formerly Akeret haBayit in Training

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In the tennis court

" My dear boys, if I didn't love you I would not say these things.I know they are not pleasant; but my conscience won't let me hold my peace when a word may keep you from two of the greatest sins that curse the world and send young men into destruction.You are just beginning to feel the allurement of them,and soon it will be hard to turn away.Stop now, I beg of you, and not only save yourselves but help others by a brave example.Come to me if things worry you;don't be afraid or ashamed;I have heard many sadder confessions than any you are likely to bring me, and been able to comfort many poor fellows,gone wrong for want of a word in time. Do this, and you will be able to kiss your mothers with clean lips, and by and by have the right to ask innocent girls to love you."

" Yes'm, thank you. I suppose you're right; but it's pretty hard work to toe the mark when ladies give you wine and gentlemen take their daughters to see Aimee," said Dolly, foreseeing tribulations ahead though he knew it was time to "pull up".

" So it is; but all the more honor to those who are brave and wise enough to resist public opinion, and the easygoing morals of bad or careless men and women. Think of the persons whom you respect most, and in imitating them you will secure the respect of those who look up to you. I'd rather my boys should be laughed at and cold-shouldered by a hundred foolish fellows than lose what, once gone, no power can give them back- innocence and self-respect. I don't wonder you find it 'hard to toe the mark', when books, pictures, ballrooms, theaters, and streets offer temptations; yet you
can resist, if you try. Last winter Mrs.Brooke used to worry about John's being out so late reporting; but when she spoke to him about the things he must see and hear on his way to and from the office at midnight, he said in his sober way, 'I know what you mean, mother; but no fellow need go wrong unless he wants to.' "

Jo's Boys chapter 16

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