Read CHAPTER IX: Alcohol and the Toll it Takes of The Old Game A Retrospect after Three and a Half Years on the Water-wagon , free online book, by Samuel G. Blythe, on

And let me say another thing: One of the reasons I quit was because I noticed I was going to funerals oftener than usual funerals of friends who had been living the same sort of lives for theirs as I had been living for mine. They began dropping off with Bright’s disease and other affections superinduced by alcohol; and I took stock of that feature of it rather earnestly. The funerals have not stopped. They have been more frequent in the past three years than in the three years preceding all good fellows, happy, convivial souls; but now dead. Some of them thought that I was foolish to quit too!

And there are a few cases of hardening arteries I know about, and a considerable amount of gout and rheumatism, and some other ills, among the gay boys who japed at me for quitting. Gruesome, is it not? And God forbid that I should cast up! But if you quit it in time there will be no production of albumin and sugar, no high blood pressure, no swollen big toes and stiffened joints.

If health is a desideratum, one way to attain a lot of it is to cut out the booze. The old game makes for fun, but it takes toll and never fails!

I have tried it both ways. I can see how a man who never took any liquor cannot understand much of what I have written, and I can see how a man who has the same sort of habits I had can think me absurd in my conclusions; but a man who has played both ends of it certainly has some qualifications as a judge. And, as I stated, I have set down here only my own personal ideas on the subject.

As I look at it there is no argument. The man who does not drink has all the better of the game.