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Fifteen Years in Hell   By:

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FIFTEEN YEARS IN HELL.

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

BY LUTHER BENSON,

1885.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Early shadows An unmerciful enemy The miseries of the curse Sorrow and gloom What alcohol robs man of What it does What it does not do Surrounding evils Blighted homes A Titan devil The utterness of the destroyer A truthful narrative "It stingeth like an adder."

CHAPTER II.

Birth, parentage and early education Early childhood Early events Memory of them vivid Bitter desolation An active but uneasy life Breaking colts for amusement Amount of sleep Temperament has much to do in the matter of drink The author to blame for his misspent life Inheritances The excellences of my father and mother The road to ruin not wilfully trodden The people's indifference to a great danger My associates What became of them The customs of twenty years ago What might have been.

CHAPTER III.

The old log school house My studies and discontent My first drink of liquor The companion of my first debauch One drink always fatal A horrible slavery A horseback ride on Sunday Raleigh Return home "Dead drunk" My parents' shame and sorrow My own remorse An unhappy and silent breakfast The anguish of my mother Gradual recovery Resolves and promises No pleasure in drinking The system's final craving for liquor The hopelessness of the drunkard's condition The resistless power of appetite Possible escape The courage required The three laws Their violation and man's atonement.

CHAPTER IV.

School days at Fairview My first public outbreak A schoolmate Drive to Falmouth First drink at Falmouth Disappointment Drive to Smelser's Mills Hostetter's Bitters The author's opinion of patent medicines, bitters especially Boasting More liquor Difficulty in lighting a cigar A hound that got in bad company Oysters at Falmouth, and what befell us while waiting for them Drunken slumber A hound in a crib Getting awake The owner of the hound Sobriety The Vienna jug Another debauch The exhibition The end of the school term Starting to college at Cincinnati My companions The destruction wrought by alcohol Dr. Johnson's declaration concerning the indulgence of this vice A warning A dangerous fallacy Byron's inspiration Lord Brougham Sheridan Sue Swinburne Dr. Carpenter's opinion An erroneous idea Temperance the best aid to thought.

CHAPTER V.

Quit college Shattered nerves Summer and autumn days Improvement Picnic parties A fall An untimely storm Crawford's beer and ale Beer brawls County fairs and their influence on my life My yoke of white oxen The "red ribbon" "One McPhillipps" How I got home and how I found myself in the morning My mother's agony A day of teaching under difficulties Quiet again Law studies at Connersville "Out on a spree" What a spree means.

CHAPTER VI.

Law practice at Rushville Bright prospects The blight From bad to worse My mother's death My solemn promise to her "Broken, oh, God!" Reflection My remorse The memory of my mother A young man's duty Blessed are the pure in heart The grave Young man, murder not your mother Rum A knife which is never red with blood, but which has severed souls and stabbed thousands to death The desolation and death which are in alcohol.

CHAPTER VII.

Blank, black night Afloat From place to place No rest Struggles Giving way One gallon of whisky in twenty four hours Plowing corn Husking corn My object All in vain Old before my time A wild, oblivious journey Delirium tremens The horrors of hell The pains of the damned Heavenly hosts My release New tortures Insane wanderings In the woods At Mr. Hinchman's Frozen feet Drive to town in a buggy surrounded by devils Fears and sorrows No rest.

CHAPTER VIII.

Wretchedness and degradation Clothes, credit, and reputation all lost The prodigal's return to his father's house Familiar scenes The beauty of nature My lack of feeling A wild horse I ride him to Raleigh and get drunk A mixture of vile poison My ride and fall The broken stirrups My father's search I get home once more Depart the same day on the wild horse A week at Lewisville Sick Yearnings for sympathy... Continue reading book >>




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