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The true freedom of the community will possible to put a stop to the consumption of be best promoted by removing the incubus of those liquors with great advantage to the the drinking customs. Intelligence, educa- community. The great argument of our tion, and morality will then advance, and opponent is this:-we enter into a compact with these, political freedom also. Few will not to interfere with the rights of our neighfeel thai a law productive of such results bour, but have a right to use our own, and can itself be an oppression of the indivi- the use of intoxicating liquors is one of our dual. The enormous and peculiar evils rights. We reply, that society is a compact which flow from intemperance sanction the for mutual protection and assistance ; for interference of the legislature, which would carrying out objects which cannot be effected not be required regarding the regulation of by single persons. Hence, no one is entitled people's appetite in general. The stigma of to sell that by which the community is a dietetic law, as well as various arguments injured. The State's first duty is preservaof our opponents, strike at the root of the tion, defence, and it cannot allow its vitality Acts which in effect regulate the number to be sacrificed to the use of a certain luxof public houses, and the hours at which ury. Its right to interfere cannot be strictly they are opened. According to them, why limited to the abuse of intoxicants, but it is should justices of the peace be allowed to re- at liberty to put a stop to the sale of them fuse applications for licenses? and why, so long itself, as prejudicial to the public interest. as people feel that they require intoxicating We deny, then, upor the clearest principles liquors, should they be prevented from getting of government, that a man has a right to them after certain hours, if the publican be sell any mere luxury by which misery is willing to keep open his shop? We think they spread through society. The State may say should be so prevented ; but on the same to him, “ You may trade for our benefit, but grounds we cannot stop short of a Maine Law. you shall not open a shop by which you can
We do not think the third and fourth do no good to society, but are certain to paragraphs of “Horatio's" article, in which injure it.” The inevitable and peculiar rehe attempts to expound the principles of sults which follow the existence of dramshops legislative right on this question, give any would demand a peculiar law, if the princisubstantial support to his views. We can ple had not been before applied. The prinadopt nearly the whole of his remarks as ciple has, however, been acted on. arguments in favour of a Maine Law. He not till the year 1691, in the reign of William says truly that republicanism is the theory and Mary, that an act was passed, not withof the British Constitution. The Maine out opposition, allowing in England distillaLaw advocates recognise that the function of tion from corn, which had previously been government is to promote the good of the prohibited. We wish simply to go back, people, in obedience to the national will. with the consent of the people, to an old law The “United Kingdom Alliance” aims to of the realm. The select committee of the secure the result which they have in view House of Commons which met in 1829, inby means of the people themselves influen- cluding the late Sir Robert Peel and other cing the Houses of Parliament. " Horatio" distinguished statesmen among its members, properly remarks that laws passed by the after examining a number of witnesses, remajority should be obeyed by the minority. commended that the Government should We wish public opinion to be so wrought on, make a public declaration of their deterthat the proposed law may be agreed to, mination to introduce some general and and allowed to pass. He inquires, “ Radi- comprehensive law for the progressive dimically and constitutionally different, how is it nution, and ultimate suppression of all the possible to circumscribe man's animal wants existing facilities and means of intemperance." within the limits of a legislative enact- The right of parliament to suppress the ment?” There is a sense in which men are drinking customs is here recognized. In radically and constitutionally the same; and reference to other matters, laws exist, which, the evidence of medical practitioners that for the public good, materially restrict the intoxicants are unnecessary in a state of rights of individuals. The Public Health health, and the fact that many thousands Bill, for instance, compels proprietors live without using them, show that it is make a certain use of their houses, irr.
tive of their own profit or inclination. Va. And the limitations are these; if it be found rious practices are absolutely prohibited by by experience, that, in the general practice the Legislature. Thus betting houses have of the times in which we live, the abuse is been recently suppressed, because they were only the solitary exception, whereas the found to throw undue temptation in the right use is the general rule; so that the way of the public, not because it was judged whole amount of good resulting from its wrong to bet. On the whole, the right of right use exceeds the whole amount of evil Government to put down the trade in intoxi- resulting from its partial abuse, then the cants cannot be seriously disputed. With- article in question, whatever it be, is fully out such a right, society could not exist. entitled to the benefit of the adage.” “But, It is a right which cannot be denied without on the other hand, if it be found by experipronouncing our best and wisest laws to be ence that there is something so deceitful and based upon a fallacy, and the work of par- ensnaring in the article itself, or something liament to be useless. The only question is, so peculiarly untoward connected with the Shall the legislative principle adverted to be use of it in the present age, that the whole applied to minor evils, and not to the monster amount of crime, and misery, and wretchedevil of intemperance? We think there can ness, connected with the abuse of it greatly be but one answer. It will be recollected exceeds the whole amount of benefit arising that the Maine Law does not prohibit the from the right use of it, then the argument use of intoxicants ; it suppresses “the exist- becomes a mischievous fallacy, the article in ing facilities and means of intemperance." question is not entitled to the benefit of it,
The folly of our opponent's argument on the and it becomes the duty of every good man subject of the right to the use of those to get rid of it.” He then goes on to prove liquors is clear enough from one considera- the applicability of this principle to the case tion alone. Suppose various shops were of intoxicating liquors. opened, selling articles of a kind that were “Horatio" grants the fact of the misery, abused in the vast majority of cases; or wretchedness, and expense, which intemperthat intoxicating liquors were made an im- ance entails on the sober portion of society, proper use of by ninety-nine out of every but maintains that no just law can prevent hundred of those who drank them, yet the these evils, as they arise from the constitulegislature, however great be the misery and. tion of society. A certain amount of evil, degradation which such shops would create, arising from our connection with others, we would not be justified in closing them be- may expect to bear, but we ought not to cause a few did not abuse those articles, and suffer injury where we can avoid it; and in were not answerable for the fault of others, this case we can do so. The true theory of and had a right to continue to purchase society is the very opposite of that stated by them. The State's right to interfere is un- “ Horatio." No one has any right to act in deniable; in some cases it may not be called such a way as that the interests of the comon to do so; other instances may be of such munity will be sacrificed. Society cannot an overwhelming character as to render admit of individuals committing mischief interference obligatory; and we submit that with impunity; from such it can protect itthe liquor traffic is one that, above all others, self, and the laws by which it does so are of calls for suppression. It has been urged their nature just. against total abstinence principles, “that “ Horatio " maintains that the grand arthe abuse of a thing good in itself does not gument for a liquor law is that intoxicants afford a valid argument against the right are poisonous; and if poisonous, be grants use of it.” With reference to this, Arch- they should be prohibited. Assuming that deacon Jeffreys, of Bombay, makes very per- they are poisonous, Government is wrong in tinent remarks, which we beg leave to quote having so long allowed them to be sold; and as applicable to our opponent's objection to it is against first principles to ask a govern. the suppression of dramshops.“ The truth ment so bad to devise a remedy. We do not is,” he observes, “that the adage is only attach much blame to the legislature. The true under certain general limitations; and people themselves have been in the habit of that out of these, so far from being true, it using intoxicants; their poisonous character is utterly false, and a mischievous fallacy. has only of late years been brought clearly
home to them. Yet the influence of custom, | habitual use of intoxicating liquors is injucombir ed with a lingering mistake as to the rious to the human system, the reason being, tendency of those drinks, has prevented their the action of the poisonous principle, which, complete discontinuance. Supposing intoxi- when taken at once in a large quantity, procants to be injurious only when taken to duces intoxication. It is not difficult to see, excess, “ Horatio” recurs again to the hard- therefore, that the occasional use of those ships of disallowing the use of them alto- drinks must be attended, in a corresponding gether, and cites two or three illustrations, degree, with the same results. “ Horatio " which, however, do not touch the question. tells us that beef contains prussic acid, and He refers, for instance, to corruption existing should, on the principle of the Maine Law, among electors, and inquires if it would be be prohibited. Articles of food are indisjust to deprive electors who were innocent of pensable, and in such cases no injurious the right to vote on that account. It is effects arise from any quantity of poison sufficient to answer, that parliamentary elec- which may be extracted from them. Not so tion is an essential part of the British con- with intoxicating, liquors. Fermented listitution; that greater evils would be caused quors contain a large amount of alcohol; by any other form of government; hence it hence the pernicious results which flow from should not be abolished. Parliament has, their habitual use; and hence intoxication, however, without objection, temporarily dis- with its accompanying evils. We can best franchised particular places in consequence judge whether or not those drinks are poiof general corruption baving been disclosed; sonous by their effects. They are alcoholic it has gone as far in this direction as it con- liquors, and consequently poisonous in their sidered could be done. Intoxicating drinks tendency. “Horatio” does not dispute that are a luxury, not a necessity; with them, alcohol is poison; and it would be singular therefore, Parliament is entitled to deal, and if articles which produced intoxication, which their probibition could only promote the good is a state of poisoning, had not a poisonous of the State. Leaving this topic, “ Horatio" effect when taken to a less extent. He asks how intoxicating liquors can be poi confines his remarks to fermented liquors, sonous, seeing that men take them and do he cannot deny the intensely alcoholic or not die in consequence? and he maintains poisonous character and effects of whisky or that the cases of injury inflicted arise from brandy, and maintain that the alcohol in their abuse alone. He must be aware of the either has been so changed or altered as to fact that poisons may be slow, but no less be no longer poisonous or injurious. certain to produce their natural effects. It ratio,” however, after all, is quite wrong in has been clearly shown that intoxicating stating that the basis of the liquor law liquors, when drank to a certain quantity, argument is that intoxicating drinks are create intoxication. Dr. Carpenter remarks, poisonous in themselves; and even though what will not be disputed, that “the term, he could show that these liquors are not intoxication, is sometimes employed in this poisonous, the question under discussion is country to designate that series of pheno- not touched. The liquor law advocates asmena which results from the action of all sert that certain shops, by the undue tempsuch poisons as first produce stimulation and tation they hold out, spread disease, misery, then narcotism ; of these, however, alcohol and poverty through the community, and is the type ; and the term is commonly ap- should be shut up. plied to alcoholic intoxication alone.” Again; We have not space to dwell at large on " If the classical term, ‘intoxication,' be the concluding remarks of “ Horatio.” They babitually employed as the equivalent of the amount to this: the Temperance movement Saxon drunkenness, we are justified in is moral, and should not seek the aid of turning that classical term into English acts of parliament. The Maine Law agitaagain, and in asserting that the condition of tion will not supersede that for total abstidrunkenness, in all its stages, is one of poi nence. There is, therefore, no reasonable soning."*
Dr. Carpenter proves that the ground for total Abstainers, opposed to such “On the Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors. It may be expected that thousands, fettered
an enactment, giving up their principles. in Health and Disease." Prize Essay. By William-B. Carpenter, M.D., &c., pp. 9, 10. by the drinking customs, will hail a Maine
Law as their deliverance; and it being shown , are the prey of the gin palace; and so long that such a law is likely to promote the good as unholy gains can be made, it is vain to of society and of its individual members, think of inducing the publican to cease his we may hope that there is sufficient moral traffic. These circumstances justify and nefeeling in the country to make it regarded cessitate the adoption of a Maine Law. as far other than a piece of tyranny, or a We must now leave the question. In degrading restraint. It is through moral doing so we refer to our opening article as means the agitation is to be carried on ; and containing many of the grounds on which the prospect of success, which could not be we advocate a Maine Law; and we entreat a felt in the total abstinence cause, will stimu- consideration of the question in a spirit corlate the agitation to deliver our country responding with its importance. Brethren! from intemperance. It is impossible that we have a work to do in relation to the pretotal abstinence alone can make much pro- valent intemperance. Let us not shrink gress. Every society of the kind finds that from it. We shall thus labour in the cause the intemperate are generally immovable to of God, and realise in our characters the its appeals, and that its pledge, so far as earnestness of life, and its great and solemn regards drunkards, is a mere nullity. In- purposes.
T. U. toxicating drink has brutalized them. They
NEGATIVE REPLY. SOME people appear to be perfectly obli- | pose, that it is effectively vindicated, should vious to the distinctions which exist between his arguments be sound. As a set-off comparisons; and not being willing to under- against our illustrations, he cites the supstand their true attributes, assume that pression of gambling houses, as being conthere is nothing further to be done than to ducive to morality; and by this line of reaproduce what they consider to be parallel soning leaves us to suppose that the need of and coincident illustrations. There are a Maine Law will be equally established. others who cannot see the difference between We wish he had come nearer the point in an argument laid down and exceptional dispute, and referred to the Maine Law de cases; and, thirdly, there are those, includ- facto, and not to other questions which will ing the foregoing, who, whilst endeavouring not at all affect this one, for it is obvious to show the reason and justice of their own that from gambling real harm ensues, howindividual opinions, cannot perceive the re- ever slightly indulged in, whereas malt liquors semblance between their own sentiments possess nutritive and strengthening qualities, and those of their opponents.
as I asserted in the opening article, and our Amongst these disputants we feel bound opponent has not dared to deny it. Equally to place that ambiguous nom de plume, unsuccessful is he in his analogy respecting “Maine Law,” for he admirably combines a dirty houses, and the compact of men assotriple union of the foregoing in his article, ciated to cleanse them; for it is not only defensive of the “ Alliance." We shall only entirely destitute of reason, but contains an substantiate this assertion in our present assertion in which we are audaciously reprepaper, as we consider that the article by sented as objecting to sanitary reformers,
T. U. is somewhat akin to a certain inde- because the precise nature of their duty was scribable discovery made some years ago in not properly expressed. What reference Australia, and which was represented by there can be in this to the “law,” we are at naturalists to be neither “fish, flesh, nor a loss to conceive; indeed there is so little fowl,” but a sort of nondescript, which could reason in it that we are at a loss to undernot be conveniently and intelligibly repre-stand its meaning: sented by any term or designation. Our Another most singular, and to me inexpliNovember opponent has, by a series of com- cable feature of the “ Alliance," as well as of parisons, the force of which we thought we our opponent's defence, is the permission to had destroyed, endeavoured, by a species of be given in the contemplated bill for pricapricious retaliation, to show the fallacy of vate distilleries and breweries. This is the our reasoning, not referring, however, to the most outrageous feature of the scheme, and Maine Law itself, but considering, we sup- totally at variance with common sense. If intoxicating drinks be so destructive to mo- objects of the society's indignation—that we rality and so friendly to crime, why not re- cannot but look upon it with pity, mingled move thein entirely? The allegation, that with contempt for its advocates. the traffic is responsible for the ill effects Neither can we understand how “ Maine resulting from drunkenness, is false; it would Law” makes sewerage beneficial to the mibe as reasonable to assert that chemistry nority and not to the majority, by an anomashould be prohibited because it has been lous train of reasoning which we confess it brought to bear on the destruction of man- difficult to understand. The argument rekind. We should like to know what gua- ferring to governments and bad laws, which rantee or security the “ Alliance” has against he brings forward in reply to my question precisely the same results in private resi- why the Bible should not be condemned as dences as in the saloon or gin palace. The an heretical work, because it is frequently “ Alliance” will have great difficulty in made the authority for the worst of purposes, showing that private distillation will be free is equally whimsical. Our opponent appears from those evils which they lay at the door unable to discriminate between the infallibiof the traffic. We should like to know what lity of the Bible and the constitutional unthey would say if the traffic was prohibited certainty of human, not theocratic, combinafrom allowing their liquors “to be drunk on tions. the premises," as that would amount to the We notice another point, and we have same thing as the permission allowed by the done, so far as animadversion is concerned. bill, and which we think would be equally The reply of the “ Alliance” to Mr. Hume's open to the same objection from them as the observation on the prohibition of money, &c., present system.
is duly in keeping with the remarks of our Another species of reasoning, even in the opponent. Undoubtedly it would divert to face of the exception which follows that other objects, as the prohibition of the liquor part of my article referred to by “Maine traffic would (in a limited degree, unless Law,” is the objection that any force there" private manufactories” were also prohimight have been in my protesting against bited). The condemnation of either would State interference is invalidated because I reduce crime; but certainly there is much admit that the prohibition to the Indians of greater temptation to robbery and crime in intoxicating drinks, as their properties were gold and silver than in intoxicating drinks. not known to them, might be salutary. Hence it necessarily follows that by diminNow is it not surprising, that although we ishing the temptation to crime, the greater give a clear reason for deviation in one chance there is for improvement in morality. case, that our opponent must immediately To conclude, the “ Alliance” has based its look upon this as an error in the principle? object on a false principle, and to that they Perhaps he wishes barbarians to be treated have allied selfish, inconsistent, and erroneas the civilized; if not, what force is there ous reasoning. They have, in the first in his objection?
place, misunderstood their position, by atAgain, “ Maine Law" recognises the enor- tempting to deprive mankind of that which, mity of the evil as the reason for annihilating judiciously used, is conducive to health. the traffic. Our judges, however, proceed on 2ndly. They have tacitly admitted this, by a different principle, looking at the intention allowing “ private distillation,” which, if as the groundwork on which to base their likely to fall into disuse by the "force of proceedings. If any evil be found (and in public opinion,” is no justification of the this instance drunkenness will be found in concession : and, 3rdly. They have, in their private as in public), why should it not be attempts to prove the justice of their cause, rooted out, and not allowed to skulk under adduced reasons as applicable to other misthe paltry and insulting compromise to the used passions, all of which present allurefeelings of the temperate man by the con- ments equally as captivating, or, more procession of “private distillation”? There is, perly as intoxicating, “ as strong drinks.” The in the last named mediatory proposition, members of the “ Alliance” surely do not, by such a total inconsistency with sound judg- such a scheme as that propounded, recognise ment-as though this provision would anni- man as a rational, reasonable, and intelligent hilate drunkenness and crime, the avowed | being, for they take upon them to deprive