Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/397

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385
THE HISTORY OF ALCOHOL.

severe onset of gout, or the illness leading up to it, would cause the retirement of the most prominent statesmen. Many of them died young. Few indeed of them reached a healthy and vigorous old age. For heavy drinking was not confined to the idlers and

PSM V51 D397 John bull petitioning pitt and dundas to lighten the liquor tax.png
John Bull petitioning Pitt and Dundas to Lighten the Liquor Tax. (Gillray.)

spendthrifts, the courtiers and country gentlemen; it was a custom with the ablest and most brilliant men in England. Pitt and Fox, the two "Great Commoners," were noted topers. The old couplet is still remembered that refers to a scene in the House of