Abbildungen der Seite

custom, the experience of all ages and countries, and even nature herself, all seem to demand drinks more grateful and more cordial than simple water.

To this I shall reply, by recommending, in the room of spirits, in the first place, 11. CYDER.--This excellent liquor contains a small quantity of spirit, but so diluted and blunted by being combined with an acid and a large quantity of saccharine inatter and water, as to be perfectly inoffensive and wholesome. It disagrees only with persons subject to the rheumatism, but it may be rendered inoffensive to such people by extinguishing a red hot iron in it, or by diluting it with water. It is to be lamented, that the late frosts in the spring often deprive us of the fruit which affords this liquor. But the effects of these frosts have been in some measure obviated by giving an orchard a north-west exposure, so as to check too early vegetation, and by kindling two or three large fires of brush and straw to windward of the orchard the evening before we expeet a night of frost. This last expedient has, in many instances within the compass of my knowledge, preserved the fruit of an orchard, to the great joy and emolument of the ingenious husbandman.

2. BEER is a wholesome liquor compared with spirits. The grain from which it is obtained is not liable, like the apple, to be affected with frost; and, therefore, it can always be procured at a moderate expence. It abounds with nourishment: hence we find many of the common peo. ple in Great Britain endure hard labour with no other food than a quart or three pints of this liquor, with a few pounds of bread a day. I have heard with great pleasure of breweries being set up in several of the principal county towns of Pennsylvania ; and I esteem it a sign of the progress of our state in wealth and happiness, that a single brewer in Chester county sold above a thousand barrels of beer last year. While I wish to see a law imposing the heaviest taxes on whisky distilleries, I should be glad to see breweries (at least for some years) wholly exempted from taxation.

3. Wine is likewise a wholesome liquor compared with spirits, The low wines of France, I believe, could be drunk at less expence than spirits in this country. The peasants in France, who drink these liquors in large quantities, are a healthy and sober body of people. Wines of all kinds yield by chemical avalysis the same principles as cyder, but in different proportions ; hence they are both cordial and nourishing. It is remarked that few men ever become habitual drunkards upon wine. It derives its relish

principally from company, and is seldom, like spirituous liquors, drunk in a chimney-corner or in a closet. The effects of wine upon the temper are likewise in most cases directly opposite to those that were mentioned of spirituous liquors. It must be a bad heart indeed, that is not rendered more chearful and more generous by a few glasses of wine.

4. VINEGAR and Water, sweetened with sugar or molasses, is the best drink that can be contrived in warm weather. I beg leave to recommend this wholesome mixture to reapers in a particular manner. It is pleasant and cooling. It promotes perspiration, and resists putrefaction. Vinegar and water constituted the only drink of the soldiers of the Roman republic; and it is well known that they marched and fought in a warm climate, and beneath a load of arms that weighed sixty pounds. Boaz, a wealthy farmer in Palestine, we find, treated his reapers with nothing but bread dipped in vinegar. Say not that spirits have become necessary

in barvest from habit and the custom of the coun-. try. The custom of swallowing this liquid fire is a bad one, and the habit of it may be broken. Let half a dozen farmers in a neighbourhood combine to allow higher wages. to their reapers than are common, and a sufficient quantity of any of the liquors I have recommended, and they may soon abolish the practice of giving them spirits. They will in a little while be delighted with the good effects of their association. Their grain will be sooner and more carefully gathered into their barns, and an hundred disagreeable scenes of sickness and contention will be avoided, which always follow in a greater or less degree the use of spirituous liquors. Under this head, I should not neglect to recommend butter-milk and water, or sour milk (commonly called bonneclabber) and water. It will be rendered more grateful by the addition of a little sugar. Punch is likewise calculated to lessen the effects of heat, and hard labour upon the body.

the body. The spirit in this liquor is blunted by its union with the vegetable acid. Hence it possesses not only the constituent parts, but most of the qualities of cyder and wine. To render this liquor perfectly innocent and wholesome, it must be drunk weak-in moderate quantities—and only in warm weather.

There are certain classes of people to whom I beg leave to suggest a caution or two upon the use of spirituous liquors.

1. Valetudinarians, especially those who labour under disorders of the stomach and bowels, are very apt to fly to spirits for relief. Let such people be cautious how they repeat this dangerous remedy. I have known many inen

and women, of excellent characters and principles, who have been betrayed by occasional doses of gin or brandy to ease the colic, into a love of spirituous liquors, insomuch that they have afterwards fallen sacrifices to their fatal effects. The different preparations of opium are a thousand times more safe and innocent than spirituous liquors, in all spasmodic affections of the stomach and bowels. So apprehensive am I of the danger of contracting a love for spirituous liquors, by accustoming the stomach to their stimulus, that I think the fewer medicines we exhibit in spirituous vehicles the better.

2. Some people, from living in countries subject to the intermitting fever, endeavour to fortify themselves against it by two or three glasses of bitters made with spirits every day. There is great danger of men becoming sots from this practice Besides, this mode of preventing intermittents is by no means a certain one. A much better security against them is to be found in the Jesuit's bark. A tea-spoonful of this excellent medicine taken every morning during the sickly season, has in many instances preserved whole families in the neighbourhood of rivers and mill-ponds from fevers of all kinds. Those who live in a sickly part of the country, and who cannot procure the bark, or who object to taking it, I would advise to avoid the morning and evening air in the sickly months--to kindle fires in their houses on damp days and in cool evenings throughout the whole summer, and to put on woollen clothing about the first week in September. The last part of this direction applies only to the inhabitants of the middle states. These cautions, I am persuaded, will be more effectual in preventing autumnal fevers than the best preparations that can be made from bit. ters in spirits.

3. Men who follow professions that require a constant exercise of the mind or body, or perhaps of both, are very apt to seek relief from fatigue in spirituous liquors; to such persons I would beg leave to recommend the use of TEA instead of spirits. Fatigue is occasioned by the obstruction of perspiration. Tea, by restoring perspiration, removes fatigue, and thus invigorates the system. I am no advocate for the general or excessive use of tea. When drunk too strong, it is hurtful, especially to the female constitution; but, when drunk of a moderate degree of strength, and in moderate quantities, with sugar and cream or milk, I believe it is in general innocent, and at all times to be preferred to spirituous liquors. One of the most industrious schoolmasters I ever knew, told me that be had been preserved from the love of spirituous liquors by contracting a a love for tea in early life. Three or four dishes drunk in an afternoon carried off the fatigue of a whole day's labour in his school. This gentleman lived to be seventy-one years of age, and afterwards died of an acute disease, in the full exercise of all the faculties of his mind.

To every class of my readers, I beg leave to suggest a caution against the use of TODDY. I acknowledged that I have known some men who, by limiting its strength constantly, by measuring the spirit and water, and who by drinking it only with their

meals have drunk toddy for many years without suffering in any degree from it; but I have known many more who have been insensibly led from drinking toddy for their constant drink, to take drams in the morning, and have afterward paid their lives as the price of their folly. I shall select one case from'among many that have come within the compass of my knowledge, to shew the ordinary progress of intemperance in the use of spirituous liquors. A gentleman, once of a fair and sober character, in the city of Philadelphia, for many years drank toddy as his constant drink. From this he proceeded to drink grogafter awhile nothing would satisfy him but slings, made of equal parts of rum and water, with a little sugar. From slings he advanced to raw rum--and from common rum lo Jamaica spirits. Here he rested for a few months; but at last he found even Jamaica spirits were not strong enough to warm his stomach, and he made it a constant practice to throw a table-spoonful of ground pepper into each glass of his spirits (in order, to use his own expressions,)“ to take off their coldness.” It is hardly necessary to add, that he soon afterwards died a martyr to his intemperance.

I shall conclude what bas been said of the effects of spi. rituous liquors with two observations. 1. A people corrupted by strong drink cannot long be a free people. The. rulers of such a community will soon partake of the vices of that mass from which they are secreted, and all our laws and governments will sooner or later bear the same marks of the effects of spirituous liquors which were described formerly upon individuals. I submit it, therefore, to the consideration of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, whether more laws should not be made to increase the expence and lessen the consumption of spirituous liquors, and whether some mark of public infamy should not be intiicted by law upon every man convicted, before a common magistrate, of drunkenness.

The second and last observation I shall offer is of a seri. qus nature. It has been remarked, that the Indians have diminished every where in America since their connection

with the Europeans. This has been justly ascribed to the Europeans having introduced spirituous liquors among themn. Let those men, who are every day turning their backs upon all the benefits of cultivated society, to seek habitations in the neighbourhood of Indians, consider how far this wandering mode of life is produced by the same cause which has scattered and annihilated so many Indian tribes. Long life, and the secure possession of property in the land of their ancestors, were looked upon as a blessing among the ancient Jews. For a son to mingle his dust with the dust of his father, was to act worthy of his inheritance; and the prospect of this honour often afforded a consolation even in death. However exalted, my countrymen, your ideas of liberty may be, while you expose yourselves by the use of spirituous liquors to this consequence of them, you are nothing inore than the pioneers, or, in more slavish terms, the “ bewers of wood” of your more industrious neighbours.

If the facts that have been stated have produced in any of my readers, who have suffered from the use of spirituous liquors, a resolution to abstain from them hereafter, I must beg leave to inform them, they must leave them off suddenly and entirely. . No man was ever gradually reformed from drinking spirits. He must not only avoid tasting, but eren smelling them, until long habits of abstinence have subdued his affection for them. To prevent his feeling any inconveniences from the sudden loss of their stimulus upon his stomach, he should drink plentifully of camomile or of any other bitter tea, or a few glasses of sound old wine every day. I have great pleasure in adding, that I have seen a number of people who have been effectually restored to health--to character, and to usefulness to their families and to society, by following this advice. 1785, Sept.

B. Rusi.

LXXVI, On the Ventilation of Prisons.


Manchester, June 22. The erection of a new gaol for the division of Ipswich, and of a house of correction for that of St. Edmund's-bury, having engaged the attention of the inhabitants of Suffolk, Capel Loft, Esq. an able and active magistrate of that county, consulted Dr. John Jebb, concerning their polity and construction. The answer returned by him was printed in 1785; and I was honoured by Mr. Lott with a copy of the

« ZurückWeiter »