The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, January 23, 1921, SECTION THREE, Page 8, Image 48

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Bid well.
A correspondent of The Oregonian
Inquires whether the average length
of human life has increased in the
rast thirty years. The answer in
volves not only review of such sta-
tistics as are available, but interpre
tation of them in sympathy with
varying views of what constitutes in
crease of the average length of life.
The average duration of life 'of all
the people of the community has
been considerably increased in
third of a century or thereabouts,
without, however, proportionately
adding to the life expectation of
adult individuals. The findings of
actuaries are apt to differ in accord
ance with the central purpose of
their inquiries.
The Roosevelt Conservation com
mission in its report on national vl
tality found that human life had
been lengthened in the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries at the rate
of four years a century, that during
the first three-fourths of the nine
teenth century the term had in
creased about twice as -rapidly, and
that in the last quarter of the last
century it had gained at about twice
the latter rate, or seventeen years a
century. K. E. Rittenhouse, a noted
actuary, calculated recently that al
though the "average length of life
had advanced within thirty years,
the extreme span of life tiad not
been moved perceptibly upward." Mr.
Rittenhouse estimated that the mor
tality rate of the entire -population
(not merely the selected risks ac
cepted by insurance companies) had
increased in the group above the age
of forty by at least 20 per cent in a
third of a century.
The figures of the Roosevelt Con
servation commission do not warrant
the assumption that, by increasing
the average longevity of the popula
tion at the amazing rate of seventeen
years a century, we shall soon be
come a race of Methuselahs. In
creased average of all lives accom
panied by a higher mortality rate for
the group above forty does not nec
essarily constitute a paradox. It de
pends vastly on the individual, his
age, his environment and his his
tory whether he becomes a benefi
ciary of the Increased average. More
babies survive the period of infancy
than ever before in our history,
which greatly adds to the apparent
longevity of the people as a whole,
but a larger percentage of those who
survive the perils of early life fall
victims to the so-called degenerative
diseases of middle age and the period
Immediately beyond. Science has
done more for youth than for adult
hood in this regard. Thus, when a
child has attained one year of age
the mathematical chances that he
will die within the coming year are
only one-fourth as great as they were
at birth, but having lived to the
ripe age of forty his chances on the
whole decrease. It is important for
the student of actuarial statistics to
understand the differences between
the chances of the race and those of
the individual in any period.
Our longevity as a race has been
enhanced by social measures, by
which certain formerly recurring
epidemics have been deprived of
their terrors and by which other en
demic diseases have been measurably
overcome. By smallpox vaccination
alone the average duration of life
has been perceptibly increased, with
out, however, proportionately adding
to the number of octogenarians. The
same is true of results accruing from
the anti-pellagra and anti-hookworm
campaigns, from co-operative action
against yellow fever and malaria in
the semi-tropics, and from typhoid
prophylaxis. Decreased infant mor
tality, a scientific triumph of the
present generation, contributes to
racial longevity, though not to
lengthening cf the extreme span.
Maximum "expectancy" is attained
at the age of two, when it is 57.5 for
boys and 60.1 for girls. But the av
erage "expectancy" is not quite the
same as an even chance" that the in
dividual will live to the age indi
cated. Kxpectancy is the average for
the whole people, while the indi
vidual has an even chance of living
beyond the median, which is the line
drawn below which vital statistics
show that half of a given group will
We fail to increase the extreme
span of life because in all probabil
ity of two main facts. Over-exertion,
strain and nerve tension are apt to
bo regarded as the chief phenomena
of the time in this relation, but we
oralt consideration of the effect on
the other hand of widespread em
ployment of machinery in increasing
indolence and physical inactivity.
Relatively cheaper and infinitely
more accessible means of transpor
tation have made undoubted inroads
on the splendid exercise afforded by
walking. The tendency of modern
Inventions is to reduce exertion and
to encourage obesity. The complexi
ties of social life incline to leave less
time than formerly for vigorous ex
ercise, and this, rather than constant
occupation, involving -so-called ten
sion, may be the prime factor in
causing the disabilities of later life.
One country. England, ia the past
generation has shown no perceptible
increase in mortality in the age
group beyond forty, due to almost
universal predilection for outdoor
games, and Sweden is the only coun
try for which figures are available
J tancy for all ages. It Is not a mere
coincidence, in the belief of hygien
ists, that Sweden Is the only country
where, as Professor Irving Fisher
pointed out. "public health includes
private conduct and ' touches the
habits of the people, especially in the
public schools." That degeneration
of bodies follows degeneration of
habits is a pretty widely accepted
It Is liot easy to determine whether
efficiency of those who do reach old
age is greater or less than it used to
be. t'ato was so verile at eighty
that he took up the study of a new
lapguage, and Socrates probably
would have lived to be a centenarian
it he had not been poisoned at sev
enty, but they are only shining lights
in a period of which we know com
paratively little. It is rather gener
ally known that life average dropped
In the middle ages, when dirt was
often accepted as evidence of piety
and sanitation was at its lowest ebb.
But for something more than two
centuries the curve of life expec
tancy has been upward. There has
never been a time, however, when
individual prudence did not count
for a great deal and when it was
not possible greatly to prolong life
by attention to certain principles.
Simplicity in living and wholesome
employment have been the chief of
these. Trollope effunciated a sound
philosophy when he wrote, at sixty'
two: "I hope that when the power
of work is over with me God may
be pleased to take me from a world
in which, according to my view
there can be no joy."
The proposal of the Yakima Minis
terial association that notice of
every marriage license issued shall
be published for ten days and that
no marriage shall be solemnized un
til this period has expired revives
the form of publication of banns
made compulsory throughout Chris
tendom by the fourth Lateran coun
cil in 1215, and still in vogue in
countries in which the religious na
ture of the" marriage ceremony is
recognized as paramount, though it
has largely fallen Into disuse where
the civil contract idea prevails.
The object was to give notice
so that all who had objections to the
marriage could make them known,
but the idea of those who would re
vive the custom probably is to give
wider opportunity to the contracting
individuals themselves to consider
the step they are about to take, with
a view of checking hasty "romances"
and in some degree, perhaps, abating
the divorce evil.
It Is one of many panaceas sug
gested by popular apprehension that
there is something wrong with the
way a good many marriages are now
entered into.
"Blue Bird" pub down as "not a
wholesome diet for children."
It will be contended that realism
13 not demanded by the fairy story,
since it creates not a reality but a
world of make-believe. Yet the
quality of all such tales that has
caused them to endure is that after
a fashion they embody a realistic
principle. Contrast between good and
evil is emphasized by bestowal of
rewards and enforcement of penal
ties according to a law of elfinland.
The universal popularity of the dime
novel of half a century ago was due
in part to this, and not altogether
to the wild adventures that it de
picted. The generation that was
fed on Diamond Dick and Claude
Duval did not turn out as badly as
one would be led tQ expect from
the gloomy forebodings of those who
think that the sheltered life is the
only happy one. There are of course
plenty of children's stories that are
all sweetness and light but ogres
too have a place in the scheme of
giving happiness. It is going rather
far to assume, for example, that
the fate of Jack's giants Is likely to
cause boys to grow up into cowardly
men, and it Is giving too little credit
to the discriminative power of chil
dren, even in the beginning of the
age of 'apperception," which an
overstrained theory of juvenile psy-
chology would set down as the time
when all mankind is made or marred
by the kind of stories that youngsters
are permitted to read.
worry. If we do the things sug
gested, we may soon divide the ocean
carrying trade of the world with
them. The conditions were never so
favorable for us to win. Cost of
shipbuilding in Britain has not fallen
in nearly the same proportion as in
the United States. Material is high
and workmen . deliberately do not
give full value for each unit of
wages. A Canadian liner launched
recently cost 250,000 over the esti
mate, and a Belgian company has
cancelled an order for four steamers
of 16,000 tons deadweight on the
Clyde because other ships that it
uilt there were twice as expensive
as if they had been built on the con
tinent. Cost of operation is also
higher, both on account of high
wages and the high price of coal and
oil. Steel is costly, being made with
imported iron and with coal at sev
eral times pre-war prices. The United
States, on the other hand, has mod
era shipyards, more efficient labor
and the greatest domestic supply of
steel, coal and fuel oil in the world.
That should give us an initial ad
1 A reservation consisting of twenty-
five acres on each side of the
equator, to' be used as a sanatorium
for soldier-settlers, will also estab
lish a new precedent of which the
equator itself ought to be proud.
'An informed observer of juvenile
delinquents has noted that a certain
percentage of youngsters who "go
wrong" are boys who find it impos
sible to maintain interest in school
atrthe seventh grade or thereabouts.
They are not always, or even often,
irreclaimable at this asre. But when
ciassworK rails to intrigue them, they
utBin oy piaymg hookey, progress
into other forms of devilment and
wind up in a court of domestic rela
tions, where the problem of what to
do with them is complicated bv the
circumstance that there are no fa
cilities for giving them their only
real opportunity to make themselves
into userut citizens,
These are the manual-minded hnvs
It only begs the question to sav that
vantage in both cost of construction ?n fy us:h.t to be sympathetically and
and operation which the British airectea at home, be
VI'I.IFT TIIROrr.lrtTHE happt
omitting consideration of the pos-
sibilities of censorship carried to an
absurd extreme, there is at least an
argument-provoking suggestion in an
article in the current Bookman in
which Olive Roberts Barton plead
for a happy atmosphere in all stories
written for children. "Happiness,
she says, "is to the child what sun
shine is to the rose absolutely es
sential to perfection of developmen
physically, morally, mentally and
temperamentally." It begs the ques
tion of course to say that a very large
number of children who read little
or none at all develop characters as
widely varied as those who are
brought up on a literary diet of
fairies or ogres, as the case may
be, but it will require a more pain
staking survey than anyone has yet
thought of making to determine just
how many future citizens have been
undone by the unhappy fate of the
wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood,"
or of the sanguinary giants whom
Jack always vanquished. Such an
inquiry as ought to be made the
basis of -worth-while conclusions
would involve an ' immense labor.
Meanwhile it is permitted the casual
observer to suppose that the history
of the world would not have been
greatly changed if the Brothers
Grimm, and Hans Christian Antler
sen (in his worst moods), and
Charles Kingsley had never writien
stories for the young to read.
The right of children to happi
ness Is probably unquestioned, as is
the statement that "the retentive age
begins with apperception
years even before they are able to
read for themselves." An Interesting
question is whether permanent scars
are left by the so-called horrors of the
old-fashioned fairy stories, and
whether in fact they are so "nicely
calculated to ruin the finer sensi
bilities" as the author seems to sup
pose they are. She" herself has a
"Cinderella" in three editions. In
one, the two sisters are led to a
forest as a punishment, where "no
doubt the wild beasts devoured them.
In the second blindness overtakes the
wicked ones as a retribution for their
rage over their sister's happiness." In
either case the child reader must be
impressed with the poetic justice of
it all. and it is just possible that a
certain lesson from the contrast be
tween the reward of virtue and the
penalties of evil-thinking and evil
doing will not be lost on the child
who has attained the age of "apper
ception." But there is a third ver
sion of "Cinderella," it seems, which
must be exceedingly modern, for it
could not have been thought of by
the orientals, with whom the legend
originated, or by the Kgyptians, who
passed it along to the Grimms. In
this third version, the sisters are
invited to the wedding feast. "No
vindictive revenge or undue punish
ment is meted out to the sisters in
the last story for their selfishness.
Only a sweet forgiveness!" But of
what would "undue punishment,"
considering the offending of the sis
ters and the general atmosphere of
the story, consist?
There are two versions of "Hansel
and Gretel." In one the wicked
witch is popped into the very oven
which she is heating for her prisoner
an adaptation of-the hoist-on-his-own-petard
principle that is so wide
ly popular and in the other she is
simply permitted to escape in her
magic boots and nobody knows what
becomes of her "a fitting climax
with never a jolt to tight little
nerves." So, one will suppose, the
process of Rollo-izing the legends
and the folk-lore of all ages might
be continued without end.
The "cadence of wickedness" th,1t
rings even in Andersen would be
muffled in the new dispensation, at
whatever cost to "The Snow, Queen,"
which few adults will admit to have
greatly impaired their capacity for
future enjoyment of life, or to "The
Rose Kit," another classic that it is
proposed either to reconstruct or
to lay on the shelf. "The Water
Jhat has shown improved life expec- (Babies" is marked lor slaughter, and
race ron siiirpiNG siprkmaci
Recent revelations of British ef
forts to obstruct growth and oper
ation of the American merchant ma
rine and to secure control of Ameri
can shipping companies are an Index
to the apprehension that is felt
across the Atlantic at the aggressive
entry of the United States into the
shipping business. The British were
wide awake, when the United States
entered the war, to the prospects
that our emergency, fleet would
make us dangerous rivals for mari
time supremacy, and they tried to
limit the danger by crowding our
steel shipyards with British contracts
and leaving us no alternative to wood
ships at a time when we had stopped
all other steel construction in order
to divert our steel supply to ship
building. They tried to take away
from us a number of surrendered
German ships. They have some kind
of hold on the International Mercan
tile Marine corporation. They -have
made a deal with France for division
of the oil output of their respective
territories in order to insure a supply
of fuel oil for their ships. They have
been rushing construction of ships in
order to make good their war1osses
and to regain their pre-war percent
age of the world tonnage.
All these moves indicate accept
ance of the American challenge to
contest for sea supremacy. They
are a summons to Americans to clear
away all obstacles to success of their
merchant marine. That is the pur
pose of the Jones shipping law and
of the proposal to exempt American
ships from Panama tolls. But enact
ment of these laws Is but the begin
ning. The real test of our ability to
compete will come with execution of
the Jones law and with operation of
vessels under It. ,There was nothing
to hope from the work of the old
shipping board with its muddle and
waste. The present board will hold
office for so short a time" that it
cannot well initiate any action that
will be followed by its successor, so
that it is but a stopgap, though
struggling manfully under that
handicap. When a permanent board
is appointed under the Harding ad
ministration with assurance of sup
port from congress, results from the
new law should begin to show.
The main points of tire- policy are
that the emergency fleet shall, as
quickly as is consistent with good
business, be transferred to private
owners, who shall be Americans, and
shall be operated by them In Ameri
can trade. Operation by the board is
to be simply preparatory, by way of
building up profitable trade routes.
American ships are to have the bene
fit of preferential duties on imports
that they carry, and all treaties
which forbid levy of such duties are
to be annulled, as they doubtless will
be by. President Harding. They are
to be insured, classified and regis
tered by American companies. The
fleet is to be filled out by construc
tion of the type of vessels in which
it is deficient. Profits are to be tax
free provided a percentage equal to
taxes is reinvested in ships, and
profits on sale of ships are also ex-
empt provided all proceeds are rein
vested in ships, all to be built in
American yards. Only goods carried
in American ships are to have the
benefit of reduced rates on railroads,
except as the board deems advisable
to suspend this provision.
If to these provisions be added ex
emption from canal tolls, American
ships will have a decided advantage
over those of Great Britain and
other nations. Without that economy
in operation which is possible under
private enterprises only, and without
amendment of the navigation and
seamen's laws which will conduce to
economy, that advantage may go for
nothing. Exposures of waste, graft
and muddled accounts which have
been made in regard to operation by
the shipping board go to prove that
transfer of all the ships to private
hands as early as possible in accord
ance with the Jones law is essential
to success. Kvidently the former
board operated at a loss when bad
book-keeping made it appear that
there was a profit. Though the pres
ent board may be expected to do
better and the future board to do
better stiil, close economy combined
with efficiency cannot be expected
under government operation. Other
maritime nations have achieved suc
cess by fostering private enterprise.
The shipping business is done on a
lose margin when earnings are cal
culated for a term of years, and an
versge is struck between years of
loss and years of good profit. We
can attain success only by learning
from our rivals, and there are no
better teachers in shipping than the
The navigation laws work directly
against economy by imposing ex
penses to which British' ships are not
ubject. They add superfluous mem
bers to the "crew, add to tonnage
dues and .cause needless delay in,
port, which means loss of thousands
.of dollars on big ships of high cost.
The greatest saving in operation can
be made by the Diesel engine both in
reducing size of crew and cost of fuel
and In increasing cargo space, but
much of this saving is prevented by
regulations as to size of crew.
Unless we carry out the policy of
the Jones law to the full with
promptness and vigor, get the fleet
into private hands and relieve it of
the burdens of our antiquated law,
tho British will have no cause to
should not be able to overcome.
The slaughter of p. herd of 400
buffalo on Antelope island in Salt
Lake loses its keen edge as a game
atrocity with the news that the ani
mals are not regarded as necessary
to the maintenance of the species
in the United States, but it presents
a study in sportsmanship in another
way. It will be wondered what kind
of men they are who are willing to
pay a round sura for the privilege
of killing these animals, which are
practically as tame as cattle and
even less' likely to offer resistance
, The number of buffalo in the
country has actually Increased in the
past decade. The government some
time ago caused removal of one of
the herds kept for exhibition pur
poses In an eastern park to a more
favorable range in the southwest.
and other1 herds have meanwhile
been carefully protected, so that all
sentimental interests have been
served. It meanwhile happens to
be true that the area of land re
quired to produce a certain weight
of buffalo meat is nearly twice as
productive when devoted to range for
cattle, trom the economic stand
point the American bison is an
anachronism. The reason given for
permitting destruction of the Utah
fcerd is that the land it utilizes is
more--valuable for other food pro
duction. From time to time in the
past buffalo have been killed, but
usually by butchers in the regular
way. Only the plan of selling tilling
privileges is an innovation.
About as many real thrills .as the
Salt Lake buffalo hunt can yield
tf ould be produced by going to any
stockyards and shooting beef cattle
through a fence. The bison in his
wild state occasionally, though not
invariably, made a stand and gave
the hunter a chance to test his cool
ness and courage, but nothing of the
kind is coming to pass on Antelope
island. As "big game hunting" the
affair is a joke, and one mystery
about it is anyone can be found to
pay a high price for a wholly
imaginary thrill.
cause it is an axiom that riefr.Hv
home environment lies behind most
cases of so-called incorrigiblity.
There is in Portland a magnificent
polytechnic school, but it is for
those who have been irrdii;ird
from the eighth grade. It is no dis
paragement of the work that such
technical schools are doing to sav
that they do not fill the particular
need or the type of youth that we
have described.
t Manual ability of a sort, often ac
companied by real possibilities of
high skill, is a not infrequent charac
teristic of boys with whom juvenile
W-hv" 2100, of "Pickwick Papers"
2000 and "A Tale of Two Cities"
2100, with "Our Mutual Friend"
1100, and other individual volumes
"in almost negligible quantity," as
by comparison with the foregoing,
would seem to be about their just
deserts. "Best sellers," or "quick
sellers," as Mr. Johnson prefers to
call them, fill only a small part of
the general demand when, selling a
hundred thousands copies or so, they
disappear, never to return. The ex
cellent judgment which readers dis
play in refraining from buying sets
is reflected in other standard authors
than Dickens. . Agents even find it
harder than it used to be to sell
Balzac's "complete works"; Scott is
no longer regarded as furniture, but
ir. culled with an eye to values; the
same is true of Thackeray and
Collins and Eliot and the others of
the long line of favorites, even in
cluding Kipling, Stevenson and
O. Henry, who resemble one another
only in the respect that they have
blind followers who would contend
seriously that the poorest things they
wrote were too precious to e
thrown away.
Certain hard-headed men of busi
ness who know a thing or two about
the cost of wood pulp and of paper
making machinery have recently
thrown a monkey wrench into the
gear of the expectations of anvoody
who counts on an early retuitn of the
cheap book era. There is some com
fort In the thought. howeJ.r, that
this is not an evil wholly impossible
of offsetting. It will be clar ga'n,
for example, if the buyer purchases
for less than the cost of the conven
tional "set" as much of his irsired
author as is really worth wile, anil
money thus saved will go some ms
The Listening Post.
Women Shoppers Found to
Habitual I, aw Hrcnkcrs.
When Night Copies Down
lly Grare K. Hall.
judges have to deal. It would be a j tance toward equalizing outlay on
constructive work of social value if
an outlet could be found for youth
ful energy, not inherently evil, which
finds vent in mischief chiefly be
cause it lacks guidance. A system
of education, based on books chiefly,
and which sometimes unduly empha
sizes "literacy" at the expense of
other practical usefulness, does not
reach all pupils, as juvenile judges
What shall be done with the boy
who needs this kind of training to
make him permanently valuable to
society, but who, lacking it, may be
both a problem and a menace while
he lives? More depends on the an
swer than the thoughtless may sup
pose. Here is a chance for edu
cators who understand that some
boys'are bad boys because those who
might have made them otherwise
neglected their opportunity. ,v
Receipt of an annual metero
logical summary prepared by Ob
server Wells of the Portland weather
station serves as a reminder that
those who are Inclined to judge the
climate of a locality by exceptional readers.
We are willing to' accept the esti
mate of Burgess Johnson, who
writes in Harper's that "sixty million
people in this country never see a
book and only about 4 per cent of
our population ever go into a book
store," because it seems reasonable
that present prices of a good many
of the bpoks one would like to own
are a discouragement to reading, but
it seems that cost is not the only fac
tor in the condition of which Mr.
Johnson complains. Notwithstand
ing the burden imposed by dearer
paper and all that goes to make up
the mechanical end of the business,
the number of books that are actually
sold runs high into the millions, and
relatively cheap editions of the
classics are still, available, but these
reach a "mere fringe of the popula
tion." The incessant output of new
material keeps printing presses busy
but does not, it seems, recruit new
The problem of the future.
weather occurrences ought to pro
cure a copy of, this interesting and
authentic document.
It will be conceded, for example,
even by the quarrelsome, that "tor
nadoes are unknown." But it is not
so generally appreciated that "thun
der is heard about three or four
times a year and light hail falls
about as often, seldom doing dam
age." The exceptional year in which
more than three or four thunder
storms occur is apt to have created
a false impression.
There have been, in the average of
all the years of the existence of
the weather station here, only
thirty-one days a year on which
the temperature falls as low as the
freezing point, and five days when it
reaches or exceeds 90 degrees. In
summer there is an average range of
21 degrees between the warmest and
coolest hours of the day. The mean
annual temperature compares closely
with that of Atlantic City, a famous
summer resort also not without ce
lebrity as a winter refuge; the July
temperature is about the same as
that of Winnipeg, and the January
temperature is about the same as
that found atrRoswell, N. M.
Our normal duration of sunshine
is 2053 hours a year, and the average
for the three summer months is 874
hours, or 9 hours and 30 minutes a
day. For the same period New York
has an average of 8 hours and 35
minutes of daily sunshine and San
Diego 9 hours and 21 minutes. The
average wind velocity is six miles an
hour, compared with Chicago's six
teen miles. In an average winter,
on only five days does snow remain
on the ground long enough for It to
be measured at the hour of the even
ing observation. ,
Mr. Wells is right in sticking to his
guns. His ammunition consists of
records than haven't been sophisti
cated, and his official armor is in
vulnerable Those who rely on guess
work always hit wide of the mark.
It is well to remind ourselves oc
casionally that, living as we do in the
latitude of southern France and
northern Italy, we have climatic ad
vantages that we wouldn't swap with
those localities. Least of all would
we change " places with Winnipeg'
whose summer clima we 'have
without its rigorous winters, or with
Pan Diego, which we surpass In sum
mer sunshine without the heat of the
It is, of course, Knpossible to please
everybody. But when It comes t
weather, we do' our best, as the gov
ernment data so impressively show.
The equator will be, crossed for
the first time by railroad rails when
the Uganda railroad is extended in
British Kast Africa, as the United
States consul at Nairobi has recently
reported to the department of com
merce at Washington. The road will
be part of the Cape-to-Cairo chain
which has been revived since the
war ended, and by reason of its
present connection with"the Indian
ocean will furnish a means of sup
ply for builders of the intervening
links. Though we associate the
equator with unbearable heat, the
region through which the new line
will pass Is reported by our consul
to be a vast upland with a moderate
and agreeable temperature, capable
of infinite development when trans
portation problems have been solved, .field" 4200 copies, of "Nicholas Nick-
reading is to be taken as the gauge
of national culture, is going to be to
produce books that will engage the
interest of the unreading masses.
Yet It Is questionable whether this
is worth an especial effort, or
whether any scheme can be devised
that will not only "put a book into
every home," as an ambitious pub
lisher has declared he desires to dc,
but also induce the reading habit in
that home. Reading is partly a mat
ter of early training, but It is not
always a habit capable of enforce
ment. The figure of forty or forty-
five millions of Americans who do
use books, which is obtainable by
mere subtraction of Mr. Johnson's
estimate from the total population
of the country, is on the whole not
a tiling to worry over. It probably
represents a higher per capita aver
age of readers than exists in any
other nation in the world.
The thing that concerns us is the
trend of popular taste rather than
mere multiplication of those to whom
books are sold. There is on this
score not much to be pessimistic
about. Not only do the lists of
books in greatest demand at public
libraries, compiled by the American
Library Association, show on the
whole commendable discrimination,
but there is evidence from other
sources that those who do read are
not to be gulled by claptrap blurbs
or other transparent advertising de
vices into buying works of little or
no intrinsic value. We are apt to
be misled by statistics of sales
which do not, as a matter of fact,
reflect the taste of more than a
trifling fraction' of the population.
More significant is the circumstance
that the lean years of current author
ship are almost always years of re
vival of substantial and enduring
favorites. "Robinson Crusoe" is still
not only widely owned, but more
generally read than ever. "Ben Hur,"
in the field of copyright fiction, as
Mr. Johnson reminds us, holds up
well, with sales running well into
two millions. His suggestion that
we substitute the term "quick seller"
for "best seller" does justice to the
popular sense of values, as well as
serves as a more accurate descrip
tion. It is indeed a '"safe bet that
five out of this year's 'six best sell
ers' will, two years from now. bo as
the grass that is withered; while in
the same year 'Captain January' and
'A Man Without a Country' and 'A
Bird's Ch ristmaJf Carol' will approach
or enter the second million: and even
next year "Lorna Doone' will outsell
them all."
A fact that weighs heavily in our
Indorsement of the popular trend in
book selection is that the practice of
buying -complete sets of authors'
works is declining. "Set of Dick
ens are not books, they are furni
ture," says the critic whom Mr.
Johnson sets up only to confute with
the answer by the card that indi
vidual volumes of Dickens' works
are sold in quantities that closely
correspond to the relative merits of
the respective books in question.
"David Copperfield" is still selling in
twenty or thirty different editions,
and "A Tale of Two Cities" in forty
or more. But taking one of many
low-priced editions, as a more illumi
nating basis of comparison, it is
found that, In a single year recently
there were 'sold, of "David Copper-
current books, the. price of which
may be regarded as discouraging
when not prohibitive. Such books
as Harry Franck's "Vagabonding
Through Changing Germany," Fred
erick O'Brien's "White Shadows in
the South Seas," W. H. Hudson's
"Far Away and Long Ago." and "The
Americanization of Edward Bok." to
enumerate a few of those which
everyone would read if he had time
and could afford them, can be, in a
pinch, obtained at public libraries,
which in the future dear-book era
are likely more than ever to justify
Granting that science does not
come to the fore with a cheap and
workable substitute for wood pulp, it
seems possible that the home library
of the future will need less shelf
room than formerly. But as has
been suggested this may not be an
unmixed evil. Publishers as well as
readers in time will learn to dis
criminate. The public's defense ii
in still further improvement of its
own literary taste. Fewer books,
more of which will be read and re
read, will . go a good way toward
atoning for present higher prices.
The saving grace of hunting as a
sport has been that those who fol
lowed it respected certain rules,
based on the theory that the quarry
is entitled to some Vmalt chance
against its adversary. There is a
story in point in a current magazine
concerning a hunter who, having
rr-arvelously caught a woodcock by
hand, set It free because the canons
of the game permitted the bird to
be taken only on the wing, by a gun
fired from the shoulder. A good
many hunters, to the credit of their
class, still observe the code. Meas
ured by their value as food only,
wild birds and beasts are not in
the running with the product of the
farmyard and the pasture lot. In
discriminate slaughter in violation
of the unwritten regulations is gen
erally condemned.
Secretary of Labor Wilson timed
his surrender to Assistant Secretary
of State Davis in the case of Lord
Mayor O'Callaghan so skilfully that
it gave the latter time to testify on
affairs on Ireland, which was all he
wanted. The conference with Presi
dent Wilson was also timed to the
same end. , It was one of those rare
cases where everybody got precisely
what he wanted, so everybody is
satisfied. Such are the dying days of
the harmonious cabinet. .
Philadelphia citizens are said to
be walking to the number of some
hundreds of thousands as a protest
against higher streetcar fares. But
walking will make them feel so good
that presently they will forget all
about their grievances and go back
to riding again.
Coat tails, according to an official
of a tailors' organization, will be
eliminated to a great extent In the
r.ew fashions, thus making easier
for the boys who have heard the
dictum that no gentleman ever parts
his coat tails when he sits down.
These are chilly days for children
rot comfortably clothed. The Red
Cross shop is doing good work and
needs more donations not money
particularly, but something to wear.
One can sleep easier after getting a
thing like that off his mind.
Jazz is said to be making the In
dian wild again. First they cut off
his liquor and then they talk of for
bidding him to dance the wild man's
dances. What has civilization ever
done for the red man. anyway?
Prohibition Director Kramer's
hope of a generation growing up
without knowledge of intoxicants
will be shared by a good many, even
among, the chaps who still insist on
buying bootleg for themselves.
threw a cordon of police about
the downtown, shopping district
Wednesday and as a result discovered
that fully half ot the women bent on
bargain hunting were habitual law
breakers. Half a dozen officers, armed
with paper and pencils, stood on the
curbs and checked the pedestrians as
they traversed the congested district.
Jays were their prey, those who cut
corners or who risked life and limb
for the sake of a few minutes' sav
ing in time by crossing the street in
tne middle of the block.
Between Meier & Frank's and Lip-
man & Wolfe's on Alder street there
are red signs at shoulder height on
each curb warning of the danger of
crossing there and that it is unlaw
ful. Not 10 per cent of the women
coming from the stores paid any at
tention to them, preferring to take
chances by cutting behirid parked
autos and dodging traffic rather than
walking not more than 40 steps to
the corner and the safety zone.
"I have checked them and found
that jay-walkers are 95 per cent
women," said the polished Billy Lil
lis, who has sprouted gray hairs in
caring for the safety of women who
frequent his beat in the center of
the city. "Women take the laws into
their own hyinds whether on foot or
in a machine, and drivers always give
them the right of way, no matter
if they are entitled to it or not, for
they have found out that the woman
will take it anyhow. And the pret
tier they are the more privileges they
take. A pretty woman at the wheel
of a car as a general rule does just
as she pleases and the same is true
of her when on foot."
Soup kitchens and bread lines are
again in the limelight after an ab
sence of several years, but there has
been no necessity for any locally. Cur
tailment of the lumber Industry and
other work in this vicinity, is. how
ever, forcing quite a number of men
to the city. Conditions in other lo
calities are not so reassuring as here,
with the result that numbers of un
employed have drifted in, making the
labor situation exceedingly tight.
Some typical cases, as found at the
Men's Resort, where the Rev. Levi
Johnson and his crew labor to alle
viate distress, follow:
A young man, 26 years old, able
bodied, said, "1 served in the army
and then went to work In the log
ging camps. Lost some time from
pneumonia, lungs wt-ak from over
seas. Had about $90 saved up -when
I was laid off over two months ago.
I have $2 left and don't know what
I will do when that is gone."
"The last job I had was with a
construction crew near Spokane.- We
were laid off about Thanksgiving. I
worked two weeks during the Christ
mas rush here, and I have about
enough cash to last me a week. There
is nothing in sight."
"I came here from a mine in south
ern Oregon. They cannot mine gold
at the present prices and closed down
I am a veteran of the Spanish-American
and world wars and have
searched everywhere about here for
a job. I'll do anything."
Wong Hing was a recent passenger
on an oriental Doat toucning nere.
He asked permission to go ashore,
giving the perfectly plausible Chi
nese reason that he wanted to visit
some friends . and would eaten me
next boat across the Pacific. Mr.
Wong's tale, while it sounded con
vincing, seemed fishy to the immi
gration guards, and even though he
showed on the passenger list as com
ing from San Francisco and insisted
that he had been in the country law
fully, his case was investigated. Then
Wong's reason for wanting to stop
over was uncovered. He had been al
lowed to go aboard the boat at San
Francisco, as a condition of a parole
issued by the San Quentin prison
board, for Wong had been convicted
of murder in California and granted
permission to leave the United States
and never return.
'When far away the first dusk shad
ows fall
Like clouds of gauze so faint as
scarce to be.
The velvet hills, close snuggled each
to all.
Seem cloihed somehow in shrouds of
mystery ;
The scarfs pearl gray and marvelous
That float and hover on the moun
tain side.
Are phantom robes soft-woven of the
Too fanciful and dainty for a bride;
And yet in canyons where the streams
go by.
And farmhouse lights are eyes in
skulfe of brown,
Rome melancholy voices seem to cry
When night conies down.
Oh, one may go the sunlit trail,
With spirit turned to rapture of the
When morning lends its glory to the
And whispers of enchantment far
Bui when the sun is slipping down
the west.
Strange lands, like unknown faci :
seem to frown.
And then a sweet-toned voice within
one's breast
Begins to plead for home when
night comes down.
O women in your homes where chil
dren are.
Yearn not for fancied pleasures
The streets you know are like the
ons afar,
Thoy could not give you more, if you
were there;
For they are trod by restless feet
that find
Xo perfect place; and hungering
hearts that quest
For love and ties perhaps long left
Because they too once dreamed the
far land best;
The things of worth are love nd
home ah. see!
They do not wait you In somo distant
But prayers of little children at
your knee
Will bring you peace, sweet peace
When night conies down.
A 'BABY'S MOl.ll.OQI V. f
Who shall say? Who shall say?
When 1 try to eat my whey, all alcne;
I'll not spill it in my chair and
Pour it on my hHlr,
From my spoon.
Who shall say? Who shall say?
I'll not hook a pic some day, from the
And go skimming to the barn,
There to eat it to my harm,
Dy myself.
Who shall say? Who shall say?
I'll not run away from home, In my
yout h.
And go ri'JJng in a freight.
With a hotio' for a mate.
Searching truth.
Who shall sny? Who shall say?
I'll not steal a car at night frtin the
And go honking down the street.
Making every guy 1 meet,
Look absurd.
Who shall say? Who shall say?
I'll not leave my wife at home, In our
And go traveling o'er the state,
With some frowzy headed mate
And all that.
Who shall say? Who shall say?
When life's road has wound its
to life's fall,
I'll not sit and stroke my chin
And with calm and saintly grin
Tell my friends how good I've been.
Exit call.
There is some merit in tin Jap
anese proposal to levy a tax o:i those
who evade military duty, assuming
that Japan has no Secretary Baker
to extend clemency to the slackers.
Doubling of the number of cases
of alcoholic insanity in New York
seems to indicate that prohibition
prohibits the sale of harmless alco
holic beverages, anyway.
A "boy" of twenty-three or there
abouts is not going to get much
sympathy on the ground of his ten
der years. He is grown up then if
he is ever going to be.
Anatole France has joined the
parlor bolshevists, having, it will be
supposed, experienced all the thrills
that could be obtained from just
writing literature.
We can understand the disappoint
ment of the New York crowd that
didn't have a chance to see Soviet
Ambassador Martens deported from
the" country.
The electoral college, it seems, has
a chair of aviation among other fea
tures of its interesting curriculum.
Rats are a menace and present a
problem in many big cities. Water
front workers are familiar with the
big metal fenders placed on mooring
ropes to keep the disease bearing rod
ents aboard ships. A New York en
gineer now has a scheme for enclos
ing that city with a wall to prevent
the objectionable animal Immigrants
from entering the city. Plague dan
gers from Asiatic rodents have aroused
the interest of seaport cities. Jn sev
eral local sores the rats have to
be kept under control as thry de
stroy merchandise. In this work the
most efficient means to fight the
lat is said to be a ferret. These
little animals are natural enemies
of rats and kill them without mercy.
In some local stores ferrets are said
to be liberated at night and spend the
hours of darkness at their work of
extermination, returning to their
cages with the coming ot daylight.
"Why not get I. C. Smith's intel
lect to working in the barber shops?"
is the sprightly quory received from
F. L. W. after reading of the Beam
scheme for gum reclamation. Jieani
has invented a system for controlling
the steno's gum menace In his cafe-r
tcria and smitn, nis manager, is
working on a plan for rejuvenating
the discarded gobs.
'What becomes of the human hair
clipped from the customers heads,
is another poser from F. L. W., and
then he goes oi to give out the
answer, "thrown away: wasieu:
Surelv this presents just as acute a
problem in salvage as does wcll
mangled gum. Cannot tresses be used
for stuffing mattresses or for burn
ing as a fumigator or something of
the kind? I put it up to the experts."
"Got any walnuts?" "Just out, try
a grocery store." j
"Can I get some adhesive tape
here?" "Sorry madam, better go
across the street to that drugstore?"
"How much rain has fallen this
year?" "More than normal."
"How much are eggs a, dozen?"
"Seventy-five cents, but we do not
handle them."
Just a few of the questions put
to Jesse Rich every day at his corner
cigar store.
Are ye of the ones who have bran
dished the sword
At the Savior, and Savior's own prom
ised reward.
At those who are asking of thee and
thy store
A bit of the loaf and a sip. If no more.
When hunger and thirst are as
wolves .when they hear
The answering challenge of prey that
is near?
Oh, where are the saints of the earth
ho have cried.
Where are the babes at the breast
who have died?
Who are the victors, the vanquished.
the dead?
Where are the Master's own servants
who read:
"As ye did it to these, so It ever
shall be;
Where are my little ones? Come
unto me
All ye who are hungered and weary,
And ye shall find rest, but for. them
Shall shine forth the sun, or the neon
give her light
Who purchase with tears their own
selfish delight,
Who revel and sing in a wild, sinful
While thousands are dying and mil
lions in pain
Are holding weo hands that are frail
skin and bone.
They are asking for brend. Will yt
give them a stone?"
At the end of the day we got our pay
For the hours of toil and strain.
Whether from office or grimy shop
In the evening alone the worries drop,
And our wounds are healed again.
A fireside rhat and a book or song,
Or a tune on the phonoitraph.
A story or two. we forget the day
For the hurts we brought have been
balmed away.
And the troubles turned to a laugh.
wear in the day, but we grow
at eve.
For rest and sleep beguile:
Though we know next dsy will b
filled with the fight,
That half will be dark and half will
be light.
We can meet it with a smil.
Wind Storm Scatter Bankroll,
Philadelphia Ledger.
As a woman in Philadelphia was
walking through Rittenhouse square
a sudden gust of wind lifted her hat
She quickly raised her arm to catch
the hat and as she did so her bag
broke open and out flew 35 $1 bills,
brand-new ones that she had just got
from the bank. Away they blew all
over the square, many of them some
20 feet up in the air. She didn't re
cover a single one of them.
You'll find the end to the trail of love
Just over the first drear hill;
And the trail of the flesh fades w holly
Where the debauchee gluts his fill;
While the tra'l of hate is a pistol shot.
Or the glint of a dirk to kill.
But the trail of dreams leads on
and on,
Through many a flowery clime.
Where the seas of romajice. curved
like scythes
Reap over the fields of time;
Roll in and out with a circling sweep.
As they cover the earth with gold.
And the pearls of peace are drifted
As much as the heart can hold:
For the love which lasts Is the love
of dreams.
As it was in the (lavs of old.
In olden times (omitting dates) how
oft we've heard it said:
"Let's 'liven up this doKKone town
go out and paint her red";
Crusaders of a modern type now
amble into view.
To piously express themselves, and
say: "Let's paint her blue."