April 7, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(14):882. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460140054013

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The French temperance societies have ways that are different from those in vogue here, and which seem to us somewhat odd, as compared with those of cis-Atlantic temperance workers. The theory on which they appear to work is that abstinence is a positive, not a negative, virtue; in other words, they put the line of temperance rectitude down to about what would here be called moderate drinking, and consider any extra self-denial in this regard as worthy of special praise and reward. We read, therefore, of bestowal of temperance medals on abstainers and the greater the temptation the more meritorious the resistance. Thus we hear of a special reward to a teetotal saloonkeeper who, when his customers insisted on treating him, drank water for white wine and colored syrups for "Amer Picon." This looks to American eyes like rewarding the devil for not eating the apple himself but only tempting

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