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who can help him most, the people also in whom he must confide or be false to them, are the very people he avoids.
Again, it is hard to prove by cold logic that gambling is wrong. A young man says to himself, “ If I wish to spend a dollar in this form of amusement, why should I not? I know perfectly well what I am about I am playing with money not playing for it. In some countries — in England, for example-clergymen, and good people generally, play whist with shilling stakes, and would not think of playing it without.” So of vice he says, “No man knows human nature until he has seen the dark side. I shall be a broader man if I know these things; and some physicians recommend the practice of them in moderation.” When we say, “Lead us not into temptation,” we forget that one of the worst temptations in the world is the temptation to be led into temptation, – the temptation to gratify vulgar curiosity, and to see on what thin ice we can walk. No man is safe; no man can tell what he shall do, or what others will do to him, if he once enters a gambling house or a brothel. The history of every city, and the history of every college, will prove what I say. There is no wisdom in looking at such places, — nothing but greenness and folly. The difficulty with gambling is, as some one has said, that “it eats the heart out of a man," — that imperceptibly the playing with slips into the playing for, until without gambling life seems tame: and the difficulty with vice is that it involves physical danger of the most revolting kind ; that it kills self-respect; that it brings with it either shamelessness or a miserable dishonesty for decency's sake; and that it is a breach of trust to those who are, or who are to be, the nearest and the dearest, – a breach of trust to father and mother, and to the wife and children, who may seem remote and unreal, but who to most young men are close at hand. By the
time a boy goes to college, he may well
“Who is the Happy Husband ? He
Not merely the curiosity which listens to false arguments about life and wisdom, but the awful loneliness of a boy far from home, may lead to vice and misery. The boy who is used to girls at home, and who knows in his new surroundings no such girls as he knew at home, no such girls as his sisters' friends, is only too likely to scrape an easy acquaintance with some of those inferior girls by whom every student is seen in a kind of glamour, and to whom acquaintance with students is the chief excitement of life. With little education, much giddy vanity, and no refinement, these girls may yet possess a sort of cheap attractiveness. They are, besides, easy to get acquainted with, easy to be familiar with, and interesting simply because they are girls — for the time being, the only accessible girls. I need not dwell on the embarrassment, the sorrow, and even the crime, in which such friendships may end; but I may emphasize the responsibility of every man, young or old, towards every woman. “Every free and generous spirit,” said Milton, “ought to be born a knight.” It is the part of a man to protect these girls against themselves. If they know no better than to hint to a student that they should like to see his room some evening, he knows better than to take the hint, — better than to suffer them through him to do what, though it may not stain their character, may yet destroy their good name. No girls stand more in need of chivalry than these vain girls, not yet bad, who flutter about the precincts of a college.
Students know what responsibility means; but their views of it are distorted. They demand it of their elders; in certain parts of athletics they demand it of themselves. Which is the worse breach of faith, to sit up a quarter of an hour later than your athletic trainer allows, or to betray the trust that father and mother have put in you, to gamble away or to spend on low women the money sent you for your term-bill, and to cover all with a lie ?
It may be from a dim notion of these