We are all of us more or less aware of the directly visible injnrious effects produced by the habitual use of intoxicating drinks, in the follies and vices, the absorption of all the generons feelings, all the tender humanities and sweet charities of love, while the heart is held under its sway ; but few of ns know the full extent of the change produced by it, koth. in the mental and corporeal facnlties. The British and Foreign Medico-CMrur'gical Review shows that the habitnal US'J of spirits arrestsf that metamorphosis of tissue which is neces-saryfor health, leaving the effete tissue as a useless burden in the body, to be converted into that least vitalized of all the organic constituents, oil and fat, till finally life itself is clogged at the fonntain-head. Thousands of men, according to the Review, who have never been inebriated, annnally perish, having shortened their lives by tippling a little every day. The dram arrests the metamorphosis of tissue, another dram is taken before this arrest ceases ; the re-action, thus postponed, becomes more intense ; the depre'ssion is excessive; more drams are taken; and so, in the end, without ever having been intoxicated, the tippler sinks into the grave, presenting the strange anomaly of a reasonable being periodically applying a poison which is snre to impair and '0ventually destroy the vitality of the body, and divert the nobler impulses of the heart from that course which consecrates it to a heaven-born life. The effect of drinking spirits is different from that produced by wine, for wine is rarely used except at meals, so that the effects have time to pass away before a second dose becomes due, and hence no craving for an increased quantity is experienced. Men aie nOW living, in consequence, in robust old age, who have taken the same identical number of glasses of wine daily for half a century, without feeling it necessary to ihcrease the quantity.
This article was originally published with the title "The Habitual Use of Spirits"