Gambar halaman
[ocr errors]

mitted, in four years, into a Lunatic Asylum, at Liverpool, two hundred and fifty-seven were known to have lost their reason by drunkenness.'

The observations of Dr. Esquirol, at his establishment, near Paris, showed that of three hundred and thirtysix patients, he only found three whose insanity was attributable to excessive drinking; but Dr. Hallaran ascertained, that at the Cork Lunatic Asylum, out of three hundred and eighty-three male patients, one hundred and three had become deranged through the excessive drinking of whiskey."

In Scotland, where they drink about three times the quantity of spirit that is consumed in England, the number of insane persons is about three to one, as compared with the number in England.”—Rep. on Drunk., p. 143.

“Q. Can you inform the Committee, with regard to the patients in Bethlehem Hospital, whether it has been observed that the number of patients that have become in. sane from spirit drinking has increased ?

“ A. I am not able to speak with any particular accuracy; but I would say, generally, from a weekly attendance upon the sub-committee, for now almost thirty years, about half, at least half those who come into the committee-room, and concerning whom it has been enquired by the Governors present, or by the Physicians, what they supposed to be the cause of insanity, the larger proportion I should say to be from that cause ; it has been stated to be from the cause of drinking."-J. Poynder, Esq., Rep. on Drunk., p. 64.

“ The love of strong drink,” says Dr. Peirson, “ and the proneness to mania, are, with respect to each other, interchangeable causes."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc.,

p. 66.

That intoxicating drinks should produce insanity is no matter of astonishment, when it is known, that alcohol, by being absorbed into the blood, can be carried unchanged to the brain, so as to load and irritate it.

“ I dissected a man," says Dr. Kirk, “who died in a state of intoxication after a debauch. The operation was performed a few hours after death. In two of the cavities of the brain, the lateral ventricles, was found the usual quantity of limpid ftuid ; when we smelt it the odour of whiskey was distinctly perceptible; and when we applied the candle to a portion, in a spoon, it actually burned blue —the lambent flame, characteristic of the poison, playing on the surface of the spoon for some seconds."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 65.

“ The intellectual faculties are impaired by Alcohol. Every excess is a voluntary insanity, and if often repeated, and carried beyond a certain degree, it often produces the horrible disease, called delirium tremens ; in which, while the animal powers are prostrated, the mind is tortured with the most distressing and fearful imaginations."Forty Physicians of the State of New York, Amer. Temp. Doc., p.

89. “ It is now understood, that even moderate drinking weakens the intellect, blunts the power of discriminating perceptions, and, if it does not, as is often the case, make a man dishonest, it renders him more liable to be deceived, and to make mistakes."

“ No man (says an eminent physician) who has taken only a single glass, has all his faculties in as perfect a state,


as the man who takes none."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc.,

p. 235.

How much like idiots, or madmen, do individuals generally act, in their occasional fits of intemperance, though sustaining a reputation for sobriety, prudence, and virtue.

A respectable lawyer, in the neighbourhood of Boston, was about to sell the wood which was standing upon à certain piece of ground. He told the vendue-master (the auctioneer) not to furnish any intoxicating liquor, but, in its stead, to furnish nourishing food. The vendue-master consented to follow his directions, but, said he, · I am very sorry, you will lose a great deal of money. I know how it works ; and you may depend upon it, that after men have been drinking, the trees look a great deal larger than they did before.'-Truly wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging !!"--Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 460.

“Wine heightens indifference into love; love into jealousy, and jealousy into madness. It often turns the goodnatured man into an idiot, and the choleric into an assassin. It gives bitterness to resentment; it makes vanity insupportable, and displays every little spot of the soul in its deformity.”-Addison.



In the year 1833, it was calculated, by Professor Edgar, that £54,000. were expended, in distilled spirits, in the parish of Belfast.—The poor of this parish required for their support not more than £5,400. per annum.

The ministers of religion received not more than £4,500. The royal college cost Government £1,500. Supposing, in addition to these sums, £1,100. had been allowed for Bible, Missionary, and similar Societies, and £3,000. to all the Sunday Schools in Ireland, which is the sum devoted to their support, there would then remain TWENTY-NINE THOUSAND Pounds out of the consumption of spirits in this single parish."-Rep. on Drunk., p. 68.

• The masters of thirty-nine establishments, of one kind, in Belfast, have been in the habit of expending about £1,300. per annum, on 456 men, in spirituous liquors, as a stimulus to exertion ; being a larger amount than the voluntary contributions for the lodging, food, clothing, and medical attendance of all the poor of the town !”-Rep. on Drunk., p. 70.

“In the year 1829, in the three parishes of Greenock, consisting of 30,000 inhabitants, there were expended in spirituous liquors, in a year, £98,000 ; in the town of Glasgow the calculation has been made of £451,000. a year; and in Edinburgh, nearly about the same sum."Rep. on Drunk., p. 415.

Nearly a million sterling, expended in one year, in ardent spirits alone, by the inhabitants of three of the most enlightened towns, in the best instructed portion of Her Majesty's dominions! No wonder the Scotch have been distinguished for diseased livers.

But--they are, happily, getting wiser.

“ In one small district of the Ands (in Ireland) a mendicity was established some time since, which was found to be sufficient for supporting all the poor of the district for £800. a year. The mendicity, however, fell in a very short time to the ground, for want of support. - In the same district there were thirty-four spirit shops, and supposing that these received only £100. a year each, we are brought to the conclusion, that, while £3,400 a year was expended in the district, on strong drink, £300, a year could not be obtained for the use of the poor."-Rep. on Drunk., p. 426.

“ I have made a calculation of the amount spent, annually, by the public, for distilled spirits alone, and it cannot be less than TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS of money annually ; and I have no doubt that it is to a much larger extent."-Mr. Mark Moore, Rep. on Drunk., p.

1. This calculation was made in 1834, when the consumption amounted to nearly twenty-six million gallons. In 1836, the quantity of British spirits, on which duty was paid, amounted to nearly TWENTY-SEVEN MILLION gallons !

The income of Government, arising from the use of intoxicating liquors, in the year ending Jan. 1837, was as under :Spirits

£8,463,203 Malt, Hops, and Wine...... £8,045,273 making a grand total, of SIXTEEN MILLIONS AND A HALF STERLING.–Comp. to the Brit. Almanack, 1838.

Mr. Beaumont, in his essay on Alcoholic liquors, has calculated, that the cost of malt liquor is not less than FORTY-TWO MILLIONS, annually. The writer thinks he has given rather too many gallons to the bushel, and charged somewhat too much per gallon; but as he has taken no account of the adulterations, which are known to be practised to a great extent, there is reason for believing that he is not much above the truth.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »