Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Prose

For the New-York Magazine.

It has been asserted by some amateurs of natural history, that in their walk there is nothing little; and that the convolations of a polype and the spouting of a whale, are alike important. To readers of this class the following facts may not appear altogether trivial.--

During the last harvest, I kept the rum which I provided for my labourers in a keg which held six or eight gallons, and took care to have the bung well stopped, leaving a vent hold scarce large enough to admit a straw. Very early one morning, as I was pouring the spirits out of the keg into a flask. I was surprized by seeing a mouse sitting on the cork which stopped the bung-hole, with his head, at the vent aperture, and within a few inches of my face. I had a quill in my hand, and with it slightly touched his back; upon which he rolled off the cask upon the floor, and in his aukward attempts to escape, manifested every appearance of intoxication. I killed him by crushing him with the cask. He appeared neither sick or emaciated; but undoubtedly got drunk by taking the fume of the liquor which arose through the small opening before mentioned.

Till this incident took place, it was believed that man alone was guilty of deliberate inebriation, but now it appears that he shares the infamy with a mouse!
August, 1791.

New York Magazine or Literary Repository
Tipling Mouse
Vol. II No. IX; Sep 1791; p.576; by R


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