France, Sweden, Russia, Ireland, and Australia.-II. Extent of intemperance in Great Britain, Ireland, and America.-III. Evils resulting from intemperance to national industry and wealth.-1. Loss of disposition for industry-loss of time-labour-capital, and employment.2. General state of poverty through intemperance. -3. Immense destruction of grain from the manufacture of intoxicating liquors.-4. Loss of property through intemperance both on land and on sea.-5. Loss to trade and the manufactures, and change of ownership of property through the same cause.-6. Loss in other various ways with calculations of the total national loss through the traffic.-IV. Evils resulting to national morals from intemperance.-1. General examples in past times.-2. Effects of intemperance on morals in the colonies, and other possessions of Great Britain.-3. Effects of intemperance in the present day in the production of dishonesty and crime.-4. Intemperance, sabbath-breaking, and other profanities. 5. Intemperance and prostitution.-6. Intemperance and litigation.-V. Effects of intemperance on national intellect and education.-VI. Effects of intemperance on freedom, patriotism, national enterprise and the transaction of public business. VII. Effects of intemperance on national health and longevity.-1. Effects of strong drink on health in former times.-2. State of health of nations where intoxicating liquors are not used.3. Effects of intemperance in the production of disease.-4. Effects of intemperance on mortality.

and enjoyment. A slight review of the effects of intoxicating liquors, will show that their habitual use is opposed to these truly rational and exquisite pleasures. Inebriating liquors not only make man a selfish being, but they form strong inducements for him to seek the pleasures which society I. NATURE has implanted in the breast of affords from home. The irritable state of all men an affection for the land of their birth. mind which the use of strong drink occasions, Everything, therefore, which tends to informs an insuperable obstacle to domestic crease the welfare and happiness of nations, happiness, and hence the flight of their has peculiar claims upon the attention of wretched victims from the bosom of an the philanthropist. The remote causes of affectionate family to the savage haunts of national degeneration are so minute and intemperance and vice. The domestic unobvious, as generally to elude observation. scenes of many of our celebrated lovers of Hence, the most effectual means of reformstrong drink present convincing examples of ation have, unfortunately, too often been these dreadful results of intoxication upon unseen or neglected. the social and domestic relations of life.

SECTION II.

It is to be feared, that, in the present day, vice, in all its varied forms has become so familiar to Christian observation, as to be viewed with far too little apprehension and alarm. To this source may be ascribed the apathy which is manifested as to those

THE EVIL EFFECTS OF INTEMPERANCE CONSIDERED lamentable evils, which arise from the use

IN A NATIONAL POINT OF VIEW.

"Because of drunkenness the land mourneth."

"Pass where we may, through city or through town,
Village, or hamlet, of this merry land,
Though lean and beggar'd, every twentieth pace
Conducts the unguarded nose to such a whiff
Of stale debauch, forth issuing from the styes
That law has licensed, as makes Temperance reel.
'Tis here they learn
The road that leads from competence and peace
To indigence and rapine; till at last
Society, grown weary of the load,
Shakes her encumber'd lap, and casts them out.
But censure profits little; vain the attempt
To advertise in verse a public pest,
That, like the filth with which the peasant feeds
His hungry acres, stinks, and is of use.
The excise is fatten'd with the rich result
Of all this riot; and ten thousand casks,
For ever dribbling out their base contents,
Touch'd by the Midas-finger of the State,
Bleed gold, for ministers to sport away.
Drink, and be mad, then, 'tis your country bids!
Gloriously drunk-obey the important call!
Her cause demands the assistance of your throats;
Ye all can swallow, and she asks no more.'

COWPER.

The

of intoxicating liquors. Every man, reflect
ing on intemperance, must deplore its con-
sequences. The cause or causes, however,
by which this humiliating vice is produced
and cherished are, it is evident, overlooked,
and in a great degree, encouraged.
custom of drinking is so generally and so
intimately interwoven with the social habits
of life, that few persons entirely escape from
its contaminating influence. All national
evils originate in individual practice, and the
extension of its influence and example.
The minute, or solitary evil gradually multi-
plies and accumulates, until it becomes a
gigantic and wide spreading vice. Thus, in
an especial manner, has it been with in-
temperance, which has been characterized
in every age, by its insidious and progressive
advances.

The influence of intoxicating liquors on found attention of the political economist. national prosperity, deserves the most proIt is inseparably connected with the stability

and welfare of nations. The subject has, of Queen Elizabeth, visited Russia in an indeed, more or less, occupied the atten- official capacity, details the following among tion of philosophical moralists, but until other means employed by the Czars, to a very recent period, it did not receive raise supplies. "In every great town the that degree of even local attention which its emperor hath a drinking house, which he vast importance demanded. Indeed, the lets out for rent. Here labourers and artiBritish Government has never actively ficers many times spend all from their wives interfered for the suppression of this vice; and children. Some drink away every thing but on the contrary, the immense revenue they wear about them, even to their very arising from this iniquitous source, has shirts inclusive, and then walk naked, all of operated as a passport to the patronage of which is done for the honour of the emperor : the legislature, in favour of the more ex- nor while they are thus drinking themselves tensive consumption of those pernicious naked, and starving their families, must any poisons. one call them away, because he would hurt

Louis XII., of France, A.D. 1514, first the emperor's revenue."* allowed spirits to be manufactured in that The history of Ireland, during the last kingdom on a large scale. The consequences century, forms another most lamentable to the nation were so terrible, that in twenty-example of the same awful evil. In the two years afterwards, Francis, his successor, sixteenth century, the sale of alcohol was was necessitated, for the safety of his sub-discountenanced as "a drink, nothing profitjects, to enact severe laws for the suppres- able to be daily drunken and used," by sion of drunkenness. Every individual on which "much corn, grain, and other things conviction was, for the first offence, con- is consumed, spent, and wasted, to the great demned to undergo imprisonment, with hindrance, cost, and damage of the poor bread and water for his diet; whipping was inhabitants of the realm." In the early the penalty for the second offence; and for part of the reign of William and Mary, an the third, banishment, in addition to the act was passed "for the encouragement of ears being cut off as a signal mark of igno- distillation," from a desire to benefit agriminious punishment. Louis XIV., also culture. The effects of this ill-judged had recourse to rigorous measures for the measure soon became manifest in the desame purpose. But it is not easy to teriorated health and morals of the people, eradicate the appetite for strong drink when and a portion of the former act was repealed it has once taken deep root. In 1678, with a view to check the consumption of brandy, instead of being confined as it spirituous liquors. In the early part of the hitherto had been, to the shops of the eighteenth century, however, through similar apothecaries, was sold publicly in the streets. mistaken views of national weal, great enFacilities also had been held out for the couragement again was given to the manumore extensive sale of wine, and the use of facture and sale of ardent spirits. strong drink, in one or other of its forms, consequences of this short sighted and soon became associated with all the habits erroneous policy were manifest up to a of business and social intercourse. recent period. The habit became national, Sweden presents another instance of this and the country was cursed with every kind. Previously to the year 1783, that species of evil, moral and physical, which nation had been comparatively free from the follows indulgence in strong drink. evils which arise from the use of strong It can scarcely be expected that a people drink. In that year, however, Gustavus, will long continue virtuous, when not only to increase the revenue, not only permitted the means of sensual indulgence are placed the manufacture of ardent spirits, but ac- within their reach, but also inducements to tively encouraged the establishment of it, are actually held out by the rulers of the houses for its sale, in all the villages and land. A high authority has thus expressed towns of his kingdom. The object he had his opinion on the system of licensing in view was attained, but the consequences houses, for the vending of intoxicating soon became frightful in the extreme. liquors, and by that means increasing the Crime, poverty, disease, and mortality, so facilities for their sale. "I am aware of the fearfully increased, that the same king was law, but am decidedly hostile to the revenue eventually obliged to pass severe enactments acting upon it; the interest of which is, to to restrain the use of what previously he facilitate the sale of spirits under proper had been so active in promoting. Had regulations."+

The

these measures not been put into operation, The public expressions of a late Chancellor the kingdom of Sweden was in imminent of the Exchequer, still more strongly exhibit danger not only of universal demoralization, the dangerous notions of legislators in this but actually of becoming extinct among the respect. This minister, in his speech of

nations of the earth.

* Of the Russ Commonwealth. London, 1592. † 3rd and 4th Philip and Mary.

The history of the Russians presents us with an additional instance of the folly of encouraging the sale of strong drink with a view to promote the revenue. Letter from C. S. Hawthorn, Esq., Chief Com Dr. Giles missioner of Excise, to J. M'Cullum, Esq., In Fletcher, who, towards the end of the reignspector in Cork. 1819,

1836, in stating the intention of Government in 1816, it was £193,775; and in 1817, it to take off the extra duty laid upon spirit was £229,152. In the year 1836-7, the licenses during the last Session, estimated, cost of this colony was £250,480. The to use his own expressive words, upon government of this country could not making up the loss to the revenue by the anticipate any other result from the encou"increased consumption which would ragement given to this iniquitous traffic, thereby be produced."* The cool and than expense, disorder, immorality, and irrecalculating spirit in which this declaration ligion. was made, cannot be too deeply deplored.

In 1803, the recorder of Dublin, in his The welfare of the people ought to be the examination beford the Privy Council, (after end of all good Governments. The value of the partial insurrection which took place the revenue is truly insignificant when com- that year,) made some remark on the conpared with the virtuous habits of the people, sequences of the excessive use of spirituous on which the stability of all Governments liquors. Its importance to the revenue was principally depends. urged," Of what use," he replied, " is that revenue, if it produces an insurrection every twenty or thirty years."

66

II. Extent of intemperance, with some statistical information on the same.-The extent of intemperance in various important portions of the globe has been entered into in a previous section. Some additional facts will very appropriately precede the startling statements about to be made.

The consumption of spirits and wines in the years 1820, 1830, and 1837, was as follows:

The Australian, a newspaper published at Sydney, New South Wales, states that "distillation originally was permitted in that colony to encourage agriculture." The result, according to a recent writer, was as follows: in a district where at one time not a single grain of corn was cultivated, there was a demand for fifty thousand bushels, "for the mere annual consumption of one of our distilleries:" from two of which issue several hundred thousand gallons annually of a pure spirit from our barley and maize, and thirteen breweries, producing yearly eight thousand hogsheads of ale and beer.' This writer then seriously exclaims: "We cannot but be proud of the energies displayed by our enterprizing community."+ The effect of this enterprize, fostered as it is by a paternal government, may be estimated by the fact that in Sydney and its neighbourhood there are instituted six separate courts of quarter England sessions, and eleven distinct benches of Scotland magistrates. The cost of this colony to the Ireland British nation has been in exact proportion. According to Mr. Wentworth, the total expense of the colony from 1788 to 1797 was £86,435 per annum; from 1798 to 1811, £116,709 per annum; from 1812 to 1815, it increased to £198,456 per annum

;

1820 1830 1837 Spirits 12,894,985 27,726,859 28,943,103 Wines 4,586,485 6,434,445 6,391,560 The quantities in each country, upon which consumption duties were paid in 1837, were as follows:

[blocks in formation]

The following tables will exhibit the quantities of malt made, and its consumption by brewers, together with the number of places appropriated for the sale of malt liquors in the United Kingdom.

MALT.

Total Number of Quarters of MALT made between 5th January, 1838, and 5th January,

1839, in the United Kingdom.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

*The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Speech, May 6th, 1836.
Two years in New South Wales, by P. Cunningham, Surgeon, R. N.
Description of New South Wales, by W. C. Wentworth, 1819.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »