Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

tem inhibuit, neve alius alii propinaret.* - briating liquors. Death was the punishCharles not only prohibited drunkenness, but ment on conviction of drunkenness.* the drinking of healths in company. The The laws of the ancient Scots, in relation latter practice has ever been a precursor of to those who kept houses for the sale of the former.

drink, were pereraptory and severe. These The Anglo-Saxons, had a curious regu- individuals were regarded as persons, who, lation in relation to drinking. It was unhappily for the interests of the nation, enacted by Edgar, and was intended to re- made provision to indulge the pleasures strain immoderate vinous indulgence.- rather than the necessities of mankind, and Their drinking cups were required to have who generally enticed men to a debauched golden or silver nails or studs perpendicu- and vicious life.f. It is said that Argadus, larly affixed to their sides, at stated dis- Administrator of Scotland, A.D. 160, contances, so that each person, when the vessel fiscated their goods, pulled down their was handed round, "might know his exact houses, and banished the men. Constanmeasure, and neither drink himself, nor tine the Second also is said to have made a oblige others to drink beyond it. Bromptont law, by which their houses were to be de. and Selden, f distinctly allude to this law.-stroyed, and themselves banished. If they They leave us in the dark, however, as to did not submit to this law, they were to be the number of cups which might be taken, hung. The same lawgiver also decreed, without some restraint, on which point, the that all persons who held a magisterial or law in question could not, as indeed history other public post should abstain from all informs us it did not, effect much benefit in inebriating liquors. An infringement of the way it was intended.

this law was visited with death. The canons of Archbishop Anselm, made At a more recent period, a proclamation in the council of London, A.D. 1102, contain of the town council, Glasgow, containing an an order in which priests are enjoined not abbreviate of the Acts of Parliament made to attend drinking bouts, nor to drink to pegs. against profaneness and vice, inflicted severe The common expressions, “he is in a merry penalties on those who “drank to excess. pin,” and “to take a person a peg lower," Each nobleman who committed this excess most probably originated in this singular was liable to a penalty of £20 Scots; each practice.

baron to twenty merks; each gentleman, The laws of the ancient Welsh and Scotch heritor, or burgess, to ten merks; each contain strong injunctions against intemper- yeoman to forty shillings ; each servant to ance, and in particular in reference to those twenty shillings, Scots, toties quoties ; miwho held important stations in society. An nisters forfeited a fifth portion of their ancient Welch enactment enjoins sobriety year's stipend. among the three principal professional Drunkenness in youth among the ancient branches of society. "If an injury was done Mexicans was also deemed a capital crime. to them while in a state of drunkenness, Even in advanced years it was punished they could not obtain legal redress for it.— with groat severity. In the case of a noJudges were always to be in such a state bleman, it incurred not only forfeiture of as to administer justice; the clergy in á At office and rank, but entailed infamy on its condition to communicate the sacrament; unfortunate subject. and physicians always to be prepared to at- An ancient law of Spain decreed, that if tend to the duties of their profession. In a person of rank was convicted, even of a another copy of the same law, in the collec- capital offence, he should be pardoned on tion of Sir H. Spelman, it is added, that pleading, in extenuation, that he was drunk the Secretary of State, who is denominated at the time of its perpetration. It was Sacerdos Curiæ, was never to be in a state taken for granted, that any one who laid of inebriation, that he might always be in claim to the character of a gentleman readiness to receive and send out public would rather suffer death than confess despatches.ll

himself guilty of so degrading a vice. The writings of Hector Boetius suffi- The history of eastern countries, perciently show the severity of the Scottish haps, presents us with the most remarkable laws in reference to the subject under and successful attempt, on record, to do consideration, and the utter detestation in away with the evils of intemperance. This which, in ancient times, that nation held observation applies in particular to those drunkenness. Laws for the suppression of luxury were enacted at Scone, A.D. 861, by King Constantine the Second. One of these * Hect. Boet., lib. X. Adolescentes ab omni commanded young persons of either sex inebriante penitus abstinerent. Si adolescens, puer to abstain entirely from the use of ine- aut puella, inebriaretur, id illi capitale foret.

+ Lixas, Cupediarios, Popinones, simileque ho minum genus, ad mortalium voluptatem, magis

quam necessitatem, malo genio paratum, ad deGoldast., tom. i.

licias contra patrium ritum alliciens, citans, im† Brompton's Chronicle, col. 869.

pellens, publicatis fortunis, dirutisque ædibus, Selden, Analecta, I. ii., c. 6.

proscripsit.-Hect. BOET. SMS. Mert.. fol. 52.

I Hect. Boet., lib. v., et 10. li Spelin. Conc, i., p. 459.

Ś Ibid., lib. v., fol. 79.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

districts whose inhabitants strictly are the chance; be obedient to God, and the profollowers of Mabomet.

phet, his apostle, and take heed to yourThe Mahometan prohibition from wine selves.” Mr. Sale and Sieur de Ryer both is stated, on good authority, not to have agree in opinion, that Mahomet commanded originated with the prophet, but to have this prohibition in consequence of these been taken from a sacred book called the disturbances and quarrels, combined with Taalim. The author of this learned book the neglect of religious duties, which the gives the following singular reason for its use of wine occasions. Mr. Sale's words enactment ; it is, however, known only to are,—“ Because the ill qualities of wine the learned doctors of the religion of the surpass its good ones, the common effects Koran : Two angels, the one called Arot, thereof being quarrels and disturbances in and the other Marot, were sent, in prefer- company, and neglect, or, at least, indeerce to all others, to govern the world, with cencies, in the performance of religious express orders not to drink wine. A differ- duties." ence happening to arise between a husband The less learned among the Mahometans and wife, who previously had lived together attribute this celebrated law to the followin the greatest harmony, the latter, who ing circumstance : “One day Mahomet, was desirous to regain the affections of her passing through a village, remarked that husband, imagined that she could easily ac- the inhabitants were celebrating some fescomplish so desirable an object by the medi- tival with great joy. Having ascertained ation of the two favourites of heaven. She that a wedding and wine were the causes accordingly invited them both to her house, of this mirth, the prophet, in his wisdom, where they were received with every mark judging that pleasure was the soul of life, of distinction. Wine was presented to them conceived a great fondness for that liquor, in a cup, which they were not able to refuse which enchanted the senses, by making from the beautiful hands that offered it. men forget their miseries. On passing, “ It is not,” remarks the writer from whose however, the next morning through the work this narration is taken, “ very excus- same place, Mahomet saw the earth drenched able in celestial beings to become mortal with human blood, and soon learned that for the sake of a fine woman. They the guests, having become mad by their tasted of the liquor, which appeared to them excessive use of wine, had attacked each so delicious in its nature, that they drank other in the most cruel manner, and some too much of it; so that becoming inflamed, of them had been killed, while the greater and even intoxicated by it, they were desir- part were covered with wounds. The proous to repay their kind hostess by certain phet, like a wise man, now saw reason to marks of attachment, which, remarks the change his former hasty opinion, and detersame writer, are in general more used by mined to have nothing to do with a plealovers than by husbands. The woman, being sure the end of which was so bitter and faithful and chaste, was much embarrassed destructive."* and concerned to get out of this dilemma. Abulfeda assigns another reason for the Under a pretence of curiosity, however, prohibition, in his account of the prophet's she asked the two messengers what words night journey to heaven. The angel Gabriel they made use of to procure a return to presented to the prophet three cups, one of heaven. One weakness generally leads to which contained wine, the other milk, and another, and the angels disclosed to her the third was filled with honey. Mahomet their important secret. The woman in- made choice of the milk, after which he stantly profited by their disclosure, and heard a voice, which said, “Thou hast made ascended to the throne of the Eternal, a lucky choice, Mahomet, since, hadst where, in a suppliant tone, she exposed thou drank of the wine, thy nation would her complaint, which was beard with jus- have deviated from the right path, and, tice. The Father of the Universe did even consequently, in their enterprizes, have more, for this pure soul became a radiant proved unsuccessful.” These facts sufficistar, and the unfaithful angels were tied by ently show that this celebrated enactment the feet with chains, and precipitated into had its origin in motives of policy on the the well called Babil, where the Mahome- part of Mahomet, who foresaw that he tans believe they will remain until the day would not succeed in his schemes of aggranof judgment. The Almighty on this ac- dizement if his followers were enervated by count prohibited the use of wine to all his the pernicious influence of wine. The servants for ever.*

nature of the climate in Arabia rendered In the Koran, however, the prophet at- the use of alcoholic stimulants peculiarly tributes this prohibition altogether to the dangerous, and those who were accustomed broils which wines and games of chance to indulge in them were continually liable had occasioned among his followers. “Thej to excesses and breach of discipline. devil desires to sow dissensions and hatred Some of the more pious Mahometans among men, through wine and games of consider it unlawful not only to taste wine,

• Maritis' Travels, vol, ii., p. 147.

# Maritis' Travels, vol. ii., p. 149.

[ocr errors]

water.

but to press grapes for the making of it, of hunger and thirst, and greatly fatigued, to buy or sell it, or even to maintain them- entered the cottage of an Arabian peasant, selves with the money arising from the and asked him for something to eat and sale of that liquor. A writer of great drink. The Arab set before him a brown authority asserts, that some Mussulmans loaf, and a little milk. On Mahadi desiring are so strict in regard to the same point, the peasant to give him something better, that they will not call wine by its true a pitcher of wine was forth with brought, name, lest by that means they should offend of which the caliph took two draughts. against the laws of the prophet, while some Mahadi then inquired of the man whether of the Arabian princes have been so scru- he knew who he was. The Arab replied pulous as even to forbid the bare mention in the negative. “I am," said the prince, of it.

one of the chief lords of the caliph's Some strange anecdotes are told of the court.” He then drank again, and after put Mahometans endeavouring to reconcile the same question to the peasant. The their consciences with indulgence in wine. Arab answered that he had but just told “A Turk,” says Burton, “ being to drink a him. Well,” replied Mahadi,“ but I am cup of wine in his cellar, first made a huge a greater man than I said I was;” and noise and filthy faces to warn his soule (as thereupon he took another draught and rehe said) that it should not be guilty of that peated the question. The Arabian now foule act which he was about to commit.”* grew angry, and replied, “He thought he The Rev. Mr. Southwell

, in his recent had sufficiently explained himself on that work, corroborates these statements: “The subject." “Well,” said the prince, “but I Turkish code of jurisprudence,” he remarks, have not told you all; I am the caliph, “specifies that a true believer must not before whom all men fall prostrate.” At take a drop of the accursed fluid, nor use these words the poor Arab, instead of fallit as a remedy, internally or externally, ing down on his face, hastily took up his either for himself

, his children, or his cattle; pitcher, and carried it away. The caliph, and that he must use no vessel in which in amaze, inquired why he acted in this wine has been kept, unless the vessel is manner. Why,” said the peasant, “if composed of material which will not imbibe you had drank once more I should have the liquor, and even in that case it must be feared you would have been the prophet; purified by washing it ten times with pure and that if you had taken a finishing

The civil polity of Mahometan draught you would have attempted to make nations is based upon their religion; and me believe you were God Almighty himself.” a religious offence is, under Mahometan The caliph could not avoid laughing at the governments, a crime against the state. peasant's answer. His attendants, who had The sin of wine-drinking is as much a long been in search of him, having found subject of legislation as murder, and is him at the house, he related to them his equally subjected to the cognizance of the adventure, and ordered a vest and a purse judicial tribunals. To convict of drunken- of gold to be given to his host. The man, ness it is enough for the offender to have in rapture at the sight of so considerable a taken a single drop of wine; but, if he is present, returned a thousand thanks, and charged with having swallowed any other said to the caliph, in a jocose strain, “I shall intoxicating liquor, actual intoxication is always take you to be a true man, though required. The distinction being founded you should raise your title a fourth or fifth upon the fact, that while wine is expressly degree higher.”* forbidden in the Koran, the prohibition of The same writer relates some interesting other intoxicating drinks is only implied. circumstances connected with the prohibiThe penalty in both cases is the bastinado: tion of wine, in particular during the reign eighty blows for a freeman, and forty for a of the Caliph Omar.t slave. In one instance, only, the punish- In the 17th century it would appear that ment is more

Drinking wine the Turks had acquired a love for wine; openly during the Ramazan is a capital for, according to Sir Paul Ricaut, the Sultan crime, and the penalty is death. In this Amurath, A.D. 1634, forbade entirely the case the offence is trebly aggravated: by use of wine, and punished several with drinking wine the law is broken; by drink- death for disobeying his order. A similar ing it during the Ramazan the fast is vio- edict was issued by Mahomet the Fourth, lated; and by drinking it openly, a great A.D. 1670, who commanded all those who scandal is created.”

had any wine to send it out of the town, The learned Abbe Marigny relates the and the punishment of death was announced following anecdote of the Caliph Mahadi, as the penalty of disobedience. The edict or Almohadi, a sovereign who flourished of this emperor was generally carried into about the 785th year of the Christian era: execution. In the decree in question, MaThe prince, on one occasion, when hunting, homet spoke of wine as a most noxious having lost his company, urged by feelings

* Marigny's History of the Saracens, vol. iii.

pp. 46-7, edit. 1758. Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 694.

1 Histoi oi wo Saracens,

severe.

liquor, invented by the devil to destroy the prepared, and which encumbered the ground souls of men, to disturb their reason, and to destined for agricultural purposes, should inflame their passions. This monarch was, be rooted up and totally exterminated. no doubt, influenced in his conduct by the These commands were effectually put into terrible seditions occasioned by wine in the execution. In some of the provinces all reign of Mahomet the Third. The latter recollection of the vine had been forgotten, had his seraglio forced by his soldiers, who and, in succeeding reigns, when permission were under the influence of wine, and was given to plant it, the manner in which escaped with his own life only by the sacri-Chinese historians allude to it evidently fice of bis principal favourite.

shows that the vine had previously been Similar prohibitions have frequently been unknown to them. enforced, in more modern times, in Maho- The religion of the Chinese, and of most metan countries. In Sudan, for instance, neighbouring nations, enjoins upon its dethe Sultan Abdelrahman, in 1795, prohibited voted followers entire abstinence from all the use of intoxicating liquor, under penalty intoxicating liquors. The inhabitants of of death, and those who inade it had their China, generally, as well as the natives of heads shaved, and were publicly exposed to Japan, adopt the religious creed of the every possible degradation. In Persia, divinity Fo, whose precepts, by a strict conalso, during Sir Robert Ker Porter's visit formity to which alone they conceive they to that country, in 1819 and 1820, a severe can lead a virtuous life, and obtain his approprohibition was made against wine by the bation, are as follows: 1st. Not to kill anyreigning monarch, who not only abstained thing that has life; 2dly, Not to steal; 3dly, himself from its use, but ordered his officers Not to commit fornication; 4thly, Not to lie; to destroy all the wine they could discover and, 5thly, Not to drink strong liquors. in any part of the kingdom.

The doctrines of Boodh, or Boodhu, are The late sultan died of delirium tremens, adopted by nearly one-half of the human the result of vinous indulgence. The pre-race. In Ceylon, the Burman Empire, Siam, sent sultan, his son, on his accession to the and Laos, this imaginary deity is worshipped throne, issued a proclamation against the under the name of Godama or Gautama; use of wine, and caused one million piastres' throughout China, under the name of Fo, worth of wine to be thrown into the Bos- and in Japan by the name of Siaka. phorus.

The following quotation illustrates the The subjects of the late Tippoo Sultan, in command of this Chinese divinity: “This India, debased themselves by excessive in-law commands us not to drink any intoxicatdulgence in the use of an intoxicating liquor ing liquor. There are many sorts in the made from the wild date-tree. The sultan, western frontier countries, as liquors made however, commanded them to be cut down. of sugar-cane, of grapes, and of many other In places near to the capital this order was plants; in this country (China) it is the faithfully executed. The Chinese (accord-general custom to make a strong liquor from ing to their own historians, before Christ rice; of all these thou shalt not drink, with 2207), prepared an intoxicating beverage this exception, when thou art sick, and from rice. The most disastrous consequences nothing else can restore thy health, and then attended its general use. The Emperor Yu, it must be known by all that thou drink or Ta Yu, subsequently forbade the manu- strong liquors. If there be reason for it, facture or drinking of it under the most thou shalt not touch any liquor with thy severe penalties. He renounced the use of lips, thou shalt not bring it to thy nose to it himself, and dismissed his cup-bearer, lest, smell at, nor shalt thou sit in a tavern, or as he stated, the princes, his successors, together with people who drink spirits. should suffer their hearts to be effeminated There was once a certain Yew-pohan who, with so delicious a beverage.* This seduc- by breaking this law, violated also all others, ing liquor, however, at a subsequent period, and committed the thirty-six sins; you can was drunk to great excess. The Emperor see by this that it is no small sin to drink Kya, the Nero of China, 1836 years before wine (strong drink). There is a particular Christ, ordered 3000 of his subjects to pre-department in hell filled with mire and dirt cipitate themselves into a lake which he had for the transgressors of this law, and they prepared and filled with this liquor. Ching will be born again as stupid and mad people, Vang, also, 1120 years before Christ, found wanting wisdom and intelligence. There it prudent and necessary to assemble the are bewildering demons and maddening princes of his empire to suppress its manu- herbs, but spirits disorder the mind more facture. It was a source of infinite ca-than any poison. The Seripture moveth lamities.

us, therefore, to drink melted copper sooner Winc, at one period, was extensively cul- than violate this law and drink spirits. Ah, tivated in China. Enlightened emperors, how watchful should we be over however, directed that the vine and other selves !"* trees, from which intoxicating liquors were The religion of the Saadhs, a term ex

our

• Du Halde, vol. i., p. 433. + lbid., p. 150, 159.

* Catechism of the Shamans, or the Laws and Regulations of the Priesthood of Buddha.

pressive of a religious or holy character, George King of Vavou, one of the Polyneinculcates similar self-denial and sobriety. sian Islands, is one which renders “ murder, This religious community appears to bear theft, adultery, fornication, and the retailing considerable similarity to the Society of of ardent spirits,” punishable by law.* Friends in our own country, both as regards Moroka, chief the Borolongs, in Africa, their address, their principles of peace, and not long ago issued a proclamation prohiother conscientious scruples. “The Saadhs,” biting the traffic in ardent spirits. The remarks a writer, who has published some preamble states that “the introduction of interesting relations concerning this remark- ardent spirits has, in a great measure, been able sect, profess to abstain from all luxu- subversive of the good effects both of reliries; such as tobacco, paun, opium, and gious and civil government in every part wine.” These people, who reside near where it has been allowed, and immediately Delhi, India, are described as peculiarly in- caused disorder, immorality and vice, and, dustrious, charitable, orderly, and well-con- more remarkably, poverty and distress, deducted people, and are chiefly engaged in moralization and destruction of life, by intrade.

cessant depredations upon the property and Schubert informs us that the laws against rights of the weaker tribes.” Any person intoxication in Sweden are enforced with found transgressing this law is subject to great rigour. A person who is seen drunk the confiscation of all the spirits thus illeis, for the first offence, fined three dollars; gally offered for sale, with all other property for the second, six; for the third and fourth, of every kind belonging to the person or a still larger sum, in addition to being de- persons thus found transgressing, that may prived of the right of voting at elections, be on the spot at the time of seizure, and in and of being appointed a representative: any way connected with the same.f the offender, in addition, is exposed in the Some recent enactments in one or two church on the following Sunday. If the same States in America have for their object the individual is found committing the same total prohibition of the manufacture of offence a fifth time, he is shut up in a house ardent spirits. of correction, and condemned to six months' Howell informs us that, in his time, Spain hard labour; and, if he is again guilty, to a and Italy were, of all other nations, least twelvemonth's punishment of a similar de-addicted to the vice of drinking. If a woman scription. If the offence has been committed could prove her husband thrice drunk, by in public, such as at a fair, an auction, &c., the ancient laws of Spain she was entitled the fine is doubled; and if the offender has to plead a divorce from him. I made his appearance in a church, the punish- Drunkenness in England is punished by ment is yet more severe. Whoever is con- the statute of James with the forfeiture of victed of having induced another to intoxi-five shillings for each offence. If the offender cate himself is lined three dollars, which sum is unable to pay the fine, he is subject to six is doabled if the person is a minor. An hours' confinement in the stocks. Blackstone ecclesiastic who commits this offence loses observes that the statute presumes that the his benefice; if it is a layman who occupies offender will, at the termination of this any considerable post, his functions are sus- period, have regained his senses, and not be pended, and perhaps he is dismissed. Drun- liable to do mischief to his neighbours. kenness is never admitted as an excuse for Gardiner, in his “ England's Grievances,” any crime; and whoever dies when drunk is informs us, that, in the time of the commonburied ignominiously, and deprived of the wealth, the magistrates of Newcastle-uponprayers of the church. It is forbidden to Tyne punished drunkards by making them give, and more explicitly to sell, any spiritu- put a tub over their beads, with holes in the ous liquors to students, workmen, servants, sides for the arms to pass through, called apprentices, and private soldiers. Whoever the “drunkard's cloak;” in this condition is observed drunk in the streets, or making they were obliged to walk through the streets a noise in a tavern, in sure to be taken to of the town. prison and detained till sober, without, how- A statute law of the Isle of Man, passed ever, being on that account exempted from 1610, and as yet unrepealed, enacts that as the fines. Half of these fines goes to the oft as any man or woman shall be found informers (who are generally police-offi- drunk hereafter, the party soe offending, cers), the other half to the poor. If the if not of ability to pay a fine, shall, for delinquent has no money, he is kept in prison the first time, be punished in the stockes, until some one pays for him, or until he has the second time be tyed to the whiping worked out his enlargement. These ordi- stockes, and the third time be whiped nances are read aloud from the pulpit by the therein.” clergy twice a year. Every tavern-keeper It would be an easy task to adduce numeis bound, under the penalty of a heavy fine, rous local laws of a similar nature, in various to have a copy of them hung up in the prin- parts of the United Kingdom. It is probable, cipal rooms of his house.* Among the laws recently promulgated by

• Morning Herald, Sept. 3, 1840.
† Graham's-Town Journal, March 22, 1838.
Familiar Letters, 1655,

Schubert's Travels in Sweden.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »