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think, is scarcely adapted to catch the teetotalers—it is rather like the bread and company together-stale and bankrupt ! What does it meau (if it means anything) ? Is it a gentle impeachment, good Doctor, of our consistency ? If so, your indictment is very badly worded. In eating bread, however, we do not use alcohol
, for you admit that in progress of baking the dough, the spirit is evolved from it, and therefore does not remain in the bread. But the doctor deplores the waste of the food involved in the fermentation of the flour, and recommends the people to use umfermented bread, as we have long done ourselves. He deplores also the prejudice which leads to throwing the husk of the bran out of the meal destined for bread, and giving it to the cattle. But what did the philanthropic doctor say concerning the enormous waste of precions human food (which leads to 'dear bread') involved in the conversion of the produce of ten-million-acres of land, in the shape of fruits, grain, and roots, into beer, wine, brandy, gin, rum, and so forth ? Nothing—not one word—against the wholesale destruction of food involved in the manufacture of the ' agreeable stimulant. His ‘benevolence' would not suffer him to impeach the 'Bottle.'
II. DR. LANKESTER, in treating of the chemistry of fermentation, observed that, “altho the elements of sugar and alcohol were the same, but combined in different proportions, they possessed very different properties, and produced very different effects,”—an admission, one might have thought, that would suggest the question-If the God-created sugar be right, why does man convert it into so very different a substance ? But Dr. Lankester goes on, without stopping, to say that “alcohol belonged to the same class of substances as sugar-substances which increased the heat of the body”! I shall consider this last allegation by-and-bye; I only stop to say, that this sort of classification is far too loose and general to be satisfactory, and indeed is practically deceptive. I deny that alcohol is properly included under the head of dietetic subs!ances, such as sugar-since, in the Divine arrangement, such substances must fulfil two adaptations—first, their chemical constitution must be right; and, second, their physiological properties must be in harmony with the end of their chemical structure-namely, to sustain or increase vitality. This, however, is not the case with alcohol; for, while oil, sugar, etc., are neutral and innocent in relation to the living tissues, alcohol is acrid and stimulant--that is, produces an exhaustive re-action. Alcohol possesses very different properties from natural food; and no wise person would, therefore, use it to auswer the same purpose.
Dr. Lankester admits that “alcohol in the form of spirit, renders persons liable to disease of the mucous membrane, which must cause premature death;” but, “in fermented liquors, the alcohol and the water were chemically combined.” Dr. Lankester, in his third lecture, attempted to explain this singular statement--which, after all, is but the turning up of a sedimentary deposit of twelve years ago. Alcohol, according to him and his syllabus, has a Protean existence; it is food to-day, it is physic to-morrow; it is fuel, and it is fluid; it is poison, and it is aliment; it is a type of such substances as sober-sugar, and also “an agreeable stimulant” that will intoxicate. In short, gentlemen, it has many forms '; --according to our learned instructor, “ alcohol is something more than a mere stimulant-altho it could not as yet be distinctly defined"!!
I answer, that this pretended philosophy is pure blundering, contradicted by the clearest principles of chemistry, and the most obvious facts of physiological science and life. Do you not daily see the same effects produced upon men by beer and porter as by ardent spirits ? Do they not all intoxicate? Do they not all paralyze the nerves, and affect the breathing and the brain? Was it not “ alcohol in the form of wine,” which the drunkard of Solomon's day was in the habit of consuming? And is not this the language put into his mouth, when represented as rising from his debauch ?—They have stricken me, but I feit it not.' Is not the beer-drinker's blood dark-colored or carbonized, as well as the gin. drinkers ? Do they not both reel and stagger as drunken men'? Will not wine and beer produce 'redness of eyes, and inflammation-chronic intlammation-of the mucous membrane? I know it will, for I have seen it. (Dr, Hun, an old opponent of teetotalism,
sed that even the use of the light wines of France is followed by such appearances.) What were found to be the facts in that remarkable case of the living man, San Martin, into whose stomach Dr. W. Beaumont had the opportunity of looking ? He distinctly
states that “the whole class of alcoholic ligors, whether simply fermented or distilled, produced very little difference in their ultimate effects on the system” (p. 50). The question between one kind of alcoholic liquor and another is only one of degree-not of kind; and the state of disturbing reaction (called 'stimulation') into which the heart, the lungs, and other organs are thrown after the use of wine, beer, and spirits, proclaims that they equally belong to the class of unnatural agents,-or poisons which waste the vital force and impair the structures thrö which it acts.
Chemical facts are equally conclusive against the undefinable distinction set up between alcohol in wine, and alcohol out of wine. Alcohol is an antiseptic- a pickling or preserving agent-and hence very unlike water, which is the great dissolver of solids, and the vehicle of their vital movement, This property is the same in kind, both in wine and in brandy. Meat can be pickled in either, -the alcohol in both opposing the change of matter. Water, indeed, can modify the action of alcohol--that is, can oppose, or sheathe, its acrid, its destructive, or its preserving properties; but, as far as it operates at allthat is, in proportion to its power as a stimulant-it operates essentially the same, whether in one mixture or another. It is rever transformed from poison to food ; from an agent with intoxicating, to an agent with innocent or dietetic properties.
To render his argument of any force, Dr. Lankester must brilge this gull- a work that will far transcend his dialectic skill.
Professor Brande, an F.R.S. of higher celebrity, shall answer Dr. Lankester. Before citing the passage from my Chemical History of Alcohol (1844), I must observe that alcohol and water are not chemically combined’ in wine and beer. In every true chemical union (as distinguished from interfusion, mixture, or cohesion), the result is a new substance,- that is, a form of matter possessed of properties different from the substances united. Now, as I have shown already, this is not the case with fermented liquors, which possess the same essential characteristics as the spirit and water (for brandy is half water) distilled from them. Dr. Lankester, however, seems to think, and his theory necessarily implies, that by the heat in distillation the innocent watery-alcoho? (so that, after all, it is owing to the water that our vinous friends are safe!) is transformed, or unrobed, into rau, acrid spirit! Professor Brande says:—“Inasmuch as I can obtain the same quantity of alcohol by distilling wines at very low as at very high temperatures, and as I can get the full complement of alcohol from the stronger wines by the action of carbonate of potash, which abstracts water and separates alcohol without any distillation or other interference of heat, we must not allow those who indulge in wine to
'Lay this flattering unction to their souls,' or to use any such argument in opposition to the teetotalers.”
Dr. Lankester informed his audience that “ Alcohol was formed by a natural law, and was a type of other substances existing in nature.”
In what respect, gentlemen, is alcohol a type of other substances ? I have shown that it is no type of natural fuel food, for its properties are diverse. Is it meant that it is a type of the natural narcotic poisons ? If so, the answer is plain—we are not discussing the utility of drugs, but a question of diet; and, moreover, if we already have similar things in nature, why need we make these by a costly process of art ?
Dr. Lankester said that “alcohol is formed by natural law." I should like to know what he really meant, or meant his hearers to infer? Does it need an F.R.S. to inform a Literary Society that nothing is formed by chance, and therefore everything by law? Or is there some unnatural law operating in Chemistry ? and does our learned critic wish us to understand that alcohol is formed by the natural law, not by the other?
Of course, gentlemen, alcohol is formed by natural law. But, what then? Guns, and pistols, and cannon-balls are also formed by some law, and I know only one source of power or law. It is according to a law of cohesion that melted lead and iron are converted into balls, and according to a law of projection that balls are sent out on their deadly errands. It is according to a law that salt-petre, charcoal, and sulphur unite to form grimpowder. It is by a law that its explosive power is manifested in discharging a bullet, and by a law that men are slain. What then? Does Dr. Laukester mean to put off the responsibilities of man in these matters, and charge them upon Nature ? If not as respects the uses to which men put the inorganic elements of the universe, why as respects the conversion of divinely organized food into a drink that has destroyed more bodies and souls than war
itself? Our responsibility is founded upon the very fact that the power of natural law is available to us, for good or for ill; and therefore can furnish no excuse for the abuse or misdirection of that power in transmuting wholesome food into intoxicating drink.
III. On the physiological portion of our subject Dr, Lankester had some curious and critical objections to urge, and some very apocryphal facts to announce. Amongst the latter I note the following :-
“Alcohol is a type of other substances existing in nature, and INDEED IS REQUISITE for man as a stimulant”! Of course, unless Dr. Lankester meant nothing to the purpose of his argument, he meant that Alcohol was necessary or requisite to man's health. Yet, gentlemen, many of you have somehow contrived to do without this requisite for many years, and to trouble the doctor quite as little as your neighbors. Nay, the fact is, that a great part of the human race always have gone without alcohol, and yet I do not know that the pure Hindoo, the Mohammedan, New Zealander, or South-Sea Islander, were physically any the worse for it. The proposition, besides, is opposed to our clearest conceptions of the perfection of Nature in such matters as these-to the Divine attributes, in short. He whose wisdom is displayed in the beautiful adaptations of food and drink to the wants of all his creatures, cannot have left Man destitute of an element essential to his health; and yet alcohol is not provided for us, as food, ready formed in Nature.
Another argument of Dr. Lankester suggests that he may mean that alcohol is occasionally requisite, tho not habitually. He informed his audience that “condiments, such as pepper, mustard, etc., were necessary in order to rouse the stomach. Animals that had been stall-fed for a time, would, when first turned into the field, eagerly seek for various herbs of a stimulating character.”
I notice, in the first place, that the conditions here mentioned are not those of healthbut of a departure from health. Unless we violate dietetic laws, the stomach will rarely want 'rousing’ with pepper or mustard ; and I do not propose that men should be 'stallfed,' or live without exercise and fresh air. In the second place, however, let us assume that such must be the case; what then ? If pepper and mustard (things I do not take) will answer the end, where is the need of alcohol ? The fact assumed that Nature HAS made such a bountiful provision for occasional wants arising from unavoidable evil conditions,-tends rather to show that alcohol is not needed, unless Dr. Lankester thinks Nature omitted it in her list from an oversight? The power that has so amply provided the various herbs' for cattle, would not, I think, overlook the wants of man. Besides, it is very doubttul whether Dr. Lankester has read his facts aright. The experiments of Dr. Beaumont upon San Martin, demonstrated that condiments' were pernicious, and did not help digestion, and the experience of thousands of teetotalers who abstain from them, both in health and disease, show that they are not 'necessary.' As regards the herbs which the cattle seek out, that may simply arise from their having had food supplied to them of an improper kind,-food not containing all the elements needed, and, at any rate, it is not proved that the herbs are taken as a 'substitute for alcohol, or as a pure stimulant. a
Dr. Lankester admits that "spirits, whether neat or diluted”—that is, whether halfwater, or more than that—"are decidedly objectionable as articles of diet, but as medicines they are useful in some instances." This, therefore, allows that the basis of such drink is essentially bad, and distinguishes between the medical and the dietetic question. He gave, also, a novel description of the result of spirit-drinking :- -“ The water," says he, “is soon taken up by the absorbent vessels, and the PURE SPIRIT IS LEFT BEHIND IN THE STOMACH, to act with full force upon it"! It is certain, however, that tho it inflicts
Riding out upon the Cleveland Hills in the early part of summer, 1 observed the horse in our gig, and one in a cart, eagerly consume the dust of the road, On examining the nature of the earth, I found it to consist mainly of carbonate of iron and alumina. Apparently, some medical' instinct leads the brutes to the rare and and occasional use of this earth-shall rational Man, carrying out the Lankestrian philosophy, infer that dust is therefore diet ?
harm enough there, it does pass on into the system, and may subsequently be found in the blood and the secretions and excretions-save the portion that becomes decomposed by its union with oxygen in the blood. Indeed, it is the matter of the nervous centres for which alcohol has the most apparent affinity--not that of the stomach-and there is no reason whatever for asserting that it disunites itself with the water of the vital tissues. It will unite with all the water it meets with, equally, and this tendency to unite with the essential water of the vital-tissues (or, in other words, to absorb il) creates the local reaction called inflammation and redness.
Notwithstanding distilled alcohol is admitted to be so bad, the undistilled is somehow a very good creature'! Nay, according to Dr. Lankester, neither of them are poisons, though spirits are very bad. “Intoxicating liquors ought not to be denominated POISONS." Well, gentlemen, if our learned critic will be nice, we can have no objection.
We only wish to be accurate, and, therefore, I do not say that alcoholic wine, including the good water, is a 'poison, but that it is intoxicating (from the Greek toxikos), that is, Poison
If you wish for further explanation, then I say, poison is a thing of quality—the physiological power of disturbing normal action or structure,--and is therefore applied to a class of effects varying widely in degree, tho not in kind, from the sting of a bee to the bite of a rattlesnake. If spirits are not food, nor indifferent like sawdust, then they are poisonons, or, in other words, poison diluted. And the same must be asserted of fermented drinks, just so far as they disturb, or tend to intoxicate, the system of man.
But Dr. Lankester “disagrees with his friend Dr. Carpenter, when he argues from the fatal effects of a large dose of an alcoholic stimulant, against the use of a moderate b [mean ing a lesser] quantity. For instance, one pound of salt would kill any one, but it did not follow that ten or twelve grains would injure or poison.”
This argument is borrowed from the Lancet, and other medical journals, where some writers thought themselves very clever in employing it to evade the conclusions drawn hy the teetotaler from the fact that pure alcohol is essentially an acrid and corrosive poison in its topical action. It is indeed an attempt, gentlemen, in imitatiom of the juvenile method of catching birds. Dr, Lankester, relying on a popular fallacy regarding salt, would catch the Teetotaler by putting a little upon him—but I suspect he will find the difficulty is in the preliminary process. I, for one, shall certainly not suffer him to put the salt upon my theory, under the idea that it is a good thing—nor to draw his conclusion on the principle that 'two blacks make one white-that the assumed virtue of salt disproves the asserted evil of alcohol. The fact is, I do not believe in salt; nor shall I do so until I have better proof of its dietetic utility than the traditional and worthless story of its absence breeding worms in Dutch criminals a long while ago. Since autumn last I have enjoyed better health than for many years past, and have nevertheless abstained from salt; while I know many persons enjoying excellent health who have not used it for years as diet—tho once or twice as medicine. The experiment of the homeopathists to ascertain its real effects in small doses, show that it is a very injurious article when frequently introduced into the system. C The illustration selected by Dr. Lankester, therefore, is by no means so happy as he imagined it to be. If a person take any article, he may be killed either by its quantity or its quality. Two pounds of beef might kill by its quantity_i.e. by its bulk and pressure arresting the vital functions—but who could say that such would be a case of poisoning? Killing is not poisoning, tho poisoning may be killing. Having made this distinction, I now proceed to put Dr. Lankester's proposition anew: but with a different conclusion :-“If one pound of salt kills a person by virtue of its acrid properties, then it does follow that every ten grains of salt contained in the pound, did some of the injury which, on the whole, proved fatal.” Nor can Dr. Lankester escape this inference save by affirming that one part of the salt had no effect at all, or a very different effect from some other part. I affirm the same of alcohol as of salt. If a quart intoxicates or poisons a man, a glass does something of the same kind towards that end.
b The words 'temperate and moderate,' are equally incorrect, when applied to a practice which is unreasonable or bad. It is time teetotalers ceased to concede their use to the opponent.
c I know of several cases where its free use seems to have been concerned in producing spinal complaints and epileptic fits. Taylor, in his chapter on Poisons, classes salt under that head.
In other words, there is no alteration of property or quality between the first and the last glass of wine or between the first and the last grain of salt,
Lastly, Dr. Lankester announced to his audience that "alcohol had heat-producing properties.” If by that he meant that when burnt, in the body or out of it,-in other words, that alcohul gave forth heat like other decomposing things, as a sweating stack or a mapure heap,— he was of course, if not monstrously wise, at least moderately accurate. Here, at last, we come to the theory of Liebig, and its relations to teetotalism. Before proceeding to consider this theory, however, I must briefly demonstrate the harmony of teetotalism with the natural laws, and explain the processes and structures of life.
[DR. LEES then proceeded with his exposition of the organic nature of man, the laws of life, and the adaptations of diet to the wants of the human economy. The body was defined generally as an organ of action, and the various systems and functions were described as a living organism, that is, as characterized by warmth and movement.
But heat radiates, and substance is worn down in acting. Tlus the body in every part is perpetually subject to chainge, to wear and tear- hence the loss of heat and of substance. Food is the material adapted to restore this twofold Joss, and is therefore of two kinds,
viz. fuel-food to warm, nourishment to build up. The substances prepared by nature for fuel-food to the living house are oil, starch, gum, sugar, and cellulose, adapted to the various seasons and climates—those for nourishment are fibrine, albumen, and caseine, containing the various elements of the body and its tissues, in a solid forin capable of assimilation. None of these substances have intoxicating or acrid properties; all are soothing or neutral in their physiological relations; and it must be confessed that all these 'good creatures' are accepted by the tectotalers, whose practice, thus far, is in clear harmony with natural arrangements. While food has two purposes to subserve, and is therefore of two sorts, drink has but one end to answer—that of a vehicle of movement or circulation; and hence in nature we have but one drink-- literally “the water of life.' Dr. Lees proceeded to consider the possible uses of alcohol as an element of diet. Alcohol could not be used as a fluid in the place of water, because it possessed diametrically opposite properties; it prevents digestion, it solidifies albumen, it stops the circulation, Alcohol was not nourishing food, since, in the first place, it was destitute of solidity, and could not, therefore, stick to one's ribs '; and, in the second, it wanted the greater number of the essential elements of the tissues- as nitrogen, phosphorus, lime, sulphur, iron, etc., all of which must co-exist, and in a particular combination, to constitute nourishment.]
Dr. LANKESTER, in advocating the heat-producing properties ' of alcohol, pretended that Liebig supported his views, “who ought to be regarded as an authority as great as Dr. Carpenter;" and contended, further, that “persons recovering from ivdisposition, who conld not take digest ?] starch and sugar, would find alcohol (which only needs to be absorbed, to serve the same purpose.”
Now, gentlemen, I dont think that you will be disposed to have a matter of this kind settled by the authority' of any man, but will unite with me in demanding the reasons for the opinions of either Professor Liebig or Professor Carpenter, I am thankful to both those gentlemen for many important facts which they have stated, but I also know that they are no better logicians than their neighbors; and, indeed, Liebig, with a noble frankness, has confessed to several erroneous inferences from the facts stated in his earlier works. But I think, on this special point, that Dr. Carpenter has read the facts of Liebig better than Dr. Lankester, and I will attempt to show you why and wherefore I think so. Let me, however, here again protest against confounding together cases so distinct as those of health and disease. Of course, if a person be placed in such circumstances that he cannot be supplied with ordinary and proper fuel for vital heat, in a proper way, rather than permit him to die, it will be justifiable to give him extraordinary fuel that serves the needful end, even tho it does so badly, and in an unnatural manner. Amputation is good when an injured limb is mortifying; but is it, therefore, good to lose a sound limb?
We must, then, fall back upon the old question, “Can the use of alcoholic drinks be justified as an article of ordinary diet p’ I deny that Dr, Lankester is in possession of a