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will admit of no medium party-you must either abstain altogether, or be put down as a toper.
It is astonishing how obstinate some people are, and how great is the diversity of opinion. I have heard many anecdotes relative to this question. A man, who indulged freely, was recommended to join the society—“Now," said the minister, “you must allow that there is nothing so good, so valuable to man as water. What is the first thing you call for in sickness but water ? What else can cool your parched tongue like water? What did the rich man ask for when in fiery torments ? What does the wretch ask for on the rack? You cannot always drink spirits, but water you can. Water costs nothing, and you save your money. Water never intoxicates, or prevents you from going to your work. There is nothing like water. Come now, Peter, let me hear your opinion.”
“ Well then, sir, I think water is very good, very excellent indeed for navigation.”
An old Dutchman, who kept an inn at Hoboken, had long resisted the attacks of the temperance societies, until one night he happened to get so very drunk, that he actually signed the paper and took the oath. The next morning he was made acquainted with what he had unconsciously done, and, much to the surprise of his friends, he replied, “Well, if I have signed and have sworn, as you tell me I have, I must keep to my word,” and from that hour the old fellow abstained altogether from his favourite schnapps. But the leaving off a habit which had become necessary had the usual result. The old man took to his bed, and at last became seriously ill. A medical man was called in, and, when he was informed of what had occurred, perceived the necessity of some stimulus, and ordered that his patient should take one ounce of French brandy every day.
“ An ounce of French brandy,” said the old Dutchman, looking at the prescription. “ Well,
dad is goot; but how much is an ounce ?" Nobody who was present could inform him. “I know what a quart, a pint, or a gill of brandy is,” said the Dutchman ; “but I never yet have had a customer call for an ounce. Well, my son, go to the schoolmaster; he is a learned man, and tell him I wish to know how
much is one ounce.
The message was carried. The schoolmaster, occupied with his pupils, and not liking the interruption, hastily, and without further enquiries of the messenger, turned over his Bonnycastle, and arriving at the table of avoirdupois weight, replied, “ Tell your father that sixteen drams make an ounce."
The boy took back the message correctly, and when the old Dutchman heard it, his countenance brightened up—"A goot physician, a clever man-I only have drink twelve drams a day, and he tells me to take sixteen. I have taken one oath when I was drunk, and I keep it; now dat I am sober I take anoder, which
is, I will be very sick for de remainder of my days, and never throw my physic out of window."
There was a cold water celebration at Boston, on which occasion the hilarity of the evening was increased by the singing of the following ode. Nobody will venture to assert that there is any spirit in the composition, and, judging from what I have seen of American manners and customs, I am afraid that the sentiments of the four last lines will not be responded to throughout the Union.
Kneel on the grass
And when the man of God
From Egypt led his flock,
And forth a still
And drank their fill.
Would Eden thus have smil'd
Had wine to Eden come ? Would Horeb's parching wild Have been refreshed with rum?
And had Eve's hair
Had Moses built a still
And dealt out to that host,
every man his gill,
How large a band
In Canaan's land?