Page images

to his family the inheritance of an un- who is herself temptation's fettered tarnished name, the example of virtues slave? These are truly the mother's that should blossom for his sons and labours—but they are not hers. Condaughters from the tomb-though she nubial love and maternal tenderness would have wept bitterly indeed, the bloom no longer for her. A worm has tears of grief would not have been also gnawed into her heart that dies only the tears of shame. But to behold him, with its prey-the worm, Intemperance. fallen away from the station he once

pp. 10–16. adorned, degraded from eminence to ignominy-at home, turning his dwel

It ought never to be forgotten ling to darkness, and its holy endear- among the personal miseries of the ments to mockery- abroad, thrust from the companionship of the worthy, a

drunkard, that when the habit is self-branded outlaw--this is the wo

once formed, he has put himself althat the wife feels is more dreadful most beyond the influence of the than death,—that she mourns over as means of grace. The slave of apworse than widowhood.

petite finds no peace except in some There is yet another picture behind, system of falsehood, or in the defrom the exhibition of which I would struction of his moral sensibilities. willingly be spared. I have ventured

They make their hearts as an adto point to those who daily force themselves before the world, but there is amant stone, lest they should hear one whom the world does not know of the law.” If all excitability is not -who hides herself from prying eyes, destroyed, and he is visited by a even in the innermost sanctuary of the momentary pang of remorse, he domestic temple. Shall I dare to rend flies to the relief of the sovereign the veil that hangs between, and draw opiate, and sinks back to stupidity her forth ?--the priestess dying amid again. This remark has been often her unholy rites—the sacrificer and verified in the late revivals of relisacrifice? Oh! we compass sea and land, we brave danger and death, to snatch gion in our land. Drunkards have the poor victim of heathen supersti- in some instances been alarmed and tion from the burning pile—and it is well apparently under serious impres-but shall we not also save the lovely sion; but a return to the cup has ones of our own household, from im- drowned the voice of conscience, molating on this foul altar, not only and erased the impression, and few, the perishing body, but all the worship- very few, have given evidence of ped graces of her sex—the glorious at

conversion to God. tributes of hallowed womanhood! Imagination's gloomiest reverie never

The evils of intemperance, as conceived of a more revolting object, they respect the general interests than that of a wife and mother, derling of society, are classed in different in her own person the fairest work of divisions. her God, and setting at nought the The iniseries of pauperism are holy engagements for which he created chiefly imputable to this cause. her. Her husband—who shall height, From an examination into the state en his joy, and dissipate his cares, and of the alms-houses in Portland, alleviate his sorrows? She, who has robbed him of all joy, who is the Portsmouth, New-York, and Balsource of his deepest care, who lives timore, it was found, according to his sharpest sorrow?—These are in- documents introduced by Mr. P., deed the wife's delights—but they are that the greater part of their wretchnot hers. Her children--who shall ed tenants were brought thither by watch over their budding virtues, and intemperance. In one, two thirds, pluck up the young weeds of passion in another, three fourths, in anothand vice? She, in whose bosom every thing beautiful has withered, every

er, four fifths and in another, six thing vile grows rank? Who shall sevenths, of their number, owed teach them to bend their little knees their poverty and degradation to in devotion, and repeat their Saviour's this cause. The proportion, we prayer against temptation ?” She, apprehend, is not much less in our

[ocr errors]


country towns. Drunkards, and The next of the public evils of the families of drunkards, compose intemperance, is the multiplication at least two thirds of the whole of crimes. number of paupers.

This fact, Intemperance is not only a crime however, gives but a faint idea of in itself, but is more prolific than the poverty caused by intemperance. any other cause of crimes. DrunkThe number of those reduced to enness produces in many of its subwant, but kept from becoming a pub- jecte a temporary madness, and in lic burden by private charity,is much his phrenzy the drunkard "scatters greater; and the want and wretched- firebrands.arrows, and death.” Ms. ness, from the same cause, of mul- P. has furnished a number of facts titudes more who receive no assis. in illustration of this position. In tance, is almost beyond calculation. 1819, three fourths of the assaults Should any benevolent individual and batteries charged in the city and undertake to ascertain the dimen- county of New-York, and brought sions of this evil, and visit all the before the court of sessions, promiserable hovels, and all the abodes ceeded from the degrading use of of squallid poverty, and investigate ardent spirits. A judge of Norththe causes which have brought their Carolina lately declared from the tenants to this condition, he would bench, that of the cases of manfind three fourths, at least, and we slaughter which had come before we believe nine tenths, of all this him, there was not one which had wretchedness to result from the not been occasioned by intempeidleness, improvidence, and ex- rance ; and few of murder which pense,occasioned by intemperance. were not attributable to the same “I have seen,” says one--"I have

The following is a remark seen ardent spirits more than once, of Sir Matthew Hale. “The plaform, with a scanty allowance of ces of judicature,” said that great bread and meat, the only meal of an lawyer, "w I have so long held almost perishing family. I have in this kingdom, have given me opseen a mother and her children hov- portunity to observe the original ering, in the depth of winter, over cause of most of the enormities that a few dying embers, half naked and have been committed for the space half starved; bread and water the of near twenty years; and by a due only nourishment of the children, observation I have found that if bread and rum of the parents.' the murders and man slaughters, “ I have seen a little child, squallid the burglaries and robberies, the and filthy, pinched with cold and riots and tumults, the adulteries want, covered byt not protected and other great enormities, that from the inclehdency of the winter, have happened in that time, were by a few tattered garments, her bare divided into five parts, four of feet on the frozen earth, stealing them have been the issue and proalong with a broken pitcher to bring duct of excessive drinking, of tavto her parents the liquor, which was ern and alehouse meetings." We to serve for the morning's repast, learn from another source that out whilst in their comfortless dwelling, of one thousand and sixty-one cagladdened by no blazing hearth,they ses of criminal prosecution in the were waiting in bed, with a drunk

year 18 20, before the court of sesard's longing, for that which to them sions in the city of New-York, more was better than food, clothing, or than eight hundred were stated to

have been connected with intemper. *Dr. John Ware's Address, quoted ance. Judge Rush, of Pennsylva. by Sprague.

nia, makes the following declara


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

tion in a charge to the grand-jury.* breaches of the peace would be i "I declare, in this public manner, rare, our prisons emptied, and our

and with the most solemn regard courts discharged from a great part to truth, that I do not recollect an of their burdens. instance, since my being concerned The evils of intemperance have in the administration of justice, vf a searful aspect in respect to our a single person being put on bis civil liberty. This is exhibited by trial for man-slaughter, which did our authors with a fine glow of patnot originate in drunkenness; and riotic feeling. but few instances of trials for murder, where the crime did not spring spread intemperance to a people gov

The ruinous consequences of widefrom the same unhappy cause. A

erning themselves, can hardly be overmoment's reflection will be sufficient rated. If there be on earth one nation to convince you, gentlemen, that more than another, whose institutions the various breaches of the peace, must draw their life-blood from the that are daily brought before the individual purity of its citizens, that courts, are derived in a greater or

nation is our own. Rulers by divine less degree from this infamous and

right, and nobles by hereditary succesmischievous vice.”

sion, may, perhaps, tolerate with impu

nity those depraving indulgencies which A respectable young gentleman,

keep the great mass abject. Where resident in Louisiana, stated to us the many enjoy little or no power, it in conversation a few weeks since, were a trick of policy to wink at those that a man could not maintain a re- enervating vices, which would rob spectable standing in society there, them of both the ability and the incliwho would receive an insult, with

nation to enjoy it. But in our country, out demanding satisfaction in an

where almost every man, however honorable way. We inquired of humble, hears to tho omnipotent ballot

box his full portion of the sovereigntyhim, low a man could mingle in where at regular periods the ministers such society, without exposure to of authority, who went forth to rule, the necessity of giving or accepting return to be ruled, and lay down their a challenge? He replied, that this dignities at the feet of the monarch was not at all difficult, as most of the multitude--where, in short, public seninsults which resulted in duels ori. timent is the absolute lever that moves ginated over the bottle. "

" The

the political world, the purity of the

way, therefore, to avoid the necessity of people is the rock of political safety.

We may boast, if we please, of our fighting a duel, in that part of our

exalted privileges, and fondly imagine country, is, as the Scotchmen say, that they will be eternal—but wheneyjust to keep sober."

er those vices shall abound, which unThe board of managers of the deniably tend debasement, steeping the Prison Discipline Society say, the poor and the ignorant still lower in "Intemperance directly, or indi poverty and ignorance, and thereby de. rectly, furnishes a great proportion stroying that wholesome mental equal. of the subjects for Houses of Cor- ruled people—it will be found by woful

ity, which can alone sustain a selfrection and Prisons."

experience, that our happy system of From these documents the con government, the best ever devised for clusion is obvious, that intempe. the intelligent and good, is the very rance is the great cause of those worst to be entrusted to the degraded crimes which require civil punish- and vicious. The great majority will ment: that if this single vice could then truly become a many-headed monbe exterminated, man-slaughters ster, to be tamed and led at will. The would nearly cease, murders would strength of the eyeless Nazarite, so

tremendous power of suffrage, like the be few, assaults and batteries and far from being their protection, will

but serve to pull down upon their *Rush's Charges.

heads the temple their ancestors rearVol. I.-No. XI.


ed for them. Caballers and dema- schools, and the moral power of religogues will find it an easy task to de- gious institutions are indispensable to lude those who have deluded them- produce this intelligence and virtue. selves; and the freedom of the people But who are found so uniformly in will finally be buried in the grave of th: ranks of irreligion as the intempetheir virtues. National greatness may rate? Who like these violate the survive-splendid talents and brilliant Sabbath, and set their mouth against victories may fling their delusive lus- the heavens-neglecting the education tre abroad-these can illumine the of their families—and corrupting their darkness that hangs around the throne morals? Almost the entire amount of of a despot-but their light will be national ignorance and crime is the like the baleful flame that hovers over offspring of intemperance. Through. decaying mortality, and tells of the out the land, the intemperate are her. corruption that festers beneath. The ing down the pillars, and undermining immortal spirit will have gone-and the foundations of our national editice. along our shores, and among our hills-- Legions have besieged it, and upon those shores made sacred by the sepul- every gate the battle-ax rings; and chre of the Pilgrim, those hills hallow. still the sentinels sleep. ed by the uncoffined bones of the Pat- Should the evil advance as it has riot--even there, in the ears of their done, the day is not far distant when degenerate descendants „shall ring the the great body of the labouring classes last knell of departed Liberty.

of the community, the bones and sinews I would not, even in anticipation, do of the nation, will be contaminated; my country injustice. I glory in my and when this is accomplished, the citizenship. With the exception of right of suffrage becomes the engine the one hateful vice, which is spreading of self-destruction. For the labouring its ravages far and wide, we may classes constitute an immense majority, proudly challenge a comparison with and when these are perverted by inihe dominions of the earth. The pres. temperance, ambition needs no better ent, however, is not a time for the implements with which to dig the silken phrases of self-condemnation. grave of our liberties, and entomb our

and besetting sin, the pa. glory. rent of so many others, is a national Such is the influence of interest, amblot: and if it shows the darker on bition, fear, and indolence, that one our scutcheon, that it pollutes so violent partizan, with a handful of disfair a surface, it becomes more imperi- ciplined troops, may overrule the influously the duty, of every patriotic citience of five hundred temperate men, zen to assist in removing it. Let not who act without concert. Already is our glory and disgrace go hand in hand. the disposition to temporize, to tolerWhen we exultingly proclaim to the ate, and even to court the intemperdecrepit communities of the old world, ate, too apparent, on account of the how far we have out-stripped them in apprehended retribution of their perliberty, let them not be able to tell us verted suffrage. The whole power of that we have also out-stripped them in law, through the nation, sleeps in the a vice, which is liberty's most dead- statute-book, and until public senti. ly foe. If that be true, which we have ment is roused and concentrated, it been told, let it teach us humility, and may be doubted whether its execution excite us to amendment--that thcngh is possible. but two hundred years a people, but Where is the city, town, or village, fifty years a nation, we bave already, in which the laws are not openly violain this particular, attained a wicked ted, and where is the magistracy that preeminence over kingdoms that had dares to carry into effect the laws seen centuries come and depart, long against the vending or drinking of arbefore the white sail of Columbus dent spirits? Here then an aristocracaught the inspiring winds of our cy of bad influence has already risen western sky.--Sprague. pp. 20–22. up, which bids defiance to law, and

threatens the extirpation of civil liberIt is admitted that intelligence and ty. As intemperance increases, the virtue are the pillars of republican in- power of taxation will come more stitutions, and that the illumination of and more into the hands of men of

This gross

intemperate habits and desperate for- I affirm no more than is past contratunes; of course the laws gradually diction; that slaves to their own dewill become subservient to the debtor, sires are ready to be slaves to other and less efficacious in protecting the men; that luxury has been the bane rights of property. This will be a and ruin of republics; and that the vital stab to liberty-to the security of vile indulgence which is now a dewhich property is indispensable. For struction wasting at noon-day among money is the sinew of war-and when us, is luxury in one of its most menathose who hold the property of a na. cing forms, and prepares a worthless tion cannot be protected in their rights, population the most effectually for a they will change the form of


master's yoke. We are jealous of our ment, peaceably if they may, by vio- liberties, we say. And are we the lence if they must.

first of modern free states that have In proportion to the numbers who been so, and yet have fallen? Was have no right in the soil, and no capi- not Venice watchful of its liberty, and tal at stake, and no inoral principle, self-devoting to maintain it, till enterwill the nation be exposed to violence prize brought wealth, and wealth, induland revolution. In Europe, the plys- gence, and indulgence, effeminacy, and ical power is bereft of the right of suf. effeminacy, bondage? We are wise and frage, and by the bayonet is kept down.

refined, we think. Was Florence less But in this nation, the power which

so, when it unsaid all its weighty remay be wielded by the intemperate publican maxims, and bowed its neck and ignorant is treinendous. These to the foot of a rich and popular citiare the troops of the future Cæsars, by zen? No, the guardian of our instituwhose perverted suffrages our future tions is public virtue; an erect, manly elections may be swayed, and ulti- virtue, in full command of all its powmately our liberties destroyed. They ers; an independent virtue, not capable are the corps of irreligious and despe- of being seduced for the offered supply rate men, who have something to hope, of a base appetite. Let but the habit and nothing to fear, from revolution

we have been to-day contemplating and blood. Of such materials was the pursue its ravages, and that virtue will army of Cataline composed who con- fast be sapped. A miserable populaspired against the liberties of Rome. tion will grow numerous, the subjects And in the French revolution, such alike of intimidation and bribes. Withmen as Lafayette were soon swept out sense of character, without means from the helm, by mobs composed of of living, they will stand ready to be the dregs of creation, to give place to the instruments of the ambitious purthe revolutionary furies which follow- poses of any wicked man. Is it thought ed.-Beecher. pp. 56-59.

such persons will value their own political prerogatives too much to forego

them, though they may not respect Let no one turn away his eyes those of others, too much to invade from this subject, or laugh at these them? What care such persons for representations, as the fancy of a the difference between one political sickly brain, or as a topic introdu- relation and another? Their tastes ced merely to display the powers of have another object; and is it to be the orator. The danger is real, supposed that the despotic appetite and cannot be denied unless we will against which natural' affection is shut our eyes to the light of history, powerless, is to pause in opposition to

a thing so unsubstantial as a theory of and deny the connection between

the rights of man? cause and effect; it cannot long be I cannot avoid thinking, that as there disregarded with impunity; the time is no darker stain in our national morto meet it will soon have passed by, als, so there is no darker cloud over and we as a people may lament in our political prospects,--the prospect the sadness of despair, over an evil

of the permanency of our free institu

tions, -than this. I see not how this too great to be remedied. Mr. P. presents this subject in a

view can be gainsaid, if it be true, as

it is unquestionable, that intemperance style of cool and conclusive argu- is an evil of vast extent among us; that mentation.

it is a thorough corrupter of the mind,

« PreviousContinue »