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what a sight did I there behold,-six small children standing around the bed of their dying father, and with sobs and tears saying, "Oh my father, my father is dying.” The dying man's head lay over the arm of his wife—his eyes closed, and he gasping for breath, while she was sobbing as though her heart would break, and calling on her husband not to die. I approached the bed and told them I would pray with them. We knelt together, and when I closed my prayer he spoke to me. I asked him if he knew he was dying, he said he did. I then asked him if he felt he was prepared. It was an awful moment, all around were anxiously waiting to hear his reply. He fixed his eyes on me while the death rattle was heard in his throat, and answered: “No sir! not as I would wish to be,” and in a few moments breathed his last.
Often do I behold the unhappy victims of intemperance and debauchery who squander their money away and have no regard for their families, their health or reputation, and who, instead of providing for their households, spend their time in indolence, which unnerves the soul, enfeebles the body, and makes the whole man deaf to the calls of duty, loath to set about his business, and willing to give up even the interest of society, virtue and religion. And I find others who, when I converse with them about the necessity of conversion, appear to be entirely ignorant, and see no difference between water Baptism and spiritual regeneration, between the means of grace and grace itself—between the form and the power of godliness. Oh! how unspeakably dangerous is the delusion of those whose hearts and mouths are filled with their own righteousness, rocking themselves to sleep in the cradle of carnal security until eternity discloses to them that they are unprepared.”
To many of our readers, these leaves open to them a new world--the homes of the poor; after perusing these feeling sketches of the Missionary, they cannot but exclaim, “Can such things be!" If they doubt, all that I have to say is, “read for yourselves.”
" To understand all the purlieus of this place, and to illustrate the subject, I must venture myself into the haunts.”-SPECTATOR.
The gin-shops of London have afforded abundant materials, not only for the pen, but the pencil of some of the ablest artists of that great city. Yet have we read of them, and traced their destructive influence upon the human system in the admirable productions of Hogarth, without reflecting that in our country, nay in this very city, these dens of infamy exist to an alarming extent. It is not our intention to condemn the laws, nor the law-makers, for admitting them within the pale of the statutes. We shall speak of them as they are, and leave the subject to the consideration of those who have the power, if not the will, to put them down, or at least limit their influence and tendency to do evil.
There are several classes of grog-shops. Some are established for the sole purpose of retailing nothing but liquor, and its attendant evils, tobacco and segars. Others collect the more essential materials of keeping the body and soul
in proper order, so as to be able to consume a larger portion of rum.
These materials consist of bread, cheese, dried beef, onions, tongues, potatoes, &c.; but liquor is the mainspring of action to their business. You read in the features of the poor wretch who crawls from his filthy hole to buy gin, a history of crime, of misery, of wo and madness. Emaciated beings are seen standing at the counters, whose habiliments seem as if they were a part of them, knitted as it were to the skin, by filth and age. Their
sunken and receding as it were from the light of day, cheeks swollen out, and the superfluous flesh trembling from the motion of delirium tremens. Men borne down by long habits of dissipation gather around these dens of infamy at night, and waste the few pennies they pick up through the day either by stealing or begging, all here parted with, and as their lustreless eyes catch the sight of liquor, they sparkle up like the last flickering of a dying light, to sink again in total darkness.
I have visited not only these dens, but the dwellings of those who live as it were upon rum.
I have walked into places, the very appearance of which would have caused others to avoid as pestilential dungeons, or places for cutthroats. I study mankind, not from books, but observation; and I derive knowledge from their actions, their motives, their habits, and conversation.
Drunkenness, when it reaches a certain point, becomes a crime ; one step beyond that, insanity. From the first point, man takes his start in iniquity, theft and murder follow, until the gallows, a dungeon, or the madhouse seals his doom for ever!
I have noticed in the most depraved, habitual drunkards a love for their offspring. Amid the wildness of mother's thoughts, or maniac screams, she will hug to her breast her wretched child with all the fondness and affection of a tender parent, while the little wretch unconscious of the object, smiles in the bloated face of its mother, and pats with its helpless hand her burning cheek.
One of this class came into a gin shop not long since, whose appearance gave
“ dreadful note" of her baneful habits, and in a low, plaintive tone of voice, asked for a loaf of bread; a little ragged girl who stood beside her (whose thin, pale face told a tale of wo, received the loaf, and her eyes opened and rested upon it with a hungry delight, as if they could have feasted on it. A pickle was added to the loaf, as also a couple of onions. From under an old, greasy shawl the miserable mother pulled out a little black jug, and slipping it, as if ashamed of the act, across the counter, she asked for two cents worth of gin !! This was her meal-a sorry meal-bread, pickle, and onion, washed down by gin!
Some few years ago, the author of this work commenced a series of sketches entitled “ The Adventures of a dollar," they were intended to illustrate scenes in real life ; as a continuation to the subject of grog shop-he annexes two chapters, which carry out more fully the evil, crime, ruin and death, which in nine cases out of ten find their origin in gin shops, or the brothel.
ASMODEUS; OR THE ADVENTURES OF A
« And from that hour, did I, with earnest thought,
Heap knowledge from unbidden mines of lore,
I cared to learn, but from that secret store,
It might walk forth, to war among mankind.-SHELLEY.
To account for my appearance on this stage of life, would be to descend a second time into the bowels of the earthand describe the mysterious and to me undefinable devices of my Creator—to make me what I am !—but all this being over, and totally unconnected with the more important subjects upon which I am going to treat, I pass it by--leaving the erudite reader to form his own opinions of my birthobserving, however, that my composition was perfectly pure and uncontaminated by alloy. I found myself in possession of an old man living in South street, whose mode of realizing that wealth--which afterwards became the god of his idolatry, I confess myself a stranger-he was however now rich, and on the evening he first took me out of an iron chest, I found myself in a small room filled with money-bags -- deeds, bonds, mortgages and other papers all tending to swell his wealth beyond the power of computation. It was nearly ten o'clock - - a light breeze passed through the room and fluttered around the wretched curtains of a still more wretched beda groan issued from it, which caused the wretched miser to start back-his eyes were fixed upon the bed-his bony fingers relaxed their hold in which