In this work we have one of those intensely wrought temperance stories for which the author is so distinguished. In the conception and execution of this story, he has taken higher ground than usual, and lifted the subject of temperance into the region of spiritual laws and forces. Rarely has the insidious growth and overmastering power of appetite, or the desperate and prolonged struggle of an enslaved man for freedom, been more powerfully exhibited than in the hero of this story - a man of education, social standing, high honor and the tenderest home affections. We follow him in his downward course, step by step, with an almost breathless interest and suspense - glad and hopeful for every new effort that he makes to overcome his pitiless enemy, and disappointed and sorrowful at each successive failure - until manhood is eclipsed, love extinguished, and honor a thing of the past; and as we turn away from him at the prison door - our hope is as dead as his own. Timothy Shay Arthur was a popular 19th-century American author most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There. He was also the author of dozens of stories for Godey's Lady's Book. Arthur did much to articulate and disseminate the values, beliefs, and habits that defined respectable life in America. Arthur was one of the most popular and widely read author of his time.
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