Story type: Essay
Everybody knows that until recently the average statesman, the majority of prominent men, in England, drank to excess.
Pitt was a drunkard–and Pitt was the most remarkable statesman in England.
Fox was a drunkard.
In fact, to write a list of England’s greatest men, who lived more than a hundred years ago, would be to make a list of famous drunkards.
To-day the drunkard in public life is practically unknown in England, as well as in America. No legal pressure has been brought to bear upon the prosperous drunkard.
He was not badgered by policemen or by blue-laws.
He could get ALL that he wanted to drink WHENEVER he wanted it–yet, OF HIS OWN ACCORD, the prosperous drunkard has reformed and become temperate. —-
Our own great Daniel Webster was a drunkard, as were many other great Americans. No man to-day could be a drunkard and at the same time be respected.
Education, experience and common sense have done their work, and drunkenness is now left to self-indulgent fools, or to those whose lives are made dull by poverty, to whom alcohol affords the only escape from horrible monotony.
It would, perhaps, be worth while for the advocates of temperance to study the causes which have practically eliminated drunkenness from the most intelligent classes of men.
Education undoubtedly is the greatest factor.
In nearly all the public schools now the evil effects of alcohol are taught.
These evil effects are taught, not in a lackadaisical way, with sentiment or religious duty as a basis. They are taught as FACTS.
Facts appeal to the mind, and they persist in their effect in later life, when moral suasion and religious appeals are forgotten.
Teach every child that alcohol destroys his chances of success, impairs his muscular efficiency, inflames the substance of the brain and prevents development–MAKE HIM FEEL THAT A DRINKING MAN IS A SECOND-CLASS MAN, AND YOU WILL HAVE DONE MUCH TO DESTROY THE DRUNKENNESS OF THE FUTURE. —-
As a matter of fact, drunkenness, like dirt, is mainly an accompaniment of poverty and a sad, hopeless life.
For the man or woman given to drinking, when the troubles of life are no longer to be borne, some relief must be had.
Make the lives of human beings more comfortable, make good food more plentiful, spread education–and you will solve the problem of excessive drinking.