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accomplished. The Committee of Education, though they did not feel justified in applying any part of the parliamentary grant to this purpose, nevertheless gave their full sanction and approval to the plan. Some liberal friends
to the cause of education subscribed sufficient funds to set the matter on foot; and at length, on the 1st of February, 1841, a "Singing-School for School-Masters" was opened at Exeter Hall, under the immediate superintendence of Mr. Hullah. The experiment was so novel, and the desired result so important, that it was seen to be necessary to make an extremely low charge for admission to the school; the students, who were confined to masters and teachers in elementary schools for the humble classes, were charged fifteen shillings for the complete course of sixty lessons. As it is a part of the plan that all the pupils should progress simultaneously, no new pupils could enter the class after it had commenced. To admit other applicants, therefore, another class was formed on the 2nd of March; and a third on the 22nd of March. All these classes belonged to the School for SchoolMasters, but as the object in view applies equally to both sexes, a Singing-School for Schoolmistresses" was formed on the 24th of March, under precisely the same regulations as the others.
Council acquainted with the fact, that vocal music has been successfully cultivated in comparatively few of the elementary schools of Great Britain. In the Sunday schools of great towns the children have commonly been taught to
sing, in an imperfect manner, certain of the psalm and hymn
tunes used in divino service. These tunes are learned only by imitation, from persons of little or no musical skill, and are therefore generally sung inccrrectly and without taste. Thus the children acquire no power of further self-instruction, and little or no desire to know more of music.
It is stated, however, in the same "Minute," that though vocal music has been comparatively neglected in the elementary schools of England, there is sufficient evidence that the natural genius of the people would reward a careful cultivation. It is stated that in the northern counties of England, choral singing has long formed the chief rational amusement of the manufacturing population. The weavers of Lancashire and Yorkshire have been famed for their acquaintance with the great works of Handel and Haydn, with the part-music of the old English school, and with the old English melodies. In respect of "voice," and "ear for music," we shall have to offer a few remarks hereafter.
The Committee, being convinced that there was no vocal music, worthy of the name, practised in any of our elementary schools; and that our labouring classes are capable of learning and appreciating the beauties of this delightful recreation; set about inquiring what mode of instruction could be most fittingly introduced into schools. They sent their secretary to collect, from various parts of Europe, where music has been cultivated in elementary schools, the books most frequently used in teaching music. Such works were accordingly procured from Switzerland, Holland, the German states, Prussia, Austria, and France: and were then carefully examined, with a view to determine their relative fitness for the proposed object.
It was desirable that such a work should proceed by easy gradations, beginning with the simplest details, and progressing by degrees to those more difficult. The method of M. Wilhem, as pursued by that gentleman at Paris, seemed to the Committee the one most fitted for their purpose. M. Wilhem had instructed large numbers of persons in Paris on his plan, under the sanction of the Minister of Public Instruction, whose sanction also was extended to the work in which M. Wilhem's method is developed. The Committee of Council accordingly sent their secretary to France, accompanied by Mr. Hullah, a gentleman who had bestowed great attention on this subject. The report of those gentlemen being in every way satisfactory, Mr. Hullah was commissioned to prepare a "Manual," or Book of Instructions, which, while it adhered to the general principle of Wilhem's method, should be adapted to the particular wants of an English elementary school.
The general system pursued by M. Wilhem has been to instruct a certain number of monitors in Music, and then to give to each monitor the teaching of a small class of eight children. The Committee of Council thought it desirable, however, to adapt the system to the mode of instruction in one large class, as well as in subclasses. In Paris, a body of 400 artisans are being instructed in the sub-class or monitorial method, one monitor being appointed to every eight learners, who assemble round a large printed tablet, on which some of the instructions are given. The Committee have caused similar tablets to be prepared for the English schools; and have further authorised the publication of Instruction Books, some adapted for the use of both master and scholar, and some for the scholars only.
While these measures were in progress, steps were taken for the establishment of a 66 Singing-School for Schoolmasters." It is plain that unless the master of an elementary school be competent to teach singing, and to make it part of the regular school-routine, the general introduction of singing into the school could hardly be
These four classes, thus established, continued their course of studies during the greater part of the past year; and much curiosity was excited to observe the degree of progress made by the pupils. On this point we shall have to speak hereafter; but it may here be observed, that at the conclusion of the course of study prescribed to the first class, another was formed to which admission could be gained by persons not belonging to the scholastic profession. At the present time, Exeter Hall is, three evenings in the week, the busy scene of a vocal discipline which would have excited no small surprise a few years ago.
We shall endeavour in a future number, to give some idea of Wilhem's method, and of the chief differences between it and the methods commonly followed. We here conclude, therefore, with an extract from the "Prefatory Minute of the Committee of Council on Education," prefixed to the work used in these schools*, explanatory of the sort of publications employed in the development of the system:
The Committee of Council have now published only the first part of the Course of Instruction. This first part consists of Exercises and School Songs, printed in two forms, viz.: on tablets for the use of the monitorial drafts, [i.e., sub-classes of eight pupils each, taught by a monitor, and in a royal octavo edition for the use of schoolmasters and elementary instruction in vocal music, which a master of their assistants. It comprises those portions of a course of moderate skill may easily succeed in communicating to an ordinary elementary school. The music is all of a comparatively simple character; it is arranged in synthetic order, and words have been adapted to it, chiefly suitable to the use of children in elementary schools, and therefore to be will encounter some of the greater difficulties of the art, denominated "School Songs." The second part of the course and will be adapted to the use of normal and training schools, and those classes of young men which it is desirable to form, in order to continue the cultivation of vocal music beyond the period when the children of the working classes ordinarily attend elementary schools. The words adapted to the music in this part of the course will chiefly be such as may inspire cheerful views of industry, and will be entitled "Labour Songs." To this will succeed such religious music elementary schools. as it may be deemed desirable to furnish for the use of
*Wilhem's Method of Teaching Singing, adapted to English use, under the Superintendence of the Committee of Council on Education, by JOHN HULLAH.-J. W. Parker, 1841.
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTHLY PARTS, PRICE SIXPENCE.
Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.
2. GEOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (concluded). CLIMATE-METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA-NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.
ONE of the most characteristic features of Icelandic scenery is formed by the numerous fiords which find their way through the rocky barrier of the coast and run far into the interior. They are all very similar in form, but vary considerably in dimensions, some being scarcely two miles wide, but extending twenty-five or thirty miles into the country, and often continued much farther by narrow vales down which the mountain rivers escape to
the sea. These fiords are separated from each other by lofty ridges stretching out into the ocean, and ending in precipitous headlands. Some of them attain an elevation of nearly 4000 feet, but the average height is about 2000 feet. The rise of these mountains is so sudden, that from the top of many a precipice 1000 feet high a stone may be cast into the sea. walls of rock which shut in the fiords, have their summits clothed with perpetual snow or wrapped in dark clouds.
All around seems dead,-no trace of life is visible. Man and all that he produces, vanish amid the mightier works of nature. Woods, and the higher classes of the vegetable creation, are entirely wanting, and the naked rocks are too steep for even the hardy birch or stunted willow to fix their roots. No sound is heard save the billows dashing on the craggy shore, no motion seen but the cataract rushing down the rugged cliffs*.
In the midst of this sublime scenery, the Icelander takes up his abode; for here he finds grassy meadows for his cattle, and the fiords offering a favourite retreat to *Edinburgh Cabinet Library. Article, Iceland, VOL. XX.
the cod-fish, enable the fisherman to pursue his vocation with safety and convenience. The fiords also afford another advantage. they serve like canals to connect the interior of the island with the coast. Merchant-ships sail up them, supply the wants of the natives, and receive their produce in return.
chamois than to men and loaded horses; nevertheless,
The roads of Iceland are both difficult and dangerous: they are generally made on the ascent or descent of the seldom free from snow; and the traveller oppressed with lofty ridges which separate the fiords: many of them are cold on gaining the icy summit. Many of the tracks heat on ascending the steep side of the hill shivers with which cross these heights are better adapted to the the horses find their way through the fearful ravines with remarkable sagacity, leaping from ledge to ledge, or sliding down amidst the crumbling fragments. accidents do occur, and then the horse and his rider are hurled over the precipice, and meet with instant death. No wonder then that the passage by the fiords, where practicable, is preferred: when one boat will transport more goods than thirty horses could do along the miserable roads.
Many of the rivers of Iceland issue from glaciers, and are rendered white by particles of clay or pumice. Some of them are of great magnitude and rapidity, and present a singular appearance on issuing from beneath the snow, and bearing with them immense masses of ice. Their course is generally short.
The other rivers are too rapid to be navigable, and this rapidity often gives rise to noble waterfalls, or suc
cessions of cascades; and often where the snow is screened from the sun it is formed into fantastic arches, through which the dark waters pursue their troubled course.
The broken surface of the island does not present many hollows for the formation of lakes; but there are a few, of which the Myvatn in the north is the most remarkable. It has been named from the swarms of mos quitoes which abound on its shores. Its greatest length is seven miles, and its circumference about twenty: the stony floods which the neighbouring volcanoes have from time to time poured into it have greatly diminished its depth. Numerous hot springs issue from its bed and fill the air with steam: and yet trout are abundant in its waters, and are considered the finest in the island. Flocks of water-fowl inhabit its banks and the isles of lava which spot its surface: these also are the favourite breeding places of the eider duck, whose delicate down is a valuable article of traffic among the islanders.
Iceland has always been celebrated for its boiling springs, among which the Geysers are best known. The waters of these springs, maintained at a high temperature by volcanic heat, contain silica, which is held in solution by soda: they are most probably contained in subterranean cavities, which communicate with the surface by means of a pipe: a portion of the water is converted into steam, the elastic force of which throws up a column of the water, sometimes to the height of more than 100 feet, with a noise that seems to shake the surrounding country. In some cases the jet of water is constant, in others at regular intervals, and in a third class irregularly; but most of them deposit a silicious matter which forms the basin of the spring and the descending pipe. This deposit finally destroys the springs by closing up the pipe; and the water probably forces a new opening for its egress: thus giving rise to a new spring. They occur in all parts of the island, and frequently send up boiling water amidst fields of perpetual ice. Even the ocean is affected by them, and in many places its waters are heated by their action, and cause much injury to the nets of the fishermen. These remarkable formations having been already noticed in our First Volume, (p. 25,) a more particular detail is unnecessary here.
The climate of this island resembles the stern and rugged features of its surface. Winter follows so closely on summer that the other two seasons scarcely to be said to exist. The natives reckon their summer from the Thursday between the 18th and 24th of April, and their winter from the Friday between the same days of October; but it often happens that the cold of winter penetrates far into the summer, so that even in June the fiords present roads of ice over which both man and horse may safely pass. The cold of winter is variable, but very severe; and it has been remarked that the coldest winters throughout Europe are the mildest in Iceland and Greenland. The longest day in the south of the island is 20 hours, and in the north, more than 23: while from May to September there is no night. The sun is not seen at the winter solstice; but the refracted rays give a full light. In the height of summer the sun appears always above the horizon, but although so long visible, the rays, on account of their obliquity, produce but little heat. During the long nights of winter the whiteness of the snow, which reflects the light of the moon and stars, together with the brilliant fires of the aurora, serve to illuminate this dreary land.
In common with other islands, the weather here is very fitful; seldom remaining settled for two or three days. Violent winds are more injurious to vegetation than extreme cold; because they tear off the green covering from the earth, loosen masses of rock, and hurl them into the valleys, and sometimes waft such quantities of sand and ashes from the central districts as to darken the sky and destroy the pastures in the north. But the winds have also their advantages: they dispel those dense fogs that hover over the land and deprive it
of the blessings of a bright sun and a blue sky, Rain and hail are frequent. Thunder is seldom heard; lightning is more common and often fatal, especially near volcanic mountains. Sometimes in a winter's night, during a strong wind and drifting snow, the whole sky is illuminated, as if on fire, by a continual lightning which moves slowly. This phenomenon causes much dread to the natives, because it frightens their cattle, many of which fall over the rocks in running about to avoid the apparent danger. The Aurora Borealis is also seen in great beauty; sometimes covering the sky with yellow, green, and purple light, which reflected by the snow has a fine effect. Solar and lunar halos, mock suns, and shooting-stars, are also very common.
In such a climate as this, where, instead of soft and refreshing showers, the atmosphere deposits its superabundant moisture in the form of snow or ice, vegetables and animals are few in number and diminutive in growth. There are several varieties of moss and lichen: the thickets of birch and willow are of stunted growth: grasses are abundant in many parts: corn was once cultivated, but the inhabitants find it more to their interest to attend to the rearing of cattle, so that the great harvest of Iceland is hay. In the vicinity of the hot springs many plants grow to an unnatural size under the influence of constant warmth and moisture: a species of Chara has been found flowering and bearing seeds in a spring, the water of which was hot enough to boil an egg in four minutes.
Two species of fox, the white and the blue, are known in Iceland. The large white or polar bear is an occasional visitant floating on an icy raft from Greenland, he attacks the cattle and commits great havoc unless speedily destroyed by the inhabitants. A white species of mouse is mentioned by Olafsen, as being found in considerable numbers in the woods, where it collects nuts for winter's provision. In their excursions for berries, these little animals have often to cross rivers, over which on their return they are said to convey their booty by the following ingenious contrivance the party of from six to eight select a flat piece of dry cow-dung, in the middle of which they place the berries in a heap, and, after launching it, embark upon it with their heads joined in the midlle, and their tails pendant, like rudders in the stream. In this manner the passage is accomplished, though the unstable bark is often wrecked, when the navigators must save themselves by swimming and lose their whole cargo. The ingenuity of this account has caused it to be doubted; but it has been confirmed by Henderson.
Six or seven kinds of seal are known in Iceland: they are of great importance to the natives, on account of their flesh and oil, while their skins are used for clothing and form an article of export. Those animals are easily tamed, and soon become attached to their keeper. Their body is long and conical: their feet, enveloped in the skin, appear like fins. They are very inquisitive animals, and are attracted often to their destruction, by any new object. They will follow a boat for a long time, apparently wondering at the strange sight; and they are frequently enticed far inland by the light of some cottage window, The morse or walrus occasionally visits Iceland. On the coast are found whales, the white fish, the dolphin, the porpoise, the fierce grampus, and the sea unicorn. The last named animal has no teeth, but instead of them a single tusk, wreathed in a spiral groove, and directed forwards. The length of this tusk is eight or ten feet; it is very hard and surpasses ivory in its qualities: it forms a valuable article of export, and was formerly sold at an exorbitant price, as the horn of the fabulous land unicorn. Both the flesh and the skin of this animal furnish food to the natives.
The winged tribes are somewhat numerous in Iceland; but many of them are migratory and are found widely diffused over the northern regions. Our space will not
allow us to mention more than one of the winged visitors this dreary island; and we select the wild or whistling swan. This noble bird is five feet long; and, when the wings are extended, eight feet broad: its plumage is pure white, slightly tinged on the head with orange yellow. It sometimes remains all the winter in Iceland; and during the long dark nights is heard the wild song of troops of these birds as they pass from place to place. This song is thought to be a kind of signal or watchword, Lo prevent the dispersion of the party, and is described as remarkably pleasant, resembling the tones of a violin, though somewhat higher, each note occurring after a distinct interval. This midnight music is said to precede a thaw, and hence the Icelanders are well pleased to hear it. In summer these birds abound in many of the lakes, rivers, marshes, and small ponds: here they lay their eggs in spring and the natives go in search of them; and in August, when the old birds moult and the young cannot yet fly, many persons go to collect the feathers and catch the birds. The flesh, which is dry and tough, is eaten, but the quills and skins are valu able articles of export.
The inclemency of an Icelandic winter is often increased by the vast shoals of ice which the waves bear from Greenland to its shores; but the same cause which produces this disadvantage brings also a compensation for many privations: every year vast heaps of drift wood are cast ashore sufficient to supply the natives with fuel and building material.
This timber appears to come from two directions, the current from the northern coast of Asia bringing it from the east, and the American or Mexican gulf stream from the south-west. Owing to the general course of these, it is found in greatest quantities on the north-western side. The fiords in Strande Syssel enjoy it in most abundance, and in many of them it is seen piled up several yards thick, partly covered with sand or wild plants, and is often quite fresh. Trees with their bark and roots are also very commonly found in good condition, having, from being enveloped in ice, either before or soon after they fell into the water, been preserved from injury and waste. The wood on the northwestern coast consists of the pine, Scotch fir, lime-tree, birch, willow, mahogany, Campeachy wood, and the cork-tree; on the east are found Scotch fir, silver fir, birch, willow, and juniper; on the coast near Langanes, the Scotch and silver fir prevail. Associated with these come dead whales and seals, which are a great prize to the poor inhabitants. These have probably been killed by the icebergs, which move faster than a boat can row, and, when dashing together, sometimes by their friction set fire to the wood contained
THERE are a thousand objects, such as quills, reeds, the grasses, &c., which show that strength is uniformly given by Nature, with the least possible expense of material. It was this fact to which Galileo appealed, when he was arraigned before the inquisition on the charge of atheism. If, said he, there were nothing else in nature to teach me the existence of a Deity, even this straw would be sufficient. Such a straw, if made solid, and yet of the same quantity of material, would be so thin, that it would bend and break under the slighest weight; whereas, in its present form, it is able to support an ear, which is heavier than the whole stalk.-DR. POTTER.
THAT ignorance of our future destiny in life, of which we sometimes complain, is a signal proof of the goodness of our Creator. He hides from us the view of futurity, because the view would be dangerous and overpowering. It would either dispirit us with visions of terror, or intoxicate us by the disclosure of success. The veil which covers from our sight the events of this and of succeeeding years, is a veil woven by the hand of mercy. Our "times are in his hand," and we have reason to be glad that in his hand they are kept, shut out from our view. Submit to his pleasure as an Almighty Ruler we must; because we cannot resist Him: equal reason there is for trusting in Him as a guardian under whose disposal we are safe.-BLAIR.
THE BRANDY PEST.
ABOUT three miles from the inn where we dined, the road
"I expected this," said Fridolin, on the way to the inn; "the fellow drank too much at the place where we dined. showed it evidently." He is intoxicated: his glowing red face, and his swearing,
About a quarter of an hour passed before the postilion recovered his consciousness. Fridolin examined and treated him with great care. The poor fellow had broken a rib and his left arm, and his face was much bruised.
This accident obliged us to remain at the inn until the carriage was repaired, and in the evening we enjoyed the company of some officers, and other respectable people of the village. We were in our dear Switzerland. The company talked much about the existing institutions and tion of the landlord, who interrupted them often, saying, governments. They all approved of them, with the excep"It is really too bad of our governments to allow the increase of ale-houses and brandy-shops, by which the dissoluteness of the country increases. In some of our towns small village, with scarcely six hundred inhabitants, there every fifth house is an inn or an ale-house. Here in our evening." are seven public-houses, which are full of guests every
There is sometimes in the life of a man, a time, a
A Conversation such as is seldom heard
makes you speak thus!" cried one of the guests, laughing. "It is jealousy of trade, landlord, jealousy of trade, that
"No, sir," answered the landlord, "I do not speak from selfishness, I feel compassion for the poor people. Every year they become more dissolute and disorderly on account of the increase of public-houses; for the more numerous the opportunities of seduction, the more numerous are the seduced; the more public-houses, the more drunkards. In the canton of Berne, for instance, five years ago, there Read the newspapers! I have noticed many things in them. were already more than 900 public-houses: there are now more than 1500. Five years ago, I tell you, three to four million gallons of wine, and about 248,000 gallons of brandy, were imported into the same canton. You think this is a great deal; but now nearly 7,000,000 gallons of wine, and about 500,000 gallons of brandy, are consumed! Besides this, many persons make brandy for their own use out of the husks of pressed grapes, apples, or pears, morning before breakfast, at noon, and again in the evening. or out of potatoes. Many persons drink brandy in the Even boys drink ardent spirits. The same is the case in the cantons of Freiburg, Solothurn, Aargau, Zürich, and others. Once the canton of Basel-Landschaft sold an immense quantity of cherry-brandy to France. Though that commerce is now at an end, still the distilling of the brandy continues. What do the peasants of Basel do with it? They consume themselves the whole quantity every year." "It is jealousy of trade, landlord, nothing but jealousy
of trade," repeated the same merry guest; "you exaggerate, it is not half so bad as you say."
An old gentleman, who sat opposite to him, raised his voice, and spoke thus, very seriously: "The evil is worse than you think, or perhaps, know. Have you not been yourself a witness of the accident that happened to these gentlemen, caused by the intoxication of their postilion? Such accidents, owing to drunkenness, are not at all rare in our days. Where is there a village or a town in the country, where you do not meet with drunkards reeling through the streets, quarrelling, fighting, and even killing each other? How many fires are occasioned by the carelessness or thoughtlessness of intoxicated persons! The poverty of the lower classes increases strikingly with the increased use of wine, ale, or brandy. Debauchery, idleness, and thieving, become more frequent every year. The parish is overburdened with orphans and deserted children. If an epidemic disease breaks out, all is misery and destruction, in spite of the great number of physicians. People die like flies, for they are ripe for the grave through their daily use of spirits. The government know all this; they see it every day, and yet do nothing against it. Instead of stopping the source of the evil they dig ponds and lakes to receive its victims. They build immense work houses, hospitals, and houses of correction, and fill them with drunkards; but they do not reflect upon the origin of all this misery. They give licences for ale-houses and brandy-shops, and so let misery run unbridled over the country."
While he thus spoke, the other guests were all attentively silent. The landlord nodded his approbation, and said: "It is but too true, your worship!" (for the speaker was a justice of the peace.)
No one had listened with greater attention than Fridolin. "I have been absent more than four years," said he, "and I am both astonished and grieved to hear such facts. No corruption, debauchery, nor licentiousness, ought ever to be heard of in Switzerland. And yet, gentlemen, what else is the cause of the misery and infamy of our country, but the avidity and covetousness of the dealers in ardent spirits, who thus distribute poison through the whole country.'
Our landlord shook his head and replied: "By your leave, sir, I will agree, that the greediness for gain of the retailers of spirits contributes much to the misery and impoverishment of families and parishes. But if you call brandy a poison, the band of poisoners is much larger than that of landlords, alehouse-keepers, and dealers. I will not say
anything more. It is more becoming for your worship to speak than for me."
He addressed these last words to the old gentleman who had spoken before. Fridolin, too, turned towards the justice of the peace and requested him to explain, how it came to pass that brandy, in the course of these twenty years, had become such a common, and indeed, unfortunately, such a daily beverage.
The Speech of an old Justice of the Peace, worthy of
every one's attention.
| sickly, weak persons amongst them, who have the physician constantly in their house, and whose children are weak and degenerate. But these so-called well-educated people dispense brandy also amongst the lower people. They give it to their labourers; they give it to their threshers and haymakers; they give it to their washerwomen; they offer it to those who bring them their rents; and, in short, they take advantage of every opportunity to make people drink. They imagine, perhaps, in their ignorance, that by this means they give more pleasure and strength to their labourers. Yes, it is true, in the first hour the brandy excites their spirits, they work merrily; but, in the following hours, faintness, debility, indolence, and sleep overcome them. It is a fact, that out of two equally strong labourers, he who abstains from brandy works better, and with more prudence and reflection than he who takes it. The latter is like a traveller, who, in the beginning, runs fast, and leaves others behind him, but soon he becomes tired, and must remain behind those who walk steadily.”
A little man, who had the appearance of a wealthy farmer, interrupted the justice of the peace in his speech, and said: "Right! right! I know it well. Four sober labourers, who quench their thirst with water and milk, work more in a day than five brandy-drinkers. I allow no brandy on my farm; and I am very well without it. A brandy-drinker saves no money either for himself or for his family."
The justice of the peace resumed: "I know, neighbour, that you have dismissed every one who is fond of brandy, and you have derived advantage from so doing. No liquor is to be found in your house. Oh may all honest persons, all intelligent and true friends of the people, imitate your example! But if wealthy families, manufacturers, officers, even magistrates and teachers, offer to their children, to their workmen, to their pupils, the bad example of spirit-drinking, what can we expect from the common people? Yes, they are the poisoners of the community; they are the mischiefmakers! And, what is worse, gentlemen, the very men to whom we intrust the superintendence of the public welfare, contribute, by their ignorance or their thoughtlessness, to the diffusion of all those evils, vices, and crimes which originate in the daily use of strong liquors in our deplorable country; of poverty and gambling, of lust and dissipation, of theft and fighting, of weakness in offspring, and of all sorts of diseases. Some of our clergymen preach on the decay of religion, lament over the increasing immorality; but they have not yet destroyed the secret source of vice, namely, the daily use of fermented and distilled drinks. Indeed, it is not enough to preach, to lament, and to admonish. Do we not, in this wretched brandy-drinking country of ours, often see unworthy priests who are drunkards? do we not see even the teachers of youth and professors addicted to drinking, and exposing themselves to the scorn and derision of their scholars? But, gentlemen, the vice has become already so general amongst us, that it is no more regarded as a vice; it is hardly regarded as a weakness; has it not become a
proverb to say, "To be tipsy honourably shall be prohibited by nobody? Our doctors ought to take care of the health of the people. They ought to be the first, if they were conscientious, benevolent men, to warn the community of the abuse of strong liquors; and, I repeat it, daily use is an abuse. They best know to how many bodily diseases this daily use leads. They know how many diseases are developed by the poison of brandy; but some of our doctors, I really believe, have more anxiety to get patients than to preserve the health of the people; they do not warn us; they do not prohibit the liquors so advantageous for themselves, in the houses which they frequent; at least not in the houses of the rich. Is this carelessness, or avarice? And, gentlemen, what shall I say of our governors and legislators, amongst whom there are drunkards, and dealers in poisonous spirits? I will not speak of magistrates, who, when they have taken a glass too much, often commit cruelty and injustice.
"Do not wonder at it," said he; "it is not the fault either of the revolution, or of the foreign soldiers who came into our country, or of that licentiousness of the people which is occasioned by war. Neither is the number of inns and taverns the cause of the increase of brandy-drinking. Were all the inns and taverns to be abolished, the number of brandy-drinkers would not diminish. The chief cause is the cheapness of brandy, and the facility of preparing it. It is prepared, in distilleries and in private houses, out of the husks of grapes and fruit, out of potatoes, cherries, plums, gentian, wheat, rye, and barley; almost everything can be used to make that liquor, which, as that gentleman said, empoisons by degrees and imperceptibly, the health of human beings.
"But our landlord is quite in the right when he says that the band of poisoners consists not alone of brandydistillers and of the dealers in that poison. There are other persons besides, who seduce the ignorant people to brandydrinking; who destroy the health of men, women and children; who promote poverty and licentiousness; who fill the prisons, the mad-houses, the hospitals, the houses of correction, with miserable victims; and these are the wealthy, the respectable, the so-called well-educated people. They set before their guests strong wines, spirits before and after dinner, spirits at supper. Every friend or stranger who comes to them is encouraged and incited to drink. There are amongst the rich and fashionable class as many brandy-drinkers as amongst the poor and the peasantry; therefore we see so many
Finally, let me call your attention to the perverse, immoral institutions and laws of our country; they permit dancing on four or five Sundays during the year, but limit this abuse, from a pretended regard to public morals, while they openly countenance, if they do not actually encourage, drinking on every Sunday throughout the year. Instead of making brandy dear by taxes and tolls, they charge more for the mild wines, which are much less obnoxious, and thus drive the poorer people to the use of spirits. Thus our governors and rulers favour the poisoning of the people, and the ruin of their health and morality. Yes, gentlemen, these persons call themselves the fathers of their country,