Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/794

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the penalties of the law." These things are recited to show the spirit of the legislators and judiciary of a prominent prohibition State. On these principles later enactments are founded.

But evasions of the law and the making of drunkards thereby, continuing to be found in a state of intoxication (in the presence of others, of course, not quietly sleeping off a debauch alone "in the sanctity of [one's] own house"), was more recently made a misdemeanor, punishable with ten dollars fine or thirty days in the county jail. That the object was not to prevent the drunken person's loss ("injuring no living being but himself"—were this in ordinary cases possible)—is evident from the remission of the penalty on his informing against the vender who has defied law and injured the welfare of society; so little concern has the prohibition for cost or waste on the part of the person buying and getting drunk. To prevent another evasion, it was also in recent years made a misdemeanor to keep a club-room "in which intoxicating liquors are received or kept for the purpose of use, gift, barter, or for distribution or division among the members of any club or association by any means whatever." The object of this must be clearly beyond the power of any one ever so prejudiced to misrepresent. In keeping with this, the buying by a third person to treat an intoxicated person made the seller, not the third person who met the expense, liable at law.* Also, the interpretation of the law was made to cover "alcohol, ale, wine, beer, spirituous, vinous, and malt liquors, and all intoxicating liquors whatever," their evil effects—and not their cost, or the waste of money upon them—being alone in view. Still later, in 1888, the Iowa General Assembly, to prevent other evasions still practiced with perverse ingenuity and against the weal of the commonwealth, enacted what, I suppose, has called out the effort of Dr. Hammond to stigmatize all our prohibitory legislation as sumptuary. It was this:

"After this act takes effect no person shall manufacture for

  • Some anti-prohibitionists, for example, the present Democratic anti-prohibition Governor of Iowa—the only State officer of this description, and the first one elected for about a generation—favor summary, or even severe, dealing with drunken persons. Prohibitionists agree with them in this substantially, and in not interfering with their personal right to buy, while they differ with them as to repressing the sale by others openly, which is the chief source of drunkenness.

The public prints within a few days contain the following, which an experienced army surgeon will hardly pronounce "sumptuary"!

"The military commission of the Austrian army have established a law that the offense of intoxication should be punished the first time by a public reprimand. The second offense by several days' imprisonment in the guard-house. The third offense is evidence that tho victim is suffering from a chronic disease, and he is placed under constant surveillance. His pay is taken out of his hands, and every means used to prevent him from getting money to secure spirits."