ABSTINENCE VERSUS ALCOHOLISM
(" Hospital G»zatte.") Flgarea are fearful and wonderful things, especially when manipulated by penooß with an objeot fn view. The antlvaoolnatloniets have shown ua how the self-same figures may be, like that article of furniture deeorlbad by Ghldßmlth, <: a bed by night, a cheat of drawers by d»y,"_ contrive to piy a doable debt, and the liquor dealers' advocates hava attempted to perform the aomo tour de fore* with teetotal statistics. Dr liambird Owen, in commenting on the fact tb»t the average age at death among tot»l abstainers was irarked'y lower than th»t of even moderate drinkers, observed that the difference oupht not to be taken to prove the shorter average existence of teetotallers beoiuse of the comparatively youthfalness of the teetotal body. The anti-tee-total people naturally took the record as it stood, and made the best of It. The bold assertion Is sufficient to convince persons who are delighted to be converted
to such views. Ai a matter of faot no legitimate dedaotlon can ba drawn from these figures to enable qa to Institute anoh » oomparleon. Jt ii notorious that the temporatoe group comprises a large proportion of parsons whoße abstinence Ib less the result of oonvlotlon than of physloal Inability to drink. Farther, we »ro pretty B afe In saying that the Inability to take alcohol is In ltaelf an Indloatloa of an abnormally low phya!o»l standard, Again, there are others, the. condition of whose vhoera la Buoh as to keep them temperate,* not only in drink, but In everything. A large percentage, therefore, of abatalnera are unfitted to aarve as a standard whe»;t 7 * t0 3 a °8 9 tho qaeatfon of longevity. Indeed, the mat^ep requires no demon B tr G \ [ Ol l\, , aM all o° nß olooa of the fact • h»t the less wo drink the better we feel and the mgra work o-vn \? • throuahl The veraiob of the W q • ■ .. K nce oompanlea lo ample e^!---. were Bach c^ceesary, of the enh& : c«U ohanoa of Ufa of adult abstainers of average constitution. Teetotallers themielves, however, are very mnoh addloted to joggling with figares and itulalns con- , dailODi, 0Q tH^t tb« leoitu \M two wq
play at that game may, perhaps, not ba ihrown away. la thla and In all othet ■'cientifio iDvoaklgatlon? there must bo no b'irklocr fltatistlos, however unpalatable— the more so that no one with the usual ■■!!<)«ranoe of common sense can enter t»'n » doubt as to tha ftdvaotaga* attending flobrlety, not to say total abstinence.
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