« ÎnapoiContinuați »
appetites of mankind have invariably in-liquor, than those individuals who are fluenced their opinions in relation to the usually denominated drunkards. A great nature and limits of temperance. The proportion of those who are known to be consequences of these latitudinarian notions, drunkards, are not in general habitual are witnessed in the free use of strong slaves to this most debasing vice. During drink in the present day, by those who deem their fits of intemperance, these persons themselves temperate and sober members of consume a large quantity of intoxicating society.
liquor. On ordinary occasions, they do not Dr. Trotter very appropriately assigns indulge in the use of strong drink to any to this class of men, the appellation of serious extent. The former section of sober drunkards. * It is not drinking society, however, drink considerably less at spirituous liquors,” he remarks,“ to the stated times; but, by the accumulating length of intoxication, that, alone, constitutes amount of habitual and frequent repetition, intemperance. A man may drink a great consume a quantity, which, on calculation, deal-pass a large portion of his time at the appears almost incredible. The individual, bottle, and yet be able to fill most of the for example, who indulges in but one glass avocations of life. There are certainly of ardent spirit, or what amounts to the many men of this description, who have same thing, in two or three glasses of wine never been so transformed with liquor as to daily; consumes, in the course of ten years, be unknown to their own house dog, or so not less a quantity than thirty gallons of foolish in their appearance, as to be hooted pure alcohol, or spirits of wine ; a poison by school-boys, that yet are to be consi- well known to be most dangerous and fatal dered as intemperate livers. These “sober in its character. And yet the consumption drunkards, if I may be allowed the ex- of this quantity is far from being conpression, deceive themselves as well as sidered either as improper or intemperate. others; and though they pace slowly along the most strenuous advocates of the the road to ruin, their journey terminates at moderate use of intoxicating liquor, would the goal, bad health."*
not, it is presumed, object to the daily The existence of sober drunkards at an apportionment of a pint of ale to each adult earlier period of our history is testified by member of the human family- --an allowance, Tryon, in a scarce work published A.D. which, in the course of one year, would 1683, under the name Philotheos Physio- amount to forty-three gallons, or about five logus, and entitled “The way to Health, gallons of proof spirit ! These, and similar Long Life and Happiness, or a Discourse of illustrations, sufficiently demonstrate the Temperance. “In former days," says fact, that those individuals, commonly this writer, “ Canary (wine) was chiefly sold denominated drunkards, do not invariably by the apothecaries. The name and use of consume the largest portion of alcoholic brandy was not known till of late ; but now stimulants. the excess of all these things is become IV. From the preceding observations it will almost general, amongst all sorts of people, be seen how impossible it is to arrive at a even amongst those that count themselves correct definition of the nature of intempermost sober and religious, and who should ance, from the uncertain and ever-varying set examples of temperance to others, it opinions and practices of the age. Chemical not being esteemed any sin to smoke two, and physiological knowledge alone supply three, or four pipes of tobacco at a sitting, us with the requisite data. The most and carouse strong drink, brandy, wine, important distinction between the temperate and the like, in perfect health, and when and intemperate employment of articles of need or nature doth not require such things; food and drink, consists in their relative and yet think all's well, if they can but use in supplying the system with its follow their outward occasions, and keep natural requirements ; in other words, in themselves from being drunk, they never affording to the human frame, suitable food regard it, though one of them do destroy of or nourishment. Some substances are proper God's good creatures as much in one day, as articles of diet, when used in moderate both in value, quantity, and quality, as quantities, or to such extent 'as nature would suffice five or six. Still, I say, all this requires : others, on the contrary, are is not reckoned any sin amongst many useful only as medicines when employed thousands of those counted sober people; occasionally, and with judgment. The the common custom and frequent use of great distinction between these two divisions, these intemperances hides the evil of obviously consists in the circumstance, that them." of
the one contains matter capable of becoming A further and candid examination of this a part of, and, consequently, of adding subject, leads us to reflect on the astound- nourishment to, the corporeal system. The ing, but incontestible fact, that those per- other, exercises a specific or medicinal insons in general termed temperate, con- fluence on some part or parts, of the human sume a larger proportion of inebriating frame; but it does not become assimilated assimilated with it. Alcohol, in whatever men, who habitually and necessarily carry combination, is similar in its operation. It it into operation in the practice of their stimulates or increases the action of the profession. Such, precisely, are the effects parts with which it comes in contact ;. but produced by the use of tobacco, alcoholic it is not added to, or identified with them. liquors, and other medicines of a similar It cannot consequently furnish an increase description. When habitually employed of the powers of life; or indeed produce they lose their peculiar medicinal virtues ; &ny permanently useful influence on the and, in fact, cease to produce their legitimate vital actions. Unlike nature's restoratives influence, unless given in doses directly of health-proper food-rest and sleep-it destructive to health, or even to life itself. does not restore that expenditure of vital The remedy, in short, is worse than the principle from which it so materially deducts. disease. Innumerable examples of this Its sole effect is stimulation. Stimulation, position are constantly brought under the however, does not constitute strength; on notice of medical men, and form a prolific the contrary, proportionate exhaustion ne- source of professional emolument. cessarily ensues unless a requisite supply of The universal tendency of intoxicating nature's restoratives be in corresponding liquor is to debilitate the intellectual, and to operation. Alcoholic liquors possess no such deprave the moral, powers. The habitual virtue. They stimulate, but do not impart use of alcohol, in any of its varied combinapermanent vigour or strength--they waste tions, strengthens the power of motives to the stock of vital power -- buthaveno influence do wrong, and weakens the power of motives to secure that physical condition which to do right. The nature as well as tendency we denominate health. Nature, thus by her of strong drink is such, that mankind in own wise and immutable laws, indicates the general cannot continue long to indulge in unfitness of all alcoholic drinks as articles of its moderate use. From the earliest period diet. The use of alcohol, according to this of its introduction to the present time, these unerring test of its dietetic value, is found evidences of its nature and character have to be directly opposed to the natural actions been uniform and certain. of the system; because, like all medicinal
with it. Arsenic, for example, has a power* Trotter on Drunkenness, p. 177.
ful and peculiar influence on the human + Way to Health, &c., Chap. vi. p. 168. system ; but it is not capable of being
V.These general characteristics of alcoholic agents, it can only be employed with bene- liquors lead to the examination of an im. ficial results, when the system is in an un- portant distinction, which exists between natural or unhealthy state. "Nourishing intemperance and drunkenness, terms in substances,” remarks a distinguished writer, general used synonymously without reference “ require to be of a similitude with the to a primary or natural signification. The substances to be nourished ; and the con- indications of drunkenness are too obvious stituent materials of man, and the whole of to require description. One of the Canons living creation, contain no such compositions of the Anglo-Saxon church, in a prohibition as those fermented and spirituous liquors. against drunkenness, thus defines the term : Such liquors, cannot therefore be reckoned -“This is drunkenness, when the state of useful, in the way of nourishing or maintain the mind is changed, the tongue stammers, ing the principal materials of the human the eyes are disturbed, the head is giddy,
“ The whole history of spirit the belly is swelled, and pain follows.' drinking,” says Dr. J. Fothergill, "whether Intemperance, however, has relation to an simple or combined with the different in- essentially different state of the system. gredients, existing in fermented or brewed An individual may, in the strictest sense of liquors, affords abundant proof of its being the word, be habitually intemperate, without uncongenial with the most natural and exhibiting either the staggering gait, the healthy action of the bodily organs.” faltering tongue, or the disgusting ejacula
“ Wines,” remarks Dr. Darwin, “over- tions of the drunkard. In this circumstance heat without procuring strength, and cannot lies the insidious influence of strong drink, be converted into good flesh, blood, or bone.” which has ever been characterized by the
This train of argument leads us to another unnatural changes which it effects, in too important distinction between nutritious many instances, unobserved and unsuspected and ordinary articles of diet, and substances by its unfortunate victims. used for extraordinary or medical occasions. Some writers contend that a person is not All medicinal articles exercise a specific or to be considered a drunkard, because he peculiar influence on the human frame. It consumes a certain portion of liquor; but is a law of universal application that the because what he does consume produces constant use of medicines tends materially, certain effects upon his system. Too often, and if long continued, altogether to deprive however, free livers, who come under this them of their peculiar influence or virtues. description, imagine themselves strictly tem. Hence, to produce an equivalent effect, in perate, while, with apparent impunity, they many, if not most instances, a progressive daily indulge in strong drink to that extent increase must take place in the amount first which in others would produce gross inebriaadministered. This law is familiar to medical tion. On calm consideration we should
scarcely determine to denominate this class * Lecture on Permented Liquors, by Sir A. of persons temperate drinkers. An individual Carlysle. M.D.
may be free from the charge of drunkenness,
and yet Dot be in the strict sense of the word and in general are attributed to other and in a sober state of mind--that is in a state less remote causes. In this circumstance, which results from strict adherence to a diet however, consists the danger of this insidi. suitable to the requirements of nature. ous habit, inasmuch as persons innocently This view of the subject corresponds with indulge in a practice which progressively the fact, that intoxicating liquors, even when strengthens in its growth, until eventually used in moderate quantities, produce both it effects permanent and incurable changes on the mind and on the body effects quite in some part or parts of the constitution. at variance with the rules of legitimate VI. The following miscellaneous illustratemperance. Their invariable effect is totions are extracted from the writings of some accelerate the action of the heart and blood of the most eminent members of the medical vessels beyond their natural and healthy con- profession :dition. The temperance of nature consists Dr. Macnish.—“Men indulge habitually, in the correct and properfulfilment of nature's day by day, not perhaps to the extent of laws; alcoholic stimulants unnaturally ex- producing any evident effect, either upon cite both the mental and physical powers, the body or mind at the time, and fancy and create actions and sympathies, sui themselves all the while strictly temperate, generis, more powerful in their effects than while they are, in reality, undermining their those which they necessarily displace, which constitution by slow degrees,-killing themin time strengthen into habit, or rather selves by inches, and shortening their existsubside into disease. The progressive series ence several years."— Anatomy of Drunkenof actions which constitute the inebriate ness, 5th Ed. p. 254. appetite, are in themselves but successive Dr. Beecher, of America, remarks, " and inroads or stages of disease, which ultimately I fully concur with him," observes Dr. change the entire constitution, bodily and Macnish, “It is a matter of unwonted cer. mental, of its unfortunate victims. tainty, that habitual tippling is worse than
It is obvious from these remarks that periodical drunkenness. The poor Indian, individuals cannot be considered temperate, who once a month drinks himself dead, all who, in a state of health, continue, however but simple breathing, will outlive for years, moderately, yet habitually, to indulge in the man who, drinks little and often, and is drinks which experience and science equally not perhaps suspected of intemperance." condemn, as under all ordinary circum- Dr. Copland.—"There can be no doubt, stances inimical to the human constitution. that as expressed by the late Dr. Gregory,
The most accurate test of this interesting an occasional excess, is upon the whole, less subject, perhaps, will be found in the injurious to the constitution, than the writings and experience of medical men. practice of daily taking a moderate quantity The members of the medical profession, of any fermented liquor or spirit.”—Dict. however, as a general rule, have not as yet of Pract. Med. 1835, p. 685. sufficiently investigated this subject; there Dr. James Johnson.-“No one will is no doubt indeed that they have partici- dispute the bad effects of intoxication. But pated, to a considerable degree, in the a very considerable proportion of the midopinions and prejudices of the age. Some dling and higher classes of life, as well as brilliant exceptions, however, present them- the lower, commit serious depredations on selves to our notice, and happily for mankind, their constitutions, when they believe themthe attention of these guardians of the selves to be sober citizens, and really abhor public health, has, of late years, been more debauch. This is by drinking ale or other directed to a subject so intimately connected malt liquors to a degree far short of intoxi. with the moral and social, as well as phy-ation indeed, yet from long habit producing sical, condition of mankind. The writer, as a train of effects that embitter the ulterior regards his own experience, does not hesitate periods of existence.”-A Treatise on to state, that an incalculable amount of Derangements of the Liver, Internal physical injury arises from the moderate Organs, and Nervous System, by James use of intoxicating liquors; and this to an Johnson, M.D., Editor of the Medicoextent little contemplated by the grand bulk Chirurgical Review, &c., &c., Sect. Drink. even of medical men, much less by the non- Dr. Foster, late physician to the British professional portion of the community. It Fleet, states it as his conviction, is of paramount importance, in this age of these liquors, in all their forms and however moderate drinking, to ascertain the con- used, are the most productive of the causes sequences which arise from the incipient of disease with which we are acquainted.” morbid influence of alcohol.
Dr. Ramsey, Charleston, U.S.-" Health The experience of the writer induces him is much injured by those who are frequently to believe, that as regards the amount of phy- sipping strong liquors, though they are sical injury or disease which arises from the never intoxicated. It is a good general use of intoxicating liquors, by far the greatest rule never to drink anything but water.” proportion originates directly or indirectly Dr. Harris, in an official report to the in moderate indulgence. The evil effects of Secretary of the American Navy, states that moderate indulgence in alcoholic liquors are the moderate use of spirituous liquors has notcommonly obvious to superficialobservers, destroyed many who were never drunk.”
Dr Rush.-"I have known many persons upon it, if a full diet of animal food be every destroyed by ardent spirits, who were never day indulged in with only a moderate portion completely intoxicated during the whole of wine, its baneful influence will blast the course of their lives."
vigour of the strongest constitution.”—Dr. Dr. Lettsom.-“ Nearly all the illness of Garnett's Lecture on Health, 2nd Ed. 1800. my adult patients, and most of the cases of Dr. Gordon.-"When I was studying at sudden deaths, are occasioned by the prac. Edinburgh, I had occasion to open a great tice of taking a glass of spirits and water many bodies of persons who had died of after dinner.”
various diseases, in a population much more “The observation of twenty years, in this renowned for sobriety and temperance than city (Dublin,) has convinced me, that, were that of London, but the remarkable fact ten young men, on their twenty-first birth- was, that in all these cases there was more day, to begin to drink one glass (equal to or less some affection of the liver; and I two ounces) of ardent spirits, or a pint of account for it, from the fact, that these port wine or sherry, and were they to drink moral and religious people were in the this supposed moderate quantity of strong habit of drinking a small quantity of spirits liquor daily, the lives of eight out of the ten every day, say one or two glasses. They would be abridged by twelve or fifteen were not in any shape or form intemperate, years. They represent themselves as tem- and would have been shocked at the imputaperate-very temperate."-Statement by tion. I had subsequently the opportunity Dr. Cheyne, late Physician General of of confirming my observation in the West Ireland, p. 54, 1829.
Indies, where the practice prevails of taking Dr. Beddoes, author of the Hygeia and small quantities of spirits, not at all amountother valuable works, says, “ That every man ing to intoxication, but in all these cases will become a valetudinarian, more or less there was more or less, some affection of the miserable, if he drink daily a quarter of a liver.”-Parl. Rep. on Drunkenness, p. 196. pint, or half a pint of port wine (equivalent John Harrison Curtis, Author of Observato an ounce, or two ounces of pure spirit) tions on the Preservation of Health, in from his sixteenth year, is to the full as Infancy, Youth, Manhood, and Age, &c. probable as that he shall have a dangerous “ It is the almost unanimous opinion of disease if he come within the reach of the physiologists, that, to a person in a state of effluvia.”
health, fermented liquors are decidedly Dr. Cadogan asserts, in opposition to those injurious; their effect is directly upon the who advocate a little wine every day, that nervous system and the circulation, which whatever they may advance in favour of the they stimulate and quicken. Now, in a practice, they are undoubtedly in a very state of health, the nervous system is duly great error, and that it would be much balanced, neither too active nor depressed ; better and safer to drink a bottle now and and the circulation is of the kind best then, and at other times to drink water, or adapted for carrying on the processes of waste small beer only. In the interval, nature and nutrition. Whatever then tends, in might subdue the effects of the wine and however slight a degree, to disturb this recover from its influence. Cadogan's condition of the system, is, pro tanto, a Dissertation on the Gout, 6th Ed. p. 61. cause of disease : not the less a cause of
Dr. Macrorie, Physician to the Fever disease because its effects may for a time be Hospital, Liverpool." After having treated imperceptible, or because it may temporarily more than three thousand cases, in the enliven the mind, and fill it with pleasing town hospital, Liverpool, I give it as my emotions. But fermented liquors (well are decided opinion, that the constant moderate they denominated intoxicating or poisoning?) use of stimulating drink, is more injurious are hurtful, not merely by deranging functhan the now and then excessive indulgence tion, they inflict terrible organic injuries, in them.”
which, if the bad habits be persisted in, Dr. John James, of America.-" The become permanent." moderate use of intoxicating liquor, under- Charles A. Lee, M.D., A.M.-"My own mines the constitution without exciting the experience, as well as observation, fully suspicion of the victim, until reformation is satisfies me that the moderate use, so called, all but hopeless. No quantity of spirituous of alcoholic drinks, tends directly to debiliquors, however small, can with safety be litate the digestive organs, to cloud the taken daily, much less several times a day understanding, weaken the memory, unfix with impunity.”
the attention, and confuse all the mental Dr. Garnett.--"Those who drink only a operations, besides inducing a host of moderate quantity of wine, so as to make nervous maladies." them cheerful, as they call it, but not Rev. Edward Hitchcock, Professor of absolutely to intoxicate, may imagine that Chemistry and Natural History, Amherst it will do them no harm. The strong and College, America.—“The use of alcohol robust may enjoy the pleasures of the and tobacco tends powerfully to debilitate bottle and the table with seeming impunity; the constitution; and the complaints, which and sometimes for many years may not find they generate, descend hereditarily to posany bad effects from them; but depend terity. Nor are these effects confined to
the offspring of the habitually intemperate. Burrows, John, Esq., Liverpool. These poisons, still regarded by multitudes Chambers, W. F., M.D., F.R.S., Physician as the elixir vitæ, are working a slow, but to the Queen and the Queen Dowager, fatal, deterioration in the constitutions of and to St. George's Hospital. thousands, who would resent the charge of Chavasse, Thomas, Esq., M.R.C.S., St. intemperance with indignation; so that the George's Hospital, Birmingham. influence has become truly national ; nor is Chowne, W. D., M.D., Lecturer on Mid. it among the feeblest of those causes, that wifery, and Physician to Charing Cross are hurrying us fast away from the simplicity, Hospital. purity, and the physical and intellectual Churton, Jos., Esq., M.R.C.S., Liverpool. energy, of our pilgrim fathers."
Clarke, Sir James, Bart., M.D., F.R.S., The following most valuable testimony on Physician to the Queen and the Queen's this subject was drawn up by JULIUS Household, &c. JEFFREYS, Esq., F.R.S., an eminent medical Clutterbuck, J. B., Esq. practitioner, now resident in England, but Conquest, J. T., M.D., Physician to the located many years in India. As will City of London Lying-in Hospital, be seen, a great number of distinguished Cooper, Bransby, Esq., M.R.C.S., F.R.S., medical men have added their signatures to Lecturer on Anatomy, and Surgeon to the document:
Guy's Hospital. “An opinion, handed down from rude Cooper, George L., Esq., M.R.C.S. and ignorant times, and imbibed by English- Dalrymple, J., Esq., M.R.C.S., Lecturer men from their youth, has become very on Surgery at Sydenham College. general, that the habitual use of some portion Davies, Thomas, M.D., Lecturer on Me. of alcoholic drink, as of wine, beer, or spirit, dicine, and Physician to the London is beneficial to health, and even necessary
Hospital. for those subjected to habitual labour. Davies, John Burt, M.D., Liverpool.
“ Anatomy, physiology, and the experi- Davis, David D., M.D., Physician to the ence of all ages and countries, when properly Duchess of Kent, and Professor of examined, must satisfy every mind, well Obstetric Medicine in University College. informed in Medical science, that the above Davis, Esq. opinion is altogether erroneous. Man, in Eyre, Sir James, M.D. ordinary health, like other animals, requires Ferguson, Robert, M.D., Physician to the not any such stimulants, and cannot be Westminster Lying-in Hospital. benefitted by the habitual employment of Fowke, Frederick, Esq., M.R.C.S. any quantity of them, large or small; nor Frampton, Algernon, M.D., Physician to will their use during his life-time increase the London Hospital. the aggregate amount of his labour. In Gill, William, Esq., M.R.C.S., Surgeon to whatever quantity they are employed, they the Northern Hospital, Liverpool. will rather tend to diminish it.
Godfrey, J. J., Esq., M.R.C.S., Liverpool. “When he is in a state of temporary Grant, Klein, M.D., Professor of Theradebility from illness, or other causes, a peutics at the North London School of temporary use of them, as of other stimulant Medicine. medicines, may be desirable ; but as soon as Granville, A. B., M.D., F.R.S., Physician he is raised to his natural standard of health, Accoucheur to the Westminster General a continuance of their use can do no good Dispensary. to him, even in the most moderate quantities, Green, Thomas, Esq., M.R.C.S., Surgeon while larger quantities (yet such as by many to the Town Infirmary, Birmingham. persons are thought moderate) do, sooner Hall, Marshall, M.D., F.R.S., L. and E., or later, prove injurious to the human con- Lecturer on Medicine at Sydenham stitution, without any exceptions.
College, and Consulting Physician to the “It is my opinion, that the above state- Westminster General Dispensary. ment is substantially correct.”
Hay, Alexander, Esq., Surgeon to the Batty, Edward, Esq., M.R.C.S., Lecturer South Dispensary, Liverpool.
on Midwifery at the Medical School, Hope, I., M.D., F.R.S., Lecturer on Royal Institution, Liverpool.
Medicine at Aldersgate Street School, Baylis, C. O., Esq., Surgeon to the South and Assistant Physician to St. George's Dispensary, Liverpool.
Hospital. Beaumont, Thomas, Esq., M.R.C.S., Brad- Howship, John, Esq., M.R.C.S., Surgeon ford.
to Charing Cross Hospital. Berry, Samuel, Esq., M.R.C.S., Surgeon to Hughes, John, M.D., Liverpool.
the Town Infirmary, Birmingham. Jeffreys, Julius, Esq., M.R.C.S. Birkbeck, George, M.D.
Julius, G. C., M.D. Blundell, James, M.D.
Julius, G. C., Jun., M.D. Brodie, Sir Benjamin C., Bart., F.R.S, Key, C. Aston, Esq., M.R.C.S., Lecturer
Serjeant-Surgeon to the Queen, Surgeon on Surgery, and Surgeon to Guy's Hospital. to St. George's Hospital, &c.
Knight, Arnold James, M.D., Sheffield. Brookes, Benjamin, Esq., M.R.C.S., Sur. Ledsman, J. J., Esq., M.R.C.S., Surgeon
geon to the British Lying-in Hospital. to the Eye Infirmary, Birmingham.