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The Problem Of The Grog-shop

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Has not the tomperance movement ín this country been too exelusively a moral appeal ? Has it not forgotton too much the nature and the circumstances of the evil? Temperaiice addresses are largely descriptions of the effects of dranken ness. Theyare tragi-eomedies, in which the speaker seeks to make his nudience hnigh at the antics of the drunkard, and cry over the broken heart and ruincd home of his wife and family. This strain is varied with thundering denunciations of " the moderate drinker," compared with wlioseinsidious infamy the immoderate drinker wno totally inibmtes liimself is an object of pity rather thau of reprobation, and with these are mingled chemical and sanitary statistics. The apjieal, however, is moral, and the roruedy usually proposed is absolute prohibition. The friends of " lieense," however stringently regulated, are regarded as mere Laodieeans, or worse. But this mere moral appeal to renounce drunkenness becauso it produces crime and unhappiïiess and disease is too acid. It forgets the persons to whom it is addressed, and tho oonditions of their life. Consequently Ihere are the excitement and fury of a revival, vast temporary euthusiasm, and swift backsliding. For what is drunkenness? It is in its origin the perversión of a natural taste for social enjoymont, and it is most prevalent amoug those who have the least opportunity for sueh enjoyment, When it has fixed itself apon its victim, it it largely dependent njion physical conditions. The usual temperance appeal to him is by the mere main strength of hi moral will to break up the babit. His home is bare and desolate, and the pieacher urges him to prefer it to the cozy and warm and social j " saloon.'1 His system, enfeebled by i excess, craves the stimulant, and the xhortation is simply not to take it. He needs especially every kind of sup])ort ■ and assistance and diversion, and he is told to help himself. This is a relief ; which forgets the nature of the disease. Tliat of itself suggests the remedy. The druukárd seeks social enjoyment illicitly. Supply it to him lawfully, show : him that he can gnitify his natural ; tastes without shame to hünself or harm to liis family or society. Give to the weak syetèm, which craves " a little something," a little something that will ! cheer and not inebríate. The drunkard knows tho misery that drunkenness produces, for he is its victim. He does not I wish to hear of that. The incipient drunkard knows it also. What they want is sometliing to take the jilace of drunkenness, something that will help them to lielp themselves. If all the I money that is y.eaily given to supjiort i talking upon the subject were devoted to doing.sometliing in the way suggestd, the "liquor interest " wcmld be confronled with something that it would féar. " Holly-Tree " inns upon a great and general scale, " jjublic cofleehouses " like those in Liverpool, neighborhood clubs which would develop and ilhistrate the neighborly sympatliy whioh is not now suspected, and tlie supposed absence of which is most ehievous - all these and similar enterprises would be a temporalice movement which would aid the moral appeal and the sanitary argument with those social synipathies and supports whioh ; uro indispensable to the prosperity of ! tho work. - "Editor'it Easy Chair," in Harper's Magazine for December.


Old News
Michigan Argus