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Intemperance--woman As A Promoter

Intemperance--woman As A Promoter image
Parent Issue
Day
24
Month
April
Year
1874
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

At the meeting of the Ladies' Temperance Union held en theeveningof tbe lóth inst., Miss Eiiima M. Hall, of the senior clasa in the University, was one of the speakers or essayists, whichevor term the reader muy prefer. She diseharged theduty assigned to liur soadmirably that we solicitod a copy of her remarki tur publication, and our request having been complied with we give thm to our readers herewith, inviting the espeoial attention of wives, mothers, daughtcrx, and sisters to them. Miss Hall said : Whltt mppOPt llill'r irtnuc.h iflriu to llir ilyjnliha cuxtomx of' Uu; dny ' We are told that more IDOJiey is spent in our nation upon drink than upon food ; and thus that which should enrioh t)u nation, that which should open tor it nuw avenues in the arts and sciences, that which should develop still furthor its vast resources, is worse than wiisted. We look about us and we seethose whom drink has degraded to something below manhood. We look in high places, upon those who occupy positions of trust, look in the ranks of genius, and we see how upon one and another the curse of drink has fallen ; upon those talents which should have been the country 's prid and treasure the dreadful blight rests ; those who should lead the country to a high careor have lost the beauty and nobleness of their manhood, are wrecked. Shall we look farther, into homes once happy ones, and see the sadness, the desolation, the bitter weariness of despair 'i Everything forces upon us the importance of the temperance question, leads us to think but one poaition possible for any one. And then, remembering that upon woman as mother, sister, wife, and daughter, there rests the heaviest burden of this terrible sorrow the keen anguish of which no words can, portray, where would you oxpect to find her influence ? And yet, the question which we are asked to consider is what mjiport have toornen giveu to the drinking customs of the day 't Sadly comes the answer : much niany ways. Would that it were not so This support has been of two kinds first, direct and positive. Such support they have given in being themselves partakers, patrons-of drink, not only in their homes, but in saloons. Nor are they those whom you look down upon as belonging to the lower grades of society According to all social laws, birth, education, they are called ladies, belong in your highest ranks. Within a few years several cases have come to vay knowledge where such as these, the taste having been formed, have gone on until doath caine to ■ them in all. the horrors of delirium tremens. Sadly enough for all, others are following in their steps, solfdeceived thinking such fate shall never be theirs the tasto with them never become so uncontrollable. Kumor, nay, real testimony comes to me that there are ladies in your i town, whom saloon-keepers have learnec to roeognize as cüstomers. Women have given positivo support in bringing wine to their tables, offering ii i to guests, and even to callers. Mothers , sisters, offer it, urge it, with almost the spirit of the oíd chivalric times, when knight might scarce refuse a lady's request. How many have begun a downi ward course in this way, there is not neec to ask. Woman's support, however given, tenda to make these customs respectable. This veil of respectability they 1 strengthen by many of their social cusi toms. Those who are known to have this appetite, are known to. be standing in daugerous places, if they have wealth, fine face and figure, grace of manner, or ' pleasing address, are still courted and petted in social circles, while one less favored ■ by fortune is an outcast because of that same taste which forms no barrier in the other's way. Women have given still further supi port to these customs by opposition to attempts for the removal of intemparance. Not many evenings ago, as I passed along one of your streets, there came to my ear 1 a woman's voice, speaking, in jesting, sneering tone, of the temperance movement in this place; jesting of those whom there would be need to reclaim ; propheaying in ridicule how 6oon the workers would grow weary of these efforts, and all be permitted to go on as before. Such, by laughing to scorn the necessity of reform are, by thinking things well euough as they are, and that much ado is made about nothing, give direct support, since they encourage the dram-drinkef and the dram-seller. Not exercised perhapsin as many ways, but hardly less far-reaching in its results, has been the indirect and negativo support which women have given. I cali it a negative support, siu'ce it is not so much anything they have done, as that they have f&iled to do that which they ought to have done. And under this kind of support we may mention as closely allied to a spirit of opposition, one which shows only a lack of syinpathy, & carelessness orindifference to the matter. Both spirits tend to check the ardor of those who would work earnestly. Both increase the diliiculties which these must overeóme. This same kind of 6upport is given by those who have only cold looks for the viotims of iuteraperanoe, who reach uo helpiug hand to thoso who would gladly retrace their steps. Surely, his task is hard enough who strives to oonquer himself, and he has a right to hearty syrapathy, and thoughtful, loving help f'rom all noble true-hearted ones. To gum up then, briefly ; - women have supported intemperance by themselves drinking, by offering the cjip to others, by giving respectability to the drinkiug customs, by receiving into their select circles those who aro the victims of this appetite, by opposition to efforts fbr reform, by lack of sympathy with them or a feeling of indifferenco to them, by failing to assist those fallen. Ia it not a sad.reckoniag ? How much responsibility for such support rests with ub? And yet, I can but think it has been beoause women have reaUzed too little what they were doing. Those, whose homes have feit the blight of this evil, whose hearts have feit bitter woe at seeing loved ones fall onder its power, stand firmly against it. And you, whose homes have so far been untouched, upon whose lives the dark shadow has nover yet fallen, how know you how long you may be free ? Will you not for the sake of those who havo suffered join in Yenioving the cause 'i If, in the past we have been too indifferent, have thought too little of the power in our hands, have been too careless of the responsibility resting upon us, shall we not for the future, realizing anew the importaneeof tho work before us, join hands, and go forward to rescue those who have fallen, to prevunt others from falling ? I say nothing of the nieans by which this may be acconiphshed. It belongs to another to disouss that. I only wish to urge that we be roady to do ourpart. It is a timo for earnest action. Let us lay asido personal prej udices, personal preferences, let us be united, seeking only that the desired resulta may bo perraanently reaohed, our country saved from the corruptiug influenoe of intemperanoe, our homes saved from its desolation. May I speak to you one moment of something right here at your home? I have been a meinber of your University now nearly four years. Aa I have passed along your streets, as I have gonu m and out to college exercisoS, I have looked iuto the faces of thoso who come here year after year, and X have feit a real sorrow at the change I havo seen coming into Borne faces ; I have grown sad as I have heard of this and that one, bright, genial boys, who bave learned among you to drink, to drink even to utter intoxioation. rhey have gone from among you, or will go with a taste for liquor, which perhaps they will lay aside with othor college justoms, perhaps not. Who is sure of limself V Women of Ann Arbor, mothers, sisters, ' nay I not pload with you in the name of ther sisters, that for our sakes, for our i irothera' sake, you will henceforth give no support to intemperance, nor any to ihose customs whioh havñ proved ruinous ;o so many ? A responsibility rests with you. Mothera and sisters in ilistant lomes cannot help but hold you in some measure retponiible if tbis sorrow como upon theni. ]o not umlnrrate yonr power, l)ut rendí out your haiifls, rjiniímbormg "The human hrart ís tuched by Him mosi uroly, By humar h;nnls" An Ohio man who Ur.st opposnd the woiiiub' moveuient, now acknowledges thut tho closing of the saloons was a 2;cod thing. Iustead of selling his vote For whisky, he got $2.50 for it, and has been able to buy a dog.

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Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus