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Silence Dogood essay 12
"Sir, It is no unprofitable tho' unpleasant Pursuit, diligently to inspect and consider ..."

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Quod est in cordi sobrii, est in ore ebrii.

To the Author of the New-England Courant.

["[No XII" appears along right side of column. This number signifies this is the twelveth Silence Dogood letter.]

SIR,

It is no unprofitable tho'
unpleasant Pursuit, di-
ligently to inspect and
consider the Manners
& Conversation of Men,
who, insensible of the
greatest Enjoyments of
humane Life, abandon
themselves to Vice from
a false Notion of Plea-
sure
and good Fellowship.
A true and natural Re-
presentation of any E-
normity, is often the best Argument against it and
Means of removing it, when the most severe Repre-
hensions alone, are found ineffectual.

I WOULD in this Letter improve the little Ob-
servation I have made on the Vice of Drunkeness, the
better to reclaim the good Fellows who usually pay
the Devotions of the Evening to Bacchus.

I doubt not but moderate Drinking has been im-
prov'd for the Diffusion of Knowledge among the
ingenious Part of Mankind, who want the Talent
of a ready Utterance, in order to discover the Con-
ceptions of their Minds in an entertaining and in-
telligible Manner. 'Tis true, drinking does not im-
prove
our Faculties, but it enables us to use them;
and therefore I conclude, that much Study and Ex-
perience, and a little Liquor, are of absolute Necessity
for some Tempers, in order to make them accom-
plish'd Orators. Dic. Ponder discovers an excellent
Judgment when he is inspir'd with a Glass or two
of Claret, but he passes for a Fool among those of
small Observation, who never saw him the better for
Drink. And here it will not be improper to observe,
That the moderate Use of Liquor, and a well plac'd
and well regulated Anger, often produce this same
Effect; and some who cannot ordinarily talk but in
broken Sentences and false Grammar, do in the Heat
of Passion express themselves with as much Eloquence
as Warmth. Hence it is that my own Sex are ge-
nerally the most eloquent, because the most passio-
nate. "It has been said in the Praise of some Men,
" (says an ingenious Author,) that they could talk
" whole Hours together upon any thing; but it
" must be owned to the Honour of the other Sex,
" that there are many among them who can talk
" whole Hours together upon Nothing. I have
" known a Woman branch out into a long extempo-
" re Dissertation on the Edging of a Petticoat, and
" chide her Servant for breaking a China Cup, in all
" the Figures of Rhetorick."

But after all it must be consider'd, that no Plea-
sure can give Satisfaction or prove advantageous to
a reasonable Mind, which is not attended with the
Restraints of Reason. Enjoyment is not to be found
by Excess in any sensual Gratification; but on the
contrary, the immoderate Cravings of the Voluptu-
ary, are always succeeded with Loathing and a pal-

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led Appetite. What Pleasure can the Drunkard have
in the Reflection, that, while in his Cups, he retain'd
only the Shape of a Man, and acted the Part of a
Beast; or that from reasonable Discourse a few Mi-
nutes before, he descended to Impertinence and Non-
sense?

I CANNOT pretend to account for the different
Effects of Liquor on Persons of different Dispositions,
who are guilty of Excess in the Use of it. 'Tis
strange to see Men of a regular Conversation become
rakish and profane when intoxicated with Drink, and
yet more surprizing to observe, that some who ap-
pear to be the most profligate Wretches when sober,
become mighty religious in their Cups, and will then,
and at no other Time address their Maker, but when
they are destitute of Reason, and actually affronting
him. Some shrink in the Wetting, and others swell
to such an unusual Bulk in their Imaginations, that
they can in an Instant understand all Arts and Sci-
ences, by the liberal Education of a little vivifying
Punch, or a sufficient Quantity of other exhilerating
Liquor.

AND as the Effects of Liquor are various, so are
the Characters given to its Devourers. It argues
some Shame in the Drunkards themselves, in that
they have invented numberless Words and Phrases
to cover their Folly, whose proper Sgnifications are
harmless, or have no Signification at all. They are
seldom known to be drunk, tho they are very often
boozey, cogey, tipsey, fox'd, merry, mellow, fuddl'd,
groatable, Confoundedly cut, See two Moons
, are A-
mong the Philistines, In a very good Humour, See the
Sun
, or, The Sun has shone upon them; they Clip the
King's English
, are Almost froze, Feavourish, In their
Altitudes, Pretty well enter'd
, &c. In short, every
Day produces some new Word or Phrase which
might be added to the Vocabulary of the Tiplers:
But I have chose to mention these few, because
if at any Time a Man of Sobriety and Temperance
happens to cut himself confoundedly, or is almost froze,
or feavourish, or accidentally sees the Sun, &c. he may
escape the Imputation of being drunk, when his Mis-
fortune comes to be related.

I am SIR,
Your Humble Servant,
SILENCE DOGOOD.

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