Skip to main content

Full text of "The Anatomy of Drunkenness"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



Soc -IToo. 41.15 


The Eeirs of 
Oeorge C. Dempsey 




• t 


^- \- 

' . 












J3cc f 70C, ^h. iS" 




6E0fi6E C. OiMPtCy 

6. F. HoPKixs & So Hi Printers. 



Iptr g e C. DeiniWHj^ 



In preparing the present edition of the Anatomy 
OF Drunkenness for the press, I have spared no 
pains to render the work as complete as possible. 
Some parts have been re-\vritten, some new facts 
added, and several inaccuracies, wliich had crept 
into the former editions, rectified. Altogether, I 
am in hopes that this impression will be considered 
an improvement upon its predecessors, and that 
no fact of any importance has been overlooked or 
treated more slightly than it deserves. 

R. M. 

20th Sept. 1834. 



Preliminary Observations, . . . . i 


Causes of Drunkenness, - - - - 12 


Phenomena of Drunkenness, - - - - 19 


Drunkenness Modified by Temperament, - - 33 


Drunkenness Modified by the Inebriating Agent, - 41 


Enumeration of the Less Common Intoxicating Agents, 73 


Differences in the Action of Opium and Alcohol, - 80 


Physiology of Drunkenness, - - - - 85 


Method of Curing the Fit of Drunkenness, - - 93 




Pathology of Drunkenness, - - - - 103 


Sleep of Drunkards, - - - - - 135 


Spontaneous Combuslion of Drunkards, - - 139 


Drunkenness Judicially Considered, - •- - 152 


Method of C uring the Habit of Drunkenness, - 153 


Temperance Societies, - - - - 181 


Advice to Inveterate Drunkards, - - - 193 


Efiects of Intoxicating Agents on Nurses and Children, 198 


Liquors not always Hurtful, - - - - 202 


No. I. 
Excerpt from Paris' Fharmacologia, - - - 213 

No. II. 
Mr. Brando's Table of the AlcohoUc Strength of Liquors, 217 




Drunkenness is not, like some other vicesi pecu- 
liar to modem times. It is handed down to us 
from " hoar antiquity ;" and, if the records of the 
antediluvian era were more complete, we should 
probably find that it was not unknovtm to the re- 
motest ages of the world. The cases of Noah and 
Lot, recorded in the sacred writings, are the earli- 
est of which tradition or history has left any record ; 
and both occurred in the infancy of society. In- 
deed, wherever the grape flourished, inebriation 
prevailed. The formation of wine from this fruit, 
was among the earliest discoveries of man, and the 
bad consequences thence resulting, seem to have 
been almost coeval with the discovery. Those 
regions whose ungenial latitudes indisposed them 
to yield the vine, gave birth to other products 



which served as substitutes ; and the inhabitants 
rivalled or surpassed those of the south in all kinds 
of Bacchanalian indulgence — the pleasures of 
drinking constituting one of the most fertile themes 
of their poetry, in the same manner as, in other 
climates, they gave inspiration to the souls of 
Anacreon and Hafiz. 

Drunkenness has varied greatly at different times 
and among different nations. There can be no 
doubt that it prevails more in a rude than in a 
civilized state of society. This is so m\ich the 
case, that as men get more refined, the vice will 
gradually be found to soften down, and assume a 
less revolting character. Nor can there be a doubt 
that it prevails to a much greater extent in north- 
em than in southern latitudes.* The nature of the 
climate renders this inevitable, and gives to the 
human frame its capabilities of withstanding liquor: 
hence, a quantity which scarcely ruffles the frozen 
current of a Norwegian's blood, would scatter 
madness and fever into the brain of the Hindoo. 
Even in Europe, the inhabitants of the south are 
far less adapted to sustain intoxicating agents than 
those of the north. Much of this depends upon 

* In making this observation, I have only in view the countries 
north of the equator j for as we proceed to the south of that line, 
the vice increases precisely in the same manner as in the opposite 
direction. To use the words of Montesquieu, " Go from the 
equator to our pole, and you will find drunkenness increasing to- 
gether with the degree of latitude. Go from the same equator to 
the opposite pole, and you will find drunkenness travelling south, 
as on this side it travels towards the north." 


the coldness of the climate, and much also upon 
the peculiar physical and moral frame to which 
that coldness gives rise. The natives of the south 
are a lively, versatile people; sanguine in their 
temperaments, and susceptible, to an extraordinary 
degree, of every impression. Their minds seem 
to inherit the brilliancy of their climate, and are 
rich with sparkling thoughts and beautiful imagery. 
The northern nations are the reverse of all this. 
With more intensity of purpose, with greater depth 
of reasoning powers, and superior solidity of judge- 
ment, they are in a great measure destitute of that 
sportive and creative brilliancy which hangs like 
a raiiibow over the spirits of the south, and clothes 
them in a perpetual sunshine of delight. The one 
is chiefly led by the heart, the other by the head. 
The one possesses the beauty of a flower-garden, 
the other the sternness of the rock, mixed vnth its 
severe and naked hardihood. Upon constitutions 
so diflerently organized, it cannot be expected that 
a given portion of stimulus will operate with equal 
po^er. The airy inflammable nature of the first, 
is easily roused to excitation, and manifests feel- 
ings which the second does not experience till he / 
has partaken much more largely of the stimulating / 
cause. On this account, the one may be inebria- 
ted, and the other remain comparatively sober 
upon a similar quantity. In speaking of this sub- 
ject, it is always to be remembered that a person 
is not to be considered a drunkard because he con- 
sumes a certain portion of Uquor ; but because 


Cyprus and Shiraz. Indeed, there is reason to be* 
lieve that the ancients were in no respect inferior 
to the moderns in the excellence of their vinous 
liquors, whatever they may have been in the va- 
riety. Wine was so common in the eastern na- 
tions, that Mahomet, foreseeing the baleful effects 
of its propagation, forbade it to his followers, who, 
to compensate themselves, had recourse to opium. 
The Gothic or dark ages seem to have been those 
in which it was least common : in proof of this it 
may be mentioned, that in 1298 it was vended as 
a cordial by the English apothecaries. At the 
present day it is Uttle drunk, except by the upper 
classes, in those countries which do not naturally 
furnish the grape. In those that do, it is so cheap 
as to come within the reach of even the lowest.* 

In speaking of drunkenness, it is impossible not 
to be struck with the physical and moral degrada- 
tion which it has spread over the world. Wher- 
ever intoxicating liquors become general, morality 
has been found on the decline. They seem to act 

* The quantity of wine raised in France alone is almost incre- 
dible. The vineyards in that country are said to occupy five mil- 
lions of acres, or a twenty-sixth part of the whole territory. Paris 
«lone consumes more than three times the quantity of wine con- 
sumed in the British Isles. It is true that much of the wine drank 
in the French capital is of a weak quality, being used as a substi- 
tute for small beer. But after every allowance is made, enou^ 
remains to show clearly, if other proofs were wanting, how much 
the use of wine here is restricted by our exorbitant duties. It would 
be well for the morals of this country if the people abandoned the 
use of ardent spirits, and were enabled to resort to such wines as 
the French are in the habit of drinking. 


garded as honourable rather than otherwise ; and 
the man who could withstand the greatest quan- 
tity was looked up6n with admiration and respect : 
whence the drunken songs of the Scandinavian 
scalds ; whence the glories of Valhalla, the fan- 
cied happiness of whose inhabitants consisted in 
quaffing draughts from the skulls of their enemies 
slain in battle. Even ardent spirit, which is gene- 
rally supposed to be a modem discovery, existed 
fix)m a very early period. It is said to have been 
first made by the Arabians in the middle ages, an4 
in all likelihood may lay claim to a still remoter 
origin. Alcohol was known to the alchymists as 
early as the middle of the twelfth century, although 
the process of preparing it was by them, at that 
time, kept a profound secret. The spirituous li- 
quor called arrack, has been manufactured in the 
island of Java, as well as in the continent of Hin- 
dostan, from time immemorial. Brandy appears 
to have been known to Galen, who recommends it 
for the cure of voracious appetite ;* and its distil- 
lation was common in Sicily at the commencement 
of the fourteenth century. As to wine, it was so 
common in ancient times as to have a tutelar god 
appropriated to it: Bacchus and his companion 
Silenus are as household words in the mouths of 
all, and constituted most important features of the 
heathen mythology. We have all heard of the Fa- 
iemian and Campanian wines, and of the wines of 

* Good's Study of Medicine, vol i. p. U3 ; seccmd Edition. 



like the simoom of the desert, and scatter destruc- 
tion and misery around their path. The ruin of 
Rome was owing to luxury, of which indulgence 
in wine was the principal ingredient. Hannibal's 
army fell less by the arms of Scipio than by the 
wines of Capua ; and the inebriated hero of Ma- 
cedon after slaying his friend Clytus, and burning 
the palace of Persepolis, expired at last of a fit of 
intoxication, in his thirty-third year. A volume 
might be written in illustration of the evil effects 
of dissipation ; but this is unnecessary to those who 
look carefully around them, and more especially to 
those who are conversant with the history of man- 
kind. At the same time, when we speak of drunk- 
enness as occurring in antiquity, it is proper to re- 
mark, that there were certain countries in which it 
was viewed in a much more dishonourable light 
than by any modem nation. The Nervii refused 
to drink wine, alleging that it made them cowardly 
and effeminate : these simple people had no idea 
of what by our seamen is called Dutch courage ; 
they did not feel the necessity of elevating their 
native valour by an artificial excitement. The 
ancient Spartans held ebriety in such abhorrence, 
that, with a view to inspire the rising generation 
with a due contempt of the vice, it was customary 
to intoxicate the slaves and exhibit them publicly 
in this degraded condition. By the Indians, drunk- 
enness is looked upon as a species of insanity ; 
and, in their language, the word ramgam\ signify- 
ing a drunkard, signifies also a madman. Both 



the ancients and moderns could j^st as well as 
moralize upon this subject. " There hangs a bot- 
tle of wine," was the derisive exclamation of the 
Roman soldiery, as they pointed to the body of the 
drunken Bonosus, who, in a fit of despair, sus- 
pended himself upon a tree. ** If you wish to have 
a shoe of durable materials," exclaims the facetious 
Matthew Langsberg, " you should make the upper 
leather of the mouth of a hard drinker — for that 
never lets in water." 

If we turn from antiquity to our own times, we 
shall find little cause to congratulate ourselves upon 
any improvement. The vice has certainly dimin- 
ished among the higher orders of society, but there 
is every reason to fear that, of late, it has made 
fearful strides among the lower. Thirty or forty 
years ago, a landlord did not conceive he had done 
justice to his guests unless he sent ^hem from his 
table in a state of intoxication. This practice still 
prevails pretty generally in Ireland and in the 
highlands of Scotland, but in other parts of the 
kingdom it is fast giving way : and it is to be hoped 
that the day is not far distant when greater tem- 
perance will extend to these jovial districts, and 
render their hospitality a little more consonant 
with prudence and moderation. The increase of 
drunkenness among the lower classes may be im- 
puted to various causes, and chiefly to the late 
abandonment of part of the duty on rum and whis- 
key. This was done with a double motive of be- 
nefiting agriculture and commerce, and of driving 


the «* giant smuggler" from the field. The latter 
object it has in a great measure failed of effecting. 
The smuggler still plies his trade to a considera- 
ble extent, and brings his conmiodity to the mar- 
ket with nearly the same certainty of acquiring 
profit as ever. It would be well if the liquor vended 
to the poor possessed the qualities of that fur- 
nished by the contraband dealer ; but, instead of 
this,' it is usually a vile compound of every thing 
spurious and pestilent, and seems expressly con- 
trived for the purpose of preying upon the vitals 
of the unfortunate victims who partake of it. The 
extent to which adulteration has been carried in 
all kinds of liquor, is indeed such as to interest 
every class of society. Wine, for instance, is often 
impregnated with alum and sugar of lead, the lat- 
ter dangerous ingredient being resorted to by inn- 
keepers and others, to take aw&y the sour taste so 
common in bad wines. Even the colour of these 
liquids is frequently artificial ; and the deep rich 
complexion so greatly admired by persons not in 
the secrets of the trade, is often caused, or at least 
heightened, by factitious additions, such as elder- 
berries, bilberries, red-woods, &c. Alum and su- 
gar of lead are also common in spirituous liquors ; 
and, in many cases, oil of vitriol, turpentine, and 
other materials equally abominable, are to be found 
in combination with them. That detestable li- 
quor called British gin, is literally compounded of 
these ingredients : nor are malt liquors, with their 
multifarious narcotic additions, less thoroughly so- 


phisticated or less detrimental to the health. From 
these circumstances, two conclusions must natu- 
rally be drawn ; viz. that inebriating agents often 
contain elements of disease foreign to themselves ; 
and that all persons purchasing them should en- 
deavour to ascertain the state of their purity, and 
employ no dealer whose honour and honesty are 
not known to be unimpeachable. Liquors, even 
in their purest state, are too often injurious to the 
constitution without the admixture of poisons.* 

The varieties of wine are so numerous as almost 
to defy calculation. Mr. Brande, in his table,t 
gives a list of no less than forty-four different kinds, 
and there are others which he has not enumera- 
ted. Ardent spirits are fewer in number, and may 
be mostly comprised under the heads of rum, gin, 
brandy, and whiskey. The first is the prevailing 
drink over the West Indies, North America, and 
such cities of Great Britain as are intimately con- 
nected with these regions by commerce. The se- 
cond is extensively used in Holland and Switzer- 
land, the countries which principally furnish it, and 
has found its way pretty generally over the whole 
of Europe. The third is chiefly produced in Cha- 
rente and Languedoc, and is the spirit most com- 
monly found in the south. The fourth is confined 
in a great measure to Ireland and Scotland, in 

* See Accum*s Treatise on the Adulteration of Food ; Child on 
Brewing Porter ; and Shannon on Brewing and Distillation, 
t See Appendix. 


which latter country the best ha» always been 
made. Of malt liquors we have many varieties. 
Britain, especially England, is the country which 
furnishes them in greatest perfection. They are 
the natural drinks of Englishmen — the vinum 
Anglicorum, as foreigners have often remarked. 
Every town of any consequence in the empire has 
its brewery ; and in almost every one is there some 
difference in the quality of the liquor. Brown 
stout, London and Scotch porters, Burton, Dor- 
chester, Edinburgh, and Alloa ales, are only a few 
of the endless varieties of these widely-circulated 

Besides wines, ardent spirits, and malt liquors, 
there are many other agents possessing inebria- 
ting properties. Among others, the Peganum 
Harmala or Syrian rue, so often used by the sul- 
tan Solyman ; the Hibiscus Saldarissa, which fur- 
nishes the Indian bangue, and from which the 
Nepenthes of the ancients is supposed to have been 
made ; the Balsac, or Turkish bangue, found on 
the shores of the Levant ; the Penang, or Indian 
betle ; the Hyoscyamus Niger ; and the Atropa 
Belladonna. In addition to these, and many more, 
there are opium, tobacco, Cocculus Indicusj and 
the innumerable tribes of liqueurs and ethers, toge- 
ther with other agents of a less potent nature, such 
as clary, darnel, and saffron. The variety of agents 
capable of exciting drunkenness is indeed surpri- 
sing, and in proportion to their number seems the 
prevalence of that fatal vice to which an improper 
use of them gives rise. 




The causes of drunkenness are so obvious, that 
few authors have thought it necessary to point 
them out : vie shall merely say a few words upon 
the subject. There are some persons who will 
never be drunkards, and others who will be so in 
spite of all that can be done to prevent them. 
Some are drunkards by choice, and others by ne- 
cessity. The former have an innate and constitu^ 
tional fondness for liquor, and drink con amore. 
Such men are usually of a sanguineous tempera- 
ment, of coarse unintellectual minds, and of low 
and animal propensities. They have, in general, 
a certain rigidity of fibre, and a flow of animal 
spirits which other people are without. They de- 
light in the roar and riot of drinking clubs ; and 
with them, in particular, all the miseries of life 
may be referred to the bottle. 

The drunkard by necessity was never meant by 
nature to be dissipated. He is perhaps a person 


of amiable dispositions, whom misfortune has 
overtaken, and who, instead of bearing up man- 
fully against it, endeavours to drown his sorrows 
in liquor. It is an excess of sensibility, a p€Lrtial 
mental weakness, an absolute misery of the heart, 
which drives him on. Drunkenness, with him, \^ 
a consequence of misfortune ; it is a solitary dissi- 
pation preying upon him in silence. Such a man 
frequently dies broken*hearted, even before his 
excesses have had time to destroy him by their 
own unassisted agency. 

Some become drunkards from excess of indul- 
gence in youth. There are parents who have a 
common custom of treating tfa^ir children to wine, 
punch, and other intoxicating liquors. This, in 
reality, is regularly bringing them up in an ap- 
prenticeship to drunkenness. Others are taught 
the vice by frequenting drinking clubs and ma- 
sonic lodges, lliese are the genuine academies 
of tippling. Two-thirds of the drunkards we meet 
with, have been there initiated in that love qf in- 
temperance and boisterous irregularity which dis* 
tinguish their future lives. Men who are good 
singers are very apt to become drunkards, and, in 
truth, most of them are so, more or less, espe- 
cially if they have naturally much joviality or 
warmth of temperament. A fine voice to such 
men is a fatal accomplishment. 

Ebriety prevails to an alarming degree ^mong 
the lower orders of society. It exists more in 
towns than in the country, and more among me- 

14 -,m\ anatomy op 

chanics than hasbandmen. Most of the misery to 
be observed among the working classes springs 
from this source. No persons are more addicted 
to the habit, and all its attendant vices, than the 
pampered servants of the great. Innkeepers, mu- 
sicians, actors, and men who lead a rambling and 
eccentric life, are exposed to a similar hazard. 
Husbands sometimes teach their wives to be 
drunkards by indulging them in toddy and such 
fluids, every time they themselves sit down to 
their libations. 

Women frequently acquire the vice by drinking 
porter and ale while nursing. These stimulants 
are usually recommended to them from well-meant 
but mistaken motives, by their female attendants. 
Many fine young women are ruined by this per- 
nicious practice. Their persons become gross, 
their milk unhealthy, and a foundation is too often 
laid for future indulgence in liquor. 

The frequent use of cordials, such as noyeau, 
shrub, kirsch-wasser, curacoa, and anissette, some- 
times leads to the practice. The active principle 
of these liqueurs is neither more nor less than ar- 
dent spirits.* 

Among other causes, may be mentioned the ex- 
cessive-use of spirituous tinctures for the cure of 
hypochondria and indigestion. Persons who use 
strong tea, especially green, run the same risk. 

* Liqueurs often contain narcotic principlee; therefore their 
use is doubly improper. 

DKUNKENNES5. ^^" 16 

The latter species is singularly hurtnn to the cdfl^ 
stitutioDy producing hysteria, heartburn, and gene- 
ral debility of the chylopcfetic viscera. Some o( 
these bad effects are reUeved for a time by the 
use of spirits ; and what was at first employed as 
a medicine, soon becomes an essential requisite. 
Certain occupations have a tendency to induce 
drunkenness. Innkeepers, recruiting-sergeants, 
pugilists, &c. are all exposed in a great degree to 
temptation in this respect ; and intemperance is a 
vice which may be very often justly chained 
against them. Commercial travellers, also, taken 
as a body, are open to the accusation of indulging 
too freely in the bottle, although I am not aware 
that they carry it to such excess as to entitle many 
of them to be ranked as drunkards. ''Well fed, 
riding from town to town, and walking to the 
houses of the several tradesmen, they have an em- 
ployment not only more agreeable, but more con- 
ducive to health than almost any other dependant 
on traffic. But they destroy their constitutions 
by intemperance ; not generally by drunkenness, 
but by taking more liquor than nature requires. 
l)ining at the traveller's table, each drinks his 
pint or bottle of wine ; he then takes negus or 
iqpirit with several of his customers ; and at night 
he must have a glass or two of brandy and waten 
Few commerci^ travellers bear the employ for 
thirty years — the majority not twenty."* 

* Thaduah on the Effects of the Principal Arts, Tndes, and 
PtafiBSsiona, p. 83. 

16 , **: ANATOMY OF 

* Some wiitenr all^e that unmamed women, 
especially if somewhat advanced in life, are more 
given to liquor than those who are married. Hiis 
point I am unable from mty own observation to 
decide. Women who indulge in this way, are 
solitary dram-drinkers, and so would men be, had 
not the arbitrary opinions of the world invested 
the practice in them with much less moral turpi- 
tude than in the opposite sex. Of the two sexes, 
there can be no doubt that men are much the 
more addicted to all sorts of intemperance. 

Drunkenness appears to be in some measure he^ 
reditaiy. We frequently see it descending from 
parents to their children. This may undoubtedly 
often arise from bad example and imitation, but 
there can be little question that, in many instances 
at least, it exists as a family predisposition. 

Men of genius are often unfortunately addicted 
to drinking. Nature, as she has gifted them with 
greater powers than their fellows, seems also to 
have mingled with their cup of life more bitter- 
ness. There is a melancholy which is apt to come 
like a ck>ud over the imaginations of such charac- 
ters. Their minds possess a susceptibility and 
delicacy of structure which unfit them for the 
gross atmosphere of human nature ; wherefore, 
high talent has ever been distinguished for sad- 
ness and gloom. Genius lives in a worid of its 
own : it is the essence of a superior nature -^ the 
loftier imaginings of the mind, clothed with a more * 
spiritual and refined verdure. Few men endowed 


with such facukies enjoy the ordinary happiness of 
humuiity. The stream of their liyes runs harsh 
and broken. Melancholy thoughts sweep per- 
petually >across their souls; and if these be height- 
ened by misfortune, they are plunged into the 
deepest misery. 

To relieve these feelings, many plans have been 
adopted. Dr. Jbhnson fled for years to wine un- 
der his habitual gloom. He found that the pangs 
were removed while its immediate influence lasted, 
but he also found that they returned with double 
force when that influence passed away. He saw 
the dangerous precipice on which he stood, and, 
by an unusual eflbrt of volition, gave it over. In 
its stead he substituted tea; and to this milder 
stimulus had recourse in his melancholy. Voltaire 
and Fontenelle, for the same purpose, used cofiee. 
The excitements of Newton and Hobbes were the 
fumes of tobacco, while Demosthenes and Haller 
were sufficiently stimulated by drinking freely 
of cold water. Such are the difiefences of con- 

*^ As good be melancholy still, as drunken beasts 
and beggars." So says old Burton, in his Anato- 
my of Melancholy, and there are few who will 
not subscribe to hi^ creed. The same author 
quaintly, but justly remarks, ^ If a drunken man 
gets a child, it will never, likely, have a good 
brain." Dr. Darwin, a great authority on all sub- 
jects connected with Ufe, says, that he never knew 

a gliittim affected with the gout, who was not at 




the some time addicted to liquor. He also ob- 
senreS) ^ it is remariiahle that all ^ diseases from 
drinking spiritiKMis or fermented liquors are liable 
to become hereditary, even to the third genera* 
tion, gradually increasing, if the cause be con* 
tinned, till the family becomes extinct."* 

We need not endeavour to trace farther the re- 
mote causes of drunkenness. A drunkard is rarely 
able to recall the particular circumstances which 
made him so. The vice creeps upon him insensi- 
bly, and he is involved in its fetters before he is 
avnu«. It is enough that we know the proximate 
cause, and also the certain consequences. One 
thing is certain, that a man who addicts himself to 
intemperance, can never be said to be sound in 
mind or body. The former is a state of partial 
insanity, while the effects of the liquor remain; 
and the latter is always more or less diseased in 
its acti(ms. 


* Botanic Garden. 



ness ? First, an unusual serenity prevails oyer the 
mind, and the soul of the votary is filled with a 
placid satisfaction. By degrees he is sensible of a 
soft and not unmusical humming in his ears, at 
every pause of the conversation. He seems, to 
himself, to wear his head lighter than usual upon 
his sholders. Then a species of obscurity, thinner 
than the finest mist, passes before his eyes, and 
makes him see objects rather indistinctly. The 
lights begin to dance and appear double. A gayety 
and warmth are felt at the same time about the 
heart. The imagination is expanded, and filled 
with a thousand delightful images. He becomes 
loquacious, and pours forth, in enthusiastic lan- 
guage, the thoughts which are bom, as it were, 
within him. 

Now comes a spirit of universal contentment 
with himself and all the world. He thinks no more 
of misery : it is dissolved in the bliss of the mo- 
ment. This is the acme of the fit — the ecstacy 
is now perfect. As yet the sensorium is in toler- 
able order ; it is only shaken, but the capability of 
thinking with accuracy still remains. About this 
time, the drunkard pours out all the secrets of his 
soul. His qualities, good or bad, come forth with* 
out reserve ; and now, if at any time, the human 
heart may be seen into. In a short period, he is 
seized with a most inordinate prc^nsity to talk 
nonsense, though he is perfectly ccxiscious of doiqg 
80. He also commits many foolish things, know- 
ing them to be foolish. The power of volilioD, 


that faculty which keeps the will subordinate to 
the judgement, seems totally weakened. The most 
delightful time se^ms to be that immediately before 
becoming very talkative. When this takes place* 
a man turns ridiculous, and his mirth, thpugh more 
boisterous, is not so exquisite. At first the intoxi- 
cation partakes of sentiment, but, latterly, it be- 
ccHnes merely animal. 

After this the scene thickens. The drunkard's 
imagination gets disordered with the most gro- 
t^que conceptions. Instead of moderating his 
drink, he pours it down more rapidly than ever : 
glass follows glass with reckless energy. His head 
becomes perfectly giddy. The candles bum blue, 
or green, or yellow ; and where there are perhaps 
only three on the table, hie sees a dozen. Accord- 
ing to his temperament, he is amorous, or musical, 
or quarrelsome. Many possess a most extraordi- 
nary wit ; and a great flow of spirits is a general 
attendant. In the latter stages, the speech is 
thick, and the use of the tongue in a great measure 
lost. His mouth is half open, and idiotic in the ex- 
{Nression; while his eyes are glazed, wavering, 
and watery. He is apt to fancy that he has of- 
fended some one of the company, and is ridicu- 
kmsly profuse with his apologies. Frequently he 
mistakes one person for another, and imagines that 
soine of those before him are individuals who are, 
in reality, absent or even dead. The muscular 
powers ^e, all along, much affected : this indeed 
happens before any great change takes place in 


the mind, and goes on progressively increasing. 
He can no longer walk with steadiness, but totters 
from side to side. The limbs become powerless, 
and inadequate to sustain his weight He is, how- 
ever, not always sensible of any deficiency in this 
respect : and while exciting mirth by his eccentric 
motions, imagines that he walks with the most per- 
fect steadiness. In attempting to run, he con- 
ceives that he passes over the ground with aston- 
ishing rapidity. To his distorted eyes all men, 
and even inanimate nature itself, seem to be 
drunken, while he alone is sober. Houses reel 
from side to side as if they had lost their balance ; 
trees and steeples nod like tipsy Bacchanals ; and 
the very earth seems to slip from under his feet, 
and leave him walking and floundering upon the 
air. The last stage of drunkenness is total insen- 
sibility. The man tumbles perhaps beneath the 
table, and is carried away in a state of stupor to 
his couch. In this condition he is said to be dead 

When the drunkard is: put to bed, let us suppose 
that his faculties are not totally absorbed in apo- 
plectic stupor ; let us suppose that he still possesses 
consciousness and feeling, though these are both 
disordered; then begins ''the tug of war;" then 
comes the misery which is doomed to succeed his 
previous raptures. No sooner is his head laid 
upon the pillow, than it is seized with the strongest 
throbbing. His heart beats quick and hard agaimt 
the ribs, A noise like the distant fall of a catcade. 


or rushing of a river, is heard in bier ears : sough 
-^ sough — sough, goes the sound. His senses 
DOW become more drowned and stupified. A dim 
recollection of his carousals, like a shadowy and 
indistinct dream, passes before the mind. He 
still hears, as in echo, the cries and laughter of his 
companions. Wild fantastic fancies accumulate 
thickly around the brain. His giddiness is greater 
than ever ; and he feels as if in a ship tossed upon 
a heaving sea. At last he drops insensibly into a 
profound slumber. 

In the morning he awakes in a high fever. The 
whole body is parched ; the palms of the hands, 
in particular, are like leather. His head is often 
violently painful. He feels excessive thirst ; while 
his tongue is white, dry, and stiff. The whole in- 
side of the moiith is likewise hot and constricted, 
and the throat often sore. Then look at his eyes 
— how sickly, dull, and languid ! The fire, which 
first lighted them up the evening before, is all gone. 
A stupor like that of the last stage of drunkenness 
still clings about them, and they^ure disagreeably 
affected by the light. The complexion sustains as 
great a change: it is no longer flushed with the 
gayety and excitation, but pale and wayworn, in- 
dicating a profound mental and bodily exhaustion. 
There is probably sickness, and the appetite is to- 
tally gone. Even yet the delirium of intoxication 
has not left him, for his head still rings, his heart 
still throbs violently ; coid if he attempt getting 
up^ be stumbles with giddiness. The mind also 


ir sadly depressed, and the proceedings of the pre- 
vious night are painfully remembered. He is 
sorry for his conduct, promises solemnly nev^ 
again so to commit himself, and calls impatiently 
for something to quench his thirst. Such are the 
usual phenomena of a fit of drunkenness. 

In the beginning of intoxication we are inclined 
to sleep, especially if we indulge alone. In com- 
panies, the noise and opportunity of conversing 
prevent this ; and when a certain quantity has 
been drunk, the drowsy tendency w^ars away. 
A person who wishes to stand out well, should 
never talk much. This increases the effects of the 
liquor, and hurries on intoxication. Hence, every 
experienced drunkard holds it to be a piece of 
prudence to keep his tongue under restraint. 

The giddiness of intoxication is always greater 
in darkness than in the light. I know of no ra« 
tional way in which this can be explained ; but, 
certain it is, the drunkard never so well knows his 
true condition as when alone and in darkiless. 
Possibly the noise and h^t distracted the mind, 
and made the bodily sensations be, for the time, 
in some measure unfelt. 

There are some persons who get nek from 
drinking even a sonall quantity; and this sickness 
is, upon the whole, a favourable circumstance, as it 
proves an effectual curb upon them, however nmcb 
they may be disposed to intemperance. In sueh 
cases, it will generally be found that the sickness 
takes place as soon as vertigo makes its appear- 


ance : it seems, in reality, to be produced by this 
sensation. This, however, is a rare circumstance, 
firar though vertigo from ordinary causes has a 
strong tendency to produce sickness, that arising 
from drunkenness has seldom this effect. The 
nausea and sickness sometimes occurring in intox- 
ication, proceed almost always fit)m the sur- 
charged and disordered state of the stomach, and 
very seldom from the accompanying giddiness. 

Intoxication, before it proceeds too far, has a 
powerful tendency to increase the appetite. Per- 
haps it would be more correct to say, that inebri- 
atiog liquors, by stimulating the stomach, have this 
power. We often see gluttony and drunkenness 
combined together at the same time. This con- 
tinues till the last stage, when, from overioading 
and excess of irritation, the stomach expels its 
contents by vomiting. 

All along, the action of the kidneys is much in- 
creased, especially at the commencement of intox- 
icati(Mi. When a large quantity of intoxicating 
fluid has been suddenly taken into the stcMnach, the 
usual preliminary symptoms of drunkenness do not 
appear. An instantaneous stupefaction ensues; 
and the person is at once knocked down. This 
cannot be imputed to distention of the cerebral 
vessels, but to a sudden operation on the nervous 
branches of the stomach. The brain is thrown 
into a state of collapse, and many of its functions 
suspended. In such cases the face is not at first 
tuinid and ruddy, but pale and contracted. The 




pulse is likewise feeble, and the body cold aad 
powerless. When re-action takes place, these 
symptoms wear off, and those of sanguineous apo- 
plexy succeed ; such as turgid countenance, full 
but slow pulse, and strong stertorous breathing. 
The vessels of the brain have now become filled, 
and there is a strong determination to that organ. 

Persons of tender or compassionate minds are 
particularly subject, during intoxication, to be af- 
fected to tears at the sight of any distressing ob- 
ject, or even on hearing an affecting tale. Drunk- 
enness in such characters, may be said to melt the 
heart, and open up the fountains of sorrow. Their 
sympathy is often ridiculous, and aroused by the 
most trifling causes. Those who have a living 
imagination, combined with this tenderness of 
heart, sometimes conceives fictitious causes of dis- 
tress, and weep bitterly at the wo of their own 

There are some persons in whom drunkenness 
calls forth a spirit of piety, or rather of religious 
hypocrisy, which is both ludicrous and disgusting. 
They become sentimental over their cups ; and, 
while in a state of debasement most ofiensive to 
God and man, they will weep at the wickedness of 
the human heart, entreat you to eschew swearing 
and profane company, and have a greater regard 
for the welfare of your immortal soul. These 
sanctimonious drunkards seem to consider ebnety 
as the most venial of ofiences. 

During a paroxysm of drunkenness, the body is 


much less sensible to external stimuli than at other 
times : it is particularly capable of resisting cold. 
Seamen, when absent on shore, are prone to get 
intoxicated ; and they will frequently lie for hours 
on the highway, even in the depth of winter, with- 
out any bad consequences. A drunk man seldom 
shivers from cold. His frame seems steeled against 
it, and he holds out with an apathy which is as- 
tonishing. The body is, in like manner, insensible 
to injuries, such as cuts, bruises, &c. He fre- 
quently receives, in fighting, the most severe blows, 
without seemingly feeling them, and without, in 
fact, being aware of the matter, till sobered. Per- 
sons in intoxication have been known to chop off 
their fingers, and otherwise disfigure themselves, 
laughing all the while at the action. But when 
the paroxysm is off, and the frame weakened, 
things are changed. External agents are then 
withstood with little vigour, with even less than 
in the natural state of 'the body. The person 
shivers on the slightest chill, and is more than usu- 
ally subject to fevers and all sorts of contagion. 

External stimuU frequently break the fit. Men 
have been instantly sobered by having a bucket of 
cold water thrown upon them, or by falling into a 
stream. Strong emotions of the mind produce 
the same effect, such as the sense of danger, or a 
piece of good or bad news, suddenly communi- 

There are particular situations and circumstan- 
ces in which a man can stand liquor better than in 



Others. In the close atmosphere of a Isurge town, 
he is soon overpowered ; and it is here that the 
genuine drunkard is to be met with in the greatest 
perfection. In the country, especially in a moun- 
tainous district/ or on the sea-shore, where the air 
is cold and piercing, a great quantity may be taken 
with impunity. The highlanders drink largely of 
ardent spirits, and they are often intoxicated, yet, 
among them, there are comparatively few who 
can be called habitual drunkards. A keen ak* 
seems to deaden its effects, and it soon evaporates 
from their constitutions. Sailors and soldiers who 
are hard wrought, also consume enormous quanti- 
ties without injury ; porters and all sorts of labourers 
do the same. With these men exercise is a cor- 
rective; but in towns, where no counteracting 
agency is employed, it acts with irresistible power 
upon the frame, and soon proves destructive, 

A great quantity of liquors may also be taken 
without inebriating, in -certain diseases, such as 
spasm, tetanus, gangrene, and retrocedent gout* 

Certain circumstances of constitiition make one 
person naturally more apt to get intoxicated than 
another. "Mr. Pitt," says a modem writer, 
" would retire in the midst of a warm debate, and 
enliven his faculties with a couple of bottles of 
Port. Pitt's constitution enabled him to do this 
with impunity. He was afflicted with what is 
called a coldness of stomach ; and the quantity of 
wine that would have closed the oratory of so 


professed a Bacchanalian as Sheridan, scarcely 
excited the son of Chatham."* 

All kinds of intoxicating agents act much more 
rapidly and powerfully upon an empty than a full 
stomach. In like manner, when the stomach is 
disordered, and subject to weakness, heartburn, 
or disease of any kind, ebriety is more rapidly 
produced than when this organ is sound and 

The stomach may get accustomed to a strong 
stimulus, and resist it powerfully, while it yields to 
one much weaker. I have known people who 
could drink eight or ten glasses of raw spirits at a 
sitting without feeling them much, become per- 
fectly intoxicated by half the quantity made into 
toddy. In like manner, he who is in the constant 
habit of using one spirit, — rum, for instance, — 
cannot, for the most part, indulge to an equal ex- 
tent in another, without experiencing more severe 
effects than if he had partaken of his usual beve- 
rage. This happens even when the strength of 
the two liquors is the same. 

The mind exercises a considerable effect upon 
drunkenness, and may often control it powerfully. 
When in the company of a superior whom we re- 
spect, or of a female in whose presence it would 
be indelicate to get intoxicated, a much greater 
portion of liquor may be withstood than in socie- 
ties where no such restraints operate* 

* Rede'* Memwt of the Right Hon. George Canning. 



Drunkenness has sometimes a curious effect 
upon the memory. Actions committed during ior- 
toxication may be forgotten on a recovery from 
this state, and remembered distinctly when the 
person becomes again intoxicated. Drunkenness 
has thus an analogy to dreaming, in which state cir- 
cumstances are occasionally brought to mind which 
had entirely been forgotten. The same thing may 
also occur in fevers^ wherein even languages with 
which we were familiar in childhood or youth, but 
had forgotten, are renewed upon the memory and 
pass away from it again when the disease which 
recalled them is removed. 

With most people intoxication is a gradual pro- 
cess, and increases progressively as they pour down 
the liquor ; but there are some individuals in wh(»n 
it takes place suddenly, and without any previous 
indication of its approach. It is not uncommon to 
see such persons sit for hours at the bottle with- 
out experiencing any thing beyond a moderate 
elevation of spirits, yet assume all at once the out- 
rage and boisterous irregularity of the most deci- 
ded drunkenness. 

Some drunkards retain their senses after the 
physical powers are quite exhausted. Others, 
even when the mind is wrought to a pitch leading 
to the most absurd actions, preserve a degree of 
cunning and observation which enables them to 
elude the tricks which their companions are pre- 
paring to play upon them. In such cases, they 
display great address, and take the first opportu- 


nity of retaliating ; or, if such does not occur, of 
dipping out of the room unobserved and getting 
away. Some, while the whole mind seems locked 
up in the stupor of forgetfulness, hear all that is 
going on. No one should ever presume on the 
intoxicated state of another to talk of him detract- 
ingly in his presence. While apparently deprived 
of all sensation, he may be an attentive listener ; 
and whatever is said, though unheeded at the mo- 
ment, is not forgotten afterwards, but treasured 
carefully up in the memory. Much discord and 
ill-will frequently arise from such imprudence. 

There are persons who are exceedingly profuse, 
and fond of giving away their money, watches, 
rings, &c. to the company. This peculiarity will 
never, I believe, be found in a miser : avarice is a 
passion strong under every circumstance. Drink- 
ing does not loosen the grasp of the covetous man, 
or open his heart : he is forever the same. 

The generality of people are apt to talk of their 
private affairs when intoxicated. They then re- 
veal the most deeply-hidden secrets to their com- 
panions. Others have their minds so happily con- 
stituted that nothing escapes them. They are, 
even in their most unguarded moments, secret and 
close as the grave. 

The natural disposition may be better disco- 
vered in drunkenness than at any other time. In 
modem society, life is all a disguise. Almost every 
man walks in masquerade, and his most, intimate 
friend very often does not know his real charac- 


ter. Many wear smiles constantly upon their 
cheeks, whose hearts are unprincipled and trea« 
cherous. Many with violent tempers have all the 
external calm and softness of charity itself. Some 
speak always with sympathy, who, at soul, are 
ftdl of gall and bitterness. Intoxication tears off 
the veil, and sets each in his true light, whatever 
that may be. The combative man will quarrel, 
the amorous will love, the detractor will abuse 
his neighbour. I have known exceptions, but they 
are few in number. At one time they seemed 
more numerous, but closer observation convinced 
me that most of those whom I thought drunken- 
ness had libelled, inherited, at bottom, the genuine 
dispositions which it brought forth. The excep- 
tions, however, which now and then occur, are 
sufficiently striking, and point out the injustice of 
always judging of a man's real disposition from 
his drunken moments. To use the words of Ad- 
dison, " Not only does this vice betray the hid- 
den faults of a man, and show them in the most 
odious colours, but often occasions faults to which 
he is not naturally subject. Wine throws a man 
out of himself, and infuses qualities into the mind 
which she is a stranger to in her sober mo- 
ments." The well known maxim, " in vino Veri- 
tas** therefore, though very generally true, is to 
be received t^ith some restrictions, although these, 
I am satisfied, are by no means so numerous, as 
many authors would have us to believe. 




Under the last head I have described the usual 
phenomena of intoxication ; but it is necessary to 
remark, that«these are apt to be modilBed by the 
physical and moral frame of the drinker. Great 
diversity of opinion exists with regard to the doc- 
trine of the temperaments ; some authors affirm- 
ing, and others denying their existence. Into this 
controversy it is needless to enter. All I contend 
for is, that the bodily and mental constitution of 
every man is not alike, and that on these peculiari- 
ties depend certain diffetences during a paroxysm 

I. Sanguineous Drunkard, — The sanguine 
temperament seems to feel most intensely the ex- 
citement of the bottle. Persons of this stamp haye 
usually a ruddy complexion, thick neck, small head, 
and Btn»ig muscular fibre. Their intellect is in 


general mediocre, for great bodily strength and cor- 
responding mental powers are rarely united to- 
gether. In such people, the animal propensities 
prevail over the moral and intellectual ones. They 
are prone to combativeness and sensuality, and 
are either very good-natured or extremely quar- 
relsome. All their passions are keen: like the 
Irish women, they will fight for their friends or 
with them as occasion requires. They are talka- 
tive from the beginning, and, during confirmed in- 
toxication, perfectly obstreperous. It is men of 
this class who are the heroes of all drunken com- 
panies, the patron of masonic lodges, the presi- 
dents and getters-up of jovial meetings. With 
them, eating and drinking are the grand ends of 
human life. Look at their eyes, how they sparkle 
at the sight of wine, and how their Nps smack and 
their teeth water in the neighbourhood of a good 
dinner : they would scent out a banquet in Siberia. 
When intoxicated, their passions are highly excited : 
the energies of a hundred minds then seem concen- 
trated into one focus.. Their mirth, their anger, 
their love, their folly, are all equally intense and 
unquenchable. Such men cannot conceal their 
feelings. In drunkenness, the veil is removed 
from them, and their characters stand revealed, 
as in a glass, to the eye of the beholder. The 
Roderick Random of Smollet had much t>f this 
temperament, blended, however, with more intel- 
lect than usually belongs to it. 

II. Melancholy Drunkard. — Melancholy, in 


drunkards, sometimes arises from temperament, 
but more frequently from habitual intoxication or 
misfortune. Some men are melancholy by nature, 
but become highly mirthful when they have drunk 
a considerable quantity. Men of this tone of mind 
seem to enjoy the bottle more exquisitely than 
even the sanguineous class. The joyousness which 
it excites breaks in upon their gloom like sunshine 
upon darkness. Above all, the sensations, at the 
moment when mirth begins with its magic to charm 
away care, are inexpressible. Pleasure falls in 
showers of fragrance upon their souls ; they are at 
peace with themselves and all mankind, and enjoy, 
as it were, a foretaste of paradise. Robert Burns 
was an example of this variety. His melancholy 
was constitutional, but heightened by misfortune. 
The bottle commonly dispelled it, and gave rise to 
the most delightful images ; sometimes, however, 
it only aggravated the gloom. 

III. Surly Drunkard. — Some men are not ex- 
cited to mirth by intoxication : on the contrary, it 
renders them gloomy and discontented. Even those 
who in the sober state are sufficiently gay, become 
occasionally thus altered. A great propensity to 
take offence is a characteristic among persons of 
this temperament. They are suspicious, and very 
often mischievous. If at some former period they 
have had a difference with any of the company, 
they are sure to revive it, although, probably, it has 
been long ago cemented on both sides, and even 
forgotten by the other party. People of this de- 



scription are very unpleasant companions. They 
are in general so foul-tongued, quarrelsome, and 
indecent in conversation, that established clubs of 
drinkers have made it a practice to exclude them 
from their society. 

IV. Phlegmatic Drunkard, — Persons of this 
temperament are heavy-rolling machines, and, like 
the above, are not roused to mirth by liquor. Their 
vital, actions are dull and spiritless — the blood in 
their veins as sluggish as the river Jordan, and their 
energies stagnant as the Dead Sea. They are 
altogether a negative sort of beings, with passions 
too inert to lead them to any thing very good or 
very bad. They are a species of animated clods, 
but not thoroughly animated — for the vital fire of 
feeling has got cooled in penetrating their firozen 
frames. A new Prometheus would require to 
breathe into their nostrils, to give them the ordi- 
nary glow and warmth of humanity. Look at a 
phlegmatic man — how dead, passionless, and un- 
inspired is the expression of his clammy lips and 
vacant eye I Speak to him — how cold, slow, and 
tame is his conversation ! the ^ords come forth as 
if they were drawn from his mouth with a pair of 
pincers ; and the ideas are as^ frozen as if concocted 
in the bowels of Lapland. Liquor produces no 
effect upon his mental powers ; or, if it does, it is 
a smothering one. The whole energies of the drink 
fall on his almost impassive frame. From the first, 
his drunkenness is stupifying ; he is seized with a 
kind of lethargy, the white of his eyes turns up, 


be breathes loud and harshly, and sinks into an 
apoplectic stupor. Yet all this is perfectly harm- 
less, and wears away without leaving any mark 
behind it. 

Such persons are very apt to be played upon by 
their companions. There are few men who, in 
their younger days, have not assisted in shaving 
the heads and painting the faces of these lethargic 

V. Nervous Drunkard. — This is a very harm- 
less and very tiresome personage. Generally of a 
weak mind and irritable constitution, he does not 
become boisterous with mirth, and rarely shows 
the least glimmering of wit or mental energy. He 
is talkative and fond of long-winded stories, which 
he tells in a drivelling, silly manner. Never warm- 
ed into enthusiasm by liquor, he keeps chatting at 
some ridiculous tale, very much in the way of a 
garrulous old man in his dotage.* 

VI. Choleric Drunkard. — There are a variety 
of drunkards whom 1 can only class under the 
above title. They seem to possess few of the 
qualities of the other races, and are chiefly distin- 
guished by an uncommon testihess of disposition. 
They are quick, irritable, and impatient, but withal 
good at heart, and, when in humour, very pleasant 


* The old gentleman who is represented as speaking, in Bun- 
bury's admirable caricature of the " Long Story," furnishes one 
of the best illustrations I have ever seen of this variety. It is 
worth consulting, both on account of the story-teller, and the ef« 
(ect his tedious garruhty produces upon the company., 



and generous. They are easily put out of temper, 
but it returns almost immediately. This disposir 
tion is very prevalent among Welshmen and High^ 
land lairds. Mountaineers are usually quick-tem* 
pered : but such men are not the worst or most 
unpleasant. Sterne is undoubtedly right when he 
says that more virtue is to be found in warm than 
cold dispositions. Commodore Trunnion is a 
marked example of this temperament ; and Cap* 
tain Fluellen, who compelled the heroic Pistol to 
eat the leek, is another. 

VII. Periodical Drunkard, — There are persons 
whose temperaments are so pecuUarly constituted, 
that they indulge to excess periodically^ and are, 
in the intervals of these indulgences, remarkably 
sober. This is not a very common case, but I have 
known more than one instance of it ; and a gen- 
tleman, distinguished by the power of his eloquence 
in the senate and at the bar, is said to furnish an- 
other. In the cases which I have known, the 
drunken mania, for it can get no other name, came 
on three or four times a-year. The persons from 
a state of complete sobriety, felt the most intense 
desire for drink ; and no power, short of absolute 
force or confinement, could restrain them fix)m the 
indulgence. In every case they seemed to be quite 
aware of the uncontrollable nature of their passion, 
and proceeded systematically by confining them- 
selves to their room, and procuring a large quan- 
tity of ardent spirits. As soon as this was done, 
they commenced and drank to excess till vomiting 


ensued, wad tke «toinadii.«bdolutely refused to re- 
Genre another drop of Ikpior. ■, This state may last 
a few days or. a few: weeks, according to oonstitu- 
tioBal. strength^ or the rapidity with Which the li- 
bations are poured down^ During the continuance 
of the attack, the individual exhibits such a state 
of mind as may be looked for from his peculiar 
temperament ; he may be sanguineous, or melan- 
choly, or surly, or phlegmatic, or nervous, or cho- 
leric. So soon as the stomach rejects every thing 
that is swallowed, and severe sickness comes on, 
the £t ceases* . From that moment recovery takes 
place, and his former fondness for liquor is suc- 
ceeded by aversion or disgust. This gains such 
ascendency over him, that he abstains religiously 
from it for weeks, or months, or even for a year, 
as the case may be. During this interval he leads 
a life of the most exemplary temperance, drinking 
nothing but cold water, and probably shunning 
every society where he is likely to be exposed to 
indulgence. So soon as this period of sobriety 
has expired, the fit again comes on ; and he con- 
tinues playing the same game for perhaps the bet- 
ter part of a k>ng life. This class of persons I 
would call periodical drunkards. 

These different varieties are sometimes found 
strongly marked ; at other times so blended toge- 
ther that it is not easy to say which predominates. 
The most agreeable drunkard is he whose tempe- 
rament lies between the sanguineous and the me- 
lancholic. The genuine sanguineous is a sad noisy 


dog, and so common, that every person must have 
met with him. The naval service furnishes a great 
many gentlemen of this description. The phleg- 
matic, I think, is rarer, but both the nervous and 
the surly are not unusual. 





Intoxication is not only influenced by tempera- 
ment, but by the nature of the agent which produ- 
ces it. Thus, ebriety from ardent spirits difiers in 
some particulars from that brought on by opium 
or malt liquors, such as porter and ale. 

I. Modified hy Ardent Spirits. — Alcohol is the 
principle of intoxication in all liquors. It is this 
whiqh gives to wine,* ale, and spirits, their cha- 
racteristic properties. In the natural state, how- 
ever, it is so pungent, that it could not be received 
ifito the stomach, even in a moderate quantity with- 
out producing death. It can, therefore, only be 
used in dilution ; and in this state we have it, from 
the strongest ardent spirits, to simple small beer. 

* Alcobol appears to exist in wines, in a very peculiar state of 
comHnatioQ. In the Appendiz, I hare availed mysdf of Dr. 
ris's vahiable remarks on this subject 



The first (ardent spirits) being the most concen« 
trated of its combinations, act most rapidly upon 
the constitution. They are more inflammatory, 
and intoxicate sooner than any of the others. Swal- ' 
lowed in an overdose, they act almost instantane* 
ously — extinguishing the senses and overcoming 
the whole body with a sudden stupor. When spi- 
rits are swallowed raw, as in the form of a dram, 
they excite a glow of heat in the throat and sto- 
mach, succeeded, in those who are not much ac- 
customed to their use, by a flushing of the counte- 
nance, and a copious discharge of tears. They 
are strongly diuretic. 

Persons who indulge too much in spirits rarely 
get corpulent, unless their indulgence be coupled 
with good living. Their bodies become emacia- 
ted ; they get spindle-shanked ; their eyes are 
glazed and hollow; their cheeks fall in; and a 
premature old age overtakes them. They do not 
eat so well as their brother drunkards. An insa- 
tiable desire for a morning dram makes them early 
risers, and their breakfast amounts to almost no- 

The principal varieties of spirits, as already men- 
tioned, are rum, brandy, whiskey, and gin. It i» 
needless to enter into any detail of the history of 
these fluids. Brandy kills soonest ; it takes most 
rapidly to the head, and, more readily than the 
others, tinges the face to a crimson or livid hue. 
Rum is probably the next in point of fatality ; and, 
after that, whiskey and gin. The superior diuretic 


qualities of the two latter, and the less luscious 
sources from which they are procured, may possi- 
bly account for such differences. I am at the same 
time aware that some persons entertain a different 
idea of the relative danger of these liquors : some, 
for instance, conceive that gin is more rapidly fatal 
than any of them ; but it is to be remembered, that 
it, more than any other ardent spirit, is liable to 
adulteration. That, from this circumstance, more 
lives may be lost by its use, I do not deny. In 
£^aking of gin, however, and comparing its effects 
with those of the rest of the class to which it be- 
longs, I must be understood to speak of it in its 
pure condition, and not in that detestable state of 
sophistication in which such vast quantities of it 
are drunk in London and elsewhere. When pure, 
I have no hesitation in affirming that it is decidedly 
more wholesome than either brandy or rum ; and 
that the popular belief of its greater tendency to 
produce dropsy, is quite unfounded. 

An experiment has lately been made for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the comparative powers of 
gin, brandy, and rum upon the human body, which 
is not less remarkable for the inconsequent con- 
clusions deduced from it, than for the ignorance it 
di^lays in confounding dead animal matter with 
the living fibre. It was made as follows : — 

A piece of raw liver was put into a glass of gin, 
another into a glass of rum, and a third into a glass 
of brandy. That in the gin was, in a given time, 
partially decomposed ; that in the rum, in the same 


time, not diminished ; and that in the brandy quite 
dissolved. It was concluded from these results, 
that rum was the most wholesome spirit of the 
three, and brandy the least. The inferences de- 
duced from these premises ,are not only erroneous, 
but glaringly absurd; the premises would even 
afford grounds for drawing results of the very op- 
posite nature : it might J)e said, for instance, that 
though brandy be capable of dissolving dead am* 
mal matter, there is no evidence that it can do the 
same to the living stomach, and that it would in 
reality prove less hurtful than the others, in so far 
as it would, more effectually than they, dissolve 
the food contained in that organ. These experi- 
ments, in fact, prove nothing ; and could only have 
been suggested by one completely ignorant of the 
functions ofthe animal economy. There is a power 
inherent in the vital principle which resists the 
laws that operate upon dead matter. This is 
known to every practitioner, and is the reason 
why the most plausible and recondite speculations 
of chemistry have come to naught in their trials 
upon the living frame. The only way to judge of 
the respective effects of ardent spirits, is by expe* 
rience and physiological reasoning, botb of which 
inform us that the spirit most powerfully diuretic 
must rank highest in the scale of safety. Now and 
then persons are met with on whose frames both 
gin and whiskey have a much more heating effect 
than the two other varieties of spirits. This, how- 
ever, is not common, and when it does occur, cao 


only be referred to some unaccountable idiosyn- 
crasy of congtitutipn. 

II. Modified by Wines, — Drunkenness from 
wines closely resembles that from ardent spirits. 
It is equally airy and volatile, more especially if 
the light wines, such as Champagne, Claret, Cham- 
bertin, or Volnay, be drunk. On the former, a 
person may get tipsy several times of a night. The 
fixed air evolved from it produces a feeling analo- 
gous to ebriety, independent of the spirit it con- 
tains. Port, Sherry, and Madeira are heavier 
wines, and have a stronger tendency to excite 
headache and fever. 

The wine-bibber has usually an ominous rotun- 
dity of face, and, not unfrequently, of corporation. 
His nose is well studded over with carbuncles of 
the claret complexion ; and the red of his cheeks 
resembles very closely the hue of that wine. The 
drunkard from ardent spirits is apt to be a poor, 
n)iserable, emaciated figure, broken in mind and in 
fortune ; but the votary of the juice of the grape 
may usually boast the " paunch well lined with 
capon," and calls to recollection the bluff figure of 
Sir John Falstaff over his potations of Sack.* 

* There is reason to believe that the Sack of Shakspeare was 
Sherry. — ** Falstaff, You rogue! here's lime in this Sack too. 
There is nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man. Yet 
a coward is worse than a cup of Sack with lime in it" — Lime, it 
ia well known, is added to the grapes in the manufacture of Sherry, 
This not only gives the wine what is called its dry quality, but pro- 
bably acts by neotraliang a portion of the malic or tartaric acid* 


III. Modified by Malt lAquors. — Malt liquors, 
under which title we include all kinds of porter 
and ales, produce the worst species of drunken- 
ness ; as, in addition to the intoxicating principle, 
some noxious ingredients are usually added, for 
the purpose of preserving them and giving them 
their bitten The hop of these fluids is highly nar- 
cotic, and brewers often add other substances, to 
heighten its effect, such as hyoscyamus, opium, bel* 
ladonna, cocculus Indicus, lauro cerasus, &c. Malt 
liquors, therefore, act in two ways upon the body, 
partly by the alcohol they contain, and partly by 
the narcotic principle. In addition to this, the 
fermentation which they undergo is much less per- 
fect than that of spirits or wihe. After being 
swallowed, this process is carried on in the sto- 
mach, by which fixed air is copiously liberated, 
and the digestion of deUcate stomachs materiaUy 
impaired. Cider, spruce, ginger, and table been, 
in consequence of their imperfect fermentation, 
often produce the same bad effects, long after their 
first briskness has vanished. 

Persons addicted to malt liquors increase enor- 
mously in bulk. They become loaded with fat : 
their chin gets double or triple, the eye prominent, 
and the whole face bloated and stupid. Their cir- 
culation is clogged, while the pulse feels like a 
cord, and is full and labouring, but not quick. 
During sleep, the breathing is stertorous. Every 
thing indicates an excess of blood ; and when a 
pound or two is taken away, inunense relief is ob- 


tained. The blood, in euch cases, is more dark 
and sizy than in the others. In seven cases out of 
ten, malt-Iiquor dnlnkards die of apoplexy or palsy. 
If they escape this hazard, swelled Krer or dropsy 
carries them off. The abdomen seldom loses its 
prominency, but the lower extremities get ulti- 
mately emaciated. Profuse bleedings frequently 
ensue from the nose, and save life, by emptying 
the blood-vessels of the brain. 

The drunkenness in question is peculiariy of 
British growth. The most noted examples o{ it 
are to be found in innkeepers and their wives, re- 
cruiting sergeants, guards of stage-coaches, &c. 
The quantity of malt liquors which such persons 
will consume in k day is prodigious. Seven Eng- 
lish pints is quite a common allowance, and not 
unfrequently twice that quantity is taken without 
any perceptible effect. Many of the coal-heavers 
on the Thames think nothing of drinking daily two 
gallons of porter, especially in the summer season, 
when they labour under profuse perspirations. A 
friend has informed me that he knew an instance 
of one of them having consumed eighteen pints in 
one day, and he states that there are many such 

The effects of malt liquors on the body, if not so 
immediately rapid as those of ardent spirits, are 
more stupifying, more lasting, and less easily re- 

♦ ** It is recorded of a Welsh squire, William Lewis, who died 
in 1793, that he drank eight gallons of ale per diem, and weighed 
forty stones." — WadtPa CommenU on CorpuUney. 


moved. The last are particularly phme to pro- 
duce levity and mirth, but the first have a stumiing 
influence on the brain, and, in a' short time, ren* 
der dull and sluggish the gayest disposition. They 
also produce sickness and vomiting more readily 
than either spirits or wine. 

Both wine and malt liquors have a greater ten- 
dency to swell the body than ardent spirits. They 
form blood with greater rapidity, and are alto- 
gether tnore nourishing. The most dreadful ef- 
fects, upon the whole, are brought on by spirits, 
but drunkenness from malt liquors is the most 
speedily fatal. The former break down the body 
by degrees ; the latter operate by some instanta- 
neous apoplexy or rapid inflammation. 

No one has ever given the respective characters 
of the malt-liquor and ardent-spirit drunkard with 
greater truth than Hogarth, in his Beer Alley and 

Gin Lane. The first is represented as plump, ru- 
bicund, and bloated ; the second as pale, totter- 
ing, and emaciated, and dashed over with the as- 
pect of blank despair. 

IV. Modified by Opium. — The drunkenness 
produced by opium has also some characteristics 
which it is necessary to mention. The drug is 
principally employed by the Mahometans. By 
their religion, these people are forbidden the use 
of wine,* and use opium as a substitute. And a 

* " The law of Mahomet which prohibits the drinking of wine, 
is a law fitted to the climate of Arabia ; and, indeed, before Ma^ 
hornet's time, water was the common drink of the Arabs. The 


4efigktful substitute it is while the first excitation 
continues 4 for the images it occasions in the mind 
wre more exquisite than any produced even by 

There is reason to believe that the use of this 
medicine has, of late years, gained ground in Great 
Britain. We are told by the "English Opium- 
Eater," whose powerful and interesting " Confes- 
sions" have excited so deep an interest, that the 
practice exists among the work people at Man- 
chester. Many of our fashionable ladies have re- 
course to it when troubled with vapours, or low 
spirits ; some of them even carry it about with them 
for the purpose. This practice is most pernicious, 
and no way different from that of drunkards, who 
swallow wine and other liquors to drive away 
care. While the first effects continue, the in- 
tended purpose is sufiiciently gained, but the me- 
lancholy which follows is infinitely greater than 
can be compensated by the previous exhilaration. 

Opium acts differently on different constitutions. 
While it disposes some to calm, it arouses others 
to fury. Whatever passion predominates at the 
time, it increases ; whether it be love, or hatred, 
or revenge, or benevolence. Lord Kames, in his 
Sketches of Man, speaks of the fanatical Faquirs,- 
who, when excited by this drUg, have been known, 
with poisoned daggers, to assail and butcher every 

law which forbade the Carthaginians to drink wine, was also a 
law of the climate." — J^omUaquieUf Book xiv. Chap. x. 


European whom they could overcome. In the 
century before last, one of this nation attacked a 
body of Dutch sailors, and murdered seventeen of 
them in one minute. The Malays are strongly ad» 
dieted to opium. When violently aroused by it, 
they sometimes perform what is called flunhing* 
a'Muck, which consists in rushing out in a state ci 
phrensied excitement, heightened by fanaticism, 
and murdering every one who comes in their way. 
The Turkish commanders are well aware of the 
powers of this drug in inspiring an artificial coa« 
rage ; and frequently give it to their men when 
they put them on any enterprise of great danger. 

Some minds are rendered melancholy by opt* 
um. Its usual effect, however, is to give rise to 
lively and happy sensations. The late Duchess of 
Gordon is said to have used it freely, previous to 
appearing in great parties, where she wished to 
shine by the gayety of her conversation and bril- 
liancy of her wit. A celebrated pleader at the 
Scotch bar is reported to do the same thing, and 
always with a happy effect. 

In this country opium is much used, but seldom 
with the view of producuig intoxication. Some, 
indeed, deny that it can do so, strictly speaking. 
If by intoxication is meant a state precisely simi- 
lar to that from over-indulgence in vinous or spi- 
ritous liquors, they are undoubtedly right; but 
drunkenness merits a wider latitude of significa- 
tion. The ecstacies of opium are much more en- 
trancing than those of wine. There is more 


poetry in its yiskmi — » more mental aggrandize- 
ment*** more range of imagination. Wine, in 
common with it, invigorates the animal powers 
and propensities, but opium, in a more peculiar 
manner, strengthens those proper to man, and 
giSres, for a period amounting to hours, a higher 
toi^ to the intellectual faculties. It inspires the 
mind with a thousand delightful images, lifts the 
soul from earth, and casts a halo of poetic thought 
and feehng over the spirits of the most unimagina- 
tive. Under its influence, the mind wears no 
longer that blank passionless aspect which, even 
in gifted natures, it is apt to assume. On the con- 
trary, it is clothed with beauty " as with a gar- 
ment," and colours every thought that passes 
through it with the hues of wonder and romance. 
Such are the feelings which the luxurious and 
opulent mussulman seeks to enjoy. To stir up 
the languid current of Ms mind, satiated with ex- 
cess of pleasure and rendered sluggish by indo- 
lence, he has recourse to that remedy which his 
own genial climate produces in greatest perfection. 
Seated perhaps amid the luxuries of Oriental 
splendour — with fountains bubbling around, and 
the citron shading him with its canopy, and scat- 
tering, perfume on all sides — he lets loose the 
reins of an imagination conversant from infancy 
vntii every thing gorgeous and magnificent The 
veil which shades the world of fancy is withdrawn, 
and the wonders lying behind it exposed to view ; 
be sees palaces and temples in the clouds ; or the 



Paradise of Mdiomet, with its houris and bowers 
of amaranth, may stand revealed to his excited 
senses. Every thing is steeped in poetic exag- 
geration. The zephyrs seem converted into aerial 
, music, the trees bear golden fruit, the rose blushes 
with unaccustomed beauty and perfume. Earlh^ 
in a word, is brought nearer to the sky, and be- 
cooies one vast Eden of pleasure. Such are the 
first effects of opium; but in proportion as they 
are great, so is the depression which succeeds 
them. Languor and exhaustion invariably come 
after ; to remove which, the drug is again had re- 
course to, and becomes almost an essential of ex- 

Opium retains at all times its power of exciting 
the imagination, provided sufficient doses are 
taken. But, when it has been continued so long 
as to bring disease upon the constitution, the plea- 
surable feelings wear away, and are succeeded 
by others of a very different kind. Instead of dis- 
posing the mind to be happy, it now acts upon it 
like the spell of a demon, and calls up phantoms 
of horror and disgust. The fancy is still as pow- 
erful as ever, but it is turned in another direction. 
Formerly it clothed all objects with the light of 
heaven ; now- it invests them with the attributes of 
hell. Goblins, spectres, and every kind of distem- 
pered vision haunt the mind, peopling it with 
dreary and revolting imagery. The sleep is no 
longer cheered with its former sights of happiness. 
Frightful dreams usurp their place, till, at last, the 


person becomes the victim of an almost perpetual 
misery.* Nor is this confined to the mind alone, 
for the body suffers in an equal degree. Emacia- 
ticm, loss of a{q>etite, sickness, vomiting, and a to- 
tal disorgtoization of the digestive functions, as 
well as of the mental powers, are sure to ensue, 
and never fail to terminate in death, if the evil habit 
which brings them on is continued. 

Opium resembles the other agents of intoxica- 
tion in this, that the fondness for it increases with 
use, and that at last, it becomes nearly essential 
for bodily comfort and peace of mind. The 
quantity which may be taken varies exceedingly, 

♦ The following description, by a modern traveller, of a scene 
witnessed by him in the East, gives a lively picture of the efiects 
of this drug :«- 

^ There is a decoction of the head and seeds of the poppy, which 
they call Coquenar, for the sale of which there are taverns in every 
quarter of the town, similar to our coffee-houses. It is extremely 
amusing to visit these houses, and to observe carefully those who 
tosort there for the purpose of drinking it, both before they have 
taken the dose, before it begins to operate, and while it is operat- 
ing. On entering the tavern, they are dejected and languishing : 
soon after they have taken two or three cups of this beverage, 
they are peevish, and as it were enraged ; every thing displeases 
them. They find fiiult with every thing, and quarrel with one an- 
other, but in the course of its operation they make it up again ; — 
and, each one giving himself up to his predominant passion, the 
lover speaks sWeet things to his idol — another, half asleep, laughs 
in his sleeve — a third talks big and blusters — a fourth tells ridi- 
culous stories. In a word, a person would believe himself to be 
laally in a. mad-house. A kind of lethargy and stupidity succeed 
to this disorderly gayety ; but the Persians, far from treating it as 
ft deserves, call it an ecstacy, and maintain that there is something 
flUqtusitle and heavenly in this state."— Chardhu 



and depends wholly upon age, constitution, and 
habit. A single drop of laudanum has been known 
to kill a new-bom cUld ; and four grains of solid 
opium have destroyed an adult. Certain diseases, 
such as fevers, phrensies, &c., facilitate the actioD 
of opium upon the system ; others, such as diar- 
rhoea, cramp, &c. resist it ; and a quantity which 
would destroy life in the former, would have little 
perceptible effect in the latter. By habit, enor- 
mous quantities of the drug may be taken with 
comparative impunity. There are many pers(»8 
in this country who make a practice of swallow- 
ing half an ounce of laudanum night and morning, 
and some will even take from one to two drachms 
daily of soUd opium. The Teriakis, or opiuin- 
eaters of Constantinople, will sometimes swallow 
a hundred grains at a single dose. Nay, it is con- 
fidently affirmed that some of them will take at 
once three drachms in the morning, and repeat the ^ 
same dose at night, with no other effect than a 
pleasing exhilaration of spirits. The ^'English 
Opium-Eater" himself, furnishes one of the most 
extraordinary instances on record of the power of 
habit in bringing the body to withstand this drug. 
He took daily eight thousand drops of laudanum, 
containing three hundred and ttventy grains of 
opium. This enormous quantity he reduced sud- 
denly, and without any considerable effort, to one 
thousand drops^ or forty grains. '* Instantane- 
ously," says he, '* and as if by magic, the cloud of 
profoundest melancholy which rested upon my 


brain, like some black vapours which I have seen 
roll away from the summits of the mountains, 
drew off in one day — passed off with its murky 
banners, as simultaneously as a ship that has been 
stranded, and is floated off by the spring-tide.'^ 

The circumstance of the body being brought by 
degrees to withstand a great quantity of opium is 
not solitary, but exists as a general rule with re- 
gard to all stimulants and narcotics. A person 
who is in the habit of drinking ale, wine, or spirits, 
will take much more with impunity than one who 
is not ; and the faculty of withstanding these 
agents goes on strengthening till it acquires a cer- 

, tain point, after which it becomes weakened. 
When this takes place, there is either organic dis- 
ease or general debility. A confirmed drunkard, 
whose constitution has suffered from indulgence, 
cannot take so much liquor, without feeling it, as 

.. one who is in the habit of taking his glass, but 
whose strength is yet unimpau*ed. It is, I sus- 
pect, the same, though probably in a less degree, 
with regard to opium. 

Mithridates, king of Pontus, affords an instance 
of the effects of habit in enabling the body to with- 
statid poisons : and on the same principle, we find 
that physicians and nurses who are much exposed 
to infection, are less liable to take it than those per- 
sons whose frames are not similarly fortified. 

Opium resembles wine, spirit, and ales, in effect- 
ing the brain and disposing to apoplexy. Taken 
in an over-dose, it is fatal in from six to twenty- 



four hours, according to the quantity swallowed, 
and the constitution, habits, &c., of the person sub» 
mitted to its operation. The following are tfaJB 
principal symptoms of poisoning from opinnu 
Giddiness succeeded by stupor ; insensibility to 
light, while the eyes are closed, and the pupil im* 
moveable, and sometimes dilated. The pulie it 
generally small and feeble, but, occasionally, slow 
and fuU, as in common apoplexy. The breathing 
at first is scarcely perceptible, but is apt to beccune 
stertorous. Foam sometimes issues from the mouth: 
in other cases there is vomiting. The countenance 
is cadaverous and pale or livid. A narcotic odour 
is often perceptible in the breath. The skin it 
cold, and the body exceedingly relaxed ; now and 
then it is convulsed. By being struck, shaken, or 
excited any way, the person sometimes recovers 
for a short period from his stupor, and stares wildy 
around him, but only to relapse into lethargy. At 
last death ensues, but shortly before this event, a 
deceitful show of animation occasionally makes 
its appearance, and may impose upon superficial 

I extract the following interesting case of opi* 
um-eating from a London paper : — 

<^ An inquest was held at Walpole lately, (m the 
body of Rebecca Eason, aged five years, who had 
been diseased from her birth, was unable to walk 
or articulate, and from her size, did not appear to 
be more than^ve loeeks old. The mother had for 
many years been in the habit of taking opium ill 


lai^ qiialitities, (nearly a quarter of an ounce 
a-day ;*) and, it is supposed, had entmled a disease 
on iier child which caused its death ; it was re- 
duced to a' mere skeleton, and had been in that 
state from birth. Verdict ; * Died by the visita- 
tion of Grod ; but from the great quantity of opium 
taken by the mother during her pregnancy of the 
said child, and of suckling it, she had greatly injured 
its health.' It appeared that the mother of the de- 
ceased had had five children ; that she began to 
take opium after the birth and weaningof her first 
child, which was and is remarkably healthy ; and 
that the other children have all lingered and died 
in the same emaciated state as the child who 
was the subject of this investigation. The mo- 
ther is under thirty : she was severely censured 
by the coroner for indulging in so pernicious a 

V. Modified by Tqbacco. — A variety of drunk- 
enness is excited by tobacco. This luxury was 
introduced into Europe from the New World, in 
1559, by a Spanish gentleman, named Heiiiandez 
de Toledo, who brought a small quantity into 
Spain and Portugal. From thence, by the agency 
of the French ambassador at Lisbon, it found its 
way to Paris, where it was used in the form of 
powder by Catherine de Medicis, the abandoned 
instigator of the massacre of the Protestants on St. 
Bartholomew's day. This woman, therefore, may 

* £>|aal to nearly three thousand drops of Uudanum. 


be considered the inventor of snuff, as well as the 
contriver of that most atrocious transaction. It 
then came under the patronage of the Cardinal 
Santa Croce, the Pope's nuncio, who, returning 
from his embassy at the Spanish and Portuguen 
courts, carried the plant to his own country, and 
thus acquired a fame little inferior to that whichi 
at another period, he had won by piously bringing 
a portion of the real cross from the Holy Land* 
It was received with general enthusiasm in the 
Papal States, and hardly less favourably in Eng^ 
land, into which it was introduced by Sir Walter 
Raleigh, in 1585. It was not, however, without 
opposition that it gained a footing either in this 
country or in the rest of Europe. Its principal 
opponents were the priests, the physicians, and the 
sovereign princes ; by the former, its use was de-* 
clared sinful; and in 1624, Pope Urban VIII; 
published a bull, excommunicating all persons 
found guilty of taking snuff when in church. This 
bull was renewed in 1690 by Pope Innocent ; and 
about twenty-nine years afterwards, the Sultan 
Amurath lY. made smoking a capital offence, on 
the ground of its producing infertility. For a long 
time smoking was forbidden in Russia, under the 
pain of having the nose cut off: and in some parts 
of Switzerland, it was likewise made a subject of 
public prosecution — the public regulations of the 
Canton of Berne, in 1661, placing the prohibition 
of smoking in the list of the ten commandments, 
immediately under that against adultery. Nay, 


Ifaat British Solomon James I. xlid not think it be- 
lieaih the royal dignity to take dp.hi&.pen upon 
the subject. He accordingly, in I60d, published 
his famous <* Counterblaste to Tobacco, in -which 
the following remarkable passage occurs ;-i^<* It 
is a custom loathsome to the eye, hatefull to the 
nose, harmiiill to the braine, dangerous to the 
lungs, and, in the black stinking fume thereof, 
nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke 
of the pit that is bottomless."* But notwithstand- 
ing this regal and sacerdotal wrath, the plant ex- 
tended itself far and wide, and is at this moment 
the most universal luxury in existence. 

The effects of tobacco are considerably differ- 
ent from those of any other inebriating agent. 
Instead of quickening, it lowers the pulse, and, 
when used to excess, produces languor, depres- 

* "Tobacco," King James farther observes, "is the lively 
image and pattern of hell, for it hath, by allusion, in it all the parts 
and vices of the world, whereby hell may be gained ; to wit, first, 
it is a smoke; so are all the vanities of this world. S^econdly, it 
delighteth them that take it; so do all the pleasures of the world 
delight the men of the world. Thirdly, it maketh men drunken 
and light in the head ; so do all the vanities of the world,. mei\ Are 
drunken therewith. Fourthly, he that taketh tobacco cannot 
leave it ; it doth bewitch him ; even so the pleasures of the world 
make men loath to leave them ; they are, for the most part, en- 
ehanted with them. And, farther, besides all this, it is like hell in 
the very substance of it, for it is a stinking loathsome thing, and so 
M hell." And, moreover, his majesty declares, that " were he to 
invite the devil to a dinner, he should have three dishes; fii'st, a 
pig; second a poll of ling and mustard; and, third, a pipe of 
tobacco for digestion." 


sion of the system, giddiness, confusion of idea8» 
violent pain in the stomach, vomiting, convulsions, 
and even death. Its essential oil is so intensely 
powerful, that two or three drops inserted into a 
raw wound, would prove almost instantly fatal.* 
Mr. Barrow, in his travels, speaks of the use made 
by the Hottentots of this plant, for the purpose of 
destroying snakes. "A Hottentot," says he, "ap- 
plied some of it from the short end of his wooden 
tobacco pipe to the mouth of a snake while dart- 
ing out his tongue. The effect was as instanta- 
neous as an electric shock ; with a convulsive mo* 
tion that was momentary, the snake half untwisted 
itself, and never stirred more ; and the muscles 
were so contracted, that the whole animal felt 
hard and rigid, as if dried in the sun." Wheo | 
used in moderation, tobacco has a soothing effect ; 
upon the mind, disposing to placid enjoyment, and 
mellowing every passion into repose. Its effects, i 
therefore, are inebriating; and those who habitu-l* 
ally indulge in it may with propriety be denomi-j i 
nated drunkards. In whatever form it is used, it 
produces sickness, stupor, bewilderment, and stag- 
gering, in those unaccustomed to its use. There 
is no form in which it can be taken that is not de- 

* It appears from Mr. Brodie's experiments, that the essential 
oil of tobacco operates very differently from the infusion. Ths 
former acts instantly on the heart, suspending its action, eyw 
while the animal continues to inspire, and destroying life by pn^ 
ducing syncope. The latter appears to operate solely on the bnia, 
leaving the circulation unaffected. 


ridedly in jvrioiu and di^attiiig. The whole, from 
wtiffing to pfaigging, are at once so utterly un- 
deanly and unnatural^ that it is incredible in wbrnt 
ttanner they ever insinuated themselves into civi- 
lised society. A vast quantity of vahiable time is 
wasted by the votaries of tobacco, ^specially by 
the smokers; and that the devotees of snuff arc 
not greatly bejiind in this respect, will be shown 
fay the following singular calculation of Lord Stan- 
hope: — 

** Every professed, inveterate, and incurable 
snuff-taker,'' says his Lordship, ^at a moderate 
computati(m, takes one pinch in ten minutes. 
Every pinch, with the agreeable ceremony of 
blowing and wiping the nose, and other incidental 
circumstances, consumes a minute and a half. 
One minute and a half out of every ten, allowing 
sixteen hours to a snuff-taking day, amounts to 
two hours and twenty-four minutes out of every 
natural day, or one day out of ten. One day out 
of every ten amounts to thirty-six days and a half 
in a year. Hence, if we suppose the practice to 
be persisted in forty years, two entire years of the 
snt^-taker's life vnll b^ dedicated to tickling his 
nose and two ipore to blowing it. The expense 
of snuff, snuff-boxes, and handkerchiefs, will be the 
subject of a second essay, in wiiich it will appear 
that this luxury encroaches as much on the in- 
come of the snuff-taker as it does on his time ; and 
that by proper application of the time and money 



thus lost to the public, a fund might be constituted 
for the discharge of the national debt." , ^ ■ f. • 

But this is not the worst of snuffing^ for thouj^ 
a moderate quantity taken now and then, may: do 
no harm, yet, in the extent to which habitual snuC* 
fers cqny it, it is positively pernicious. The mem- 
brane which lines the nose gets thickened, the 
olfactory nerves blunted, and the sense of smell 
consequently impaired. Nor is this all, for, by the 
strong inspirations which are made when the 
powder is drawn up, some of the latter is pretty 
sure to escape into the stomach. This organ is 
thence directly subjected to a powerful medicine, 
which not only acts as a narcotic, but produces 
heartburn and every other symptom of indiges- 
tion. It is generally believed that Napoleon owed 
his death to the morbid state of his stomach pro- 
duced by excessive snuffing. Snuffing has also a 
strong tendency to give a determination to the 
head, and on this account plethoric subjects should 
be the very last ever to enter upon the habit. If 
it were'attended with no other inconvenience, the 
black loathsome discharge from the nose, and 
swellmg and rubicundity of this organ, with other 
circumstances equally disagreeable, oo^t to deter 
every man from becoming a snuffer. 

The smoker, while engaged at his occupation, 
is even a happier man than the snuffer. An air of 
peculiar satisfaction beams upon his countenance ; 
and, as he puffs forth volumes of fragrance, he 
seems to dwell in an atmosphere of contented hap- 


^11688. His illuaioDs have not the elevated and 
laagoiiicent chariacter of those brought oi^ by 
opnua or wine. There is nothing of Raphael or 
■BCichael Angelo in their composition — nothing of 
the. Roman or Venetian schools — nothing of Mil- 
toa's sublimity y or Ariosto's dazzling romance ; but 
there is something equally delightful, and in its 
vhiy, equally perfect. His visions stand in the 
same relation to those of opium or wine5 as the 
EKitch pictures of Ostade to the Italian ones of 
FbhiI Veronese — as Washington Irving to Lord 
Byron — or as Izaak Walton to Froissart There 
is an air of delightful homeliness about them. He 
does not let his imagination run riot in the clouds, 
but restrains it to the lower sphere of earth, and 
meditates delightfully in this less elevated region. 
If his fancy be unusually brilliant, or somewhat 
heated by previous drinking, he may see thousands 
of strange forms floating in the tobacco smoke. 
He may people it, according to his temperament, 
with agreeable or revolting images — with flowers 
aod gems springing up, as in dreams before him -r<- 
or with reptiles, serpents, and the whole host of 
diablerie^ skimming, like motes in the sunshine, 
amid its curling wreaths. 

This is all that can be said in favour of smoking, 
and quite enough to render the habit too common 
to leave any hope of its suppression, either by the 
weapdns of ridicule, or the more summary plan of 
the Sukan Amurath. In no sei^^, except as af- 
'fixrding a temporary gratification can it be justified 


or defended. It pollutes the breath, blackens the 
teeth, wastes the saliva which is required for- di- 
gestion, and injures the complexion. In addition to 
this, it is apt to produce dyspepsia, and other dis* 
orders of the stomach ; and, in corpulent subjects, 
it disposes to apoplexy. At the present moment, 
smoking is fashionable, and crowds of young men 
are to be seen at alt hours walking the streets with 
cigars in their mouths, annoying the passengenk 
They seem to consider it manly to be able to smoke 
a certain number, without reflecting that there is 
scarcely an old woman in the country who would 
not beat them to naught with their own weiq)on89 
and that they would gain no sort of honour were 
they able to outsmoke all the burgomasters of Am- 
sterdam. As the practice, however, seems more 
resorted to by these young gentlemen for the sake 
of efiect, and of exhibiting a little of the hatU Um^ 
than for any thing else, it is likely soon to die a na^ 
tural death among them ; particularly as jockeys 
and porters have lately taken the field in the same 
way, being determined that no class of the com* 
munity shall enjoy the exclusive monopoly (^street 

The observations made upon the efiects of snCiff- 
ing and smoking, apply in a still stronger degree 
to chewing. This is the worst way for the health 
in which tobacco can be used. The waste of sa* 
liva is greater than even in smoking, and the de- 
irangements of the digestive organs proportionably 
severe. All confirmed chewers are more tfiaa 


omially subject to djrspepsia and hypochondriasis ; 
and many of them are afflicted with liver complaint, 
brought on by their imprudent habit. 

The most innocent, and, at the same time most 
disgusting way of using tobacco, is plugging, which 
consists in inserting a short roll of the plant in the 
nostril, and allowing it to remain there so long as 
the person feels disposed. Fortunately this habit 
is as rare as it is abominable ; and it is to be hoped 
that it will never become common in Great Bri- 

I have observed, that persons who are much ad- 
dicted to liquor have an inordinate liking to to- 
bacco in all its different forms : and it is remarka- 
ble that in the early stages of ebriety almost every 
man is desirous of having a pinch of snuff. This 
last fact it is not easy to explain, but the former 
may be accounted for by that incessant craving 
after excitement which clings to the system of the 
confirmed drunkard. 

Prom several of the foregoing circumstances, we . 
are justified in considering tobacco closely allied 
to intoxicating liquors, and its confirmed votaries 
as a species of drunkards. At least, it is certain 
that when used to excess, it gives birth to many of 
the corporeal and mental manifestations of ebrietj% 

VI. Modified by Nitrous Oxide. — The drunk- 
enness, if it merit that name, from inhaling nitrous 
oxide, is likewise of a character widely differing 
firom intoxication in general. This gas was disco- 
vered by Dr. Priestley, but its peculiar effects upon 



66 a;natomyop 

the human body were first perceiyed in 1799, bjr 
Sir Humphry Davy, who, in the following yeaxv 
published a very elaborate account of its nature 
and properties, interspersed with details by some 
of the most eminent literary and scientific charac- 
ters of the sensations they experienced on receiv- 
ing it into their lungs. 

According to these statements, on breathing the 
gas the pulse is accelerated, and a feeling of heal 
and expansion pervades the chest. The most vivid 
and highly pleasurable ideas pass, at the same time, 
through the witid ; and the imagination is exalted 
to a pitch of entrancing ecstacy. The hearing is 
rendered more 'acute, the face is flushed, and the 
body seems so light that the person conceives hin^ 
self capable of rising up and mounting into the air. 
Some assume theatrical attitudes; others laugh 
immoderately, and stamp upon the ground. There 
is an universal increase of muscular power, attended 
with the most exquisite delight. In a few caaes 
there are melancholy, giddiness, and indistinct vi-^ 
sion ; but generally the feelings are those of perfect 
pleasure. After these strange efiects have cea8ed» 
no debility ensues, like that which commonly fol- 
lows high excitement. On the contrary, the mind 
is strong and collected, and the body uniuually 
vigorous for some hours after the operation. 

At the time of the discovery of the efiects of ni- 
trous oxide, strong hopes were excited that it might 
prove useful in various diseases. These, unfortu- 
nately, have not been realized. Even the alleged 


properties of the gas have now fallen into some 
discredit. That it has produced remarkable effects 
cannot be denied, bat there is much reason for 
thinking that, in many cases, these were in a great 
measure brought about by the influence of imagi- 
nation. Philosophers seem to be divided on this 
pointy and their conflicting testimonies it is not easy 
to'reconcile. Having tried the experiment ci in- 
haling the gas myself, and having seen it tried upon 
others, I have no doubt that there is much truth in 
the reports originally published of its properties, 
although in many cases, imagination has made tfiese 
i^^ar. greater than they really are. The intoxi- 
cation which it produces is entirely one suigenertM^ 
and differs so much from that produced by other 
agents, that it can hardly be looked upcm as the 
same thing. 

The effects of nitrous oxide upon myself, though 
.considerable, were not so striking as I have seen 
upon others. The principal feelings produced, 
were giddiness and violent beating in the head, 
such as occur in the acme of drunkenness. There 
was also a stnuig propensity to laugh : it occurs to 
me, however, that in my own case, and probably 
in some others, the risible tendency might be con- 
trolled by a strong effort of volition, in the same 
way as in most cases of drunkenness, were the ef- 
fort imperatively requisite. Altogether I experi- 
enced nearly the sensations of highly excited ebri- 
ety. There was the same seeming lightness and 
e'q^ansion of the head, the same mirthfulness of 


spirit, and the same inordinate propensity to do 
foolish things, knowing them to be foolish, as occw 
in drunkenness in general. I was perfectly aware 
what I was about, and could, I am persuaded, with 
some effort, have subjected the whimsies of fancy 
to the soberer dictates of judgement. In a woid, 
the gas produced precisely a temporary paroxystn 
of drunkenness, and such a determination of blood 
upwards as rendered the complexion livid, and left 
behind some degree of headache. Such are the 
effects upon myself, but with most people, there 
is a total unconsciousness of the part they are act- 
ing. They perform the most extravagant pranks^ 
and on recovering their self-possession are totally 
ignorant of the circumstan'be. Sometimes the gtm 
has an opposite efiect, and the person instantly 
drops down insensible, as if struck by lightning : 
he recovers, however, immediately. Those who 
wish to know more of this curious subject, should 
read Sir H. Davy's work, but, above all, they shooM 
try the gas upon themselves. In the meantime I 
shall lay before the reader the details, in their own 
words, of the sensations experienced by Messrs; 
Edgeworth and Coleridge', and by Dr. Kinglake. 

Mr. Edoeworth's Case. — ** My first sensation 
was an universal and considerable tremor. I then 
perceived some giddiness in my head, and a violent 
dizziness in my sight ; these sensations by degrees 
subsided, and I felt a great propensity to bite throu^ 
the wooden mouth-piece, or the tube of the bag 
through which I inspired the air. After I had 



breathed all the air that was in the bag, I eagerly 
wished for more. I then felt a strong propensity 
to laugh, and did burst into a violent fit of laughter, 
and capered about the room without having the 
power of restraining myseE By degrees, these 
fedybogs subsided, except the tremor, which lasted 
for an hour after I had breathed the air, and I felt 
a weakness in my knees. The principal feeling 
through the whole of the time, or what I should 
call the characteristical part of the efiect, was a 
total difficulty of restraining my feelings, both cor- 
poreal and mental, or, in other words, not having 
any command of myself." 

Mr. Coleridge's Case. — ''The first time I in- 
spired the nitrous oxide, I felt an highly pleasura- 
ble sensation of warmth over my whole firame, re- 
sembling that which I once remember to have 
experienced after returning firom a walk in the snow 
into a warm room. The only motion which I felt 
inclined to make, was that of laughing at those who 
were . looking at me. My eyes felt distended, and, 
tpwards the last, my heart beat as if it were lei^ 
ing up and down. On removing the mouth-piece, 
the whole sensation went ofi* almost instantly. 

*^ The second time, I felt the same pleasurable 
sensation of warmth, but not, I think, in quite so 
great a degree. I wished to know what efiect it 
would have on my impressions : I fixed my eye on 
some trees in the distance, but I did not find any 
other efiect, except that they became dimmer and 
dimmer, and looked at last as if I had seen them 



through tears. My heart beat more violently than 
the first time. This was after a hearty dinner* 

'' The third time, I wad more violently acted on 
than in the two former. Towards the last, I could 
not avoid, nor indeed felt any wish to avoid, beat- 
ing the ground with my feet ; and, after the mouth- 
piece was removed, I remained for a few seconds 
motionless, in great ecstacy. 

^ The fourth time was immediately after break- 
tsiSL The first few inspirations afiected me so 
little, that I thought Mr. Davy had given me at« 
mospheric air ; but soon felt the warmth beginning 
about my chest, and spreading upward and down- 
ward, so that I could feel its progress over my whole 
frame. My heart did not beat so violenUy ; my 
sensations were highly pleasurable, not so intense 
or apparently local, but of more unmingled pleasure 
than I had ever before experienced.'' 

Dr. Kinolakb's Cask. — '< My first inspiration of 
it was limited to four quarts, diluted with an equal 
quantity of atmospheric air. After a few inqiira* 
tions, a sense of additional freedom and power (call 
it energy, if you please) agreeably pervaded the re* 
gion of the lungs ; this was quickly succeeded by 
an almost delirious but highly pleasurable sensation 
in the brain, which was soon difiiised over the whole 
frame, imparting to the muscular power at once an 
increased disposition and tone for action ; but tho 
mental effect of the excitement was such as to ab- 
sorb in a sort of intoxicating placidity and delight, 
volition, or rather the power of voluntary motion. 



These effects were in a greater or less degree pro- 
tracted during about five minutes, when the former 
state returned, .with the difference however of feel- 
ing more cheerfiil and alert, for several hours after. 

^ It seemed also to have had the further effe^ of 
reviving rheumatic irritations in the fiboulder and 
knee-joints, which had not been previously felt for 
many months. No perceptible change was induced 
in the pulse, either at or subsequent to the time of 
inhaling the gas. 

"The effects produced by a second trial of its 
powers, were more extensive, and concentrated on 
the brain. In this instance, nearly six quarts undi- 
luted, were accurately and fiilly inhaled. As on the 
former occasion, it immediately proved agreeably 
respirable, but before the whole quantity was quite 
exhausted, its agency was exerted so strongly on the 
brain, as progressively to suspend the senses of see- 
ing, hearing, feeling, and ultimately the power of 
volition itself. At this period, the pulse was much 
augmented both in force and frequency ; slight con- 
vulsive twitches of the muscles of the arms were 
also induced ; no painful sensation, nausea, or lan- 
guor, however, either preceded, accompanied, or 
followed this state, nor did a minute elapse before 
the brain rallied, and resumed its wonted faculties, 
when a sense of glowing warmtfi extending over 
the system, was speedily succeeded by a re-instate- 
ment of the equilibrium of health. 

"The more permanent effects were (as in the first 
experiment) an invigorated feel of vital power, im- 




proved spirits, transient irritations in different parts, 
but not so characteristically rheumatic as in the 
fonner instance. 

" Among the circumstances most worthy of re- 
gard in considering the properties and administra- 
tion of this powerful aerial agent, may be ranked, 
the fact of its being, contrary to the prevailing opin- 
ion, both highly respirable, and salutary; that it 
impresses the brain and system at lai^e with ^ more 
or less strong and durable degree of pleasurable 
sensation ; that, unlike the effect of other violently 
exciting agents, no sensible exhaustion or diminu- 
tion of vital power accrues from the exertions of its 
stimulant property ; that its most excessive opera- 
tion even, is neither permanently nor transiently 
debilitating ; and finally, that it fairly promises, un- 
der judicious application, to prove an extremely 
efficient ren^edy, as well in the vast tribe of disea- 
ses originating^ from deficient irritability and sensi- 
bihty, as in those proceeding from morbid associa- 
tions, and modifications of those vital principles."* 

* The doses in these ezperipients, werefirom five to seren 




In this Chapter, I shall content myself with the 
enumeration of a few of the less common intoxi- 
cating agents. To detail all the productions of na- 
ture which have the power of inebriating, would 
be an endless and uninteresting topic. 

Hemlock. — A powerfiil narcotic, producing gid- 
diness, elevation of spirits, and other symptoms of 
ebriety. It was by an infusion of the leaf of this 
plant that Socrates was poisoned. 

Leopard^ s-hane. — {Arnica montana.) — Proper- 
ties analogous to those of hemlock and other nar- 

Bangue. — This is the leaf of a species of wild 
hemp, growing on the shores of Turkey, and of the 
Grecian Archipelago. It possesses many of the 
properties of opium, and is used by the poorer 
classes of Mussulmen as a substitute for this drug. 
Before being used, it is dried, and the excissated 


leaves are either chewed entire, or reduced into a 
fine powder, and made into pills. Its effects are 
to elevate the spirits, dispel melancholy, and give 
increased energy to the corporeal faculties — fol- 
lowed by languor both of bo4y arid mind. 

Hofp, — Similar in its effects to opium, only infe- 
rior in degree. Used in porter brewing. 

Wolf^S'bane. — (Aconitum napellus.) — A most 
deadly narcotic, producing, in small doses, the usual 
sjm^iptoms of ebriety, such as giddiness, elevation of 
spirits, &c. When taken to excess it is inevitably 

Cocculus Indicus. — The intoxicating powers of 
this berry are considerable. It is used by the brew- 
ers to increase the strength of porter and ales ; 
and is sometimes thrown into ponds for the pur- 
pose of intoxicating the fishes, that they may thereby 
be more easily caught. 

Foxglove. — {Digitalis.) — likewise a powerful 
narcotic, and capable of producing many of the 
symptoms of drunkenness. It has the peculiar ef- 
fect of lowering, instead of raising the pulse. 

Nightshade.— ^{Belladonna.) — This is one of the 
most virulent narcotics we possess. Like opium, 
hop, and cocculus Indicus, it is used by brewers to 
augment the intoxicating properties of malt liquors. 
" The Scots," says Buchanan, " mixed a quantity 
of the juice of the belladonna with the bread and 
drink with which, by their truce, they were bound 
to supply the Danes, which so intoxicated them, 


that the Scots killed the greater part of Sweno's 

** Some children ate, in a garden, the fruit of the 
belladonna, (deadly nightshade^ Shortly after, 
they had burning fever, with convulsions, aild very 
strong palpitations of the heart : they lost their 
sensed, and became completely delirious : one of 
them, four years of age, died the next day: the 
stomach contained some berries of the belladonna 
crushed, and some seeds ; it exhibited three ulcers ; 
the heart was livid, and the pericardium without 

"One child ate four ripe berries of the bella- 
donna, another ate six. Both one and the other 
were guilty of extravagancies which astonished the 
mother ; their pupils were dilated ; their counte- 
nances no longer remained the same ; they had a 
cheerful delirium, accompanied with fever. The 
physician being called in, found them in a state of 
great agitation, talking at random, running, jump- 
ing, laughing sardonically ; their countenances pur- 
ple, and pulses hurried. He administered to each 
of them half a grain of emetic tartar and a drachm 
of glauber salt, in four or five ounces of water ; 
they had copious evacuations durii^ seven or eight 
hours, and the symptoms disappeared.^f 

Henbane. — (jHyo«cyainM5.)—r- Similar in its pro- 
perties to nightshade and opium. The intoxicating 

* Journal G6n6mle de M6decine, lix. xxhr. p. 224. 
t Gkzette de Sant^, U Thermidor, an zv. p. 508. 


properties of hyoscyamus appear to have been 
known from a very early period. It was with this 
plant that the Assassin Prince, commonly called 
the **01d Man of the Mountain," inebriated his fol- 
lowers preparatory to installing them into his ser- 
vice. The following eloquent passage from a mo- 
dem writer will prove interesting : — 

*' There was at Alamoot, and also at Masiat, in 


Syria, a delicious garden, encompassed with lofty 
walls, adorned with trees and flowers of every kind 
— with murmuring brooks and translucent lakes — 
with bowers of roses and trellises of the vine — 
airy halls and splendid kiosks, furnished with car- 
pets of Persia and silks of Byzantium. Beautiful 
maidens and blooming boys were the inhabitants 
of this delicious spot, which resounded with the 
melody of birds, the murmur of streams, and the 
tones and voices of instruments — all respired con- 
tentment and pleasure. When the chief had no- 
ticed any youth to be distinguished for strength and 
resolution, he invited him to a banquet, where he 
placed him beside himself, conversed with him on 
the happiness .reserved for the faithful, and contri- 
ved to administer to him an intoxicating draughty 
prepared from the hyoscyamus. While insensible, 
he was conveyed to the garden of delight, and there 
awakened by the application of vinegar. On open- 
ing his eyes, all Paradise met his view ; the black- 
eyed and blue-robed houris surrounded him, obe- 
dient to his wishes ; sweet music filled his ears ; 
the richest viands were served up in the most costly 


vessels, and the choicest wines spai^Ied in golden 
cups. The fortunate youth believed himself really 
in the Paradise of the Prophet, and the language 
of his attendants confirmed the delusion. When 
he had had his fill of enjoyment, and nature was 
jrielding to exhaustion, the opiate was agaii^ admin- 
istered, and the sleeper tranc^rted back to the 
skle of the chief, to whom he communicated what 
had passed, and who assured him of the truth and 
reality of all he had experienced, telling him such 
was the bliss reserved for the obedient servants of 
the^ Imaum, and enjoining, at the s€Lme time, the 
strictest secrecy. Ever after, the rapturous vision 
possessed the imagination of the deluded enthusi- 
ast, and be panted for the hour when death, received 
in obeying the commands of his superior, should- 
dismiss him to the bowers of Paradise."* 

PaJm Wine. — This is prepared from the juice 
which exudes from the palm tree. Its properties 
are very inelmating ; and it is an amusing fact to 
witness the stupor and giddiness into which the 
lisards frequenting these trees are thrown, by par- 
taking oi the juice which yields it. They exhibit 
an the usual phenomena of intoxication. 

Camphor. — The intoxicating properties of cam- 
phor are considerable. It elevates the spirits, in- 
creases voluntary motion, and gives rise to vertigo ; 
and these efiects, as in the case of all narcotics^ are 
succeeded by drowsiness, lassitude, and general 

f * Voii>Harainei'»Hbtrofthe AflsaMiBs. 



depression. In large doses, syncope, convulsioiisv 
delirium, and even death, take plac6. It is some- 
times used as a substitute for opium in cases of de- 
lirium, where, from particular circumstances, the 
latter either cannot be taken, or does not produce 
its usual effects. The common belief, however, of 
camphor being an antidote to this medicine, is quite 
unfounded. It neither decomposes opium, nor pre- 
vents it from acting poisonously upon the system ; 
but, in consequence of its stimulating propert]eB,it 
may be advantageously given in small doses to 
remove the stupor and coma produced by opium* 

Saffron. — This aromatic possesses moderate in- 
toxicating properties. Taken in sufficient doses, it 
accelerates the pulse, produces giddiness, raises the 
spirits, and gives rise to paroxysms of laughter* 
In a word, it exhibits many of the phenomena oc- 
casioned by over-indulgence in liquors, only in a 
very inferior degree. 

Darnel. — Possesses slight intoxicating proper- 

Clary. — Possesses slight intoxicating properties* 

Carbonic Acid. — Carbonic acid partially ine- 
briates, as is seen in drinking ginger beer, cider. 
Champagne, or even soda water, in which no alco- 
holic principle exists. 

Ethers. — Ethers, when taken in quantity, give 
rise to a species of intoxication, which resembles 
that from ardent spirits in all respects, except in 
being more fugacious. 

Intense Cold. — Intense cold produces giddiness, 


thickness of speech, confusion of ideas, and other 
sjrmptoms of drunkenness. Captain Parry speaks 
of the effects so produced upon two young gentle- 
men who were exposed to an extremely low tem- 
perature. " They looked wild," says he, " spoke 
thick and indistinctly, and it was impossible to 
draw from them a rational answer to any of our 
questions. After being on board for a short time, 
the mental faculties appeared gradually to return, 
and it was not till then that a looker-on could ea- 
sily persuade himself that they had not been drink- 
ing too freely." 





The modus operandi of opium upon the body is 
considerably different from that of alcohol. The 
latter intoxicates chiefly by acting directly upon 
the nerves, the former by acting secondarily upon 
them, through the medium of absorption. This is 
easily proved by injecting a quantity of each into 
the cellular tissue of any animal, and comparing 
the effects w^ith those produced when either is re- 
ceived into the stomach. M . Orfila"*^ details some 
interesting experiments which he made upon dogs. 
In applying the watery extract of opium to them 
in the first manner, (by injection into the cellular 
tissue,) immediate stupor, convulsions, and debi- 
lity ensued, and proved fatal in an hour or two. 
When, on the contrary, even a larger quantity was 
introduced into the stomach of the animal, it sur- 

^ Tozicologie 6^n6rale. 


vived ten, twelve, or eighteen hours, although the 
oesophagus was purposely tied to prevent vomit- 
ing. The operation of alcohol was the reverse of 
this ; for, when injected into the cellular substance, 
the effects were slight ; but when carried into the 
stomach, they were powerful and almost instanta- 
neous: This proves that opium acts chiefly by be- 
ing taken up by the absorbents, as this is done 
much more rapidly by the drug being directly ap- 
plied to a raw surface than in the stomach, where 
the various secretions and processes of digestion 
retard its absorption. Besides, alcohol taken in 
quantity produces instant stupefaction. It is no 
sooner swallowed than the person drops down in- 
sensible. Here is no time for absorption; the 
whole energies of tlie spirit are exerted against the 
nervous system. The same rapid privation of 
power never occurs after swallowing opium. 
There is always an interval, and generally one of 
•some Qxtent, between the swallowing and the stu- 
por which succeeds. Another proof that opium 
acts in this manner, is the circumstance of its be- 
ing much more speedily fatal than alcohol, when 
injected into the blood-vessels. Three or four 
grains in solution, forced into the carotid artery of 
a dog, v^ill kill him in a few minutes. Alcohol, 
used in the same manner, would not bring on death 
for several hours. 

In addition it may be stated, that a species of 
drunkenness is produced by inhaling the gas of 
intoxicating liquors. Those employed in bottling 


spirits from the cask, feel it frequently with greal 
severity. This proves that there is a close sym- 
pathy between the nerves of the nose and lungs, 
and those of the stomach. From all these circum- 
9tances, it is pretty evident that intoxication from 
spirits is produced more by the direct action of the 
fluid upon the nerves of the latter organ, than by 

Mr. Brodie supposes that there is no absorption 
whatever of alcohol, and supports his views vnik 
a number of striking facts.* This, however, is t 
length to which I cannot go. I am inclined to 
think that though such absorption is not necessary 
to produce drunkenness, it generally takes place to 
a greater or lesser degree; nor can I conc^e 
any reason why alcohol may not be taken into the 

* The following are the grounds on whichi he supports his doc- 
trine : — " 1. In experiments where animals have been killed by 
the injection of spirits into the stomach, I have found this organ to 
bear tJie marks of great inflammation^ but never any pretematunl 
appearances whatever in the brain. 2. The effects of spirits takflft 
into the stomach, in the last experiment, were so instantaneous, 
that it appears impossible that absorption should have taken place 
before they were produced. 3. A person who is intoxicated fi^ 
quently becomes suddenly sober after vomiting. 4. In the enp^ 
liments which I have just relat^, I mixed tincture of rhubarb with 
the spirits, knowing, from the experiments of Mr. Home and Mi, 
William Brande, that this (rhubarb) when absorbed into the drco- 
lation, was readily separated from the blood by the kidneys, aad 
that very small quantities might be detected in the urine by the 
addition of potash ; but though I never failed to find urine in the 
bladder, I never detected rhubarb in it" — Phil, Trans, of the Rop 
Soc, of Land. 1811. Part, I. p. 178. 


circulation as well as any other fluids My reasons 
for supposing that it is absorbed are the follow* 
if^: — 1. Tlie blood, breath, and perspiration of 
a confirmed drunk surd differ from those of a sober 
man ; the former being darker, and the two lat- 
ter strongly impregnated with a spiritous odour. 
2* The perspiration of the wine-drinker is often of 
the hue of his favourite liquor ; after a debauch on 
Port, Burgundy, or Claret, it is not uncommon to 
see the shirt or sheets in which he lies, tinted to a 
rosy colour by the moisture which exudes from his 
body. 3. Madder, mercury, and sulphur are re- 
ceived into the circulation unchanged ; the former 
dyeing the bones, and the others exhaling through 
the pores of the skin, so as to communicate their 
peculiar odours to the person, and even discolour 
coins and other metallic substances in his pockets. 
The first of these reasons is a direct proof of ab- 
sorption: the second shows, that as wine is re- 
ceived into the circulation, and passes through it, 
alcohol may do the same ; and the third furnishes 
collateral evidence of other agents exhibiting this 
{^enomenon as well as spiritous liquors. The 
doctrine of absorption is supported by Dr. Trot- 
ter,* who conceives that alcohol de-oxygenizes the 
blood, and causes it to give out an unusual portion 
of hydrogen gas. The quantity of this gas in the 
bodies of drunkards is so great, that many have at- 

* Essay on Drunkenness. 


tempted to explain from it the circumstances of 
SpoTUaneous Combustion, by which it is alleged, 
the human frame has been sometimes destroyed, 
by being burned to ashes. 




In administering medicines, the practitioner has 
a natural desire to learn the means by which they 
produce their effects upon the body. Thus, he is 
not contented with knowing that squill acts as a 
diuretic, and that mercury increases the secretion 
of the bile. He inquires by what process they do 
so ; and understands that the first excites into in- 
creased action the secretory arteries of the kid- 
neys, and the last the secretory veins of the liver. 
In like manner, he does not rest satisfied with the 
trite knowledge that wines, and spirits, and ales, 
produce intoxication : he extends his researches be- 
yond this point, and is naturally anxious to ascer- 
tain by what peculiar action of the system these 
agents give rise to so extraordinary an effect. 

An the agents of which we have spoken, with 
the exception of tobacco, whose action fh>m the 
first is decidedly sedative, operate partly by stimu- 
lating the frame. They cause the heart to throb 




more vigorously, and the blood to circulate fireer, 
while, at the same time, they exert a peculiar ac- 
tion upon the nervous system. The nature of this 
action, it is probable, will never be satisfactorily 
explained. If mere stimulation were all that was 
wanted^ drunkenness ought to be present in many 
cases where it is never met with. It, or more 
properly speaking, its symptoms, ought to exist in 
inflammatory fever, and after violent exercise, such 
as running or hard walking. Inebriating agents, 
therefore, with few exceptions, have a twofold ac- 
tion. They both act by increasing the circulation, 
and by influencing the nerves ; and the latter ope- 
ration, there can be no doubt, is the more import- 
ant of the two. Having stated this general fact, 
it will be better to consider the cause of each in- 
dividual symptom in detail. 

I. Vertigo. — This is partly produced by the 
ocular delusions under which the drunkard labours, 
but it is principally owing to other causes ; as it is 
actually greater when the eyes are shut than when 
they are open — these causes, by the exclusion of 
light, being unaccountably increased. Vertigo, 
from intoxication, is far less liable to produce sick- 
ness and vomiting than from any other cause ; and 
when it does produce them, it is to a very incon- 
siderable degree. These symptoms, in ninety- 
nine cases out of a hundred, arise from the disor- 
dered state of the stomach, and not, as we have 
elsewhere mentioned, from the accompanjring gid- 


diness« There are, indeed, a certain class of sub- 
jects! who vomit and become pale, as soon as ver- 
tigo comes over them, but such are few in number 
compared with those whose stomachs are unaf- 
fected by this sensation. In swinging, smoking, 
sailing at sea, on turning rapidly round, sickness 
and vomiting are apt to occur; and there seems 
no doubt that they proceed in a great measure 
from the vertigo brought on by these actions. 
The giddiness of drunkenness, therefore, as it very 
rarely sickens, must be presumed to have some 
characters peculiar to itself. In this, as well as in 
some other affections, it seems to be the conse- 
quence of a close sympathy between the brain and 
nerves of the stomach ; and whatever affects the 
latter organ, or any other viscus strongly s}maipa- 
thizing with it, may bring it on equally with ine- 
briating agents : calculi in the ureters or biliary 
ducts are illustrations of this fact. In intoxication, 
the giddiness is more strongly marked, because 
the powers both of body and mind are temporarily 
impaired, and the sensorium so disordered as to be 
unable to regulate the conduct. 

A degree of vertigo may be produced by load- 
ing the stomach too rapidly and copiously after a 
long fast* Common food, in this instance, amounts 
to a strong stimulus in consequence of the state of 
the stomach, in which there was an unnatural 
want of excitement. This organ was in a state 
of torpor; and a stimulus which, in ordinary cir- 
cumstances, would hardly have been felt, proves. 


in reaUty, highly exciting. For the same reason^ 
objects have an unnatural luminousness when a 
person is suddenly brought from intense darkness 
to a brilliant light. 

II. Double Vision. — The double vision which 
occurs in drunkenness may be readily accounted 
for by the influence of increased circulation in the 
brain uponf the nerves of sight. In frenzy, and 
various fevers, the same phenomenon occurs. 
Every nerve is supplied with vessels ; and it is 
conceivable that any unusual impulse of blood into 
the optics may so far affect that pair as to derange 
their actions. Whence, they convey false impress 
sions to the brain, which is itself too much throiii^ 
off its just equilibrium to remedy, eveiti if that un- 
der any circumstances were possible, the distorted 
images of the retina. The refraction of light in 
the tears, which are secreted more copiously than 
usual during intoxication, may also assist in muItH 
plying objects to the eye. 

III. Staggering and Stammering. — These 
symptoms are, in like manner, to be explained 
from the disordered state of the brain and nervoas 
system. When the organ of sensation is affected, 
it is impossible that parts whose actions depend 
upon it can perform their functions well. The 
nervous fluid is probably carried to the muscles in 
a broken and irregular current, and the filaments 
which are scattered over the body are themselves 
directly stunned and paralyzed; hence, the inseB« 
sibility to pain, and other external impressioiis. 


This insensibility extends everywhere, even to the 
oigans of diglutition and speech. The utterance 
is thick and indistinct, indicating a loss of power 
in the lingual nerves which give action to the 
tongue ; and the same want of energy seems to 
prevail in the gustatory branches which give it 

lY. Heat and Flushing. — These result from 
the strong determination of blood to the surface of 
the body. This reddens and tumefies the face and 
eyes, and excites an universal glow of heat. Blood 
is the cause of animal heat, and the more it is de- 
termined to any part, the greater is the quantity 
of caloric evolved therefrom. 

V. Ringing in the Ears. — This is accounted 
for by the generally increased action within the 
head, and more particularly by the throbbing of 
the internal carotid arteries which run in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood of the ears. 

VI. Elevation of Spirits. — The mental plea- 
sure of intoxication is not easily explained on phy- 
siological principles. We feel a delight in being 
rocked gently, in swinging on a chair, or in being 
tickled. These undoubtedly act upon the nerves, 
but in what manner, it would be idle to attempt 
investigating. Intoxicating agents no doubt do the 
same thing. The mental manifestations produced 
by their influence depend almost entirely upon the 
nerves, and are, unlike the corporeal ones, in a 
great measure independent of vascular excitement* 



The power of exciting the feelings inherent in these 
principles, ean only be accounted for by supposing 
a most intimate relation to subsist between the 
body and the mind. The brain, through the me^ 
dhim of its nervous branches, is the source of all 
this excitement. ' These branches receive the im* 
pressions and convey them to their fountain-head, 
whence they are showered like sparkling rain- 
drops over the mind, in a thousand fantastic varies 
ties. No bodily affection ever influences the miad 
but through the remote or proximate agency of 
this organ. It sits enthroned in the citadel oi 
thought, and, though material itself, acts with wi* 
zard power both upon matter and spirit. No other 
texture has the same pervading principle. If the 
lungs be diseased, we have expectoration and 
cou§^; if the liver, jaundice or dropsy ; ifthesto- 
mach, indigestion ; but when the brain is affected, 
we have not merely many bodily symptoms, bat 
severe aiiections of the mind ; nor are such affec- 
ti(ms ever produced by any organ but through the 
agency of the lH*ain. It therefore acts in a double 
capacity upon the frame^ being both the source of 
the corporeal feelings, and of the mental manifest^ 
ations. Admitting this truth, there can be little 
difliculty in apprehending why intoxication pro* 
duces so powerfel a mental influence. This must 
proceed from a resistless impulse being given to 
the brain, by virtue of the peculiar action of ine* 
briating agents upcm the nerves. That organ of tbe 


mind 'is fltiddenly' endowed *with inereased energy. 
Not tftAy does -the Moodeirculate through il more 
rapidly, but an action, suigeneria^ is given to its 
whole substanee.'Mere increase of circulaticm, 
as we have already stated, is not sufficient : there 
must be some other principle at work upon its 
texture ; and it is this principle, whatever it may 
be, which is the main cause of drunkenness. At 
first, ebriety has a soothing effect, and falls over 
the spirit like the hum of bees, or the distant 
murmur of a cascade. Then to these soft dreams 
of Elysium succeed a state of maddening energy 
and excitement in the brain. The thoughts which 
emanate from its prolific tabernacle, are more fer- 
vid and ori^nal than ever — they rush out with 
augmented copiousness, and sparkle over the un- 
derstanding like the aurora borealis, or the eccen- 
tric scintillations of light upon a summer cloud. 
In a word, the organ is excited to a high, but not 
a diseased action, for this is coupled with pain, and, 
instead of pleasurable, produces afflicting ideas. 
But its energies, like those of any other part, are 
apt to be over-excited. When this takes place, 
the balance is broken ; the mind gets tumultuous 
and disordered, and the ideas inconsistent, waver- 
ing, and absurd. Then come the torpor and ex- 
haustion subsequent on such excessive stimulus. 
The person falls into drowsiness or stupor, and his 
mind, as well as his body, is followed by languor 
corresponding to the previous excitation. 


Such is a slight and unsatisfactory attempt to 
elucidate some of the more prominent phenomena 
of drunkenness. Some are 6mitted as being too 
obvious to require explanation, and others have 
been elsewhere cursorily accounted for in differ- 
ent parts of the work. 




I. From lAquors. — Generally speaking, there 
is no remedy for drunkenness equal to vomiting. 
The sooner the stomach is emptied of its contents 
the better, and this may, in most cases, be accom- 
plished by drinking freely of tepid water, and tick- 
ling thie fauces. On more obstinate occasions, 
powerful emetics will be necessary. The best for 
this purpose, are ten grains of sulphate of copper, 
half a drachm of sulphate of zinc, or five grains of 
tartar emetic. Either of these should be dissolved 
in a small quantity of tepid water, and instantly 
swallowed. Should this treatment fail in effect- 
ing vomiting, and dangerous synlptoms supervene, 
the stomach pump should be employed. Cold ap- 
plications to the head are likewise useful. In all 
cases, the head ought to be well elevated, and the 
neckcloth removed, that there may be no impedi- 
ment to the circulation. Where there is total in- 


sensibility, where the pulse is slow and full, the 
pupils dilated, the face flushed, and the breathing 
stertorous, it becomes a question whether blooding 
might be useful. Darwin* and Trotter speak dis- 
couragingly of the practice. As a general rule I 
think it is bad ; and that many persons who would 
have recovered, if left to themselves, have lost 
their lives by being prematurely bled. In all cases 
it should bQ done cautiously, and not for a con- 
siderable time. Vomiting and other means should 
invariably be first had recourse to, and if they fail, 
and nature is unable of her own power to over- 
come the stupor, blooding may be tried. In this 
respect, liquors difier from opium, the insensibility 
from which is benefitted by abstraction of blood. 

There is one variety of drunkenness in which 
both blooding and cold are inadmissible. This ii 
when a person is struck down, as it were, by 
drinking suddenly a great quantity of ardent spi- 
rits. Here he is overcome by an instantaneous 
stupor : hiis countenance is ghastly and pale, his 
pulse feeble, and his body cold. While these 
symptoms continue, there is no remedy but vomit- 
ing. When, however, they wear off*, and are suc- 
ceeded, as they usuaUy are, by flushing, heat, and 
general excitement, the case is changed, and must 
be treated as any other where such symptoms 

The acetate of ammonia is said to possess sin- 

* Zoonomia. 


giilar properties in restoring from intoxication, 
lliis fact was ascertained by M. M asurer, a French 
chemist. According to him» from twenty to thirty 
drops in a glass of water, wiU, in most cases, re- 
lieve the patient from the sense of giddiness and 
oppression of the brain ; or, if that quantity should 
be insufficient, half the same may be again given 
in eight or ten minutes after. In some cases the 
remedy wOl occasion nausea or vomiting, which, 
however, will be salutary to the patient, as the 
state of th^ brain is much aggravated by the load 
on the stomach and subsequent indigestion. It is 
also farther stated that the value of this medicine 
is greatly enhanced from its not occasioning that 
heat of the stomach and subsequent inflammation 
which are apt to be produced by pure ammonia. 
Whether it possesses all the virtues attributed to 
it, I cannot say from personal observation, having 
never had occasion to use it in any case which 
came under my management; but I think it at 
least promises to be useful, and is, at all events, 
worthy of a trial. I must mention, however, that 
the acetate of ammonia is seldom to be procured 
in the highly concentrated state in which it is used 
by M. Masurer. Owing to the great difficulty of 
crystallizing it, it is rarely seen except in the fluid 
state, in which condition it is recommended by the 
French chemist. The form in which it is almost 
always used in this country, is that of the Aq. 
Acet. Ammon. or Spirit of M indererus, in doses 
of half an ounce or an ounce, but whether in this 


shape it would be equally effectual in obviating 
the effects of drunkenness, remains to be seen. 

Mr. Broomley of Deptford recommends a draught 
composed of two drachms of Aq. Ammon. Aromat. 
ip two ounces of water, as an effectual remedy in 

The carbonate of ammonia might be used with 
a good effect. M. Dupuy, director to the Veteri- 
nary School at Toulonse, tried a curious experi- 
ment with this medicine upon a horse. Having 
previously intoxicated the animal by injecting a 
demiletre of alcohol into the jugular vein, he in- 
jected five grains of the carbonate of ammonia, 
dissolved in an ounce of water, into the same 
vein, when the effects of the alcohol immediately 

We have already mentioned that the excitement 
of drunkenness is succeeded by universal languor. 
In the first stage, the_ druAkard is full of energy, 
and capable of withstanding vigorously all exter- 
nal influences. In the second, there is general 
torpor and exhaustion, and he is more than usu- 
ally subject to every impression, whether of cold 
or contagion. Persons are often picked up half 
dead in this second stage. The stimulus of intoxi- 
cation had enabled them to endure the chill of the 
'atmosphere, but the succeeding weakness left them 
more susceptible than before of its severity. In 
this state the body will not sustain any farther ab- 
straction of stimuli ; and blooding and cold would 
be highly injurious. Vomiting is here equally ne- 


cesaary, iEU3 in all other instances ; but tbe perion 
nsnst be k^t in a waim temperature, and cherished 
with light and nourii^ing food — with soups^ if 
such can be procured, and even with negus, if 
the prostration of strength very great. 

A paroxysm of periodical drunkenness may be 
9{Hnetknes shortened by putting such smaU quanti- 
ties of tartar emetic into the liquor which the pey« 
son indulges in, as to bring on nausea. This, how- 
ever, must be done with secrecy and caution. 

It may here be mentioned, though not with a 
view of recommending the practice, that the vege- 
table acids have a strong effect both in counteract- 
ing and removing drunkenness. To illustrate this 
fact, the following circumstance may be men- 
tioned: — About twenty years ago, an English 
regiment was stationed in Glasgow, the men of 
which, as is common in all regiments^ became ena- 
moured of whi^ey. This liquor, to which they 
gave the whimsical denomination oi white alcy was^ 
new to them — being neariy unknown in England : 
and they soon indulged in it to such an extent, as 
U> attract the censure of their officers. Being 
obliged to be at quarters by a certain hour, they 
found out the plan of sobering themselves by drink- 
ing large quantities of vinegar, perhaps a gill or 
two at a draught. This, except in very bad cases, 
had the desired effect, and enabled them to enter 
the barrack-court, or appear on parade, in a state 
of tolerable sobriety. The power of the vegeta- 
ble acids in resisting intoxication, is well shown 



in the case of cold punch — b, larger portion of 
which can be withstood than of either grog or 
toddy, even when the quantity of spirit is precise^ 
the same. 

There is nothing which has so strong a tendency 
to dispel the effects of a debauch as hard exer-' 
cise, especially if the air be cold. Aperients and 
diaphoretics are also extremely useful for the same 

For some days after drinking too much, the 
food should be light and imirritating, consisting 
principally of vegetables. Animal food is apt to 
heat the body, and dispose it to inflammatory com- 

II. From Opium. — When a dangerous quantity 
of opium has been taken, the treatment, in the first 
instance is the same as with regard to spirits, or 
any other intoxicating fluid. Immediate vomiting, 
by. the administration of similar emetics, is ta be 

* In speaking of the treatment, it is necessary to guard against 
confounding other affections with drunkenness: — ''There is a 
species of delirium that often attends the accession of typtnu fefBl&, 
from contkgion, that I have known to be mistaken for ebrieCjr. 
Among seamen and soldiers, whose habits of intoxication are ooai- 
mon, it will sometimes require nice discernment to decide ; for the 
vacant stare in the countenance, the look of idiotism, incoherent 
speech, faltering voice, and tottering walk, are so alike in both 
cases, that the naval and military surgeon ought at all times to be 
very cautious how he gives up a man to punishment, under these 
suspicious circumstances. Nay, the appearances of his having 
come from a tavern, with even the effluvium of liquor about him, 
are signs not always to be trusted ; for these haunts of seamen and 
soldiers are often the sources of infecticHL"— TVotter. 


attempted, and when it has taken place, it should 
be encouraged by warm drinks, till there is reascm 
to believe that the stomach has been freed of the 
poison. These drinks, however, should not be 
given before vomiting is produced, for, in the event 
of their failing to excite it, they remain upon the 
stomach, and thus dissolve the opium and promote 
its absorption. But when vomiting occurs from 
the action of the emetics, it will in all probability 
be encouraged by warm drinks, and the stomach 
thus more effectually cleared of the poison. Large 
quantities of a strong infusion of coffee ought then 
to be given, or the vegetable acids, such as vine- 
gar or lemon-juice, mixed with water. These 
serve to mitigate the bad consequences which 
oflen follow, even after the opium has been 
brought completely up. If the person show signs 
of apoplexy, more especially if he be of a pletho- 
ric habit, the jugular vein, or temporal artery 
should be opened, and a considerable quantity of 
blood tak,en away. Indeed, it may be laid down 
as a general rule, that as soon as the poison is re- 
jected, the patient ought to be bled, and the ope- 
ration should be repeated according to circum- 
stances. Every means must 'be used to arouse 
him from stupor. He must be moved about, if 
possible, from room to room, hartshorn applied to 
his nostrils, and all plans adopted to prevent him 
from sinking into lethargy. For this purpose, cam- 
phor, asafoetida, or musk, might be admmistered 
with advantage. It is also a good practice to 
sponge the body well with cold water ; and the 


effusion of cold water on the head and over the 
body, is still more effectual. In cases wh^e vo- 
miting cannot be brought about by the ordinary 
means, M. Orfila suggests that one or two grains 
of tartar emetic, dissolved in an ounce or two of 
water, mi^t be injected into the veins. In des- 
perate 4:ases, the stomach pump must be had r^ 
course. IWgatives are latterly necessary. 

Many practitioners consider vinegar and the 
other vegetable acids antidotes to opium. This 
opinion M. Orfila has most satisfact<Mrily shown to 
be erroneous. In a series of weU-conducted and 
conclusive experiments made by him, it appears 


that the vegetable acids aggravate the symptoms 
of poisoning by opium, whenever they are not vo* 
wted. They hurry them on mor^ rigidly, rendear 
them more violent, produce death at an earlier pe- 
riodj and give rise to an mflammation of the sto- 
mach — an event which hardly ever occurs when 
they «re not employed. These effects, iit would 
appear, are partly produced by their power of dis- 
solving opium, which they do better tiiaa the meie 
unassisted fluids of the stomach ; coDsequeolfytbe 
ahsorpUon is more enei^etic. The onfy^ time 
when acids can be of use, is after the person hm 
brought up the poison by vomiting. They then, 
mitigate the subsequent symptcmis, and propaoto 
recovery ; but if they be swallowed before vob^ 
ii^ takes place, and if this act cannot by eiqr 
means be brought about, they aggravate the dis- 
order^ and death ensues more rapidly tham if th^ 
had not been taken. 


' Coffee has likewise a good el^ect when taken 
after the opium is got off the stomach ; but it dif- 
fers from the acids in this, that it does not, under 
any circumstances, increase the danger. While 
the opium is still unremoved, the coffee may be 
considered merely inert; and it is, therefore, a 
matter of indifference whether at this time it be 
taken or not. Afterwards, however, it produces 
the same beneficial effects as lemonade, tartaric 
add, or vinegar. According to Orfila, the infusion 
is more powerful as an antidote than the decoction. 
Drunkenness or poisoning from the other narcotics, 
such as hemlock, belladonna, aconite, hyoscyamus, 
&c. is treated precisely in the same manner as that 
firom opium. 

III. From Tcbacco, — If a person feel giddy or 
languid from the use of this luxury, he should lay 
himself down on his back, exposed to a current of 
cool air. Should this fail of reviving him) let him 
either swallow twenty or thirty drops of hartshorn, 
mixed with a glass of cold water, or an ounce of 
vinegar moderately diluted. When tobacco has 
been received into the stomach, so as to produce 
dangerous symptoms, a powerfiil emetic must im- 
mediately be given, and vomiting encouraged by 
copious drinks, till X\it poison is brought up. After 
this, vinegar ought to be freely exhibited, and le- 
thargy prevented by the external and internal use 
of stimuli. If apoplectic symptoms appear, blood- 
ing must be had recourse to. The same rule ap- 
pHes here, with regard to acids, as in the case of 



opium. They should never foe given till the sto- 
mach is thoroughly liberated of its coiUents by 
previous vomiting. 

Accidents happen oftener with tobacco thaa is 
commonly supposed. Severe languor, retehiogy 
and convulsive attacks sometimes ensue from the 
application of ointment made with this plantt fw 
the cure of the ring-worm ; .and 8anteuil, the ce- 
lebrated French poet, lost his life in consequence 
of having unknowingly drunk a gl^ of wine, into 
which had been put some Spanish snuff. 

IV. From Nitrous Oxide, — Though the inha- 
lation of this gas is seldom attended with any riskf 
yet, in very plethoric habits, there might be a do* 
termination of blood to the head, sufficient to fHh 
duce apoplexy. If a person therefore becomes, 
after the experiment', convulsed, stupified, and livid 
in the countenance, and if these symptoms do not 
soon wear away, some means must be adopted for 
their removal. In general, a free expoaive to 
fresh air, and dashing cold^vater over the £109^ 
will be quite sufficient ; but if the affection ii m 
obstinate as to resist this plan, it will then bQ m* 
cessary to draw some blood from the anHf «# 
what is still better, from the jugular vein. WImm^ 
in delicate subjects, hysteria and other n^rmis 
symptoms are produced, blooding is not neqpssaiy ( 
(dl that is requisite to be done being the applicatioo 
of cold water to the brow or temples, and (rf* harts- 
horn to the nostrils. In obstinate cases, twenty 
or thirty drops of the latter in a glass of wattfi 
may be administered with advantage. 




7^ 0¥il coosequeocefl of drinking, both in a pby- 
ffical and moral point of view, teem to have been 
imowa from the most remote antiquity. They are 
^preaely mentioned in Scripture ; nor can there 
be a doubt thai the Homeric fiction of the com- 
panions £^ Ulysses being turned into swine by the 
enchanted cup of Circe, plainly implied the bestial 
degradation into which men bring themselves by 
ooming under the dominion of so detestable a habit. 
Having mentioned these cin;umstanees in favour 
of the accuracy of ancient knowledge, we shall 
simply proceed to detail the effects of drunkenness, 
so far as the medical practitioner is professionally 
interested in knowing them. The moral conse* 
(jpiences belong m(»?e properly to the legislator and 
divine, and do not recpiire tobe her^ particularly 

I. State of the Liver. — One of the most com- 
maa consequences of drunkenness is acute inflam* 


mation. This may affect any organ, but its at- 
tacks are principally confined to the brain^the 
stomach, and the liver. It is mmecessary to enter 
into any detail of its nature and treatment. These 
are precisely the same as when it proceeds 
from any other cause. The inflammation of drunk- 
enness is, in a great majority of cases, chronic ; 
and the viscus which, in nine cases out of ten, suf- 
fers, is the liver. 

Liquors, from the earliest ages, have been 
known to affect this organ. Probably the story of 
Prometheus stealing fire from heaven and animat- 
ing clay, alluded to the effects of wine iipon the 
human body ; and the ptmishment of having his 
liver devoured by a vulture, may be supposed to 
refer to the consequences which men draw npoa 
themselves by over-indulgence — this organ be- 
coming thereby highly diseased. Man is not the 
only animal so affected. Swine who are fed on 
the refuse of breweries, have their livers enlaif^ed 
in the same manner. Their other viscera become 
also indurated, and their flesh so tough, that unless 
killed early, they are unfit to be eaten. Some 
fowl-dealers in London are said to mix gin with 
the food of the birds, by which means they are 
fattened, and their livers swelled to a great size. 
The French manage to enlarge this organ in 
geese, by piercing it shortly after the creatures 
are fledged.* 

* " They have a custom of fostexing a liver complaint in their 


Neither malt liquors nor wine have so rapid and 
decided an efiect upon the liver as ardent spirits. 
Indeed, it is alleged,t although I cannot go this 
lengthy that the wine that is perfegtly pure does 
mot affect the liver ; and the fact of our continental 
neijgbbours being much less troubled with hepatic 
complaints than the wine-drinkers among our- 
selves, gives some countenance to the allegation ; 
for it is well known that to suit the British market, 
the vinous liquors used in this country are sophis- 
ticated with brandy. In wine that is perfectly 
pure the alcohol .exists in such a .state of chemical 
combination, as greatly to modify its effects upon 
the system. In the wine generally to be met with, 
much of it exists mechanically or uncombined, and 
all this portion of spirit acts precisely in the same 
manner as if sepa^ely used* 

The liver is a viscus which, in confirmed topers, 
never escapes ; and it withstands disease better 
tl^n any other vital part, except, perhaps, the 
spleen* Sometimes, by a slow chronic action, it 
is enlarged to double its usual size, and totally dis- 
oiganized, and yet the person suffers comparatively 
little. The disease frequently arises in tropical 
climates, from warmth and other natural causes^ 
but an excess in spiritous liquors is more frequently 
the cajuse than is generally imagined. 

^^eesd, which encourages its growtli to the enonnous weight of 
. some pounds; and this diseased viscus is considered a great deli- 
cacy.* — Matthew^ 8 Bimryofan. Invalid. 
* Vide Appendix No. 1. 


The consequences which follow chronic inflam- 
mation of the liver, are very extensive. The bile, 
in general, is not secreted in due quantity or qua- 
lity, consequently digestion is defective,the bowels, 
from want of their usual stimulus, become torpid. 
The person gets jaundiced, his skin becoming yel- 
low, dry, and rough, and the white of his eyes dis- 
coloured. As the enlargement goes on, the finee 
passage of blood in the veins is impeded, and their 
extremities throw out lyipph : this accumulating, 
forms dropsy, a disease with which a great pro- 
portion of drunkards are ultimately more or less 

The jaundice of drunkenness is not an original 
disease, but merely a symptom of the one mider 
consideration. A very slight cause vnll often bring 
it on; it is, consequently, not always dangerous.' 
Dropsy is. for the most part, also symptomatic of 
diseased liver, but sometimes, more especially in 
dram-drinkers, it arises from general debility of the 
system. In the former case, effusion always take, 
place in the cavity of the abdomen. In the latter, 
there is general anasarca throughout the bo(fy, 
' usually coupled with more or less topical affection. 
In every instance, dropsy, whether general or lo- 
cal, is a very dangerous disease. 

II. State of the Stomachy ^, — Like the liver, 
the stomach is more subject to chronic than acute 
inflammation. It is also apt to get indip*ated, from 
long-continued, slow action going on within its 
substance. This disease is extremely inaidioiis, 


frequently proceeding great lengths before it is 
discovered. The organ is often thickened to half 
an inch, or even an inch ; and its different tunics 
so matted together that they cannot be separated. 
The pyloric orifice becomes, in many cases, con- 
tracted. The cloxliac may suffer the same disor- 
ganization, and so may the oesophagus ; but these 
are less common, and, it must be admitted, more 
rapidly fatal. When the stomach is much, thick- 
ened, it may sometimes be felt like a hard ball be- 
low the left ribs. At this point there is also a dull 
uneasy pain, which is augmented upon pressure. 

Indigestion or spasm may arise from a mere im- 
perfect action of this organ, without any disease of 
its structure ; but when organic derangement takes 
place, they are constant attendants. In the latter 
case it is extremely difficult for any food to remain 
on the stomach; it is speedily vomited. What 
little is retained undergoes a painful fermentation, 
which produces sickness and heartburn. There is, 
at the same time, much obstinacy in the bowels, 
and the body becomes emaciated. 

This disease, though generally produced by dis- 
sipation, originates sometimes from other causes,* 
and affects the soberest people. Whenever the 
stomach is neglected, when acidity is allowed to 
become habitual, or indigestible food too much 
made use of, the foundation may be laid for slow 
inflammation, terminating in schimis and all its bad 

Vomiting of bilious matter in the mornings, is a 


veiy common circumstance among all classes of 
drunkards. But there is another kind of Tomiting*) 
much more dangerous, to which they are subject ; 
and that is when inflammation of the villous coat 
of the stomach takes place. In such a state there 
is not much acute pain, but rathera dull feeling of 
uneasiness over the abdomen, attended with the 
throwing up of a dark, crude matter, resemblii^ 
coffee grounds. I have seen two cases* in whidi 
the vomiting stopped suddenly, in consequence of 
metastasis to the head. In these, the affection soon 
proved fatal, the persons being seized with indis* 
tinctness of vision, low delirium, and general want 
of muscular power : the action of the kidneys was 
also totally suspended for three days before death. 
On examination, post mortem^ there was effusion in 
the ventricles of the brain, besides extensive in- 
flammation along the inner surface of the upper 
portion of the alimentary canal. 

Bilious complaints, which were formerly in a 
great measure unknown to the common people, are 
now exceedingly common among them, and pro- 
ceed in a great measure from the indulgence in 
ardent spirits to which that class of society is so 
much addicted. 

There is nothing more indicative of health, than 
a good appetite for breakfast ; but confirmed tc^pen^ 
from the depraved state of their stomachs, lose all 
relish for this meal. 

Persons of this description are generally of a 
costive habit of body, but a debauch, with those 


who are eonstitutionaUy sober, is, for the most part, 
followed by more or less diarrhoea* 

In the latter stages of a drunkard's life, though 
he has still the reUsh for liquor as strongly as ever, 
he no longer enjoys his former power of withstand- 
ing it. This pribeeds from general weakness of 
the system, and more particularly of the stomach. 
This organ gets debilitated, and soon gives way, 
while the person is intoxicated much easier, and 
often vomits what he has swallowed. His appe- 
tite likewise fails ; and, to restore it, he has re- 
course to various bitters, which only aggravate the 
matter, especially as they are in most cases taken 
under the medium of ardent spirits. Bitters are 
often dangerous remedies. When used moderate- 
ly, and in cases of weak digestion from natural 
causes, they frequently produce the best effects ; 
but a long continuance of them is invariably inju- 
rious. There is a narcotic principle residing in 
most bitters, which physicians have too much over- 
looked. It destroys the sensibility of the stomach, 
determines to the head, and predisposes to apo- 
plexy and palsy. This was the effects of the fa- 
mous Portland Powder,* so celebrated n^any years 
ago for the cure of gput ; and similar Consequen- 
ces will, in the long run, follow bitters as they are 

♦ The Portland Powder consisted of equal parts of the roots of 
round birth wort and gentian, of the leaves of germander and ground 
{Hoe, and of the tops of the lesser centaury, all dried. Drs. Cul- 
len, Darwin, and Murray of GOttingen, with many other eminent 

physicians,. bear teslimony to the pornicious efTects of this coiu- 



commonly administered. Persons addicted to in- 
temperance, have an inordinate liking for these 
substances ; let them be ever so nauseous, they are 
swallowed greedily, especially if dissolved in spi- 
rits. Their fondness for purl, herb-ale, and other 
pernicious morning drinks, is eqmlly striking. 

There is nothing more characteristic of a tippler 
than an indifference to tea, and beverages of a like 
nature. When a woman exhibits this quality, we 
may reasonably suspect her of indulging in Uquor. 
If drunkards partake of tea, they usually saturate 
it largely with ardent spirits. ' The unadulterated 
fluid is too weak a stimulus for their unnatural ap- 

III. State of the Brain. — Inflammation of this 
organ is often a consequence of intemperance. It 
may follow immediately after a debauch, or it may 
arise secondarily from an excess of irritation being 
apphed to the body, during the stage of debility. 
Even an abstraction of stimulus, as by applying too 
much cold to the head, may bring it on in this lat- 
ter state. 

Dr. Armstrong, in his lectures, speaks of a chro- 
nic inflammation of the brain and its men^branes, 
proceeding, among other causes, from the free use 
of strong wines and liquors. According to him, it 
is much more common after, than before, forty 
years of age, although he has seen several instan- 
ces occurring in young persons. The brain gets 
diseased, the diameter of the vessels being dimin- 
ished, while their coats are thickened and less trans- 


parent than usual. In some places they swell out 
and assume a varicose appearance. The organ 
itself has no longer the same delicate and elastic 
texture, becoming either unnaturally hard, or of a 
morbid softness. Slight effusions in the various 
cavities are apt .to take place. Under these cir- 
cumstances, there is a strong risk of apoplexy. To 
this structure is to be ascribed the mental debase- 
ment, the loss of memory, and gradual extinction 
of the intellectual powers. I believe that the brains 
of all confirmed drunkards exhibit more or less of 
the above appearances. 

IV. State of the Kidneys. — During intoxication 
the action of the kidneys is always much increased ; 
and this is a favourable circumstance, as, more 
than any thing else, it carries off the bad effects of 
drinking. The kidney, however, in confirmed 
drunkards, is apt to become permanently diseased, 
and secretes its accustomed fluid with unusual ac- 
tivity, not only in the moments of drunkenness, 
when such an increase is useful, but at all periods, 
even when the person abstains from every sort of 
indulgence. The disease called diabetes is thus 
[mxluced, which consists in a morbid increase of 
the secretion, accompanied with a diseased state 
of the texture of the kidneys. This affection is 
mostly fatal. 

V. State of the Bladder, — Drunkenness affects 
this organ in common with almost every other ; 
hence it is subject to paralysis, spasm, induration, 
&c. and to all bad consequences thence resulting 


— such as pain, incontinence, and retention of 

VI. State of the Blood and Breath. — The blood 
of a professed drunkard, as already stated, differs 
from that of a sober man. It is more dark, and 
approaches to the character of venous. The ruddy 
tint of those carbuncles which are apt to form upon 
the face, is no proof to the contrary, as the blood 
which supplies them is crimsoned by exposure to 
the air, on the same principle a|s that by which the 
blood in the pulmonary arteries receives purifica- 
tion by the process of breathing. The blood of a 
malt-liquor drinker is not merely dariter, but also 
more thick and sizy than in other cases, owing, no 
doubt,' to the very nutritious nature of his habitual 

The breath of a drunkard is disgustingly bad, 
and has always a spiritous odour. This is partly 
owing to the state of the stomach, which commu- 
nicates the flavour of its customary contents to re- 
spiration ; and partly, also, there can be little doubt, 
to the absorption of the liquor by the blood, through 
the medium of the lacteals. 

VII. State of the Perspiration. — The perspira- 
tion of a confirmed drunkard is as ofiensive as his 
breath, and has often a strong spiritous odouf. I 
have met with two instances, the one in a Claret, 
the other in a Port drinker, in which the moisture 
which exuded from their bodies had a ruddy com- 
plexion, similar to that of the wine on which they 
had committed their debauch. 


VIII. State of the Eyes^ 4^. — The eyes may be 
affected with acute or chronic inflammation. Al« 
most all drunkards have the latter more or less. 
Their eyes are red and watery, and have an ex- 
pression so peculiar, that the cause can never be 
mistaken. This, and a certain want of firmness 
about the lips, which are loose, gross, and sensual, 
betray at once the toper. Drunkenness impairs 
vision. The delicacy of the retina is probably af- 
fected ; and it is evident, that, from long-continued 
inflammation, the tunica adnata which covers the 
cornea must lose its original clearness and trans- 

Most drunkards have a constant tenderness and 
redness of the nostrils. This, I conceive, arises 
from the state of the stomach and cesophagus. The 
same memWane which lines them is prolonged up- 
wards to the nose and mouth, and carries thus far 
its irritability. 

There is no organ which so rapidly betrays the 
Bacchanalian propensities of its owner as the nose. 
It not only becomes red and fiery, like that of Bar- 
dolph,* but acquires a general increase of size — 

* ^'Falstaff. Thou art our admiral: thou bearest the lanthom 
in the poop ; but 'tis in the nose of thee ; thou art the knight of the 
burning lamp. 

" Bardolph. Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm. 

" FaUtaff, No, I'll be sWom ! I make as good use of it as many 
a man doth of a death's head or a memento moru I never see thy 
fiice but I think of hell-jfire." — " When thou rann'st up Gads-hill 
in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been 
an ignis fatuus, or a ball of wildfire, there's oo purchase in money. 



displaying upon its surface various small pimples, 
either wholly of a deep crimson hue, or tipped with 
yellow, in consequence of an accumulation of vis- 
cid matter within them. The rest of the face often 
presents the same carbuncled appearatice. 

I have remarked that drunkards who have a foul, 
livid, and pimpled face, are less subject to liver 
complaint than those who are free from such erup- 
tions. In this case the determination of blood to 
the surface of the body seems to prevent that fluid 
from being directed so forcibly to the viscera as it 
otherwise would be. The same fact is sometimes 
observed in sober persons who are troubled with 
hepatic aflection. While there is a copious rush 
upon the face or body, they are comparatively well, 
but no sooner does it go in than they are annoyed 
by the liver getting into disorder. 

IX. State of the Skin, — The skin of a drunkard, 
especially if he be advanced in life, has seldom the 
appearance of health. It is apt to become either 
livid or jaundiced in its complexion, and feels rough 
and scaly. There is a disease spoken of by Dr. 
Darwin, under the title of Psora Ebriorum^ whicH 
is peculiar to people of this description. " Elderly 
people," says he, " who have been much addicted 

O! thou art a perpetual triumph — an everlasting bonfire light: 
thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walk- 
ing with me in the night betwixt tavern and tavern ; but the Sack 
thou hast drunk me would have bought me Ughts as good cheap, 
at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that sala- 
mander of yours with fire any time this two and thirty years — 
heaven reward me for it !" 


to spiritous drjpks, as beer, wine, or alcohol, are 
liable to an eruptlPn all over their bodies ; which 
is attended with very afflicting itching, and which 
th^y probably propagate from one part of their 
bodies to another with their own nails by scratch- 
ing themselves." I have niet with several cases of 
this disease, which is only one of the many forms 
of morbid action, which the skin is apt to assume 
in drunkards. 

X. State of the Hair. — The hair of drunkards 
is generally dry, slow of growth, and liable to come 
out ; they are consequently more subject to bald- 
ness than other people. At the same time, it would 
be exceedingly unjust to suspect any one, whose 
hair was of this description, of indulgence in li- 
quors, for we frequently find in the soberest per- 
sons that the hairs are arid, few in number, and 
prone to decay. Baldness with such persons is 
merely a local affection, but in drunkards it is con- 
stitutional, and proceeds from that general defect 
of vital energy which pervades their whole system. 

XI. Inflammations. — Drunkards are exceed- 
^ly subject to all kinds of inflammation, both 
from the direct excitement of the liquor, and from 
their often remaining out in a state of intoxication, 
exposed to cold and damp. Hence inflammatory 
affections of the lungs, intestines, bladder, kid- 
neys, brain, &c., arising from these sources. Rheu- 
matism is often traced to the neglect ^d exposure 
of a fit of drunkenness. 

XII. Crout. — Gout is the offspring of gluttony, 



drunkenness, or sensuality., or of tj^em all put to- 
gether. It occurs most frequently with the wine- 
bibber. A very slight cause may bring it on when 
hereditary predisposition exists ; but in other cir- 
cumstances considerable excess will be required 
before it makes its appearance. It is one of the 
most afflicting consequences of intemperance, and 
seems to have been known as such from an early 
age — mention being made of it by Hippocrates, 
AretsBUs, and Galen. Among the Roman ladies 
gout was very prevalent during the latter times of 
the empire ; and, at the present day, there are few 
noblemen who have it not to hand down to their 
offspring as a portion of their heritage. 

XIII. Tremors, — A general tremor is an attend- 
ant upon almost all drunkards. This proceeds firom 
nervous irritability. Even those who are habitu- 
ally temperate, have a quivering in their hands 
next morning, if they indulge over night in a de- 
bauch. While it lasts, fei person cannot hold any 
thing without shaking, neither can he write stea- 
dily. Among those who have long devoted them- 
selves to the mysteries of Silenus, this amounts t# 
a species of palsy, affecting the whole body, and 
even the lips, with a sort of paralytic trembling. 
On awaking from sleep, they frequently feel it ao* 
strongly, as to seem in the cold fit of an ague, being 
neither able to walk steadily, nor articulate dis- 
tinctly. It is singular that the very fcause of this 
distemper should be employed for its cure. When 
the confirmed drunk^ird awakes with tremor, be 


immediately shallows a dram : the most violent 
shaking is quielid by this means. The opium- 
eater has recourse to the same method : to remove 
the agitation produced by one dose of opium, he 
takes another. This, in both cases, is only adding 
fiief to the fire — the tremors coming on at shorter 
intervals, and larger doses being required for their 

Drunkards are more subject than any other 
class of people to apoplexy and palsy. 

XIV. Palpitation of the Heart. — This is a very 
distressing consequence of drunkenness, producing 
difficult breathing, and such a determination to 
the head as often brings on giddiness. Drunkards 
are apt to feel it as they step out of bed, and the 
vertigo is frequently so great as to make them 
stumble. There are some sober persons who are 
much annoyed by this affection. In them it may 
arise from spasmodic action of the fibres of the 
heart, nervous irritability, or organic disease, such 
as aneurism, or angina pectoris. 

XV, Hysteria. — Female drunkards are very 
4ib]ect to hysterical aflfections. There is a delica^- 
cy of fibre in women, and a susceptibility of mind, 
which makes them feel more acutely than the 
other sex all external influences. Hence their 
whole system is often violently affected with hys- 
terics and other varieties of nervous weakness. 
These affections are not always traced to their 
true cause, which is often neither more nor less 
than dram-drinking. When a woman's nose be- 


comes crimsoned at the point, her^yes somewhat 
red, and more watery than be&re, and her lips 
fuller and less firm and intellectual in their expres- 
sion, we may suspect that something wrong is go- 
ing on. 

XVI. Epilepsy. — Drunkennessmaybringon epi- 
lepsy, or falling sickness, andmay excite it into action 
in those who have the disease from other causes. 
Many persons cannot get slightly intoxicated with- 
out having an epileptic or other convulsive at- 
tack. These fits generally arise in the early sta- 
ges, before drunkenness has got to a height. If 
they do not occur early, the individual will proba- 
bly escape them altogether for the time. 

XVII. Sterility. — This is a state to which con- 
firmed drunkards are very subject. The children 
of such persons are, in general, neither numerous 
nor healthy. From the general defect of vital 
power in the parental system, they are apt to be 
puny and emaciated, and more than ordinarily 
liable to inherit all the diseases of those.from whom 
they are sprung. On this account, the chances of 
long life are much diminished among the children cS 
such parents. In proof of this, it is only necessa- 
ry to remark, that according to the London bills 
of mortality, one-half of the children bom in the 
metropolis die before attaining their third year; 
while of the children of the Society of Friends, a 
class remarkable for sobriety and regularity of all 
kinds, one-half actually attain the age of forty- 
seven years. Much of this difierence, doubtless, 


originates in t\^ superior degree of comfort, and 
correct general habits of the Quakers, which in- 
cline them to bestow every care in the rearing of 
their offspring, and put it in their power to obtain 
the means of combating disease ; but the main- 
spring of this superior comfort and regularity is 
doubtless temperance — a virtue which this class 
of people possess in an eminent degree. 

XVIII. Emaciation. — Emaciation is peculiarly 
characteristic of the spirit drinker. He wears 
away, before his time, into the " lean and slippered 
pantaloon" spoken of by Shakspeare in his " Sta- 
ges of Human Life." All drunkards, however, if 
they live long enough, become emaciated. The 
eyes get hollow, the cheeks fall in, and wrinkles 
soon furrow the countenance with the marks of 
age. The fat is absorbed from every part, and the 
rounded plumpness which formerly characterized 
the body soon wears away. The whole form 
gets lank and debilitated. There is a want of due 
warmth, and the hand is usually covered with a 
chill clammy perspiration. 

» The occurrence of emaciation is not to be won- 
dered at in persons who are much addicted to ar- 
dent spirits, for alcohol, besides being possessed of 
no nutritive properties, prevents the due chymifi- 
cation of the food, and consequently deteriorates 
the quality, besides diminishing the quantity of 
chyle. The principle of nutrition being thus af- 
fected, the person becomes emaciated as a natural 


XIX. Corpulency. -^Malt liquor and wine 
drinkers are, for the most part, corpulent, a stale 
of body which rarely attends the spirit drinker^ 
unless he be, at the same time, a bon vi^nt. Both 
wines and malt liquors are more nourishing than 
spirits. Under their use, the blood becomes, as it 
were, enriched, and an universal deposition of fat 
takes place throughout the system. The omen- 
tum and muscles of the belly are, in a particular 
manner, loaded with this secretion ; whence the 
abdominal protuberance so remarkable in persons 
who indulge themselves in wines and ales. As 
the abdomen is the part which becomes most en- 
larged, so is it that which longest retains its enlarge- 
ment. It seldom parts with it, indeed, even in 
the last stages, when the rest of the body is in a 
state of emaciation. There can be no doubt that 
the parts which first lose their corpulency are the 
lower extremities. Nothing is more common than 
to see a pair of spindle-shanks tottering under the 
weight of an enormous corporation, to which they 
seem attached more like artificial appendages, 
than natural members. The next parts whic^ 
give way are the shoulders. They fall flat, and 
lose their former firmness and rotundity of organi- 
zation. After this, the whole body becomes loose, 
flabby, and inelastic ; and five years do as much 
to the constitution as fifteen would have done 
under a system of strict temperance and sobriety. 
The worst symptom that can befall a corpulent 


man, is tfae decline of his lower extremities.*' 80 
long as they continue firm, and correspond with 
the rest of the body, it is a proof that there is still 
▼igour remaining ; but when they gradually get 
attenuated, while other parts retain their original 
fulness, there can be no sign more sure that his 
constitution is breaking down, and that he will 
never again enjoy his wonted strength. 

XX. Premature Old Age. — Drunkenness has 
a dreadful effect in anticipating the effects of age. 
It causes time to pace on with giant strides — 
chases youth from the constitution of its victims — 
and clothes them prematurely with the gray gar- 
niture of years. How often do we see the sunken 
eye, the shrivelled cheek, the feeble, tottering step, 
and hoary head, in men who have scarcely entered 
into the autumn of their existence. To witness 
this distressing picture, we have only to walk out 
early in the mornings, and see those gaunt, melan- 
choly shadows of mortality, betaking themselves 
to the gin-shops, as to the altar of some dreadful 
demon, and quaffing the poisoned cup to his ho- 
nour, as the Carthaginians propitiated the deity of 
their worship, by flinging their children into the 

* This circumstance has not escaped the observation of Shaks- 
peare : — ** Chief Justice, Do you set down your name in the scroll 
of youth, that are written down ol^^ with all the characters of age ! 
Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, and a yellow cheek, a 
white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly 7 Is not your 
voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, 
and every part about you blasted with antiquity ; and wlU you 
yet call yourself young ? Pie, fie, fie, Sir John !" 



fire which burned within his brazen image. Most 
of these unhappy persons are young, or middle- 
aged men ; and though some drunkards attain a 
green old age, they are few in number compared 
with those who sink untimely into the grave ere 
the day^ of their youth have well passed by;* 
Nothing is more common than to see a man of fifty 
as hoary, emaciated, and wrinkled, as if he stood 
on the borders of fourscore. 
. The effect of intemperance in shortening life is 
strikingly exemplified in the contrast afforded by 
other of society to the Quakers, a set of 
people of whom I must again speak favourably. 
It appears from accurate calculation, that in Lon- 
don only one person in forty attains the age of four- 
score, while among the Quakers, whose sobriety is 
proverbial, and who have long set themselves 
against the use of ardent spirits, not less than one 
in ten reaches that age — a most striking differ- 
ence, and one which carries its own inference 
along with it. 

It is remarked by an eminent practitioner, that 
of more than a hundred men in a glass-manufac- 

* *'Let nobody tell me that there are numbers who, though 
they live most irregularly, attain, in health and spirits, those r^ 
mote periods of life attained by the most sober; for this argument 
being grounded on a case full of uncertainty and hazard, and 
which, besides, so seldom occurs as to look more Uke a miracle 
than the work of nature, men should not suffer themselves to be 
thereby persuaded to live irregularly, nature having been too libe- 
ral to those who did so without suffering by it ; a favour which 
very few have any right to expect." — Comoro on Health. 


toiy, three drank nothing but water, and these 
three appeared to be of their proper age, while the 
rest who indulged in strong drinks seemed ten or 
twelve years older than they proved to be. This 
is conclusive.* 

XXI. Ulcers. — Ulcers often break out on the 
bodies of drunkards. Sometimes they are fiery 
and irritable, but in general they possess an indo- 
lent character. Of whatever kind they may be, 
they are always aggravated in such constitutions. 
A slight cause gives rise to them ; and a cut or 
bruise which, in health, would have healed in a 
few days, frequently degenerates into a foul 
sloughy sore. When drunkards are affected with 
scrofula, scurvy, or any cutaneous disease what- 
ever, they always, cceteris paribus, suffer more 
than other people. 

XXII. Melancholy, — Though drunkards over 
their cups are the happiest of mankind, yet, in their 
solitary hours, they are the most wretched. Gnaw- 
ing care, heightened perhaps by remorse, preys 
upon their conscience. While sober, they are dis- 

' * " The workmen in provision stores have large allowances of 
whiskey bound to them in their engagements. These are served 
out to them daily by their employers] for the purpose of urging 
them, by excitement, to extraordinary exertion. And what is th« 
efieet of this murderous system? The men are ruined, scarcely 
.one of them being capable of work beyond fifty years of age, 
though none but the most able-bodied men can enter sucU em- 
ployment" — Beecher*8 Sermons on Intemperance^ with an Intro- 
ductory Essay by John Edgar, This is an excellent little work, 
which I cordially recommend to the perusal of the^rebder. 


tressed both in body and mind, and fly to the 
bowl to drown their misery in oblivion. Those, 
especially, whom hard fate drove to this desperate 
remedy, feel the pangs of low spirits with seven* 
fold force. The weapon they employ to drive 
away care is tamed upon themselves. Every 
time it is used, it becomes less citable of scaring 
ifae fiend of mdancholy, and more effectual in 
woondii^ him that uses it. 

All drankards are apt to become peevish &nd 
discontented with the world. They turn enemies 
to the established order of things, and, instead of 
looking to themselves, absurdly blame the govern- 
ment as the origin of their misfortunes. 

XXIII. Madness. — This terrible infliction often 
proceeds from drunkenness. When there is here- 
ditary predisposition, indulgence in liquor is more 
apt to call it into action than when there is none. 
The mind and body act reciprocally upon one an- 
other : and when the one is injured the other must 
suffer more or less. In intemperance, the struc- 
ture of the brain is no longer the same as in health ; 
and the mind, that immortal part of man, whose 
manifestations depend upon this organ, suflfers a 
corresponding injury. 

Intoxication may affect the mind in two ways. 
A person, after excessive indulgence in liquor, may 
be seized with delirium, and run into a state of vio- 
lent outrage and madness. In this case the disease 
comes suddenly on : the man is fierce and intract- 
able, and requires a strait jacket to keep him in 


order. Some never get drunk without being in- 
sanely outrageous : they attack, without distinction, 
all who come in their way, foam at the mouth, and 
lose all sense of danger. This fit either goes off 
in a few hours. Or degenerates into a confirmed at- 
tack of lunacy. More generally, however, the 
madness of intoxication is of another character, 
partaking of the nature ofidiotism, into which state 
the mind resolves itself, in consequence of a long- 
continued falling off in the intellectual powers. 

Drunkenness, according to the reports of Beth- 
lehem Hospital, and other similar institutions for 
the insane, is one of the most common causes of 
lunacy. ^ In support of this fact, it may be men- 
tioned that of two hundred and eighty-six lunatics 
now in the Richmond Asylum, Dublin, one-half 
owe their madness to drinking ; and there are few 
but must have witnessed the wreck of the most 
powerful minds, by this destructive habit. It has 
a more deplorable effect upon posterity than any 
other practice, for it entails, not only bodily disease 
upon the innocent offspring, but also the more af- 
flicting diseases of the mind. Madness of late 
years htfs been greatly on the increase among the 
lower classes, and can only be referred to the alarm- 
ing progress of drunkenness, which prevails now 
to a much greater extent among the poor than ever 
it did at any former period.* 

• It has been considered unnecessary to enter into any detail of 
the nature and treatment of the foregoing diseases, because they 
may orighiate from many other causes besides drunkenness ; and 



XXIV. Delirium Tremens.— BoAi the symp- 
toms and treatment of this affectkm require to be 
mentioned, because, unlike the diseases abready 
enumerated, it invariably originates in the abuse c^ 
stimuli, and is cured in a manner peculiar to itself. 

Those who indulge in spirits, especially raw, are 
most subject to delirium tremens, although wine, 
malt liquor, opium, and even ether, may give rise, if used in immoderate quantities. The sud« 
den cessation of drinking in a confirmed toper, or 
a course of violent or long'protracted intemperance 
may equally occasion the disease. A man, for in- 
stance, of the former description, breaks his leg,(Nr 
is seized with some complaint, which compels him 
to abandon his potations. This man in consequence 
of such abstinence is attacked with delirium tre- 
mens. In another man, it is induced by a long 
course of tippling, or by a hard drinking-bout of 
several days' continuance. 

The disease generally comes on with lassitude, 
loss of appetite, and frequent exacerbations of odd* 
Tihe pulse is weak and quick, and the body covered 
with a chilly moisture. The countenance is pale, 
there are usually tremors of the limbs, anxiety, and 
a total disrelish for the common amusements of 

when they do ariBe from this source, they acquire no peculiarity of 
chaJracter. Their treatment is also precisely the same as in ordi* 
nary cases — it being always understood, that the bad habit which 
brou^t them on must be abandoned before any good can result 
from medicine. The disease, however, which follows is difl^rent, 
and requires particuUr consideration. 


life* Then succeed retchingi yomiting, and much 
oppression at the pit of the stomach, with some- 
limes slimy stools. When the person sleeps, which 
is but seldom, he frequently starts in the utmost 
terror, having his imagination haunted by frightful 
dreams. To the first coldness, glows of heat sue- 
oeed, and the slightest renewed agitation of body 
or mind, sends out a profuse perspiration. The 
tiNDgue is dry and furred. Every object appears 
unnatural and hideous. There is a constant dread 
of being haunted by spectres. Black or luminous 
bodies seem to float before the person : he conceives 
Ihat vermin and all sorts of impure things are crawl- 
ing upon him, and is constantly endeavouring to 
pick them off. His ideas are wholly confined to 
himself and his own affairs, of which he entertains 
the most disordered notions. He imagines that he 
is away from home, forgetslhose who are around 
bim, frequently abuses his attendants, and is irri- 
tated beyond measure by the slightest contradic* 
tion. Calculations, buildings, and other fantastic 
schemes often occupy his mind ; and a belief that 
every person is confederated to ruin him, is com- 
monly entertained. Towards morning there is 
oflen much sickness and sometimes vomiting. This 
state generally lasts from four to ten days, and 
goes off after a refreshing sleep ; but sometimes, 
either from the original violence of the disease^ or 
from improper treatment, it proves fataL 
. Such, in nine cases out of ten, is the character 
of delirium tremens. Sometimes, however, the 


symptoms vary, and instead of a weak there is a 
full pulse ; instead of the face being pallid, it is 
flushed and the eyesfiery ; instead of a cold clammy 
skin, the surface is hot and dry. This state only 
occurs in vigorous plethoric subjects. A habitu- 
ally sober man who has thoughtlessly rushed into 
a debauch, is more likely to be attacked in this 
manner than a professed drunkard. Indeed, I 
never met with an instance of the latter having 
this modification of the disease. « 

When the patient perishes from delirium tremens 
he is generally carried off in convulsions. There 
is another termination which the disease sometimes 
assumes : it may run into madness or confirmed 
idiotism. Indeed, when it continues much beyond 
the time mentioned, there is danger of the mind 
becoming permanently alienated. 

Subsultus, low delirititn, very cold skin, short dis- 
turbed sleep, contracted pupil, strabismus, rapid 
intermittent pulse, and frequent vomiting, are in- 
dications of great danger. When the patient is 
affected with subsultus from which he recovers in 
terror, the danger is extreme. 

In treating delirium tremens, particular atten- 
tion must be paid to the nature of the disease, and 
constitution of the patient. In the first mentioned, 
and by far the most frequent variety, blooding, 
which some physicians foolishly recommend, is 
most pernicious. I have known more than one 
instance where life was destroyed by this practice. 
As there is generally much gastric irritation, as is 


indicated by the foul tongue, black and viscid 
eracuations and irritable state of the stomach, I 
commence the treatment by administering a smart 
dose of calomel. As soon as this has operated, I 
direct tepid water strongly impregnated with salt, 
to be dashed over the body, and the patient imme- 
diately thereafter to be well dried and put to bed. 
I then administer laudanum in doses of from forty 
to sixty drops, according to circumstances, com- 
bining with each dose from six to twelve grains of 
the carbonate of ammonia : this I repeat every 
now and then till sleep is procured. It may some- 
times be necessary to give such doses every two 
hours, or even every hour, for twelve or twenty 
sQccessive hours, before the effect is produced. 
The black drop in doses proportioned to its strength, 
which is more than three times that of laudanum, 
mKf be used as a substitute for the latter ; the ace- 
te^or muriate of morphia in doses of a quarter or 
hrif a grain, is also a good medicine, having less 
tendency to produce stupor or headache than lau- 
danum, and therefore preferable in cases where the 
patieirt is of a plethoric habit of body. It must be 
adnutt^ed, however, that their effects are less to be 
depended upon than those of laudanum, which, in 
all common cases will, I believe, be found the best 
reoBiedy. The great object of the treatment is to 
soothe the apprehensions of the patient, and pro- 
onre htm rest. So soon as a sound sleep takes 
plaod there is generally a crisis, and the disease 
beginf to give way ; but till this occurs it is impos- 


sible to arrest its progress and effect a cure. A 
moderate quantity of wine will be necessary, es- 
pecially if he has been a confirmed drinker, and 
labours under much weakness. Perhaps the best 
way of administering wine is along with the lau- 
danum, the latter being dropped into the wine. 
Where wine cannot be had, porter may be advan- 
tageously given in combination with laudanum. 
The principal means, indeed, after the first purg- 
ing, are opium, wine, ammonia, and tepid effusion : 
the latter may be tried two, three, or four times in 
the twenty-four hours, as occasion requires. The 
mind is, at the same time, to be soothed in the 
gentlest manner, the whimsical ideas of the patient 
to be humoured, and his fancies indulged as far as 
possible. All kinds of restraint or contradiction 
are most hurtfiil. Some recommend blisters to 
the head, but these are, in every case, injurious. 
So sooD as all the symptoms of the disease have 
disappeared somepuigative should be administered, 
but during its progress we must rely almost wholly 
upon stimulants. To cure, by means of stimuli, a 
complaint which arose from an over-indulgence in 
such agents, is i^parently paradoxical ; but expe- 
rience confirms the propriety of the practice where, 
n prwri^ we might expect the contrary. 

In the second variety of the disease, the same 
objections do not apply to blood-letting as in the 
first, but even there, great caution is necessary, es- 
pecially if the disease has gone on for any length 
of time, if the pulse is quick and feeble or the 


tongue foul. At first, general blooding will often 
have an excellent effect, but should we notbe called 
till after this stage it will prove a hazardous expe- 
riment. Local blooding will then sometimes be 
serviceable where general blooding could not be 
safely attempted. The patient should be purged 
well with calomel, have his head shaved, and kept 
cool with wet cloths, and sinapisms applied to his 
feet. When the bowels are well evacuated, and 
no symptoms of coma exist, opiates must be given 
as in the first variety, but in smaller and less fre- 
quently repeated doses. 

Much yet remains to be known with regard to 
the pathology of delirium tremens. I believe that 
physicians have committed a dangerous error, in 
considering these two varieties as modifications of 
the same disease. In my opinion they are distinct 
affections and ought to be known under different 
names. This cannot be better shown than in the 
conflicting opinions with regard to the real nature 
of the disease. Dr. Clutterbuck, having apparently 
the second variety in his eye, conceives that deli- 
rium tremens arises from congestion or inflamma- 
tion of the brain ; while Dr. Ryan, referring to the 
first, considers it a nervous affection, originating in 
that species of excitement often accompanying de- 
bility. It is very evident, that such different con- 
ditions require different curative means. The ge- 
nuine delirium tremens is that described under the 
first variety, and I agree with Dr. Ryan in the view 
he takes of the character of this singular disease. 


Gexbral Remarks. — Sudi are the principal 
diseases brought on by drunkenness. There are 
still several others which have not been enumera- 
ted — nor is there any afTection incident to either 
the body or mind which the vice does not aggra- 
vate into double activity. The number of persoi» 
who die in consequence of complaints so produced* 
is much greater than unprofessional people ima- 
gine. This fact is well known to medical m^ 
who are aware that many of the cases they are 
called upon to attend, originate in liquor, although 
very often the circumstance is totally unknown 
either to the patient or his friends. This is parti- 
cularly the case with regard to affections of the 
liver, stomach, and other viscera concerned in di- 
gestion. Dr, Willan, in his reports of the diseases 
of London, states his conviction that considerably 
more than one-eighth of all the deaths which take 
place in persons above twenty years old, happen 
prematurely through excess in drinking spirits;. 
Nor are the moral consequences less striking : Mr. 
Poynter, for three years Under-Sheriff of hotnAxm 
and Westminster, made the following declaratioii 
before a Committee of the House of Commons : — 
" I have long been in the habit of hearing criminals 
refer all their misery to drinking, so that I now 
almost cease to ask them the cause of their rum. 
This evil lies at the root of all other evils of this 
city and elsewhere. Nearly all the convicts for 
murder with whom I have conversed, have admit- 
ted themselves to have been under the influence of 


liquor at the time of the act" ** By due observa- 
tion for nearly twenty years," says the great Judge 
Hales, ** I have found that if the murders and man- 
slaughters, the burglaries and robberies, and riots 
and tumults, the adulteries, fornications, rapes, and 
other great enormities, that have happened in that 
time, were divided into five parts, four of them 
have been the issues and product of excessive 
drinking — of tavern and ale-house meetings." 
According to the Caledonian Mercury of October 
26, 1829, no fewer than ninety males, and one hun- 
dred and thirty females, in a state of intoxication, 
were brought to the different police watchhouses 
of Edinburgh, in the course of the previous week 
— being the greatest number for many years. Nor 
is Glasgow, in this respect, a whit better than Edin- 
burgh. On March 1, 1830, of forty-five cases 
brought before the police magistrate in Glasgow, 
forty were for drunkenness ; and it is correctly as- 
certained that more than nine thousand cases of 
drunkenness are annually brought before the po- 
lice, from this city and suburbs — a frightful pic- 
ture of vice. In the ingenious Introductory Essay 
attached to the Rev. Dr. Beecher's Sermons on 
Intemperance, the following passage occurs, and 
I think, instead of exaggerating it rather underrates 
the number of drunkards in the quarter alluded to. 
** Supposing that one-half of the eighteen hundred 
licensed houses for the sale of spirits which are in 
that city, send forth each a drunken man, every 
day, there are, in Glasgow, nine hundred drunken 



men, day after day, spreading around them b^- 
gary, and wretchedness, and crime l** Had the 
author given to each licensed house, one dnmkard 
on an average, I do not think he would have over- 
stepped the bounds of truth. As it is, what a {mc- 
ture of demoralization and wretchedness does it 
not exhibit ! 




To enter at large upon the subject of sleep would 
require a volume. At present I shall only con- 
sider it so far as it is modified by drunkenness. 

The drunkard seldom knows the delicious and 
refreshing slumbers of the temperate man. He 
is restless, and tosses in bed for an hour or two be- 
fore falling asleep. Even then, his rest is not 
comfortable. He awakes frequently during night, 
and each time his mouth is dry, his skin parched, 
and his head, for the most part, painful and throb- 
bing. These symptoms, from the irritable state 
of his constitution, occur even when he goes so- 
berly to bed ; but if he lie down heated with liquor, 
he feels them with double force. Most persons 
who fall asleep in a state of intoxication, h&ve 
much headach, exhaustion and general feveir, on 
awaking. Some constitutions are lulled to rest 
by liquors, and others rendered excessively rest- 


less ; but the first are no gainers by the difference, 
as they suffer abundantly afterwards. Phlegmatic 
drunkards drop into slumber more readily than 
the others : their sleep is, in reality, a sort of apo- 
plectic stupor. 

I. Dreams. — Dreams may be readily supposed 
to be common, from the deranged manifestations 
of the stomach and bi^ain which occur in intoxica- 
tion. They are usually of a painful nature, and 
leave a gloomy impression upon the mind. In ge- 
neral, they are less palpable to the understanding 
than those which occur in soberness. They come 
like painful grotesque conceptions across the ima- 
gination ; and though this faculty can embody no- 
thing into shape, meaning, or consistence, it is yet 
haunted with melancholy ideas. These visicms 
depend much on the mental constitution of the 
person, and are modified by his habitual tone of 
thinking. It is, however, to be remarked, that 
while the waking thoughts of the drunkard are 
full of sprightly images, those of his sleep are usu- 
ally tinged with a shade of perplexing melan- 

II. Nightmare. — Drunkards are more afflicted 
than other people with this disorder, in so far as 
they are^'equally subject to all the ordinary causes, 
and liable to others, from which sober people are 
exempted. Intoxication is fertile in producing 
reveries and dreams, those playthings of the fan- 
cy ; and it may also give rise to such a distcurtion 


of idea> as to oall up incubus, aod all its firigfatful 

IIL Sleep-uxdking, — Somnambulism is another 
affection to which drunkards are more liable than 
their neighbours. I apprehend that the slumber 
is never profound when this takes place, and that, 
ia drunkenness in particular, it may occur in a 
state of very imperfect sleep. Drunkards, even 
when consciousness is not quite abolished, fre- 
quently leave their beds and walk about the room. 
They know perfectly v^ell what they are about, 
aiHl recollect it afterwards, but if questioned, 
either at the moment or at any future period, they 
are totally unable to give any reason for their con- 
duct. Sometimes after getting up, they stand a 
little time and endeavour to account for rising, 
then go again deliberately to bed. There is often, 
in the behaviour of these individuals, a strange 
mixt^re of folly and rationality. Persons half 
tipsy have been known to arise and go out of doors 
in their night-dress, being all the while sensible of 
what they were doing, and aware of its absurdity. 
The drunken somnambulism has not always thjs 
character. Sometimes the reflecting faculties are 
so absorbed in slumber, that the person has no 
consciousness of what he does. From drinking, 
the affection is always more dangerous than from 
any other cause, as the muscles have no longer 
their former strength, and are unable to support 
the person in his hazardous expeditions. If he 
gets upon a house-top, he does not balance him- 







Whether such a quantity of hydrogen may accu- 
mulate ill the bodies of drunkards as to sustain 
combustion, is not easy to determine. This sub- 
ject is, indeed, one which has never been satisfac- 
torily investigated ; and, notwithstanding the cases 
brought forward in support of the doctrine, the 
general opinion seems to be, that the whole is 
fable, or at least so much involved in obscurity as 
to afford no just grounds for belief. The princi- 
pal information on this point is in the Journal de 
Physique, in an article by Pierre Aime Lair, a 
copy of which was published in the sixth volume 
of the Philosophical Transactions, by Mr. Alexan- 
der Tilloch. A number of cases are there given : 
and it is not a little singular that the whole of 
them are those of women in advanced life. When 
we consider that writers like Y icq d'Azyr, Le Cat, 


Maffeiy Jacobaeus, Rolliy Bianchini, and Mascm 
Grood, ^ave given their testimony in support of 
such facts, it requires some effort to believe them 
unfounded in truth. At the same time, in perusing 
the cases themsehres, it is difficult to divest the 
mind of an idea th^at some misstatement or other 
exists, either as to their alleged cause or their 
actual nature — and that their relaters have been 
led into an unintentional misrepresentation. The 
most curious fact connected with this subject i8» 
that the combustion appears seldom to be suffi- 
ciently strong to inflame combustible substances 
with which it comes in contact, such as woollen or 
cotton, while it destroys the body, which in other 
circumstances is hardly combustible at all.''^ Some- 
times the body is consumed by an open flame 
flickering over it — at other times there is merely 
a smothered heat or fire, without any visible flame. 
It is farther alleged that water, instead of aUaying; 
aggravates the combustion. This species of bonn 

* "At a period when criminals w^re condemned to expiate 
their crimes in the flames, it is well known what a large quantity 
of combustible materials was required for burning their bo^es. A 
baker's boy named Renaud being sereral years ago oondemiM^ 
to be burned at Caen, two large cart loads of tkgota were i^ 
quired to consume the body ; and at the end of more than ten 
hours some remains were still visible. In this country, the ex- 
treme incombustibility of the human body was exemplified in the 
case of Mrs. King, who, having been murdered by a foreisner, 
was aflerwards burned by him ; but in the execution of this plan 
he was engaged for several weeks, and, after all, did not succeed 
in its completion." — Paris and Fonblanque^s Medical Jurisffih 


ing) indeed, is perfectly sui generUf and beam no 
resemUance to any species of combustion with 
which we are acquainted. In most cases it breaks 
out spontaneously, although it may be occasioned 
by a candle, a fire, or a stroke of lightning ; but in 
every case it is wholly peculiar to itdelf. M. Fodere 
remarks, that hydrogen gas is developed in certain 
cases of disease, even in the living body ; and he 
seems inclined to join with M. Mere in attributing 
what is called spontaneous combustion, to the 
united action of hydrogen and electricity in the 
&st instance, favoured by the accumulation of 
animal oil, and the impregnation of spiritous li- 
quors. In the present state of our knowledge, it 
is needless to hazard any conjectures upon this 
mysterious subject. The best way is to give a 
case or two, and let the reader judge for himself. 

Case op Mary Clues. — " This woman, aged 
fifty, was much addicted to intoxication. Her 
propensity to this vice had increased afier the 
death of her husband, which, happened a year and 
a half before : for about a year, scarcely a day 
had passed in the course of which she did not drink 
at least half a pint of rum or aniseed water. Her 
health gradually declined, and about the beginning 
of February she was attacked by the jaundice and 
confined to her bed. Though she was incapable 
of much action, and not in a condition to work, 
she still continued her old habit of drinking every 
day, and smoking a pipe of tobacco. The bed in 
which she lay stood parallel to the chimney of the 


apartment, at the distance from it of about three 
feet. On Saturday morning, the 1st of March, 
she fell on the floor, and her extreme weakness 
having prevented her from getting ^up, die re« 
mained in that state till some one entered and put 
her to bed. The following night she wished to be 
left alone : a woman quitted her at half-past ele-. 
▼en, and, according to custom^ shut the door and 
locked it She had put on the fire two large pie- 
ces of coal, and placed a light in a candlestick on 
a chair at the head of the bed. At half-past five 
in the morning, smoke was seen issuing through 
the window, and the door being speedily broken 
open, some flames which were in the room were 
soon extinguished. Between the bed and the 
chimney were found the remains of the unfortu^ 
nate Clues ; one leg and a thigh were still entire, 
but there remained nothing of the skin, the mus- 
cles, and the viscera. The bones of the cranium, 
the breast, the spine, and the upper extremities, 
were entirely calcined, and covered with a wbit^ 
ish efflorescence. The people were much sur* 
prised that the furniture had sustained so little 
injury. The side of the bed which was next the 
chimney had suffered most ; the wood of it wbb 
slightly burned, but the feather-bed, the clothes, 
and covering were safe. I entered the apartment 
about two hours after it had been opened, and ob- 
served that the walls and every thing in it were 
blackened ; that it was filled with a very disagree- 


able vapour ; but that nothing except the body ex- 
hibited any very strong traces of fire." 

This case first appeared in the Annual Regis- 
ter for 1773, and is a fair specimen of the cases 
collected in the Journal de Physique. There is 
no evidence that the combustion was spontaneous, 
as it may have been occasioned either by light- 
ning, or by contact with the fire. The only cir- 
cumstance which militates against the latter sup- 
position, is the very trifling degree of burning that 
was found in the apartment. 

Case op Grace Pttt. — " Grace Pitt, the wife 
of a fishmonger in the parish of St. Clement, Ips- 
wich, aged about sjixty, had contracted a habit, 
which she continued for several years, of coming 
down every night from her bed-room, half-dressed, 
to smoke a pipe. On the night of the 9th of April, 
1744, she got up from her bed as usual. Her 
daughter, who slept with her, did not perceive she 
was absent till next morning when she awoke, 
soon after which she put on hpr clothes, and go- 
ing' down into the kitchen, found her mother 
stretched out on the right side, with her head near 
the grate ; the body extended on the hearth, with 
the legs on the floor, which was of deal, having 
the appearance of a log of wood, consumed by a 
fire without apparent flame. On beholding this 
spectacle, the girl ran in great haste and poured 
over her mother's body some water contained in 
two large vessels in order to extinguish the fire ; 
while the foetid odour and smoke which exhaled 


from the body, almost suffocated some of the neigh- 
bours who had hastened to the girl's assistance. 
The trunk was in some measure incinerated, and 
resembled a heap of coals covered with white 
ashes. The head, the arms, the legs, and the 
thighs, had also participated in the burning. This 
woman, it is said, had drunk a large quantity of 
spiritous liquors in consequence of being overjoyed 
to hear that one of her daughters had returned 
from Gibraltar. There was no fire in the grate, 
and the candle had burned entirely out in the socket 
of the candlestick, which was close, to her. Be- 
sides, there were found near the consumed body^ 
the clothes of a child and a paper screen, which 
had sustained no injury by the fire. The dress of 
this woman consisted of a cotton gown.'' 

This case is to be found in the Trans(tction» of 
the Royal Society of London, and is one of the 
most decided, and least equivocal instances of this 
species of combustion to be met with. It was 
mentioned at the time in all the journals, and was 
the subject of much speculation and remart:. The 
reality of its occurrence was attested by many wit* 
nesses, and three several accounts of it, by differ* 
ent hands, all nearly coincide. 

Case of Don Gio Maria Bertholi.— ^Hav- 
ing spent the day in travelling about the countiy, 
he arrived in the evening at the house of his bro- 
ther-in-law. He immediately requested to be 
shown to his destined apartment, where he had i 
handkerchief placed between his shirt and shoul* 


ders ; and, being left alone, betook himself to his 
devotions. A few minutes had scarcely elapsed 
when an extraordinary noise was heard in the 
chamber, and the cries of the mifortunate man 
were particularly distinguished : the people of the 
house, hastily entering the room, found him ex- 
tended on the floor, and surrounded by a light 
flame, which receded (a mesure) as they ap- 
proached, and finally vanished. On the following 
morning, the patient was examined by Mr. Bat- 
tiaglia, who found the integuments of the right 
arm almost entirely detached, and pendant from 
the flesh ; from the shoulders to the thighs, the 
integuments were equally injured ; and on the right 
hand, the part most injured, mortification had al- 
ready commenced, which, notwithstanding imme- 
diate scarification, rapidly extended itself. The 
patient complained of burning thirst, was horribly 
convulsed, and was exhausted by continual vomit- 
ing, accompanied by fever and delirium. On the 
fourth day, after two hours of comatose insensi- 
bility, he expired. During the whole period of 
his sufierings, it was impossible to trace any sjrmp- 
tomatic afiection. A short time previous to his 
death, M. Battlaglia observed with astonishment 
that putrefaction had made so much progress ; the 
body already exhaled an insufierable odour; 
worms crawled from it on the bed, and the nails 
had become detached from the left hand. 

"The account given by the unhappy patient 
was, that he felt a stroke like the blow of a cud* 



gel on the right hand, and at the same time he saw 
a lambent flame attach itself to his shirt, which was 
immediately reduced to ashes, his wristbands, at 
the same time, being utterly untouched. The 
handkerchief which, as before mentioned, was 
placed between his shoulders and his shirt, was 
entire, and free from any traces of burning ; his 
breeches were equally uninjured, but though not 
a hair of his head was burned, his coif was totally 
consumed. The weather, on the night of the ac- 
cident, was calm, and the air very pure ; no em- 
pyreumatic or bituminous odour was perceived in 
the room, which was also free from smoke ; there, 
was no vestige of fire, except that the lamp which 
had been full of oil, was found dry, and the wick 
reduced to a cinder." 

This case is from the work of Fodere, and is 
given as abridged by Paris and Fonblanque, in 
their excellent treatise on Medical Jurisprudence. 
It occurred in 1776, and is one of the best authen- 
ticated to be met with. I am not aware that the 
subject of it was a drunkard : if he were not, and 
if the facts be really true, we must conclude that 
spontaneous combustion may occur in sober per- 
sons as well as in the dissipated. 

Case of A^adame Millet. — "Having,** says 
Le Cat, " spent several months at Rheims, in the 
years 1724 and 1725, I lodged at the house of 
Sieur Millet, whose wife got intoxicated every day. 
The domestic economy of the family was mana- 
ged by a pretty young girl, which I must not omit 


to remark, in order that all the circumstances 
which accompanied the fact I am about to relate, 
may be better understood. This woman was 
found consumed on the 20th of February, 1725, at 
the distance of a foot and a half from the hearth in 
her kitchen. A part of the head only, with a por- 
tion of the lower extremities, and a few of the ver- 
tebrse, had escaped combustion. A foot and a 
half of the flooring under the body had been con- 
sumed, but a kneading trough and a powdering 
tub, which were very near the body, sustained no 
injury. M. Chriteen, a surgeon, examined the re- 
mains of the body, with every judicial formality. 
Jean Millet, the husband, being interrogated by the 
judges who instituted the inquiry into the affair, 
declared, that about eight in the evening, on the 
19th of February, he had retired to rest with his 
wife, who not being able to sleep, went into the 
kitchen, where he thought she was warming her- 
self; that, having fallen asleep, he was awakened 
about two o'clock by an infectious odour, and that, 
having run to the kitchen, he found the remains of 
his wife in the state described in the report of the 
physicians and surgeons. The judges, having no 
Suspicion of the real cause of this event, prosecu- 
ted the afi*air with the utmost diligence. It was 
very unfortunate for Millet that he had a hand- 
some servant-maid, for neither his probity nor in- 
nocence were able to save him from the suspicion 
of having got rid of his wife by a concerted plot, 
and of having arranged the rest of the circumstan- 


ces in such a manner as to give it the appearance 
of an accident. He experienced, therefore, the 
whole severity of the law ; and though, by an ap- 
peal to a superior and very enlightened court, 
which discovered the cause of the combustion, he 
came off victorious, he suffered so much from un- 
easiness of mind, that he was obliged to pass the 
remainder of his days in an hospital." 

The above case has a peculiar importance at- 
tached to it, for it shows that, in consequence of 
combustion, possibly spontaneous, persons have 
been accused of murder. Fordere, in his work, 
alludes to sever^ cases of this kind. 

Some chemists have attempted to account for 
this kind of combustion, by the formation of pbos- 
phuretted hydrogen in the body. This gas, as is 
well known, inflames on exposure to the air ; nor 
can there be a doubt that if a suflicient quantity 
were generated, the body might be easily enough 
consumed. If such an accumulation can be proved 
ever to take place, there is an end to conjecture ; 
and we have before us a cause sufliciently potent 
to account for the burning. Altogether I am in- 
clined to think, that although most of the related 
cases rest on vague report, and are unsupport^ 
by such proofs as would warrant us in placing much 
reliance upon them, yet sufficient evidence never- 
theless exists, to show that such a phenomenon as 
spontaneous combustion has actually taken place, 
although doubtless the number of cases has been 
much exaggerated. Dr. Mason Good, justly ob- 


serves, "There maybe some difficulty in giving 
credit to so marvellous a diathesis : yet, examples 
of its existence, and of its leading to a migratory 
and fatal combustion are so numerous, and so well 
authenticated, and press upon us from so many 
different countries and eras, that it would be ab- 
surd to withhold our assent." " It can no longer 
be doubted," says Dr. Gordon Smith, " that per- 
sons have retired to their chambers in the usual 
manner, and in place of the individual, a few cin- 
ders, and perhaps part of his bones, were found." 
Inflammable eructations are said to occur occa^ 
sionally in northern latitudes, when the body has 
been exposed to intense cold after excessive in- 
dulgence in spiritous liquors; and the case of a 
Bohemian peasant is narrated, who lost his life in 
consequence of a column of ignited inflammable 
air issuing from his mouth, and baffling extinction. 
This case, as well as others of the same kind, is 
alleged to have arisen from phosphuretted hydro- 
geiiy generated by some chemical combination of 
alcohol and animal substances in the stomach. 
What truth there may be in these relations I do 
not pretend to say. They wear unquestionably 
the aspect of a fiction ; and are, notwithstanding, 
repeated from so many quarters, that it is nearly 
as difficult to doubt them altogether as to give 
them our entire belief. There is one thing, how- 
ever, which may be safely denied ; and that is the 
&ct of drunkards having been blown up in conse- 
quence of their breath or eructations catching fire 



from the application of a lighted candle. These 
tales are principally of American extraction ; and 
seem elaborated by that propensity for the mar- 
vellous for which our transatlantic brethren have, 
of late years, been distinguished. 

Upon the whole, this subject is extremely ob- 
scure, and has never been satisfactorily treated by 
any writer. Sufficient evidence appears to me to 
exist in support of the occurrence, but any inform- 
ation as to the remote or proximate cause of this 
singular malady, is as yet exceedingly defective 
and unsatisfactory. 

In a memoir lately read before the Academic 
des Sciences, the following are stated to be the 
chief circumstances connected with spontaneous 

" 1. The greater part of the persons who have 
fallen victims to it, have made an immoderate use 
of alcoholic liquors. 2. The combustion is almost 
always general, but sometimes is only partial 3. 
It is much rarer among men than am<»ig women, 
and they are principally old women. There is bat 
one case of the combustion of a girl seventeen 
years of age, and that was only partial. 4. The 
body and the viscera are invariably burnt, while 
the feet, the hands, and the top of the skull almost 
always escape combustion. 5. Although it re- 
quires several fagots to bum a common corpse, 
incineration takes place in these spontaneous com- 
bustions without any effect on the most combusti- 
ble matters in the neighbourhood. In an extraor- 



dinaiy instance of a double combustion operating 
upon two persons in one room, neither the apart- 
ment nor the furniture was burnt. 6. It has not 
been at all proved that the presence of an inflamed 
body is necessary to develope spontaneous human 
combustions. 7. Water, so far from extinguish- 
ing the flame, seems to give it more activity ; and 
when the flame has disappeared, secret combus- 
tion goes on. 8. Spontaneous combustions are 
more frequent in winter than in summer. 9. Gre- 
neral combustions are not susceptible of cure, only 
partial. 10. Those who undergo spontaneous 
combustion are the prey of a very strong internal 
heat. 11. The combustion bursts out all at once, 
and consumes the body in a few hours. 12. The 
parts of the body not attacked are struck with 
mortification. 13. In persons who have been at- 
tacked with spontaneous combustion, a putrid 
degeneracy takes place which soon leads to gan- 

In this singular malady medicine is of no avail. 
The combustion is kept up by causes apparently 
beyond the reach of remedy, and in almost every 
case, life is extinct before the phenomenon is per- 





Not only does the drunkard draw down upon him- 
self many diseases, both of body and mindy but i(, 
in his intoxication, he commit any crime or misde- 
meanour, he becomes, like other subjects, amenable 
to the pains of law. In this respect, indeed, he is 
worse off than sober persons, for drunkennesg, hr 
from palliating, is held to aggravate every offence : 
the law does not regard it as any extenuation ot 
crime. **A drunkard," says Sir Edward C!oke, 
'*who is voluntarius demon, hath no privilege 
thereby ; but what hurt or ill soever he doth» his 
drunkenness doth aggravate it" In the case of the 
King versus Maclauchlin, March, 1737, the plea of 
drunkenness, set up in mitigation of puni&imient, 
was not allowed by the court. Sir George Mac- 
kenzie says he never found it sustained, and that in 
a case of murder it was repelled — Spott versus 
Douglas, 1667. Sir Matthew Hales, c. 4. is clear 


against the validity of the defence, and all agree 
that " levis et modica ebrietas non excusat nee mi- 
nuit delictum.^ It is a maxim in legal practice, that 
"those who presume to commit crimes when drunk, 
must submit to punishment when sober." This 
state of the law is not peculiar to modern times. 
In ancient Greece it was decreed by Fittacus, that 
"he who committed a crime when intoxicated, 
should receive a double punishment," viz. one for 
the crime itself, and the other for the ebriety which 
prompted him to commit it. The Athenians not 
only punished offences done in drunkenness with 
increased severity, but, by an enactment of Solon, 
inebriatioh in a magistrate was made capital. The 
Roman law was, in some measure, an exception, 
and admitted ebriety as a plea for any misdeeds 
committed under its influence : per vinum delapsis 
capitalis pcena remittitur. Notwithstanding this 
tenderness to offences by drunkards, the Romans, 
at one period, were inconsistent enough to punish 
the vice itself with death, if found occurring in a 
woman. By two acts passed in the reign of James 
I., drunkenness was punishable with fine, and, fail- 
ing payment, with sitting pubhcly for six hours in 
the stocks ; 4 Jac. I. c. 5, and 21 Jac. I. c. 7. By 
the first of these acts. Justices of the Peace may 
proceed against drunkards at the Sessions, by way 
of indictment ; and this act remained in operation 
till the 10th of October, 1828, at which time, by 
the act of the 9 Geo. IV. c. 61, § 35, the law for the 
suppression of drunkenness was repealed, without 


providing any punishment for oiSfenders in this re- 
spect. Previous to this period, the ecclesiastical 
courts could take cognizance of the offence, and 
punish it accordingly. As the law stands at pre- 
sent, therefore, drunkenness, per se, is not punisha- 
ble, but acts of violence committed under its influ- 
ence are held to be aggravated rather than other- 
wise ; nor can the person bring it forward as an 
extenuation of any folly or misdemeanour which he 
may chance to commit In proof of this, it may be 
stated, that a bond signed in a fit of intoxicatioDf 
holds in law, and is perfectly binding, unless it can 
be shown that the person who signed it was ine« 
briated by the collusion or contrivance of those to 
whom the bond was given. A judge or magistrate 
found drunk upon the bench^ is liable to removal 
from his office ; and decisions pronounced by hiin 
in that state are held to be null and void. Such 
persons cannot, while acting ex officio, claim the be- 
nefit of the repeal in the ancient law — their offence 
being in itself an outrage on justice, and, theref(»e» 
a misdemeanour. Even in blasphemy, uttered in 
a state of ebriety, the defence goes for nothing, at 
is manifest from the following case, given in Mac- 
laurin's Arguments and Decisions, p. 731. 

'' Nov. 22, 1697. Patrick Kinninmouth, of that 
Ilk, was brought to trial for blasphemy and adul- 
tery. The last charge was passed from. The in- 
dictment alleged, he had affirmed Christ was a bas- 
tard, and that he had said, * If any woman had Grod 
on one side, and Christ on the other, he would stow 


[cut] the lugs [ears] out of her head in spite of them 
both.' He pleaded chiefly that he was drunk or 
mad when he uttered these expressions, if he did 
utter them. The court found the libel relevant to 
infer the pains libelled, i, e. death ; and found the 
defence, That the pannel was furious or distracted 
in his wits relevant : but repelled the alledgeance 
of fury or distraction arising /row drunkenness.^ 

It thus appears that the laws both of Scotland 
and England agree in considering drunkenness no 
palliation of crime, but rather the reverse ; and it 
is well that it is so, seeing that ebriety could be ea- 
sily counterfeited, and made a cloak for the com- 
mission of atrocious ofiences. By the laws, drunk- 
enness is looked upon as criminal, and this being 
the case, they could not consistently allow one crime 
to mitigate the penalties due to another. 

There is only one case where drunkenness can 
ever be alleged in mitigation of punishment — that 
is, where it has induced " a state of mind perfectly 
akin to insanity." It is, in fact, one of the common 
causes of that disease. The partition line between 
intoxication and insanity, may hence become a sub- 
ject of discussion. 

" William M*Donough was indicted and tried for 
the murder of his wife, before the Supreme Court 
of the State of Massachusetts, in November, 1817. 
It appeared in testimony, that several years pre- 
vious he had received a severe injury of the head ; 
that although relieved of this, yet its effects were 
such as occasionally to render him insane. At 


these periods he complained greatly of his head. 
The use of spiritous liquors immediately induced a 
return of the paroxysms, and in one of them, thus 
induced, he murdered his wife. He was with great 
propriety found guilty. The voluntary use of a 
stimulus which, he was fully aware, would disorder 
his mind, fully placed him under the power of the 

" In the State of New- York, we have a statute 
which places the property of habitual drunkards 
under the care of the chancellor, in the same man- 
ner as that of lunatics. The overseers of the poor 
in each town may, when they discover a person 
to be an habitual drunkard, apply to the chancel- 
lor for the exercise of his power and jurisdiction. 
And in certain cases, when the person considers 
himself aggrieved, it may be investigated by six 
freeholders, whether he is actually what he is de- 
scribed to be, and their declaration is, prima fade^ 
evidence of the fact."f [This act was passed 
March 16, 1821.] 

" In Rydgway v. Darwin, Lord Eldon cites a 
case where a commission of lunacy was supported 
against a person, who, when sober, was a very 
sensible man, but being in a constant state of in- 
toxication, he was incapable of managing his pro- 

♦ Beck on Medical Jurisprudence. 

t Ibid. 

X Collinson on Lunacy. 

/* The laws against intoxication are enforced with great rigour 


in Sweden. Whoever is seen drunk, is fined, for the first ofience, 
three dollars ; for the second, six, for the third and fourth, a still 
larger sum, and is also deprived of the right of voting at elections, 
and of being appouited a representative. He is, besides, publicly 
exposed in the parish diurch on the following Sunday. If the same 
individual is found committing the same o^noe a fifth time, he is 
shut up in a house of correction, and condemned to six months* 
hard labour ; and if he is again guilty, of a twelvemonth's punish- 
ment of a simUar description. If the ofience has been committed 
in public, such as at a fair, an auction, &c the fine is doubled ^and 
if the o£^der has made his appearance in a church, the punish- 
ment is still more severe. Whoever is convicted of having indu- 
ced another to intoxicate himself, is fined three dollars, which sum 
is doubled if the person is a minor. An ecclesiastic who falls into 
this ofience loses his benefice : if it is a layman who occupies any 
considerable post, his functions are suspended, and perhaps he is 
dismissed. Drunkenness is never admitted as an excuse for any 
Clime ; and whoever dies when drunk is buried ignominiously , and 
deprived of the prayers of the church. It is forbidden to give, and 
more explicitly to sell, any spiritous liquors to students, workmen, 
servants, apprentices, and private soldiers. Whoever is observed 
drunk in the streets, or making a noise in a tavern, is sure to be 
taken to prison and detained till sober, without, however, being on 
that account exempted from the fines. Half of these fines goes to 
the informers, (who are generally police officers,) the other half to 
the poor. If the delinquent has no money, he is kept in prison 
until some one pays for him, or until he has woiked out his en- 
largement Twice &>year these ordinances are read aloud from 
the pulpit by the clergy ; and every tavern-keeper is bound, under 
the penalty of a heavy fine, to have a copy of them hung up in the 
principal rooms of his house." — SchtiherVs Travdt in Sweden. 





To remove the habit of drunkenness from any one 
in whom it has been long established, is a task of 
peculiar difficulty. We have not only to contend 
against the cravings of the body, but against those 
of the mind ; and in struggling with both, we are, 
in reality, carrying on a combat with nature her- 
self. The system no longer performs its functions 
in the usual manner ; and to restore these functions 
to their previous tone of action, is more difficult 
than it would be to give tbem an action altogether 
the reverse of nature and of health. 

The first step to be adopted, is the discontinu- 
ance of all liquors or substances which have the 
power of intoxicating. The only question is — 
should they be dropped at once, or by degrees ? 
Dr. Trotter, in his Essay on Drunkenness, has en- 
tered into a long train of argument, to prove that, 
in all cases, they ought to be given up instarUer. 


He contends, that, being in themselves injurious, 
their sudden discontinuance cannot possibly be at- 
tended with harm. But his reasonings on this point, 
though ingenious, are not conclusive. A dark un- 
wholesome dungeon is a bad thing, but it has been 
remarked, that those who have been long confined 
to such a place, have become sick if suddenly ex- 
posed to the light and pure air, on recovering their 
liberty: had this been done by degrees, no evil 
effects would have ensued. A removal from an 
unhealthy climate (to which years had habituated 
a man) to a healthy one, has sometimes been at- 
tended with similar consequences. Even old ul- 
cers cannot always be quickly healed up with 
safety. Inebriation becomes, as it were, a second 
nature, and is not to be rapidly changed with im- 
punity, more than other natures. Spurzheim* ad- 
vances the same opinion. " Drunkards," says he, 
'" cannot leave off their bad habits suddenly, with- 
out injuring their health.** Dr. Darwin speaks in 
like terms of the injurious effects of too sudden a 
change ; and for these, and other reasons about to 
be detailed, I am disposed, upon the whole, to co- 
incide with them. 

If we consider attentively the system of man, 
we will be satisfied that it accommodates itself to 
various states of action. It will perform a healthy 
action, of which there is only one state, or a dis- 
eased action, of which there are a hundred. The 

* View of the Elementaiy Principles of Education. 


former is uniform, and homogeneous It may be 
raised or lowered, according to the state of the 
circulation, but its nature is ever the same : when 
that changes — when it assumes new characters 
— it is no longer the action of health, but dT dis- 
ease. The latter may be multiplied to infinity, 
and varies with a thousand circumstances ; such 
as the organ which is affected, and the substance 
which i^ taken. Now, drunkenness in the loiig 
run, is one of those diseased actions. The system 
no longer acts with its original purity : it is ope- 
rated upon by a fictitious excitement, and, in the 
course of time, assumes a state quite foreign to its 
original constitution — an action which, however 
unhealthy, becomes, ultimately, in some measure, 
natural. When we use opium for a long time, we 
cannot immediately get rid of it, because it has 
given rise to a false action in the system — which 
would sujSfer a sudden disorder if deprived of its 
accustomed stimulus. To illustrate this, it may be 
mentioned, that when Abbas the Great published 
an edict to prohibit the use of coquenar, (the juiee 
of boiled poppies,) on account of its dismal effects 
on the constitution, a great mortality followed, 
which was only stopped at last by restoring the 
use of the prohibited beverage. Disease, under 
such circumstances, triumphs over healUi, and has 
established so strong a hold upon the body, that it 
is dislodged with difiGiculty by its lawful possessor. 
When we wish to get rid of opium, or any other 
narcotic to which we are accustomed, we must do 


80 by degrees, and let the healthy action gradually 
expel the diseased one. Place spirits or wine in 
the situation of opium, and the results will be the 
same. For these reasons, I am inclined to think, 
that, in many cases at least, it would be improper 
and dangerous to remove intoxicating liquors all 
at once from the drunkard. Such a proceeding 
seems at variance with the established actions of, 
the human body, and as injudicious as unphilo- 

I do not, however, mean to say, that there are 
no cases in which it would be necessary to drop 
liquors all at once. When much bodily vi- 
gour remains — when the morning cravings for 
the bottle are not irresistible, nor the appe- 
tite altogether broken, the person should give 
over his bad habits instantly. This is a state of 
incipient drunkenness. He has not yet acquired 
the constitution of a confirmed sot, and the sooner 
he ceases the better. The immediate abandon- 
ment of drinking may also, in general, take place 
when there is any organic disease, such as en- 
larged liver, dropsy, or-^chimis stomach. Under 
these circumstances, the sacrifice is much . less 
than at a previous period, as the frame has, in a 
great measure, lost its power of withstanding li- 
quors, and the relish for them is also considerably 
lessened. But even then, the sudden deprivation 
of the accustomed stimulus has been known to 
I»roduce dangerous exhaustion; and it has been 
found necessary to give it again, though in more 



moderate quantities. Those drunkards who have 
no particular disease, unless a tremor and loss of 
appetite be so denominated, require to be deprived 
of the bottle by degrees. Their system would be 
apt to fall into a state of torpor if it were sudd^ily 
taken away, and various mental diseases, such as 
melancholy, madness, and delirium tremens, might 
even be the result. With such persons, however, 
it must be acknowledged that there is very great 
difficulty in getting their potations diminished. 
Few have fortitude to submit to any reduction. 
There is, as the period pf the accustomed indul- 
gence arrives, an oppression and faintness at the 
prcBCordia, which human nature can scarcely en- 
dure, together with a gnawing desire, infinitely 
more insatiable than the longings of a pregnant 

To prove the intensity of the desire for the bot- 
tle, and the difficulty, often insurmountable, of 
overcoming it, I extract the foll6wing interestii^ 
and highly characteristic anecdote from a recent 
publication : — "A gentleman of very amiable dis- 
positions, and justly popular, contracted habits of 
intemperance : his friends argued, implored, re- 
monstrated ; at last he put an end to all importu- 
nity in this manner: — To a friend who was ad- 
dressing him in the following strain — * Dear Sir 
Greorge, your family are in the utmost distress on 
account of this unfortunate habit ; they perceive 
that business is neglected ; your moral influence 
is gone ; your health is ruined ; and, depend upon 


it, the coats of your stomach will soon give way, 
and then a change will come too late/ The poor 
victim, deeply convinced of the hopelessness of 
his case, replied thus : — * My good friend, your re- 
marks are just ; they are, indeed, too true ; but I 
can no longer resist temptation: if a bottle of 
brandy stood at .one hand, aikl the pit of liell 
yawned at the other, and if I were convinced I 
would be pushed in as sure as I took one glass, 
I could not refrain. You are very kind. I ought 
to be grateful for so many kind good friepds, but 
you may spare yourselves the trouble of trying to 
reform me : the thing is impossible.'" 

The observation of almost every man must have 
furnished him with cases not less striking than the 
above. I could relate many such which have oc- 
curred in my own practice, but shall at present 
content myself with one. — I was lately consulted 
by a young gentleman of fortune from the north 
of England. He was aged twenty-six, and was 
one of the most lamentable instances of the resist- 
less tyranny of this wretched habit that can possi- 
bly be imagined. Every morning, before break- 
fast, he drank a bottle of brandy: another he 
consumed ^ between breakfast and dinner; and a 
third shortly before going to bed. Independently 
of this, he indulged in wine and whatever liquor 
came within his reach. Even during the hours 
usually appropriated to sleep, the same system was 
pursued — brandy being placed at the bed side 
for his use in the night-time. To this destructive 


vice he had been addicted since his sixteenth year ; 
and it had gone on increasing from day to day, till 
it had acquired its then alarming and almost in- 
credible magnitude, in vain did he try to resist 
the insidious poison. With the perfect conscious- 
ness that he was rapidly destroying himself, and 
with every desire tastruggle against the insatiable 
cravings of his diseased appetite, he found it ut- 
terly impossible to offer the slightest opposition to 
them. Intolerable sickness, faintings, and tremors, 
followed every attempt to abandon his potations ; 
and had they been taken suddenly away froni him, 
it cannot be doubted that delirium tremens and 
death would have been the result. 

There are many persons that cannot be called 
drunkards, who, nevertheless, indulge pretty freely 
in the bottle, though after reasonable intervals. 
Such persons usually possess abundance of health, 
and resist intoxication powerfully. Here the sto- 
mach and system in general lose their irritability, 
in the same way as in confirmed topers, but this is 
more from torpor than from weakness. The springs 
of life become less delicate ; the pivots on which 
they move get, as it were, clogged, and, though 
existence goes on with vigour, it is not the bound- 
ing and elastic vigour of perfect health. This pro- 
ceeds, not from debility but from torpor; the 
muscular fibre becoming, like the hands of a la- 
bouring man, hardened and blunted in its sensi- 
bilities. Such are the eiSfects brought on by a 
frequent use of inebriating agents, but an excessive 


use in every case gives rise to weakness. This the 
system can only escape by a proper interval being 
fdlowed to elapse between our indulgences. But 
if dose be heaped on dosd9J)efore it has time to 
rally from former exhaustion, it becomes more and 
. more debilitated ; the blood ceases to circulate 
with its wonted force ; the secretions get defect- 
ive, and the tone of the living fibre daily enfeebled. 
A debauch fevers the system, and no man can 
stand a perpetual succession of fevers without in- 
juring himself, and at last destroying life. 

Drunkenness, in the long run, changes its cha- 
racter. The sensations of the confirmed tippler, 
when intoxicated, are nothing, in point of pleasure, 
to those of the habitually temperate man, in the 
same condition. We drink at first for the sereni- 
ty which is difiused over the mind, and not from 
any positive love we bear to the liquor. But, in 
the course of time, the influence of the latter, in 
producing gay images, is deadened. It is then 
chiefly a mere animal fondness for drink which 
actuates us. We like the taste of it, as a child 
likes sweetmeats ; and the stomach, for a series, of 
years, has been so accustomed to an unnatural 
stimulus, that it cannot perform its functions pro- 
perly without it. In such a case, it may readily 
be believed that liquor could not be suddenly re- 
moved with safety. 

The habit will sometimes be checked by operat- 
ing skilfully upon the mind. If the^person has a 
feeling heart, much may be done by representing 


to him the state of misery into which he will 
plunge himself, his family, and his friends. Some 
men, by a strong elBTort, have given up liquors at 
once, in consequenci||i!r such representations. 

Some drunkards have attempted to cure them* 
selves by the assumption of voluntary oaths. They 
go before a magistrate, and swear that, for a cer- 
tain period, they shall not taste liquors of any kind ; 
and it is but just to state, that these oaths are 
sometimes strictly enough kept. They are, how- 
ever, much oftener broken — the physical cravings 
for the bottle prevailing over whatever religious 
obligation mayliave been entered into. Such a 
proceeding is as absurd as it is immoral, and never 
answers the purpose of effecting any thing like a 
radical cure ; for, although the person abides by 
his solemn engagement, it is only to resume his 
old habits more inveterately than ever, the moment 
it expires. 

Many men become drunkards from family broils. 
They find no comfort at home, and gladly seek for 
it out of doors. In such cases, it will be almost 
impossible to break the habit. The domestic 
* sympathies and affections, which oppose a barrier 
to dissipation, and wean away the mind from the 
bottle, have here no room to act. When the mo- 
ther of a family becomes addicted to liquor, the 
case is very afflicting. Home, instead of being 
the seat of comfort and order, becomes a species 
of Pandemonium : the social circle is broken up, 
and all its happiness destroyed. In this case there 


18 no remedy but the removal of the drunkard. 
A feeling of perversity has been known to effect a 
cure among the fair sex. A man of Philadelphia, 
vtrho was afflicted with a d^pken wife, put a cask 
of rum in her way, in the charitable hope that she 
would drink herself to death. She suspected the 
scheme, and, from a mere principle of contradic- 
tion, abstained in all tiine coming, from any sort of 
indulgence in the bottle. I may mention another 
American anecdote of a person reclaimed from 
drunkenness, by means not less singular. A man 
in Maryland, notoriously addicted to this vice, 
hearing an uproar in his kitchen one evening, felt 
the curiosity to step without noise to the door, to 
know what was the matter, when he beheld his 
servants indulging in the most unbounded roar of 
laughter at a couple of his negro boys, who were 
mimicking himself in his drunken fits, showing 
how he reeled and staggered — how he looked 
and nodded, and hiccupped and tumbled. The 
picture which these children of nature drew of 
him, and which had filled the rest with so much 
merriment, struck him so forcibly, that he became 
a perfectly sober man, to the unspeakable joj^of 
his wife and children. 

Man is very much the creature of habit. By 
drinking regularly at certain times, he feels the 
Icmging for liquor at the stated return of those pe- 
riods — as after dinner, or immediately before 
going to bed, or whatever the period may be. He 
even feels it in certain companies, or in a particu- 


lar tavern at which he is in the habit of taking his 
libations. We have all heard the story of the man 
who could never pass an inn on the road-side 
without entering it i(/fi taking a glass, and who, 
when, after a violent effort, h^ succeeded in g^ 
ting beyond the spot, straightway returned to re- 
ward himself with a bumper for his resolution. It 
is a good rule for drunkards to break all such ha- 
bits. Let the frequenter of drinking clubs, ma- 
sonic lodges, and other Bacchanalian assemblages, 
leave off attending these places ; and if he must 
drink, let him do so at home, where there is every 
likelihood his potations will be less liberal. Let 
him also forswear the society of boon compani<MiS| 
either in his own habitation or in theirs. Let him, 
if he can manage it, remove from the place of his 
usual residence, and go somewhere else. Let 
him also take abundance of exercise, court the so- 
ciety of intellectual and sober persons, and turn 
his attention to reading, or gardening, or sailing, 
or whatever other amusement he has a fancy for. 
By following this advice rigidly, he will get rid of 
that baleful habit which haunts him like his sha- 
dow, and intrudes itself by day and by night into 
the sanctuary of his thoughts. And if he refuses 
to lay aside the Circean cup, let him reflect that 
Disease waits upon his steps — that Dropsy, Pal- 
sy, Emaciation, Poverty, and Idiotism, followed by 
the pale phantom. Death, pursue him like attend- 
ant spirits, and claim him as their prey. 

Sometimes an attack of disease has the effect of 


sobering drunkards for the rest of their lives. I 
knew a gentleman who had apoplesly in conse- 
quence of dissipation. He fortunately recovered, 
but the danger which he hii|^ escaped made such 
an impression upon his mind, that he never, till his 
dying day, tasted any liquor stronger than simple 
Water. Many persons, after such changes, become 
remarkably lean ; but this is not an unhealthy ema- 
ciation. Their mental powers also suffer a very 
material improvement — the intellect becoming 
more powerful, and the moral feelings more soft 
and refined. 

In a small treatise on Naval Discipline, lately 
published, thp following whimsical and ingenious 
mode of punishing drunken seamen is recommend- 
ed: — " Separate for one month every man who 
was found drunk, from the rest of the crew : mark 
his clothes * drunkard ;' give him six-water grog, 
or, if beer, mixed one-half water ; let them dine 
when the crew had finished ; employ them in every 
dirty and disgraceful work, &c. This had such a 
salutary efiect, that in less than six months not a 
drunken man was to be found in the snip. The 
same system was introduced by the writer into 
every ship on board which he subsequently served. 
When first lieutenant of the Victory and Diomede, 
the beneficial consequences were acknowledged 
— the culprits were heard to say, that they would 
rather receive six dozen lashes at the gangway, 
and be done with it, than be put into the * drunken 
mess' (for so it was named) for a month." 




Those fermim who have been fo^ many years m 
the habit of indulging largely in drink, and to whoiaEi 
it has become an elixir vitce indispensable to their 
happiness, cannot be suddenly deprived of it. This 
should be done by slow degrees, and must be the 
result of conviction. If the quantity be forcibly 
diminished against the person's will, no good can 
be done ; he will only seize the first opportunity to 
remunerate himself for what he has been deprived 
of, and proceed to greater ei^cesses than before. If 
his mind can be brought, by calm reflection, to sub* 
mit to the decrease, much may be accomplished in 
the way of reformation. Many difficulties un- 
doubtedly attend this gradual process, and no or* 
dinary strength of mind is required for its comple* 
tion. It is, however, less dangerous than the me- 
thod recommenfied by Dr. Trotter, and ultimately 
much H>ore eflectual Even although his plan were 
free of hazard, its effects are not likely to be last- 
ing. The unnatural action, to which long intem- 
perance had given rise, clings to the system with 
pertinacious adherence. The remembrance of 
liquor, like a delightful vision, still attaches itself to 
the drunkard's mind ; and he longs with insuiSera- 
ble ardour, to feel once more the ecstacies to which 
it gave birth. This is the consequence of a too 
rapid separation. Had the sympathies of nature 
been gradually operated upon, there would have 
been less violence, and the longings had a better 
chance of wearing insensibly away. 

Among the great authorities for acting in this 


manner, may be mentiot^d the celebrated Dr. Pit- 
oaim. In attempting to break the habit in a High- 
land chieftain, one of his patients, he exacted a 
promise that the latter wolrid every day drop as 
much sealing-wax into his glass as would receive 
the impression of his seal. He did so, and as the 
Wax accumulated, the capacity of the glass dimin- 
iriied, and, consequently, the quantity of whiskey 
it was capable of containing. By this plan he was 
cured of his bad habit altogether. In mentioning 
fluch a whimsical proceeding, I do not mean par- 
ticularly to recommend it for adoption ; although 
I am satisfied that the principle on which its eccen- 
tric contriver proceeded was substantially correct. 
A strong argument against too sudden a change 
is afforded in the case of food. I have remarked 
that persons who are in the daily habit of eating 
animal food feel a sense of weakness about the 
stomach if they suddenly discontinue it, and live 
for a few days entirely upon vegetables. This I 
have experienced personally, in various trials made 
for the purpose ; and every person in health, and 
accustomed to good living, will, I am persuaded, 
feel the same thing. The stomach, from want of 
stimulus, loses its tone ;^ the craving for animal food 
is strong and incessant ; and, if it be resisted, heart- 
bum, water-brash, and other forms of indigestion, 
are sure to ensue. In sudi a case vegetables are 
bathed as intolerably insipid, and even bread is ^ 
looked upon with dimelish and aversion. It is pre- 
cisely the same with liqocrs. Their sodden dis* 



continuance, where they have been long made use 
of, is aknost sure to produce the same, and even 
WQrse consequences to the individual. 

I cannot give any directions with regard to the 
regimen of a reformed drunkard. This will de- 
pend upon different circumstances, such as age, 
constitution, diseases, and manner of living. It 
may be laid down as a general rule, that it ought 
to be as little heating as possible. A milk or vege- 
table diet will commonly be preferable to every 
other. But there are cases in which food of a 
richer quality is requisite, as when there is much 
emaciation and debility. Here it may even be ne- 
cessary to give a moderate quantity of wine. In 
gout, likewise, too great a change of living is not 
always salutary, more especially in advanced years, 
where there is weakness of the digestive organs, 
brought on by the disease. In old age, wine is 
often useful to sustain the system, more especially 
when sinking by the process of natural decay. 
The older a person is, the greater the inconvenience 
of abstaining all at once from liquors, and the more 
slowly ought they to be taken away. I cannot 
bring myself to believe that a man who for half a 
century has drunk freely, can suddenly discontinue 
this ancient habit without a certain degree of risk : 
the idea is opposed to all that we know of the bo- 
dily and mental functions. 

In attempting to cure the habit of drunkenness, 
opium may sometimes be used with advantage. By 
giving it in moderate quantities, the liquor which 


the person is in the habit of taking, may be dimin- 
iriied to a considerable extent, and he may thus 
be enabled to leave them off altogether. TheFe is 
only one ridk, and it is this — that he may become 
as confirmed a votary of opium as he was before 
of strong liquors. Of two evils, however, we should 
always choose the least : and it is certain that how- 
ever perniciously opium may act upon the system, 
its moral effects and its power of injuring reputa- 
tion are decidedly less formidable than those of the 
ordinary intoxicating agents. 

The following anecdote has been communicated 
to me by the late Mr. Alexander Balfour, (Author 
of ** Contemplation," ** Weeds and Wildflowers,** 
and other ingenious works,) and exhibits a mode of 
curing dram-drinking equally novel and effective : 
About the middle of last century, in a provincial 
town on the east coast of Scotland^ where smug- 
gling was common, it was the practice for two re- 
spectable merchants to gratify themselves with d 
social glass of good Hollands, for which purpose 
they regularly adjourned, at a certain hour, to a 
neighbouring gin-sl^op. It happened one morning 
that something prevented one of them from callipg 
on his neighbour at the usual time. Many a wist- 
ful and longing look was cast for the friend so un- 
accountably absent, but he came not. His disap- 
pointed companion would not go to the dram-shop 
akme ; but he afterwards ac^owledged that the 
want of bis accustomed cordial rendered him on- 
easy the whole day. However, this feeling indv* 



ced him to reflect upon the bad habit he was ac« 
quiring, and the consequences which were likely 
to follow. He therefore resolved to discontinue 
dram-drinking entirely, but found it diflicult to put 
his resolution into practice, until, after some deli* 
beration, he hit upon the following expedient : — 
Filling a bottle with excellent Hollands, he lodged 
it in his back-shop, and the first morning taking his 
dram, he replaced it with simple water. Next 
morning he took a second dram, replacing it with 
water ; and in this manner he went on, replacing 
the fluid subtracted from the bottle with water, till 
at last the mixture became insipid and ultimately 
nauseous, which had such an eflect upon his palate, 
that he was completely cured of his bad habit, and 
continued to live in exemplary soberness till his 
death, which happened in extreme old age. 

Dr. Kain, an American physician, recommends 
tartar emetic for the cure of habitual drunkenness. 
** Possessing," he observes, " no positive taste itself, 
it communicates a disgusting quality to those fluids 
in which it is dissolved. I have often seen persons 
who, from taking a medicine in the form of anti- 
mpnial vnne, could never afterwards drink wine. 
Nothing, therefore, seems better calculated to form 
our indication of breaking up the association, in 
the patient's feelings, between his disease and the 
relief to be obtained from stimulating liquors. 
These liquors, with the addition of a very small 
quantity of emetic tartar, instead of relieving, in- 
crease the sensation of loathing of food, and quickly 


produce in the patient an indomitable repugnance 
to the vehicle of its administration." <' My method 
<^ prescribing it, has varied according to the habits, 
age, and constitution of the patient. I give it only 
in alterative and slightly nauseating doses. A con- 
venient preparation of the medicine is eight grains 
dissolved in four ounces of boiling water — half an 
ounce of the solution to be piit into a half-pint, pint, 
or quart of the patient's favourite liquor, and to be 
taken daily in divided portions. If severe vomiting 
and purging ensue, I should direct laudanum to 
allay the irritation, and diminish the dose. In 
every patient it should^be varied according to its 
effects. In one instance, in a patient who lived 
ten miles from me, severe vomiting was produced, 
more, I think, from excessive drinking, than the 
use of the remedy. He recovered from it, how- 
ever, without any bad effects. In some cases, the 
change suddenly produced in the patient's habits, 
has brought on considerable lassitude and debility, 
which were of but short duration. In a majority 
of cases, no other effect has been perceptible than 
slight nausea, some diarrhoea, and a gradual, but 
very uniform, distaste to the menstruum."* 

Having tried tartar emetic in several instances, 
I can bear testimony to its good effects in habitual 
drunkenness. The active ingredient in Chambers's 
celebrated nostrum for the cure of ebriety, was 
this medicine. Tartar emetic, however, must 

* American Journal of the Medical Sciences, No. IV. 


always be used with caution, and never exeepi 
under the eye of a medical man, as the worst con- 
sequences might ensue from the indiscreet employ- 
ment of so active an agent. 
/ It seems probable that, in plethoric subjects, the 
habit of drunkenness might be attacked with some 
success by the application of leeches, cold applica- 
tions and blisters to the head, accompanied by pur- 
gatives and nauseating doses of tartar emetic. Dr. 
Caldwell of Lexington, conceives drunkenness to 
be entirely a disease of the brain, especially of the 
animal compartments of this viscus, and more es- 
pecially of that portion called by phrenologists the 
organ o{ alimentiveness, on 'which the appetite 'for 
food and drink is supposed mainly to depend. 
Should his views be correct, the above treatment 
seems eligible, at least in drunkards of a full habit 
of body, and in such cases it is certainly worthy 
of a full trial. I refer the reader to Dr. Caldwell's 
Essay, in which both the above doctrine and the 
practice founded upon it are very ably discussed. 
It is, indeed, one of the ablest papers which has 
hitherto appeared upon the subject of drunken- 

It very often happens, after a long course of dis- 
sipation, that the stomach loses its tone, and rejects 
almost every thing that is swallowed. The re- 
medy, in this case, is opium, which should be given 
in the solid form in preference to any other. Small 

* See Transylvania Journal of Medicine and the Associate Sci- 
ences, for July, August, and September, 1832. 


, quantities of negus are also beneficial ; and the 
carbonate of ammonia, combined with some aro- 
matic, is frequently attended with the best effects. 
When there is much prostration of strength, wine 
should always be given. In such a case, the entire 
removal of the long-accustomed stimulus would be 
attended with the worst effects. This must be 
done gradually. 

Enervated drunkards will reap much benefit by 
removing to the country, if their usual residepce 
is in town. The free air and exercise renovate 
their enfeebled frames ; new scenes are presented 
to occupy their attention; and, the mind being 
withdrawn from former scenes, the chain of past 
associations is broken in two. 

Warm and cold bathing will occasionally be 
useful, according to circumstances. Bitters are 
not to be recommended, especially if employed 
under the medium of spirits. When there is much 
debility, chalybeates will prove serviceable. A 
visit to places where there are mineral springs is 
of use, not only from the waters, but from the 
agreeable society to be met with at such quarters. 
The great art of breaking the habit consists in 
managing the drunkard with kindness and address. 
This management must, of course, be modified by 
the events which present themselves, and which 
will vary in different cases. 

Persons residing in tropical climates ought, 
more than others, to avoid intoxicating liquors. It 
is too much the practice in the West Indies to al- 


lay thirst by copious draughts of rum punch. In 
the East Indies, the natives, with great propriety, 
principally use rice-water (congee) ; while the 
Europeans residing there, are in the habit of in- 
dulging in Champagne, Madeira, and other rich 
wines, which may in a great measure account for 
the mortality prevailing among them in that re- 
gion. A fearful demoralization, as well as loss of 
life, is occasioned among 4he British troops in the 
East and West Indies, from the cheapness of sjh- 
ritous liquors, which enables them to indulge in 
them to excess. " Since the institution of the Re- 
corder's and Supreme Courts at Madras," says Sir 
Thomas Hislop, '* no less than thirty-four British 
soldies have forfeited their lives for murder, and 
most of them were Committed in their intoxicated 
moments." Dr. Rollo relates, that the 46th regi- 
ment, while s stationed in Grenada, lost within a 
very few weeks, twenty-six men out of ninety-six; 
at a time, too, when the island was remarkably 
healthy. On inquiry, it was found that the com- 
mon breakfast of the men was raw spirits and 
pork. It is remarked by Desgenettes, in his Me* 
dical History of the French Army in Egypt, that, 
^ daily experience demonstrates that almost all the 
soldiers who indulge in intemperate habits, and are 
attacked with fevers, never recover.** In coun- 
tries where the solar influence is felt with such 
force, we cannot be too temperate. The food 
should be chiefly vegetable, and the drink as unir- 
ritating as possible. It may be laid down as an 


axiom, that in these regions, wine and ardent spi* 
rits are invariably hurtful ; not only in immediately 
heating the body, but in exposing it to the influ- 
ence of other diseases.* A great portion of the 
deaths which occur among Europeans in the. tro< 
pics, are brought on by excess. Instead of suiting 
their regimen to the climate, they persist in the 
habits of their own country, without reflecting that 
what is comparatively harmless in one region, is 
most destructive in another. There cannot be a 
stronger proof of this than the French troops in 
the West Indies having almost always suffered 
less in proportion to their numbers than th.e British, 
who are unquestionably more addicted to intem- 
perance. " I aver, from my own knowledge and 
custom," observes Dr. Mosely, ** as from the cus- 
tom and observation of others, that those who 
drink nothing but water, are but little affected by 
the climate, and can undergo the greatest fatigue 
without inconvenience."! 

It is a common practice in the West of Scotland 
to send persons who are excessively addicted to 
drunkenness, to rusticate and learn sobriety on the 
islands of Loch Lomond. There are, I believe, 
two islands appropriated for the purpose, where 

♦ In warm countries, the aqueous part of the blood loses itself 
greatly by perspiration; it must therefore be supplied by a like 
liquid. Water is there of admirable use ; strong liquors would 
coagulate the globules of blood that remain after the transuding 
of the aqueous humour. — Montesquieu, Book xiv. Chap, x. 

t Tropical Diseases. 


the convicts meet with due attention, and what- 
ever indulgences their friends choose to extend to- 
wards them. Whether such a proceeding is con- 
sistent with law, or well adapted to answer the 
end in view, may be reasonably doubted ; but of 
its severity, as a punishment, there can be no ques- 
tion. It is indeed impossible to inflict any penal- 
ty upon drunkards so great as that of absolutely 
debarring them from indulging in Uquor. 

In the next chapter, I shall consider the method 
of curing and preventing drunkenness by means of 
Temperance Societies. 

DftUNKBNlfBSS. 1«1 



Much has been said and written of late concern- 
ing Temperance Societies. They have been repre- 
sented by their fnends as powerful engines for 
effecting a total reformation from . drunkenness, 
and improving the whole face of society, by intro- 
ducing a purer morality, and banishing the hun- 
dred-headed monster, intemperance, and all its 
accompanying vices, from the world. By their 
opponents, they have been ridiculed as visionary 
and impracticable — as, at best, but temporary ip 
their influence — as erroneous in many of their 
leading views — as tyrannical, unsocial, and hypo- 
critical. Their members are represented as en- 
thusiasts and fanatics ; and the more active portion 
of them, — those who lecture on the subject, and 
go about founding Societies, — traduced as fools or 
impostors. Such are the various views entertain- 
ed by different minds of Temperance Societies ; 



but, leaving it to others to argue the point, for 
or against, according to their inclinations, I shall 
simply state what I think myself of these institu- 
tions — how far they do good or hann — and un- 
der what circumstances they ought to be thought 
favourable of, or the reverse. Truth generally 
lies in mediis rebtiSj and I suspect they will not 
form an exception to the rule. 

Temperance Societies proceed upon the belief 
that ardent spirits are, under all circumstances^ 
injurious to people in health, and that, therefore, 
they ought to be altogether abandoned. I am 
anxious to think favourably of any plan which has 
fi>r its object the eradication of drankensess ; and 
shall therefore simply express my belief that 
those Societies have done good, and ought there- 
fore to be regarded with a favourable eye. That 
they have succeeded, or ever will succeed, in re- 
claiming any considerable number of dnmkards, I 
have great doubts ; but that they may have the 
effect (^preventing many individuals from becom- 
ing drunkards, is exceedingly probable. If ibis 
can be proved, — which I think it may be witbcwt 
much <lifficulty, — it follows that they are bemsfi- 
cial in their nature, and, consequently, deserving 
- of encouragement. That they are wrong in jMip- 
posing ardent spirits invariably hurtful in health, 
and they are also in error in advocating the in- 
stant abandonment, in all caseSy of intoxicating 
liquors, I have little doubt ; but that they are cor- 
rect in their great leading views of the pernicious 


effects of spirits to mankind in general, and that 
their principles, if carried into effect, will produce 
good, is self-evident. Spirits when used in mode- 
ration, cannot be looked upon as pernicious ; nay, 
in certain bases, even in health, they are beneficial 
and necessary. In countries subject to intermit- 
tents, it is very well known that those who indulge 
moderately in spirits are much less subject to these 
jdiseases than the strictly a(>8tinent '' At Walche- 
rea it was remarked that those offices and soldiers 
who took schnaps, alias drams, in the morning, 
and smoked, escaped the fever which Was so de- 
structive to the British troops; and the natives 
generally insisted upon doing so before going out 
in the morning.''* The following, anecdote is 
equally in point. ^ it took place on the Niagara 
jGrontier of U[^r Canada, in the year 1813. A 
British regiment, from some accident, was pre- 
vented feom receiving the usual supply-of spirits, 
and in a very short time more than two*thirds of 
the men were on the sick list from ague or dysen- 
tery; while, the very next year, on the same 
ground, and in almost every respect under the 
same circumstances, except that the men had their 
usual allowance of spirits, the sickness was ex- 
tremely trifling. Every person acquainted with 
the circumstances believed that the diminutioii of 
the Mck, during the latter period, was attributable 
to the men having received the quantity of spmtM 

* Qlasfvw Medical Jounal, Na XY. 


to which they had been habituated.*** Indeed, 1 
am persuaded that while, in the tropics, stimula- 
ting liquors are highly prejudicial, and often occa- 
sion, while they never prevent, disease, they are 
frequently of great service in accomplishing the 
latter object in damp foggy countries, especially 
when fatigue, poor diet, agues, dysenteries, and 
other diseases of debility are to be contended 
against. It has been stated, and, I believe, with 
much truth, thisit the dysentery which has prevailed 
80 much of late among the poorer classes in this 
country, has been in many cases occasioned, and 
in others aggravated, in consequence of the want 
of spirits, which, from the depressed state of trade, 
the working classes are unable to procure ; and 
should this assertion turn out to be correct, it follows, 
that Temperance Societies, by the rigid abstinence 
urged upon their members, have contributed to 
increase the evil. The system is fortified against 
this disorder, as well as various others, by a proper 
use of stimuli ; while excess in the indulgence of 
these agents eiq^oses it to the attack of every dis* 
ease and invariably aggravates the danger. Water 
is unquestionably the natural drink of man, but in 
the existing condition of things, we are no longer 
in a state of nature, and cases consequently often 
occur wherein we must depart from her original 
principles. There are many persons who find a 
moderate use of spirits necessary to the eqoy* 

*■ €Hasgow Medical Journal, No. XV. 


meat of health. In these cases it would be idle to 
abandon them. They ought only to be given up 
when their use is not required by the systenu 
That such is the case in a great majority of in* 
itancesi must be fully admitted ; and it is to these, 
that the principles a£ Temperance Societies can be 
applied with advantage. Considering the matter 
in this light, the conclusion we must come to is 
simply that ardent spirits sometimes do good, but 
much oftener mischief. By abandoning them al- 
together, we escape the mischief and lose the good. 
Such is the inevitable effect, supposing Temper- 
ance Societies to come into general operation. It 
remains, therefore, with people themselves to de- 
terminjB whether they are capable of using q>irits 
only when they are beneficial, and then with a 
due regaixl to moderation. If they have so little 
self-command, the sooner they connect themselves 
with Temperance Societies the better. I believe 
that by a moderate indulgence in spirits no man 
oan be injured, and that many will often be bene- 
fitted. It is their abuse which renders them a curse 
rather than a blessing to mankind ; and it is with 
this abuse alone I find fault, in the same way as I 
wouldobject toexcessin eating, or any other excess. 
People, therefore, would do well to draw a dis- 
tinction between the proper use and the abuse of 
these stimulants, and regulate themselves acccMxi- 

iagly. . 

Temperance Societies, however, though errone- 
ous in some of their principles, and injurious as ap- 



plied to particular cases, may be of great dse 
towards society in general. Proceeding upon the 
well-known fact that ardent spirits are peculiariy 
apt to be abused, and habitual drunkenness to en« 
sue, they place these agents under the ban of total 
interdiction^ and thus arrest the march of that 
baneful evil occasioned by their excessive use. So 
fiur, therefore, as the individual members of these 
institutions are concemedi a great good is effected 
at the sacrifice of comparatively little. On such 
grounds, I fully admit their beneficial effects, and 
wish them all success. At the same time, many 
sober persons would not wish to connect them- 
selves with them, for the plain reason — that hav- 
ing never felt any bad effects from the small quan- 
tity of ardent spirits they are in the habit of taking, 
but, on the c<mtrary, sometimes been the better for 
it — they would feel averse to come under any 
obligation to abstain from these Uquors altogether. 
Such, I confess, are my own feelings on this sub- 
ject ; and in stating them I am fully aware that 
the advocates of the Societies will answer — that 
a man's private inclinations should be sacrificed to 
public good, and that, for the sake of a general 
example, he should abandon that which, though 
harmless to him, in the limited extent to which he 
indulges in it, is pernicious to the mass of man- 
kind. This argument is not without point, and 
upon many will tell with good effect, though, I be- 
lieve, people in general will either not acknow- 
ledge its force, or, at least, refiise to act up to it. 

fakvo letBOMd Ibe conniinpl^i0f ipiritons iiqucrs to 
a-VMt ext«ik) mid* httve left ;diaiC<rf'winto and mak 
liquors andtmiiMihed, or rather increased it ; fin*, 
aldiottgh the.mors slarictiiienibers a^oid even them^ 
tiiair «L8e ki »oi mterdicted by the rales of the 80- 
oietiei. By thu« dhnimshing the ccnsoraption of 
spirits, they have been the means of shutting up 
Bsaay smaU pabltc booses ; of keepuig numerous 
tradesmen and labourers firom the tavern ; ctf em 
aouraging such persons to sqber habits, by reoom- 
raending coffee instead of strong liquor ; and; ge- 
nerally speaking, of promoting industry and tem- 

If a person were disposed to be very censorious; 
he might ol^ect to some other things connected 
with them, such as the inconsistency of allowii^! 
their members to drink wine and midt liquors, while 
they debar them from ardent q>irits. They do thia 
on the ground tdat.on the two first a man is much 
less likely to become a drimkard than upon spirits 
— *a fact which may be fairly admitted, but which^ 
I believe, arises, in some measure, from its requi^ 
ring more mmiey to get drunk upon malt liquors 
and wine than upon spirits* :In abandoning the 
latter, however, and having recourse to the others, 
it is proper to state, that the person often practises 
a delusion upon himself; for in drinking wine, such 
at least as it is procured in this country, he in re- 
ality consumes a large proportion of pure spirits ; 
and malt liquors contain not only the alcoholic 


principle of iatoxicaiioo^ but are often eophislica- 
ted, as we hare already teen, with narootics* I 
believe that, though not in the majority of caaee, 
yet in some, spirits in moderation are better for the 
sjrstem than malt liquors: this is especaaUy the 
case in plethoric and dyspeptic subjects. Inde- 
pendently of this, it is much more difficult to get 
rid of the effects of the latter. Much eimreise ia 
required for this purpose ; and if such is nef^eded, 
and the person is of full habit of body, it would have 
been better if he had stuck by his toddy than imr 
the risk of getting overloaded with fat, and dro|^ 
ping down in a fit of apoplexy. 

I know several members of the Temper an e e 
Society who are practising upon themselves the 
delusion in question. They shun spirits, but indulge 
largely in porter — to the extent perhaps of a bot- 
tle a-day. Nobody can deny that by this practice 
they will suffer a great deal more than if they took 
a tumbler or so of toddy daily ; and the conaeqoeB* 
ces are the more pernicious, because, while indoU 
ging in these libations, they imagine themselves le 
be all the while paragons of sobriety. Rather tfian 
have permitted such a license to their members, 
Temperance Societies should have proscribed mall 
liquors as they have done spirits. As it is, a per* 
son may be a member, and follow the rales of the 
Societies, while he is all the time habituating him* 
self to drunkenness. These facts, with all my re- 
spect for Temperance Societies, and firm bdief in 


their utility, I am compelled to mention ; and I dO' 
so the more readily, as there is a large balance of 
good in their favour, to orerweigh whatever bad 
may be brought against them. 

But notwithstanding this, the fact that a habit of 
drunkenness is far more likely to be caused by in- 
dulging habitually in spirits than in any thing else, 
is undeniable ; and Temperance Societies, in les- 
sening the consumpt of spirits, have accomplished 
a certain good, in so far as they have thus'been the 
means of diminishing, to a considerable extent, the 
vice of drunkenness, of reclaiming a few topers, and 
preventing many from becoming so who would cer« 
tainly have fallen into the snare, had they not been 
timously checked by their influence and exam- 

In conclusion, I have to repeat that I do not 
agree with the Societies in considering ardent spi- 
rits always hurtful in health, or in recommending 
the instant disuse of liquor in all cases of drunken- 
ness. The reasons for entertaining my own opin- 
ions on these points are given in the work, and they 
are satisfactory to myself, whatever they may be 
to others. At the same time, I fully admit that 
. these institutions may oft^n prove eminently useful, 
and that the cases wherein they may be injurious 
to those connected with them, are not many, com- 
pared to the mass of good which they are capable 
of effecting. The man, therefore, who feels tli^ 
appetite for liquor stealing upon him, cannot adopt 


a wiser plan than to connect himself with a body, 
the members of which will keep him in counte- 
nance in sobriety, and, by their example, perhiqM 
wean him away from the bottle, and thus arrest 
him on the road to ruin.* 

* The following account of Temperance Societies isbyProies* 
Bor Edgar, one of their most enthusiastic adrocates : ^- 

'^ Temperance Societies direct their chief exortionfl against the 
use of distilled spirits, conceiving them to be the great bane of te 
community ; but they do not exclude these to introduce other in- 
toxicating liquors in their room. Their object is to disabuse the 
public mind respecting the erroneous opinions and evil practices 
which produce and perpetuate intempemnce ; and though they do 
not hold it to be sinful to drink vrine, yet they are cheeifully willing 
to accord with the sentiment of inspiration, — 'It is good neither 
to drink wine nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is 
crfiended, or is made weak.* Were the wine spoken of in Scrip- 
ture alone used in these countries, they do not believe that there 
would be a necessity for Temperance Societies ; yet even fiom 
such wine, so different from that commonly in use, the Scriptures 
gave them the fullest liberty to refrain. Avoiding, however, aD 
appearance of rigorous kLbstinence,'tiiey leave to every man's judge- 
ment and conscience, bow far he shall feel himself wananitcd in 
the use of fermented liquors, and only insist, as their fundamental 
principle, on an abstinence from distilled spirits, and a discounte- 
nancing of the causes and practices of intemperance. Their re- 
gulations respect persons in health alone ; with the pres crip tions 
of physicians they do not intecftre. Even the moderate use of din- 
tilled spirits they consider to be injurious ; and they call upon their 
brethren, for their own sake, to renounce it The great mass of 
excellences attributed to intojdcating liquors, they believe to be 
fictitioos ; and thou^ all the virtues attributed to them were i«nl, 
they are cheerfully willing to sacrifice them, while they have the 
remotest hope t>f thus cutting off even one of the sources of drunk* 
enness, or arresting one friend or neighbour on the road to ruin. 
They do not look on the use of intoxicating liquors as necessary 
either to their health or happiness ; they do not love them, and 

DftUKKEKKESrs. 191 

therefore, they do not wish to represent an ahituieDce from them 
aflii on .their part, a great sacrifice; and they trust that they only 
require to be convinced that the good of their brother demands it, 
to induce them to do much more than they have yet done. They 
know that the only prospect of refbrination for the intemperate is 
immediate and complete abstinence, and they joyfiiUy contribiite 
their influence and example to save him. They know that the 
present customs and practices of the temperate, are now preparing 
a generation for occupying the room of those who shall soon sleep 
in drunkards' graves, and it is their earnest wish to exercise such 
a redeeming influence on the public mind, that, should the present 
race of drunkards refuse to be saved, there may be none to fill their 
place when they are no more. The abstinence of the temperate, 
they are convinced, will accomplish this, and that abstinence it 
is their business to promote by those means with which the God 
of truth has furnished them. They believe that such abstinence, 
instead of being productive of any injury to the conmiunity, will 
greatly benefit it ; and already tliere are the fairest prospects of 
the great objects of such voluntary abstinence being eflected, by 
associations sustaining one another in new habits, to make them 
reputable and common. They require no oaths, no vows ; their 
bond of obligation is a sense of duty, and subscription to their fun- 
damental principle, is merely an expression of present conviction 
and determination. The law of Temperance Societies, like the 
Gospel, is the law of liberty — the law which binds to do that which 
is considered a delight and a privilege. They look forward to the 
titoe as not far distant, when the temperate, having withdrawn 
their support from th& trade m ardent spirits, it shall be deserted 
by all respectable men, and shall gradually die away, as prema- 
ture death thins the ranks of drunkards : they trust that the false- 
hoods by which temperate men have been cheated into the ordi- 
nary use of ardent spirits, will soon be completely exposed ; and 
that full information and proper feeling being extended, respectmg 
the nature and eflTectsof intoxicating liquors, they will occupy their 
proper place, and the unnumbered blessings of temperance on in- 
dividuals and families, and the whole community, will universally 
prevail. Not only will Temperance Societies cut ofii*the resour- 
ces of drunkenness, but to the reformed drunkard, they will open 
a refuge from the tyranny of evil customs, and they will suppott 


mnd encourage him in his new habita. To promote these invalo*- 
ble objecta, they call for the united eSbitB of all temperate men ; 
thej earnestly solicit the assistance of physicians, of clergyinen, of 
the conductors of pubUc journals, of all men possessing authority 
and influence ; and by every thing sacred and good^ they beseech 
drunkards to turn firom the wickedness of their ways and Uve." 




If a man is resolved to continue a drunkard, it 
may here be proper to mention in what manner he 
can do so with least risk to himself. One of the 
principal rules to be observed, not only by him, but 
by habitually sober people, is never to take any in- 
ebriating liquor, especially spirits, upon an empty 
stomach. There is no habit more common or more 
destructive than this : it not only intoxicates rea- 
dier than when food has been previously taken, but 
it has a much greater tendency to impair the func- 
tions of the digestive organs. In addition, drunk- 
ards should shun raw spirits, which more rapidly 
bring on disease of the stomach, than when used 
in a diluted state. These fluids are safe in pro- 
portion to the state of their dilution ; but to this 
general rule there is one exception, m. punch. 
This, though the most diluted form in which they 
are used, is, I suspect, nearly the very worst — not 



from the weakness of the mixture, but from the 
acid which is combined with it. This acid, al- 
though for the time being, it braces the stomach, 
and enables it to withstand a greater portion of li- 
quor than it would otherwise do, has ultimately the 
most pernicious effect upon this organ — giving 
rise to thickening of its coats, heartburn, and all 
the usual distressing phenomena of indigestion. 
Other organs, such as the kidneys, also suffer, and 
gravelly complaints are apt to be induced. A com- 
mon belief prevails that punch is more salubrious 
than any other spiritous compound, but this is 
grounded on erroneous premises. When people 
sit down to drink punch, they are not so apt — 
owing to the great length of time which elapses ere 
such a weak fluid produces intoxication — to be 
betrayed into excess as when indulging in toddy. 
In this point of view it may be said to be less in- 
jurious ; but let the same quantity of spirits be ta- 
ken in the form of punch, as in that of grog or toddy, 
and there can be no doubt that in the long run the 
consequences will be far more fatal to the consti- 
tution. If we commit a debauch on punch, the bad 
consequences cling muc|;i longer to the system than 
those proceeding from a similar debauch upon any 
other combination of ardent spirits. In my opin- 
ion, the safest way of using those liquids is in the 
shape of grog.* Cold toddy, or a mixture of spi- 

♦ The origin of the term " grog" is curious. Before the time 
of Admiral Vernon, rum was given in its raw state to the seamen ; 
but he ordered it to be diluted, previous to delivery, with a certain 


fits, cold water, and sugar, ranks neiKt in the scale 
of safety ; then warm toddy ; then cold punch — 
and raw spirit is the most pernicious of all. 

The malt-liquor drunkard should, as a general 
rule, prefer porter to strong ale. Herb ale and 
purl are very pernicious, but the lighter varieties, 
such as small beer and home-brewed, are not only 
harmless, but even useful. The person who in- 
dulges in malt liquor should take much exercise. 
If he neglects this, and yields to the indolence apt 
to be induced by these fluids, he becomes fat and 
stupid, and has a strong tendency to apoplexy, and 
other diseases of plethora. 

As to the vnne-bibber, no directions can be 
given which will prove very satisfactory. The 
varieties of wines are so numerous, that any com- 
plete estimate of their respective powers is here 
impossible. It may, however, be laid down as a 
general rule, that those which are most diuretic, 
and excite least headach and fever are the safest 
for the constitution. The light dry wines, such as 
Hock, Claret, Burgundy, Bucellas, Rhenish, and 
Hermitage, are, generally speaking, more salubri- 
ous than the stronger varieties, such as Port, Sher- 
ry, or Madeira. Claret, in particular, is the most 
wholesome wine that is known. Tokay ,t Fron- 

quantity of water. So incensed were the tars at this watering of 
their favourite liquor, that they nicknamed the Admiral (M Gtog, 
in allusion to a grogram coat which he was in the hahit of wear- 
ing: hence the name, 
t Catharine I. of Russia was intempentely addicted to the use 


tignac, Malmsey^ Vino 'Knto, Montifiascone, Ca* 
ttaiy, and other sweet wines, are i^t, in cmise- 
quence of their imperfect fermentation, to produce 
acid upon weak stomachs ; but in othei^ cases they 
are delightful drinks ; and when there is no ten- 
dency to acidity in the system, they may be taken 
with comparative safety to a considerable extent 
Whenever there is disease, attention must be paid 
to the wines best adapted to its particular nature. 
For instance, in gout, the acescent wines, such as 
Hock and Claret, must be avoided, and Sherry or 
Madeira substituted in their )*oom ; and should 
even this run into the acetous fermentation, it 
must be laid aside, and replaced by weak brandy 
and water. Champagne, except in cases of weak 
digestion, is one of the safest wines that can be 
drunk. Its intoxicating effects are rat)id, but ex* 
ceedingly transient, and depend partly upon the 
carbonic acid which is evolved from it, and partly 
upon the alcohol which is suspended in this gas, be- 
ing applied rapidly and extensively to a large sur- 
face of the stomach. 

Drunkards will do well to follow the maxim of 
the facetious Morgan Odoherty, and never mix 
their wines. Whatever wine they commence 
with, to that let them adhere throughout the eve- 
ning. If there be any case where this rule may 
be transgressed with safety, it is perhaps in favour 

of Tokay. She died of dropsy, which complaint was probably 
brought on by such indulgence. 


of Claret, a moderate quantity of which is both 
pleasant and refireshing after a course of Port or 
Madeira. Nor is the advice of the same eccentric 
authority, with regard to malt liquors, less just or 
less worthy of observance — the toper being re- 
compiended to abstain scrupulously from such 
fluids when he means beforehand to ** make, an 
evening of it," and sit long at the bottle. The mix- 
ture, unquestionably, not qnly disorders the sto- 
mach, but effectually weakens the ability of the 
person to withstand the forthcoming debauch. 





Women, especially in a low station, who act as 
nurses, are strongly addicted to the practice of 
drinking porter and ales, for the purpose of aug- 
menting their milk. This very common custom 
cannot be sufficiently deprecated. It is often per- 
nicious to both parties, and may lay the foundation 
of a multitude of diseases in the infant. The milk, 
which ought to be bland and unirritating, acquires 
certain heating qualities, and becomes deteriorated 
to a degree of which those unaccustomed to inves- 
tigate such matters have little conception. The 
child nursed by a drunkard is hardly ever healthy. 
It is, in a particular manner, subject to derange- 
ments of the digestive organs, or convulsive affec- 
tions. With regard to the latter. Dr. North* re- 
marks, that he has seen them almost instantly 

* Practical Observations on the Convulsions of Infants. 


removed by the child being transferred to a tem- 
perate woman, I have observed the same thing, 
not only in convulsive cases, but many others. 
Nor are liquors the only agents whose properties 
are communicable to the nursling. It is the same 
with regard to opium, tobacco, and other narco- 
tics. Purgatives transmit their powers in a simi- 
lar manner, so much so, that nothing is more 
t^ommon than for the bhild suckled by, a woman 
who has taken physic, to be affected with bowel 
complaint No woman is qualified to be a nurse, 
unless strictly sober ; and though stout children are 
sometimes reared by persons who indulge to a 
considerable extent in liquor, there can be no doubt 
that they are thereby exposed to risk, ^d that 
they would have had a much better chance of do- 
ing weU, if the same quantity of milk had been 
furnished by natural means. If a woman cannot 
afford the necessary supply without these indul- 
gences, she should give over the infant to some one 
who can, and drop nursing altogether. The only 
cases in which a moderate portion of malt liquor 
is justifiable, are when the milk is deficient, and 
the nurse averse or unable to put another in her 
place. Here, of two evils, we choose the least, 
and rather give the infatit^milk of an inferior qua- 
lity, than endanger its health, by weaning it pre- 
maturely, or stinting it of its accustomed nourish- 
• ment. 

Connected with this subject is the practice of 
administering stimulating liquors to children. — 



Tlus habit is so common in some parts of Scot* 
land, that infants of a few days old are often forced 
to swallow raw whiskey. In like manner, great 
injury is often inflicted upon children by the fine- 
quent administration of laudanum, paregoric, Grod- 
fre/s Cordial, and other preparations of opium. 
The child in a short time becomes pallid, ema- 
ciated, and fretful, and is subject to convulsiye 
attacks, and every variety of disorder in the sto- 
mach and bowels. Vomiting, diarrhoea, and other 
affections of the digestive system ensue,, and atro- 
phy, followed by death, is too often the conse- 

An experiment made by Dr« Hunter upon two 
of his children, illustrates in a striking manner the 
pernicious effects of even a small portion of intoxi- 
cating liquors, in persons of that tender age. To 
one of the children he gave, every day after din- 
ner, a full glass of Sherry : the chiU was five years 
of age, and unaccustomed to the use of wine. To 
the other child, of nearly the same age, and equally 
unused to wine, he gave an orange. In the course 
of a week, a very marked difference was percept- 
ible in the pulse, urine, and evacuations from the 
bowels of the two children. The pulse of the first 
child was raised, the urine high coloured, and the 
evacuations destitute of their usual quantity of 
bile. In the other child, no change whatever was 
produced. He then reversed the experiment, 
giving to the first the orange, and to the second 
the wine, and the results corresponded : the child 


who had the orange continued well, and the sys- 
tem of the other got straightway into disorder, as 
in the first experiment. Parents should therefore 
be careful not to allow their youthful offspring sti- 
mulating liquors of any kind, except in cases of 
disease, and then only under the guidance of a 
medical attendant. The earlier persons are ini- 
tiated in the use of liquor, the more completely 
does it gain dominion over them, and the more dif- 
ficult is the passion for it to be eradicated. Child- 
ren naturally dislike liquors — a pretty convincing 
proof that in early life they are totally uncalled 
for, and that they only become agreeable by habit. 
It is, in general, long before the palate is recon- 
ciled to malt liquors ; and most young persons 
prefer the sweet home-made wines of their own 
country, to the richer varieties imported from 
abroad. This shows that the love of such stimu- 
lants is in a great measure acquired, and also 
points out the necessity of guarding youth as much 
as possible from the acquisition of so unnatural a 




Though drunkenness is alwfiys injurious, it does 
not follow that a moderate and proper use of those 
agents which produce it is so. These facts have 
been so fully illustrated that it is unnecessary to 
dwell longer upon them ; and I only allude to them 
at present for the purpose of showing more fully a 
few circumstances in which all kinds of liquors 
may be indulged in, not only without injury, but 
with absolute benefit. It is impossible to deny 
that in particular situations, as in those of hard- 
wrought sailors and soldiers, a moderate allowance 
is proper. The body, in such cases, would often 
sink under the accumulation of fatigue and cold, 
if not recruited by some artificial excitement. In 
both the naval and mercantile service the men are 
allowed a certain quantity of grog, experience hav- 
ing shown the necessity of this stimulus in such 
situations. When Captain B%h and his unfoita« 


Date companions were exposed to those dreadful 
privations consequent to their being! set adrift, in 
an open boat, by the mutineers of the Bounty, the 
few drops of rum which were occasionally doled 
out to each individual, proved of such incalculable 
service, that, vdthout this providential aid, every 
one must have perished of absolute cold and ex- 
haustion.* The utility of spirits in enabling the 
frame to resist severe cold, I can still farther illus- 
trate by a circumstance personal to myself; and 
there can be no doubt that the experience of 
every one must have furnished him with similar 
examples. I was travelling on the top of the Ca- 
ledonian coach, during an intensely cold day, 
towards the end of November, 1821. We left 
Inverness at five in the morning, when it was 
nearly pitch dark, and when the thermometer 
probably stood at 18" of Fahr. I was disappointed 
of an inside seat, and was obliged to take one on 
the top, where there were nine outside passengers 

* " At day-break," says Captain Bligh, " I served to every per- 
son a tea-spoonful of rum, our limbs being so much cramped that 
wi3 could scarcely move them." 

" Being unusually wet and cold, I served to the people a tea- 
spoonful of rum each, to enable them to bear with their distressing 

" Our situation was miserable: always wet, and suffering ex- 
treme cold in the night, without the least shelter from the weather. 
The little rum we had was of the ^taitsi service ; when our nights 
were particularly distressing, I generally served a tea-spoonful or 
two to each person, and it was always jo3rful tidings when they 
heard of my intention." — Family Library, vol. xxv. Mxiiiny ofth% 


from the weakness of the mixture, but from the 
acid which is combined with it. This acid, al- 
though for the time being, it braces the stomach, 
and enables it to withstand a greater portion of li- 
quor than it would otherwise do, has ultimately the 
most pernicious effect upon this organ — giving 
rise to thickening of its coats, heartburn, and all 
the usual distressing phenomena of indigestion. 
Other organs, such as the kidneys, also suffer, and 
gravelly complaints are apt to be induced. A com- 
mon belief prevails that punch is more salubrious 
than any other spiritous compound, but this is 
grounded on erroneous premises. When people 
sit down to drink punch, they are not so apt — 
owing to the great length of tnne which elapses ere 
such a weak fluid produces intoxication — to be 
betrayed into excess as when indulging in toddy. 
In this point of view it may be said to be less in- 
jurious ; but let the same quantity of spirits be ta- 
ken in the form of punch, as in that of grog or toddy, 
and there can be no doubt that in the long run the 
consequences will be far more fatal to the consti- 
tution. If we commit a debauch on punch, the bad 
consequences cling muc^i longer to the system than 
those proceeding from a similar debauch upon any 
other combination of ardent spirits. In my opin- 
ion, the safest way of using those liquids is in the 
shape of grog.* Cold toddy, or a mixture of spi- 

♦ The origin of the term " grog" is curious. Before the time 
of Admiral Vernon, rum was given in its raw state to the seamen ; 
but he ordered it to be diluted, previous to delivery, with a certain 


that without spirits, or some other stimulating li- 
quor, the consequences of such severe weather 
would have been highly prejudicial to most of us. 
Some persons deny that spirits possess the pro- 
perty of enabling the body to resist cold, but, in 
the face of such evidence, I can never agree with 
them. That, under these circumstances, they steel 
the system, at least for a considerable time, against 
the effects of a low temperature, I am perfectly 
satisfied. Analogy is in favour of this assertion, 
and the experience of every man must prove its 
accuracy. At the same time, I do not mean to 
deny that wine or ale might have done the same 
thing equally well, and perhaps with less risk of 
ulterior consequences. We had no opportunity of 
trying their efficacy in these respects, and were 
compelled, in self-defence, to have recourse to 
what, in common cases ought to be shunned, viz. 
raw spirits. The case was an extreme one, and 
required an extreme remedy ; such, however, as I 
would advise no one to have recourse to without a 
similar plea of strong necessity to go upon. 

It follows, then, that if spirits are often perverted 
to the worst purposes, and capable of producing 
the greatest calamities, they are also, on particular 
occasions, of unquestionable benefit. In many af- 
fections, both they and wine are of more use than 
any medicine the physician can administer. Wine 
is indicated in various diseases of debility. When- 
ever there is a deficiency of the vital powers, as 
in the low stages of typhus fever, in gangrene, pu«' 



trid sore throat, and, generally speaking, whenei^it 
weakness, unaccompanied by acute inflammatioiit 
prevails, it is capable of rendering the most impor* 
tant services. Used in moderation, it enables the 
system to resist the attack of malignant and inter* 
mittent fevers. It is a promoter of digestion, but 
sometimes produces acidity, in which case, spirits 
are preferable. To assist the digestive process in 
weak stomachs, I sometimes prescribe a tumbler 
of negus or toddy to be taken after dinner, espe- 
cially if the person be of a studious habit, or other- 
wise employed in a sedentary occupation. Such 
individuals are often benefitted by the stimulus 
communicated to the frame by these cordials. In 
diarrhcea, dysentery, cholera, cramps, tremors, 
and many other diseases, both spirits and wine 
often tell with admirable effect, while they are 
contra-indicated in all inflammatory affections. 
Malt liquors also, when used in moderation, are 
often beneficial. Though the drunkenness pro- 
duced by their excessive use is of the most stupi- 
fying and disgusting kind, yet, when under tem- 
perate management, and accompanied by sufficient 
exercise, they are more wholesome than either 
spirits or wine. They abound in nourishment, and 
are well adapted to the labouring man, whose food 
is usually not of a very nutritive character. The 
only regret is, that they are so much adulterated by 
narcotics. This renders them peculiarly improper 
for persons of a plethoric habit, and also prevents 
them firom being employed in other cases whers 


ttejr might be useful. Persons of a spare habit of 
body, are those likely to derive most benefit from 
malt liquors. I often recommend them to delicate 
youths and young girls who are just shooting into 
maturity, and often with the best effect. Lusty, 
full-bodied, plethoric people, should abstain from 
them, at least from porter and strong ale, which 
are much too fattening and nutritious for persons 
of this description. They are also, generally 
speaking, injurious in indigestion and bowel com- 
plaints, owing to their tendency to produce flatu- 
lence. In such cases, they yield the palm to wine 
and spirits. It is to be regretted that the system 
of making home-brewed ale, common among the 
English, has made so little progress in Scotland. 
This excellent beverage is free from those danger- 
ous combinations employed by the brewers, and 
to the labouring classes in particular, is a most 
nourishing and salubrious drink. I fully agree 
with Sir John Sinclair in thinking, that in no re- 
spect is the alteration in diet more injurious than 
in substituting ardent spirits for ale — the ancient 
drink of the common people. Though an occa- 
sional and moderate allowance of spirits will often 
benefit a working man, still the tendency of peo- 
ple to drink these fluids to excess renders even 
their moderate indulgence often hazardous; and 
hence, in one respect, the superiority possessed 
over them by malt liquors. 

In higher circles, where there is good living and 
little woik, liquors of any kind are far less neces- 


Bary ; and, till a man gets into the decline of life^ 
they are, except under such circumstances, as have 
been detailed, absolutely useless. When he attains 
that age, he will be the better of a moderate allow- 
ance to recruit the vigour which approaching years 
steal from the frame. For young and middle- 
aged men, in good circumstances and vigorous 
health, water is the best drink ; the food they eat 
being sufficiently nutritious and stimulating with- 
out any assistance from liquor. For young peo- 
ple, in particular, liquors of all kinds are, under 
common circumstances, not only unnecessary in 
health, but exceedingly pernicious, even in what 
the world denominate moderate quantities. This 
is especially the case when the habit is daily in- 
dulged in. . One of the first physicians in Ireland 
has published his conviction on the result of twen- 
ty years' observation — "That were ten young 
men on their twenty-first birth day, to begin to 
drink one glass (equal to two ounces) of ardent 
spirits, or a pint of Port wine or Sherry, and were 
they to drink this supposed moderate quantity of 
strong liquor daily, the lives of eight out of the ten 
would be abridged by twelve or fifteen years." 
" An American clergyman," says Professor Edgar, 
" lately told me that one of his parishioners was in 
the habit of sending to his son at school a daily al- 
lowance of brandy and water, before the boy was 
twelve years of age. The consequence was, that 
his son, before the age of seventeen, was a con- 
firmed drunkard, and he is now confined in a pub- 


lie iKxpital." The force of this anecdote must 
come home to every <Mie. Nothing is more com- 
mon, even in the best society, than the practice of 
administering wine, punch, &c. even to children 
—thus not 6n\y injuring their health, and predis- 
posing them to disease, but laying the foundation 
for intemperance in their maturer years. 

Having stated thus much, it is not to be inferred 
that I advocate the banishment of liquors of any 
kind from society. Though I believe mankind 
would be benefitted upon the whole, were such 
stimulants to be utterly proscribed, yet, in the pre- 
sent state of things, and knowing the fruitlessness 
ef any such recommendation, I do not go the length 
of urging their total disuse. I only would wish to 
inculcate moderation, and that in its proper mean- 
ing, and not in the sense too often applied to it ; 
for, in the practice of many, moderation (so call- 
e4) is intemperance, and perhaps ofthe most dan- 
gerous species, in so far as it becomes a daily 
practice, and insinuates itself under a false charac- 
ter, into the habits of life. Men thi|s indulge ha- 
bitually, day by day, not perhaps to the extent of 
producing any evident effect either upon the body 
or mind at the time, and fancy themselves all the 
while strictly temperate, while they are, in reali- 
ty, undermining their constitution by slow degrees 
— killing themselves by inches, and shortening 
their existence several years. The quantity such 
persons take at a time, is perhaps moderate and 



beneficial, if only occasionally indulged in^ but, be- 
ing hab)tually taken, it injures the health, and thus 
amounts to actual intemperance. ^It is," says 
Dr. Beccher, and I fully concur with him, '< a mat- 
ter of unwonted certainty, that habitual tippling is 
worse than periodical drunkenness. The poor In- 
dian who once a-month drinks himself deculj all 
but simple breathing, will outlive for years the 
man who drinks little and often, and is not per* 
haps suspected of intemperance. The use of ar- 
dent spirits daily, as ministering to cheerfulness or 
bodily vigour, ought to be regarded as intemper- 
ance. No person probably ever did or ever wiU 
receive ardent spirits into his system once a-day 
and fortify his constitution against its deleterious 
effects, or exercise such discretion and self-go- 
vernment, as that the quantity will not be increased, 
and bodily infirmities and mental imbecility be the 
result ; and, in more than half the instances, ine- 
briation. Nature may hold out long against this 
sapping and mining of the constitution, which dai- 
ly tippling i^ carrying on, but, first or last, this 
foe of life will bring to the assault enemies of its 
own formation, before whose power the feeble 
and the mighty will be alike unable to stand." 

Let those, therefore, who will not abandon li- 
quors, use them in moderation, and not habitually^ 
or day by day, unless the health should require it, 
for cases of this kind we sometimes do meet with, 
though by no meaits so often as many would be- 


lieye. Abstractly considered, liquors are not inju- 
rious. It is their abuse that makes them so, in die 
same manner as the most wholesome food be- 
comes pernicious when taken to an improper ex- 


No. I. 

Excerpt from Paris' JPharmacologia. 

•* The characteristic ingredient of all wines is al- 
cohol, and the quantity of this, and the condition 
or state of combination in which it exists, are the 
circumstances that include all the interesting and 
disputed points of medical inquiry. Daily expe- 
rience convinces us that the same quantity of alco- 
hol, applied to the stomach under the form of 
natural wine, and in a state of mixture with water, 
will produce very different effects upon the body, 
and to an extent which it is difficult to compre- 
hend : it has, for instance, been demonstrated that 
Port, Madeira, and Sherry, contain from one- 
fourth to one-fifth of their bulk of alcohol, so that 
a person who takes a bottle of either of them, will 
thus take nearly half a pint of alcohol, or almost a 
pint of pure brandy ! and moreover, that different 
wines, although of the same specific gravity, and 
consequently containing the same absolute propor- 
tion of spirit, will be found to vary very considera- 
bly in their intoxicating powers ; no wonder, then, 


that such results should stagger the philosopher, 
who is naturally unwilling to accept any tests of 
difference from the nervous system, which elude 
the ordinary resources of analytical chemistry ; the 
conclusion was therefore drawn, that alcohol must 
necessarily exist in wine, in a far different condi- 
tion from that in which we know it in a separate 
state, or, in other words, that its elements only 
could exist in the vinous liquor, and that their 
union was determined, and, consequently, alcohol 
produced by the action of distillation. That it was 
the product and not the e^Zt^c^ of distillation, was an 

« anion which originated with Rouelle, who as- 
rted that alcohol was not completely formed 
until the temperature was raised to the point of 
distillation : more lately, the same doctrine was 
revived and promulgated by Fabbronni, in the me- 
moirs of the Florentine Academy. Gay-Lussac 
has, however, silenced the clamorous partisans of 
this theory, by separating the alcohol by distilla- 
tion at the temperature of 66° Fah., and by the aid 
of a vacuum, it has since been effected at 56° ; 
besides, it has been shown that by precipitating 
the colouring matter, and some of the other ele- 
ments of the wine, by sub-acetate of lead, and then 
saturating the clear liquor with sub-carbonate of 
potass, the alcohol may be completely separated 
without any elevation of temperature ; and by 
this ingenious expedient, Mr. Brande has been en- 
abled to construct a table, exhibiting the propor- 
tions of combined alcohol which exist in the seTe- 



ral kinds of wine : no doubt, therefore, can remain 
upon this subject, and the fact of the difference of 
effect, produced by the same bulk of alcohol, when 
presented to the stomach in different states of com- 
bination, adds another striking and instructive 
illustration to those already enumerated in the 
course of this work, of the extraordinary powers 
of chemical combination in modifying the activity 
of substances upon the living system. In the pre- 
sent instance, the alcohol is so combined with the 
extractive matter of the wine, that it is probably 
incapable of exerting its full specific effects upon 
the stomach, before it becomes altered in its pi 
perties, or, in other words, digested ; and this vie^ 
of the subject may be fairly urged in explanation 
of the reason why the intoxicating effects of the 
same wine are so liable to vary, in degree, in the 
same individual, from the peculiar state of his di- 
gestive organs at the time of his potation. Hither- 
to we have only spoken of pure wine, but it is 
essential to state, that the stronger wines of Spain, 
Portugal, and Sicily, are rendered remarkable in this 
country by the addition of brandy, and must conse- 
quently contain uncombined alcohol, the proportion 
of which, however, will not necessarily bear a ratio 
to the quantity added, because, at the period of its 
admixture, a renewed fermentation is produced 
by the scientific vintner, which will assimilate and 
combine a certain portion of the foreign spirit with 
the wine : this manipulation, in technical language, 
is called fretting'in. The free alcohol may, ac- 


cording to the experiments of Fabbronni, be imme- 
diately separated by saturating the vinous fluid 
with sub-carbonate of potass, while the combined 
portion will remain undisturbed : in ascertaining 
the fabrication .and salubrity of a wine, this cir- 
cumstance ought always to constitute a leading 
feature in the inquiry; and the tables of Mr. 
Brande would have been greatly inhanced in prac- 
tical value, had the relative proportions of un- 
combined s^iriiheen appreciated in his experiments, 
since it is to this, and not to the combined alcohol, 
that the injurious effects of wine are to be attri- 
buted. * It is well known,' observes Dr. Maccul- 
iDch, * that diseases of the liver are the most com- 
mon, and the most formidable of those produced 
by the use of ardent spirits ; it is equally certain 
that no such disorders follow the intemperate use 
of pure wine, however long indulged in: to the 
concealed and unwitting consumption of spirit, 
therefore, as Contained in the .wines commonly 
drunk in this country, is to be attributed the ex- 
cessive prevalence of those hepatic aflections, which 
are comparatively little known to our continental 
neighbours.' Thus much is certain, that their or- 
dinary wines contain no alcohol but what is dis- 
armed of its virulence by the prophylactic energies 
of combination." 





Mr. Brandos Table of the Alcoholic Strength of 



Proportion of Pare Spirit 

Per Cent by Measure. 

1. Lissa, 



. 24.35 



2. Raisin wine, 

. 26.40 

Ditto, . 



. 23.20 



3. Marsala, 

. 26.03 

Ditto, . 


Average, . 

. 25.09 

4. Madeira, . 

. . . 24.42 


. 23.93 

Ditto, (Sircial,) 



. 19.41 



5. Currant wine. 

. 20.55 

6, Sherry, 



. 19.83 

Ditto, . 



. 18.25 



7. Teneriffe, 

. 19.79 

8. Colares, . 


0. Lachryma Christi, 

. 19.70 

10. Constantia, (white) 


11. Ditto, (red) . 

. 18.92 



Proportion of Pare Spirit 

Per Cent, by Measure. 

12. Lisbon, 


13. Malaga, (1666,) . 

. 18.94 

14. Bucellas, . 


15. Red Madeira, 

. 22.30 

Ditto, . 


Average, . 

. 20.35 

16. Cape Muschat, . 


17. Cape Madeira, 

. 22.94 

Ditto, . 



. 18.11 



18. Grape wine, 

. 18.11 

19. Calcavella, 



. 18.10 



20. Vidonia, 

. 19.25 

21. Alba Flora, 


22. Malaga, 

. 17.26 

23. White Hermitage, 


24. Rousillon, 

. 19.00 


Ditto, . 


Average, . 

. 18.13 

25. Claret, 



. 16,82 

Ditto, . 


Ditto, . ' . 

. 12.91 



26. Malmsey Madeira, 

. 16.40 

27. Lunal, 


28. Shiraz, 

. 15.52 




. Syracuse, . 

. Sauterne, 

. Burgundy, 
Ditto, . 


. Hock, . 
Ditto, . 

Ditto, (old io cask, 

■ Nice, . 

. Barsac, 

. Tent, . 

. Champagne, (still,) 
Ditto, (sparkling,) 
Ditto, (red,) . 
Ditto, (ditto,) . 

. Red Hermitage, . 

. Vin de Grave, , 


. Frontign&c, . 

. Cote Rotie, 

. Gooseberry wine, . 

. Orange wine, — average of six sam- 
ples made by a London manufac- 
turer, 11.26 

. Tokay, 9.88 

PrajKinioii of Fun Spirit 
F« CmL b; Mgunra. 





Proportion of Pure Spirit 

Per Cent, by Measure. 


Elder wine, .... 



Cider, highest average, . 

. 9.87 

Ditto, lowest average, . 



Perry, average of four samples. 

. 7.26 


Mead, . . . 



Ale, (Burton,) 

. 8.88 

Ditto, (Edinburgh,) 


Ditto, (Dorchester,) . . . 

. 5.66 




Brown Stout, . . . 

. 6.80 


London Porter, average, . 



London Small Beer, average. 

. L28 






. 53.68 





Scotch Whiskey, . 

. 54.32 


Irish ditto, .... 



Abbas the Great, his edict, 160 

Alcohol the intoxicating principle of aU liquors, . . .41 

• its action differs from that of opium, ... 80 

Alexander the Great died of drunkenness, . . . . 7 
Amurath lY. made smoking a capital offence, . . 58 

Ardent Spirits, drunkenness modified by, . . . .41 

' - varieties of, 10, 42 

Armstrong, Dr., his remarks on the disease of the brain, . 110 
Arrack, a spiritous liquor long known in the East, . . 5 

Balfour, Mr. Alexander, case communicated by, . .173 

Bangue possesses intoxicating properties, ... 73 

Bardolph, his nose, 113 

Barrow, Mr., his remarks on tobacco, .... 60 

Beck on Medical Jurisprudence, extracts from, . . 155, 156 
Beecher, Dr., his Sermons on Intemperance, . . 123, 210 

Beer known to the Egyptians, . . . . . . 4 

in the interior of Africa, .... 4 

Belladonna, 74 

Bitters often dangerous remedies, 109 

Bladder, state of, Ill 

Bligh, Captain, his privations, 202 

Blood and breath, state of, 1 12 

Bonosus, hanged himself in a fit of aespair, ... 8 

Brain, state of, 1 10 

Bnmde, Mr., his Table, 217 

Brandy, 5,10,42 

Brodie, Mr., his experiments on tobacco, ... 60 

opinion regarding the absorption of Alcohol, 82 



Broomley, Mr., his remedy for drunkenness, ... 96 

Bunbury, his caricature of the "Long Story y*^ . . . 37 
Caldwell, Dr., on the cure of drunkenness, . . .176 

Camphor possesses intoxicating, properties, ... 77 

Carbonic acid possesses intoxicating properties, . . 78 

Cardinal ?anta Croc§ introduced tobacco into Italy, . 58 

Carnaro, extract from, . 128 

Catherine de Medicis the inventor of snufi) ... 57 
Catherine I. addicted to the use of tokay, . . . .195 

Chardin, extract from his Travels, 53 

Chewing, .64 

Children^ efiects of liquors on, . . . . 118,199 

Claret the most wholesome of wines, 195 

Clary, . . . . ' 78 

Clutterbuck, Dr., his opinion of delirium tremens, . .131 

Cocculus Indicus, 74 

Coffee, used in poisoning from opium, .... 101 

Coke, Sir Edward, his judicial opinion, . . . . 152 

Cold, effects of intense, 78 

Coleridge, Mr., his case, 69 

Colinson on Lunacy, extract from, 156 

Combustion, spontaneous, 139 

Commercial travellers addicted to intemperance, . . 15 

Congee the drink of the natives of India, . . . 178 

Corpulency, 120 

Darnel, 78 

Darwin, Dr., averse to blooding in drunkenness, . . 94 

his account of psora eftriorum, . . . 114 

•— ^— opposes the sudden discontinuance of liquors, 159 

Delirium tremens, 126 

Demosthenes used cold water as a stimulus, . . . 17 

Desgenettes, observation by 178 

Digitalis, 74 

Don Gio Maria BerthoUi, case of, 144 

Double vision, cause of, 88 

Dreams, 136 

Drunkard, choleric, 37 

melancholy, 34 

INDEX. ttt 


Bninkilrd, nervous, . ' 37 

— periodical, . . , . . . . .38 

■ phlegmatic, 36 

' sanguineous, 33 

surly, 35 

Drunkards, sleep of, 135 

— — spontaneous combustion of, . . . 139 

— advice to inveterate, . . . . .193 

Drunkenness, causes of, 12 

• modified by temperament, .... 33 

" ■ modified by the inebriating agent, . . 41 

physiology of, 85 

• method of curing the fit of, ... 93 

pathology of, 103 

— — judicially considered, .... 152 

method of curing the habit of, . . .158 

Dupuy, M., experiment by 96 

Ears, ringing in the, cause of, 89 

Eason, Rebecca, inquest on her body, .... 56 

Edgar, Professor, his account of Temperance Societies, . 189 

' — anecdote by 208 

Edgeworth, Mr., his case, 68 

Eldon, Lord, case cited by 156 

Elevation of spirits, cause of, 89 

Emaciation, 119 

English regiment, anecdote of, 97 

Epilepsy, 118 

Ethers possess intoxicating properties, .... 78 

Eyes, state of, ' 113 

Flushing, cause of, 89 

Fontenelle used coffee as a stimulus, .... 17 

Gin, 9, 42 

Good, Dr. Mason, a believer in spontaneous combustion, 148 

Gordon, Duchess, of, used opium, 50 

Gout, 115 

Grace Pitt, case of, 143 

Grog, origin of the term, 194 

Hair, state of, 115 


Hales, Judge, his remarks on drunkenness, . . . 133 
rejects the plea of drunkenness, . . .152 

Haller used cold water as a stimulus, . . . . 17 

Hammer, Von, extract from his history of the Assassins, . 76 

HannibaPs army ruined by intemperance, ... 7 

Heart, palpitation o^ 117 

Heat and flushing, cause of, 89 

Hemlock, . . . . '. . . . . .73 

Hernandez de Toledo introduced tobacco into Europe. . 57 

Hibiscus Saldarissa, 11 

Hislop, Sir Thomas, fact stated by 178 

HoHbes used tobacco as a stimulus, 17 

Hop, 74 

Hunter, Dr., experiments by, 200 

Hyoscyamus, 75 

Hysteria, 117 

Inflammations, 115 

Innocent, Pope, renewed Pope Urban's bull, ... 58 

James I., his " Counterblaste to Tobacco," ... 59 

Johnson, Dr., used tea as a stimulus, 17 

Kain, Dr., recommends tartar emetic for the cure of habitual 

drunkenness, 174 

Kames, Lord, fact related by, 49 

Kidneys, state of, Ill 

Kinglake, Dr., his case, 70 

Kinninmouth, Patrick, tried for blasphemy and adultery, 154 

Lansberg, Matthew, his saying, 8 

Leopard's-bane, 73 

Lewis, William, a great ale drinker, 47 

Liquors, method of curing drunkenness from, ... 93 

cannot always be suddenly discontinued with safety, 159 

not always hurtful, 202 

Liver, state of, 103 

IVfDonough, William, tried for murder, . . , . 155 
Mackenzie, Sir George, says that the plea of drunkenness is 

never received in extenuation of crime, . , . 152 

Madame Millet, case of, 146 

Madness, 124 

INDEX. 285 

Maliomet forbade wine to his followers, .... 6 
Malt liquors, drunkenness modified by, ... . 46 

Mary Clues, case of, 141 

Masurer, M., discovered the virtues of acetate of ammonia in 

drunkenness, 96 

Mead the favourite drink of the Saxons, .... 4 

Melancholy, ,123 

Mithiidates, his body powerfully resisted poisons, . . 55 
Montesquieu, quotations from, . . . . 2, 48, 179 
Mosley, Dr., his observations on the effect of drinking cold 

water in the tropics, 179 

Nepenthes, II 

Nervii refused to drink wine, 7 

Newton used tobacco as a stimulus, . . . . 17 

Nightmare, 136 

Nitrous oxide, 103 

drunkenness modified by, . . . .65 

North, Dr., his remarks on convulsions of children, . 198 

Nurses and children, effects of intoxicating agents on, . 198 

Odoherty, Morgan, his advice to drunkards, . . . 196 

Old age, premature, 121 - 

Opium, drunkenness modified by, 48 

— ■^— used by the late Duchess of Gordon, ... 50 
— its action differs from that of alcohol, ... 80 

— — method of curing drunkenness from, ... 98 
Opium-E^ter, English, his " Confessions," . . . 48, 54 

Orfila, M., his experiments, 80, 101 

Palm wine, 77 

Paris and Fonblanque, extract from their Medical Jurispru- 
dence, . . . 140 

Paris, Ds., excerpt from his Pharmacologia, . . . 213 

Peganum Harmala, .11 

Perepiration, state of, , 113 

Piteaim, Dr., and the highland chieftain, . . . .171 

Plugging, 65 

Porter, 11,46 

Poitland powder, ^ . , . 109 

PiK>ra efarionun, .•••<.•• 114 

236 INDEX. 


Punch, 193 

Cluakers, longevity of, 118,122 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, introduced tobacco into England, . 58 

Rollo, Dr., fact stated by, 178 

Rum, 11,42 

Ryan, Dr., his opinion of delirium tremens, . . .131 

Sack of Shakspeare supposed to have been sherry, . . 45 

Sanron, .......... 78 

Schubert, extract from his Travels in Sweden, . . 156 
Shakspeare, extracts from, . . . . . 113,121 

Sinclair, Sir John, his remark on ale, .... 207 

Skin, state of, 114 

Sleep of drunkards, 135 

Sleep-walking, 137 

Sleep-talking, 138 

Smith, Dr. Gordon, a believer in spontaneous combustion, . 149 

Smoking, 62 

Snuffing, 61 

Spartans held ebriety in abhorrence, .... 7 

Spirits, their adulteration, 9 

their varieties, 10, 42 

Spurzheim's opinion of the sudden discontinuance of liquors, 159 
Staggering and stammering, causes of, . • • • 88 
Stanhope, Lord, his remarks on Snuffing, ... 61 

SteriUty, 118 

Stomach, state of, 106 

Tartar emetic, use of, 174 

Temperament, drunkenness modified by, ... 33 

Temperance Societies, , . 181 

Thackrah, his remarks on the intemperate habits of commer- 
cial travellers, , 15 

Tobacco, drunkenness modified by, 57 

method of curing drunkenness from, . . 101 

Toddy, 194 

Tremors, 116 

Trotter, Dr., averse to blooding in drunkenness, . . 94 

.1 his advice called in question,' .... 158 
Typhus fever, delirium o^ sometimes mistaken for dnmkeimessi 96 

INDEX. 227 


Ulcers, 123 

Urban VIII. excommunicated snuffers, .... 58 

Vertigo, cause of, . . . ..... 86 

Vinegar, its properties, 97, lOG 

Voltaire used coffee as a stimulus, 17 

Walcheren fever, effects of spirits and smoking on, . , 183 

Whiskey, 11,42 

Wines, their adulteration, 9 

drunkenness modified by, 45 

Wolf's-bane, . 74 




Are Publishers of many very valuable Works, and have con- 
"stantly on hand an extensive assortment of all the popular 
works published not only in this country, but also in Great Bri- 
tain and Germany. Having an agent in London, and on the 
Continent of Europe, they are enabled to procure, by the earliest 
dates, all new publications, and to execute orders with the utmost 
promptitude and correctness. Orders for any works which ma) 
be found in the market respectfully solicited. 

liam B. Sprague, D.D., Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in 
Albany ; with an Introductory Essay, by Leonard Woods, 
D.D. : also an Appendix, consisting of Letters, from the Rev. 
Drs. Alexander, Wayland, Dana, Miller, Hyde, Hawes, 
McDowell, Porter, Payson, Proudfit, M'llvaine, Neill, Mille- 
doler. Lord, Humphrey, Day, Green, Waddel, Griffin, Da- 
vis, De Witt, Tucker, and Coffin. Second edition, with ad- 
ditional Letters. 

" It is a work that should be in the hands of all our miaisters and 
church memberSf that their views relative to revivals may rest on a 
scriptural foundation, that their desires to God for his reviving grace 
may be stimulated, tneir efforts directed, and the dangers and extrava- 
gances ayoidea ov^r which the church of Christ mourns and infidelity 
triumphs." — Cincinnati Standard, 

" In ordinarv cases it would be unnecessary to notice the second edi- 
tion of a work— but there are four reasons why this volume should be 
distinctly presented to the attention of our Reformed Dutch brethren. 

" 1. It is a book containing a course of Lectures and a series of lettere 
not much known to our cbiu'ches. 

"2. The topics discussed are of great interest to the prosperity of our 
Zion, and of deep practical importance to individuals. 

" 3. The high price of the first edition precluded many from penising 
it, who would have rejoiced in its light We take this opportunity to 
remark ; that as people must read, and purchases are often made more 
by the price of the article, than by its intrinsic value ; we deem it the 
incumbent duty pf our sound theological writers on doctrines, experi- 
ence, and Christian fidelity, to furnish their works at the lowest stand- 
ard price. They, will be much better remunerated by the sale of 10 copiee 
at a smaller profit, than by the disposal of one only with twice the no* 
TMnal gain ; setting aside all the additional religioufl benefits which are 



**4. The volume is enlai^ed by the addition of 19 pages, comprising 
letters from Dr. De Witt, of New York, Dr. Tucker, of Troy, and Dr. 
■ Coffin, of Tennessee. 

** To praise these Lectures by Dr. Spragiie is just about as nef^essary, 
as to eulogize bread and water : it is sufficient to state, th&i they are 
the offspring of an enlightened Christian's mind and heart ; that every 
officer and member of our churches should read these ' Lectures on Re- 
vivals of Religion^* and that no sincere disciple of Jesus, the Son of 
pod, will regret the dollar ^propriated for the purchase of this instruct- 
ive and edifymg volume."— Religious Intelligencer, 

Political Opinions ; with Animadversions upon Dr. John- 
son's Life of Milton, &c. By Joseph Ivimey. With a por- 
trait. 12mo., cloth,— rprice 75 cetits. 

** It has been undertaken with the zeal of a disciple ; it has bee> 
achieved with the skill of a master ; and is worthy of the subject."— 

This work presents Milton in a new light, not only in the 
diaracter of a poet, but as a patriot , a protest ant, and rum 
conformist ; and will be found to be highly interesting. 

Chaplain to the Hon. East India Company, by the Rev. J. 
Sargent, M.A. Rector of Lavington, author of the Memoir 
of Henry Martyn, with whom the Rev. Mr. Thomason la- 
bored in India, 1 vol. 12mo. cloth, 75 cents. Speaks of Mrs. 
Judson, Newell, Bishoo Heber, Bishop Middleton, and others 
in India, in the most pleasing and interesting manner. 

Extract from the American edition of Henry Martyn's Me- 
moirs, by the editor : 

"The names of few will be recorded in thp Annals of India, who have 
conferred greater benefits upon it than Mr. Thomason, and the Christian 
philanthropist, when associating in his mind Kurander, and Swartz, 
and Brown, and Buchanan, and Martyn, and Heber, the name of Tho- 
mason ai> a no less true friend to the cause of the Redeemer." 

This work is recommended by the numerous literary and 
religious papers and periodicals oi the day, as being not inferior 
to the highly interesting memoir of Henry Martyn by the 
same author. , 


CHRONOLOGY ; or, an Introduction and Index to Univer- 
sal History, Biography, and Useful Knowledge ; compri- 
sing a Chronological, contemporary, and alphabetical record 
of important and interesting occurrences, from the earliest 
period to the present time ; with copious lists of eminent 
and remarkable persons, &c. ; to which are added, Valpy's 
Poetical Retrospect ; Literary Chronology ; and the latest 
statistical views of the world ; with a chart of History. In- 
tended for the use of Schools and general reference. 1 yoL 



An account of the Infancy, Religious, and Literary Life ot 
ADAM CLARKE, LL.D., F.A.S. &c. &c. written by one 
who was intimately acquainted with him from his boyhood 
to the sixtieth year of his age. Edited by the Rev. J. B. 
Clai:ke, M.A. Trin. Coll. Qambridge. 1 vol. 12mo. 

GOSPEL SEEDS; or collection of unpublished pieces on 
the revealed truths in the word of God, and the practice it 
enjoins on Christians, by the Rev. Csesar Malan, D.D. ot 
Geneva. 1 vol. 18mo. 

Extract from the preface : 

"The Rev. CsBsar Malafi, of Geneva, in Switzerland^has for many 
years.^been well known to the Christian public, both in Europe and 
America. He early became pre-eminent as an evangelical minister of 
Christ, and as a warm advocate of modern benevolent institutions." 

Says the Rev. John Adam, late Missionary at . Calcutta, in 
a letter to his mother, written from Geneva, August 22d, 1821, 

'*I was struck with his (Rev. C. Malan's) appearance at first sight; he 
immediately brought to my mind the worthies of the primitive Church, 
so much he resemoled the pictures I have seen of them, in the simphci- 
ty of his dress, the steadfastness and serenity of his countenance. ♦ ♦ ♦ 
All he says and all he does evinces itself to be directed to the one n*«im 
object — JKeligion." 

In another letter, addressed to Rev. John Pye ^mith, D.D. 
of Homerton, London, he says : 

" Never did I hear a preacher who came so near to mv idea of w*iat a 
minister should be. It is self-evident that every word he says comes 
from the bottom of his heart; and he has a peculiar talent of divesting 
religion of that formality which is too generally thrown over it." 

THOUGHTS IN AFFLICTION, by the Rev. A. S. Thel- 
wall, A. M. of Trinity College, Cambridge. To which is 
Thornton ; also SACRED POETRY, carefully selected 
by a Clergyman. 24mo. 

"It is one of those excellent little volumes which are so appropriate to 
be presented to those who are sufiering the loss of friends. — Christian 

A TEXT BOOK OF POPERY, comprising a brief History 
of the Council of Trent ; a translation of its doctrinal de- 
crees, and copious extracts from the Catechism published by 
its authority ; intended to furnish a coixect and complete 
view of the Theological System of Popery, by J. M. Cramp. 
1 vol. ]2mG. cloth. 

** The /eader of this work will acquire a full knowledge of the creed, 
without believing which, Pope Pius 4th and every true Catholic declare 
* it is impossible to be saved. . We recommend the careful perusal of the 
Tolume to every one who loves the liberty wherewith Christ hath made 
as free."— iV. y. Observer. 

TAMENT : tn T/^hich is prefixed a Memoir of thr Author 



by W. Youngman — abridged from his large work by the 
Rev. Wm. Patton. With a Portrait. 18mo., beautifully 
printed.- Very many recommendations have been received 
TtS to the execution and correctness of this work. The fol- 
lowing we can only find room to add : 

"We, the undersigned, having examuied Cruden's Polymicrian Concor- 
dance of the New Testament, take pleasure in recommending it to the 
Christian public. This little work contains in a.small compass, the chief 
excellences of the larger work. Cruden's definitions of importaot 
words, and their various significations in different passages, have been 
generally retained, and it is believed that every verse and sentence in the 
New Testament, can be easily found. This Concordance is worthy a 
place in every family, and to be possessed by every member of a Bible 
Class, and by every Sabbath School Teacher. 

" Rev. Elinu W. Baldwin, Rev. John Woodbridge, Rev. H:)rman Nor- 
ton, Rev. John A. Murray, Rev. John M. Krebs, Rev. J. D. Weckham, 
Rev. H. G. Ludlow, Rev. A. Peters, Rev. E. Cheever, Rev. B. H. Rice, 
&c. &c." 

"It is embellished with a portrait and vignette title page, both hand 
somely engraved ; and the uncommon neatness of this little volume, in 
its typographical execution, and binding, renders it pleasing to the eye, 
and a very desirable object to a searcher of that portion of the scrip- 
tures to which it relates.*'— xV. Y. Mercantile Advertiser. 

CHRISTIAN LYRE, in any quantity and style. 


Essay on the Warrant, Nature, and Duties of the Office of 
the Ruling Elder, in the Presbyterian Church, by Sauiuel 
Miller, D.D. Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church 
Government, in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, 
N. J. Second Edition, 12mo. Highly recommended, and 
should be in the hands of every office holder in the Presby- 
terian Church. 


References ; the most beautiful and valuable pocket edition 



The above are elegantly bound in morocco gilt, and oiTered ai 
reduced prices. 

SHIMEALL'S SCRIPTURE CHART, elegantly mounted 
on rollers, or in book form, together with a book of questions. 

^ Its recommendations alone form a volume. Highly useful 
and valuable to Clergymen, Sabbath Schools, &c. 

D.D., New Edition, with Notes, by Calvin E. Stowe, A.M. 
1 vol. 8vo. 

HEBREWS, by Mc*- .3tuart, Prof. &c. drc. 1 toI. 8vo.