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door by his wife, in his madness he struck her a blow that laid her dead at his feet.'
An ex-convict, who, through drink, had himself served six years in prison, gives this testimony:
• The convict prisons are crowded with men who, had they been abstainers from strong drink, would to-day have been the support and comfort of happy families. What their condition is only those who have experienced the horrors of a prison life can understand ; what the condition of their families is in consequence is fearful to contemplate. I was compelled for six long years to listen to family histories, to stories of wretchedness, crime, poverty, and horror. It was with no disposition to favour total abstinence that I tried to probe the cause of it. I had never been a teetotaller ; had I been so, I should never have been in prison myself. But stern facts which came to my knowledge day by day forced me to the conclusion that a large proportion of all the crime and poverty in the land is the direct offspring of intoxicating drink.
I learned from the criminals themselves that the poverty, ignorance, and want of proper home had been, in nine cases out of ten, the consequence of drink.'
Without any attempt to pile on the agony, let us give our readers a sample of the facts which Mr. Gough adduces.
A woman had two children suffering from fever one morning. Some ladies visiting in the neighbourhood had given her medicines and comforts and money for these sick children. In the evening the ladies went to inquire after the children, and found them alone in the agonies of death, induced by want and neglect. On being searched for, the woman was found in a neighbouring tavern drunk. She had spent the money and sold the things given, and spent all in drink. The ladies tried to rouse and restore her, and everything was done for the children, but in vain; they both died. Calling the next day, the ladies found the little corpses unstraightened, and the mother again drunk.
A case similar to this occurred within the knowledge of the writer, where a brutal father stripped two children of warm clothes given upon recovering from a dangerous disease, and left them in nakedness in the cold while he sold the clothes and got drunk upon the proceeds.
Mr. Gough gives one of the most melancholy instances of personal degradation through drink we have met with, on the authority of the Rev. Charles Garrett, of Liverpool, whose mission work in that town is worthy of all praise. He tells us that he saw a man under whose ministry he once sat with profit in a low public-house, with his face blackened, preaching his old sermons to degraded men and dissolute women for twopence; whilst his wife, refined, educated, and delicate, was struggling with the newsboys for the last edition that she might get bread for her suffering children. A case somewhat similar to the above is that of a man of aristocratic connection, who had brought his wife, a woman of gentle blood,' into poverty and misery. They had
only one low, dark, damp room, no furniture, a heap of rags in one corner, and an old box for a table. When the gentleman whom I had sent to visit them entered the room there was a cup of weak tea and a bit of dry bread on the box, and three orange-boxes turned up for seats. There were the wife and six children, the youngest only fourteen days old, and that morning her husband had stolen the only blanket they had and sold it for drink. Afterwards, when charity had helped the family and provided the poor boy with shoes, he stole them in the night and got grunk with the proceeds. It is very well, as Mr. Gough says, to read statistics of crime, pauperism, and lunacy through drink. • But
go where the shot strikes ; listen to the cry of that little girl as the sound rings out of that cellar. Enter, and see that mere child of seven years writhing under the heavy blows inflicted with a large strap by a brutal balf-drunken man. The poor little creature is striving to defend herself; the blows fall alike on head, arms, and shoulders. Will a father beat his child so young in such a brutal manner? Perhaps ; but this is a child he has bought from a drunken mother, who had sold her for half-a-crown to that cruel, drunken wretch, and who had spent the money that day in drink. I saw an interesting little girl who had hip complaint, whose mother had sold her to a villainous tramp for two pairs of stockings. She sold the stockings, and got drunk with the money. There is a man now in prison whose wife lost an eye some time since by his violence when drunk, and whose only child is deformed for life as the result of another drunken fit. He is now confined for depriving his wife of her other eye. She is blind, he is in prison, and the child a cripple.'
When persons of position and education become confirmed inebriates, Mr. Gough contends that the element of hopelessness enters into such cases; their good angels forsake them, they become daring and reckless, a sense of despair possesses them. The further a man falls the deeper he goes. The two following cases are given in proof of this doctrine : A gentleman of education, high social position and fortune, fell into the abyss of drunkenness, and deep and dreadful was his fall. A lady wrote to Mr. Gough to inform him of the death of his sorrow-stricken wife and of the brutal scenes over her corpse by this drunken madman. This lady writes thus:
Mary's heart broke. I was with her during her last illness. S was away nearly all the time, and when he did come obliged to lock the doors and 'sometimes to send for help to keep him off, for he was furious when drunk ; when in drink he had once fearfully whipped bis sweet little girl. During her sickness I never
went to my knees that I did not pray God most fervently to take her to Himself. At last she died. Having laid her out, we locked up the room, and left her in the chamber of death. That night Scame home seemingly sober, and requested us to let him see his wife. So deceived were we by his well-assumed melancholy, that we gave him the door-key. In about ten minutes after a servant came to the door weeping, and begged us to go and take master away, for he was beating mistress.' We sent some of the gentlemen up. After they came back we went to see what he had done, and there was my precious Mary, his own wife, who had never given him an unkind word, lying on the floor, all her burial clothes torn off from her body, and that bruised and mangled to such a degree that the ladies were unable to bear the scene. Her old nurse and I stayed and shrouded her again, and her body was in such a state as to compel immediate burial. In a few months S-- died drunk.'
The next account is of a Scotchman of good education and noble appearance, who had emigrated to Canada. Not making money sufficiently fast by farming, he entered into the liquor trade, wholesale and retail.
He began to drink, and in two years became a confirmed drunkard, and has been so for the past eighteen years, becoming a miserable wreck. The influence of liquor upon his mind defies description, as it always produces a maddening effect. It never destroyed his power of locomotion, laying him in the gutter, or numbing his tongue. On the contrary, it always gave him buoyancy, and strength to his step, and eloquence to his tongue, while it made him a fiend in his own family, especially to his wife. Many times had my poor mother to flee out of her bed in her night-dress in the coldest winter nights and take refuge in barns and stables. On one occasion he locked the door, and then swore to my sister, who was seven years old, that if she should make any noise while he was whipping my mother, he would murder her. He then dealt my mother such a blow as laid her upon the carpet weltering in her blood. He then leaped upon her, and danced upon her till the blood oozed out of her nose and mouth, when a neighbour, hearing the noise, burst open the door and saved my mother's life. Recovering from his drunken state, he was distracted to find out what he had done. But, notwithstanding the fearful end that this revel had almost led to, it was soon forgotten. The appetite had mastered him, and, being called frequently into company, revel succeeded revel, spree succeeded spree: and chasing his wife and family with deadly instruments, the destruction of household furniture followed as a certain consequence. My two brothers left him at eighteen years of age; he tried the law to detain them, but they proved personal violence, and were free. I left at the age of seventeen. I shall never forget that gloomy morning. It was the morning that I heard the galloping of the horses with my father to the front door. I heard my father burst into the house, ripping and tearing like a mad man because the family were not out of their beds. He went into my mother's room and seized her by the throat in her bed. When I heard her cry for help I bounded out of my bed and ran downstairs, and rushed into my mother's apartment and took hold of him bebind his back, and by some supernaturnal strength, threw him upon the floor. When my mother made her escape I made mine, although pursued by my father with his gun. His destruction of property has been very great. He has squandered thousands of pounds in drink, drove horses to death, broke carriages, consigned the most valuable clothing of the family to the flames, destroyed household furniture, such as chairs, tables, sofas, sideboards, clocks, &c., all of which he would replace in the most handsome way when he was sober without counting the cost.
But the newspaper of this morning reminds us that we need not go to America for instances of the horrible effects of drink; facts crowd upon us at home. We read in the paper before us of the execution of a wretch who, after a long course of inhuman treatment, when in drink, of the woman he lived with, consummated his brutalities by stabbing her with a red-hot poker in one of his drunken furies. With all these facts forcing themselves upon us, let Mr. Gough and let all good men, regardless of sneers and opposition, use all their might to wipe out this blot from the fair face of our country. It only remains to be said that Mr. Gough deserves our best thanks for this interesting volume. It is a book of facts and incidents, samples and examples of which we have given our readers.
H. E. G.
II.—THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE OF
Upon the above subject we fear the majority of people in England are but imperfectly informed. There is a danger of us forming our opinion of the Irish solely from the outrages which are perpetrated in the lamentable agitation now existing. Some politicians have evidently been guilty of this error. It is especially desirable that Christians should avoid it. We think all the true followers of Christ, whose kingdom is to be established in every land, and particularly all Methodists, whose great founder claimed the world as his parish, should, as far as possible, acquaint themselves with the character and conditions of all the people who on earth do dwell, and by no means remain ignorant of those who own allegiance to the same Sovereign. Ireland ought to be made a subject of prayer both in public and in private. There are evils which it will take more than human wisdom to remedy. That we may pray intelligently our knowledge of the country and the people must not be gathered exclusively from the newspaper reports of affrays, murders, and arrests under the Coercion Act. Unfortunately, it is only when there is some widespread disaffection or rebellion that the affairs of the sister isle come prominently before us; and, therefore, the estimate we form of the Irish is often very one-sided. It is lamentable that the Land Bill of this Session bad to be prefaced with a Coercion Bill and a Peace Preservation Bill. Though we write before we know for certain, yet there is too much ground to fear that the Bill will be spoiled, to some extent, by party conflict, which has weakened most of the remedial measures for Irish grievances.
But of its merits we will not judge until the next article.
Ireland has a favourable geographical position both for commerce and agriculture. The island is washed by the Atlantic on the northwest and south, and on the east by the Irish Sea, otherwise called St. George's Channel. Its greatest length is from Fair Head, in Antrim, to Crow Head, in Kerry, about 306 miles; and its greatest width between the extreme points of Mayo and Down, about 182 miles. Its area is 32,510 square miles, or more than 18,000,000 acres. Its relative size, compared to England and Wales, is as three to five. The form of the island is oblong, and the west, north, and south coasts are deeply indented, and that of the east, like Great Britain, comparatively