Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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        Bacchus a False God.
    If you were lost in a dark wood and could not see
the moon or the stars, you would not extinguish
your lantern, would you?
    If you found yourself in a desert, you would not
throw away your bottle of water.
    Well, then, do not talk about being driven to
drink because you are out of work and in trouble,
or because times are so hard that your business
barely pays your office rent.
    Of course, drink gives you a momentary or
"hourentary" exhilaration, and causes you to forget
your worries.
    But the corresponding depression follows, with
increased gloom and enfeebled courage and
    If you are a sensible man, with good average in-
telligence, you will hoard your strength and save
all you faculties unimpaired by drink or drugs, to
carry you through his dark place in life's woods,
and you will keep your light of sober reasoning
    If, after you pass through the woods, you have
still the desert to encounter, you will not add to the
pangs of thirst by "fire-water."
    You will, instead, endeavor to keep your head
cool and your brain clear.
    As well tie your feet in a bag when you are in a
hurry to reach a destination as to fill yourself with
drink when you have a hard and difficult path to
    If you want to try the experience of drunkenness,
wait until you achieve a success and then "cele-
brate," if you are determined upon it.  Then you
can afford to rest up and repent at leisure, and if
you have a strata of good principle and moral worth
in you, one experience will be enough.
    You will not want to try it again.
    But don't harness Bacchus to your load of work
and worry, and imagine he will pull you through.
He is not that kind of a god.  He makes excellent
promises, but he takes you only a little way and
dumps you in the first ditch, much the worse for
his brief merry companionship.
    Keep yourself perfectly normal in times of anx-
iety.  If you are in the habit of using stimulants and
nicotine, reduce your usual quantity, and if you have
the will power, give them up entirely for the time
    I know a man who did this during business
depression, and he was amazed at the result.
Where he had been despondent and nervous all
the time, when not under the influence of a
stimulant, he found himself full of courage, hope,
and energy.
    Instead of waking with a weight on heart and
head, he awoke full of ambition for the new day
before him.
    Instead of trying to kill dull time by drinking,
experiment upon yourself by finding the strength of
your will in giving up the use of all stimulants until
you can "celebrate" a victory.
    It is more novel, and pays better in the end.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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