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lieved that the introduction of tea accounts in a meas-
ure for this decrease. Formerly beer was drunk at
every meal and at frequent intervals during the day.



22 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

Now, the people use enormous quantities of tea,
averaging about four pounds per head per annum.
Beer has a proportion of alcohol ranging from 1^ per
cent in small beer to Burton ale, which averages
about 8 per cent.




CHAPTER V.

HISTORY AND CONSTITUENTS OF SPIRITUOUS
LIQUORS.

UNDER this head we class all alcoholic beverages
produced by the process of distillation. The art of
separating alcoholic spirit from fermented liquors ap-
pears to have been known, as in the case of wine and
beer, from remote antiquity. It is supposed to have
been discovered and practiced by the Chinese, who
obtained alcohol from rice. From them a knowledge
of the art traveled westward. In the twelfth century,
when Henry II. invaded and conquered Ireland, the
inhabitants were in the habit of making and using an
alcoholic liquor similar to the whisky now drunk,
which they called " usquabagh" or " potteen."

All substances in nature which contain sugar in
any of its forms, are susceptible of vinous fermenta-
tion, and consequently may be considered as sources
of alcohol. There is an endless variety of organic
substances, more especially in the vegetable kingdom,
from which alcohol can be extracted. Uncivilized
races distill it from various trees, plants, and fruits
and also from milk ; but however obtained the spirit
found in the product has the same chemical constitu-
ents. The spirituous liquors most commonly manu-
factured in this country and in Europe, are brandy,
rum and whisky. Genuine brandy in France is

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24 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

made from wine. Ruin, which is produced from mo-
lasses or treacle, is principally distilled in the West
Indies; while whisky, in America and the British
Isles, is manufactured from fermented infusions of
grain. By adding the necessary flavoring ingredients
to whisky, gin is made. In France, Germany, and
Russia, what is termed " potato spirit/' is extensively
prepared from the tuber from which it derives its
name, and is much used for .fortifying wines.

The Irish brands of whisky are made almost ex-
clusively from barley. Varieties of brandy are pro-
duced from different fruits, and owe to them their dis-
tinctive flavor and names, being familiarly known as
" peach brandy," " apple brandy," etc.

Most ardent spirits contain fusil oil, which gives them
a burning taste. It is found in nearly all whiskies,
particularly in those made from Indian corn and po-
tatoes. This oil unites with alcohol in all propor-
tions, but has little affinity for water, for which rea-
son it cannot be diluted. Fusil oil acts upon the
coating of the stomach as an irritant poison, and is the
principal cause of that dreadful disease, mania apotn,
or delirium tremens. It may be detected by agitating
the liquor with water and leaving it to stand for the
oil to rise to the surface.

Ne,w spirits are not fit for internal use, and should
not be placed upon the market until their constituent
elements are thoroughly combined by age, and the
fusil oil has had time to be more or less eliminated.
For the purpose of producing a kind of artificial age
various contrivances have been adopted in this and



HISTORY OF SPIRITUOUS LKJIOKS. 25

foreign countries. A variety of compounds are used
to accomplish this result, which have to a certain ex-
tent been successful.

In 1876 the consumption of alcoholic liquors in
England was 23,824,890 gallons, affording an inter-
nal revenue tax of nearly $100,000,000. In the
same year Russia consumed 60,500,000 gallons. In
France in 1885 it reached nearly 48,000,000. In the
United States the revenue derived from this source in
1884 was about $80,000,000. In Germany and
Italy the income from the taxation of liquors is com-
paratively small, as the vice of drunkenness has never
attained serious proportions in these countries.

What is called " proof spirit " contains about equal
proportions of alcohol and water by weight, being
49.24 parts of the former and 50.76 of the latter, the
atomic weight of alcohol standing as 0.794, to 1.00 of
water. Rum, whisky, brandy and gin have a general
average of from 53 to 57 per cent of alcohol. Drinking
spirits are seldom sold over .11 above proof, from
which it varies downward to 25 under proof. Rum,
however, is manufactured and imported as highly
concentrated as from 10 to 45 over proof.



CHAPTER VI.



THE ADULTERATION OF LIQUORS.

WE have collected from the works of Hassel and
other authors many of the facts on adulteration of
liquors contained in this chapter. The aggregate is
certainly startling and merits the thoughtful con-
sideration of every well-wisher of the human race.
Eminent chemists assert that nine-tenths of all the
liquor used in the United States, is more or less
poisoned by drugs. There are thousands of men to-
day that are thriving financially on this nefarious
business.

A variety of articles are employed in these adul-
terations, some of which are sugar of lead, capsicum,
juniper berries, aloes, logwood, verdigris, etc., accord-
ing to the liquor to be .simulated. Cheap whisky is
converted into best cognac brandy; champagne, old
port, sherry, in fact all wines are so closely im-
itated as to make it 'difficult for an expert to detect
the difference. In the United States more port wine
is drunk in one year than passes through the Custom
House in ten; and the same proportion of champagne
is used above what the entire district of Champagne
produces. The failure of the whole crop of Madeira
causes no apparent diminution of the quantity in the
market ; and the price of cognac brandy is four times
as high in France as it is here. If other proof than
(26)



THE ADULTERATION OF LIQUORS. 27

chemical analysis were needed to establish the fact of
the universal adulteration of liquors, it is found in the
above statement. It is the presence of these poison-
ous compounds that ruins the health of such multi-
tudes of people, and tends to excite them to all man-
ner of crimes.

As before observed the inhabitants of Ireland drink
far less whisky to-day than previous to the advent of
Eev. Theobald Mathew ; yet a case of delirium tre-
mensVas seldom known to them then, though in the
present day it is a common occurrence. Since the art
of multiplication by adulteration has achieved such
prominence, this dread disease is now prevalent in all
whisky-drinking countries. Owing to these spurious
liquors intemperance has become so common in France
that the Government has appointed a commission to
investigate its cause. Just in the ratio that the manu-
facture of pure wine decreases, with a corresponding
raise jn its price, the introduction of adulteration
takes place in any country. The demand is so great
that if only good liquor were sold its enhanced value
would place it beyond the reach of the majority, who
consume the cheap, adulterated article. Admitting
this, one of the most cogent and successful means to
prevent intemperance would be legislation against the
manufacture of spurious liquors, with a severe penalty
attached for those found guilty of its infringement.
The adoption of such a law would compel the support
of whole communities, because it would not curtail the
rights of any one individual, or render valueless any
property except the implements and substances used



28 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

for the purpose of adulterations. This law would be
in harmony with our constitution and could therefore
be enforced. Prohibitionists would greatly advance
their cause by agitating this question.

It may be a matter of interest to the reader to give
a few recipes commonly used in the adulteration of
liquors. The peculiar flavor of true brandy is pro-
duced by the volatile oil of the grape and is simulated
as follows: Take 100 gallons of alcohol and add half
a pound of cream of tartar, a few gallons of French
wine vinegar, a bushel or so of plums, the refuse of
wine casks, half a bushel of oak sawdust, and a trifle
of acetic ether, with the help of steam to give the com-
bination head.

Another adulteration : Take 100 gallons of corn
win. sky, twelve gallons of spirit distilled from raisins,
four gallons extract of paradise seed, two gallons
of cherry laurel water, two gallons spirit almond
cake, one-half bushel of oak sawdust, with the
same steaming process as the other. In like manner
all the better varieties of wines are imitated, and
passed off on the public as the genuine article.

The following is a copy of a private circular lately
sent to liquor dealers, and speaks for itself: "The
undersigned would call the attention of manufacturers
of liquors and wines to his very large stock of cognac
oils, extracts of brandy, Holland and London gin,
essence of rum, peach and cherry brandy, oils of rye
for producing a superior Monongahela or Bourbon
whisky from common corn spirit, and his invaluable
preparations for neutralizing and giving age and



THE ADULTERATION OF LIQUORS. 29

body to new liquors. He has determined to reduce
the price of all his goods, yet he warrants his oils to be
superior to any other in this country. He guarantees
to produce six barrels of good merchantable brandy
from one ounce of cognac oil. Cherry juice and
malva coloring for the manufacture of port wine,
flavorings for ginger, claret, Madeira and Malaga
wines, onanthic, acetic, and nitrous ethers, essential
oils of almonds, juniper, caraway, rose, angelica, cala-
mus, anise, absinthe, apple, pear, vanilla, raspberry,
strawberry, pine-apple and banana, all of the best
quality. The price will be satisfactory. Address,
etc., etc.

PRICE CURRENT.

Per oz. Per Ib.

Best Cognac Oil, 1 ounce to 6 barrels $8 00 $100 00

Second Quality Cognac Oil, 1 ounce to

4 barrels 6 00 50 00

Third Quality Cognac Oil, 1 ounce to

2 barrels 300 2500

Extract Cognac, 1 pound to 5 barrels. . 10 00

Oil of Rye for Monongahela and Bour-
bon Whiskies 5 00

Essences 5 00

Extract Holland and London Gin, 1 Per gal.

gallon for half a pipe $500

Flavorings of every description 5 00

Neutralizing for age and body prepara-
tions, 1 gallon for 20 barrels 10 00

Cherry and other juices from $1 50 to 2 00

To this list is added the following recipe for making gin:
"To 700 gallons of second quality rectified spirits add 70
pounds juniper berries, 70 pounds coriander seed, 3^ pounds
of oil of almond cake, 1^ pounds of angelica root, 6 pounds of
licorice root, and 8 pounds of sulphuric acid. "

Essence of sloe juice is used by these adulterators
to give a dry ness and color to wines. Essence of



30 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

black currants produces both body and richness of
flavor so much esteemed in good port wine. A solu-
tion of tannin in spirits gives the requisite astringency
and true sherry flavor to inferior wines. Palm oil
dissolved in spirits imparts a rich golden color to
sherry. The chemist can always find ingredients for
" doctoring " our drinks as required. The adulteration
of champagne is carried on to a greater extent than
that of any other wine. A fair sample of champagne
can be made from cider, maple sugar, or goose-
berries.

The above facts are sufficient evidence of the ex-
tent of this most culpable practice. Scotch and Irish
whiskies, which were formerly made pure by illicit
stills scattered over the hills and bogs of Ireland and
Scotland, are now simulated by adding creosote to
corn whisky to give it the desired smoky flavor. In
England what is called "Parliament whisky" is that
which pays the Government tax. The lower grades
of this liquor are strengthened by the addition of
strychnine, which increases its quantity. The more
fatal effects among those suffering from delirium tre-
inens are attributable to this cause.

Malt liquors do not escape adulteration. Some of
the articles used for this purpose are flag root, canna-
l>is indicus, capsicum, paradise seed, beans, pulverized
alum, quassia, sulphate of ammonia, sulphate of iron,
cocculus indicus, etc., etc., in accordance with the re-
sult to be produced.

A story is told of George the Fourth of England,
who was considered a connoisseur in wine. In the



THE ADULTERATION OF LIQUORS. 31

early days of his dissipation he had in his possession
a small quantity of choice wines. The gentlemen of
his suite, who shared his appreciation of good wine,
finding he did not call for it, had exhausted it al-
most to the last bottle. Soon after, what was their
horror to hear the royal command that it should be
forthcoming at an entertainment to be given on the
day following. In the greatest consternation they
sought a noted wine-brewer in the city and explained
their dilemma.

" Have you any of the wine left ? " said the adept.

"A couple of bottles," rejoined the distressed party.

" Send one of them and I will see that you have
the necessary quantity on hand in time, only tell me
the very latest moment it can be received, for it must
be drunk immediately."

He kept his word. The deception was perfect and
no discovery of the fictitious potation was made.

We subjoin a simple test of the purity of claret
wine : Make a solution of caustic potash and put a
single drop in a glass of wine and if unadulterated it
will not be affected. If it is colored with logwood, it
will turn reddish purple; if with elderberries, dark
purple ; if mulberries were used, a lighter shade of pur-
ple ; if beet root, a clear red ; if Brazil wood, muddy
red, and if litmus has been introduced, a pale shade
of violet is the result.



CHAPTER VII.



COMPARATIVE EFFECTS OF FERMENTED AXD
SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS.

ALTHOUGH alcohol is chemically the same in
brandy, whisky, wine and beer, yet the relative
effects of these liquors on the human organism differ
very widely. The alcohol in wine and beer, honestly
made from grapes and barley, does not intoxicate in
the same degree as an equal amount taken in brandy
and whisky. The probable reason of this is that
the weightier portions of the wine or beer modify the
action of this spirit on the system. Just how this
is done, we cannot explain ; but that such is its effect,
is a demonstrable fact.

Wine seerns to excite the social and genial traits of
character. Though it intoxicates, it seldom renders
the person irritable or combative. It has been vari-
ously regarded by ancient and modern writers. Sol-
omon warns us not to " look upon the wine when it is
red, when it giveth color in the cup," assuring us that
it is a " mocker, and whosoever is deceived thereby is
not wise." Shakespeare makes the unhappy Cassio
most eloquently discourse on this favorite beverage:
"O thou invisible spirit of wine! If thou hast no
name to be known by, let us call thee devil." Hor-
ace took a happier view of the subject and probably
expressed the spirit of his age : "What does not wine
(32)



FERMENTED AND SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS. 33

incite to ? It discloses secrets, compels ratification
of our hopes, urges on the coward to fight, removes
care from the troubled mind, teaches the arts. Whom
have not flowing cups made eloquent ? Whom have
they not made free and happy under pinching pov-
erty?"

Whether wine was ever entitled to such an extrav-
agant panegyric, is not of very great importance ; it
simply goes to show the high estimate in which it was
held in that early time.

Liebig says that, " as a restorative, as a means of
refreshment when the powers of life are exhausted, of
giving animation and energy when man has to
struggle with days of sorrow, as a means of protection
against transient, organic disturbance, wine is sur-
passed by no product of nature."

In the history of the social life of France, wine has
the honor of being esteemed the source of much of the
brilliancy and vivacity of this people, some writers
going so far as to say that the patriotism, politeness,
undaunted courage and exquisite sense of personal
dignity characteristic of the French nation, are largely
due to the general use of this favorite beverage. That
such an aggregate of virtues can be justly attributed to
wine, is an open question ; but that it is more condu-
cive to the growth of such qualities than the drinking
of either beer or whisky, is undoubtedly true. For
the mass of people in Great Britain and America, for-
eign wines are too expensive, and as a consequence a
taste for spirituous liquors has been substituted among
them.

3



34 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

Unlike the stimulation of wine and whisky, beer
dulls and stupefies the brain. When it is adulterated
or excessively fortified, its influence is similar to that of
distilled liquors. Beer is not apt to render the indi-
vidual belligerent or aggressive. Germans rarely quar-
rel over their glass, and are proverbially a peace-lov-
ing, law-abiding people. Their partiality for this
drink is a recognized characteristic. When under its
influence, they are eminently social and cheerful until
the brain becomes overpowered by excessive imbibi-
tion, when they become not drunk, but besotted.

Brandy, whisky and other spirituous liquors, have
a more immediate and direct effect on the nerves
and brain than does either wine or beer. If taken
in larger quantity than would serve merely to stim-
ulate, they excite in an abnormal degree the most
conspicuous traits in the person. As, for instance,
the musical man sings, the piously inclined prays
and exhorts, the sympathetic sheds tears, the orator
becomes declamatory, the hilarious man boisterous,
the pugilist combative, and so on through all the cate-
gory of human idiosyncrasies. Viewed in this light,
it would seem that the baser instincts are too often in
the ascendency in man, when we take into considera-
tion the fact that a majority of the crimes committed
can be traced to the direct or indirect influence of
ardent spirits.

We can only treat of the comparative effects of
liquors in a general and not in a particular sense, as
the individual differences of people must in a great
measure determine the actual sequence of their use.



FERMENTED AND SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS. 35

Enough facts, however, can be deduced from this
general compilation to make it evident that fer-
mented liquors are far preferable to spirituous ones.
If we must drink such beverages, let them be wine
or beer rather than whisky, brandy, etc. When
we pass in review the long list of horrors attendant
on intoxication, we are convinced that it would be a
decided step in the right direction if appropriate
legislation were made to encourage the consumption
of fermented liquors, and decrease the consumption
of spirituous ones.



CHAPTER VIII.



THE PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION OF ALCOHOL.

WHEN taken into the stomach in the form of
brandy, whisky or other distilled spirits, alcohol is
not immediately absorbed but remains as an irritant
to the mucous coating, until, by the process of exos-
mose and endosmose, transudation takes place be-
tween the spirit and the watery portion of the blood.
When sufficiently diluted, it is taken up by the ab-
sorbents. If applied to the skin, a like process is car-
ried on. If diluted before imbibing it does not irri-
tate the stomach to the same extent, and absorption
is more rapid. It then enters the general circulation
through the veins and is conveyed to the heart
through the right ventricle, from there to the right
auricle, and thence to the lungs, where a portion is set
free by expiration. The remainder returns immedi-
ately to the heart by the left ventricle, from there to the
left auricle, and thence through the aorta to the
brain and circulatory system, and again returns to the
heart, making the circuit in about two and a half
minutes. As the blood passes through every organ of
the body, the tissues are either nourished or poisoned
thereby. Thus health depends on the purity and in-
tegrity of the arterial blood. The effect of alcohol is
evanescent unless frequent imbibitions follow each
other, when the blood and tissues become saturated
(36)



PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION OF ALCOHOL. 37

the brain unduly excited, and the individual exhibits
in excess his most dominant trait of character. Fi-
nally he loses all control of his reasoning faculties, his
locomotion becomes uncertain, and then altogether
ceases; total paralysis supervenes, and we look with
disgust upon the helpless mass of flesh reduced to that
pitiable condition familiarly known as " dead drunk."

The habitual drunkard never dilutes his liquor;
he invariably takes it "straight," as the saying is.
This excess of stimulation produces a constantly in-
creasing inflammation of the stomach which can only
result in exhaustion of the vitality of that organ,
when reaction follows with its attendant horror, de-
lirium tremens.

Inebriates are divided into two distinct classes.
The first is the man who drinks excessively for a short
season and then resigns himself to the after effects,
which are mild or severe according to the amount of
liquor drunk and the strength of his constitution.
After paying Nature's penalty for violating her laws,
he observes a rigid abstinence for weeks or months as
the case may be until his cravings again overpower
him, and another " spree " is the invariable conse-
quence. He may continue in this course for years,
as Nature applies her healing balm to his outraged sys-
tem during his interval of self-denial. The second class
is largely in the majority. It includes all those who
are rarely free from the influence of ardent spirits, but
who do not become intoxicated to an extent that un-
fits them for daily attendance to their business. The
amount of liquor drunk must increase with the con-



38 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

tinuance of the habit until it sometimes reaches the
extent of more than a quart a day. In such per-
sons, delirium tremens is always more severe and of-
ten proves fatal. As an illustration of the terrible
suffering that a habitual drunkard endures while
wrestling with this disease, I quote the following lan-
guage of John B. Gough : u For three days I en-
dured more agony than pen can describe, even
though it were guided by a Dante. Who can relate
the horrors of that frightful malady, aggravated as it
is by the ever-present consciousness that it is self-
sought. Hideous faces appeared on the walls and
ceilings and on the floors ; foul things crept along the
bedclothes, and glaring eyes peered into mine. I
was at one time surrounded by millions of monstrous
spiders, which crawled slowly, slowly over every
limb, whilst beaded drops of prespiration would start
to my brow, and I would shiver until the bed
trembled. Again, strange lights would dance before
my eyes, and then suddenly the very blackness of
darkness would appal me by its dense gloom. All
at once while gazing at a frightful creation of my dis-
tempered mind, I seemed struck with sudden blind-
ness. I knew a candle was burning in the room, but
I could not see it. All was pitchy dark. I lost the
sense of feeling, too, for I endeavored to grasp my arm
in one hand, but consciousness was gone. I put my
hand to my side, my head, but felt nothing ; and still I
knew my limbs and my frame were there. Then the
scene would change ; I was falling, falling swiftly as
an arrow, far down in some terrible abyss ; and so like



PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION OF, ALCOHOL/ 39

reality was it that as I fell I could discern on the rocky
sides of the precipitous shaft, mocking, gibing, fiend-like
forms. I could feel the air rushing past me, making
my hair stream out by the force of the unwholesome
blast. The paroxysm would sometimes cease for a
few moments, when I would sink back to my pillow
drenched with perspiration, utterly exhausted, and feel-
ing a dreadful certainty of the renewal of my tor-
ments."

Alcohol has two marked effects on the circulation-
In th first place it quickens the action of the heart,
which gives an additional force to the blood, and
again it relaxes the blood-vessels on the surface of the
body by influencing the nerves that contract and ex-
pand them. Hence the diffused glow that is expe-
rienced almost immediately after taking a glass of
spirits. The flushing of the face, supposed to be due
to an increase of temperature, is nothing more than
the radiation from an enlarged surface of blood. As
this enlarged quantity of blood is diffused over the
surface of the body by the dilation of the vessels and
increase of the circulation, a rapid cooling off by ra-
diation is the result, and the chilled fluid is soon af-


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Online LibraryG. H StockhamTemperance and prohibition → online text (page 2 of 8)