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196. The Experience of Edward Bains, Fifteen Years a Teeto-
198. The Value of Education to the Working Classes; by Ed-
THE HERTFORDSHIRE FARMER.
THOMAS SPENCER JACKSON'S SPEECH
AT EXETER HALL.
Little did I think of being invited to come from the woods of Hertfordshire to address such a large audience. Neither do I flatter myself that I was invited for any other reason than that God has given me firmness to carry out those principles we have assembled to advocate. I will give you a brief account of my own experience. I was born and bred a farmer, and although not so ruddy and robust as farmers generally are, yet I trust mine is a hand of industry. Eight years ago I was suffering under the same delusion which many are now labouring under, namely, that of taking intoxicating drinks every day, and fancying I could not live without them. I was, in fact, ordered to take it several times a day by the medical man, because I was very delicate; and to give you a proof of my great weakness, I confess I did take it-laughter.) It is true I had heard of teetotalism at that time, but I scarcely knew what it meant; but hearing of a meeting to be held at Hertford, with Sir Culling Eardley Smith in the chair, I thought I would just go and hear what he could say against the drink we thought so good; and on hearing the powerful arguments by the Rev. W. R. Baker, I came away determined to belong to the drinking-classes no longer; and not knowing another teetotaler in the neighbourhood, I had to fight the battle single-handed. Yes, and a far more glorious battle it was than Nelson ever fought, for whereas he was engaged in sending his fellow-creatures unprepared meet their God by wholesale, I was using my little influence in trying to rescue them from the drunkard's grave and the drunkard's hell. Although I strictly adhered to the temperance principle, I did not sign the pledge till three years after, when I had the satisfaction of doing so at a meeting in the village of Watton. Having seen many of my father's men gathering in the harvest with nothing stronger to drink than tea or coffee, and one I particularly remember drinking nothing but water from the limpid stream, I had an opportunity of observing its effects on those who practised the principle of total abstinence, and it was observable that those who were in the habit of taking strong drink at their work, before the close of the day, got stupid, and lazy, and sleepy; but no sooner did they turn teetotalers than they were “wide awake.' But I must answer that question, to speak to which principally brought me here, “If every body turned teetotalers, what is to become of the barley ?" Allow me to tell you, that last Michaelmas I rented a farm on my own responsibility. It was notoriously out of condition ; indeed there were scarcely any prospects of gaining a livelihood, except by the constant sweat of my brow. When the time was at hand for me to sow my first seed, barley was selling at about sixty shillings per quarter, and I believe