movement is a failure, and always must be a failure, and ought to be so.
I will prove that Christianity is a failure in the same way. The famous unbelievers, down from Voltaire
to the last infidel critic, prove Christianity, by the same sort of argument, to be a failure and the cause of most of the evils that burden us. Exaggerate all the evil that exists, especially those vices that will never wholly die while human nature remains what it is; belittle and cast into shade all the progress that has been made; dwell with zest on the new forms of sin that each age contributes to the infamy of the race; keep your eyes firmly in the back of your head, and insist that there's nothing equal to what we had in old times,--not even the snow-storms or the St. Michael
pears,--and the thing is done.
Before our movement began, three quarters of the farms of Massachusetts
were sold under the hammer for rum-debts.
You could not enter a public-house in country or city, of the first-class or the smaller ones, except through a grog-shop.
Their guests felt mean if they did not at dinner order some kind of wine, and often ordered it when they did not wish it. Now the grog-room is hidden from sight; men slink into it; and not more than one man in ten at the most fashionable hotels, and not one in fifty in common inns, orders wine at dinner.
Then the sideboard of every well-to-do house was covered with liquors, and every guest was urged to drink; the omission to do so would have been held a gross neglect, if not an insult.
No man was buried without a lavish use of liquor; no stage stopped without the traveller being thought mean if he did not help the house by taking a drink.
Now one may travel hundreds of miles on railways which allow no liquor in their stations.
Every farmer furnished drink