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H. T. A. L.


There are some things in the scheme of total abstinence, said Col. Higginson in his address before the Harvard Total Abstinence League last evening, which I cannot endorse. I have never signed a pledge, although quite willing to see them signed. I do not appear as a missionary among heathen and savages. The evils of intemperance in college life were worse in proportion fifty years ago. All habits then were coarse. Drinking habits in our American colleges are not so different from those in foreign universities. The speaker related his observations of the convivial side of student life at Oxford and at Heidelberg. He had early made up his mind to practice total abstinence and had never found occasion to regret his determination. There are perhaps a half dozen strong arguments in favor of total abstinence. The first is that of bodily health. The evidence of all workers, of athletes and of men of action is emphatic on this point. The tendency of later years in all fields of activity is away from alcoholic stimulants. The speaker then related numerous personal experiences in the army and in his literary life and travels which bore upon this point. The second argument is that of mental health. All brain workers testify to this. Another is that of personal safety from danger. The next consideration is that of safety from suspicion. It moreover is right that we should have consideration for others. A man may further the cause of temperance by moderation, but moderation is the inferior method.

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