I suppose there are club-houses in our cities to which men go with clear consciences, and from which they come after an hour or two of intellectual talk, and cheerful interview, to enjoy the domestic circle. But that this is not the character of scores and hundreds of club-houses we all know. Can I, then, pass this subject by without exposition of the monstrous evil? There are multitudes who are unconsciously having their physical, moral, and eternal well-being endangered by club-room dissipation. Was it right to expose the plot of Guy Fawkes, by which he would have destroyed the Parliament of England? And am I wrong in disclosing a peril which threatens not only your well-being here, but your throne in heaven?
I deplore this ruin the more because this style of dissipation is taking down our finest men. The admission-fee sifts out the penurious and takes only those who are called the best fellows. Oh! how changed you are! Not so kind to your wife as you used to be; not so patient with your children. Your conscience is not so much at rest. You laugh more now, and sing louder than once, but are not half so happy. It is not the public drinking-saloon that is taking you down, nor theatrical amusements, nor the houses of sin that have cost thousands of other men their eternity: but it is simply and undeniably your club-room. You do not make yourself as agreeable in your family as once. You go home at twelve o’clock with an unnatural flush upon your cheek and a strange color in your eye that you got at the club. You merely acknowledge that you feel queer. You say that champagne never intoxicates; that it only exhilarates, makes the conversation fluent, shakes up the humor, and has no bad effect except a headache next day. Be not deceived. Champagne may not, like whiskey, throw a man under the table; but if, through anything you drink, you gain an unnatural fluency of speech and glow of feeling, you are simply drunk.
If those imperilled were heartless young men, stingy young men, I would not be so sorry as I am; but there are many of them generous to a fault, frank, honest, cheerful, talented. I begrudge the devil such a prize. After a while these persons will lose all the frankness and honor for which they are now distinguished. Their countenances will get haggard, and instead of looking one in the eye when they talk, they will look down. After a while, when the mother kindly asks, “What kept you out so late?” they will make no answer, or will say “That is