drinks of forty years, gleamed with the light of other days, as he hiccoughed out the little tale.
It may serve to show how the boy is remembered in Westhaven
, if I add a word or two respecting my interview with this man. I met him on an unfrequented road; his hair was gray, his step was tottering; and thinking it probable he might be able to add to my stock of reminiscences, I asked him whether he remembered Horace Greeley
He mumbled a few words in reply; but I perceived that he was far gone towards intoxication, and soon drove on. A moment after, I heard a voice calling behind me. I looked round, and discovered that the voice was that of the soaker, who was shouting for me to stop.
I alighted and went back to him. And now that the idea of my previous questions had had time to imprint itself upon his half-torpid brain, his tongue was loosened, and he entered into the subject with an enthusiasm that seemed for a time to burn up the fumes that had stupefied him. He was full of his theme; and, besides confirming much that I had already heard, added the story related above, from his own recollection.
As the tribute of a sot to the champion of the Maine-Law
, the old man's harangue was highly interesting.
That part of the town of Westhaven
was, thirty years ago, a desperate place for drinking.
The hamlet in which the family lived longer than anywhere else in the neighborhood, has ceased to exist, and it decayed principally through the intemperance of its inhabitants.
Much of the land about it has not been improved in the least degree, from what it was when Horace Greeley
helped to clear it; and drink has absorbed the means and the energy which should have been devoted to its improvement.
A boy growing up in such a place would be likely to become either a drunkard or a tee-totaller, according to his organization; and Horace became the latter.
It is rather a singular fact, that, though both his parents and all their ancestors were accustomed to the habitual and liberal use of intoxicating liquors and tobacco, neither Horace nor his brother could ever be induced to partake of either.
They had a constitutional aversion to the taste of both, long before they understood the nature of the human system well enough to know that stimulants of all kinds are necessarily pernicious.
Horace was therefore a tee-totaller before tee-totalism came up, and he took a sort of pledge before the pledge was inverted.
It happened once