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Brandy As A Preventive
by [?]

THE cholera had made its appearance in New York, and many deaths were occurring daily. Among those who weakly permitted themselves to feel an alarm amounting almost to terror, was a Mr. Hobart, who, from the moment the disease manifested itself, became infested with the idea that he would be one of its victims.

“Doctor,” said he to his family physician, meeting him one day in the street, “is there nothing which a man can take that will act as a preventive to cholera?”

“I’ll tell you what I do,” replied the doctor.

“Well, what is it?”

“I take a glass of good brandy twice a day. One in the morning and the other after dinner.”

“Indeed! And do you think brandy useful in preventing the disease?”

“I think it a protection,” said the doctor. “It keeps the system slightly stimulated; and is, besides, a good astringent.”

“A very simple agent,” remarked Mr. Hobart.

“Yes, the most simple that we can adopt. And what is better, the use of it leaves no after bad consequences, as is too often the case with medicines, which act upon the system as poisons.”

“Sometimes very bad consequences arise from the use of brandy,” remarked Mr. Hobart. “I have seen them in my time.”

“Drunkenness, you mean.”


“People who are likely to make beasts of themselves had better let it alone,” said the doctor, contemptuously. “If they should take the cholera and die, it will be no great loss to the world.”

“And you really think a little good brandy, taken daily, fortifies the system against the cholera?”

“Seriously I do,” replied the doctor. “I have adopted this course from the first, and have not been troubled with a symptom of the disease.”

“I feel very nervous on the subject. From the first I have been impressed with the idea that I would get the disease and die.”

“That is a weakness, Mr. Hobart.”

“I know it is, still I cannot help it. And you would advise me to take a little good brandy?”

“Yes, every day.”

“I am a Son of Temperance.”

“No matter; you can take it as medicine under my prescription. I know a dozen Sons of Temperance who have used brandy every day since the disease appeared in New York. It will be no violation of your contract. Life is of too much value to be put in jeopardy on a mere idea.”

“I agree with you there. I’d drink any thing if I thought it would give me an immunity against this dreadful disease.”

“You’ll be safer with the brandy than without it.”

“Very well. If you think so, I will use it.”

On parting with the doctor, Mr. Hobart went to a liquor store and ordered half a gallon of brandy sent home. He did not feel altogether right in doing so, for it must be understood, that, in years gone by, Mr. Hobart had fallen into the evil habit of intemperance, which clung to him until he run through a handsome estate and beggared his family. In this low condition he was found by the Sons of Temperance, who induced him to abandon a course whose end was death and destruction, and to come into their Order. From that time all was changed. Sobriety and industry were returned to him in many of the good things of this world which he had lost, and he was still in the upward movement at the time when the fatal pestilence appeared.

On going home at dinner time, Hobart’s wife said to him, with a serious face–

“A demijohn, with some kind of liquor in it, was sent here to-day.”

“Oh, yes,” he replied, it is brandy that Doctor L–ordered me to take as a cholera preventive.”

“Brandy!” ejaculated Mrs. Hobart, with an expression of painful surprise in her voice and on her countenance, that rather annoyed her husband.

“Yes. He says that he takes it every day as a preventive, and directed me to do the same.”