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Title: Confidential Chats with Boys
Author: Howard, William Lee
Language: English
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                     Confidential Chats with Boys



  _BOOKS BY_
  WM. LEE HOWARD, M.D.

  FACTS FOR THE MARRIED
  PLAIN FACTS ON SEX HYGIENE
  CONFIDENTIAL CHATS WITH BOYS
  CONFIDENTIAL CHATS WITH GIRLS



                          CONFIDENTIAL CHATS
                               WITH BOYS

                                  BY

                       WILLIAM LEE HOWARD, M.D.

                               Author of
    “Plain Facts on Sex Hygiene,” “Confidential Chats with Girls,”
                        “Facts for the Married”


                            [Illustration]


                               New York
                            Edward J. Clode
                               Publisher



                          COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY
                            EDWARD J. CLODE



CONTENTS


 CHAPTER                                                     PAGE
     I. THE BODY AS A MACHINE                                   3

    II. THE OUTSIDE LUNGS――THE SKIN                            26

   III. HOW ALL LIFE COMMENCES                                 45

    IV. CARE OF SELF DURING PUBERTY                            67

     V. NIGHT EMISSIONS AND THE BOY’S WORRY                    79

    VI. SELF-ABUSE――HOW TO STOP IT――THE QUACKS                 95

   VII. YOUR VOCATION AND HOW TO FIT YOURSELF FOR IT          124

  VIII. ENVIRONMENTS AND DISEASES WHICH RUST BRAIN-TOOLS      138



FOREWORD

THE REASON


These chats are the pleasurable results of the many little confidential
ones I have given at boys’ and young men’s clubs and at preparatory
schools.

It has been my fortune――for so I consider it――to have been brought into
intimate relations with men who are failures. Not the down and out men,
but those who are struggling along dissatisfied with what they are
doing――what false and wrong training has forced them to do.

Many of these despondent and useless men have been guided into places
where they fit――where there is conservation of energy, happiness and
results. These are the factors for a mentally and physically balanced
man――provided he has had early instruction in some vital matters.

The impulse to have the future fathers in a position to guide and live
in close confidential relations with their sons, is the reason for this
book.

Professional experience has proven to my complete satisfaction that
the many failures, misfits, despondents and diseased in our present
generation were not fundamentally ill fitted to battle with life,
but that they had never been started right, physically, mentally,
vocationally.

Physical instructors built muscle, teachers forced much useful and
also useless stuff into unwilling brain cells, fathers furnished the
money――as a rule I find that this latter was about all the parents did
furnish; and thought this all-sufficient.

The results have been deplorable. Wasted energies, disgust for study in
lines that never appealed, misdirected powers, and exhausted vigor is
what I have daily seen for twenty-five years.

And most of these conditions are avoidable.

How frequently have I heard the remark, after explaining to a young man
who came to me a complete failure: “Why didn’t my father see all this?”
or “I wanted to do that, Doctor, but they said that I didn’t know my
own mind; so they made me study things that I hated.” Then the vital
facts which every boy should early have confidentially and chummily
told him:――“Oh, Doctor, if I had only known these things ten years ago!
What a different man I would be to-day!”

Yes, and your sons can benefit from your experience, for it has forced
me to “chat” with them in these pages.

My plan as outlined is to give the boy and youth the information which
will enable him to conserve his energies, increase his vigor and learn
just what his mental endowment and powers are. Then to concentrate upon
these constantly, allowing deviations only so far as they broaden the
horizon surrounding his vocation.

There also is much to say upon physical conservation――the storing of
physical vigor which in emergencies can be called upon without injury
to the working capital. This vital matter has seldom been touched in
the training of our youths; and as men we find them working up to the
last degree of power and when the call comes for extra power there is
none――the man then goes to the human dump pile. There is no excuse
for this sad state of affairs――the cause is ignorance of man’s vital
resources and how to conserve them.

Boys, I have been a repairer of human machines all my life; machines
sent out on the road not properly adjusted, they have been returned to
my shop, and with most of them I could only point out certain parts
which were weak and let them go again, taking care not to put too great
a strain on these parts.

Now I want you all to start out with every part――brain, body and
soul――equally adjusted, all of the same strong material, well fitted to
work in peace, happiness and health――these factors working in harmony
means success――no matter what line you take up for life’s work.

  WILLIAM LEE HOWARD.



CONFIDENTIAL CHATS WITH BOYS



CHAPTER I

THE BODY AS A MACHINE


Any young man who understands the simple facts concerning his body and
the laws of human energy, should be able to be as strong in body and
nerves at fifty as he is at twenty-five years of age.

If he is strong in body and nerves at fifty he has the increased brain
power of experience and work, and only think of the force he has then
to utilize for the next twenty years.

This is a practical idea and not a theory or a statement of exceptional
cases.

But if this is so, why have not our parents been able to be boys with
us instead of old men at fifty? Because they did not understand; never
had the plain points shown them; physicians have not always considered
this side of boyhood development, and because physiology as taught in
the public schools was not that physiology needed by youths and boys.

We shall not here bother with the old style and schoolbook physiology.
I am going to present to you the simple, common-sense facts about the
body and how it must be handled to get the best out of it.

If you have an automobile, the first thing you do is to understand it;
its different working parts, how they are dependent upon each other,
how much fuel is needed and how applied, what will make the engine run
smoothly, what will injure it and what kind of usage is necessary to
keep it always in good running order, what will cause it to break down
and become an old rattling thing and send it to the scrap heap.

The finest built machine is of no value if any of the parts which have
gone into it are faulty; it will break down when a strain comes. It is
just so with man; for when you really come to understand the machinery
within you, you will realize that you are the most delicate and at
the same time toughest piece of mechanism ever produced. Muscular
power, brain force, will, mental ability, all depend upon the PHYSICAL
condition of man――the parts and condition of the machine in him.

The higher power in us that makes the human body a mere medium for
development we shall not here say much about, but so related is it to
the body itself, that a poorly adjusted or diseased body will affect
this higher power, the soul, the conscience, the morals of the man.
That is, a diseased or weak body――not merely muscular weakness, but
a general weakness due to neglect of nature’s laws――will show a weak
will, a lack of determination and a further falling away from a high
moral standard――in other words make a failure of a man.

But why should this be so? Is man to be blamed for being physically
weak, to be punished because he has not that full strength of body that
others have? Yes; I think so. But suppose he inherits a weak body,
inherits disease? Is he to be blamed for something over which he has
no control? Not exactly that, for there _is only one disease you can
inherit_, and that is a punishment for your parents’ or grandparents’
sins――or in most cases, ignorance.

When you thoroughly understand your own body, the little _tendencies_
to weakness or predisposition to certain diseases can all be overcome.
The distressing effects of venereal diseases seen in children whose
parents have been ignorant of the facts you will be given in this book,
have been a blessing to mankind, insomuch as you can all avoid them
after the knowledge concerning them and your body is yours.

You see, what I mean is that you will possess knowledge your
parents did not possess. In such a grand position the future men and
women――your children――will be started right. And so will you if you
heed and absorb what I shall tell you.

Big muscles do not necessarily mean strength, but to be strong one must
have well developed muscles.

Seems an odd statement; doesn’t it?

A man may inherit big bones to which are attached big muscles. The
fibres of these muscles may be coarse, inelastic and under control of a
slow motor――a sluggish nervous system. Just as you may have a big motor
car, big frames and running gear, but under-powered.

Now remember that all real muscular power originates in the nervous
system and brain. If the nervous system and brain are not in perfect
condition, the full power of the muscles can never be utilized any more
than you can get the full power out of your big car if the cylinders
are too small or so weak in construction that you do not dare to run
them at full speed.

This is one reason why men born with big frames and large muscles are
not always the strong men. Frequently these men break down in the prime
of life. Also during their active lives they really never get all their
power in use. I consider such men unfortunate in that they do not
possess the knowledge of their condition, so they neglect in early life
the necessary rules and habits which, if heeded would bring them to old
age in full possession of their natural strength.

The weakling who realizes his failings and knows how to correct and
care for them, is more often the strong and healthy man in middle and
later life. This fact teaches us one of the great laws of nature; that
is that we cannot for a day neglect our body; the born strong man does,
he never watches or cleans his big machine――it goes to rust and wears
out in parts.

These strong men as youths, from the mere fact of having big,
hawser-like muscles controlled by a slow-moving force, do not have
the incentive to build up active muscles nor the energy to train the
nervous mechanism controlling muscular activity. The result is that
such a man’s muscles remain coarse fibered, fatty, bulky, and respond
slowly to the motor centers of the brain. Moreover, they feel in such
perfect health that they are careless about their habits and throw away
a lot of energy that the man who is building up strength takes care
of――saves for future use and material.

A youth who desires to build muscular strength goes about it carefully
and slowly. Remember that all staying powers, brain or muscle, must be
built up slowly. The tough and hardy oak does not grow like the weak
poplar――quickly. Its growth is steady, regular and slow, but in the end
it is powerful, long lived and richly reproductive. Make haste slowly
is one of the fundamental laws of nature.

Brain and nervous system always come first in starting to build
muscular power that is to last and be always at your command. The basis
of power depends upon the rapidity with which the muscles respond to
mental impulses. Properly developed muscles are finely-fibered, and
react instantly to the impulse of the motor cells of the brain――the
cells which tell the muscles to shoot out at once. Now let anything
such as alcohol, tobacco, loss of sleep or immoral habits, fasten on
the youth and all attempts to get the full strength out of muscles,
no matter how big they are, will be useless. The reason is that the
brain cells have been affected――they cannot act as they should and
so the muscles cannot respond to the impulse. This is the cause of
so many first-class boxers taking the final count. Success has made
them careless; they neglect the rules of the physiologic game, they
drink a little, smoke and indulge in other habits which affect their
nervous system. They go on the stage breathing the foul and poisonous
atmosphere while exhibiting, are necessarily late to bed and while
still keeping up their MUSCULAR training neglect the fact that every
day they are injuring their nervous motility. It is so little noticed
that no attention is paid to the matter. But when it comes to a battle
after such a career――even if careful training has been done weeks
before the contest――the effect is shown, and down the champion goes
before a less experienced boxer, one not so strong in the muscles but
one whose full brain and nervous force has remained uncontaminated.
Then, sad to relate, THIS champion goes the same way.

So you see that mere gross muscular structure is valueless――except it is
needed for daily labor, where it exists as mere animal automatism――unless
it is under the immediate control of a highly-organized nervous system
free from disease and abuse.

So delicate is this nervous element of the body in getting the muscles
to respond, that I have tested hundreds of athletes――including
myself――by a very sensitive instrument which shows the response of the
muscles to the condition of the brain cells. A youth who has lived a
perfect life――physiologically speaking――is kept from one half of his
night’s sleep. The next day he is tested and there is a difference
shown in the rapidity of muscular response. The difference in a tenth
of a second in a blow makes all the difference between a champion and
a loser, and this tenth of a second can be brought about by the loss of
one night’s rest. How must it be then when the youth has lost several,
or been breathing foul air with heavily working lungs?

The extreme muscular development seen in those who pose on the stage
and before the camera, while marvelous to the sight, is in reality of
little practical use. Such muscles are not developed through normal
exercises, but gain their prominence by being contracted and expanded
through mental concentration on the muscle itself, not on any work that
the muscle should be made to perform. Under this fad form of “physical
culture” the levers which the muscles should lift and lower are kept
immovable, the muscles themselves do no work, the fibers only being
caused to swell and shrink.

Take the “development” of the biceps, for instance. This muscle is
intended to flex the forearm, attachments being on the upper arm and
shoulder and the insertions in the upper part of the lower arm, making
a perfect leverage. Now, in this false “physical culture” system the
arm is held semi-flexed and rigid and the muscle made to rise and fall,
no tension being put upon its attachments. The result is a development
of the center of the muscle, but a development of a mere shape, not
the development of the power of lifting. The attachments are not
developed or strengthened; they remain thin; hence, to the spectator in
the audience, the center of the bulking mass of biceps looms up as a
powerful organ of force――it is simply an artificial lump.

This false method of “physical culture” also squeezes out the little
amount of fat that the muscle should bed in for ease and nourishment,
and this further accentuates its size when illumined by a spot light
against a black background.

Big chests do not necessarily mean big lung power, but one must have a
capacious chest to have great lung power.

Another odd statement? Not exactly.

The average man does not use in daily work much more than half his
lung power-capacity. There remain in the lower portion of his lungs
thousands of little air cells, which stay practically closed in
ordinary breathing. When a man is called upon to run a long distance he
soon finds himself in distress, has “a stitch in his side.” This slight
pain is caused by the effort made by the air to get into these closed
cells. It is the forcing open of these reserve cells that produces the
“stitch in the side.” When these cells become active and take up the
extra air needed, the distress ceases and the man gets his “second
wind.”

Now, it can readily be seen that the greater the chest capacity the
greater the reserve force. As it is in the muscle of the “physical
culture” man so it is in the chest development of the same class――an
unnatural condition. These latter possess, by constant deep breathing,
forcibly inhaling and exhaling, a large chest. But there is no reserve
force; all the cells are constantly filled. The chest development is
good to look upon, but we must remember that the owner of such a chest
has no reserve power――no extra breathing space to call upon when most
needed. He has reached his limit at the start――a condition fatal to
athletic work. A condition injurious to the man’s future health, for
there are many times in illness and in emergencies when he will need
some reserve force to fall back upon. It is like taking a journey and
spending all your money at the start――when you need some, it is not
there.

Athletes are healthy, not because they are athletes, but because all
healthy individuals are athletes; not necessarily competitors in games
or strivers after honors, but persons who enjoy outdoor living and
breathing the fresh red-blood giving air.

But there are so many mistakes made by youths and boys who strive to
become athletes before their body machinery is properly adjusted, that
much harm has been done by overtraining and a misunderstanding of what
really constitutes a healthy man.

Americans have absorbed much of the energy in the world, but not all
its wisdom. Too many of our athletic instructors at the schools have
tried to turn out athletes instead of strong men and women.

When we read in the daily papers of the collapse of a celebrated
athlete, or the breaking down during training of a young aspirant
for honors on the cinder path, we naturally surmise that fundamental
knowledge of the physiology of the muscular mechanism of the human body
is either submerged by the overpowering desire to make a record or is
totally absent among certain trainers and their pupils.

The want of wisdom concerning man and his body is the cause of many sad
conditions existing to-day among formerly strong and healthy young men.
A comprehensive idea of the physiology of growth, of the physiologic
and chemic relations of strength and endurance to age and condition,
would be of great value to a large number of old individuals――not old
in years, but old in vessels and tissues――who strive to put an unusual
strain on their weak arteries, as well as to the youth whose central
nervous system is often permanently injured by over-exertion in
attempting to make records placed by carefully trained and intelligent
athletes.

Let us take those Marathon runs as an example. Two years ago
I witnessed the real Marathon――that is, the great one in this
country――the Boston event. This run is a nerve-racking, lung-pulling
one of twenty-six miles up many steep and long hills. Among the
large number of contestants were a boy of about sixteen and a man
somewhere in the forties.[1] To allow such starters was a great
mistake――especially in the boy’s case. There were physicians at the
start to examine into the condition of the runners, but what doctor
could tell off-hand of the past habits, inherited faults in the bodily
mechanism or system of training these various contestants possessed?
There was only one reasonable course to take――that is, to withhold
their sanction to the starting of those whose years had not fully
developed the bodily functions, and of those whose habits had brought a
strain on the valves of the heart.

[1] Since my criticism and explanation in the magazines, the Committee
allow no youths under eighteen years to run in the event.

If we were all Indians, having been placed at birth out in the open
and lived without clothes until puberty placed a loin cloth on us,
accustomed every day to run and tramp, developing the different
organs of the body harmoniously and gradually until they all reached
their full power and held in reserve extra power, then these runs of
twenty and more miles would not injure us. But, as it is, they are
of no benefit and in many cases injurious. Young men who spend hours
indoors, who have worn clothing since birth, been prevented from using
the greatest breathing organ next to the lungs,――the skin,――who train
for this event and then step back to our civilized life of houses,
furnaces, trolleys and clothing, are not fitted for these great strains
on organs which have been unused to them.

The human body is a wonderful piece of mechanism, which not only renews
itself constantly, but whose strength and endurance and capacity for
more work increase with increased use up to the point at which use
becomes abuse. At what time and under what pressure this danger-line
is reached depends upon the individual. However, the approach to the
danger-line is governed in all cases by fixed and immutable laws.

The athlete must always bear in mind that the length of time a muscle
cell can continue to work will depend upon the rapidity with which the
energy-holding explosive compounds are formed by the cell protoplasm
and the waste products are secreted. In other words, the capital must
not be expended at a greater rate than it can be replaced. If it is
expended at a greater rate fatigue commences, and a continuance of this
expenditure results in physical bankruptcy.

It is simply the case of the automobile over again. To run smoothly and
continuously there must be fuel steadily supplied and the exhaust――the
waste products――cast off, leaving no residue to clog up the engine. But
you watch your fuel tank and see that it is well supplied, for you know
the consequences if the fuel runs out――if you run your engine up to the
last drop.

To use up no more fuel in the body than the body will replace, is the
secret of athletic success. To go beyond this point means injury――often
injury that a life time can never repair. This is one reason why
sprinters who have made records succumb early in life to disease or ill
health. They have over-heated their human machinery, and the worn parts
can never run completely smooth again.

How is this fuel that is being used up in the body replaced?

The muscle is continually undergoing change of material. The minute
substances which make up the muscle, and whose very actions keep it
alive, are being constantly cast off, fresh substances taking their
place. The cast-off material is the fatigue poison. And it is a
poison. Inject it into a dog and he will soon die. Without muscle rest,
this dead poisonous stuff cannot be replaced fast enough by the new
products, and the result is an impoverished capital of force elements.
This does not apply only to the muscle in active use up to this point,
but to all muscles of the body.

The energy products of the food are delivered up to the muscle by the
blood, and this fluid picks up and carries away the cast-off substances
of the muscle. These fatigue products are only _gradually_ eliminated
from the blood.

In the youth these poisonous products are cast off much more rapidly
than in the full grown man. Also they are not so rapidly manufactured.
But right here lies a danger point――the youth is not warned in time
and often goes beyond the point where the off-castings are entirely
eliminated and some remain stored up in his system. Then his nervous
system suffers and the trouble goes on unrecognized until it is too
late.

Another thing may happen. In the youth the fatigue poison may be thrown
off quicker than the good material can take its place, hence such an
athlete――generally a runner――will fall from sheer exhaustion of the
muscular mechanism――perhaps ruined for life.

To keep on the right side of the danger-line in exercise, the muscle
must have short intervals of rest. Nature so well understood the
proneness of man not to heed advice that she placed the action of one
muscle beyond his control. This muscle is so constructed, internally
adjusted, that it has its regular periods of rest, and only in disorder
of the body can its expenditure be raised beyond its means. This great
and wonderful muscle is the heart.

However, there are certain conditions having their origin in the will
and the excitement of mental forces, where the heart is pushed beyond
its self-control. Such cases sometimes occur in college boat races――the
four-mile races. It is not so much the mere muscular efforts of the
contestants as it is the intense mental excitement accompanying the
effort. No youth of a highly-strung, nervous temperament should row in
these races――no matter what his muscular strength is.

The heart, though making contractions at the rate of seventy-two times
a minute, is able to continue its work without fatigue throughout the
life of the individual. Each contraction of this wonderful muscle is
followed by an interval of rest, during which the cells recuperate.
Push the heart-beats to a very rapid rate and we approach the
danger-line at which fatigue products cannot be replaced by fresh
cells; the intervals of rest are not sufficient. The same conditions
exist in every muscle. This is the reason why we often see immediate
or ultimate collapse at the finish of a four-mile boat race or a
quarter-mile run. Such a collapse may be followed by irremediable loss
of health.

You should remember all through your life that each member of the body,
in the very act of living, produces poison to itself. When this poison
accumulates faster than it can be thrown off, which always occurs
unless the muscle can have an interval of rest, then will come fatigue,
which is only another expression for poisonous infection――real, genuine
poison. If the muscle is given an interval of rest, so that the cell
can give off its waste product to keep pace with the new productions,
the muscle will then liberate energy for a long time. This latter
condition is what we call endurance. When you say a boy has long
endurance it simply means that all his organs are in perfect working
order; that they repair as soon as they waste. Such a condition kept up
means a long life and a healthy one. And you can all obtain this state,
as I shall later on show you.

The power and endurance of the human machine are limited according
to our understanding of the above facts. But another important bit
of knowledge is necessary to have if we wish to avoid ruining our
physical energy: that is, to recognize the necessity of starting the
human machine slowly. Like any other ponderous and intricate machine,
the body requires time to get in harmonious working order. What would
you think of an engineer who started his engine off with a jump at high
speed? What would happen to a big engine if the throttle were pulled
wide open at the instant of starting?

The brain, nerves, heart and muscles must be given some warning of the
work they are expected, collectively, to perform. Ignorance of this
fact has broken down many a young man who aspired to honors on the
cinder-path. The necessity of getting all the parts of the body slowly
in working order is well understood by trainers and jockeys on the
racetrack, as is evidenced by the preliminary “warming up” they give
their horses, although it is doubtful if the trainers could give any
physiologic reason for the custom.

I once asked an old darky trainer in the South why he always ran his
horses just before a race, and he replied, “I’s got ter ile ’em up;
jus’ ile ’em up.” Then he shouted to a little bow-legged coon on a big
bay horse: “Youse, git a goin’ dar, Sam; git ’im iled up so I kaint
heer ’im squeek――git de ile in ’is jints; go dar!” And Sam went on
“iling ’im up.”

Of the substances supplied to the muscles by the blood, oxygen is one
the want of which is soonest felt. The muscle contains within itself
a certain store of oxygen, but one which is by no means equal to the
oxidizable substances. The muscle’s activity is dependent, to a great
extent, on the _character_ and force of the blood-flow. It must be
clear of waste products, and contain, as well, sufficient oxygen to
keep up continually a renewal of energy.

From what has been said, it will readily be seen that the result of a
muscular task which an athlete wishes to perform, will depend primarily
on his muscular bulk and on the conditions of these muscles and the
rate at which he expends his capital; the test of his endurance will
depend upon the condition of the other parts of his body and how
rapidly they will carry off the quickly formed poisonous products and
supply fresh ones.

A large number of the lesser pugilists have died in the ring the
last ten years. Scarcely one of these deaths was directly due to the
force or severity of the blows struck, but because the fighters were
“out of condition.” The writer, himself, once had an opponent in the
amateur ring whose condition was so plainly unfit that he refrained
from exerting forceful energy, but let the man poison himself, when a
gentle cross-counter laid him out. He literally beat himself.

What I have said about self-poisoning refers also to the nerves and
brain. As the muscles work faster, so do the central nerve cells which
send the stimulating impulses to these muscles. These latter cells
become fatigued sooner than the muscles. This is a grand feature of
physiologic economy; for, did not this condition exist, the muscles
would work themselves to pieces――run wild, like an uncontrolled engine.

The muscular differences noted in individuals are in reality the
difference in the nerve cells, the actions of the muscles indicating
the activity of the central nervous system. When the muscles are being
exercised the nerve cells indirectly determine the muscular activity.

From the above statement it can be seen why one with exhausted nerve
cells should avoid exercise. The nervous system should be at rest. For
example; if a youth is recovering from some severe illness――typhoid
fever, let us say――he should not at first try to get back his muscular
strength by self-exercise. The muscles need blood sent to them to grow
and regain their former elasticity, but the nerve cells required for
all this must have a rest. How is it to be done?

By the exercise of another person’s nerve cells. That is, the muscles
should be massaged by some strong man. As the nerve cells gradually
come to their full activity again, then the youth may commence gradual
exercises on his own account.

It is the general impression among athletes that exhaustion and “loss
of wind” are due to the inability to consume sufficient oxygen and
exhale rapidly enough carbon dioxide. When the muscle is moving rapidly
and forcibly, it is true that it demands more oxygen and gives off to
the blood more carbon dioxide than when at rest. When a man is running
as fast as he can make his limbs move, he is able to keep up the pace
but for a short distance, unless, like the hunted hare, he runs to
death. On account of the forced and rapid muscular action in this case
the poisonous materials are thrown into the blood, to be carried to all
parts of the body――muscles, nerves, brain. The heart is affected by
this poison through the nerve cells controlling this organ; the muscles
of respiration are similarly disturbed. The panting, distressed efforts
of breathing, sidelong tumbling and final semi-unconsciousness of the
hunted stag or hare are good examples of acute self-poisoning ending in
death. It is just as much a case of poisoning as would be a case of gas
poisoning; the only difference being that in the first case the gas is
manufactured in your body, in the other case, outside and you breathe
it in.

One of the main “clearing houses” of the body, by which the blood is
constantly cleared of much of its poisons, is the liver. The minute
cells of this organ each have their individual work to perform in
transforming the poisonous material into harmless substances. The cells
of this “clearing house” are delicate little organs, and will not stand
abuse. All habits having a tendency to cause dyspepsia――eating rapidly,
eating indigestible food, constant and intemperate use of alcohol or
the use of tobacco in the youth――disturb the normal work of the liver.
Hence, one of the first aims of a boy who desires to be a strong
man――and what boy does not have this admirable aim?――should be to keep
the liver in the best possible condition. Any clogging or disturbance
of the ordinary work of the liver prevents the blood from being in a
pure state. All parts of the body will show distressing symptoms of
fatigue and exhaustion if the little cells of the liver have become
diseased or useless through intemperate living and ignorance of the
duties belonging to each separate organ of the human body.

In general terms I have given you some facts necessary to know if you
wish to reach full manhood in perfect health and with all the organs so
adjusted that the human machine in you will work the rest of your long
life without squeaking and rattling. But there are many little details
for you to know in order to keep the adjustment perfect and to increase
the power and energy in you――mental and physical. Too many boys and
youths have never been taught how to get the best that is in them to
work――to be a success because they are doing what is in them to do and
are happy in doing it――this is what means success. I shall try in the
next chat to go into some of these details, and so on up to the most
important facts in life. To give you a comprehensive knowledge of your
sex organs, how to care for them, what Life means, and in all matters
that go to make up the normal man. To give you instruction that makes a
man, produces the character of the man of honor, to give you the inward
grace of a gentleman, which cannot manifest itself outwardly save in
good manners, modesty of bearing and fearlessness. And so many of these
qualities depend inwardly upon a perfect adjustment of all your organs.
You shall be told all about differences of man and woman; why you
should be at all times kind and considerate to the girls and women――in
fact what the world means in its development and what you can do to
assist in its better development.



CHAPTER II

THE OUTSIDE LUNGS――THE SKIN


I have told you that next to the lungs the greatest breathing organ
of the body is the skin. The great importance of this fact has been
overlooked by many of your school teachers and parents――that is, from
the boy’s standpoint.

It is through the skin that much of the poison of the body is thrown
off; and it is because there are conditions in our methods of living
which prevent its full activity that we have so much insanity of a
certain form, habits that are injurious to body and brain and are often
the cause for the boy being inattentive to his studies and blamed by
the teacher for being lazy or stupid. He is not, in fact, anything of
the kind; he is indolent and unable to interest himself in his work
because through his brain is flowing blood contaminated by poisons that
the skin has not been able to cast off.

I think we all know about those Saturday night’s baths. Your mother
was brought up with the impression that if you had a bath once a week
that was sufficient. You see the real facts were never given her. She
simply thinks of cleanliness, and once a week is enough to get the DIRT
off the ordinary boy. But this is the OUTSIDE dirt――what you must be
careful to do is to get the _inside_ dirt――poisons――out of your system.
Many an unfortunate boy has been handicapped for life because these
poisons accumulated in his system as he grew up and the real cause for
his nervousness, restlessness and inability to keep at one thing was
never known.

Here is an example of the powerful effects of not keeping the pores of
the skin so open that every drop of the poisons being made in the body
every minute can work out. If a healthy boy should have his body――up
to his neck――wrapped in tin foil, or any similar substance which would
completely close the pores of the skin, he would soon have headache.
This would become very severe, followed by loss of consciousness and
finally convulsions――fits followed by death. Now this would occur even
if he were in the open air. You can see by this fact that the lungs
cannot alone cast off the poisons in the body; in fact their principal
work is to supply the blood with oxygen and throw off carbonic acid
gas――carbon dioxide; the skin must get rid of much of the other
injurious material.

Another important thing to remember is that when this poisonous stuff
is allowed to remain in the body it causes a ready soil for disease
germs to grow in――typhoid fever, malaria, pneumonia, etc. If you keep
the body free from all its poisons and have plenty of sleep, exercise
and proper food scarcely any disease can attack you, for there are in
the human body millions of little cells which roam around devouring all
the germs of real diseases if they dare venture into a healthy body. If
this were not so, not one of us would live out our infancy.

You have heard a great many stories about the endurance of the little
Japanese, and a lot has been said about its being due to their custom
of living on rice. This has but little to do with their powers of
endurance. Of course a diet of rice and vegetables do not leave in the
body such an amount of poison as meat will leave; but even when the
Japanese eat meat we witness their wonderful powers of endurance.

They can start on a run and keep it up all day. But they will stop two
or three times a day and take a hot bath. Here is the secret――that is,
the principal secret. I have had one of these little, but powerful
chaps pull me in a ’rickshaw up hills and around mountain roads at
a dog trot which tired me to watch him; so fearful was I at first
that he would break down. But about every two hours he would stop
at a bathhouse along the roadside and literally wash off the sweat
containing the cast-off poisons from his body. Then fresh as when he
started in the morning, he would go on again.

He wore only a loin cloth, hence his body was free from any covering
which would keep the pores from working and performing their duty――the
second secret of his endurance.

Now, if this man had been dressed in underwear and over this skin
covering wore a pair of trousers and a jacket, he would have become
tired, had a heavy feeling throughout his limbs, and if forced onward,
succumbed to headache――that is he would have shown all the symptoms of
self-poisoning. Especially so would this have happened had the baths
been denied him.

Similar habits and customs were the reason for the Indian being able to
run long distances and keep the pace up day after day.

But you ask; how about the Northmen; the Icelanders, those hardy and
enduring men of Lapland? Surely they have to wear heavy clothing and
have no hot baths along the roadside. Partly true; but their endurance
is of a different nature; it is that of being able to put out great
muscular power, to withstand severe cold and long fasting. This latter
ability is simply because when they _do_ eat it is a gorging of
fatty food; food which gives out heat. The Eskimo remains quiet and
semi-asleep many months in the year. When he makes a kill for food he
and his family――even the babies――eat like wolves. They stuff themselves
like the animals, then go to sleep in the winter and live off the fat
on their body. Then their form of endurance is one of race――a trait
which has been passed down to them for generation after generation. But
I am doubtful if their contact with civilization does not injure this
trait, and then will come their extinction.

But contrary to the general impression those hardy Northmen living
in Norway, Lapland and Iceland take excellent care of their skin. In
traveling in Iceland after a hard day’s work over ice fields and lava
deserts, the natives would bring us to camp where there were either
hot springs or little huts built of lava blocks which were primitive
Turkish baths. In these huts were round stones; upon these they would
build a hot fire and after it had burnt to ashes these were brushed off
and water poured upon the stones. This produced a hot steam in which
the natives would remain until the sweat poured down in streams. Then
after rubbing each other they would put on their heavy homespun clothes
and emerge fit for another day’s hard work. It is the same in Norway
and Lapland.

These habits are what gives them the ability to endure physical work
without exhaustion.

While upon this subject I would like to impress upon you the
unnecessary custom of using any perfumes upon the body. The sweetest
odor is that coming from a clean, healthy skin.

There is another feature of this skin cleanliness――the help it gives
the kidneys. A lot of poisonous matter is cast off from the kidneys.
Now, if the pores of the skin are kept constantly open, much of this
material goes out through them, thereby relieving the kidneys from
extra work. As you grow along in years this becomes a very important
matter, for many kidney diseases are due to the overwork they have had
to do, when it could have been better done by the skin. When we come to
dealing with vital matters in keeping good health――the care of the sex
organs――more will be told you about these poisons.

As considerably more than ninety per cent. of the body is made up of
water, you can realize how necessary it is that plenty of pure water
should be supplied the body. Here again the sweating process aids man
to replace waste water by returning to it pure water. The loss of water
containing poisonous stuff makes one thirsty, and this is one way
Nature has of keeping man’s body well balanced――the useless goes out
and the useful goes in.

If we thoroughly understand what our body consists of and how to
care for it, there would be no necessity for doctors or medicines.
In fact, drugs are far more harmful than useful. Four or five simple
medicines――or rather correctives――are all man needs if he has the
proper understanding of himself. Of course surgeons are necessary and
doctors in accidents――such as the great diseases like pneumonia or
typhoid, for these are really accidents, accidental insomuch as you
have taken poisonous germs into your stomach or lungs. But even in
this latter disease, knowledge of how it is contracted is all that is
necessary, for then we can keep our sewerage from emptying into the
drinking water; flies from landing on refuse and then on the food we
are to eat, and if you carefully remember all I shall tell you, those
diseases which are breaking down so many of our fathers and mothers,
can be avoided. Kidney troubles, as I informed you, may be avoided by
commencing to see that the kidneys do not do the work that the skin is
intended to do.

And the liver? Just remember what I said about it being the “clearing
house” of the body.

There are many boys and young men who have a sluggish or over-active
liver. These unfortunate chaps have always been misunderstood and
often blamed for being slothful or willful, when in reality they were
suffering from poisons in their body which were not cast off. If these
conditions go on, the result is sometimes very unfortunate――destructive
to any attempt to make a success in life――no matter how hard one tries.

Here is a case that came under my observation, only one of many; oh, so
many misunderstood fellows.

He was twenty-seven years old when I saw him. His father and mother
were heart-broken over his habits――that is what they called them.

Everything they knew had been tried; but he _would_ drink at times.
These sprees came over him at certain times and nothing the doctors,
ministers or friends could do would stop him.

We know better now.

When he was a boy at school he would have severe headaches. When they
first came on he would try to keep up with his studies, but day after
day became more indolent and the teachers called his attitude “pure
cussedness.” At the end of the attacks he would become very sick; vomit
for hours, and when the poison was thrown off through his stomach he
was weak for days after. The doctors who were called all said about
the same thing: “Only a bilious attack; he will be all right after he
has thrown the bile off.” But he never was all right. Each attack left
some residue of the poison; also left him less able to fight against
another attack, and so the poor chap went on suffering misery of the
body and pain of soul because he was blamed for a state over which
he had no control. He became useless to himself, and after he had
reached full age could find nothing to do because he could not stick
to anything. One day when he was feeling so badly that he could hardly
hold up his head, some older man suggested a drink of whisky. He took
it; it was the first and only thing which had given him relief. Of
course this “relief” was only a blind one; the alcohol gave him a false
impression of his condition. It also sent the poison running through
his brain and this called for more whisky. When the next attack came
on he, of course, took whisky again and remained practically insane
until the whisky drove the poison out through his stomach AND SKIN――it
sweated it out.

But by this time he had been pronounced a drunkard. He was nothing
of the kind; he would have given up his life for a cure of the awful
demand for whisky when these attacks came over him.

These cases we call dipsomania; and they are now understood to be cases
of faulty work on the part of the liver and other organs which retain
the poisons of the body.

Turkish baths, sweating and other methods soon put him in a position to
understand himself. He was shown just what to do to keep the poisons
out of his body and hence keep off the attacks. Of course his liver had
been injured, and probably his kidneys, by the absorption of so much
alcohol; but by care and watchfulness he became a useful citizen, but
could never for a moment forget his delicate condition.

Now it is not necessary for you to understand what to do in these
cases――but it is necessary for you to understand how to keep from
getting into the same state.

If you have headaches due to some cause that you do not recognize――as
you would from those following blows or breathing foul air in closed
rooms――just remember that some organ of the body――skin, kidneys or
liver――is retaining poison. You must get rid of that at once; for every
hour it remains it accumulates and if allowed to go on, some of the
organs will be affected. Then when you get to be forty and over you
will wonder why your kidneys are not in perfect health or why you have
become so nervous.

If the headaches are so distressing that you cannot exercise violently
enough to sweat――not simply perspire――then get out in the air, no
matter what the weather is, and take long, deep breathing exercises.
Keep this up until your chest muscles ache. Now you should commence to
feel better. Put all the pure water in you you can hold. After a while
make a brave effort to exercise so that the water and its poisons run
off your skin. Then wrap yourself in a thick blanket and go to bed.
Before breakfast eat some fruit and drink plenty of water. After your
bowels have moved you should be feeling as fit as a trivet.

If this feeling of well-being possesses you, then it is certain you had
an overplus of the natural poisons in your body.

If this advice and knowledge had been the possession of boys and youths
twenty years ago we should not have to build hospitals for dipsomaniacs
as we are doing to-day.

All I am saying to you and shall say, does not mean you should not
consult a doctor――quite the contrary. What I want you all to understand
is some of the important matters that have not been told boys by
teachers or parents――things which, when you thoroughly grasp, will make
your growing life free from worry and misunderstanding. Oh! there are
so many moments in a boy’s life when he needs to know things; when
he longs for that knowledge; when he suffers inwardly, is afraid of
himself and when he only gets from his father or mother the advice:
“You had better go and see the doctor.” And the doctor? Generally gives
him a slip of paper and tells him to return in a day or so to see if
the medicine works.

And the soul-suffering chap needed something more than a slip of paper.

He needs someone to help him unburden his mind; to free him from his
worry, to confidentially overhaul his mind and put him to rights again.
Some man who was and is a boy, and who can say to him: “Here is the
trouble, Harry; it amounts to nothing now; so glad you came to me; for
we can show you how to rid yourself of the worry. Now be sure to come
again when anything worries you; or you want to know.”

Go to your old doctor and talk to him about what worries you. Most
doctors will be pleased to chat with you. The trouble is that you
have not been instructed in the fact that what you want from a man
of knowledge and kind and appreciative heart, is a good talk, not
medicines. Go and have a plain talk with your father first; if he is
too busy to give you the time then seek a friend in the physician――the
right kind.

Boys, if you are healthy boys, no matter if you haven’t big muscles and
strength, all you need for a tonic is fresh air, plenty of sleep and
food, and a clear understanding of your body. Not one single portion of
it or its uses should be kept from your knowledge, and it shall not in
these chats.

Boys often ask me: “Doctor Howard, what shall I eat to make me big and
strong? Is underdone meat good? Shall I chew, so many times, all my
food?” and many other questions along the same lines.

Eat what you like. In this matter study the healthy animals――for in
our bodily living we are simply animals. Let all food fads alone. The
only rule to follow is that of common sense. You should be certain
that the food is fresh, that you eat at regular intervals and only eat
that which you relish. Man, as an animal, needs variety. Sometimes a
boy will crave one kind of food, at another time a totally different
sort. If he is not suffering from some disease, nature tells him what
chemical constituents his body needs and then gives him a craving for
the foods containing these materials.

I know of some fathers who wrongly blame a boy because he will not eat
fat with his meat. The father likes fat and so unthinkingly, believes
that the son should not waste it, but relish it. The full grown and
the elderly man needs fat to give him heat; the boy has hot blood
coursing in him and besides, exercises; his system does not need fat;
so his appetite rebels. If he relishes fatty substances, it shows that
his system needs it.

And so on through all foods――eat what you relish if it is fresh. Of
course there are a few general principles to be followed. Chewing, for
instance. Every animal chews his food according to the nature of its
food. Man has teeth to handle all sorts――flesh and vegetable. Watch a
good-sized dog eat――not the lap dog brought up on candy and cookies;
such is not a regular dog; just an unfortunate, wheezy, overfat,
ill-smelling substitute for a little baby――something to fondle. The
boy’s dog will bite, grind and then chew his bone or meat. He does not
count the number of times his jaws work, just gets the food ground up
into small pieces so that the digestive fluids in the stomach can get
it ready for further digestion in the intestines. For in reality it
is these latter organs which have more to do with digestion than the
stomach.

This brings us to a very important subject――the care of the teeth.
There is only one thing to say about the teeth――ALWAYS KEEP THEM CLEAN.
I know boys are naturally careless in this matter――we all are; but if
you commence the habit of always cleaning them after each meal――or
whenever they have had work to do, you will be saved much future misery
and chagrin. Foul teeth always means foul breath. Decayed teeth means
that your muscles can never reach their full development because the
food cannot be properly chewed and churned; hence the blood and muscles
do not get the benefit of the nourishing elements of the food.

You should not delay nor try to attend to your teeth aside from keeping
them clean. At the least sign of decay or the appearance of color on
them, go to a dentist. There is no pain or distress in the dentist’s
chair if you attend to the matter at once.

Drink plenty of water before breakfast, then when possible, fruit.
Remember that there are about thirty-three feet or more of piping in
your body. Through this piping――the intestines――there is a constant
flow of food-stuff undergoing a chemical process. It leaves a lot of
dirt――useless stuff――in the pipes. Now if you had a series of lead
pipes through which flowed constantly some fluid which made a deposit
on the sides, you would naturally flush out the pipes, every once in a
while――wouldn’t you? Of course you would.

Well, do the same with your system of piping. In the morning there is a
lot of useless matter containing germs left in your thirty-three feet
of intestines. Flush them out by large drinks of water, plenty of it.
This will also keep your bowels free; the principal thing to observe if
you wish a healthy body.

Shall I drink water with my meals or after――or when?

Again watch your dog; he drinks when he is thirsty; do the same. It
is better to drink some water just before meals, and if your meal has
been somewhat a dry meal, drink water during that meal; if you desire
it――just do as your system demands.

Do not attempt any training through a regular system of diet. If you
prefer a lot of meat and like it, it is going to do you good; if you
force underdone meat down against your liking, it is going to weaken
your muscles instead of strengthening them.

Is candy or other sweets harmful?

No; not a bit――the normal boy often needs sugar――his system demands
it. But here is the trouble with all sweets――they are too often eaten
between or just before meals. This destroys the edge of a good appetite
and hence the habit is injurious――not the candy itself. After meals if
you crave sweets they will do you good. Chocolate is beneficial to all
boys if eaten only after the second or third meal of the day.

But there is so much adulteration of all candies and chocolate that
in order not to injure yourself you should avoid all cheap stuff, and
especially that rotten mess sold on the street stands. Then think
of the dirt and germs which have accumulated upon these adulterated
sweets. Get the best or leave sweets alone.

Now one little word about training for the boy and the youth. Never
train to get off weight but to put it on. Remember that every tiny cell
in your body is growing and developing to be of use when the great time
in your life’s struggle comes. Anything you do to stop this growth
injures your future prospects. The stoppage of one minute’s growth of
a cell can never be regained. That little improvement that was about
to be made has been interrupted――stopped. Aid Nature in her growth and
development――don’t interrupt her. If you do, later on in life she will
punish you――this is as certain as is the rise of the sun.

If you have done some sprinting in the spring, and when you return to
school find that you are a little too heavy for running, don’t for a
moment think of trying to reduce your weight.

Just quit sprinting and be very thankful that you are in such excellent
health that every organ in your body is growing big and strong.

Any exercise that puts on weight in the boy or youth is good
exercise――anything that takes off weight is harmful. When you have
reached middle life, if you are in good health and busily occupied in
doing your allotted work in this world――as every healthy――mentally and
morally――man has to do, you will have enough to do to keep off the
extra and unhealthy fat that has accumulated around your organs.

I know of a very sad case of this trying to insult nature in a
growing boy. He was sixteen years of age; big, strong, and a champion
wrestler in his class. He was entered to wrestle for the interstate
championship――140-lb. class. His instructor and the athletic club to
which he belonged expected him to win for them. But as the weeks went
on he gained weight at a very rapid rate. He was a straight, wholesome,
moral boy――of course he gained weight――he lived right. Two days before
the contest he was seven pounds overweight. His trainers took measures
to bring him down――to rob Nature of that seven pounds of her good work.
They did it; he lost the match and from that time onward he has never
regained his full strength. The process of building going on smoothly
in all his organs was interfered with, and the inevitable setback
followed.

Every boy――every person――should sleep alone. Think of what I have
said about the skin and its emanations. You do not want to be under
the sheets with another boy who is throwing off from his skin poisons;
breathing some of them, letting others be absorbed by your own pores.
Try to get two dogs to sleep under the same blanket――respectable dogs,
such as you or I would own. In about two minutes each will get from
under cover with distended nostrils and deep breathing. They’ll sleep
together without covering; but never under it.

Sleep alone under as light coverings as possible for comfort. This will
aid you in getting big and strong. Don’t forget this advice.



CHAPTER III

HOW ALL LIFE COMMENCES


We have seen that the human body after it gets started is quite as
much a physical apparatus as a chemical laboratory, and the harmonious
working of all its parts is to a considerable extent a matter of
mechanics.

You will find that this is true for every disease or disturbance of
the body. For instance; nervousness or headache from eyestrain. This
strain may come through insufficient light or light wrongly entering
the pupil of the eye. The nervousness may come because there is too
much effort to adjust the lenses of the eyes by a constant pull on the
tiny muscles. Even that peculiar nervousness that many unwise men and
women are suffering from which makes them take ruinous drugs, is due to
a chemical disturbance of the nerve cells. All the drugs in the world
will not help them――it only increases the chemical disturbance. These
sufferers need the poison out of their system; not more put in.

And so it goes on throughout the whole system; some of the physical or
chemical elements are unevenly balanced or worn out for the time. In
diseases due to a particular germ――like diphtheria or pneumonia――it is
the disturbance of the chemical elements in the body which brings about
the disease.

But we have finished with the chemistry and machinery of the body
and now enter upon the wonderful and interesting part of life which
deals with reproduction――the continuance of species. Every living
thing――flowers, fishes, animals, man――is reproduced by laws all having
the same principles. The underlying facts in all these different forms
of life are the same. There is absolutely no exception to the law of
reproduction. Every living thing is the result of the mating of the
male element with that of the female.

We shall not have much to say about botany or zoology, you can read
all about these sciences in your books. What I shall tell you in the
rest of our chats are things which you do not get from your books or
teachers.

It makes no difference what your religion is; what you have been
taught to believe, how little or how much you already know about the
laws of nature, you will all have to come to one conclusion as you get
along in the world――that God, Nature, or some great Power controls and
rules everything on this earth. You cannot avoid this conclusion after
knowing certain facts――positive facts which are to be seen everywhere
in all their glory.

As you grow older and reach full manhood many of you will become
scoffers at all religion; some of you will call yourselves atheists,
others agnostics――one who does not know――more of you will have a blind
faith in orthodox religion.

But if you have kept your brain power and moral health, and I shall
show you how to do this, in the end you will all come to the right
point――reverence and love for the great Power which controls us all.

You cannot avoid this desired point in life; it WILL come in time.
Worry and impatience in your youthful days; self-questioning and a
feeling that something is wrong with the world, will be your portion
of man’s burden. You will see what looks like injustice, the apparent
success of the evil-minded, the accumulation of wealth by the man of
shady methods, and those who should be happy, miserable, and those who
in your estimation should receive punishment, living in luxury, and
highly esteemed.

But this vision will lose its distortion as you live on; you will then
see matters in their true light. Have you ever looked down through
clear water and seen rocks, even fishes, appearing queer and out
of shape? When you dive down to the bottom and open your eyes, how
different the true outlines of these things look to you. You first saw
them through distorted rays; a false vision. It is just so with the
truths of life: you have to dive down into your heart and mind to see
their real shape and meaning.

I believe that every man is better for going through all the phases of
doubt, irreligion, and becoming worldly wise; for when he does reach
the point of seeing right he thinks right. This state causes him to be
a true man to himself and to the Power which controls him.

Get all sides of a question and then think for yourself. And don’t
forget that every question has FOUR sides: the right, wrong, inside and
outside. When you have decided, be true to your convictions and at the
same time keep looking around and INTO yourself.

We can all see the marvels of nature around us, but we can never
understand until we also see the things IN us.

Deep within ourselves lie our powers. Getting them out is what brings
success. These are the forces which every young man must study for
himself. There are no rules we know that can be laid down for the
governing or control of that thing we call conscience, soul, or
whatever you care to call it. It is the vital principle――it is the
power within us to DO. It varies in all men, its force, direction and
application directed rightly will bring man up to marvelous deeds. No
matter what your impulses are, if they are for good living and helping
along the progress of man, go at them and win out. If they make for
evil, or the working of injurious suggestion; go at them also, but to
give them the count. Put them down and out. The first victory will be a
hard one; but as the pugilist gains confidence after winning his first
fight, and then goes on easily winning, so you all can in this matter
of fighting wrong impulses.

Yes; it is this vital principle in us to Do, that makes life worth
fighting――that is, knocking out the bad. It is also from this wonderful
source that comes the vital force in the seed of males and the eggs of
females, which, when united, brings forth life――flowers or man. It is
with the laws governing this uniting of the two sexes we shall now, in
easily understood explanations and words, chat about.

If I explain to you that the yellow or grey dust coming from flowers is
the male seed, and that by wind, insects or birds it is deposited in
the female flower’s womb to grow into little flowers, you certainly do
not see anything to laugh at; nothing wrong to talk about, nothing in
the wonderful arrangement of nature to sniggle over or to go behind the
house or barn and whisper to other boys. Certainly not. Neither will
you, when you understand all those marvelous laws which enabled your
good mother to give YOU life.

I want you all to take a hammer-lock upon this fact――the holiest, most
wonderful and everlasting laws of nature will bring you to a state of
reverence and pure thoughts when you see them from the inside; as you
shall, as every boy and girl ought to see them.

It is your birthright to know yourself and the living brothers and
sisters around you; to realize that a mother dog with her little
puppies has gone through dog troubles and pain to be able to give
birth to her babies and to nurse them just as your mother did for you.
That you owe to the mother dog the same kind words you always owe your
mother and sister will be plain to you.

Everything during the course of reproduction――and this is the only way
the world is kept alive――suffers pain, trouble, but in the end gains
happiness. We are bound, if we are true boys and men, to remember this
fact and act accordingly. You can no more bruise a flower in the spring
without killing some little life than you can kick a mother dog without
running the risk of killing her unborn puppies.

Both of these mothers, flower and dog, are going to bring forth new
lives from the same great cause; the union of the male seed and the
female’s eggs.

All life comes from an egg. This is the first law of nature. Every
form of female has a method of protecting her eggs so as to bring them
ready to receive the life germs of the male. Some flowers bury their
ovaries――the organ that makes the eggs――in the ground. Some form of
water flowers show us how careful we boys and men should be to protect
our powers from being wasted. These flowers protect and keep their
seed by closing their sacks――corollas――under the water until the time
comes for them to act as fathers. If they kept their seed sacks above
the water the wind would carry it away and then they would have none
to place in the female flower when she was ready to receive it; or
the egg, which is the same thing. Then this female flower would be
childless, and soon we should be without the beautiful flowers.

It is on account of this care of the life-giving germ that all nature,
including intelligent and strong men, is able to keep the world
populated and growing better. For in spite of apparent signs of the
non-improvement of the men and women to-day, in reality we are getting
to be better men and women. And a plain understanding of life such
as I am chatting to you about, is one of the good signs; for in your
mother’s and father’s days these important matters were left for them
to pick up at hazard and often from the wrong sources. But it will not
be so with you; knowing the truth you will all be able to live right,
go to your little wife a healthy man, strong in body, clean morals and
conscience and not suffer the horrible self-accusation later on in life
when seeing your son or daughter a cripple, helpless or incompetent.
No, I believe that many of these awful conditions will cease to be; for
they can be entirely wiped out if you heed and act upon what I tell you.

Boys and young men have not had the seriousness of this matter fully
explained, and through their ignorance have wasted life-energy, ruined
themselves and finally become broken down in morals and bodily health,
been sent to insane asylums, or died in hospitals from diseases caught
through evil habits.

Ignorance has caused them to be fathers of weak boys, sometimes idiots,
and of daughters who followed the unmoral life of their father.

Now it may sound funny to you, but the truth is, that if the boys in
the past had really known as much as the chipmunks, we should have very
few asylums for the insane or hospitals for the horrible diseases.
To be sure, the chipmunk’s habits of right living so as to have only
healthy and sane children, is due to instinct; but we have the same
instinct; let us see that it is not suppressed by ignorance on the one
hand and the upheaval of evil thoughts and acts on the other.

Of course there are many diseases which are not due to wasting of
life’s energy or vicious habits, but more than one-half of the
degeneracy and insanity in our land _is_ due to these awful mistakes.

We do not have crazy foxes or idiotic colts; we seldom have any wild
animal born unfit to live. Yet the method of reproduction, the mating
of the male with the female, is just the same as with man. The great
difference is that animals mate when in PERFECT condition. Neither the
lion, eagle, nor the rose, has wasted or poisoned the vital fluid or
dust by bad habits, or lost their power by ruinous indulgence.

All these facts are a wonderful and plain lesson to us; and when we
think it over carefully and recognize all it means, the question rises:
why have we done as we have been doing all these long years of supposed
intelligence? Because your parents and grandparents were not allowed to
know the truth.

The pollen-dust of flowers is, as I have said, the seed of the male
flower, just as full of life-giving energy as is the seed being
produced in you――and which you must protect and save for future power
and reproduction. That is, when married to be able to be the father of
strong, healthy children. The Bible distinctly calls your attention to
this matter, and lays down the law.

Life is a long foot race; a constant struggle to reach the tape. Now
if you knew that you had this race to run and to win, would you be
so foolish as to dissipate your strength, to lose sleep, to run long
distances until you were completely exhausted just before you were to
start on the REAL race? Of course not; yet when a young man exhausts
his energies and powers by wrong living and when tired out enters upon
his LIFE’S race――marriage and fatherhood――he comes to the tape wasted,
exhausted and way behind the man who has trained properly. As a rule
he will not finish the race――just be one of those “also ran.” He will
leave weaklings on the path, poor unfortunate children who suffer all
their lives because their father was UNFIT――unfit to be a father at any
time. I realize these are harsh and strong words, but they tell you the
truth, and I warned you that you would hear the truth.

I believe with a very strong belief that you boys to-day will be in a
position to give the world better men and women than the world has ever
known. You are being shown how to make yourselves fit to bring this
about.

Every day I hear the cry: “Oh! Doctor Howard, if I only had known
these things when I was a youth! What a different man I would be
to-day!” I have had men tell me that they would willingly have cut an
arm off for such knowledge as you boys are getting, and considered the
fee cheap at that.

We will now leave the flowers and their forms of reproduction and get
right into things that every boy sees, yet had not had a thorough
understanding of what relations they bear to his life and those dear to
him.

To repeat: _All_ life comes from an egg. You know how the eggs of
fishes look as well as the fact that the shad roe you eat is a mass
of eggs. The male shad is called the buck shad or the milt shad. The
milt is the semen of the male shad. It is a milky-white substance. The
little life-giving germs are hidden in this milk-like fluid. They are
so small that it takes a powerful microscope to see them.

The eggs of the female cannot produce life unless the life germs of the
male pass into them. This is true of all animals, including man. Every
form of living thing has a different method of doing this, but the
principle is the same for all. Let us first take the fishes.

Springtime is the season for all life to bring forth its kind. In the
spring the fishes swim to their spawning or breeding places. They seek
warm and generally still waters. The shad, for instance, swims up
rivers until it finds the proper place. By this time the eggs are ready
to be expelled from her ovaries, the sacks in which they have been
forming all winter. As she lies still in the warm waters these eggs
drop out in large quantities. Then she swims away, gradually making her
trip down to the sea. At the same time that her eggs are ready to be
deposited in the waters the male shad is filled with milt-fish semen.
He is strong, vigorous, and never having wasted any of this seed he is
able to give full life to the waiting eggs. He slowly swims over the
floating eggs and the semen in him pours out. Once over the eggs each
little life-germ wiggles through the outer lining of an egg and meets
the true egg. At once these two, the female and male germ, are the
beginning of a little fish. It takes some time, of course, for even the
little fish to burst from its covering, for the growth from the two
germ cells into a completely-formed, though tiny fish, occupies many
days. But just as soon as it is ready to swim, out it comes.

The way the different kinds of fish protect their young until they can
care for themselves, is an interesting study, but you can read all
about such matters in your zoologies.

In breeding, or propagating, fish at the hatcheries, the eggs are
squeezed out of the female and immediately after this has been done
the milt from the male is squeezed out over them. This is never done
except when both female and male fish are ready to deposit their eggs
and sperm. By this method the little fish can be kept in confined
waters, arranged according to their ages, and when old enough, be sent
to replace fished-out streams.

It is wonderful that with all the hundreds of different kinds of fishes
in the ocean and rivers, the seed of the male will enter only the eggs
of its own kind. It is the same throughout all life on the world; like
can only reproduce like. If it were not so, we should have a sorry mess
of mixtures and all life would die out.

When we leave the fishes and come to the higher scales of life, we see
the same method of development from the union of the female and male
elements――the egg vitalized by the male seed. But there is a difference
in the methods of protecting the growing life in the egg. The fish
simply drops her eggs and leaves them for the warm water to hatch. The
birds deposit them in a ready-made nest and keep them warm by their own
bodies.

The “frog spittle” you see on ponds and along the banks of streams is
the mass of eggs and sperm from the male and female frogs. The bullfrog
does not, like the male fish, throw his life germs over the eggs of
his mate after she has deposited them in the water. This is done before
she lets them leave her body. The frog’s method of vitalizing the eggs
is that of all the higher animals.

When the eggs in the female are ripe for the male seed they lie inside
her near their outlet. The bullfrog introduces his seed directly into
her body at the spot where the eggs are waiting to receive it. A short
time after this takes place the eggs are cast upon the waters and left
for the sun to develop the little pollywogs, or tadpoles. When ready,
those tiny fellows with their funny tails swim out and remain in large
groups until their tails drop off and hind legs have grown.

If you have ever tried to stir up a large lot of “frog spittle” you
have noticed how difficult it is to break up. This is another wonderful
provision of Nature to protect her living and growing things. The
greenish mass you see is a mucilage-like substance made to hold the
eggs together. The real eggs are those tiny black spots. If it were not
for this sticky material, the wind and waves would break up the whole
mass and leave the eggs to be washed away and chilled. In other words,
not one would send out a little pollywog, the wiggling frog bodies
would be chilled to death. So remember that when you try to break up
a lot of frog spittle you are really killing thousands of little
pollywogs――frogs to be.

The same method of breeding takes place among the turtles and snakes.
Only here the eggs are not cast off directly after receiving the male
seed. They stay in the female, as they do in the birds and hens, until
they have received a protecting cover. These reptiles have not reached
the scale of the birds and hens; they are between the frog and the
bird. As we have seen, the frog has the mucilage-like substance holding
together the eggs; the hens and the birds the hard shell protecting
each egg; the turtle and his like have a soft shell.

The turtle, alligator, and those of the same kind of reptiles do not
sit on their eggs. The female makes a kind of a nest in the sand or
dry mud, lays the eggs, covers them over with sand and leaves the sun
to do the rest. There are, however, many differences in the manner
of HATCHING, the way the eggs are protected, and how the little ones
are left to shift for themselves. But the manner of _starting_ each
different form of life is always the same.

In the bird, as in all live creatures of the female sex, are what we
call ovaries, from the Latin word _ovum_, meaning egg. These ovaries
are situated in the body in the region we call the groin. These ovaries
are little sacks which have the power of creating eggs. As breeding
time comes, these eggs drop out from the ovaries and remain for a short
time just outside the sacks, but still in the bird’s body.

Now the birds commence to mate, which is really nothing but the
powerful instinct to reproduce their kind. The male bird is ready to
be a father. He becomes vigorous, proud and strutting. His plumage is
shining brilliant and he tries to show himself off before the females,
who soon pick out their mates. The birds of the turkey or partridge
type, dance, fight and sing in order to attract the attention of the
females.

As soon as mating takes place, off the couples go to build their nests,
both working together early and late to make a warm place for the
little ones to be hatched.

The mating has taken place, the eggs of the female have become
vitalized. The life germs have worked their way into the interior of
the eggs; the eggs now commence to take on a protective covering; the
shell. This soon grows to a hard shell. The eggs now being safely
protected they drop out into the nest, and when all have been laid, the
mother, and at times, the father bird, sit upon them until the little
ones are hatched.

If the female bird was kept in a cage and away from the male bird, the
eggs would come just the same. But no amount of sitting upon them or
putting them in an incubator would bring forth the young. The reason
you all readily understand; the eggs have not been vitalized, given
the sperm, by the male bird. So if you want to breed chickens you must
always have a cock in the yard.

All breeders of chickens first examine the eggs they are to put under
a hen or in an incubator. By the light of a candle in a dark room you
can see a tiny spot in the egg if it has been vitalized. This spot is
the germinal spot――the evidence of the male element. Such an egg will
hatch; one without such a spot will simply rot.

When we reach the higher scale in animal life, where the dog, horse,
lion, belong, we have reached that point where all reproduction takes
place in the same manner as in man. I am referring now to details only,
for as I have told you, the PRINCIPLES of reproduction are the same for
everything that lives.

All through nature, if you carefully think over the strict laws
governing the continuation of life, you will be struck with wonder and
reverence; not curiosity nor evil thoughts.

At first it may sound a little harsh to have me tell you that you were
developed from a single cell in your mother’s womb which had been
vitalized by the seed of your father. But such is the undeniable
truth, and it is the truth concerning ourselves that I want you to
understand.

Of course we are different from the mere animals in having a something
in us that they do not apparently possess. This “something” may be
called a soul, the essence of a Great Will, the evidence of God. But it
makes no matter what you have been taught to call it――it is there; and
some day you will recognize it.

It is the great Power back of us, in us, ahead of us. It is the
something we can feel, but not see nor demonstrate. As you study
over what I tell you it will be plain that, while we can and should
understand the laws of nature, this Power, the actual Power itself must
be studied in our hearts.

But no man has done justice to this great Will, or to God, or to
himself, who has avoided trying to understand those laws which are
indubitably for our benefit and future progress. One of the plain
duties which the law points out to us, is that of so regulating our
lives that we can give health and moral strength to those who come
after us. And this can never be done unless we know and obey those laws
which we have plainly set before us.

Before going further into the facts of reproduction, let us see how
strict Nature is in some of her laws controlling this process.
Remember what I said about the marvelous fact that fishes do not
inter-breed; that is, that the seed from a male salmon will not enter
the eggs of a female bass, nor that of a “shiner” into a sunfish.
Nature will not allow such a mixing of things. A dog cannot impregnate
a cat, only a dog. So you see that Nature has so arranged matters that
in spite of the running wild of all kinds of animals and species, each
egg is so chemically adjusted that only the male seed made for its
particular eggs can vitalize them.

“But,” you say, “I saw at the circus a half tiger and a half lion, he
rode a horse.”

True, but you have so long been accustomed to think that the lion
and tiger were different species of animals that it did not enter
your minds that in reality they were the same. Both belong to the cat
tribe――felines. Circus men call all these animals, lion, tiger, cougar,
leopard, etc., “big cats.”

In their natural state even these animals of the same species will not
inbreed; there is a social class among them; and while man forced the
lion to mate with the tiger, it was a forced marriage and presumably a
disagreeable one. We have too many lion and tiger marriages in our own
society.

From all this we should derive a lesson.

Nature will not, however, give in altogether to man’s foolish
acts; for even when we cross the species we get a thing that cannot
reproduce. The strict laws here step in and say: “So far shalt thou go,
but no farther.”

The mule is an example of what I mean. The mule is the result of
breeding the ass to a mare. It is hybrid; it cannot reproduce its kind.
So in order to have mules we must always use an ass and mare. The mule
cannot reproduce its kind because it is a born eunuch. That is, it has
no seed to give life to eggs.

Now in some respects the mule is more useful to man than the horse.
Again we see that the laws controlling our lives are often adjusted to
our desires when these desires are for our benefit. So we can breed
from a mare and stallion ass; but cannot go any farther with the
species. It is about the same with the inbreeding of zebras and horses,
although this has not yet been carried far enough to determine what the
outcome will be. But don’t forget this fact: ass and horse, zebra and
horse are all the same species――equines.

You have seen how birds and hens lay their eggs in a nest, and how, if
they have received the male germ, the eggs bring forth their young.
In the higher forms of animals――those who nurse their young――exactly
the same PROCESS takes place but under different details. In these
higher animals, the dog, for instance, we have the ovaries making
the eggs just as in the birds. At certain intervals in the year these
eggs slip from the ovaries into a nest lying just down beneath the two
ovaries――one on each side of the female dog. This nest we call the
uterus――or, in ordinary terms, the womb. When these eggs slide into
their nest they produce an inflammation of the parts; also a peculiar
odor. This is another wonderful law of nature, for without these
conditions life would soon cease to exist. The inflammation gives the
female dog――bitch is the proper name――a longing to be a mother. It is
nothing impure in her, nothing to be ashamed of, but a condition to be
proud of and to cause reverence in those of pure minds. The odor is
to tell the male that now he must do his share in keeping dogs on the
earth.

So they mate.

When each little egg is vitalized by the dog’s sperm, they remain in
the womb――the bitch’s nest――for nine weeks, growing day by day until
they are ready to come into the world.

Then did you ever see such a beautiful sight as the watchful and happy
mother? Never, if you have all the real feelings of the genuine boy.
There must arise that in you which we all feel but cannot explain. Kind
words come to you as you watch the happy dog mother; gentle strokes
as she cuddles to warm her little babies. And yet there are boys who
have so little understood the beauty and wonder of all this act of
reproduction that they sniggle and make sport of the desires of the
innocent want-to-be-mother dog.

Exactly the same details happen throughout all the animal kingdom. The
larger the animal, the longer it takes for the little one to grow and
develop in the mother’s womb. This is the only difference, except that
in the larger animals we find one or two babies the general rule. You
see these big babies require so much milk that the mother could not
supply enough for many hungry mouths, so she gives birth to only that
number she can well nourish and care for.



CHAPTER IV

CARE OF SELF DURING PUBERTY


As the anxious mother bird watches day after day, while keeping her
eggs warm, for the sound of the little tapping from the inside followed
by the soft bill and wondering eyes of her little ones, so did your
mother anxiously watch and pray for the coming of her helpless baby.

In her warm nest, the womb, you lay from the meeting of the two cells
until your tiny body was completely formed. This was a period of nine
months. Then you were born.

No boy or man can have a full appreciation of all he owes a mother
until this wonderful work of nature is thoroughly implanted on his
memory, never to be effaced. While the period of watching and waiting
is only nine months, to the mother it is a whole lifetime. For to her
it means ALL her life――sometimes she gives her life for yours. Think
what wondrous love there must be for a woman to run the risk with
pleasure and happiness. Every moment of these nine months the mother
has her mind upon one thing: the tiny life growing in her womb,
nourished by her blood, given oxygen through her breath, brought into
the world smiling and laughing because the mother is laughing and
smiling. And her one hope is that you will be able to go through your
life smiling and laughing; that you will so live and grow that both of
you can show to the world the most powerful searchlight known to man:
the light which shines from a pure face and healthy mind. And such a
light is far more penetrating than you have ever realized. It searches
out truth, it reflects your mother’s face even after she has gone; it
makes others happy and brings hope to many worried homes. And it is
your mother who lights this bright ray of a pure mind; but it is your
duty to keep the flame and reflector ever active and shining.

Thousands of boys and men have brought tears and dimmed the once bright
eyes of their mothers. They have not consciously done so. It is against
all nature for a boy to deliberately inflict pain and grief upon his
mother. When he does, it is because he has been ignorant of all his
mother has gone through for him. He has never been told in plain talks
just all his mother worried and suffered while waiting for him to make
his appearance on this earth. He never fully realized how she often
dragged herself around weighted with his little body; how her nights
were sleepless on his account; how she worked, sacrificed and planned
for him. He never knew how careful she was about her food so he might
grow strong while in her womb; how she forced herself to walk when
every step was an effort, how she tried to keep her mind upon pleasant
subjects and to read only such books as might send pleasant and
beneficial impulses to his then unconscious mind.

When you have reached eight or ten years of age you have never been
told how careful you should be to use kind words and be ever on the
watch to help your mother in little things, because there is a little
sister or brother growing in your mother’s womb who will soon be in
the cradle. No, you have of course been told to be always kind to her;
to help her in little matters; but JUST why you should now be more
careful than usual has been kept from you. So if you have been cross
and disobedient at times; brought tears to your mother, and who knows
but unconscious tears to the little unborn one, you are not wholly
to blame. You didn’t know, and nine times out of ten, if you asked
questions about how babies come, you were put off with queer answers or
else told not to ask such questions. The fault has been in a wrong idea
of instruction. Your mother was never allowed to know when she was a
child; your father picked up what knowledge he could from older boys,
which was generally wrong knowledge gathered from another generation
of boys, and your teachers and those of your parents were either
criminally silent or themselves ignorant.

From all this false attitude of teachers has grown much of the misery
and disease which is with us to-day. It is my intention to have
this misery and disease abolished, and it can be done by giving you
the information your parents and teachers did not possess until too
late. All information regarding right sex living and care should be
in the possession of the boy and youth while they can utilize such
information. Of what use is it to you after the harm has been done
through ignorance? No use; more――it does much harm when it comes too
late.

“Oh, Doctor; if I had only known. Can I never be a well man again? Why
didn’t my teachers and parents tell me all this was wrong?”

I am going to try to stop the cause for these pitiable cries so that in
your and future generations they shall be no longer heard.

In the same manner you have been kept from knowing the absolute
necessity of attending to the sex organs with the absence of any ideas
except those of cleanliness. It is as reasonable for you to clean
the teeth and leave the wax to accumulate in the ears until deafness
follows, as it is to wash your hands and neglect the penis.

Your sex organ needs attention at an early age. If you have parents who
understand this matter, they have instructed you in the details; but
if you are like most boys, these have been left to chance and possible
wrong treatment.

The gland of the penis secretes a cheesy material. This is constantly
being poured out in small quantities and unless cleaned away will at
first become offensive to the nostrils, then irritating and in some
cases proceed to an inflammation which will require the services of a
surgeon.

But to begin with the small boy. He should pull back the foreskin every
morning as he washes, and with a soft cloth soaked in warm water,
remove all the accumulation. Do it carefully; but don’t forget to
do it, even if you have to let the face go. The reason for being so
particular about this matter I shall explain further on in these Chats.

If your foreskin is too long, or if it hangs over so as to retain
some drops of urine after you have relieved the bladder, go first to
your father; and if you are so unfortunate as not to have a father or
mother to whom you can go in these matters――and I know there are many
such――go to your doctor and explain to him.

Many boys are far better off when circumcised. This is a simple little
operation――just the snipping off the overhanging foreskin. If your
parents have been wise and instructed in this necessary detail of the
sex toilet, you will have been circumcised when a baby. But you cannot
blame them if it has been neglected. However, _your_ boy will have a
right to blame you if he is allowed to be a victim of irritation and
inflammation of the penis when he is a youth.

As you grow older this detail of the toilet becomes more and more
necessary, for at puberty――fourteen to sixteen years of age――all your
glands become very active, and those of the penis especially so.

I have told you in the first Chat about the bad effects of allowing
your bowels to retain matter that should always be kept out of the
body. The absorption of the poisons from this dead stuff left from food
causes headaches, laziness and in time affects the complexion. It is a
lot of natural filth left in the pocket of the lower bowel which Nature
intends should be thrown out daily. There are muscles in this bowel or
pocket especially for this purpose. If you neglect to work the muscles
placed for this purpose, they soon become weak, inactive and refuse to
perform their duty unless irritated by some drug, salts or castor oil.
In a healthy boy――one who has taken any decent care of himself――these
medicines are never needed. If such methods to make the muscles of the
lower bowel work are constantly used, the muscles lose their tone and
of course usefulness. Then in later life the veins become full of black
blood, swell and often burst. These swollen veins are generally called
piles. You see how you can avoid these disagreeable things, which are
only plain signs that the man or boy has kept in his lower bowel filthy
stuff. Just think for a moment; would you allow filthy stuff to remain
in your pocket? Of course not; yet if this stuff were kept there, it
would not do you physical harm. It would be a little disagreeable, I
admit, but not bring about the ill health it does when kept in the
pocket of the bowel.

Now, when you have the gland of the penis inflamed from the gathering
of the matter behind it, you can readily see how it may be aggravated
by any other dead material in the same region of the body. And this
region in the growing boy is very sensitive to all disturbances. So
here is another reason why you should empty your bowels EVERY day.

You will ask: Why is this secretion coming behind the gland of the
penis harmful if it is natural?

It is there to keep the gland and its covering from growing together.
If it were not there the urine would irritate and inflame the parts.
Whenever we have inflammation we have a tendency to growth. Under these
circumstances the covering of the penis would adhere to the gland, and
then would come great trouble.

The secretion is a sort of oil for the sliding parts. But this oil has
to be renewed by fresh oil――this is the reason for washing the old,
rancid oil and letting fresh oil take its place. Again, if this rancid
secretion is allowed to remain it becomes absorbed and then you have
another poison in your system.

It is useless for a boy to try to become a strong man unless his sex
organs have the best of care. I don’t mean that you should keep your
mind upon the subject; quite the contrary. If you have kept them clean
and attended to the little matters I have mentioned, your mind will not
be upon the sex organs. If you wash your teeth every day and have them
always in good condition, you do not think of them. You chew your food
thinking of the coming ball game――not of your teeth. But if you neglect
them soon come pain and trouble; then in spite of all the thinking of
the next ball game, your mind WILL go to those awful teeth.

Just so with your sex organs; a decent regard for their care drives out
all thoughts but what are necessary and decent.

The neglect or abuse of the sex organs――this latter subject we shall
have a plain talk about――affects all the other portions of the body.
It causes stupidity and soft muscles. Sometimes big muscles will be
seen in a youth who has neglected the toilet of his organs. But these
muscles are fatty muscles. They do not contain strong, blood-red fibres
of true muscles. Moreover, the FORCE behind these muscles, the nerve
cells, are themselves weakened by the absorption of secretions and the
whole general effect of the unclean and often abused parts.

Remember this fact: You cannot perform big deeds when a man if you
have neglected the little ones belonging to the development of your
body. The foundation of every big structure, brain or building, is the
essential part of the work. Unless this is built upon solid ground and
of solid material, ruin comes when pressure is brought to bear.

I have seen hundreds of men with powerful brains and intellects unable
to utilize them because their foundations for withstanding pressure
were weak. And it was ever the same old cry: “No one ever told me,
Doctor!”

At an early age you will be faced by a great injury to all boys. It is
the appearance in the public schools of smutty pictures, lecherous talk
and nasty stories. Now all these go to make for a weak foundation. If
you have grasped the full sense of sex life,――what it means to your
future, what it can do for a glorious life or a miserable end,――you
will shun such nasty things as you would a boy with the smallpox. I
want you all to know everything about sex life; but smut and filth are
not connected with this knowledge. They have nothing to do with sex
development. Nothing more to do with a full appreciation of the powers
growing in you than the ulcers of a foul disease have to do with the
growth of a healthful skin.

These nasty tales and pictures befoul a good mind. In listening or
looking you are simply allowing your growing brain to wallow in a
pigsty of thought. Scientific books on sex life, all the real knowledge
you can obtain covering the real meaning of life, are proper reading.
It is not necessary to roll in a manure heap to understand the care
and diseases of cows. It is not necessary, but harmful, to live in an
atmosphere of vice and mental filth to understand man and woman.

So you can see that it is as important to keep the mind clean as it
is any organ. For one affects the other. If you have an unclean mind,
poisons flowing through the brain from filthy talk, you will find that
the sex organs will feel the effect. This is a dangerous state. Clean
both at once and keep them clean as they grow.

Why, boys, there is scarcely one of your waking dreams of big deeds
that is not possible of being true if you keep a mind clean for big
thoughts and work. But this mind cannot work if it has to compete with
foul matter working alongside.

If you were engaged upon some delicate work and had a chap working
alongside of you who pulled down as fast as you built up, what would
you do? Throw that fellow out. Of course. Well, if he gets along inside
of your good thoughts, throw HIM out.

At this early age in your career I would not advise you to attempt any
missionary work among those boys of evil thoughts and acts. Just let
them alone; have nothing to do with them. This will appeal to such
boys much more than any attempt at “goody-goody” talk. I don’t believe
in this kind of education for the boys of vicious habits; it doesn’t
appeal to them. What you can do if they ask questions is to show them
the PRACTICAL side of the whole matter: That you want to be a strong
man, a man who can do things, a man whose children will bless instead
of curse him.

Sometimes it is necessary to smash a boy who makes evil suggestions to
you. Don’t talk to him, smash him in the face. Smash him good and hard.
Remember that if you have followed my advice and directions you will
have much more strength than a boy of evil thoughts and habits. Such a
one will be a coward; even if he LOOKS larger than you.

But beyond all, don’t blame such a boy; don’t unjustly blame him for
what he is. Perhaps he had not had the chances you have had. Possibly
he has had no parents to care for him and his associations have been
such that he cannot see the good in life. Remember that such a boy has
some good in him; often he wants to be the right kind of a fellow but
does not know how. After you have licked him――if he makes any really
bad suggestions――then he may become your good friend. If so, then you
can tell him what you know. But no preaching, mind you. Don’t try to
make him think you are any better than he is. Just let him understand
that you know what is necessary to make a strong and successful man.
Then he will want to know.



CHAPTER V

NIGHT EMISSIONS AND THE BOY’S WORRY


As you reach the age of puberty and for a few years thereafter, you
will have many little worries and hours of fear. There is absolutely
no reason why you should have these times of self-fear or any kind of
worry. The gradual change from boyhood to manhood should go on without
mental worry or too much thinking of the changes in yourself. Nature
never intended that this time should be any but a joyful and happy
time. And it can be made a period of full content and feeling that all
is right with yourself and the good world.

But why have boys been so depressed during this time of sexual growth
and development? Why is it that we see men whose whole careers have
been handicapped and physical misery been their lot, just because when
they were youths they had some fright which has lasted throughout life?

Because they were left the prey of their own thoughts; because little
matters that are natural to the growing boy were exaggerated into
fearful diseases, because they struggled through a fog of ignorance
upon which were blown the lies of older boys and the advertisements of
those beasts――the QUACKS.

To sum it all up in a few words: because the boys were never told the
real truth.

Truth is never vile, nasty nor injurious. To hide the truth is
criminal, cowardly and injurious. But conditions which we will not
bother ourselves about here have kept our parents and teachers from
seeing the truth. It is here where all the harm has been done to the
boy and the girl. You were not able to get the truth because it was
hidden from you, but the lies, nasty lies, were allowed to get to your
ears and eyes. If there were any false colors surrounding truth it
certainly would not be the TRUTH; would it? If the laws of nature were
untruthful in their significance, if nature were all lies, then the
whole world and the power behind it is a LIVING LIE. But it is not; it
is a beautiful revelation of powerful truths and when you know it as it
is, nothing more astounding or wonderful can possibly fill your mind.

And to know the truth these things should be plainly told you:――

About fourteen years of age you may feel a gradual soreness in the
nipples. This will increase and sometimes be a little annoying. Now
don’t become frightened and try to recall some blow you have received
there. It is only a demonstration of how the growing sex instinct
affects all the body. There are little glands in the breast that for a
short time become slightly inflamed and this produces the soreness and
itching which bother you.

I knew a boy who was much affected with this soreness; he had no idea
what it meant. He worried about it silently and ceaselessly. He could
not apply his mind to his studies; he lost sleep and ceased to play
with his companions. One day when he was moping around the house his
mother noticed how pale and listless he was. She asked him what the
trouble was. He told her that his chest was very sore; that the nipples
pained him; that he had suffered day after day.

Now what did this mother do? At once became frightened so that she
frightened him. He at once thought that something horrible was to
happen to him. Poor boy! The mother at once asked him if he had
received a blow on the breast? Of course he remembered such a blow.
Then this ignorant mother rushed to her family medical book――the curse
of many a home――and commenced to read up on cancer of the breast.
Then she rushed off to the doctor, leaving the book, which was at
once seized upon by the trembling and pale boy. Then he read his
doom――cancer of the breast; he had all the symptoms! At once he lost
what little heart he had left, and when the mother returned she made
matters worse by her fear and sympathy.

The doctor? He wasn’t at his office; would return the next day. That
boy spent the night in a fear which almost wrecked him. He could not
go to the doctor the next morning, he was so weak from fear. When the
doctor did come, instead of laughing at the whole matter, taking the
boy aside and telling him what the signs meant, he hemmed and looked
wise. Then he said he “thought it would pass away.” But it did not,
neither did the fear. The boy just escaped complete ruin of his health,
or perhaps a worse fate at his own hands, by a stroke of luck.

In the small city where he resided there were a number of Chinese
youths――sons of gentlemen――being educated. One of them, a chum of the
unfortunate boy, called to see what was the matter. Tearfully the boy
told him his pains and fear. The Chinese boy laughed loud and heartily.
Then HE told the boy the truth.

You see these foreign boys had a real knowledge of the truth given them
before being sent out into the world.

From that time onward this American boy never told his mother anything
about himself or his thoughts; he had to get what knowledge he wanted
from other sources, and as his Chinese friends soon went off to a large
prep. school, the later information came from older boys who only knew
the lies and untruths.

So never worry about these little pains or uncomfortable feelings. They
belong to your natural growth and are signs that you are becoming a man.

At about the same time hair will appear on various parts of your body.
It will make its appearance there before it will be seen on the face.

New and strange feelings will now be part of your mental life. You will
wonder about everything around you. What is life? where shall I go to
when dead? what is religion? am I fit to live? and all sorts of new and
queer ideas. Don’t bother about them; just go along doing your best
with the knowledge that all is coming out right when you do your best.

Of course you cannot be perfect――you will make many mistakes, do
things which you would be ashamed to repeat; often tell an untruth
when you wanted to be truthful. But this does not make of you a sinful
boy――just a natural boy. Time and forthrightness in TRYING to correct
these errors will make you a square man. That is what you must aim
at being――a square man――square with yourself, God and man. A boy is
a thing of many sides; he is in the rough; experience, growth and
determination cut away, hammer out and finally polish the rough youth
into a square man.

But he must have the proper tools for this work and these tools are
knowledge of self, determination and forthrightness.

One natural act of the glands in the body which now commence to secrete
profusely, is to empty themselves of an overload. Your testicles are
secreting life fluid. They do this constantly and will keep on doing
so throughout a long life if you have cared for them as they should be
cared for; left alone until the time has arrived for you to be a father.

Nights when the testicles are overloaded with seminal fluid, they empty
themselves. But remember this fact: they only let out the overflow,
they never WASTE any. It is something like that which goes on in a
good spring of pure water. This spring is always welling up with
fresh water; its overflow must be taken care of, so off the excess
water runs. But you will notice that no more water runs away than is
necessary; the spring keeps up to the same level and always has fresh
water. Dam it up and you all know what happens――a muddy, dead mass of
useless water. Go to work and pump out the spring, and what occurs? It
is emptied, and if the pumping is kept up will disappear altogether.
It is now a useless, dirty and moldy hole where once flowed pure,
sparkling, live water.

Just so with the life spring in you. Let it take care of itself. It
knows how. But you must protect it, as you would any good thing. And
this is done through the mind; by keeping evil thoughts out of your
mind the spring is not emptied or muddied.

When the testicles are overflowing with their fluid there comes a night
for casting off this overflow. Now this overflow irritates certain
nerves around the sex organ, these send a message to the brain telling
it to open the glands and let out this overflow. This message is the
dream you have. It is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing sinful or
wrong, just a sign that you are in good health and growing to be a
strong man.

Here is where the injury of evil thoughts, smutty talk and reading
comes in. If you have been listening during the day to these injurious
things, when you sleep, some memory of the things heard or seen remains
on the memory――as everything does. This brings about injurious dreams,
these dreams send a message to your sex organs and they return an order
to open the valves of the testicles and pour out precious life fluid.
As you see, in such a case it is not the overflow you are casting
off, but most valuable energy and muscle-giving power. You have been
drawing from the well, and if you persist in this method you will soon
be a ruined boy. But the dreams which come naturally do no injury to
you when they do not occur too often.

But how often should they come, Doctor?

Just wait for a few moments; we will soon come to all those questions
and their answers.

Let me first tell you, boys, that all the statements of the Quacks,
and of too many doctors who are not known as Quacks but in heart and
method are worse than Quacks, are abominable LIES. Every one of their
advertisements about “Lost Manhood” is a mean falsehood. They are
founded upon what is natural for every boy to have occur to him, but
they confound in your minds the true and the false. They try to scare
you, and they have scared millions of American youths and boys, by
telling you what happens is ALWAYS a symptom of “Lost Manhood.” Nothing
of the kind, as I have shown you. If you will all grasp and hold the
facts I have and shall tell you, we can drive these bloodhounds from
the land. When you realize that the advertisements you read in some
papers and those booklets sent to boys are nothing but a pack of lies
gotten up to bleed you and frighten you, the Quacks will fall away
like leaves in an autumn gale. We can raise such a wind, you and I,
that every Quack and his kind will have to go digging sewers for a
living――where they belong.

“Lost Manhood” is such a rare condition in the boy and youth that many
doctors go through a career of practice and never see a case. Of course
we have boys born with weak brains, idiots, and those with a growth or
disease of the sexual center in the brain. This makes them constantly
handle their organs; they are thinking of vile things only, they are
really insane on this one subject and of course soon sink to the level
of――no, not beasts――animals are pure in their instincts――to the level
of imbeciles.

I have shown you how you can bring yourselves to the point of not being
the fathers of these unfortunate and horrid things.

The Quack takes all those natural occurrences of boyhood and in his
advertisements points them out to you. He well knows that each and
every symptom he describes will be found in all HEALTHY boys. For
instance he says that if you have dark rings under your eyes it is a
dangerous symptom. Of course you will find dark rings under your eyes
at times. Just after a night’s natural emission. This is the time to
throw a scare into you. You have never thought of those dark rings
before, but now you look into the mirror, and “Oh, I’m lost――there they
are!”

Rotten nonsense! They have always been there, but you didn’t receive
the suggestion before you read the advertisement or those criminal
booklets. And that picture: “Before Taking; After Taking.” You know
them well.

I was acquainted with a fellow who had been quite an athlete. Somehow
he never seemed to make good. He tried almost everything but never
stuck to one thing. He passed out of my mind for some time. One day
I met him on Broadway, swinging along full of health and apparent
contentment. He told me that he had tried to be an actor, but was now
doing something better. He smiled and answered that he was “making good
money” when I asked him what he was doing.

A few days after this little conversation he came to my office. At
least a forlorn creature staggered in and sank down in a chair. He was
thin-looking, pale and had pimples all over his face. His clothes hung
on him――just hung, nothing else. His arm was in a sling and he talked
with effort.

“You don’t know me, Doctor?” Then he straightened himself up and showed
a magnificent figure even under the draggled clothes. He was the
athlete. Then he explained:

He had fallen downstairs in a photographer’s shop and broken his arm,
and without waiting to wash and dress had rushed to me. As he paid the
fee out of a big roll of bills he said:

“Oh, it’s easy money, Doctor.”

“What is?”

“Beating you simple men out of your rights. Why don’t you all wake
up? These fakers I am working for have gotten you chaps beaten to a
frazzle. Why, the phony docs I work for just have a basket to shove
their suckers’ money in.

“What do I do? I am the ‘Great and Only Before Taking and After Taking
Artist.’ See? No?

“Well I learned the make-up on the stage. I sit before the camera with
my chest out, hair curled, and in the best clothes this burg can turn
out. Then I am mugged as a fine specimen of the doc’s work. This done,
I go and make up as you see me――next scene with slow music: ‘The Lost
Manhood’ act. Then the photos are placed side by side and off they go
to the boys of this free and unwise land.

“Oh, yes, I have several other stunts. I am the original ‘Kidney Cure’
chap. Never seen me, bent over, holding on to one rotten kidney with an
expression of Death on my noble brow? I’m It in the next photo, fine
girls hanging onto my brawny arms or sitting happy with my two hundred
pound, but happy, wife while the fireside burns cheerfully. But even
the fire is a fake.

“I have a partner, too, in all these stunts; she stands for a photo
with all the latest on her for the shapely woman, then they put a rig
on her and blow her up. ‘How to Reduce Flesh. Why Be Fat When You Can,
By Using Old Doc’s Food, Look Like THIS?’

“Say, honest, Doc,――pardon, I forgot, Doctor,――how long did it take you
to learn your professional duties? Look, the fakers I work for can’t
even write their own ads――it’s all done for them by men who understand
what’s wrong with the boys and girls, schools and parents. Wake up,
Doctor, wake up and get some of the Mazulum that’s flying around.”

I think, boys, that this story of a faker’s tool will explain the whole
matter to you better than a talk in our own tongue.

       *       *       *       *       *

How often may a boy have these night emissions without being injured by
them?

Like all other physiologic functions the answer depends upon the boy.
That is, how he works and plays; how well fed he is, and how he lets
off his steam. The boy in good health and good surroundings, after he
is sixteen years of age, need not think about the matter when they
occur once a week. Should they be more frequent, occurring two or
three times a week for several weeks in succession, then it means
that something is wrong. But nothing to worry about; just some little
fault to adjust. And the youth can do this adjustment himself. He will
understand himself better than a physician can, after he has seen the
truth of these matters. Here is what I mean: Supposing you have these
“wet dreams” two or three times a week and they keep up until you
commence to feel their weakening effect. Now there is a cause for every
effect. Find the cause for their increase of frequency. Look well into
yourself. Have you been listening to nasty stories? seen pictures which
aroused your baser instincts, or read books which you know you should
not have read? Yes, a little, perhaps. Well, remember what I said
about the mind influencing the action of the sex organs. You see that
the remedy is in your own hands. Just stop such pictures and stories
getting a place in your brain and the emissions will also stop.

But above all things don’t get frightened, don’t take any medicines or
drugs, DON’T BELIEVE A THING THE QUACKS ADVERTISE. Be your own master
in this as in all matters.

There are other causes which you must correct. The irritation I spoke
about which comes by letting matter remain in your lower bowel, is
sometimes a cause for too frequent emissions. This material remaining
so close to the sex organs causes a pressure and heat. This excites the
parts and then goes the message to the brain, bringing dreams and the
letting out of seminal fluid. Such a cause if continued will do harm,
but you can at once stop the cause and then the emissions cease.

Too warm clothing will bring about the same state by overheating the
organs, hence always sleep with as little clothing as is consistent
with comfort. In this matter you can commence in the autumn to accustom
yourself to light coverings, so that when winter comes you will not
want a lot of heavy blankets over you. And this is much better also for
the breathing process of the skin. Sleeping on the back will, with some
boys, always bring on a night emission. Sleep on your side always. If
you are inclined to roll over in your sleep and remain on your back,
take a towel and tie a knot in it. Tie this towel around your back so
that the knot comes in the middle of the back. Then go to sleep on your
side. Should you roll over in the night, the knot will wake you up.
After a few nights of this scheme you will break the habit of sleeping
on your back and so correct the habit of emissions.

Cold-water bathing of the sex organs every morning and night is an
excellent way of keeping up their tone and preventing a laxity which
has a tendency to bring on emissions.

If you hear a big, strong boy say that he has an emission once a week
and you have only one a month, don’t worry about it. Nature is taking
care of you. It simply means that the big boy secretes more seminal
fluid than you do. This by no means implies that he has more manhood;
it is just a difference in temperament――the same difference as is shown
by a fair-haired boy and a black-haired boy. This stands true only if
both boys are living a correct physical life.

I am not trying to preach to you, boys, but I cannot let this subject
go without warning you about smoking. Now there is nothing wrong or
wicked about smoking――I smoke a lot myself. But there are reasons why
you should not smoke before you have reached complete development.
Smoking does affect the growth and vigor of the sex organs. It does
so through lowering the nervous system. Frequently I have seen boys
whose night emissions were fast pulling them down, and the whole cause
of these losses was smoking. In strong doses tobacco is a powerful
depressant to the sexual activity. It can be given in such doses as
to completely stop all seminal secretion. So don’t forget this fact.
I don’t think many boys would smoke if they knew these facts, but the
trouble is that you have been told that smoking was not nice, that it
injured you, but just HOW it injured you has not been told in plain
language.

Our next Chat will be on self-abuse, its causes, how to stop the habit
and what it means if you do not stop it. We shall also have another
shot at the Quacks.



CHAPTER VI

SELF-ABUSE――HOW TO STOP IT――THE QUACKS


This is a subject, boys, that has been much distorted in its facts and
quite frequently put before you in a wrong light. To try and frighten
you, to prevent you from making mistakes through ignorance, is not
the way to help a worrying boy. If he makes mistakes and falls into
injurious habits through lack of knowledge of a certain subject, give
him that knowledge. But instead of placing knowledge and truths before
you, scarecrows and words to make you fear have been hung for you to
see and hear. It is this fear that has been put into you by those who
have not fully explained the whole matter, which the Quacks use for
extorting money from their victims.

Of course the HABIT of self-abuse means ruin to both brain and body. It
is degrading to your true self, causes a loss of self-respect and makes
a coward of every boy and man.

How can it do otherwise? The mere loss of the bubbling spring of manly
life, the seminal fluid, would bring about this cowardice in a bravely
born boy. Self-abuse is a cowardly way to treat the growing man in
you, and it throws that cowardice right back in your face, makes you a
real, can’t-help-it coward. All this is true of the HABIT. But this one
fact I want to impress upon you――don’t think because you have succumbed
to the desire a few times, that you are lost, going to become insane,
or show upon your features the wrong acts of youthful ignorance.

No, don’t worry yourself ill, don’t become frightened at these
misstatements, at what the advertising doctors say in their lying
circulars and daily papers. All their statements are lies and used to
get your money and ruin your health and happiness.

Little slips now and then before you have reached full knowledge of
what is right should be forgotten, but the HABIT kept up will, of
course, bring you to uselessness and make for failure in life.

Let us see how the practice is usually started. I have told you all
about the irritation which arises from an unclean penis and a secondary
irritation from an unemptied bowel. Also about too warm bed-clothing.
In most boys these irritations call attention to the organ. Then there
is an itching. This the boy seeks to relieve by scratching or handling
his penis. All this sends blood to the organ. The blood enters the
spongy penis and causes an erection. Soon the boy finds a new and
strange sensation and finally performs the act.

What should he do when this strange sensation comes over him? He should
immediately rise from the bed and pulling back the foreskin――if he
is not circumcised――plunge the organ and surrounding parts into cold
water. But you see he has never been told, and so the “first time”
happens.

This is his first attempt at self-abuse. And it is rightly called
self-abuse, for it is an abuse of a boy’s greatest power――manhood,
muscle-force, brain-health.

I know that some of your teachers and parents will object to my telling
you that a few mistakes in boyhood will not ALWAYS ruin you. All the
fakers and Quacks will certainly object, for the truth will drive them
out of business. But I intend giving you the truth in these matters.
It is the only way for you to start right and know how to keep right.
I have no patience with those who would build up a great scare for you
when young to have you find out later that it was only a warning but
not the real facts. I am going to hit out from the shoulder in this
matter; no feints or ducking in going at the truth.

I have seen hundreds of men and youths complete nervous wrecks from
fear that the few times they practiced self-abuse when boys, meant
that they were doomed to go to the asylum or death. And all this misery
and often a missing of good opportunities in life, were due to the fact
that they were told hobgoblin stories which remained with them and rose
to frighten them at the most sensitive age in life――early manhood.

No more of this wrong treatment should be allowed. If these boys of the
past generation had been told how to care for their sex organs, as you
have, more than one-half would never have succumbed even once to the
temptation of self-abuse.

Those of you who have not had proper instruction in the care of the sex
organs and felt the irritation so much that you relieved yourselves,
don’t think about the past; don’t worry, don’t read the scare-books and
the advertisements of the Quacks.

Keep a clean body and a clean mind. But you cannot keep a clean mind
if you allow the accumulation of secretions to remain anywhere in your
system. The mind can be cleaned just as well as the bowels or penis.
You can flush the brain so that nothing but pure thoughts and right
thinking flow through it. This is done by good reading, good desires
and a constant study of yourself and what certain impulses mean. Evil
impulses WILL get into the brain; flush them out. Look ahead, never
backward. No man ever succeeded in life by looking behind himself. Look
forward in all things. Don’t worry and work yourself ill by remembering
the time when you did give way to the desire; just try to think of the
times ahead that you will NOT.

Keep in your mind whatsoever things are upright, just and manly. This
does not mean that you should be a “goody-goody” or a “sissy.” No,
these two specimens of half-boys are detestable to all real men and
women. So are the other kind――the vulgar and vile. Proper thoughts and
clean acts in boyhood all go to make a man of character, of honor,
give you the inward grace of a gentleman which cannot manifest itself
outwardly save in good manners, modesty of bearing and fearlessness.
Let your mind be stored with evil thoughts, indecent pictures made up
in your mind, then act upon all these foul things, and nothing can
bring you to the point of being a man and gentleman. Never.

And the reason is this: The memory is something like photographic
films, like millions of them, some exposed, some unused. Every thought
is registered on your memory films. Every tiny brain cell is a film
ready to take a picture the moment it is exposed to a thought. You can
have a pile of bright, good, inspiring ones so big and thick that they
hide forever those films which have registered evil and wrong thoughts.

Every debasing thought or waking dream of filth leaves its photographic
negative somewhere in your brain. Every thought or mind picture remains
there to come forward again and again, if it is not darkly and deeply
hidden by manly thoughts and ambitious dreams of what you want to do to
make something of yourself and do something for the world.

It is in these facts that the great injury of self-abuse enters. You
cannot commit the vicious act without having in your mind some kind
of nasty and unnatural pictures. You first bring this picture to your
consciousness which accompanies the act.

This picture you may think is only a passing one, but it has left its
negative in your brain. It will stay there to some time reappear,
unless it is packed so far behind natural and manly thoughts that it
cannot possibly throw itself before your consciousness.

From this explanation you can see that if the habit of self-abuse and
all the pictures in your mind which accompany the habit are continued,
your brain cells will soon be occupied by these negatives, and there
will be a constantly decreasing space for right thoughts. Now comes
the time when the youth finds it hard to apply himself to his work
or studies. His mind will wander; he is called stupid, he becomes
discouraged and leaves school or work. Yet, he can, at this period in
his life, be brought back to be a normal youth. He can start right by
knowing that if he will at once put all evil thoughts away he can hide
the brain pictures which have been holding him down.

You should remember it is not so much the PHYSICAL injury self-abuse
does; not the “losing a pound of blood” every time he abuses himself;
it is the brain power he is weakening, the filling of brain cells with
pictures which shut out proper thoughts.

Of course it hurts your growing strength, keeps you weak and finally
affects your whole nervous system, but the youth has wonderful powers
of recovery from PHYSICAL injury, and if he has not kept up the habit,
all this injury may be repaired.

But not so with the brain. We cannot get rid of the negatives there,
but we can keep them suppressed. And how well they may be hidden and
not allowed to shut out good thinking, depends entirely upon the length
and frequency of the practice of self-abuse.

But one thing is certain: if the boy will at once stop the habit, get
away from all those boys and things which bring out these injurious
brain pictures, he can forget the past and look only at the future.

This is the cure and the only cure.

But there are a lot of details which, when understood, help a boy
to do all this. First, never sleep with another person, man or boy.
In a former Chat I told you that to sleep with another person was
unhealthful; that it prevented your skin from breathing fresh air and
that you could absorb the poisons from another’s skin.

Sleeping with another person causes extra warmth under the clothing;
this affects the sex organs――sends blood to them and causes a feeling
of attraction towards these delicate organs. Often this will end in an
emission――an unnatural one, due to the heat, not to an effort to empty
overloaded sacks. Again, many boys will be tempted to talk and play
with each other. These boys may be ignorant and innocent at first, but
in the end it means self-abuse.

Thousands of boys have been started on the habit through sleeping one
with another. One may have been innocent and ignorant, one vicious――no
matter; the result is the same.

Never trust yourself in bed with a boy or man. No matter if you are
so situated that there is only one bed to be had. Sleep on the floor,
anywhere; go without sleeping rather than have that “first time” happen
to you. And it is so easy to avoid all this danger when you know the
facts. The trouble has been that these matters have been withheld from
your knowledge. It was so easy to tell you to be good and then send you
to bed with a vicious boy.

There are things in trousers called men, so vile that they wait in
hiding for the innocent boy. These things are generally well dressed,
well mannered――too well mannered in fact――and pass as gentlemen; but
they are really human skunks hatched from rattlesnakes’ eggs. They hang
around fashionable summer hotels, city boarding houses and hotels where
families live. They fool your mothers and sisters; are always ready to
play the gallant in parlor games, croquet with the girls and often are
much sought after as dancers.

Look out for these vermin, be suspicious of any man in trousers who
avoids real men, who never enters or takes interest in manly sports,
who tries to see you alone and prefers to go in bathing with boys
instead of men. Don’t go to drive or walk with these things, for all
the time they are only waiting to teach boys to help them in self-abuse
or something far nastier.

So never sleep with a man, except your father. If you should be so
situated that you find yourself in bed with a man, keep awake with
your eyes on something you can hit him with. At the slightest word or
act out of the way, HIT him; hit him so hard that he will carry the
scar for life. Don’t be afraid, these skunks are all cowards.

It is to be hoped that you will never come in contact with or know such
beastly men. There are not many of them sneaking around, nevertheless
I feel I should warn you against everything that might be the
commencement of your ruin.

Almost all the deeds and thoughts which go to make up a career of
success or failure, have their beginnings in youth. Youth is the
springtime of life. It is the planting time, the crop you sow is reaped
in the summer and autumn of life.

Just being good amounts to a useless life unless you can be good for
something. You cannot be good for anything unless you are good to
yourself. The time has passed when a youth or man can neglect his body
and brain and, when they are no longer working as they should work, go
to a doctor and have him repair the trouble with medicines. The doctor
of the future and those of the present who understand man and his
powers, study to show you how to keep in the best physical and moral
health. These two conditions cannot be separated; neglect your body
and evil thoughts and weak will are sure to follow. Both come from the
Great Source and both must be equally cared for and respected.

You have been told that it is wonderful to look around and see God’s
work. But this is not exactly the whole truth. It is more wonderful to
study self and recognize the spirit of God IN YOU. And this spirit in
you will always respond to your appeals for help in these matters of
taking care of the body and all that belongs to the body.

Just say to yourself: “I have a lot of dirt in my body; I know now how
to get it out and keep it out. I have some filthy thought germs in my
brain, I will wash them out and keep them out.” Doing this until it
becomes a silent habit, you start as a youth whose foundations are such
that, as a man, you can become what you will.

Boys have been scared to death, or to the point where they think death
would be a relief, by being told that pimples on the face were signs
of self-abuse and the commencement of “Lost Manhood.” Pimples on the
face of a growing boy have no more to do with these conditions than
a corn on the toe. Remember this truth: Self-abuse kept up will, of
course, bring about a dirty complexion, pale face, trembling limbs and
the general appearance of something wrong with the youth. But the
purest-minded and healthiest youth will have pimples on his face for
two or three years.

When the age of puberty arrives, every gland, including the sweat
glands of the face and others, which exude a fatty material, are
pouring out an excess of their secretions, like the sap in young
trees during the springtime. This state naturally leaves a complexion
muddy-looking and helps also to make pimples. But the pimples on the
youth’s face are mainly due to another cause.

When the beard commences to grow, each hair, in trying to push its way
through the tender skin, leaves a hole a little larger than the size of
the hair. Consequently there are around the pushing hair of the beard
little open spaces into which dirt and some of the acid secretions
enter. This sets up a slight inflammation and so, of course, makes
pimples.

Let these pimples alone. All pinching, opening and applications make
them worse. Sometimes a boy becomes so worried and ashamed about
them that he goes to a druggist, who gives him an ointment or wash
which closes up the opening spaces and thereby keeps the dirt and
inflammation hidden for a time. But this is an injurious thing to do;
for soon the inflammation increases downwards in the skin and unless
at once relieved the boy will have one form of a real skin disease,
which, even when treated by a doctor, is liable to leave scars on
the face; deep pits which resemble those of smallpox. If you are
foolish enough to smoke cigarettes when growing, your pimples will
be irritated, and then, of course, enlarged and more difficult for
Nature――the only genuine doctor――to bring about a good complexion.

As a general rule, the stronger the man you are to be, the more
numerous the pimples will be on your face and body. This is because a
full and heavy beard generally belongs to the strong man. So if you
have more hairs pushing through your skin than a less-powerful youth,
you will have more pimples. Temperament, that is, your racial traits,
color of hair and family complexion, all these kinds of things, of
course, make a difference in the way your beard grows and the quality
of it; but the principles are all the same for every growing youth.

Frequently boys are frightened almost to helplessness because some
of these pimples appear upon the parts surrounding the sex organs.
These pimples are generally from the same cause; most often due to the
curling of the young hairs which re-enter the skin near the point where
they come out.

In all these matters you only need to keep your face and other hairy
parts clean by simple washing with soap and water. Use only a plain,
pure soap――castile soap is excellent for this purpose. Don’t use
highly-scented soaps. Many of these are poisonous to such conditions,
as I have explained.

When you feel that it is about time to commence shaving, do it
yourself――DON’T “let a barber do it.” It is an easy matter to learn to
handle a razor, and now the safety razors make it inexcusable to go to
a barber. Then think of the nastiness involved in having a stranger’s
hands running all over your sensitive skin! Would you let any other
kind of brush which had been used upon a thousand of all sorts of human
skins, be smeared over yours? Then the soaps, towels, all the things
the barber uses! Ugh, if you had seen all the diseases I have seen on
men’s faces, you would allow no hands but your own to touch your face.
You know where your hands have been; do you know where the barber’s
were a half-hour before he shaved you?

True, all first-class barbers try to have everything they come in
contact with kept clean and sterilized, but we cannot get away from
the fact that the razor, brush, soap and hand of your own are far,
far preferable to use on your tender face. Then traveling, if you do
not shave yourself, you are liable to be obliged to enter some barber
shop from which you come out diseased; perhaps diseased for life. And
if you do not know all about these diseases they will get such a hold
upon your system that your career is ended. There are many other good
reasons why you should shave yourself; one will come to your mind――the
fact that you save valuable time and can start out in the morning
looking clean and neat, as every gentleman should and does.

In traveling and other conditions which keep you away from your own
toilets, especially in the public schools, the seats of the closets
are often found to be covered with a form of lice――“crabs” they are
vulgarly called. When these get on to you they cause a terrible
itching. They will become so irritating that you cannot keep still.
Many a boy has been sent home from school because he could not keep
still or refrain from scratching himself. This form of scratching has
often been thought by his teacher to mean evil thoughts or habits.

Poor fellows, how many of you have been unjustly accused!

If you will examine yourself closely, you will find the tiny lice.
Little bits of things looking like a black pin-point. The best thing
under these circumstances is to go to the doctor. He will give you an
ointment to apply which will soon kill them. So don’t let some older
boy, through fun and the love of scaring you, or perhaps through his
own ignorance, frighten you. Some boys and shameful men will tell you
that the itching is a sure sign of self-abuse, or that you have a bad
disease which will soon rot your whole body. And as many boys have once
or more done things of which they are ashamed――always a good sign is
this shame――these mean tales do much injury. There is nothing in it,
boys; just “crabs.”

It is every strange, little symptom which comes to the developing youth
that is seized upon by the Quacks to exaggerate in their advertisements
and try to make you believe that physical or mental ruin is right ahead
of you――unless you buy their drugs. Here is one way they work upon the
youth’s ignorance and fears.

You are just an ordinary boy; full of fun, play and no better nor
worse than the rest of us. One day you receive a circular or booklet
through the mail. There is no printing on the envelope. Just one of the
catalogues or circulars you sent for, as you wanted to see the prices
of bats and mitts for next season’s games.

So thinks your mother also. And your father? Well, he is too busy
making money for you all to really know what his son needs and wants in
the way of confidential talks. But you will know when you have a boy――I
am sure of this.

But let us get back to the circular. You open it and at the first
glance of the heading, down it goes deep into your pocket while you
sneak off to read it.

I say sneak off, because that is about what you do. Then you read in
the circular what your awful doom is to be. As you read on you tremble,
and there comes over you the feeling that every bit of real life is
leaving you. Once again you read those cursed lies and then commences
the habit of looking in the mirror when no one is around, to notice
your pale face and those tell-tale pimples. You feel your pulse, which
is, of course, now going at a rapid rate, and get into exactly that
fright the fakers knew you would get into and so send them money for
their “cure” of “Lost Manhood.”

If I could have my way, I would send to prison for life every criminal
who advertised or sold stuff for “Lost Manhood Restored.” These
vampires are criminals, soul-murderers and body-destroyers, and just as
guilty as though they stuck a knife into every youth and boy.

Then you read in the circular about the awful effects and signs of
“Seminal Losses at Night,” and know for certain that they are fast
telling on your face. “Surely,” you say to yourself, “I must show how
rapidly I am failing, for someone has noticed it and sent to these
doctors to have them tell me what to do. Oh! what shall I do; can I
ever be cured?”

Poor, scared and suffering boy! Why have father, mother and teacher
left you to be the prey of these criminals? Ask them!

No, these blood-suckers did not get your name from anyone who knew
you; that is, in the way you think. This is the way the names of boys
and youths are procured: All through the land, especially in the
weekly papers which circulate in the country towns, are to be found
advertisements saying that if you will send your name――“only send
your name; no money is wanted” is the general way they put it――you
will receive the catalogue of the goods these advertisers have to
sell. Sometimes it is some form of puzzle you are to solve and get a
prize――“Just send us your name,” that is the trick. Others will offer
you “A gold watch, 18-carat,” if you send a list of your young friends
who would like to earn a little money selling soap, or canvassing for
books or journals.

Rarely it is a fake sporting-goods house which advertises to send
catalogues if you will send a list of names. But you all know the real
ones; these are honest, absolutely straight houses. When you send these
reputable houses your names they are safe from being bought by these
quacks and criminals.

All these advertisers want is to obtain the name of every boy and girl
between fourteen and eighteen years of age, so as to mail them their
circulars. Some of these advertisers are the firms selling the “Lost
Manhood” fakes and other nasty fakes; some are in the disreputable
business only to get the names and sell them to the blood-suckers, and
once they get your name, they will follow you up to the last minute of
your youth; then, if you have been easily bled, they will follow you up
into your married life.

They work the Sunday School teachers by offering to send samples of
mottoes or some other tempting bait to catch the unwary young woman who
has a class of boys――yes, and girls. All they want is the name of each
scholar for some contest――the winning class to get a prize; or else it
is to introduce some new line of CHURCH work――and to introduce it in
their city, samples will be sent free to each pupil.

In the high schools, they have their own agents――pupils――who send
a list of names and with these names other information that these
scorpions want. Of course, many of these pupil-agents do not really
know just all the evil they are doing, but I think they are generally
those of bad and injurious habits.

So when you receive one of these circulars just tear the vile thing up
and say to yourself: “Nixy for me, I don’t bite at such bait――I’m no
sucker.”

I am pleased to say that all these nefarious schemes I have investigated
are run by foreigners; not one I know of is controlled by a genuine
American or Britisher.

“But,” you say, “some of these fakers and quacks must be honest. There
must be something in what they say in print, because they offer your
money back if you are not cured. They give you a written guarantee and
refer you to a bank.”

True, and you will find that the guarantee is legally correct and
binding. But――

This is the way they trap you: In the guarantee they promise to return
your money――and sometimes more as a bait――IF YOU GIVE REASONABLE PROOF
THAT YOU WERE A VICTIM OF INJURIOUS HABITS BEFORE TREATMENT, AND THAT
THE TREATMENT HAS NOT CURED YOU.

When you demand your money back they will send you a blank to fill out
and return. They inform you that when this blank is properly filled out
they will at once return the money. I presume they will, but I have
never heard of such a case and I have investigated hundreds of these
schemes.

The blank you are asked to fill out is such that no victim will return
it. It requires you to get the signatures of your minister, one of the
principal business men in your town and your father or next of kin,
certifying that you had the habit before taking treatment and that you
have it now. Then this must be taken before a notary and witnessed――the
blood-suckers!

If you have any reason to think that you may be in danger of falling
into the habit of self-abuse, do this: Every time the temptation comes
to you go at once and bathe your sex organs in cold water. If it is in
one of those half-waking conditions in the morning, WAKE UP. Go at once
and plunge the parts in cold water. Take a cold shower, if possible;
if not, have a big sponge always ready and let the cold water run down
your back and all over the sex organs――testicles and penis. If the
temptation comes at night before you have gone to sleep, get out of bed
_at once_, no matter how cold it is, the colder the better, and apply
the icy water.

Take cold? Not a bit of it. These are old women’s tales; what all boys
need are the true facts of life from men. You want to be stopped from
being cuddled up in warm blankets and told not to get out of bed, and
all that nonsense.

While you are breaking up any impulses to do that which you know is
injurious, is the time for developing the will. This can be done by
all boys and bring you to a state of self-control that has been sadly
lacking in the past generation.

If you want big muscles, those always under your control and acting
when and how you want them to, you exercise them regularly. Those which
have the least development and are not under ready command, you pay
much attention to strengthening and bringing under control. By this way
you soon get them under _full_ control. The will can be made to do as
you desire, by the same method. When the temptation comes, and as you
are pouring over the cold water, just say: “Will, do as I want――Take
my mind off these subjects. Will, drive out that dirty picture――That’s
the way, now, once more.” If the thoughts still linger and try to throw
down the struggling will, stay up reading some interesting book. Some
exciting book that you really like, something about pirates, Indians,
detective stories or travelers’ tales. I think it is a good thing to
have always on hand a book you want to read. Keep such a book for
emergencies, just as a soldier carries bandages for emergencies. When
a thought or impulse comes to you that may carry you to wrongful
acts, jump out of bed and get the book and read, even if you stay up
all night. This helps to strengthen the will and takes you safely over
the danger point. You may call such a book: “The First Aid to the
UNinjured.”

By these many little methods you gradually develop the will to act your
way. You do more, you strengthen it, make it a BIG power for you to
move and direct and finally DO BIG THINGS. The will certainly can be
brought to a high development, and what a magnificent sight is the man
with big muscles, big brain and controlled will force.

Of course you cannot do all this at once. Do not be discouraged if
you fail time after time. Stick at it. Every EFFORT means an increase
of power. It is like the gradual development of the muscles, as I
have said. You all know the story of the man who commenced to carry
a calf and lifted it every day until it had grown to be a cow. Then
he could lift and carry off the cow. Do you suppose he could at first
have lifted a cow? Of course not. Neither can you carry off the first
attempt of your will to get the better of you. But by keeping at it and
doing a little every day, in time you can get a strangle-hold on it.
When you get this hold call to it to get up and OBEY. It will do your
bidding.

You need no drugs, medicines or “electric belts” to get you to full
manhood. Just the power in you well brought out is the way to complete
physical and mental development. And again, don’t get discouraged. Man
never succeeded in anything by remembering past failures. It is just
this constant fighting discouragement and mistakes that shows where the
faults lie, and knowing these faults, we can in the next attempt avoid
some of them, finally all of them.

I have mentioned “electric belts.” These are another great fake, a
monstrous fake, and if the people were not ignorant of the facts I have
been telling you, such frauds could not live a day. You have all seen
those pictures in the papers of the big, strong-looking man to whose
arm clings a smiling young woman. Then there is the companion picture,
the picture of the “down and out” man looking as if he had one foot in
the grave and one hand reaching out to the insane asylum. Of course the
advertisement tells you that this is the way he looked before he used
the “electric belt.” If it were not for the curse of these pictures and
the great injury they do to the ignorant people, these advertisements
of “electric belts” would seem roaringly funny to the doctor. The fact
is that all the statements in these advertisements and similar ones are
nothing but bare-faced lies――every one of them.

Again you say, “I know a man who was cured by one of these ‘electric
belts.’” Or a youth will state that he wore one for three months and
was made into a well man again.

Both these statements are probably true, and will be given in writing
to the advertisers who challenge the world to dispute the facts.

But how, then, if these advertisements are frauds? Let us take a part
of the advertisements and discover:

After telling you that “Weaknesses, Nervousness,” and all that kind
of advertising rottenness, will be removed by wearing the belt, this
advice follows: I quote word for word――“No drugs to be taken, NO
CONDITIONS IMPOSED EXCEPT THAT DISSIPATION MUST CEASE.”

Now you see the nigger in the woodpile――“DISSIPATION MUST CEASE.” In
other words, stop your evil habits, the ones which have caused a little
or great weakness, and you will be cured.

Is this any different from what I have told you? Not at all, only I
say _don’t use_ the fake “electric belt,” and you will be far better
off. Using these belts or any kind of appliances, is worse than useless
because they give you a false idea of what really cures you, and you
may be foolish at some later period in your life――but not if you have
developed the will――and resume your injurious habits, thinking all you
need to be well again is to resort to the “belts.” You might just as
well tie a piece of lead pipe between your legs.

Some boys have been told they should wear suspensory bandages all the
time they are growing. No; if Nature intended the testicles should have
greater support, she would have given this support.

There are times in athletic sports, such as wrestling, jumping,
hurdling, pole jumping, when it may be advisable, in order to save
the organs from shock or strain, to wear a “jock strap” or suspensory
bandage. But if you have taken decent care of yourself, the muscles
which suspend the bag should be strong and elastic enough to protect
the testicles in it. Cold water, again, is the best and only way by
which these muscles should be developed.

Frequently the boy imagines he has varicose veins of the testicles――that
is, another scare has been thrown into him by the advertisements of
quacks――and such a lad will worry himself to a state of uselessness. He
is constantly feeling the worm-like cords and attachments inside the
bag. He is sure now that it is all over with him, he can play no more
ball, but must sit quietly and await the awful operation, or else he
goes to some drug store for a suspensory bandage. If not warned and
cared for in time, he gets into the talons of the Quacks who bleed him
for all he can beg or get otherwise, and when he can give them no more
money he is cast off hopeless, and we find him in the hospital clinic a
trembling, wasted youth. And there was nothing the matter with him
except a big scare.

Such a fright lowers the whole tone of a boy, moral as well as
physical. His muscles become weak and flabby. Now it is a scientific
fact that whatever part of the body your mind dwells upon will show the
effect, evil or good, according to the kind of thoughts. Such a boy as
we have described, has his mind fixed upon those worm-like cords in his
bag. Now the muscles relax, then he feels those “worms” so big that the
fright increases to almost a mania.

And all this suffering of thousands of lads just because parents and
teachers have been criminally silent! But, boys, as I told you, it is
not fair to put all the blame upon our parents. In their days they were
not allowed to read such books as you are now _directed_ to read; and
such Chats as I am giving you――well, I should be elsewhere than here,
had I lived in those days.

Never worry about those “varicose veins.” You can _all_ feel worm-like
cords if you try. Especially if you wait until some warm day or after
some great fatigue when the tiny muscles of the testicles are relaxed.

That’s all there is to the whole matter, but if you _do_ worry about
these and the other matters, the fakers “will get your goat,” and when
that has left your side, like the horse, you lose your race.

Perhaps many of you do not know what I mean. Well, let us close this
Chat by explaining:

It is the custom among racing stables in England to have some little
pet kept in the box stalls with the horses. These highly-bred horses
are very sensitive and timid. They have been accustomed to always have
around them and in their stalls, when sleeping, boys and pets. Fox
terriers and other small dogs of a sporty nature are generally found
sleeping with the horses, sometimes on the horses’ backs, or if it is
cold, between their legs. Take away for a night one of these pets and
the sensitive horses will not sleep, lose their appetite and generally
get out of form.

Now a few years ago there was a famous horse being made ready to win
one of England’s big races. He had for a box-stall companion a billy
goat. The goat and horse had been together since both were youngsters.
It was well known that the horse was uncontrollable, would neither eat
nor sleep, if the goat was away from the stall. So some mean man who
wanted the horse to lose the race, made the stable boy drunk and then
took away the goat.

All night that poor horse stamped and whinnied for his goat. In
the morning he was a nervous wreck and would not touch his food.
Nevertheless, he was sent to the race and, of course, lost it because
he had “lost his goat.” Another fellow “had his goat.”

So you see what I meant by using this slang of the day. The fakers
first get your goat――your WILL and COURAGE――then you are bound to lose
the race of Life.

Keep your goat by and in you always.



CHAPTER VII

YOUR VOCATION AND HOW TO FIT YOURSELF FOR IT


You will now see that a perfectly-balanced and well-cared-for body is
necessary to produce a clear-thinking brain; that it is impossible to
bring out the best in you unless you have the best of tools with which
to work. No machinist would think of trying to do good work with dull,
rusty or weak tools, and the most valuable tools of all are those which
we are endowed with――hands and brains.

The boys in the past――many of the UNsuccessful men of to-day, though
not by any means through their own fault――were brought up under a false
idea of democracy. Matters were not as well understood as they are now,
and the progress made all goes to benefit the boys of to-day. There is
a fairly good reason why we have had so many dissatisfied youths in the
past who are the failures to-day. It is because these men as youths
were never fitted for the work in the world they could best do.

The error was in the false idea of the teachers that all boys’ brains
were made of the same workable stuff, and all that was necessary was
to give to each and every boy the same teaching and then turn him loose
to try to make a happy career.

Of course in many, too many cases, there was nothing the boy could find
to do that meant anything to him. He could hang around corners, smoke
cigarettes and hear stories and words of injury to any healthy youth.
He could find some job in a store or perhaps office work, but fitted
for real work and happiness in that work, he never was. Such a boy had
really wasted valuable time in school, and it was not strange that
when he left school he had no sense of the value of time. And such a
boy often left school with an idea that he was not as bright as some
other boys; this was the commencement of a state of discouragement all
through his life――the reason he felt himself a failure.

Yet all these unfortunate lads were the equal of those who had
graduated with high honors in Latin or history, only the things they
could do best had never been given them to do.

If a boy disliked Latin or history and could not come up to the
teacher’s idea of the interest he should have in these studies, he was
too often considered lazy or stupid. If that boy was interested in
mechanical drawing and happy in such work, no matter, he MUST do his
Latin, and disliking it, he, of course, neglected it.

This line of treatment went on throughout the boy’s school-life if he
attended a public school, and generally he left disgusted and untrained
for anything. Then he found there was really no place for him in the
world, nothing but some small clerkships or other uncongenial work,
and being continually dissatisfied, of course, never made a success in
anything――just a living. As he grew older such a youth soon dropped
into habits of drinking, or worse habits, worked like a machine day in
and day out, not much caring how things went, so long as he received
his weekly pay envelope.

The thousands of men of this kind with whom I have talked, were
discouraged from the start. As boys they were always blamed for being
useless, when, in fact no efforts had ever been made to make them
useful.

With you boys of the present day all this is to be different. Every one
of you can now find education and training in what you are fitted to
do. Ideas are rapidly changing, as are methods. You are aware by this
time that vocational schools are being rapidly established, and I hope
to soon see the day when all academic high schools are retained only
for those who are going to college and from there to the professional
schools. Of course you should all go to a high school, but to a high
school where the foundation for some practical vocation, trade or
business career is thoroughly taught.

I am frequently asked by young men, “Do you advise me to go to
college?” The answer is easily understood when I say: “Never be SENT
to college.” Here is where much of the harm has been done――the boy has
been sent to college when in reality he WANTED, or needed, to go to
some institution where his particular talents could be trained. For we
each and every one are born with SOME particular talent, something in
us which makes us able to do a certain thing better than the other man.
If we were all equal in the matters of thinking and doing,――that is, if
we all did the same thing,――how far would the world progress?

So this brings us down to the question, what is the basis for success?
What is it the boy needs to progress every day in the trade or vocation
he has chosen?

I have already told you, but purposely repeat it, NO BOY OR MAN CAN BE
A SUCCESS UNLESS HIS HEART AND COMPLETE INTEREST ARE IN HIS WORK. The
most difficult part of the problem is at the beginning. Your father or
mother wants you to be a lawyer or minister, your teacher says you
have great talent for a medical career, but you do not care for any
one of these professions. You find it hard to really know just what
to do, and I sympathize with you all. I think that those who see you
from the outside, who look upon you just as a real boy and have no such
relations to you as parents or teachers, are in fact the best judge of
what you are capable of being fitted for in a life’s career. Go and
advise with some successful man who knows you in your play and daily
life, but do not take his advice if it is something HE likes and you
detest. You will soon have to be your own master, and now is a good
time to commence. But fit yourself for something, you MUST. Notice how
everything around you is fitted by nature and then trained by man, to
do its work. The bulldog is not taken out in the field to nose for
game; the draft horse is not taken to the trotting track; the canary
bird is not trained to catch eagles. No, each and every kind has its
special work to do in making the world go around, and each of us has to
be trained according to our talents. Just because we all have two legs
and arms does not indicate that we are all the same――just human beings
all turned out from the same mold. Arms are made for one man to use
them in a certain line of work that another man cannot, with success,
use his. And so on.

Every man who has trained his particular talents to their highest point
and then strives to widen them, is an aristocrat――a prince, whether he
is a brick-layer or lawyer. He only sinks to the level of a commoner
who has neglected that working stuff which is in him. And he does not
neglect this if he is happy in his work, or rather, if it is pleasure
instead of work.

This does not mean that all the preparatory work will be congenial
or without real labor. No, much of the work that you have to do
preliminary to that which is to bring you success, will be HARD
work――plugging work, full of disagreeable details, but all necessary to
build the foundations.

The dirty, muddy work involved in digging for the foundation of some
building that will be a pride to its architect, is disagreeable, but
the architect must see that this work is properly done; must get right
into the mud and dirt himself to know that every detail he has worked
out is being rigidly followed. If the designer of the useful and
beautiful building did not have constantly in his mind the results of
all this digging, he would be a failure, he would never be a designer
and builder of magnificent works for the future generations to admire.

It is just so with everything you start out to do. Start out with a
high purpose and the common-sense idea that you HAVE to learn all the
details first――to do the digging before that purpose can be fully
carried out.

Concentration, constant concentration upon your goal is the only
rule to follow. Like football, you move toward the goal by punting,
touchdowns, and penalties which put you back, but you have ever one end
in view――to reach the goal. A willingness to take all the hard knocks
and throw-downs with the mind’s eye fixed on the goal, is the kind of
stuff which wins out.

Never be a quitter.

Concentration is absolutely necessary to get the power out of you and
force it to do its work. As someone has said, if you will concentrate
the rays of the sun by the means of a magnifying glass you can burn a
hole in almost anything. If you focus all your forces on one thing you
can do wonders.

Don’t be a scatterer.

You do not all want to be mere office clerks, bundle wrappers, or what
is far worse for your future, mere political petitioners hanging on
to your job by petty and ofttimes crooked work. No, be something, do
something that means a future for you.

“But,” you say, “how do I really know what I want to do, how can I
find out for myself what my future SHOULD be? You say not to always
follow the advice of successful men if such advice does not agree with
my ideas of what I should like to do.”

Yes, here is a difficulty. Let us see if we cannot solve it.

Don’t make the mistake so many thousands of boys have made in the past,
of confusing what you would LIKE to BE with what you are CAPABLE of
DOING. Here is where so much of the trouble has arisen. You have in
your mind, as an example, the success a young man is making in writing
for the magazines and papers. You remember him when he was a youth and
you were a small boy.

His success has stimulated you, and you think that you will be a
writer or reporter. Now the ambition is all very well, you have made
up your mind what you WANT to be, but, and here comes the problem: Are
you fitted by nature, temperament and TALENT for such work? This is a
matter you must solve for yourself, at least at first.

If you have done any writing at school, been connected with the
school’s paper, or in any way found more pleasure in writing than you
have in mathematics, more fun in reading than in loafing, real pleasure
in putting together words and sentences so that they really sing to
you, then you probably have the talent for the hardest vocation or
profession in the world――journalism or literature.

If all this is well proven to you――if you feel that you MUST
write――then all the hard work at first will be willingly accepted.
If the drudgery, petty details of learning the art of writing, is
disagreeable, then it shows that while you have perhaps a desire to see
your work in print you really have not the inborn talent.

Now we come again to that question, “Shall I go to college?” If you are
going to make a strenuous attempt to become a writer, the answer is
yes, by all means. Even if after leaving college, and after a year’s
trial at newspaper work, you find the petty details disagreeable and
determine to drop the work, the college experience will be valuable to
you, for your tastes show that in some line of intellectual work, you
will be a success. And you will finally drop into just the vocation you
are intended for, and finally make good.

If the inclinations of your tastes are towards mechanics, or electrical
engineering, if every bit of your studies at the high school where
language, literature or logic was a disagreeable task――if you fairly
hated such studies――don’t think of going to a classical college. In
such a case what you need is a technical education. If you have the
mechanical or scientific mind a course at a technical school puts you
at once in the position to DO.

In art, music, literature, however, the situation is somewhat
different. Take the case of one who desires to be a writer, and the
facts are the same for the other arts. A college education will not
make a writer out of anyone. Most men could spend their whole lives
studying HOW to write, but in the end never be ABLE to write. In other
words, a college education simply gives you the tools for writing and
shows you how to use these tools. The tools for writing are such lines
of reading, thinking and verbal construction as education gives you.
Teaching you how to think clearly, calmly and justly, is what the
college does for you. But if you have no original thinking powers, of
what use are all these tools to you? You may have exceptional brain
power, thinking qualities, but not along those lines necessary to make
a successful writer, and so you are at a loss to know how to apply the
tools given you. If you still struggle along in this false position you
soon sink to the hack writer, the mind becomes clouded by failures and
then comes the “down and out” state too often seen in those who have
made the mistake of trying to be what they could never be.

Let us take another case as an example of what I mean. You really have
talent for wood carving and finally decide that you will take up this
vocation――an admirable one. You thoroughly understand that in order to
become a good wood-carver you must first learn to use the tools, to
know how to take care of them. After this you must learn all about the
different kinds of woods, how they are prepared and what effects the
weather and climate have upon them. When you have been through all this
preliminary work, there must come a study of designs and the history of
your vocation or art. This is YOUR college education in preparation for
good work and the success good work brings. You have been taught the
use of every detail which goes to make up a good foundation for your
career. You know HOW to use the tools and everything else is now up to
you to make good. If your heart is in the work you will surely win out.

You will be apt to hear a lot about the cultural advantages of a
college education; that it is never amiss in any calling. But right
here comes a fact generally overlooked――you can receive a cultural
education along any line you take up, and the better you apply yourself
to your vocation, the better will your culture be.

In wood carving, for instance, there is much along the lines of art,
painting and sculpture to be learned. Such progressive work may lead
you to become a famous sculptor or decorator of the highest order. If
you have wasted your time along the cultural lines needed for a writer
or doctor, learned how to use their tools, but do not possess their
mental equipment, failure is certain. The failures come from mental
dissatisfaction.

Get out of your minds the idea that there are only three or four
professions which bring position and respect. This is a great mistake
and is the cause for many poor doctors, the hordes of unscrupulous
lawyers and weak-kneed ministers.

Many of these failures would have been successful as carpenters,
machinists, draughtsmen or contractors. But they all wanted to go or
were pushed into holes they could not fit.

Remember the old saying, “A round peg will not fit into a square hole.”

A trained machinist, one who takes delight in his trade, can rise far
higher in worldly goods and the respect of his fellow-men than ever can
a half-contented doctor. It is the same with an electrician, bridge
worker, house painter, any and all trades where the man has learned
to use his brain-tools and keeps sharpening them on the grindstone of
pleasure.

Don’t go into law or medicine unless you go into these professions
for the love of the work. You may not know it, but the income of
the average doctor or lawyer is not that of even the paper-hanger or
bricklayer. If you are determined to be a doctor for the love of the
profession and the great good you can do――and most of you will have
to do it free for the needy and poor――then you will be happy and also
probably poor.

In law, medicine, or the ministry, a college education is absolutely
necessary, both cultural and preparatory. If a doctor, you must spend
four years at the medical college, a year or two in the hospitals, then
finish by visiting the clinics of Europe. By the time you are thirty
years of age you are _fitted_ to step into line with the best doctors.

And unless you can do all this――and it takes a lot of money――KEEP OUT.
The days are passing when the boy can go from the high school to some
cheap commercial medical college and take any kind of a stand among the
educated doctors and the now enlightened communities. There is plenty
of room in the world for the kind of a doctor I have first described,
but absolutely no places waiting for the latter kind. These are not
doctors, just medical warts, the sort of quacks we had a shot at in our
last Chat.

The boy who has business talents and tastes will, of course, be
far better able to rise and command positions if he possesses an
education. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that a college
education, just because it is a college education, will make a business
man of you from the start. Of two boys having equal business talents
the one whose mind has been trained to think and who has mixed with all
sorts of fellows at college, will probably have advantages for getting
along that the non-college boy does not possess. But unless your father
or someone back of you has money to spare, I believe that the average
boy with commercial instincts does better in the end by getting into
business early in life. He gets a better fitting for his career.

Now I think you can readily understand the first rule for becoming a
successful man. Find out what your talents are, then fit yourself so
that you can utilize all these talents. There are schools now being
established where every boy can have this done. But he must work with
pleasure. If you find you have made a mistake in your choice――and
you will know this by being constantly dissatisfied――get out and try
something else. Keep trying until you find some vocation or trade which
you go at with increased pleasure every day. When this state of mind
has arrived you have found yourself.



CHAPTER VIII

ENVIRONMENTS AND DISEASES WHICH RUST BRAIN-TOOLS


We now reach the most important details concerning the keeping of the
brain in activity and vigor. Having brought you to an understanding of
the body, how to take care of it, of all that belongs at the start to
make up a successful man, we must put ourselves in a position to know
how to live and act so that throughout adult life and up to the age of
many years, but not old age, we can get out of us all that is possible.

I speak of living many years, but not getting old. I mean exactly what
I say. There is no reason why a man should be old at sixty, no, not at
seventy. I do not imply that a man should be able to do the same amount
of physical work at seventy that he can at thirty, but I do mean to
say that all his mental forces should be under his control at seventy
years of age, although he will naturally have to use them with care. A
man who has not injured his brain forces should retain them up to the
last moment of his life, but as he has not the repairing powers of the
younger man, he should be careful of the strain put upon them.

In this latter fact lies the only difference.

Having started well in your vocation, trade or profession, with your
fine brain-tools edged to their best, you may now proceed to success or
gradual failure. For, of course, just having the training and education
does not mean that everything else comes along your way. Not a bit
of it. In fact, you will find at first that the care of the working
instruments you now have will take a good lot of self-control and the
formation of certain necessary habits.

It all depends upon how you keep your brain-tools what your future
will be. Whether you neglect them once in a while so that they have to
be sharpened again, whether you leave them to rust and finally become
useless, whether you lay them aside in good condition and take them up
again in perfect order, all these matters go for success or failure. If
it is only occasionally you neglect the brain-tools, you must remember
that each new act of resharpening them leaves a less keen edge. Resting
your brain, taking time to recuperate tired cells and enjoying some
kind of sport or pleasure that is a benefit instead of an injury to
your thoughts, is necessary for every man.

These brain-tools I have been speaking of are your powers of thinking
correctly, creating, doing, and the absolute integrity which must be
retained between the impulses of the mind and the hands which respond
to these impulses. The engineer, the auto driver, the mechanic, the
draughtsman, the airman, the man who works in perilous heights while
constructing tall buildings or bridges, must have perfect harmony
throughout all his body――brain, muscles, eyes, ears. Let any one of
these senses become unconsciously dull through neglect of right living,
and the awful moment comes when an engineer sends a train to wreck with
its innocent passengers, a tender pulls a lever a tenth of a second too
soon and lets down the derrick’s load upon his fellow workers, or a
chauffeur misses the turn by a few inches and sends the auto crashing
over a precipice.

It is because these little matters of keeping the brain in its best
condition by attending to details of living have not been thoroughly
understood, that we have so many unaccountable accidents occurring
every day. The knowledge of man’s forces and how they are controlled
has not kept pace with his wonderful mechanical and electrical
discoveries, so we have gone along with brain, instincts and training
well enough for handling the plow and side-wheel steamboat, but not for
the safe control of the delicate and powerful machines of to-day.

For example: a young man who runs an auto goes one night to a dance
where he breathes foul air, smokes and drinks a little beer. He returns
late to his bed and rises early in the morning to take out the auto
for a speedy spin. He knew the day before that he was to go with a
party of children and women for an early drive. But what he did not
know was that the foul air, tobacco and beer would surely make for less
correct connection between his brain impulses and the response from his
muscles, hands and arms.

Now all this little night’s pleasure, while harmless enough perhaps in
its way and certainly harmless for a man who was to drive a hack the
next morning, was injurious for one who needed every tenth of action
between brain and hand under absolute control. There is coming a time
when all these matters will be taught as well as the combustion parts
of an engine.

In these details I am not referring to dissipation as it is generally
considered. We accept without argument the injury such habits do――the
certain ruin which follows drink and all that goes with that state. We
take this auto driver whom we are using for an example, as a temperate
man. And justly considered he is one, but nevertheless he has by this
apparently harmless pleasure of one night, gone to work the next day
with the fine edge off his brain-tools. When the time comes for the
most accurate judgment and an immediate response of hands to avoid the
danger the brain sees, there is a part of a second in delay, and then
the awful accident happens.

How did it happen? Those left alive cannot understand. The right thing
was done at the right moment, so all think. The driver was a careful
young man, of good habits, temperate, “never known to have been under
the influence of drink, and always trustworthy.”

To-day is the day of the brain worker, and the man who lets the edge
of his brain become dulled is a danger to himself and whatever he
controls. And it is these little things which dull the brain; matters
of such little importance in a man’s outward life that no one would
suspect the direful results.

You can no longer do as your fathers used to do; we are living in a
distinctly different age; we are daily dealing with powerful forces
undreamed of in the past generation, and we must make ourselves ever
ready to handle these forces.

There has been such a tremendous move in mechanical devices the last
twenty years that this necessity of adapting our methods of living so
as to safely accomplish the things our brains are called upon to do,
has not been fully appreciated. Take the case of an engineer who has
been on duty for twenty-four hours. The old idea was that he simply
became tired, that if he could keep his eyes open, everything would
go all right. Now I have told you that fatigue produces a poison in
the body; so here we see that when an engineer meets with an accident
it was not due to merely being tired, but because his brain was being
saturated with poisons, and when the moment came to act there could not
be the ready response of hands or arms to avoid the accident.

But one class of men and women have known the absolute necessity
of keeping the brain clear of poison. This class belongs to the
professional circus people――trapeze performers, animal trainers,
riders. These individuals live an ideally moral life. Not that they
are any better than the rest of us, but because they know they have
so to live in order to do their work. It is a very old profession,
perhaps the oldest in the world, and experience, tradition, training
and marrying into their own class――a very important factor――has brought
about their unconscious acceptance of the physically pure life.

Undoubtedly after a generation or two in the use of our wonderful
mechanical and electrical aids for easier living, we shall all be
brought to the same method of grading our habits. Those who have not
the mental vision to see this necessity will cease to enjoy the
world’s improvements. They will all become victims of their own
stupidity or foolishness.

Not only does all this danger in dulling our brain-tools apply to the
engineer, electrician, airman, auto driver and the hundreds of other
active callings, but it applies also to the writer, painter, musician.

In these latter professions the danger is to the individual, but the
result is the same――ruin in the end. The writer loses his force, his
biting words; the painter shows a lack of his former color-tone, the
musician finds that his latest work is severely criticised.

All these conditions may occur and yet the creator of brain output
still remain an average man, not noticeably dissipated. In fact, he may
live a strictly moral life, yet show in his prime a deterioration which
neither he nor his friends can explain.

This fact brings us to the point of explaining the little and big
factors which produce these causes of failure.

It is some little break in the connection between brain-cells that
brings about the inability to think and act without effort. When a
task is difficult to perform that is usually accomplished without
difficulty, you may know that there is a temporary interruption
somewhere in the tiny fibers and cells of the brain. Something has
disturbed their normal action. It is either fatigue poison, the
poisons from overfeeding or underfeeding, effects of alcohol, tobacco,
or the foul air you have taken into your system. Look into the matter
and see what is the cause. It is the state brought about by some of
these poisons which is at the bottom of all these lapses of full
control of self and powers. The most frequent cause for this condition
is due to two factors――external surroundings and mental absorption of
injurious suggestions and sights.

The external surroundings are most frequently those of which the
individual is not fully cognizant. That is, they are constantly at work
doing their little injury day by day until they have finally made an
impression upon the activity of the brain――dulled its keenness.

First of all these is the breathing of unfresh air. Not the noticeably
bad air found in tenements, many shops and factories, but the air
into which are thrown the emanations of thousands of all kinds
and conditions of human bodies. No matter how well ventilated,
theoretically, a big department store may be, the air one breathes
in it is certain to contain poisons from well and diseased bodies.
In most department and other large stores much attention is paid to
ventilation, the best possible methods are used. But these stores
cannot regulate the personal hygiene of those thousands who enter.

The man who is in the habit of daily and nightly taking into his system
nothing but fresh air cannot remain a half hour amid the surroundings
of a crowded store without having a headache and a general feeling of
sluggishness. Always having his brain free of poisonous substances, he
rapidly becomes affected with the smallest amount. Living amid such
atmospheric surroundings keeps the man and woman from doing their
best. It is the same with the thousands of men who work in shops among
hundreds of their kind; with the traveler who has to sleep in our
microbe canisters, the sleeping cars; the theaters where continuous
performances go on, and worse than all the commuter who twice a day
takes in the poisons swarming in the smoking cars.

It is not necessary for me to enumerate all these unhealthful
conditions we have to face every day of our lives. They are here
and many of them cannot be changed as long as man and woman herd
like sheep, one after the other, to the cities. Of course it would
be an ideal state if before entering these large department stores,
factories, etc., every man, woman and child was compelled to strip and
have a hot bath and vigorous rub down. And this idea is not such an
impossible one as you might at first think. These very same conditions
existed in Rome. There every man and woman took a hot bath before and
after being in a crowd, whether it was shopping, in the Forum, or the
amphitheater. There were baths for the poor, for the children and
nurses, for the laborer as well as those magnificent ones for the rich
and noble. But you see they were all Romans. I don’t think we should
have much success in getting ALL of our citizens to bathe. In the
hospitals, we doctors sometimes have to use a hose to get any effect
upon a certain class of patients. I have seen thousands of men and
women who wanted the doctor to give them “something to make them feel
well” when plenty of soap and water was all they needed. And they were
not the poor, the tramps and outcast, by any means.

I would go farther than the bathing before entering a crowded place.
I would have them, after the shopping or factory work is over,
pass through a system of breathing exercises in the open air――skin
exposed――then allowed to go their way.

But practically, what can be done? Get out in the fresh air three
or four times a day and take breathing exercises. No matter what
the weather is, do this simple thing. At noontime there is always
opportunity for ten or fifteen minutes of new life. Get it. No matter
what the weather is, always have your bedroom window open. Better
let the snow and rain come in and spoil your carpet than allow the
poisonous air expelled from your or other lungs to re-enter your system
and dull your working capacity. Do not forget what I have already told
you when speaking of athletic prowess――that the skin is, next to the
lungs, our greatest breathing organ. Whenever possible, take an air
bath――in your room when the sun shines, when you go bathing in the sea
or swimming “in the ole swimmin’ hole.”

NEVER take “headache powders.” The habit of taking any kind of “nerve
tonic,” digestive tablets, “harmless bracers,” will in the end put
your brain-tools in poor shape. You have now the knowledge of what
health means and how to keep it; if you will apply that knowledge with
judgment you will be taking the best and only medicine man needs unless
a destructive disease attacks you. And here is an important item; the
ordinary diseases man is afflicted with will not get a hold upon the
WELL youth.

I thoroughly appreciate the fact that all boys must have some kind of
recreation. The working-boy needs it more than the schoolboy. You cease
to be a healthy youth when you do not care for recreation, and fun,
play and release at certain intervals from all kinds of work is your
birthright. But this recreation should be taken in fresh air and with
proper companions. While speaking of fresh air I am reminded of several
letters from boys sent to me after our last Chat. They asked about the
same question: “If my father or mother died from consumption, is there
any use of my fitting myself for a trade if I am to have consumption?”

We can settle this question in a very few decided words. No matter if
your whole family died from consumption, it does not mean you will
have consumption. Consumption is not a disease you can inherit. Now
don’t forget this truth. But if you are born of consumptive parents
it generally means that your parents did not know the curative value
of fresh air. If you were kept in the same rooms where the germs of
tuberculosis lived and thrived you ran big risks. But if you got away
from these conditions as soon as you knew the danger, then, even if you
have slight symptoms of the disease, you can be assured of a complete
cure.

FRESH AIR DAY AND NIGHT, WITH NOURISHING FOOD AND PLENTY OF IT, WILL
KEEP YOU FREE FROM CONSUMPTION. These conditions will cure you in the
first stages.

It is very important, however, that the boy whose parents died from
consumption should not follow any trade or vocation which keeps him
indoors during the growing period of his life. He never should take up
any employment which means living in a dusty atmosphere, where metal
filings are floating in the air. Keep out of button factories. The dust
from the old bones used to make buttons and similar articles is apt to
irritate the lungs, and when this condition is brought about the germs
of consumption find a ready soil to breed in, and they do so.

You need have no fear of consumption if you follow the rule of keeping
your lungs clean; fresh air is the broom for this kind of cleaning.

The curse of the public dance halls is not known to you all. I do not
speak of the immoral conditions surrounding many of these places, but
of the physical conditions. You cannot frequent these poorly-ventilated
halls without having poisons circulated in your brains. If you are
studying to perfect yourself in some vocation which calls for a
perfect adjustment between the brain and hands; if your work calls
for the keenest eyesight or acutest form of hearing; the edge will be
taken off these tools should you spend your nights where the air is
foul, where the skins of careless and ignorant persons are giving off
their poisons, where the dust brought in by skirts is swirled in the
atmosphere by the dancing crowd.

There is no doubt in my mind that many a boy is started on a career
of “laziness,” incapacity and unhealth from the constant intake of
poisonous matter always to be found up in the gods’ gallery. Foul and
hot air exhaled from the lungs always rises upward, so a boy sitting
in the gallery really has his lungs over a vast pit which sends up
rank poisons for him to take into his system. Indirectly this leads
to drink, for with a headache, a feeling of weakness and sometimes a
dizziness he, at first, takes a little beer. From this to ale and then
liquor is the easy path. What can we expect from the brain of such a
youth? Nothing――that is, nothing good. So at the start of a useless
boy and ofttimes criminal, we see it was not vicious tendencies nor
criminal instincts, but vicious air which brought about a poisoned
brain and this results in a wrong view of things, so the youth takes to
anything but real work.

What the hookworm is to the unfortunate troubled by this parasite, the
air in the top of the cheap theaters is to the boy and youth. It is
worse than the hookworm, for along with the foul air he takes into his
system go the fouler suggestions of the stage.

Every evil suggestion, spoken or acted, works great harm to your
brain-tools. I do not intend to say anything to you about the moral
side of evil――that is the Sunday School side――and I want you to get
this fact well in your minds. I am trying to tell you what are the
many causes for not getting along, as well as about those conditions
of brain that will put you toward success. To do so I have to warn you
about evil suggestions and companions. The moral side of your life will
be taken care of if you avoid all those conditions which go to make a
weak brain and body.

If the girls who frequent the PUBLIC dance halls were your equals, if
they were fit to be your future wives, I should have no objections
to your going there――provided the ventilation was of the best. But
you all know in your hearts that you would not want your sister to
go to these PUBLIC dance halls, and that a mother who brought up her
daughters in the right way would not allow them to frequent such places
and associate with strange men and youths. There are a large number of
girls who frequent these places unknown to their mothers, others lie
to their mothers about these matters. Now, you can put this down as a
fact, a girl who will lie to her mother and disobey her will do the
same to you if she becomes your wife.

You know all this, I dare say, but I want it deeply stamped upon your
mind by one who has had a large experience with these kinds of girls
and women. They are not wholly to blame, but we will not go into this
subject here.

Now if this is the solid truth, do you not see that in these
associations you are bound to see and hear things which fill your
mind with thoughts and ideas which do not help your mental growth;
more, they injure it. It is the same fact over again――the brain is a
sensitive photographic film.

When you go to dances see that the hall you go to is well ventilated,
that no smoking or drinking is allowed and that those you dance with
are girls you can introduce to your mother and sisters. For dances and
fun you should have, but see that they are of the sort that the next
morning when you take up your work nothing evil enters your mind, that
remorse and shame do not crowd out the teaching of yesterday and that
you feel more ambitious to work to-day than the day before. If this
state of mind is held day by day, you are certain to achieve success.
If the contrary state of mind takes hold of you there is a going
backwards, and kept up, this state means FAILURE.

Then there are those nasty holes, the public “poolrooms.” There is
no objection to playing pool, billiards or any games, but there is
objection to hanging around in the foul air――you see I am at your
health again――the dead cigarette smoke, and listening to the animal
language and ideas of the useless youths who make these places their
“hang-outs.”

Don’t hang around with “the gang” unless you want later to hang with
the gang.

The country boy needs this advice as much, if not more, than the city
boy. He more frequently becomes fascinated by the evil attractions
which reach him than the boy who is surrounded by good gymnasiums,
teachers of manual labor and open-air playgrounds. But at heart he is a
good boy.

There was a time when the boy who lived on a farm was free from evil
suggestions, associations and shows. It is not so now. In fact I
believe the country boy has more temptations thrust in his way than
the city boy. He has not been brought up to see the outside world as
has the city boy; hence, when these evils reach his neighborhood, all
is new and fascinating to him. The trolley has penetrated his district
and established “White Cities,” dance halls have been erected, moving
picture shows and other dubious attractions follow the trolleys and are
not always under the control of these railways. I have seen picture
shows at these places which would not be allowed in the cities. The
country fairs have many side shows that cannot but injure every youth
who witnesses them, but to explain where the injury comes in is never
the duty of school-teachers or parents――at least they will tell you so.

But we must not blame the country boys for flocking to these shows. It
is very tempting bait held out for their dimes and nickels. The boy’s
life on the farm is devoid of many of the harmless pleasures given
to the city boy. There are no places where he and his companions may
gather――no boys’ clubs, no gymnasiums. But worse than all his parents
seem to lack knowledge of what such a lad needs in the way of real
instruction concerning life, of the dangers of associating with the
girls brought from the cities to fleece and disease them, and to the
dangers around the “White Cities” and other public places, which the
most innocent lad is liable to fall into.

These boys are to be pitied and not blamed for their sad ends, for it
is a fact that in the country towns, especially in New England, there
are more useless youths than can be found anywhere else in the land.
The harvest of the quacks is gathered from the country boys and girls.

For the boy who is to stay on the land there is but one thing to do.
Farming being his vocation, he must fit himself to get the best out
of his farm. This he can do by attending an agricultural school. No
matter if your parents do scoff at scientific farming; you must get
out of the old rut and show them their error. The boy must when he
returns to the farm during his vacation, realize that he is being
given brain-tools,――his education,――and not to dull these delicate
instruments he will have to avoid all evil companions and shows. He
can demonstrate by this attitude that his mental powers are developing
and that he is ABOVE those chaps who loaf around the store telling the
latest stories and of what they saw at “The Pavilion.”

It is your duty, as a growing man, to set this example. From a sense of
duty it will become a pleasure. It is only by such examples we can save
the thousands of country boys, for many of them, perhaps most of them,
will see a new light and a future; something that has not yet come
into their vision. You will find that taking a leading part in your
community will be far beyond any sport you formerly found at the shows
and dances, that you are growing in mind, spirit and power. The boys
who refuse to follow your example will be those whom you hire, when
they are sober, to cut your wood or pitch your hay. And all of them
will have had your opportunities.

To the boy who has wealth or knows he will have it, there is little
to say. If such a youth does not use his wealth to develop his powers
to their highest degree and also assist in every possible way the
progress of the world, there is nothing but universal condemnation. The
world to-day has no place for the mere spendthrift and idler. A man of
wealth has the right to live as luxuriously and well as he likes, but
he has no right to allow his brain to sink to nothingness or by example
lower the thinking powers of his fellow men. It does not make much
difference what kind of work a man of wealth does, so long as WHAT he
does aids instead of hinders his fellow men.

Thousands of boys have been made into MEN through the training they
have received in the navy. Most of these youths went from homes where
never a word of what should have been told them was uttered. Especially
so is this true of the country boys. Their fathers took a colt as soon
as it was old enough and commenced to train it, give it good manners
and see that it was kept from running wild and with the mares. He took
pride in daily making it step lively and surely. He saw that its food
was of the best, and proudly drove it around the neighborhood.

But his SON was allowed his own way, never taught to keep in the right
road, never controlled, never confidentially considered. If such a boy
went into the navy, he received the training needed, but which his
PARENTS would have neglected. Those who have received the fatherly
instruction of the navy have been turned out well-mannered, given the
best of health and the knowledge of how to keep it. And do not make the
mistake too often made that the navy takes unruly boys, those SENT away
from home or the riff-raff from the cities. The navy will not accept
such useless stuff.

If for no other reason I am a believer in a bigger navy, for it seems
to me the only way we can control and bring to full and decent manhood
the thousands of neglected youths throughout the land. Trained, having
a vocation, worldly-wise, but not evil or sneaking, these youths are
exerting a good example wherever they locate after leaving the service.
They bring their brain-tools ashore with them and use them, take care
of them and know the fearful results of an immoral life.

So I say to you boys who cannot decide upon just what you want to do,
yet know that you must do something, try the navy. There you will find
several vocations from which to pick and be trained in. You will obtain
a knowledge of the world, broaden your intellect and secure perfect
health. When you come out you will be fitted to do something. If you
remain home hanging around, you will probably end in being a helpless
man――in more ways than one.

Yes, helpless in mind and perhaps limbs. Why? Because the boy who goes
through the public schools and then out into the world runs imminent
danger of being ruined for life through one fact――HE HAS NEVER BEEN
TOLD THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT LIFE.

I have hinted in these Chats that there is one factor that does more
to injure man’s brain and body than all the ordinary diseases in the
world. It is such a big factor in making or unmaking man that I shall
only point out here the importance of knowing all about this disease
and other troubles following the disease.

This disease is sexual in its origin. Of course you all know that
venereal diseases exist. You have heard about syphilis and gonorrhea.
I have classed them under one disease only because they arise from one
cause. Besides these two there are many complications arising from both.

Now what is the truth about these diseases? Why should a boy, girl,
everyone, know about these fearful things if they intend keeping away
from the women who spread these vile troubles?

Just because the danger does not lie altogether in those of evil habits
and professions. If the diseases were only caught by those who lived
immoral lives, and stayed with these people, it would not be necessary
to go into full details. But these diseases do their great injury to
the innocent and ignorant――those ignorant of these important matters.

The germs of these diseases are now everywhere――in the schools, public
drinking cups, on hotel towels, on the lips of girls who freely allow
you to kiss them. They can be left by the cook on the tasting spoon,
are found upon the seats of public toilets, on soiled linen, anywhere
man and woman goes and works to-day. You may have your eyesight
completely destroyed by getting a few germs in your eyes by rubbing
your face on some apparently clean towel. In fact, the ways you can
contract these diseases are too numerous to mention; you must know them
all.

The greatest fact for you to know is how both syphilis and gonorrhea
can ruin your brain; gradually, but surely. If you have had some of the
germs of syphilis enter your system through the lips by drinking from
the shop cup, or perhaps from kissing a good girl who has a syphilitic
sore on her lips from a similar cause, deep into your system goes the
poison unknown to you until too late. Then, if you don’t know the
whole truth about these matters, nothing can help you. Remember it is
ignorance of these subjects that does the harm. If you know what a
sore in the throat means; if a pimple on the lips look suspicious to
you, then a full sense of what it MIGHT be sends you to the reputable
doctor and your disease may be stopped from going further.

These are the diseases the quacks thrive upon. These are the “Blood
Diseases,” “Kidney Troubles,” sores on the scalp and body they
advertise to cure. They know you are ignorant of the real truths
concerning these awful diseases and they play up to that ignorance and
bleed you for all you are worth. And when they get through with you
there is a general ruin of both your brain and body.

Not one of us can avoid the danger of contracting these diseases; the
germs are all around us to-day. You must know all about them to make
you safe, your sister safe, your mother from running the risk of giving
it to the little baby.

What, for pure, moral persons? Yes; these are just the people who
should be armored against the plague. Knowledge will protect them;
ignorance will not.

Then there is a lot you should know about the women who directly spread
the plague. You must know all these things if you are to start in a
career amidst life as it is to-day.

So important is all this subject and everything relating to it that I
could not, in these Chats, go into the details. But I have written them
all down in plain language and have not omitted a single fact about
which you should know. The little book is entitled, “PLAIN FACTS ON
SEX HYGIENE.”

I cannot thank you, boys, too much for your interest in listening to
me. I have, I know, often repeated facts to you, and frequently rambled
and been somewhat discursive. But remember these are CHATS, not studied
speeches whose every word has been picked for its nicety. My heart has
been always in what I have said to you, and you know sometimes when a
fellow feels that way, he lets literary style go hang.

In closing I want to repeat to you the oath of the knights of old. I
want you to take to your hearts:

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise, think on these things,――and do them, and
for them live and die.”



_Sex Knowledge_

judiciously imparted is the greatest insurance toward the development
of sterling manhood and womanhood. It is the duty of every man and
woman to be informed upon the subject of sex and the care of the body.
It is a subject vitally important to every individual.

Dr. Howard presents facts as they are, and speaks from a knowledge
gained through years of study and experience in the great hospitals of
the world. He shuns no details and presents a clear cut analysis of the
wages of sin and ignorance.

A FULL LIST OF DR. HOWARD’S BOOKS

    _Plain Facts on Sex Hygiene_
    _Confidential Chats with Boys_
    _Confidential Chats with Girls_
    _:: Facts for the Married ::_

Price $1.00 Each, Descriptive Leaflets Free

    [Illustration] The author says, “I want to make clear to the
    world through these books that right sex living is of as much,
    if not more, importance, than right physical living; that sex
    laws must be as well known and observed as those of eating,
    sleeping, and the general rules for bodily health.”


EDWARD J. CLODE, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York


       *       *       *       *       *


 Transcriber’s Notes:

 ――Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 ――Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

 ――Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

 ――Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.





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