17. As I have all along persisted in it, that all the vicious in general are in a state of death, so I think I may add to the non-existence of drunkards that they died by their own hands. He is certainly as guilty of suicide who perishes by a slow, as he that is dispatched by an immediate poison.
18. In my last lucubration I proposed the general use of water-gruel, and hinted that it might not be amiss at this very season: but as there are some, whose cases, in regard to their families, will not admit of delay, I have used my interest in several wards of the city, that the wholesome restorative above-mentioned may be given in tavern kitchens to all the mornings draught-men within the walls when they call for wine before noon.
19. For a further restraint and mark upon such persons, I have given orders, that in all the officers where policies are drawn upon lives, it shall be added to the article which prohibits that the nominee should cross the sea, the words, Provided also, That the above-mentioned A.B. shall not drink before dinner during the term mentioned in this indenture.
20. I am not without hopes that by this method I shall bring some unsizeable friends of mine into shape and breadth, as well as others who are languid and consumptive into health and vigour. Most of the self-murderers whom I yet hinted at, are such as preserve a certain regularity in taking their poison, and make it mix pretty well with their food:
21. But the most conspicuous of those who destroy themselves, are such as in their youth fall into this sort of debauchery, and contract a certain uneasiness of spirit, which is not to be diverted but by tippling as often as they can fall into company in the day, and conclude with down-right drunkenness at night. These gentlemen never know the satisfaction of youth, but skip the years of manhood, and are decrepid soon after they are of age.
22. I was godfather to one of these old fellows. He is now three and thirty, which is the grand climacteric of a young drunkard. I went to visit the crazy wretch this morning, with no other purpose but to rally him, under the pain and uneasiness of being sober.
But as our faults are double when they effect others besides ourselves, so this vice is still more odious in a married than a single man.
23. He that is the husband of a woman of honour, and comes home overloaded with wine, is still more contemptible, in proportion to the regard we have to the unhappy consort of his bestiality. The imagination cannot shape to itself any thing more monstrous and unnatural, than the familiarities between drunkenness and chastity. The wretched Astraea, who is the perfection of beauty and innocence, has long been thus condemned for life. The romantic tales of virgins devoted to the jaws of monsters, have nothing in them so terrible, as the gift of Astraea to that bacchanal.