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social impurity, secret vice, drunkenness, gambling, or theft, is before the habit has been formed. As the young eagle is fitted by nature for its habitation among the crags, so should the "father's counsel and the mother's care" fit the boys and girls of to-day to withstand the temptations of to-morrow. Boys who don't use tobacco have more manly courage than those who do. They make better men and are in greater demand in the business world. The Personal Help Publishing Company employs more than a thousand men a year, but they won't take any who use tobacco if they know it.
What is true of the tobacco habit is also true of the whiskey habit. I think the most eloquent denunciation of the liquor traffic I ever read is by Robert G. Ingersoll. A large part of Ingersoll's life was wasted in trying to see the bad in the church instead of the good. That was all it amounted to. In trying to stem the onward tide of Christianity any one man or group of men is no more than a mere speck in the path of a mighty avalanche. However, Ingersoll said many things that are noble, eloquent, and inspiring. He was one of the greatest orators of his day. He helped to take super
stition out of the lives of thousands, and for the good he did and for the noble, loving, and tender things which he said we ought to have the moral courage to give him due credit. It pays to see the good in people no matter who they are. Hear him denounce the liquor traffic:
"I am aware that there is a prejudice against any man engaged in the manufacture of alcohol. I believe that from the time it issues from the coiled and poisonous worm in the distillery until it empties into the hell of death, dishonor, and crime, that it demoralizes everybody that touches it, from its source to where it ends. I do not believe anybody can contemplate the subject without becoming prejudiced against that liquor crime. All we have to do, gentlemen, is to think of the wrecks on either bank of the stream of death, of the suicides, of the insanity, of the poverty, of the ignorance, of the destitution, of the little children tugging at the faded and weary breasts of weeping and despairing wives, asking for bread; of the talented men of genius it has wrecked, the men struggling with imaginary serpents, produced by this devilish thing; and when you think of the jails, the almshouses, of the asylums, of the
prisons, of the scaffolds on either bank, I do not wonder that every thoughtful man is prejudiced against this stuff called alcohol."
And yet there are those who haven't the manliness to refuse it. Give us not only the courage that will prevent the forming of these evil practices, but the courage that will break off the habit when it has been acquired. Give us the courage that will keep young men and women from wasting precious time, hour after hour, in useless games that have a fascination which leads to ruin. Why spend the long hours of the evening at the card table when one might be aroused and inspired to mighty deeds of usefulness by studying the lives and deeds of men who stand out before the world like shining stars in the firmament?
It may not be the firm's business how an employé spends his evenings, but it is its business if he is sleepy and half dead the next day. It is its business if he has been spending half the night in some gambling den with worse men than ever wore a mask. "Gambling is a game in which to win is to lose." The young man who wins his first money at cards or any other gambling device loses his head first, then his
self-respect, his manhood, his body, and his soul. To his success in business or his influence for anything worth while it is a fatal blow. What business man or firm wants to employ a man who gambles? They shun him as they would the bubonic plague. No one who plays cards for money can ever hope for promotion in any business, not even the saloon. No young man means to go to the bad or become a professional gambler, but after a start is made it is hard to stop, and, besides, he has nothing else to do. He has unfitted himself to associate with honest men. No one wants him in their business. He draws his salary in advance to bet, and borrows that he may win back what he has lost. Sometimes he wins, and again he loses; then steals money with which to win on a "sure thing" with the intention of quitting the nefarious business. But he doesn't quit. The next move is down and out, but if he goes to the penitentiary he is better off than to remain in the community, a vulture to prey on innocent humanity and a curse to himself forever. He becomes a cheat and a fraud, but the one he cheats most of all is himself, for a gambler cheats himself out of every virtue and
puts in their place a demon with neither heart nor soul. All humanity is crying out against those who play cards for money, and the best preventive against playing cards for money is not to play cards for fun.
We sometimes see a man who occasionally plays for money, picks up a few election bets, but does most of it on "the quiet," and seems to maintain his self-respect. The ordinary
young man thinks he will do the same, but we know he doesn't. He is challenged to bet on a game, one at which he is pretty good, and thinks it would show lack of confidence in his skill were he to refuse; he hasn't the courage to say no. He gives in, and you know the rest. The story is written in poverty and rags, dishonor, destitution, and crime, in every city, town, and hamlet in the world. The "respectable man" who bets perhaps only at election time, or plays for a prize in the parlor, is to blame; he sets the wrong example.
Go back to the liquor traffic and you have the same thing to contend with. The respectable man who "takes a glass occasionally with a friend" does more harm than the drunkard in the gutter. He takes but little, but