Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/96

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

a responsive and receptive quality of mind, and real courtesy of manner, are all characteristic of our barbarian in his hours of social relaxation. He has his faults, but these are always en evidence: what we have determined for once frankly to consider is, not what the poor Indian lacks, but in what he actually surpasses us.

I scarcely dare to go deeper, and to compare the modified form of communism and the exceedingly simple mode of government which prevails among these Indians with our political system, so heartily abused and so earnestly defended. It has occurred to me, nevertheless, that the college-bred Indian, the product of our nineteenth-century forcing process for savages, might study with no little wonder and dismay the modern writers on dress-reform, and the enthusiastic advocates of an outdoor life; that he might find his brain begin to whirl as he rose upon the topmost wave of progress, and discovered in Henry George, in Edward Bellamy, in Tolstoi, that the prophets of the new era were trying to make the world unlearn all that it had so recently taught him, and that their red-hot schemes of reformation bore many of the familiar features of that effete "barbarism" which he had so painfully discarded.

Is it barely possible, after all, that the fundamental equality of man, the necessity of equalizing burdens and benefits, the grace to "judge not" and to "give to him that asketh," in the Tolstoian sense, are some of the lessons to be learned from barbarism?

By A. G. BARTLEY, M. D., M. R. C. S.

MY opinion is adverse to the use of alcohol, and I might proceed to give grounds for this opinion; statistics, quotations from authorities, as well as facts, I might supply myself, so as to make my paper more or less exhaustive. My aim is, however, less ambitious. I have called my paper a contribution merely. It is, in short, an account of certain incidents in my experience which bear upon the question; and these I relate as briefly as possible and in the order of their occurrence. I will begin by relating an incident which first directed my attention to this subject, and which will show that I had taken up a strong ground in this controversy even before I was aware there was such a controversy at all.

  1. A paper entitled "A Contribution toward the Discussion of the Employment of Alcohol in Medicine," read before the Æsculapian Medical Society. Reprinted from the London Lancet.