Mirror of Literature,  11 (1828), 237–39.

Habits of Drinking



Extract, Miscellaneous

Publications extracted:

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine


Class, Temperance, Physiology, Education, Physics

    Argues that there are not whole classes who have an innate propensity to drunkenness. Urges that manual labourers should be worked hard, paid moderately, and carefully overseen, and that under such circumstances 'Their rigidity of fibre, and flow of animal spirits, will [...] keep them from the ale-house and the gin-shop' (237). Considers the comments on drinking-clubs in MacNish 1827 too harsh, asking: 'Would he have people to gather together round one large, long, or round table, or several smaller ones, lean upon their elbows, stare into each other's face, and discuss the Mechanical Forces, the Tides, the Prism, and the Pleasures of Knowledge? And all this, without either pipe or tumbler?'. Conjures a picture of a typical small town, where the inhabitants are mostly 'well to do', but have 'no turn for knowledge or literature, except, perhaps, so far as to set up a Mechanics' Institution', arguing that drunkenness prevails more there than in the larger cities. (238)

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