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enforce personal cleanliness. It is to the connexion of these with strong drink that I advert as the evil ingredient in the case. Having been successful, under God, in procuring the commutation of these, in a variety of cases, into payments for sick and benefit funds, and literary or educational institutions, I am the more prepared to plead decidedly for the dismissal of the alcoholic connexion at present established, while the money penalty itself may remain in force.
Many, we confess, are perfectly innocent in these uses of liquor, from ignorance of their effects on other branches of society. However, we trust that our readers will not look upon the particulars now set before them as mere matters of curiosity, or speculative research; but as what deeply affects the empire-as what guides multitudes, by an easy and authorized descent, into unheard-of depths of national debasement; and is daily making awful and suitable preparation for that scene where another craving gnaws--a craving for relief from pain, intolerable and unremitting, “ where the worm dieth not.”
It is notorious, as above stated, that the drinking habits and customs, and the general manners of nations, have an intimate connexion. A very important branch of the question of national intemperance, therefore, lies in the courtesies of society. Here, in addition to the provocatives to intemperance that arise from taste and stomachic desire, we have superinduced a great metaphysical agency, general in its diffusion, energetic in its power. When the friends of temperance attack the physical appetite, and cry down the indulgence of a craving palate, they are, in some measure, supported by the conscience of the public, and that moral sense which argues against all inordinate gratification of sensual pleasure ; but the symbols of compliment are so intimately connected with the sentiment of benevolence, that a mighty array is thus surreptitiously obtained, against the cause of temperance, of some of the best feelings of our nature. There is no nation in the world where wine, ale, and spirits, have so completely insinuated themselves, as the instruments of mere compliment and etiquette, as in ours. This state of things exists (as we have said, and it is of the utmost consequence to repeat it again and again,) in a much smaller degree in America, and is nearly unknown upon the continent. Let no one, therefore, infer, that the arraigning the particular outward mark or symbol of courtesy, strikes at the grace of courtesy itself. Continental nations, much more gracious and courteous than we in all the usages
of social life, do not acknowledge this instrument, and are surprised that we seem compelled to do so.
If we, as above stated, divide the society of the United Kingdom into six gradations, commencing with the nobility, and ending with the labourer and beggar, we shall find, that, in all these departments, except the two highest, viz. the nobility, and most opulent class of country gentlemen, the use of liquor, as the instrument of courtesy and compliment, is general, but becoming more and more strictly and imperatively such, the lower we descend. Doubtless, individual families of the upper-middle orders, who make a point to copy the modes of their superiors, have, in some few instances, emancipated themselves, because their examples of fashion have done so. It is, however, a usual, but great mistake, in the upper ranks, to suppose that the forms of outward complaisance and courtesy are less binding on the lower classes than on themselves. To understand this topic, it is necessary to have examined with great attention the manners of the working classes, and marked the chains of decorum and formality which bind them. In some particular cases, the omission of the understood mark or symbol of civility is there not regarded with indifference, but resented as the most cruel affront, and supposed to imply an inveterate determination by the offending party to cease from all habits of amity. The fact is, that some etiquettes are much more obligatory on the lower classes than among their superiors; and in no case is the tyranny of fashion and rule with them more palpable, than in the regulations of drinking. That working man, therefore, who refuses to join a Temperance or Abstinence Society, on the ground that he is a person who can either drink or decline to drink, as he pleases, is under the greatest mistake; he supposes himself a free agent; but he is so by no means. The most pitiful tippler that crawls the streets can force that man to drink; not, doubtless, by pouring liquor down his throat, but by assailing him on some one of the foregoing etiquettes or customs, when, so far from being free, he will prove himself a very slave to the most servile principles of imitation and conformity; and we repeat it, that it is the influence of these rules and customs, more than any physical craving, that at first impedes the advance of the inhabitants to temperance membership, and afterwards withdraws them from their engagement.
DRINKING USAGES COMMON TO THE THREE KINGDOMS,
Origin of Anti-Usage Proposals-Teetotalism and Anti-Usage ought to be
simultaneous-Solitary Drinking-Error of Upper Ranks—Usage Difficulties of joining a Temperance Society-General Ignorance on Subject of Drinking Usage-Sobriety-forcing Process defeated by the Usages-Definition of Usage-Case of Brothers meeting-of Lady's Coachman-of halfdrowned Mariner-Duel Case contrasted.
It is now towards fifteen years since the author (to whose lot it fell, under Providence, first to propose temperance association to the inhabitants of Britain), suggested the absolute necessity of coupling anti-usage regulations with the obligation to abstinence from liquor; and in this opinion, and in operations founded upon it, he has persevered till the present date. Heargued, that temperan
ance association, in the peculiar circumstances of the Scotch, could only be placed on a truly solid foundation by working with this double power. And, after abundance of labour and expense, he hopes that he has now demonstrated that the same must be said of the English nation too. He prophesied, that after the first flush of the anti-spirit regulation, the usages would supervene and swamp the Societies; and with a sorrowful mind he has for some time perceived, that what he predicted has proved but too true. The fact is, that men rushed without thought into Temperance Societies, during the first years of their institution; and greatly ignorant or forgetful of all the imperative usages they would require to break, if they continued to adhere to their abstinence engagement. Their desire was to be quit of ardent spirits, and all its temptations; and the intention was most commendable; but, alas! they were neither aware of the multiplicity and universality of the drinking usages, nor of their energy and efficiency. In vain the writer pleaded, in 1829 and 1830, with advocates of temperance throughout the three kingdoms, to combine the two processes of abstinence and anti-usage. He was from the first generally heard with indifference, and afterwards, on persisting, with a sort of friendly ridicule. “The American plan has succeeded, therefore we must adhere strictly to its rules, and try no novel theories. We are laughed at sufficiently already, for giving up ardent spirits; we cannot think of turning everything topsy-turvey. The Temperar
The Temperance principle will
of itself undo the usages, as you call them. Your anti-usage advocacy will merely turn men's minds away from the temperance principle, which is the true one. Driven from all his expected stations of anti-usage, the writer was forced to turn from metropolitan cities to minor towns and villages; and, amid the encircling scorn and vociferation of their neighbourhoods, and the repugnance of all Temperance Societies with which he had correspondence or connexion, he was necessitated to attempt direct combination against drinking usage, (connected always, however, with the other inethod,) in such places as the slender first-fruits of its trial and experience had drawn the minds of intelligent men to a favourable consideration of the system. He does not wish now to aggravate his remonstrance into censure. Some years the Temperance Societies were evidently on the wane. The total-abstinence plan was adopted, and by its energetic and root-and-branch operation, bids fair, under Providence, to perfect the Temperance Reformation. But it must march onward through and through all the drinking usages of the land, before the great work can possibly be accomplished. Teetotalism must abolish the usages, or the usages will abolish Teetotalism. But, in truth, there is no contrariety in the operations of Teetotalism and anti-usage. They ought to go hand in hand, or if not pari passu, the latter ought just to be the advanced guard or pioneer to the former. The Americans had, comparatively, little usage cope
with : their advance has been uniform and amazing. The proportion of defaulters in the United States, who, once members, have broken their engagements, is small indeed, compared with the multitudes who, it must be honestly admitted, have left our ranks: but as solitary drinking is yet disdained among us and despised, (in the country districts at least,) if the usages were abolished, we should possess all the benefit of what of that national feeling yet remains, and the extensive advantages that may still be derived from it. To the votary of intemperance, the multiplicity of the drinking usages gives all the opportunity of indulgence he requires ; and although we must now allow that much drinking of drams obtains over the counter of spirit-stores in towns, yet, on the whole, I am disposed to acquiesce in the notion, that nineteentwentieths of our national inebriation takes place still in the mode of conventional connexion, and of course, subsists in company, and not in solitude. If drinking from mere artificial usage, therefore, were fairly abrogated throughout, our Temperance reform would probably make yet more rapid and
successful progress than the Transatlantic Associations have done, great as their prosperity has undoubtedly been ; for in America we have already said, that lonely drinking of spirits, if not to excess, was not considered as liable to objection.
Before quitting this point, I must entreat it to be understood, that I neither swerve from, nor disparage the abstinence principle, when I advocate that of anti-usage, as entitled, in this country, to be brought forward at least pari passu. Surely, if a moralist plead against two vices, his argument as to one cannot be truly said to release the bonds he
have laid over the other. But, in truth, abstinence and anti-usage are fitted mutually to support one another; the double power will be found to be necessary to the complicated circumstances of life in our three kingdoms. I would not desire anti-usage methods to be instituted in any place without co-existent association in favour of abstinence; but if a mass of operatives agree to give up a drinking usage, surely it would be a strange jealousy in favour of the abstinence principle, to refuse to receive their proposals because they were not all members of the regular society. I wish to break down no Temperance Institution that has been formed, but merely to superadd some collateral endeavour, at least, at direct combination against usage, and thus obtain the double
power. It is quite evident, that this mass, this burden of false and fatal courtesy and rule, must be abrogated and disannulled, before Great Britain can ever arrive at full emancipation from the pernicious shackles that enchain her; but ladies and gentlemen indulge a most perilous opinion, when they dream that the abrogation of national intemperance is to be accomplished without their being put to any trouble, or to any reversal of their modes and habits of life ; for whence is the source of courtesy and its symbols, but among the upper classes? But a principal reason, perhaps, why gentlemen and ladies are not interested in this question is, that they have never as, yet been fairly summoned; were a greater sacrifice demanded of them than has yet been required, they would become much more zealous in this great moral rally. If-for I must be excused in again repeating it—by some amazing miraculous interference, the inebriation of the working classes, and their addiction to ale and whisky, were cured in one day, and if, notwithstanding, liquor was continued as the principal mark and symbol of complaisance among the upper ranks, it would not require much sagacity to predict, that in a few years the reign