We have a reiterated decision of the legislature, that that is their sober, second purpose.
We have further the decision of the Supreme Court that it is constitutional.
So far we have got. Now, what comes next?
The various elements that go to make up the State
are to obey it, are they not?
Here is our claim; if you do not like it, go back into the arena, and agitate against it. Get up your tracts, your circulars, your lectures, your public conventions, and assail the Gibraltar of the legislature; and when you have carried it, we will sit down and put our hands on our lips.
There is where we demand that the liquor interest shall meet us,--in the convention, in the lecture-room, anywhere,--to agitate against the law. We are ready to meet them.
We went through thirty years of such agitation.
We tried license, we tried the fifteen-gallon law,--every method,--and we failed.
Let me turn aside to say one word here.
The chief of police
said, in 1863, that he thought it would be a good thing to have a license system.
Well, our argument is, “Gentlemen, we tried it for two hundred years, and it failed.
Do let us try this fifty years. Is that an unfair demand?”
From the method in which gentlemen address us, one would suppose that there never was a State that tried licensing; that it was a new thought, just struck out from some happy intellect, elevated by a glass of champagne [laughter and applause]; whereas license is as old as Plymouth Rock
The Commonwealth began with it, and they came up to the year 1855; and every philanthropist, every lover of his country and his city, was pale and aghast at the gigantic strides which this vice was making,--at the tremendous yawning gulf in which all public virtue seemed about to be swallowed up. Pulpit, forum, legislatures counting-house,--every walk of