Battling with "Booze"
The man who votes for the saloon is pulling on the same rope with the devil, whether he knows it or not.—Billy Sunday.
THERE is a tremendous military advantage in having a definite enemy. The sermons that are aimed at nothing generally hit it. Billy Sunday is happiest and most successful when attacking the liquor evil. Down among the masses of men he learned for himself the awful malignity of strong drink, which he deems the greatest evil of our day.
So he fights it. Everybody will admit—the saloonkeeper first of all—that Billy Sunday is the most effective foe of the liquor business in America today. Small wonder the brewers spend large sums of money in circulating attacks upon him, and in going before him to every town where he conducts meetings, spreading slanders of many sorts.
There is a ghastly humor in the success the brewers have in enlisting the preachers to make common cause with them in discrediting this evangelist. Shrewd men have come quite generally to the conclusion that they will not give aid and comfort to the enemies of righteousness whose interests are best served by criticism of Billy Sunday. All incidental questions aside, Sunday does the Lord's work and is on the Lord's side. It is a pitiable spectacle to see the Lord's servants attacking him; though it is quite understandable why the liquor interest should spend large sums of money in antagonizing Sunday. It would be worth a million dollars to them any day if he could be put out of action.
Wherever Sunday goes a great temperance awakening follows. In eleven of fifteen Illinois towns where he earnest))
paigned "dry" victories were won at the next election. Fifteen hundred saloons were put out of business in a single day in Illinois, largely as the result of his work. With characteristic indifference to figures and tabulated results, Sunday has kept no record of the communities which have gone "dry" following his meetings. That consequence is common. His recent presence in Pennsylvania is the surest token that the Keystone State will not much longer be the boasted Gibraltar of the liquor interests. Even up in Pennsylvania's coal regions, with their large foreign population, many communities are going "dry," while individual saloons are being starved out. Within about a year of Sunday's visit there, the number of saloons was reduced by more than two hundred.
So intense is Sunday's zest for temperance that he will go anywhere possible to deliver a blow against the saloon. He has toured Illinois and West Virginia in special trains, campaigning for temperance. During the Sunday campaign in Johnstown ten thousand men in a meeting organized themselves into a Billy Sunday Anti-Saloon League. In Iowa literally scores of towns and counties are reported as having gone dry as a direct result of the Sunday meetings. Muscatine, Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Linwood and Centerville are communities in point. Thirteen out of fifteen towns in Illinois visited by Sunday voted out the saloon. West Virginia's temperance leaders utilized Sunday in a whirlwind campaign through the state. He spoke in ten towns in five days, traveling from point to point in a special car. It is now history that West Virginia went dry by ninety thousand majority. His latest work in the West has been timed to precede elections where the temperance question was an issue. Next to his passion for the conversion of men and women is this consuming antagonism to rum.
More important than his own valiant blows against the saloon is the fact that Sunday makes enemies for the liquor business. Practically all of his converts and friends become enthusiastic temperance workers. In western Pennsylvania he converted practical machine politicians to the old time Gospel and to the temperance cause.
Every campaign is full of incidents like that of the blacksmith, a part of whose business came from a large brewery. When this man became a Sunday convert and a temperance "fanatic," as they termed him, the brewers' business was withdrawn. But the loyalty which Sunday infuses into his followers, rallied to the man's help, and such a volume of Christian business was turned his way that his conversion and the loss of the brewery trade turned out to his profit.
In the Outlook of August 8, 1914, Lewis Edwin Theiss introduces a powerful article, "Industry versus Alcohol," with this Billy Sunday story:
"We were discussing Billy Sunday and the economic effect of his work.
"'The vice-president of the C Iron Works told
me,' said a manufacturer of railway cars, 'that his company could have afforded to pay its employees a quarter of a million dollars more than their wages during the period that Billy Sunday was working among them.'
'The corporation concerned is one of the great steel companies of the country. It employs thousands of men.
"'Why was that?' I asked.
"'Because of the increased efficiency of the men. They were steadier. Accidents decreased remarkably. They produced enough extra steel to make their work worth the quarter million additional.'
"'It is interesting to find that religion has such an effect on every-day life,' I observed.
"'Religion as such had little to do with it,' replied the car-maker, 'except that it started it. The thing that made those men efficient was cutting out the drink. Billy Sunday got them all on the water wagon. They became sober and stayed sober. They could run their machines with steady hands and true eyes. The men themselves realize what a difference it makes. They are strong for prohibition. If the people of Pittsburgh and its vicinity could vote on the temperance question today, the saloons would be wiped out there.'
""The manufacturers are strong for prohibition, too. They never gave much thought to the matter before. But this demonstration of Billy Sunday's has made us all strong for prohibition. We know now that most of our accidents are due to whisky. For years we have been trying to find a way to secure a high degree of efficiency among our men. We never succeeded. Along comes this preacher and accomplishes more in a few weeks than we have ever been able to do.
"'We know now that until booze is banished we can never have really efficient workmen. We're fools if we don't profit by what he has shown us. Take it from me, booze has got to go. We are not much interested in the moral side of the matter as such. It is purely a matter of dollars and cents. They say corporations have no souls. From this time forth corporations are going to show mighty little soul toward the man who drinks.'"
A great parade of men marks the close of a Sunday campaign. In Scranton the line of march was broken into by a brewer's wagon. The driver was not content with trying to break the line of parade, but he also hurled offensive epithets at Sunday and his converts. Perhaps passive endurance was the virtue called for on this occasion; but it was certainly not the virtue practiced. For those husky mill workers stepped out of line for a moment, bodily overturned the brewer's wagon, and sent the beer kegs rolling in the street, all to the tune of the Sunday war song, "De Brewer's Big Horses Can't Run Over Me."
This song, written by H. S. Taylor, is the most popular one in the Sunday campaign. It is by no means a hymn of worship, but rather a battle-cry. When thousands of
men lift their voices in this militant refrain, with whistles blowing and bells ringing in the chorus, the effect is fairly thrilling. Words and music are beneath the consideration of the scholarly musician; but they strike the common mind of the American who wants a battle hymn.
DE BREWER'S BIG HOSSES.*
Oh, de Brewer's big hosses, comin' down de road,
Totin' all around ole Lucifer's load;
Dey step so high, an' dey step so free,
But dem big hosses can't run over me.
Oh, no! boys, oh, no!
De turnpike's free wherebber I go,
I'm a temperance ingine, don't you see,
And de Brewer's big hosses can't run over me.
Oh, de ticker men's actin' like dey own dis place,
Livin' on de sweat ob de po' man's face,
Dey's fat and sassy as dey can be,
But dem big hosses can't run over me.—Cho.
Oh, I'll harness dem hosses to de temp'rance cart,
Hit 'em wid a gad to gib 'em a start,
I'll teach 'em how for to haw and gee,
For dem big hosses can't run over me.—Cho.
Sunday is the Peter the Hermit of the temperance crusade. He inflames men's passions for this righteous war. Most critics call his sermon on "booze" his greatest achievement. He treats the theme from all angles—economic, social, human, and religious. When he puts a row of boys up on the platform and offers them as one day's contribution to the saloon's grist of manhood which must be maintained, the result is electric; all the militant manhood of the men before him is urged to action.
* Reproduced by permission Copyright, 1887, by Fillmore Bros. Homer A Rodeheaver owner. International copyright secured.
THE FAMOUS "BOOZE" SERMON
Here we have one of the strangest scenes in all the Gospels. Two men, possessed of devils, confront Jesus, and while the devils are crying out for Jesus to leave them, he commands the devils to come out, and the devils obey the command of Jesus. The devils ask permission to enter into a herd of swine feeding on the hillside. This is the only record we have of Jesus ever granting the petition of devils, and he did it for the salvation of men.
Then the fellows that kept the hogs went back to town and told the peanut-brained, weasel-eyed, hog-jowled, beetlebrowed, bull-necked lobsters that owned the hogs, that "a long-haired fanatic from Nazareth, named Jesus, has driven the devils out of some men and the devils have gone into the hogs, and the hogs into the sea, and the sea "into the hogs, and the whole bunch is dead."
And then the fat, fussy old fellows came out to see Jesus and said that he was hurting their business. A fellow says to me, "I don't think Jesus Christ did a nice thing."
You don't know what you are talking about.
Down in Nashville, Tennessee, I saw four wagons going down the street, and they were loaded with stills, and kettles, and pipes.
"What's this?" I said.
"United States revenue officers, and they have been in the moonshine district and confiscated the illicit stills, and they are taking them down to the government scrap heap."
Jesus Christ was God's revenue officer. Now the Jews were forbidden to eat pork, but Jesus Christ came and found that crowd buying and selling and dealing in pork, and confiscated the whole business, and he kept within the limits of the law when he did it. Then the fellows ran back to those who owned the hogs to tell what had befallen them and those hog-owners said to Jesus: "Take your helpers and hike. You are hurting our business." And they looked into the sea and the hogs were bottom side up, but Jesus said, "What is the matter?"
And they answered, "Leave our hogs and go." A fellow says it is rather a strange request for the devils to make, to ask permission to enter into hogs. I don't know—if I was a devil I would rather live in a good, decent hog than in lots of men. If you will drive the hog out you won't have to carry slop to him, so I will try to help you get rid of the hog.
And they told Jesus to leave the country. They said: "You are hurting our business."
Interest in Manhood
"Have you no interest in manhood?"
"We have no interest in that; just take your disciples and leave, for you are hurting our business."
That is the attitude of the liquor traffic toward the Church, and State, and Government, and the preacher that has the backbone to fight the most damnable, corrupt institution that ever wriggled out of hell and fastened itself on the public.
I am a temperance Republican down to my toes. Who is the man that fights the whisky business in the South? It is the Democrats! They have driven the business from Kansas, they have driven it from Georgia, and Maine and Mississippi and North Carolina and North Dakota and Oklahoma and Tennessee and West Virginia. And they have driven it out of 1,756 counties. And it is the rockribbed Democratic South that is fighting the saloon. They started this fight that is sweeping like fire over the United States. You might as well try and dam Niagara Falls with toothpicks as to stop the reform wave sweeping our land. The Democratic party of Florida has put a temperance plank in its platform and the Republican party of every state would nail that plank in their platform if they thought it would carry the election. It is simply a matter of decency and manhood, irrespective of politics. It is prosperity against poverty, sobriety against drunkenness, honesty against thieving, heaven against hell. Don't you want to see men sober? Brutal, staggering men transformed into respectable citizens? "No," said a saloonkeeper, "to hell with men. We are interested in our business, we have no interest in humanity."
After all is said that can be said upon the liquor traffic, its influence is degrading upon the individual, the family, politics and business, and upon everything that you touch in this old world. For the time has long gone by when there is any ground for arguments as to its ill effects. All are agreed on that point. There is just one prime reason why the saloon has not been knocked into hell, and that is the false statement that "the saloons are needed to help Ugh ten the taxes." The saloon business has never paid, and it has cost fifty times more than the revenue derived from it.
Does the Saloon Help Business?
I challenge you to show me where the saloon has ever helped business, education, church, morals or anything we hold dear.
The wholesale and retail trade in Iowa pays every year at least $500,000 in licenses. Then if there were no drawback it ought to reduce the taxation twenty-five cents per capita. If the saloon is necessary to pay the taxes, and if they pay $500,000 in taxes, it ought to reduce them twentyfive cents a head. But no, the whisky business has increased taxes $1,000,000 instead of reducing them, and I defy any whisky man on God's dirt to show me one town that has the saloon where the taxes are lower than where they do not have the saloon. I defy you to show me an instance.
Listen! Seventy-five per cent of our idiots come from intemperate parents; eighty per cent of the paupers, eightytwo per cent of the crime is committed by men under the influence of liquor; ninety per cent of the adult criminals are whisky-made. The Chicago Tribune kept track for ten years and found that 53,556 murders were committed by men under the influence of liquor.
Archbishop Ireland, the famous Roman Catholic, of St. Paul, said of social crime today, that "seventy-five per cent is caused by drink, and eighty per cent of the poverty."
I go to a family and it is broken up, and I say, "What caused this?" Drink! I step up to a young man on the scaffold and say, "What brought you here?" Drink! Whence all the misery and sorrow and corruption? Invariably it is drink.
Five Points, in New York, was a spot as near like hell as any spot on earth. There are five streets that run to this point, and right in the middle was an old brewery and the streets on either side were lined with grog shops. The newspapers turned a searchlight on the district, and the first thing they had to do was to buy the old brewery and turn it into a mission.
The Parent of Crimes
The saloon is the sum of all villanies. It is worse than war or pestilence. It is the crime of crimes. It is the parent of crimes and the mother of sins. It is the appalling source of misery and crime in the land. And to license such an incarnate fiend of hell is the dirtiest, low-down, damnable business on top of this old earth. There is nothing to be compared to it.
The legislature of Illinois appropriated $6,000,000 in 1908 to take care of the insane people in the state, and the whisky business produces seventy-five per cent of the insane. That is what you go down in your pockets for to help support. Do away with the saloons and you will close these institutions. The saloons make them necessary, and they make the poverty and fill the jails and the penitentiaries. Who has to pay the bills? The landlord who doesn't get the rent because the money goes for whisky; the butcher and the grocer and the charitable person who takes pity on the children of drunkards, and the taxpayer who supports the insane asylums and other institutions, that the whisky business keeps full of human wrecks.
Do away with the cursed business and you will not have to put up to support them. Who gets the money? The saloon-keepers and the brewers, and the distillers, while the whisky fills the land with misery, and poverty, and wretchedness, and disease, and death, and damnation, and it is being authorized by the will of the sovereign people.
You say that "people will drink anyway." Not by my vote. You say, "Men will murder their wives anyway." Not by my vote. "They will steal anyway." Not by my vote. You are the sovereign people, and what are you going to do about it?
Let me assemble before your minds the bodies of the drunken dead, who crawl away "into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell," and then out of the valley of the shadow of the drink let me call the appertaining motherhood, and wifehood, and childhood, and let their tears rain down upon their purple faces. Do you think that would stop the curse of the liquor traffic? No! No!
In these days when the question of saloon or no saloon is at the fore in almost every community, one hears a good deal about what is called "personal liberty." These are fine, large, mouth-filling words, and they certainly do sound first rate; but when you get right down and analyze them in the light of common old horse-sense, you will discover that in their application to the present controversy they mean just about this: "Personal liberty" is for the man who, if he has the inclination and the price, can stand up at a bar and fill his hide so full of red liquor that he is transformed for the time being into an irresponsible, dangerous, evilsmelling brute. But "personal liberty" is not for his patient, long-suffering wife, who has to endure with what fortitude she may his blows and curses; nor is it for his children, who, if they escape his insane rage, are yet robbed of every known joy and privilege of childhood, and too often grow up neglected, uncared for and vicious as the result of their surroundings and the example before them. "Personal liberty" is not for the sober, industrious citizen who from the proceeds of honest toil and orderly living, has to pay, willingly or not, the tax bills which pile up as a direct result of drunkenness, disorder and poverty, the items of which are written in the records of every police court and poor-house in the land; nor is'' personal liberty" for the good woman who goes abroad in the town only at the risk of being shot down by some drink-crazed creature. This rant about "personal liberty" as an argument has no leg to stand upon.
The Economic Side
Now, in 1913 the corn crop was 2,373,000,000 bushels, and it was valued at $1,660,000,000. Secretary Wilson says that the breweries use less than two per cent; I will say that they use two per cent. That would make 47,000,000 bushels, and at seventy cents a bushel that would be about $33,000,000. How many people are there in the United States? Ninety millions. Very well, then, that is thirtysix cents per capita. Then we sold out to the whisky business for thirty-six cents apiece—the price of a dozen eggs or a pound of butter. We are the cheapest gang this side of hell if we will do that kind of business.
Now listen! Last year the income of the United States government, and the cities and towns and counties, from the whisky business was $350,000,000. That is putting it liberally. You say that's a lot of money. Well, last year the workingmen spent $2,000,000,000 for drink, and it cost $1,200,000,000 to care for the judicial machinery. In other words, the whisky business cost us last year $3,400,000,000. I will subtract from that the dirty $350,000,000 which we got, and it leaves $3,050,000,000 in favor of knocking the whisky business out on purely a money basis. And listen! We spend $6,000,000,000 a year for our paupers and criminals insane, orphans, feeble-minded, etc., and eighty-two per cent of our criminals are whisky-made, and seventy-five per cent of the paupers are whisky-made. The average factory hand earns $450 a year, and it costs us $1,200 a year to support each of our whisky criminals. There are 326,000 enrolled criminals in the United States and 80,000 in jails and penitentiaries. Three-fourths were sent there because of drink, and then they have the audacity to say the saloon is needed for money revenue. Never was there a baser lie.
"But," says the whisky fellow, "we would lose trade; the farmer would not come to town to trade." You lie. I am a farmer. I was born and raised on a farm and I have the malodors of the barnyard on me today. Yes, sir. And when you say that you insult the best class of men on God's dirt. Say, when you put up the howl that if you don't have the saloons the farmer won't trade—say, Mr. Whisky Man, why do you dump money into politics and back the legislatures into the corner and fight to the last ditch to prevent the enactment of county local option? You know if the farmers were given a chance they would knock the whisky business into hell the first throw out of the box. You are afraid. You have cold feet on the proposition. You are afraid to give the farmer a chance. They are scared to death of you farmers.
I heard my friend ex-Governor Hanly, of Indiana, use the following illustrations:
"Oh, but," they say, "Governor, there is another danger to the local option, because it means a loss of market to the farmer. We are consumers of large quantities of grain in the manufacture of our products. If you drive us out of business you strike down that market and it will create a money panic in this country, such as you have never seen, if you do that." I might answer it by saying that less than two per cent of the grain produced in this country is used for that purpose, but I pass that by. I want to debate the merit of the statement itself, and I think I can demonstrate in ten minutes to any thoughtful man, to any farmer, that the brewer who furnishes him a market for a bushel of corn is not his benefactor, or the benefactor of any man, from an economic standpoint. Let us see. A farmer brings to the brewer a bushel of corn, He finds a market for it. He gets fifty cents and goes his way, with the statement of the brewer ringing in his ears, that the brewer is the benefactor. But you haven't got all the factors in the problem, Mr. Brewer, and you cannot get a correct solution of a problem without all the factors in the problem. You take the farmer's bushel of corn, brewer or distiller, and you brew and distill from it four and one-half gallons of spirits. I don't know how much he dilutes them before he puts them on the market. Only the brewer, the distiller and God know. The man who drinks it doesn't, but if he doesn't dilute it at all, he puts on the market four and a half gallons of intoxicating liquor, thirty-six pints. I am not going to trace the thirty-six pints. It will take too long. But I want to trace three of them and I will give you no imaginary stories plucked from the brain of an excited orator. I will take instances from the judicial pages of the Supreme Court and the Circuit Court judges' reports in Indiana and in Illinois to make my case.
Tragedies Born of Drink
Several years ago in the city of Chicago a young man of good parents, good character, one Sunday crossed the street and entered a saloon, open against the law. He found there boon companions. There were laughter, song and jest and much drinking. After awhile, drunk, insanely drunk, his money gone, he was kicked into the street. He found his way across to his mother's home. He importuned her for money to buy more drink. She refused him. He seized from the sideboard a revolver and ran out into the street and with the expressed determination of entering the saloon and getting more drink, money or no money. His fond mother followed him into the street. She put her hand upon him in a loving restraint. He struck it from him in anger, and then his sister came and added her entreaty in vain. And then a neighbor, whom he knew, trusted and respected, came and put his hand on him in gentleness and friendly kindness, but in an insanity of drunken rage he raised the revolver and shot his friend dead in his blood upon the street. There was a trial; he was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and when the little mother heard the verdict—a frail little bit of a woman—she threw up her hands and fell in a swoon. In three hours she was dead.
In the streets of Freeport, Illinois, a young man of good family became involved in a controversy with a lewd woman of the town. He went in a drunken frenzy to his father's home, armed himself with a deadly weapon and set out for the city in search of the woman with whom he had quarreled. The first person he met upon the public square in the city, in the daylight, in a place where she had a right to be, was one of the most refined and cultured women of Freeport. She carried in her arms her babe—motherhood and babyhood, upon the streets of Freeport in the day time, where they had a right to be—but this young man in his drunken insanity mistook her for the woman he sought and shot her dead upon the streets with her babe in her arms. He was tried and Judge Ferand, in,sentencing him to life imprisonment said: "You are the seventh man in two years to be sentenced for murder while intoxicated."
In the city of Anderson, you remember the tragedy in the Blake home. A young man came home intoxicated, demanding money of his mother. She refused it. He seized from the wood box a hatchet and killed his mother and then robbed her. You remember he fled. The officer of the law pursued him and brought him back. An indictment was read to him charging him with the murder of the mother who had given him his birth, of her who had gone down into the valley of the shadow of death to give him life, of her who had looked down into his blue eyes and thanked God for his life. And he said, "I am guilty; I did it all." And Judge McClure sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Now I have followed probably three of the thirty-six pints of the farmer's product of a bushel of corn and the three of them have struck down seven lives, the three boys who committed the murders, the three persons who were killed and the little mother who died of a broken heart. And now, I want to know, my farmer friend, if this has been a good commercial transaction for you? You sold a bushel of corn; you found a market; you got fifty cents; but a fraction of this product struck down seven lives, all of whom would have been consumers of your products for their life expectancy. And do you mean to say that is a good economic transaction to you? That disposes of the market question until it is answered; let no man argue further.
And say, my friends, New York City's annual drink bill is $365,000,000 a year, $1,000,000 a day. Listen a minute. That is four times the annual output of gold, and six times the value of all the silver mined in the United States. And in New York there is one saloon for every thirty families. The money spent in New York by the working people for drink in ten years would buy every working man in New York a beautiful home, allowing $3,500 for house and lot. It would take fifty persons one year to count the money in $1 bills, and they would cover 10,000 acres of ground. That is what the people in New York dump into the whisky hole in one year. And then you wonder why there is poverty and crime, and that the country is not more prosperous.
The whisky gang is circulating a circular about Kansas City, Kansas. I defy you to prove a statement in it. Kansas City is a town of 100,000 population, and temperance went into effect July 1, 1905. Then they had 250 saloons, 200 gambling hells and 60 houses of ill fame. The population was largely foreign, and inquiries have come from Germany, Sweden and Norway, asking the influence of the enforcement of the prohibitory law.
At the end of one year the president of one of the largest banks in that city, a man who protested against the enforcement of the prohibitory law on the ground that it would hurt business, found that his bank deposits had increased $1,700,000, and seventy-two per cent of the deposits were from men who had never saved a cent before, and forty-two per cent came from men who never had a dollar in the bank, but because the saloons were driven out they had a chance to save, and the people who objected on the grounds that it would injure business found an increase of 209 per cent in building operations; and, furthermore, there were three times as many more people seeking investment, and court expenses decreased $25,000 in one year.
Who pays to feed and keep the gang you have in jail? Why, you go down in your sock and pay for what the saloon has dumped in there. They don't do it. Mr. Whisky Man, why don't you go down and take a picture of wrecked and blighted homes, and of insane asylums, with gibbering idiots. Why don't you take a picture of that?
At Kansas City, Kansas, before the saloons were closed, they were getting ready to build an addition to the jail. Now the doors swing idly on the hinges and there is nobody to lock in the jails. And the commissioner of the Poor Farm says there is a wonderful falling off of old men and women coming to the Poor House, because their sons and daughters are saving their money and have quit spending it for drink. And they had to employ eighteen new school teachers for 600 boys and girls, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, that had never gone to school before because they had to help a drunken father support the family. And they have just set aside $200,000 to build a new school house, and the bonded indebtedness was reduced $245,000 in one year without the saloon revenue. And don't you know another thing: In 1906, when they had the saloon, the population, according to the directory, was 89,655. According to the census of 1907the population was 100,835, or an increase of twelve per cent in one year, without the grogshop. In two years the bank deposits increased $3,930,000.
You say, drive out the saloon and you kill business— Ha! ha! "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord."
I tell you, gentlemen, the American home is the dearest heritage of the people, for'the people, and by the people, and when a man can go from home in the morning with the kisses of wife and children on his lips, and come back at night with an empty dinner bucket to a happy home, that man is a better man, whether white or black. Whatever takes away the comforts of home—whatever degrades that man or woman—whatever invades the sanctity of the home, is the deadliest foe to the home, to church, to state and school, and the saloon is the deadliest foe to the home, the church and the state, on top of God Almighty's dirt. And if all the combined forces of hell should assemble in conclave, and with them all the men on earth that hate and despise God,, and purity, and virtue—if all the scum of the earth could mingle with the denizens of hell to try to think of the deadliest institution to home, to church and state, I tell you, sir, the combined hellish intelligence could not conceive of or bring an institution that could touch the hem of the garment of the open licensed saloon to damn the home and manhood, and womanhood, and business and every other good thing on God's earth.
In the Island of Jamaica the rats increased so that they destroyed the crops, and they introduced a mongoose, which is a species of the coon. They have three breeding seasons a year and there are twelve to fifteen in each brood, and they are deadly enemies of the rats. The result was that the rats disappeared and there was nothing more for the mongoose to feed upon, so they attacked the snakes, and the frogs, and the lizards that fed upon the insects, with the result that the insects increased and they stripped the gardens, eating up the onions and the lettuce and then the mongoose attacked the sheep and the cats, and the puppies, and the calves and the geese. Now Jamaica is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get rid of the mongoose.
The American Mongoose
The American mongoose is the open licensed saloon. It eats the carpets off the floor and the clothes from off your back, your money out of the bank, and it eats up character, and it goes on until at last it leaves a stranded wreck in the home, a skeleton of what was once brightness and happiness.
There were some men playing cards on a railroad train, and one fellow pulled out a whisky flask and passed it about, and when it came to the drummer he said, "No." "What," they said, "have you got on the water wagon?" and they all laughed at him. He said, "You can laugh if you want to, but I was born with an appetite for clrink, and for years I have taken from five to ten glasses per day, but I was at home in Chicago not long ago and I have a friend who has a pawn shop there. I was in there when in came a young fellow with ashen cheeks and a wild look on his face. He came up trembling, threw down a little package and said, 'Give me ten cents.' And what do you think was in that package? It was a pair of baby shoes.
"My friend said, 'No, I cannot take them.'
"' But,' he said,'give me a dime. I must have a drink.'
"'No, take them back home, your baby will need them.'
"And the poor fellow said,'My baby is dead, and I want a drink.'"
Boys, I don't blame you for the lump that comes up in your throat. There is no law, divine or human, that the saloon respects. Lincoln said, "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." I say, if the saloon, with its train of diseases, crime and misery, is not wrong, then nothing on earth is wrong. If the fight is to be won we need men— men that will fight—the Church, Catholic and Protestant, must fight it or run away, and thank God she will not run away, but fight to the last ditch.
Who works the hardest for his money, the saloon man or you?
Who has the most money Sunday morning, the saloon man or you?
The saloon comes as near being a rat hole for a wageearner to dump his wages in as anything you can find. The only interest it pays is red eyes and foul breath, and the loss of health. You can go in with money and you come out with empty pockets. You go in with character and you come out ruined. You go in with a good position and you lose it. You lose your position in the bank, or in the cab of the locomotive. And it pays nothing back but disease and damnation and gives an extra dividend in delirium tremens and a free pass to hell. And then it will let your wife be buried in the potter's field, and your children go to the asylum, and yet you walk out and say the saloon is a good institution, when it is the dirtiest thing on earth. It hasn't one leg to stand on and has nothing to commend it to a decent man, not one thing.
"But," you say, "we will regulate it by high license." Regulate what by high license? You might as well try and regulate a powder mill in hell. Do you want to pay taxes in boys, or dirty money? A man that will sell out to that dirty business I have no use for. See how absurd their arguments are. If you drink Bourbon in a saloon that pays S1,000 a year license, will it eat your stomach less than if you drink it in a saloon that pays $500 license? Is it going to have any different effect on you, whether the gang pays §500 or $1,000 license? No. It will make no difference whether you drink it over a mahogany counter or a pine counter—it will have the same effect on you; it will damn you. So there is no use talking about it.
In some insane asylums, do you know what they do? When they want to test some patient to see whether he has recovered his reason, they have a room with a faucet in it, and a cement floor, and they give the patient a mop and tell him to mop up the floor. And if he has sense enough to turn off the faucet and mop up the floor they will parole him, but should he let the faucet run, they know that he is crazy.
Well, that is what you are trying to do. You are trying to mop it up with taxes and insane asylums and jails and Keeley cures, and reformatories. The only thing to do is to shut off the source of supply.
A man was delivering a temperance address at a took up a premium list and said:
fair grounds and a fellow came up to him and said: "Are you the fellow that gave a talk on temperance?" "Yes."
"Well, I think that the managers did a dirty piece of business to let you give a lecture on temperance. You have hurt my business and my business is a legal one."
"You are right there," said the lecturer, "they did do a mean trick; I would complain to the officers." And he
By the way, I see there is a premium of so much offered for the best horse and cow and butter. What business are you in?"
"I'm in the liquor business."
"Well, I don't see that they offer any pre mium for your business. You ought to go down and compel them to offer a premium for your business and they ought to offer on the list $25 for the best wrecked home, $15 for the best bloated bum that you can show, and $10 for the finest specimen of broken-hearted wife, and they ought to give $25 for the finest specimens of thieves and gamblers you can trot out. You can bring out the finest looking criminals. If you have something that is good trot it out. You ought to come in competition with the farmer, with his stock, and the fancy work, and the canned fruit."
The Saloon a Coward
As Dr. Howard said: "I tell you that the saloon is a coward. It hides itself behind stained-glass doors and opaque windows, and sneaks its customers in at a blind door, and it keeps a sentinel to guard the door from the officers of the law, and it marks its wares with false bills-of-lading, and offers to ship green goods to you and marks them with the name of wholesome articles of food so people won't know what is being sent to you. And so vile did that business get that the legislature of Indiana passed a law forbidding a saloon to ship goods without being properly labeled. And the United States Congress passed a law forbidding them to send whisky through the mails.
"should He Let The Faucet Run, They Know That He Is Crazy"
I tell you it strikes in the night. It fights under cover of darkness and assassinates the characters that it cannot damn, and it lies about you. It attacks defenseless womanhood and childhood. The saloon is a coward. It is a thief; it is not an ordinary court offender that steals your money, but it robs you of manhood and leaves you in rags and takes away your friends, and it robs your family. It impoverishes your children and it brings insanity and suicide. It will take the shirt off your back and it will steal the coffin from a dead child and yank the last crust of bread out of the hand of the starving child; it will take the last bucket of coal out of your cellar, and the last cent out of your pocket, and will send you home bleary-eyed and staggering to your wife and children. It will steal the milk from the breast of the mother and leave her with nothing with which to feed her infant. It will take the virtue from your daughter. It is the dirtiest, most low-down, damnable business that ever crawled out of the pit of hell. It is a sneak, and a thief and a coward.
It is an infidel. It has no faith in God; has no religion. It would close every church in the land. It would hang its beer signs on the abandoned altars. It would close every public school. It respects the thief and it esteems the blasphemer; it fills the prisons and the penitentiaries. It despises heaven, hates love, scorns virtue. It tempts the passions. Its music is the song of a siren. Its sermons are a collection of lewd, vile stories. It wraps a mantle about the hope of this world and that to come. Its tables are full of the vilest literature. It is the moral clearing house for rot, and damnation, and poverty, and insanity, and it wrecks homes and blights lives today.
God's Worst Enemy
The saloon is a liar. It promises good cheer and sends sorrow. It promises health and causes disease. It promises prosperity and sends adversity. It promises happiness and sends misery. Yes, it sends the husband home with a lie on his lips to his wife; and the boy home with a lie on his lips to his mother; and it causes the employee to lie to his employer. It degrades. It is God's worst enemy and the devil's best friend. It spares neither youth nor old age. It is waiting with a dirty blanket for the baby to crawl into the world. It lies in wait for the unborn.
It cocks the highwayman's pistol. It puts the rope in the hands of the mob. It is the anarchist of the world and its dirty red flag is dyed with the blood of women and children. It sent the bullet through the body of Lincoln; it nerved the arm that sent the bullets through Garfield and William McKinley. Yes, it is a murderer. Every plot that was ever hatched against the government and law, was born and bred, and crawled out of the grog-shop to damn this country.
I tell you that the curse of God Almighty is on the saloon. Legislatures are legislating against it. Decent society is barring it out. The fraternal brotherhoods are knocking it out. The Masons and Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias and the A. O. U. W. are closing their doors to the whisky sellers. They don't want you wriggling your carcass in their lodges. Yes, sir, I tell you, the curse of God is on it. It is on the down grade. It is headed for hell, and, by the grace of God, I am going to give it a push, with a whoop, for all I know how. Listen to me! I am going to show you how we burn up our money. It costs twenty cents to make a gallon of whisky; sold over the counter at ten cents a glass, it will bring four dollars.
"But," said the saloon-keeper, "Bill, you must figure on the strychnine and the cochineal, and other stuff they put in it, and it will bring nearer eight dollars."
Yes; it increases the heart beat thirty times more in a minute, when you consider the licorice and potash and logwood and other poisons that are put in. I believe one cause for the unprecedented increase of crime is due to the poison put in the stuff nowadays to make it go as far as they can.
I am indebted to my friend, George B. Stuart, for some of the following points:
I will show you how your money is burned up. It costs twenty cents to make a gallon of whisky, sold over the counter at ten cents a glass, which brings four dollars. Listen, where does it go? Who gets the twenty cents? The farmer for his corn or rye. Who gets the rest? The United States government for collecting revenue, and the big corporations, and part is used to pave our streets and pay our police. I'll show you. I'm going to show you how it is burned up, and you don't need half sense to catch on, and if you don't understand just keep still and nobody will know the difference.
I say, "Hey, Colonel Politics, what is the matter with the country?"
He swells up like a poisoned pup and says to me, "Bill, why the silver bugbear. That's what is the matter with the country."
The total value of the silver produced in this country in 1912 was $39,000,000. Hear me! In 1912 the total value of the gold produced in this country was $93,000,000, and we dumped thirty-six times that much in the whisky hole and didn't fill it. What is the matter? The total value of all the gold and silver produced in 1912 was $132,000,000, and we dumped twenty-five times that amount in the whisky hole and didn't fill it.
What is the matter with the country, Colonel Politics? He swells up and says, "Mr. Sunday, Standpatism, sir."
I say, "You are an old windbag."
"Oh," says another, "revision of the tariff." Another man says, "Free trade; open the doors at the ports and let them pour the products in and we will put the trusts on the side-track."
Say, you come with me to every port of entry. Listen! In 1912 the total value of all the imports was $1,812,000,000, and we dumped that much in the whisky hole in twelve months and did not fill it.
"Oh," says a man, "let us court South America and Europe to sell our products. That's what is the matter; we are not exporting enough."
Last year the total value of all the exports was $2,362,000,000, and we dumped that amount in the whisky hole in one year and didn't fill it.
One time I was down in Washington and went to the United States treasury and said: "I wish you would let me go where you don't let the general public." And they took us around on the inside and we walked into a room about twenty feet long and fifteen feet wide and as many feet high, and I said, "What is this?"
"This is the vault that contains all of the national bank stock in the United States."
I said, "How much is here?"
They said, "$578,000,000."
And we dumped nearly four times the value of the national bank stock in the United States into the whisky hole last year, and we didn't fill the hole up at that. What is the matter? Say, whenever the day comes that all the Catholic and Protestant churches—just when the day comes when you will say to the whisky business: "You go to hell," that day the whisky business will go to hell. But you sit there, you old whisky-voting elder and deacon and vestryman, and you wouldn't strike your hands together on the proposition. It would stamp you an old hypocrite and you know it.
Say, hold on a bit. Have you got a silver dollar? I am going to show you how it is burned up. We have in this country 250,000 saloons, and allowing fifty feet frontage for each saloon it makes a street from New York to Chicago, and 5,000,000 men, women and children go daily into the saloon for drink. And marching twenty miles a day it would take thirty days to pass this building, and marching five abreast they would reach 590 miles. There they go; look at them!
On the first day of January, 500,000 of the young men of our nation entered the grog-shop and began a public career hellward, and on the 31st of December I will come back here and summon you people, and ring the bell and raise the curtain and say to the saloon and breweries: "On the first day of January, I gave you 500,000 of the brain and muscle of our land, and I want them back and have come in the name of the home and church and school; father mother, sister, sweetheart; give me back what I gave you. March out."
I count, and 165,000 have lost their appetites and have become muttering, bleary-eyed drunkards, wallowing in their own excrement, and I say, "What is it I hear, a funeral dirge?" What is that procession? A funeral procession 3,000 miles long and 110,000 hearses in the procession. One hundred and ten thousand men die drunkards in the land of the free and home of the brave. Listen! In an hour twelve men die drunkards, 300 a day and 110,000 a year. One man will leap in front of a train, another will plunge from the dock into a lake, another will throw his hands to his head and life will end. Another will cry, "Mother," and his life will go out like a burnt match.
I stand in front of the jails and count the whisky criminals. They say, "Yes, Bill, I fired the bullet." "Yes, I backed my wife into the corner and beat her life out. I am waiting for the scaffold; I am waiting." "I am waiting," says another, "to slip into hell." On, on, it goes. Say, let me summon the wifehood, and the motherhood, and the childhood and see the tears rain down the upturned faces. People, tears are too weak for that hellish business. Tears are only salty backwater that well up at the bidding of an occult power, and I will tell you there are 865,000 whisky orphan children in the United States, enough in the world to belt the globe three times around, punctured at every fifth point by a drunkard's widow.
Like Hamilcar of old, who swore young Hannibal to eternal enmity against Rome, so I propose to perpetuate this feud against the liquor traffic until the white-winged dove of temperance builds her nest on the dome of the capitol of Washington and spreads her wings of peace, sobriety and joy over our land which I love with all my heart.
What Will a Dollar Buy?
I hold a silver dollar in my hand. Come on, we are going to a saloon. We will go into a saloon and spend that dollar for a quart. It takes twenty cents to make a gallon of whisky and a dollar will buy a quart. You say to the saloon-keeper, "Give me a quart." I will show you, if you wait a minute, how she is burned up. Here I am John, an old drunken bum, with a wife and six kids. (Thank God, it's all a lie.) Come on, I will go down to a saloon and throw down my dollar. It costs twenty cents to make a gallon of whisky. A nickel will make a quart. My dollar will buy a quart of booze. Who gets the nickel? The farmer, for corn and apples. Who gets the ninety-five cents? The United States government, the big distillers, the big corporations. I am John, a drunken bum, and I will spend my dollar. I have worked a week and got my pay. I go into a grog-shop and throw down my dollar. The saloon-keeper gets my dollar and I get a quart of booze. Come home with me. I stagger, and reel, and spew in my wife's presence, and she says:
"Hello, John, what did you bring home?"
What will a quart do? It will burn up my happiness and my home and fill my home with squalor and want. So there is the dollar. The saloon-keeper has it. Here is my quart. There you get the whisky end of it. Here you get the workingman's end of the saloon.
But come on; I will go to a store and spend the dollar for a paii- of shoes. I want them for my son, and he puts them on his feet, and with the shoes to protect his feet he goes out and earns another dollar, and my dollar becomes a silver thread in the woof and warp of happiness and joy, and the man that owns the building gets some, and the clerk that sold the shoes gets some, and the merchant, and the traveling man, and the wholesale house gets some, and the factory, and the man that made the shoes, and the man that tanned the hide, and the butcher that bought the calf, and the little colored fellow that shined the shoes, and my dollar spread itself and nobody is made worse for spending the money.
I join the Booster Club for business and prosperity. A man said, "I will tell you what is the matter with the country: it's over-production." You lie, it is underconsumption.
Say, wife, the bread that ought to be in your stomach to satisfy the cravings of hunger is down yonder in the grocery store, and your husband hasn't money enough to carry it home. The meat that ought to satisfy your hunger hangs in the butcher shop. Your husband hasn't any money to buy it. The cloth for a dress is lying on the shelf in the store, but your husband hasn't the money to buy it. The whisky gang has his money.
What is the matter with our country? I would like to do this. I would like to see every booze-fighter get on the water wagon. I would like to summon all the drunkards in America and say: "Boys, let's cut her out and spend the money for flour, meat and calico; what do you say?" Say! $500,000,000 will buy all the flour in the United States; $500,000,000 will buy all the beef cattle, and $500,000,000 will buy all the cotton at $50 a bale. But we dumped more money than that in the whisky hole last year, and we didn't fill it. Come on; I'm going to line up the drunkards. Everybody fall in. Come on, ready, forward, march. Right, left, here I come with all the drunkards. We will line up in front of a butcher shop. The butcher says, "What do you want, a piece of neck?"
"No; how much do I owe you?" "Three dollars." "Here's your dough. Now give me a porterhouse steak and a sirloin roast."
"Where did you get all that money?"
"Went to hear Bill and climbed on the water wagon."
"Hello! What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
We empty the shop and the butcher runs to the telephone. "Hey, Central, give me the slaughter house. Have you got any beef, any pork, any mutton?"
They strip the slaughter house, and then telephone to Swift, and Armour, and Nelson Morris, and Cudahy, to send down trainloads of beefsteaks.
"The whole bunch has got on the water wagon."
And Swift and the other big packers in Chicago say to their salesmen: "Buy beef, pork and mutton."
The farmer sees the price of cattle and sheep jump up to three times their value. Let me take the money you dump into the whisky hole and buy beefsteaks with it. I will show what is the matter with America. I think the liquor business is the dirtiest, rottenest business this side of hell.
Come on, are you ready? Fall in! We line up in front of a grocery store.
"What do you want?"
"Why, I want flour."
"What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
"Pillsbury, Minneapolis, 'Sleepy Eye'?"
"Yes, ship in trainloads of flour; send on fast mail schedule, with an engine in front, one behind and a Mogul in the middle."
"What's the matter?"
"Why, the workingmen have stopped spending their money for booze and have begun to buy flour."
The big mills tell their men to buy wheat and the farmers see the price jump to over $2 per bushel. What's the matter with the country? Why, the whisky gang has your money and you have an empty stomach, and yet you will walk up and vote for the dirty booze.
Come on, cut out the booze, boys. Get on the water wagon; get on for the sake of your wife and babies, and hit the booze a blow.
Come on, ready, forward, march! Right, left, halt! We are in front of a dry goods store.
"What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
"Calico; all right, come on." The stores are stripped.
Marshall Field, Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., J. V. Farrell, send down calico. The whole bunch has voted out the saloons and we have such a demand for calico we don't know what to do. And the big stores telegraph to Fall River to ship calico, and the factories telegraph to buy cotton, and they tell their salesmen to buy cotton, and the cotton plantation man sees cotton jump up to $150 a bale.
What is the matter? Your children are going naked and the whisky gang has got your money. That's what's the matter with you. Don't listen to those old whisky-soaked politicians who say "stand pat on the saloon."
Come with me. Now, remember, we have the whole bunch of booze fighters on the water wagon, and I'm going home now. Over there I was John, the drunken bum. The whisky gang got my dollar and I got the quart. Over here I am John on the water wagon. The merchant got my dollar and I have his meat, flour and calico, and I'm going home now. "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home without booze."
Wife comes out and says, "Hello, John, what have you got?"
"Two porterhouse steaks, Sally."
"What's that bundle, Pa?"
"Clothes to make you a new dress, Sis. Your mother has fixed your old one so often, it looks like a crazy quilt." "And what have you there?"
"That's a pair of shoes for you, Tom; and here is some cloth to make you a pair of pants. Your mother has patched the old ones so often, they look like the map of United States."
What's the matter with the country? We have been dumping into the whisky hole the money that ought to have been spent for flour, beef and calico, and we haven't the hole filled up yet.
A man comes along and says: "Are you a drunkard?"
"Yes, I'm a drunkard."
"Where are you going?"
"I am going to hell."
"Because the Good Book says: 'No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God,' so I am going to hell."
Another man comes along and I say: "Are you a church member?"
"Yes, I am a church member."
"Where are you going?"
"I am going to heaven."
"Did you vote for the saloon?"
"Then you shall go to hell."
Say, if the man that drinks the whisky goes to hell, the man that votes for the saloon that sold the whisky to him will go to hell. If the man that drinks the whisky goes to hell, and the man that sold the whisky to the men that drank it, goes to heaven, then the poor drunkard will have the right to stand on the brink of eternal damnation and put his arms around the pillar of justice, shake his fist in the face of the Almighty and say, "Unjust! Unjust 1" If you vote for the dirty business you ought to go to hell as sure as you live, and I would like to fire the furnace while you are there.
Some fellow says, "Drive the saloon out and the buildings will be empty." Which would you rather have, empty buildings or empty jails, penitentiaries and insane asylums? You drink the stuff and what have you to say? You that vote for it, and you that sell it? Look at them painted on the canvas of your recollection.
The Gin Mill
What is the matter with this grand old country? I heard my friend, George Stuart, tell how he imagined that he walked up to a mill and said:
"Hello, there, what kind of a mill are you?"
"And what do you make?"
"We make boards out of logs."
"Is the finished product worth more than the raw material?" "Yes."
"We will make laws for you. We must have lumber for houses."
He goes up to another mill and says: "Hey, what kind of a mill are you?" "A grist mill." "What do you make?" "Flour and meal out of wheat and corn." "Is the finished product worth more than the raw material?" "Yes."
"Then come on. We will make laws for you. We will protect you."
He goes up to another mill and says:
"What kind of a mill are you?"
"A paper mill."
"What do you make paper out of?"
"Straw and rags."
"Well, we will make laws for you. We must have
paper on which to write notes and mortgages."
He goes up to another mill and says:
"Hey, what kind of a mill are you?"
"A gin mill."
"I don't like the looks nor the smell of you. A gin mill; what do you make? What kind of a mill are you?" "A gin mill."
"What is your raw material?"
"The boys of America."
The gin mills of this country must have 2,000,000 boys or shut up shop. Say, walk down your streets, count the homes and every fifth home has to furnish a boy for a drunkard. Have you furnished yours? No. Then I have to furnish two to make up.
"What is your raw material?"
"Then I will pick up the boys and give them to you."
A man says, "Hold on, not that boy, he is mine."
Then I will say to you what a saloon-keeper said to me when I protested, "I am not interested in boys; to hell with your boys."
"Say, saloon gin mill, what is your finished product?"
"Bleary-eyed, low-down, staggering men and the scum of God's dirt."
Go to the jails, go to the insane asylums and the penitentiaries, and the homes for feeble-minded. There you will find the finished product for their dirty business. I tell you it is the worst business this side of hell, and you know it.
Listen! Here is an extract from the Saturday Evening Post of November 9, 1907, taken from a paper read by a brewer. You will say that a man didn't say it: "It appears from these facts that the success of our business lies in the creation of appetite among the boys. Men who have formed the habit scarcely ever reform, but they, like others, will die, and unless there are recruits made to take their places, our coffers will be empty, and I recommend to you that money spent in the creation of appetite will return in dollars to your tills after the habit is formed."
What is your raw material, saloons? American boys. Say, I would not give one boy for all the distilleries and saloons this side of hell. And they have to have 2,000,000 boys every generation. And then you tell me you are a man when you will vote for an institution like that. What do you want to do, pay taxes in money or in boys?
I feel like an old fellow in Tennessee who made his living by catching rattlesnakes. He caught one with fourteen rattles and put it in a box with a glass top. One day when he was sawing wood his little five-year old boy, Jim, took the lid off and the rattler wriggled out and struck him in the cheek. He ran to his father and said, "The rattler has bit me." The father ran and chopped the rattler to pieces, and with his jack-knife he cut a chunk from the boy's cheek and then sucked and sucked at the wound to draw out the poison. He looked at little Jim, watched the pupils of his eyes dilate and watched him swell to three times his normal size, watched his lips become parched and cracked, and eyes roll, and little Jim gasped and died.
The father took him in his arms, carried him over by the side of the rattler, got on his knees and said, "O God, I would not give little Jim for all the rattlers that ever crawled over the Blue Ridge mountains."
And I would not give one boy for every dirty dollar you get from the hell-soaked liquor business or from every brewery and distillery this side of hell.
In a Northwest city a preacher sat at his breakfast table one Sunday morning. The door-bell rang; he answered it; and there stood a little boy, twelve years of age. He was on crutches, right leg off at the knee, shivering, and he said, "Please, sir, will you come up to the jail and talk and pray with papa? He murdered mamma. Papa was good and kind, but whisky did it, and I have to support my three little sisters. I sell newspapers and black boots. Will you go up and talk and pray with papa? And will you come home and be with us when they bring him back? The governor says we can have his body after they hang him."
The preacher hurried to the jail and talked and prayed with the man. He had no knowledge of what he had done. He said, "I don't blame the law, but it breaks my heart to think that my children must be left in a cold and heartless world. Oh, sir, whisky did it."
The preacher was at the little hut when up drove the undertaker's wagon and they carried out the pine coffin. They led the little boy up to the coffin, he leaned over and kissed his father and sobbed, and said to his sister, "Come on, sister, kiss papa's cheeks before they grow cold." And the little hungry, ragged, whisky orphans hurried to the coffin, shrieking in agony. Police, whose hearts were adamant, buried their faces in their hands and rushed from the house, and the preacher fell on his knees and lifted his clenched fist and tear-stained face and took an oath before God, and before the whisky orphans, that he would fight the cursed business until the undertaker carried him out in a coffin. 1
A Chance for Manhood
You men have a chance to show your manhood. Then in the name of your pure mother, in the name of your manhood, in the name of your wife and the poor innocent children that climb up on your lap and put their arms around your neck, in the name of all that is good and noble, fight the curse. Shall you men, who hold in your hands the ballot, and in that ballot hold the destiny of womanhood and childhood and manhood, shall you, the sovereign power, refuse to rally in the name of the defenseless men and women and native land? No.
I want every man to say, "God, you can count on me to protect my wife, my home, my mother and my children and the manhood of America."
By the mercy of God, which has given to you the unshaken and unshakable confidence of her you love, I beseech you, make a fight for the women who wait until the saloons spew out their husbands and their sons, and send them home maudlin, brutish, devilish, stinking, blear-eyed, bloatedfaced drunkards.
You say you can't prohibit men from drinking. Why, if Jesus Christ were here today some of you would keep on in sin just the same. But the law can be enforced against whisky just the same as it can be enforced against anything else, if you have honest officials to enforce it. Of course it doesn't prohibit. There isn't a law on the books of the state that prohibits. We have laws against murder. Do they prohibit? We have laws against burglary. Do they prohibit? We have laws against arson, rape, but they do not prohibit. Would you introduce a bill to repeal all the laws that do not prohibit? Any law will prohibit to a certain extent if honest officials enforce it. But no law will absolutely prohibit. We can make a law against liquor prohibit as much as any law prohibits.
Or would you introduce a bill saying, if you pay $1,000 a year you can kill any one you don't like; or by paying $500 a year you can attack any girl you want to; or by paying $100 a year you can steal anything that suits you? That's what you do with the dirtiest, rottenest gang this side of hell. You say for so much a year you can have a license to make staggering, reeling, drunken sots, murderers and thieves and vagabonds. You say, "Bill, you're too hard on the whisky." I don't agree. Not on your life. There was a fellow going along the pike and a farmer's dog ran snapping at him. He tried to drive it back with a pitchfork he carried, and failing to do so he pinned it to the ground with the prongs. Out came the farmer: "Hey, why don't you use the other end of that fork?" He answered "Why didn't the dog come at me with the other end?"
Personal liberty is not personal license. I dare not exercise personal liberty if it infringes on the liberty of others. Our forefathers did not fight and die for personal license but for personal liberty bounded by laws. Personal liberty is the liberty of a murderer, a burglar, a seducer, or a wolf that wants to remain in a sheep fold, or the weasel in a hen roost. You have no right to vote for an institution that is going to drag your sons and daughters to hell.
If you were the only persons in this city you would have a perfect right to drive your horse down the street at breakneck speed; you would have a right to make a race track out of the streets for your auto; you could build a slaughter house in the public square; you could build a glue factory in the public square. But when the population increases from one to 600,000 you can't do it. You say, "Why can't I run my auto? I own it. Why can't I run my horse? I own it. Why can't I build the slaughter house? I own the lot." Yes, but there are 600,000 people here now and other people have rights.
So law stands between you and personal liberty, you miserable dog. You can't build a slaughter house in your front yard, because the law says you can't. As long as I am standing here on this platform I have personal liberty. I can swing my arms at will. But the minute any one else steps on the platform my personal liberty ceases. It stops just one inch from the other fellow's nose.
When you come staggering home, cussing right and left and spewing and spitting, your wife suffers, your children suffer. Don't think that you are the only one that suffers. A man that goes to the penitentiary makes his wife and children suffer just as much as he does. You're placing a shame on your wife and children, tf you're a dirty, lowdown, filthy, drunken, whisky-soaked bum you'll affect all with whom you come in contact. If you're a God-fearing man you will influence all with whom you come in contact. You can't live by yourself.
I occasionally hear a man say, "It's nobody's business how I live." Then I say he is the most dirty, low-down, whisky-soaked, beer-guzzling, bull-necked, foul-mouthed hypocrite that ever had a brain rotten enough to conceive such a statement and lips vile enough to utter it. You say, "If I am satisfied with my life why do you want to interfere with my business?"
If I heard a man beating his wife and heard her shrieks and the children's cries and my wife would tell me to go and see what was the matter, and I went in and found a great, big, broad-shouldered, whisky-soaked, hog-jowled, weaseleyed brute dragging a little woman around by the hair, and two children in the corner unconscious from his kicks and the others yelling in abject terror, and he said, "What are you coming in to interfere with my personal liberty for? Isn't this my wife, didn't I pay for the license to wed her?" You ought, or you're a bigamist. "Aren't these my children; didn't I pay the doctor to bring them into the world?" You ought to, or you're a thief. "If I want to beat them, what is that your business, aren't they mine?" Would I apologize? Never! I'd knock seven kinds of pork out of that old hog.
The Moderate Drinker
I remember when I was secretary of the Y. M. C. A. in Chicago, I had the saloon route. I had to go around and give tickets inviting men to come to the Y. M. C. A. services. And one day I was told to count the men going into a certain saloon. Not the ones already in, but just those going in. In sixty-two minutes I could count just 1,004 men going in there. I went in then and met a fellow who used to be my side-kicker out in Iowa, and he threw down a mint julep while I stood there, and I asked him what he was doing.
"Oh, just come down to the theater," he said, "and came over for a drink between acts."
"Why, you are three sheets in the wind now," I said, and then an old drunken bum, with a little threadbare coat, a straw hat, no vest, pants torn, toes sticking out through his torn shoes,1 and several weeks' growth of beard on his face, came in and said to the bartender: "For God's sake, can't you give an old bum a drink of whisky to warm up on?" and the bartender poured him out a big glass and he gulped it down. He pulled his hat down and slouched out.
I said to my friend,"George, do you see that old drunken bum, down and out? There was a time when he was just like you. No drunkard ever intended to be a drunkard. Every drunkard intended to be a moderate drinker."
"Oh, you're unduly excited over my welfare," he said. "I never expect to get that far."
"Neither did that bum," I answered. I was standing on another corner less than eight months afterward and I saw a bum coming along with head down, his eyes bloodshot, his face bloated, and he panhandled me for a flapjack before I recognized him. It was George. He had lost his job and was on the toboggan slide hitting it for hell. I say if sin weren't so deceitful it wouldn't be so attractive. Every added drink makes it harder.
Some just live for booze. Some say, "I need it. It keeps me warm in winter." Another says, "It keeps me cool in summer." Well, if it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, why is it that out of those who freeze to death and are sun-struck the greater part of them are boozehoisters? Every one takes it for the alcohol there is in it. Take that out and you would as soon drink dish water.
I can buy a can of good beef extract and dip the point of my knife in the can and get more nourishment on the point of that knife than in 800 gallons of the best beer. If the brewers of this land today were making their beer in Germany, ninety per cent of them would be in jail. The
extract on the point of the knife represents one and threequarter pounds of good beefsteak. Just think, you have to make a swill barrel out of your bellies and a sewer if you want to get that much nourishment out of beer and run 800 gallons through. Oh, go ahead, if you want to, but I'll try to help you just the same.
Every man has blood corpuscles and their object is to take the impurities out of your system. Perspiration is for the same thing. Every time you work or I preach the impurities come out. Every time you sweat there is a destroying power going on inside. The blood goes through the heart every seventeen seconds. Oh, we have a marvelous system. In some spots there are 4,000 pores to the square inch and a grain of sand will cover 150 of them. I can strip you and cover you with shellac and you'll be dead in forty-eight hours. Oh, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
What Booze Does to the System
Alcohol knocks the blood corpuscles out of business so that it takes eight to ten to do what one ought to do. There's a man who drinks. Here's a fellow who drives a beer wagon. Look how pussy he is. He's full of rotten tissue. He says he's healthy. Smell his breath. You punch your finger in that healthy flesh he talks about and the dent will be there a half an hour afterwards. You look like you don't believe it. Try it when you go to bed tonight. Pneumonia has a first mortgage on a booze-hoister.
Take a fellow with good, healthy muscles, and you punch them and they bound out like a rubber band. The first thing about a crushed strawberry stomach is a crushed strawberry nose. Nature lets the public on the outside know what is going on inside. If I could just take the stomach of a moderate drinker and turn it wrong side out for you, it would be all the temperance lecture you would need. You know what alcohol does to the white of an egg. It will cook it in a few minutes. Well, alcohol does the same thing to the nerves as to the white of an egg. That's why some men can't walk. They stagger because their nerves are partly paralyzed.
The liver is the largest organ of the body. It takes all of the blood in the body and purifies it and takes out the poisons and passes them on to the gall and from there they go to the intestines and act as oil does on machinery. When a man drinks the liver becomes covered with hob nails, and then refuses to do the work, and the poisons stay in the blood. Then the victim begins to turn yellow. He has the jaundice. The kidneys take what is left and purify that. The booze that a man drinks turns them hard.
That's what booze is doing for you. Isn't it time you went red hot after the enemy? I'm trying to help you. I'm trying to put a carpet on your floor, pull the pillows out of the window, give you and your children and wife good clothes. I'm trying to get you to save your money instead of buying a machine for the saloon-keeper while you have to foot it.
By the grace of God I have strength enough to pass the open saloon, but some of you can't, so I owe it to you to help you.
I've stood for more sneers and scoffs and insults and had my life threatened from one end of the land to the other by this God-forsaken gang of thugs and cutthroats because I have come out uncompromisingly against them. I've taken more dirty, vile insults from this low-down bunch than from any one on earth, but there is no one that will reach down lower, or reach higher up or wider, to help you out of the pits of drunkenness than I.