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by depraving the appetite, corrupting the principles, and ruining the character, of one of its members, he can riot on his ill-gotten wealth, beyond the reach of the law. In this case, as in the other, a father may be deprived of the services of his son, and not only this, but his son may be thrown a hopeless burden upon his scanty means, and yet there is no remedy If, through the mere neglect of the agents of a town, a bridge or road is suffered to be out of repair, and a husband should thereby lose his life, the wife is entitled to heavy damages against the town for this neglect of duty. But if a person, licensed by the civil authority of the same town, should get that husband drunk, and, in consequence of this, he should fall from that bridge, or stumble in that road, and lose his life, neither the town nor the rum-seller could be made to contribute a dollar for the relief of the injured widow. Your memorialists are advised that, in all other instances, a man is supposed to intend the probable consequences of his own acts, and is responsible, both civilly and criminally, accordingly. If a person should carelessly throw a firebrand into a powder-magazine, he would be liable to be prosecuted for the murder of all that should lose their lives by the explosion. If a confectioner, for the sake of gain, should sell poisoned candy to children, although he should warn them of the danger, he would be liable to their parents for the expense of any sickness resulting from such a rash act. But, if a rum-seller should deal out his poison to a thoughtless youth, though well knowing that the consequences will be, loss of property, loss of health, loss of reputation, and, probably, loss of life, the suffering parent can neither chastise him for the outrage, nor prevent its repetition. Your memorialists cannot account for these strange inconsistencies in the law, except upon the supposition, that, as nothing but the love of gain ever induced a man to engage in such a traffic, so nothing but the same self-interest has hitherto blinded legislatures to the evils that flow from it, and prevent their applying the appropriate remedy. But your memorialists indulge the hope that, since so much light has been shed upon the subject, a just legislation will now be adopted. They therefore pray that some law may be passed, providing a remedy for the civil injuries occasioned by the sale of intoxicating drinks, and would respectfully recommend the following, to wit:—
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECT. 1. That, whenever a parent shall be deprived of the services, care or attention of a child, and whenever a husband shall be deprived of the services, care or attention of a wife, through the intemperance of such child or wife, and such intemperance shall have been maliciously, or for the sake of gain, knowingly caused or promoted by the sale or gift of intoxicating liquor to such child, or wife, by any person or persons, such parent or husband may bring an action on the case, against such person or persons, so causing or promoting such intemperance, and recover such damages as, to the court and jury trying the case, shall, under all the circumstances of the case, appear just and reasonable.
SECT. 2. Whenever a wife shall be deprived of the support, care, kindness or attention of a husband, through the intemperance of such husband, and such intemperance shall have been maliciously, or for the sake of gain, knowingly caused or promoted by the sale or gift of intoxicating liquor to such husband, by any person or persons, the next of kin of such wife, or, if there be no next of kin, or if he or she shall neglect or refuse to bring a suit, any person acting as the next friend of such wife, may bring an action on the case, in his or her name, against such person or persons causing or promoting such intemperance, and recover such damages as the court and jury, trying the case, shall deem just and reasonable; and the party to whom such damages shall be awarde I shall hold the same, after deducting the charges and expenses of the suit, as trustee for the sole and separate use and benefit of said wife and her legal representatives; and the court before whom the case is tried may, if they see fit, require the plaintiff to give bonds to the treasurer of the town in which such wife may, at the commencement of the suit, reside, for the faithful discharge of the trust.
SECT. 3. Whenever a town shall be subjected to expense in the support of a pauper, who has been reduced to want by intemperance, and such intemperance shall have been maliciously, or for the sake of gain, caused or promoted by the gift or sale of intoxicating liquor to such pauper, by any person or persons, the selectmen of such town may bring an action on the case, in the name of the town, against such person or persons, and recover the expense so incurred by such town.
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In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and FortyEight.
In addition to An Act relating to Abstracts of School Returns and the duties of School Committees, approved on the fourteenth day of April, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.
BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1 Any city or town may withhold such compensation 2 as the school committee of such city, or town, are 3 now authorized, by law, to receive, if such town shall 4 have forfeited its due portion of the income of the 5 school fund, through the failure of such committee to 6 comply with the provisions of the fourth section of the 7 two hundred and twenty-third chapter of the general 8 laws passed in the year one thousand eight hundred 9 and forty-six.