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upwards of a million annually, and the preventive service half a million more; and yet these sums are not a quarter of what is paid for trials, police fines, &c., by the country. Now from all parts of the United Kingdom, from all judges, magistrates, jailors, police reports, and chaplains to prisons, we have but one testimony, which is, that drinking is the cause of nine-tenths of the crime, quarrels, misdemeanors, and actions that occur.
The property lost both by sea and land, in consequence of the aboundings of this vice, is truly astounding. How many houses have been burnt down, through the carelessness of persons wholly, or partially intoxicated! It was under the inspirations of strong drink, that the incendiary first conceived the idea of burning his neighbor's property; and it was in an ale-house, or gin-shop, that, by a moderate portion of alcohol, he primed himself for the discharge of so malignant a purpose. What a large amount of valuable goods also is every day injured, spoiled, or lost, through the stupid, careless, and reckless conduct of tipplers. In these cases, the employer suffers severely, and the careless offender is often heavily mulcted, so that both master and servants are losers to a great extent. What quantities of valuable property are also stolen and wasted, by those who are addicted to drinking? There are in our country thousands of thieves who live by plunder, and yet there is scarcely one of these who is not a drunkard.
Several witnesses before the House of Commons, referred to the amount of property lost every year at sea, through the baneful influence of intoxicating drinks; we find from Parliamentary documents, that in the short period of six years, "not less than 2,687 ships and vessels were stranded or wrecked; and 218 were lost, or missing; making the total of nearly three thousand vessels which were greatly injured, or entirely destroyed in that short period. In one hundred and thirty of these ships, the whole crew perished, and the number of persons who were drowned amounted to three thousand four hundred and fourteen."
Here then we have ships of great value, and cargoes more valuable than the ships, all sent to the bottom of the sea; and, what is still more distressing, here are three thousand four hun
dred and fourteen souls launched into eternity, few of them, we fear, but ill prepared for their final account! the loss, viewed under this aspect, is incalculable! In one instance, when the shipwreck of a large packet seemed to all appearance inevitable, the sailors got tired of working at the pumps, and the shout went forth, as is awfully the case in such instances, "To the spiritroom," the purport of which was, that those persons, seeing death inevitable, wished to die drunk, and for a few moments to drown their sorrow. A post-captain who was on board, knowing what would be the certain result, took his stand at the door of the spirit-room with a pistol in each hand, and declared in the most solemn manner that he would shoot the first man who attempted to force it; finding it impossible to indulge in their drunkenness, the men returned to the pumps, and, by the blessing of God, the vessel was brought in safe, and all the persons on board providentially saved."
A gallant young British officer, who had received the command of an American prize, soon after the capturing ship had departed, was accosted by the American master who had been left on board, and desired to give up his sword and the command of the vessel. The young officer prepared to resist; the American said, "Sir your case is hopeless, you must surrender, your men are all drunk below." The officer, however, did resist, and was shot dead; his men had all been drenched with rum and lauda
A merchant ship was driven on shore at St. Maloes; when the people boarded her they found all her sails set, even the top-gallant sails at the mast head, and all the people drunk on board, except a little boy who was at the helm: the boy said, that the master had died at sea, and as soon as the breath was out of his body, the crew hoisted up a cask of wine or spirit, with which they got drunk till the vessel came on shore at St. Maloes. The St. George, 98 guns, was lost through drinking. The Edgar and the Ajax, from the same cause. Spirits being on board was the cause of the loss of the Kent, the Rothsay Castle with 100 souls on board, the Lady of the Lake, the Hibernia, and many others that might be named, were lost through these pernicious drinks. On board" the St. George, there were 550
men, and nearly all perished; the boatswain's yeomen with some other men, had got drunk in the boatswain's store-room, and set fire to the ship." "The Ajax, 74 guns, was burnt at the mouth of the Dardanelles, in 1806, by the drunkenness, of the purser's steward; there were 350 people drowned." Here we see, as in all other instances, madness, presumption, misery, destruction, and death, the constant attendants of alcoholic drinks.
The cases we have mentioned are not solitary; every ocean, sea and river, every port and harbor, every shipowner and merchant, whose trade is in the mighty waters, can tell long and mournful tales of ruin and death, which can be traced solely and entirely to these devastating and destructive drinks. The bottom of the sea has been rendered a dark and gloomy charnel house, in which the dust of myriads of our countrymen is reposing, and awaiting the summons of the archangel's trumpet, and in that awful day, when the sea shall give up its dead, how many, alas! shall we see arise from their watery grave, who, though unprepared for another world, hurried themselves into the presence of their Judge, in consequence of the corrupting influence of inebriating liquor! Christian, shall this scourge destroy forever? Patriots, shall a spirit more tremendous than the billows or the tempests, be commissioned by you to overwhelm and devour the costliest treasure, and the bravest hearts of your country? Total abstinence would clear the seas of this worse than piratical curse; but, if reckless of the consequences, you still continue to harbor and commend this bane, you cannot remain guiltless of the dire results that must follow.
It would be difficult to calculate the numbers that, in a state of drunkenness have, on board their various ships, been launched into eternity; nor can we estimate the wealth that reckless intoxication has wantonly thrown into the depths of the sea. The most experienced brokers, and others connected with the naval and mercantile affairs, gave it as their opinion, that "ninetenths" of all the losses at sea, have been occasioned by the use and abuse of intoxicating liquors. Aware of this fact, not less than one thousand ships now sail from America, without any spirits or strong drinks on board; our merchants are so well convinced of the comparative safety of these ships, that in Liver
pool, until these are chartered, vessels that continue to carry intoxicating poisons cannot command a cargo.
It is also a fact, that insurance societies demand a less premium of these temperance ships than of any others; and thus all attest the immense loss on the one hand that drunkenness has occasioned, and the unspeakable advantage on the other that must be the result of total abstinence. Some tell us that the sea is richer than the land, and we know that it has inherited its richest treasures from the madness of men whom strong drink had bereft of reason. The vessels that have been wrecked were valuable, but these can bear no comparison with the rich cargoes which are frequently buried in the deep through the intemperance of seamen. Taking into consideration, therefore, the property and goods that are annually burnt, damaged, and lost by land and sea, through this vice, we are fully warranted in assuming that no less than three millions is wasted every year in these different departments, and every farthing lost through drunkenness. For in this calculation we do not comprehend what may have been destroyed independently of drinking; we argue from the fact stated by the brokers, and other mercantile men, that full nine-tenths of what is burnt, lost, or destroyed, can be traced to this source.
The poor-rates, also, of which many so bitterly complain, are greatly increased by drinking. These have sometimes amounted to seven or eight millions in a year," and yet the most competent witnesses before the Committee of the House of Commons gave it as their opinion, that by far the greater number of paupers were made such by the use of stimulating liquors. Some gentlemen stated that "two-thirds," and others that "nine-tenths" of the sum levied was spent on persons who were brought to the parish, directly or indirectly, by drinking. And it is only for us to examine our own vicinities to discover that this statement approaches very near to the truth. Aged parents, that ought to be supported by their children, are left destitute in consequence of the drinking habits of the latter; wives and children are doomed to the workhouse, because the father and husband is a drunkard; many individuals, disabled through drunkenness, or rendered a mass of disease by what some would call moderate drink
ing, are obliged to subsist upon parochial relief; and numbers, solely from the improvidence that intemperance induced, are now living upon parish pay. We may therefore at once conclude, that in some years six millions of poor-rates have been levied and paid for the support of the victims of strong drink. We all know that what is spent in these liquors would, if paid into a good benefit society, provide for the father of the family in sickness and old age. There are few moderate drinkers that are content to spend so small a sum as one shilling per week in these poisons; but this amount paid into a well-regulated benefit society would make a very respectable provision for them in sickness and old age.
I have before me the tables of an equitable club, established on principles that would prevent its ever being ruined by the number or age of its members; these tables show, that by paying one shilling per week, from the age of thirty to that of sixtythree, a man might secure for himself the sum of twelve shillings a week during sickness; of eight shillings a week from the age of sixty-five until his death, and of ten pounds to bury him after his decease. Now, when we consider that a much greater amount than one shilling per week is, on an average, spent in these contaminating drinks, we see how well almost every family might have been provided for without the intervention of parochial aid; and therefore, that drinking, not merely immoderately, but moderately, is the cause of the great demand that is made for the relief of the poor.
Time misspent and productive labor lost, is another item that must enter into our calculation of the cost of drinking. It has been estimated that if the mechanics of London suspend their labors for one day, no less than £50,000 would be lost. And if London be reckoned at one-twentieth of the population of the United Kingdom, were all the laborers and mechanics in the country to play for one day, £1,000,000 would be lost; and were they to pass one day in idleness in every week of the year, then £52,000,000 would be annually lost. Now, though we are happy to say that every laborer and mechanic does not lose one day a week by drinking, yet, as many drunkards spend two, three, or even four days in some weeks in the pothouse-and