Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/196

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

How, too, is this needful transfer of land to the people to be made? This step is the pons asinorum which Mill and Spencer revolted from, and which George does not successfully cross. For the people to buy themselves out, would be the only honest way of transfer; but this would be like a man standing in a corn-basket and trying to lift himself by its handles over the fence. McGlynn, George's prophet and Hotspur, cuts the bridge down, and says all land must be taken, without compensation to the present "miscalled owners," and given directly to the state. It is not strange, with this crude conception of morals uppermost, that the new "crusaders" should not have a word to say of the "earned decrease." This whole scheme is all as shallow a piece of folly as the history of delusions will have to record. It will very properly take its place with "the moon-hoax," and with Captain Symmes's tubular theory of the earth, when the nine days' wonder of it, now waning, shall have collapsed.

THE EFFECTS OF MODERATE DRINKING.
By GEORGE HARLEY, M. D., F. R. S.

IT is because of there being at present such diverse views expressed regarding the influence moderate drinking has on the constitution, that I am tempted to contribute my mite of knowledge to the general stock, in the hope that what I relate may suggest new ideas in the minds of others who, like myself, are interested in the study of this intricate question. For I regret to find that, notwithstanding there has already been so much written, and well written, on the action of alcohol when taken in excess, no one appears as yet to have thought it worth his while fully to tackle the subject of moderate drinking. The reason of this, perhaps, is not far to seek, seeing that a little reflection reveals the fact that, although the majority of persons may truthfully be said to be moderate drinkers, and consequently medical men see far more patients belonging to this category than any other, they possess but very little opportunity of studying the effects of alcohol, when thus indulged in, upon the constitution, for the following reasons: 1. There

    not stigmatize him as a robber; I will, on the contrary, exalt him as a public benefactor. Somebody has been lately computing the millions and hundreds of millions of mortgages which the farmers in our most thrifty agricultural States are now carrying. I will not name the sum total, except to say that its size is perfectly appalling. When I think of this, and the other facts dismally related to it, I feel like taking off my hat to every owner of the soil, and saying: "My good fellow, you have my supreme respect; for if you should ever be driven off, or abdicate, chaos and destruction would indeed come."