quent and more public. He is seen staggering away from the dram shop, or lying senseless on the ground, at noon day. If he is able to get home, he raves like a maniac, or rather like a fiend; curses him that begat, and her who bare him, and imprecates the vengeance of God upon his own head.

Thus he goes on, waxing worse and worse; selling the very clothes from his back to buy spirits; destroying all the faculties of his mind; and treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. He dies as he lived. The grief of his mother is too big for utterance. Gladly would she pour it forth in tears, but cannot. Even tears refuse to come to her relief His father, trembling with agony, and bending over his grave, breaks out in the heart-rending apostrophe of king David, O my son, my son, would God I had died for thee, my son,

my son.

Painful as is this view of the gradual and terrible progress of intemperance, there is at least one other, which is not less distressing. I have seen the affectionate husband, the fond parent, the warm friend, and the kind neighbor, drawn incautiously within the tremendous sweep of this worse than Norwegian whirlpool. For some time he was carried so slowly round its vast circumference, that his friends would scarcely perceive the motion, and he was wholly unconscious of it himself. But at length, suspicion ripened into certainty. It became apparent, that every revolution hastened his progress and carried him nearer to the fatal centre. His fond wife, terrified almost to distraction, entreated him instantly to make his escape. He smiled at her weakness, and assured her there was no danger. This increased her alarm; and fain would she have rescued him at the hazard of her own life, but could not. His children stretched out their imploring hands, and his friends made every possible effort to save him, but in vain. At times indeed, he would seem to listen to their entreaties, and feebly to struggle against the current, that was hurrying him to destruction. But at length its whirling velocity made him giddy, and even deprived him of reason. Every moment accelerated his approach to the roaring gulf; and while I beheld, he suddenly disappeared, and I saw him no more!

Let my readers tell, whether they have not seen a man, happy in the bosom of his family, kindly discharging the duties of a husband and father, till that great destroyer, strong drink, entered his house, and tempted him to his undoing. His destruction, however, was not accomplished in a day or a month. If he indulged his appetite for liquor too far, he firmly resolved never to become a slave to it. If he drank

his morning bitters regularly every day, he was sure that the habit could not be attended with any danger. If he went occasionally to the tavern, it was only to read the news-papers; or if to the dram-shop, he had business there which could not be dispensed with. He always retired early and sober.

But notwithstanding all his excuses and palliations it was apparent, that he had begun to fall. Instead of passing his evenings at home, as formerly, he might be seen hanging about the tavern till a late hour. Private and tender remonstrances, were resorted to, and he promised reformation. He left his dissolute companions, and resolved never to renew the connexion. But neither promises nor resolutions could bind him. He returned to his cups. He neglected his busiHis customers called, and not finding him at home, withdrew their patronage. His wife tried every endearing method to withdraw his feet from the path of ruin. He was not yet a drunkard; but it was evident he would be soon, unless something could be done to cheek his progress, and no effectual means could be devised. At length he came home intoxicated. The distress of his partner and the consternation of his children, may be imagined, but cannot be painted.


When sleep had brought him to himself, most earnestly did she conjure him for his own sake, for her's, and for that of their common offspring, to reform without delay. He seemed to relent; begged that she would forgive him; bound himself by the most solemn promises, and once more revived her hopes. Ah delusive hopes! Unable to walk, he was soon after carried home by his companions; slept away the fumes of the inebriating draught; again relented, and again relapsed. Now it was, that he gave himself up to sin with greediness. Now it was, that he might be seen staggering away from the dram-shop, at an early hour of the day. Whenever he went from home, his poor broken hearted wife trembled to think of his return. His estate was soon all measured out by the gill and the balf gill; his family was reduced to beggary; and the boys in the streets hooted at him as he reeled along.

And now, yonder comes that loathesome, self degraded monster. Behold his bloated face, his eyes swollen and red, and every feature distorted. See him at length feeling for the door of his own house, stumbling over the threshold and entering more like a brute than like a man.

If your heart can endure it, follow him into the house. Behold his children fleeing and shuddering, as if pursued by

[ocr errors]

a wild beast. Conceive, if you can, what his poor heart-broken wife must suffer, as she sinks down in her chair, and remains speechless. And is this the man, who vowed to love and cherish her in sickness and in health? Is this the husband who was once so kind, the father whose children used to run out to meet him, and welcome his return? O how changed! And by what means? What evil spirit is this, that now possesses and is dragging him away to the pit? It is intemperance. Reader! once he was as free from it as thou art. But he was snared and taken, when he little thought of it; and so mayest thou be. We have seen what he was; we know what he is. He has fallen by little and little. Soon he will die, and while we lament his dreadful exit, let us remember, that he does not perish alone. Thousands of husbands and fathers, in the United States, are now travelling the same road; and, except they repent and reform, of which there is almost no hope, will ere long meet the same doom!

Finally; I have seen the gradual progress of intemperance in the wife and the mother. She was a woman of engaging manners and a sweet disposition, beautiful, prudent, sensible and serious. The heart of her husband safely trusted in her. He fondly promised himself, that she would do him good and not evil, all the days of her life. She stretched out her hand to the poor; yea, she reached forth her hands to the needy. She opened her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue was the law of kindness. Her children arose up and called her blessed: her husband also, and he praised her. Happy, happy days, and golden prospects!

But, in an unguarded hour, strong drink seduced her. By slow degrees at first, she became attached to the insidious poison. A change in her general deportment was observable, but the cause was not known. Her husband, was first compelled to suspect, (what he would have given all his substance to disprove,) that she was becoming intemperate. But how should he mention to her, what he could not think of without torture? Her children were convinced, that something was wrong, and her friends began to feel anxious.

Had she stopped here, every suspicion would have vanished, and she would, if possible, have been loved more than ever. But she never once thought that her feet stood on slippery places, and the arch deceiver did not choose to resign the influence, which had been so slowly gained. She yielded to every new temptation, till the habit of drinking was in a great measure confirmed. Her husband suggested to her his fears, in the most tender and delicate terms, and she seemed to be affected. Neither resolutions, nor promi

ses were wanting; but they were not long regarded. Though her husband did every thing in his power to conceal her guilt and shame, it was impossible. All who loved and esteemed her were grieved and astonished. Her disposition was soon ruined, and her intellect impaired. Intoxication followed excess, and, while under the influence of liquor, to torment her husband, was her greatest delight. He could have faced the enemies of his country with calmness, in the field of death. He could have firmly extended his right arm to the knife of the surgeon; but he could not support the thought that his beloved wife was become a drunkard.

In the mean time, however, the habit to which she had yielded gained strength. Her house and her little ones were neglected. Every thing that she could get was expended for liquor. The whole order of the family was subverted. Her health was undermined. It seemed as if she must speedily close her melancholy career. But she lived long enough, effectually to break her husband's heart, and prevent the proper education of her children. At last she died, and where is she?

Let those who have eyes to read, and hearts to feel, seriously reflect upon the views, which I have attempted faintly to sketch, of the gradual and fatal progress of intemperance, when once it gains the ascendency; and let them watch and pray against it without ceasing.


Z. X. Y.

An Historical View of the First Planters of New-England. No. VII.

Continued from page 367.

HAVING given some account of the establishment of the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Connecticut; we now proceed to a sketch of the rise of the colony of NewHaven. This was a fourth colony, which, with the other three, were united in a permanent confederation, for their mutual protection and benefit. This union of these separate governments, founded upon a similarity of character, was the source of that steady prosperity, that peculiar harmony, and of many of those eminently wise institutions, by which the New-England states have been so long distinguished.

One of the original Patentees of the colony of Massachusetts, and a great patron of the New-England settlements, was Theophilus Eaton. He was an eminent merchant in London, engaged in the India trade, had been employed in important services for the government, and held a high rank

in the East-India Company. At the emigration of Gov. Winthrop and his company, who established the colony of Massachusetts, it does not appear that Mr. Eaton had any design of coming to America. Though he afforded much assistance to the infant plantation, being engaged in extensive mercantile business, he chose to remain in his native country.

Mr. John Davenport, a minister in London, not less distinguished for strength of genius and extensive learning, than for ardent piety, unwilling, to submit to the arbitrary impositions of the ecclesiastical establishment, could not escape the jealous vigilance of Laud, at that time Bishop of London. To avoid the indignation of prelatic tyranny, in the year 1633, he went over to Holland. He had been an active instrument in obtaining the patent for the colony of Massachusetts, though, at his express desire, his name was not inserted as one of the patentees. Hearing, while in exile, of the prosperity and the divine blessing which attended the New-England settlements, he meditated a removal to America. On his return to England, Mr. Eaton, who had enjoyed the benefit of his eminent ministry in London, determined to accompany Mr. Davenport in an emigration to the western wilderness. Mr. Eaton, Mr. Hopkins, afterwads Governor of Connecticut, Mr. Davenport, and a considerable number of worthy opulent planters, arrived in Boston, in June, 1637. The two former are thus characterized by Governor Winthrop, at the time of their arrival: "Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hopkins, two merchants of London, men of fair estate, and of great esteem for religion, and wisdom in outward affairs." Mr. Eatan is thought to have possessed the greatest fortune, and the most extensive acquaintance with business, of any of the fathers of New-England.

Mr. Eaton, Mr. Davenport, and their company were inclined to commence a new plantation, and lay the foundation of a separate colony. Though the most advantageous offers were made them by the government of Massachusetts, to choose any place within their jurisdiction, they preferred a place without the limits of the existing colonies. They, aecordingly, fixed upon New-Haven for the place of their future habitation, and in the spring of 1638, began the settlement of that pleasant town. President Dwight, in his able and judicious Statistical account of the City of New-Haven," gives the names of the first principal settlers, and an account of the purchase of their lands from the Indian proprietors. This purchase was made for a valuable consideration." On the 4th of June, 1639, the planters formed their constitution. On the fifth of June they organized their

« ElőzőTovább »