argument, award a verdict for myself, and act upon it for myself,—if I am allowed to do so.
But it is plain that, if Mr. Wakeman's party gets into power, no such privilege will be granted me. For, after having asserted most positively that this "verdict of science" can be made so manifest that it will become a "personal prohibition law, which no person in his senses would violate any more than he would cut his own throat," in which case its compulsory enforcement will be entirely unnecessary except upon persons out of their senses, Mr. Wakeman goes on to say that it is the duty of the lawyers (of whom he is one) to see to it that the manufacture, sale, and use of alcohol as a beverage shall be outlawed, proscribed, and prohibited just as arsenic is, and that, like arsenic, it shall be sold only as a labelled poison. Rather a summary way, it seems to me, of cramming science down the throats of people who like a glass of claret better! "Ah!" some reader will say, "you forget that this compulsory abstinence is only to be enforced upon people out of their senses, probably hopeless sots who are a public danger."
This consideration possibly would afford a grain of consolation, had not Mr. Wakeman taken pains in another paragraph to leave no one in doubt as to the meaning of the phrase "in his senses." It is not applicable, he declares, to any drinker of alcohol who claims to "know when he has enough," for "that very remark shows that alcohol has already stolen away his brains." His position, then, is that the law of total abstinence will enforce itself upon all men in their senses, for no man in his senses will drink alcohol after hearing the verdict of science; but that men who drink alcohol, however moderately, are out of their senses, and must be "treated, by force if necessary, as diseased lunatics."
Was any priest, any pope, any czar ever guilty of teaching a more fanatical, more bigoted, more tyrannical doctrine?
Does Mr. Wakeman imagine that he can restore men to their senses by any such disregard of their individualities?
Does he think that the way to strengthen the individual's reason and will is to force them into disuse by substituting for them the reason and will of a body of savants?
In that case I commend him to the words of Bakounine: "A society which should obey legislation emanating from a scientific academy, not because it understood itself the rational character of this legislation (in which case the existence of the academy would become useless), but because this legislation, emanating from the academy, was imposed in the name
of a science which it venerated without comprehending,—such