Imágenes de páginas

“ You see I confess my weakness without reserve; « but those who are very fond of Tea, if their digef« tion is weak, and they find themselves disor“ dered, they generally ascribe it to any cause except “ the true one. I am aware that the effect just ~ mentioned is imputed to the hot water; let it be “ fo, and my argument is still good : but who pre“ tends to say it is not partly owing to particular “ kinds of Tea ? perhaps such as partake of copperas, “ which there is cause to apprehend is sometimes “ the case: if we judge from the manner in which it “ is said to be cured, together with its ordinary “ effects, there is some foundation for this opinion. “ Put a drop of strong Tea, either Green or Bohea, “ but chiefly the former, on the blade of a knife, “ though it is not corrosive in the same manner as “ vitriol, yet there appears to be a corrosive quality « in it, very different from that of fruit which stains “ the knife.”

He afterwards quotes Paulli to prove that Tea is a desiccative, and ought not to be used after the fortieth year. I have then long exceeded the limits of permission, but I comfort myself, that all the enemies of Tea cannot be in the right. If Tea bc desiccative, according to Paulli, it cannot weaken the fibres, as our author imagines; if it be emetick, it must constringe the stomach, rather than relax it.

The formidable quality of tinging the knife, it has in common with acorns, the bark, and leaves of oak, and every astringent bark or leaf: the copperas which is given to the Tea, is really in the knife. Ink may be made of any ferrugineous matter and astringent


vegetable, as it is generally made of galls and copperas.

From Tea the writer digreffes to spirituous liquors, about which he will have no controversy with the Literary Magazine; we shall therefore insert almost his whole letter, and add to it one teftimony, that the mischiefs arising on every side from this compendious mode of drunkenness, are enormous and insupportable; equally to be found among the great and the mean; filling palaces with disquiet and distraction; harder to be borne as it cannot be mentioned ; and overwhelming multitudes with incurable diseases and unpitied poverty.

« Though Ten and Gin have spread their baneful to influence over this island and his Majesty's other “ dominions, yet you may be well assured, that the “ Governors of the Foundling Hospital will exert “ their utmost skill and vigilance, to prevent the “ children under their care from being poisoned, or

enervated by one or the other. This, however, “ is not the case of workhauses : it is well known, “ to the shame of those who are charged with the “ care of them, that gin has been too often permitted “ to enter their gates; and the debauched appetites « of the people who inhabit these houses, has been “ urged as a reason for it.

Desperate diseases require desperate remedies: if “ laws are rigidly executed against murderers in the « highway, those who provide a draught of gin, which « we fee is murderous, ought not to be countenanced. « I am now informed that in certain hospitals, where


2 3

“ the nụmber of the fick used to be about 5;600 in Fr 14 years,

“ From 1704 to 1718, they increased to 8,189;
“ From 1718 to 1734, still auginented to 12,710;
“ And from 1734 to 1749, multiplied to 38,147.

“ What a dreadful spestre does this exhibit! nor

muft we wonder, when satisfactory evidence was “ given before the great council of the nation, that “ near eight millions of gallons of distilled spirits, at “ the standard it is commonly reduced to for drink“ ing, was actually consumed annually in drams! the “ shocking difference in the numbers of the fick, and “ we may presume of the dead also, was supposed to “ keep pace with gin: and the most ingenious and s unprejudiced physicians ascribed it to this cause. " " What is to be done under these melancholy cir$ cumstances ? shall we still countenance the distillery, “ for the sake of the revenue ; out of tenderness to the few who will suffer by its being abolished; for fear “ of the madness of the people; or that foreigners will “ run it in upon us ? Tltere can be no evil so great

as that we now suffer, except the making the same “ consumption, and paying for it to foreigners in

money, which I hope never will be the case.

“ As to the revenue, it certainly may be replaced by ç taxes upon the necesaries of life, even upon the fr bread we eat, or in other words, upon the land,

which is the great source of supply to the publick ff and to individuals. Nor can I persuade myself,

[ocr errors]

. ¢ but

« but that the people may be weaned from the habit “ of poisoning themselves. The difficulty of smuge gling a bulky liquid, joined to the severity which ought to be exercised towards smugglers, whose illegal commerce is of fo infernal a nature, must in “ time produce the effect desired. Spirituous liquors s being abolished, instead of having the most undis“ ciplined and abandoned poor, we might soon boast " a race of men, temperate, religious, and industrious “ even to a proverb. We should soon see the ponderous burden of the poor's rate decrease, and the beauty and strength of the land rejuvenate. Schools, “ workhouses, and hospitals, might then be sufficient " to clear our streets of distress and misery, which “ never will be the case whilst the love of poison pre“ vails, and the means of ruin is sold in above one “ thousand houses in the city of London, two thousand “ two hundred in Westminster, and one thousand nine “ hundred and thirty in Holborn and St. Giles's,

" But if other uses sțill demand liquid fire, I would “ really propose, that it should be sold only in quart ” bottles, sealed up with the King's leal, with a very “ high duty, and none sold without being mixed with *s a strong emetick.

“ Many become objects of charity by their intenperance, and this excludes others who are such by " the unavoidable accidents of life, or who cannot “ by any means support themselves. Hence it ap“ pears, that the introducing new habits of life is the “ most substantial charity; and that the regulation of “ charity-schools, hospitals, and work houses, not the augmentation of their number, can make

" them



“ them answer the wise ends for which they were « instituted.

“ The children of beggars should be also taken « from them, and bred up to labour, as children of “ the publick. Thus the distressed might be relieved, “ at a sixth part of the present expence; the idle “ be compelled to work or starve; and the mad be “ fent to Bedlam. We should not see human nature “ disgraced by the aged, the maimed, the sickly, and “ young children begging their bread; nor would “ compassion be abused by those who have reduced “ it to an art to catch the unwary. Nothing is want« ing but common sense and honesty in the execution “ of laws.

“ To prevent such abuse in the streets, seems more « practicable than to abolish bad habits within doors, « where greater numbers perish. We see in many o familiar instances the fatal effects of example. “ The careless spending of time among fervants,

who are charged with the care of infants, is often « fatal : the nurse frequently destroys the child! the “ poor infant being left neglected, expires whilst she is “ sipping her Tea! This may appear to you as rank prejudice or jeft; but I am assured, from the most « indubitable evidence, that many very extraordinary “ cases of this kind have really happened among “ those whose duty does not permit of such kind of “ habits.

« It is partly from such causes, 'that nurses of the “ children of the publick often forget themselves, and “ become impatient when infants cry: the next step “ to this, is using extraordinary means to quiet


« AnteriorContinuar »