The example of his father and of a brother who also died a drunkard naturally turned him against strong drink and the coercion of bad habits.
He had little patience with smoking or loose or self-indulgent habits of any kind.
One of his closest followers of a younger generation became in later years a disciple of Henry George
and an advocate of equal rights in the raw material of the globe.
Upon his first meeting with Mr. George
, the great land reformer invited him into a beersaloon to discuss the question with him, and the new recruit was shocked at the idea.
Abolitionists of the true stripe looked upon the saloon as the gate of hell, and nothing else.
But in movements of this kind, asceticism, the control of the appetites, the ascendancy of the mind above things, has its place, and so, too, does the easy-going acceptance of democratic manners with their sociability and joviality.
It is foolish to quarrel with these differences of temperament, for they diversify human nature and make the world a pleasanter place to live in. Certainly it would lack a good deal of backbone if the Puritan
ideals were lost for good and all. Garrison
was a Puritan to the end, and one of the best specimens of that strong type.
And above all he was a prophet in his absolute merger of himself in his cause.
Outside of it he had no personal ambition; and there