« 上一页继续 »
elements of his nature into the likeness of the blackest demon of the bottomless pit.
What is temperance? To be temperate in the use of a good thing is to abstain from an undue use of it; but to be temperate in regard to a bad thing requires total abstinence from it. Every degree of the use of a hurtful article is intemperance. To be temperate in regard to alcoholic liquors and all unnatural, artificial stimuli is to let them wholly alone.
THE SALOON IN POLITICS.
GENERAL CLINTON B. FISK.
HE American saloon sits supreme in American politics.
It governs in caucus, convention, canvass and ballotbox, and will continue its destructive, defiant reign until an aroused American conscience shall bury it out of sight forever beneath an avalanche of indignant ballots. Two hundred thousand dramshops control our politics. Our voting population go to and fro under the hallucination that either the Democratic or the Republican party, with varying fortunes of success or defeat, is in power. It is not so. Neither of these parties dares strike a blow at the saloon hard enough to knock out of its ranks the distillers, brewers and dramshop keepers. The Democratic party says boldly, “We won't." The Republican party regretfully says, “We can't.”
Those who wield the largest political influence in this country are the obedient servants of the liquor traffic. In the gilded saloons of the cities, or dingy bar-rooms of the cross-road tavern, under the clashing, brutalizing influence of drink, 70 per cent. of our political primaries and caucuses are held.
Our pure, bright, well-educated boys, on coming to their majority and wishing to take a part in the government of the country, discover that the entrance to politics is through the door of the saloon. Their first lessons in practical politics are received where bad men and corrupt politicians clink their glasses and drink to the success of their party.
Nearly, or quite, one-fourth of the whole population of the United States dwell in our cities. Fifteen millions of our people have their homes where the saloon is most strongly intrenched, where it wields its inalign power in municipal politics, where blatant demagogues manipulate lazy loafers, where the vicious classes make the dramshop paramount, and where the public conscience sleeps and snores under the soothing cry of “loyalty to party.
The effect of the saloon on politics in the United States is evil and only evil, and that continually.
KEEP THE RECORD CLEANI
MRS. HARRIET W. REQUA. [The last words of John B. Gough were: “Young men, keep your record clean."]
EEP the record clean, young man ! I say this, leaning
Out from a deck that strikes the unknown seas, While memory's flambeau lights all intervening
Between life's brimming chalice and its well-drained lees. Oh, keep the record clean as I did not do it,
Through the long years in which my sin and shame Scarred up my life, blighted and overthrew it, While each high purpose of the soul burned out in smoking
flame. Keep the record clean, young man!
If I could tell you How from that conflagration, quenched at last, A secret smoldering burned like fires of helloh, How those ashes rose 'twixt me and Heaven !-you'd stand
aghast. Keep the record clean, young man! A fiery centaur
With paces marked in blood stalks through the land.
Will you unlock your door and bid him enter,
In a witch caldron vast, an ocean red, Dyed from the vine and from men's veins; with troubles
Seasoned; stirred thick with souls and bodies of the dead. Will you step in then? Oh, you may escape it,
For Death flaunts out his ensigns on that road.
It lies among the grand beatitudes of God.
Of the celestial palaces I pause to win,
Sublimities of God unfold to take me in.
ON WHICH SIDE ARE YOU?
FRANCES E. WILLARD.
O voter can help holding one of the four following re
ignorance, apathy, complicity, or protest.
No man of the smallest intelligence can be ignorant of the fact that the saloon is to-day the chief destructive force in society; that the cumulative testimony of judge, jury and executive officers of law declares that fifty per cent. of the idiocy and lunacy, eighty per cent. of the crimes, and ninety per cent. of the pauperisin come from strong drink; that the saloon holds the balance of power in almost every city of ten thousand inhabitants; that it is the curse of working-men and the sworn foe of home.
Apathy will doubtless account for the strange attitude of many voters, and “ pity 'tis, 'tis true.” The voice of Rachel crying for her children, and refusing to be comforted because they are not, falls on their dull ears, but fails to reach their hearts. The physically weaker and unrepresented class cries out, “Look there!” while the finger of public scorn points at the dramshop's open door; and broken-hearted women ask the unanswerable question, “Why do you permit this awful temptation--on one corner of the street the church, on another the schoolhouse, between them our homes, the dearest places upon earth, and just across the street the dram-shop, tempting our best beloved to ruin, and hedged about by the guarantees and safeguards of the law? Why do you permit all this; why must we suffer it?" I can but think the men are few who will remain much longer shut up in the stronghold of their apathy, regardless of the plea and protest of American womanhood.
Conscious complicity with the saloon must certainly be rare among voters of intelligence, but unconsciously, perhaps, tens of thousands stand in this odious relationship to the accursed liquor traffic. Suppose the question were asked of any reputable voter, “Would you cast your ballot for a candidate who was pledged to license gambling?” he would reply with indignation, " I am insulted' by such an implication. License gambling! Never, by my consent. But if you, my friend, vote to license the liquor traffic, I beg you to take notice that the saloon is the home of gambling—its natural habitat. It is the home of every vile and evil thing; the greater includes the less, and every time you vote to license the saloon you have deliberately voted to license gambling, immorality and every abomination which you can possibly imagine. You have placed the royal prerogative of citizenship, your ballot, as a link in the chain of causation, which shall lengthen itself out into every misery and every sin. You are in complete practical complicity with the gigantic crime of crimes.
You are doing precisely what the saloon-keeper would have you dowhat he is willing to pay bribable men for doing.
You are his strongest friend, his most coveted partner, his most invincible ally.
Surely you are not willing to stand in this despicable relation of complicity, in the presence of sorrowful humanity and
offended omnipotence? Take, then, the only reasonable and righteous attitude toward the greatest question of your time; let your ballot, which is your witness and goes on record with its solemn testimony, be your protest against the infamy of legalizing and deriving revenue from the sale of poisonous drinks. You are responsible for one vote--just one. Let it be cast with the solemn sense of your individual relation to the question now to be decided. Take that glorious motto of Harlan Page:
“ I will act as though there were no other one to act,” and then so act that if the inajority would follow your example, the saloon would speedily become an outlaw and an Ishmaelite on the face of the earth.
“ But I should lose my vote; the majority is bound to go the other way.” Is it possible that a good man can beg the question thus? Such a reply classes hiin who offers it side by side with every saloon keeper whose business to-day ranks him among the offscouring of the earth. The invariable excuse of these men is: “If I didn't sell, somebody else would!” Are you willing to parody their words and parallel their actions by reiterating, “If I don't vote wrong, somebody else will!”
Let me beseech that you henceforth hold no other relation to the saloon than one of open, manly, steadfast protest, by your ballot as well as by your influence and prayers. Take toward this crime of liquor selling the same attitude that you do toward other crimes. If a murder is committed in your vicinity, is it nothing to you that you have no part in it? If laws are violated—as they are every day in the year—is it nothing that you continue law abiding? If the illicit sale of alcoholic drinks goes on, is it nothing that this is done over your protest in your high character of citizen-sovereign? Have the sons of our country, with the noblest inheritance of moral training that manhood ever yet enjoyed, become dimeyed to moral distinctions? Is the clear, clean outline of God's blessed “ Thou onghtest” (thou owest it) blurred to the vision of this generation? Nay, verily, prohibition is sure to win, and to win by your votes; and may God speed the day of its blessed victory!