Could the muster-roll of this great army be called, and they could come up from the dead, what eye could endure the reeking, festering putrefaction and beastliness! What heart could endure the groans of agony!
Drunkenness: Does it not jingle the burglar’s key? Does it not whet the assassin’s knife? Does it not cock the highwayman’s pistol? Does it not wave the incendiary’s torch? Has it not sent the physician reeling into the sick-room; and the minister, with his tongue thick, into the pulpit? Did not an exquisite poet, from the very height of reputation, fall, a gibbering sot, into the gutter, on his way to be married to one of the fairest daughters of New England, and at the very hour when the bride was decking herself for the altar; and did he not die of delirium tremens, almost unattended, in a New York hotel? Tamerlane asked for one hundred and sixty thousand skulls, with which to build a pyramid to his own honor. He got the skulls, and built the pyramid. But if the bones of all those who have fallen as a prey to dissipation could be piled up, it would make a monster pyramid. Talk not of Waterloo and Austerlitz, for they were not fields of blood compared with this great Golgotha.
Who will gird himself for the journey, and try with me to scale this mountain of the dead—going up miles high on human carcasses, to find still other peaks far above, mountain above mountain, white with the bleached bones of drunkards!
Hang not your head or shut your eyes until we have seen it. We must get a sight at the monster before we can shoot him.
I will begin at our national and State capitals. Like government, like people. Henry VIII. blasts all England with his example of uncleanness. Catharine of Russia drags down a whole empire with her nefarious behavior. No Christian man can be indifferent to what every hour of every day goes on at Washington. While the Presidential Impeachment trial advanced, some of the men who were to render their solemn verdict on the subject were reeling in and out of the Senate chamber,—the intoxicated representatives of a free Christian people. It was a great question whether several members of that high court could be got sober in time to vote.
Only recently a Senator from New England rises up with tongue so thick, and with utterance so nonsensical, that he is led into the anteroom. He was a good “Republican.”