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been previously unacquainted with intoxicating drinks. The Indians of the New World are often referred to as an illustration. Without denying that there may have been tribes of North American Indians who were sober when they came into contact with Europeans, but who were soon debauched by the white man's fire-water, it is certain that some of them at least had native drinks as well as the savages of other parts of the world. One of these was fermented maple juice, which was a favourite drink with some of the Red Indian tribes, and was offered to the white man along with the calumet of peace.1 There was, we are told, also a custom amongst the savage tribes residing on the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi, and Ohio, to disinter the bodies of their dead at a particular festival, and to consume a great quantity of native as well as foreign liquor, if they could obtain it, during the ceremony, which was one of very ancient origin.2

And this leads us to another popular fallacy in regard to the effect of civilisation and its accompanying intemperance upon savage races. The impression formed by the general reader concerning the contact of whites with savages in Africa, North America, and elsewhere, is that the former bring their spirits with them, and with that agent exterminate the aborigines with whom they come in contact, whilst they, the whites, escape almost uninjured. But what are the facts of the case? The author has for many years been favourably situated for ascertaining the condition of affairs in Africa; he has conversed with men of culture who have resided for many years on the coast at various places of trade, and the consensus of opinion, as well as the facts that have been 2 Ibid., p. 350.

1 Morewood, who quotes authorities, p. 349.



narrated to him, point to a widely different conclusion. The exportation of strong drink from England to the west coast of Africa is enormous. It chiefly consists of rum; and by far the larger portion of this is forwarded into the interior, and is drunk out of sight amongst savage tribes who are rarely visited by Europeans. Some of it is consumed by the negroes on the coast, the whites, however, seldom taste it, their favourite beverages being brandy and gin. Twenty or thirty years since, the whites who were sent out to the coast were men of intemperate habits, many of whom succumbed to the influence of ardent spirits, in which they indulged very freely. The working blacks even then were more sober than their masters, although, no doubt, evil example had its influences. Now a far superior class of men represent the English firms on the coast, or, in many cases, intelligent negroes have become the principals, who consign produce to their agents and commission merchants in England. The result, so far as the employers are concerned, is, that there is, comparatively speaking, little drunkenness amongst them; and as to the negroes on the coast, the author has been told by friends who have resided there for periods varying from five to fifteen years, that they have never seen one intoxicated. But inasmuch as the importation of rum continues to be enormous, and the greater part of it is forwarded inland, it is clear that if drunkenness is to be found anywhere (and it is known to the missionaries to exist), it must be amongst those savages who are removed from the influences of civilisation.

The unbridled passion of the savage for intoxicating drink, whether he be the savage of the back

woods or of the city, as compared with the same quality in a man of culture, has been forcibly put by one of our leading historians. Alison says1 that an Iroquois, when he sits down beside a cask of spirits, often inserts a straw into a hole which he has bored in the wood, and sucks the intoxicating draught until he drops down dead, whilst a gentleman, with a good cellar of champagne, falls into no such excesses, because he has other enjoyments which are inconsistent with or prove a counterpoise to the first seductions of sense. He (the historian) goes on to show by figures that drunkenness is essentially a savage vice. Whilst in 1838 the spirits consumed in England was about half-a-gallon (strictly 0.53) per head of the population, in Ireland it was 1.32, in Scotland 2.46, and in Australia 5.02 gallons per head. These figures have changed materially since 1838, but the principle remains the same. Only last year the author had a practical example of its operation. In the course of a tour in Norway, he had occasion to stay two or three days at Tromsoe, a small town on the coast within the Arctic circle. Whilst there, he visited in the vicinity an encampment of Laplanders, known as the "Summer Lapps," from the fact of their descending from the higher lands to the coast at that season in search of pasture for their reindeer. To tourists, who only pay them a passing visit, they seem a very interesting race, but to the people of the town, which they frequent almost daily, they are a great nuisance. Their habits are very

1 History of Europe, vol. i. 7th ed. p. 21.

2 This will be further strikingly shown in the chapter which relates to the habits of the tribes on the River Plate.



intemperate, and the author was told that it is by no means unusual for one of the men to drink a tumblerful of raw spirit at a draught, and almost immediately to sink down intoxicated, and that, to them, is the height of enjoyment.

Without, therefore, attempting to dogmatise on a question of such extended application, and one which presents such varying aspects, as the instinct for drink and the prevalence of drunkenness amongst savage peoples, it is safe to affirm, first, that wherever and from whatever source any intoxicating beverage has been obtainable, the untutored races have not been slow to discover its use. Secondly, that when civilised men have introduced a stronger drink than that already possessed by the natives, it has been in the majority of cases readily consumed by them, and that the further they were removed from the moderating influence of civilisation the more uncontrolled has been the passion for drink and the greater its indulgence.

And now, before proceeding to investigate the facts of history and tradition concerning the employment of intoxicating drinks by the nations of the world, let us endeavour to ascertain where the earliest traces are to be found of the existence of those natural productions which have been used in their preparation. The palm-tree, of course, existed in the tropical regions probably long before man appeared upon the scene, and that its sap was employed for the manufacture of wine between five hundred and six hundred years before Christ, we know from the pages of Herodotus,1 but that is comparatively recent. Of the employment of barley and other cereals for intoxicating beverages

1 Herodotus, iii. 20-22.

in remote ages of the past we have also abundant evidence, to which reference will be made hereafter. The origin of the vine, or rather its first application to drinking purposes, is a much-debated question. The Romans and Greeks believed Dionysus (Bacchus) to have employed it first for wine-making. Representations of vineyards with grape-gatherers and winepresses are to be found on the monuments of ancient Egypt; whilst in the Hebrew scriptures Noah is the first man mentioned as having cultivated the grape. These circumstances will be touched upon when we come to deal with the drinking customs of the various nations to whom they relate, but they are only named here to show that the grape and such cereals as barley were employed at a very early age for the preparation of inebriating drinks, for we are in possession of facts which fix the period when these materials were known and in use long prior to that indicated even by tradition.

During the last few years, scientific research has revealed to mankind the presence of remains which prove beyond a doubt that, during the age known as the Stone Period, there were already colonies of partially civilised men whose dwellings were built upon piles driven into the beds of certain lakes then existing in Switzerland and other parts of Europe. The age of those lake-dwellings-" Pfahlbauten," as they are called in Germany-is variously estimated at from three thousand to seven thousand years; and with the piles upon which they were constructed, and some of which are in a good state of preservation, there have been found associated various substances which prove, as

1 Keller's Lake Dwellings, p. 344, Longmans; and Nilsson's Stone Age, edited by Sir J. Lubbock, pp. xxiii., xxix., Longmans.

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