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Continence

Smoking and drinking are things that tempt some fellows and not others, but there is one temptation that is pretty sure to come to you at one time or another, and I want just to warn you against it.

You would probably be surprised if you knew how many boys have written to me thanking me for what I have written on this subject, so I expect there are more who will be glad of a word of advice against the secret vice which gets hold of so many fellows. Smoking and drinking and gambling are men's vices and therefore attract some boys, but this secret vice is not a man's vice-men have nothing but contempt for a fellow who gives way to it.

Some boys, like those who start smoking, think it is a very fine and manly thing to tell or listen to dirty stories, but it only shows them to be little fools.

Yet such talk and the reading of trashy books or looking at lewd pictures are very apt to lead a thoughtless boy into the temptation of masturbation. This tends to lower both health and spirits.

But if you have any manliness in you, you will throw off such temptation at once. You will stop looking at the books and listening to the stories, and will- give yourself something else to think about.

Sometimes the desire is brought on by eating food that is too rich, or from sleeping in too warm a bed with too many blankets. It is a help at times such as these to take a cold bath or shower, or exercise the upper part of the body by arm exercises, boxing, etc.

It may seem difficult to overcome the temptation the first time, but when you have done so once it will be easier afterwards.

If you still have trouble about it, do not make a secret of it, but go to your father, or your Scoutmaster, and talk it over with him, and all will come right.

Author

Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation

1908

Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Early Rising

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Drinking


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