Solemn Advice For The Young Man

(Published 1906)

1. BEWARE OF THE SWINDLER. He is everywhere and in all kinds of business.

2. NEVER SIGN A PAPER OF ANY KIND FOR A STRANGER. Make every man unknown to you, who desires to do business with you, prove to you, beyond a doubt, that his business is legitimate and that he acts within the limits of his authority.

3. NEVER TRY TO BEAT A MAN AT HIS OWN GAME. The sharpers at every fair and circus and other places where people in large numbers congregate, will always offer you great inducements with cards, dice, wheels of fortune, etc. They will urge you to bet on a certain card or number and show you how one dollar could have won you $20.00 or $100.00, but when you bet your money, you never win.

4. NEVER BET OR GAMBLE. In trying to get something for nothing, we too often find ourselves the victims of confidence and swindling schemes. Honest is the best policy and always will be.

5. NEVER try to get the best of a sharper by buying a box, watch case or anything else in which you have seen him put a $10 or $20 dollar bill.

6. Deal with responsible parties, or else see that the article is worth the price before paying for it, and you will never suffer the mortification of being swindled.


1. EVERY DEVICE that suddenly changes money or property from one person to another without leaving an equivalent, produces individual embarrassment ---often extreme misery. More pernicious is that plan, if it changes property and money from the hands of the many to the few.

2. INFLICTS INJURY. Gambling does this, and often inflicts a still greater injury, by poisoning its victim with vice that eventually leads to crimes of the darkest hue. Usually, the money basely filched from its victims is the smallest part of the injury inflicted. It almost inevitably leads to intemperance. Every species of offense, on the black catalogue of crime may be traced to the gambling table, as the entering wedge to its perpetration.

3. INNOCENT AMUSEMENT. To the fashionable of our country, who play cards and other games as an innocent amusement, we may trace the most aggravated injuries resulting from gambling. It is there that young men of talents, education and wealth, take the degree of entered apprentice. The example of men in high life, men in public stations and responsible offices, has a powerful and corrupting influence on society, and does much to increase the evil and forward, as well as sanction, the high-handed robbery off fine dressed blacklegs. The gambling hells in our cities, tolerated and patronized, are a disgrace to a nation bearing a Christian name, and would be banished from a Pagan community.

4. VARIETY OF FORMS. Gambling assumes a great variety of forms, from flipping a cent in the bar room for a shot of whiskey, up to the splendidly furnished faro bank room, where men are occasionally swindled to the tune of "ten thousand a year", and sometimes a much larger amount. In addition to those varities, we have legalized lotteries and fancy stock brokers, and among those who manage them, professors of religion are not unfrequently found.

5. GAMING. Gaming cowers in darkness, and often blots out all the nobler powers of the heart, paralyzes its sensibilities to human woe, severs the sacred ties that bind man to woman, to family, to community to morals, to religion, to social order, and to country. It transforms men to brutes, desperados, maniacs, misanthropists and strips human nature of all its native dignity. The gamester forfeits the happiness of this life, and endures the penalties of sin in both worlds.

6. BETTING ON THE RACES. Look for greatness and goodness on the racetrack. Where is it to be found? The men who have paved their way to the front in achieving success have never been the companions of jockies or gamblers. Those who follow the races will live to seriously regret their folly.

7. SHUN THE MONSTER. Let me entreat all to shun the monster, under all his borrowed and deceptive forms. Remember, that gambling for amusement is the wicket gate into the labyrinth, and when once in, you may find it difficult to get out. Ruin is marked in blazing capitals over the door of the gambler: his hell is the vestibule to that eternal hell where the worm dieth not and the fire in not quenched,.

8. TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES. The youth should not forget that if he is once taken in the coils of this vice, the hope of extricating himself, or realizing his visions of wealth and happiness, is exceedingly faint. He has no rational grounds to expect that he can escape the terrible consequences that are inseparably connected with sin. If he does not become bankrupt in property he is sure to become one in character and moral principle; he becomes a debauched, debased, friendless vagabond.


These are passages taken from a book called, The Busy Mans Friend,
"Things That Everyone Should Know" by Professor J.L. Nichols, A.M.
Published by J.L. Nichols Company, Naperville, Illinois 1906.


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