Central Point herald. (Central Point, Or.) 1906-1917, March 15, 1917, Image 7

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T H E I R W A Y IN D A R K N E S S .
Philosophical Review of Warfare’s
Needs, and of Past Days, Has Not
Brought Citizens to a Proper
Realization of Conditions.
A few months ago I chanced to be In
what official language would describe
ns “ a certuln northern town" at the
time when lighting restrictions were
being newly enforced as n precaution
against air attacks. Loud was the
outcry o f persons who hud bumped in­
to the lamppost and tripped over the
curb upon their homeward way, and
who had even found themselves un­
able to identify their own homes with­
out the aid of an electric torch.
And yet the curious thing was that
even such restricted street lighting as
remained would have been considered
a really handsome Illumination by our
forefathers and would indeed be con­
sidered so today by dwellers in rural
districts where the street lamp is un­
known, C. Fox-Smith writes in the
London Chronicle.
What is happening to us— or, rather,
wlint was happening to us In the days
when tile dnylight, In towns, was de­
posed before its death by the glare of
gas and electric light? Were we not
rapidly losing the very last remnant
of that faculty of seeing in what we
call "the dark,” which is really quite a
natural part of our equipment, being
a sort of combination of the senses of
sight, smell, touch nnd hearing?
As a matter of fact speaking broad­
ly, what most people call “ the dark”
is not darkness at all. How often, for
example, do you hear n person who
has Just emerged from or who lifts a
blind to look through the window of a
lighted room excluim: “ What a pitch
dark night 1"
But once leave the bewildering
lights behind nnd it will be seen that
the apparent darkness was really more
than half caused by the light itself.
Pitch darkness seldom exists except
comparatively, never without some ex­
traordinary condition, such ns fog or
very dense clouds. One does, of
course, remember one or two such oc­
casions o f a blnckness Impenetrable
ns n wall nnd almost ns tangible to nil
seeming. But they are rare enough to
be noticeable— even to cause surprise,
ns if they were somehow abnormal,
which would not be so if pitch dark­
ness were common.
It Is rather strange to reflect that,
until the coming of the lighting re­
strictions, most of the present genera­
tion hnd never really seen the town at
And yet what a peculiar charm there
Is now about the coming on of dnrk In
a city. There Is, let us frankly admit
it, a touch o f the sinister about the
dnrk mouths of narrow streets which
by daylight are but the most common­
place nnd sordid of routes to the bock
o f shops and warehouses.
But they are for the time romnntlc,
as well as sinister; there Is a some­
thing 8tevensonlnn about them. Stev­
enson o f “ Doctor Jekyll” and “ The
New Arabian Nights.”
Darkness Is the fairy godmother of
commonplace buildings.
It brings
them gifts of breadth, of massiveness,
of dignity. This pinchbeck incrusta­
tion, that shoddy bit of construction,
it transfigures with n wave of its
wand. Seen simply ns a broad effect
of light and shade, or rather of shad-
dow nnd deeper shadow, the newest
building is at one with the old, the
tawdriest with the most austere.
Called for Repetition.
Grandma had a very bad cold one
«lay when her little granddaughter
made her a visit.
Suddenly she
sneezed very hard. Much pleased with
the unexpected excitement the child
looked up nnd sab! : "Honk again,
grandma.” — The Christian Herald.
Dinner Table Etiquette In the Old
Days of Abundance Differs From
That of Today.
Mistake Is Too Much a General One
in Neglecting the Present for
the Future.
We hnve it on no less authority than
that of “ Hints on Ktlquette nnd the
I'sages of Society,” written by Charles
William Day, nnd published in Boston
in 1844, that the household bread
should never be cut less than an inch
nnd n half thick. Appended to this
important bit of advice is the graceful
hint that “ nothing is more plebeian
than thin brend at dinner." Somebody
was talking the other day ubout the
good old times— somebody is forever
talking about them—ami here is his­
torical proof of the abundance ns rep­
resented in slices nn inch and half
thick, nnd wisdom as shown In the sim­
ple expedient of declaring anything
less than tlie prescribed thickness
“ plebeian.” Of course, remarks a writ­
er In the Indianapolis News, the word
plebeian settled the thing. If it were
plebeian to cut brend less than an
Inch and n half thick, you may be sure
that it was not done to any great ex­
tent. There may hnve been un emer­
gency now nnd then when company
came unexpectedly or when there were
too many in the family and too little
flour in the barrel, lint certainly the
plain statement that it was “ plebeian,"
so plebeian. In fact, that “ nothing was
more plebeian," made it n difficult
thing to serve thin slices In those days.
Even so you may consider that it
was a less difficult thing to serve thin
brend in those days than It would be
to serve thick bread these days. One
doubts if even that unpleasant epithet
“plebeian” could Induce us to cut it
an Inch nnd n half thick. We could
not If we would. One loaf seven nnd
a half Inches long would make live
slices. That would mean two loaves
to n meal for a family of any size, nnd
it is plain to be seen that that could
never be accomplished. But cutting
them thin, say three slices to the Inch,
we can shave out twenty-two or twen­
ty-three sliees to the seven and a half
Inch-loaf. Statistics ure wonderfully
convincing, are they not?
You may
suggest that they had real loaves of
bread in those old days, nnd it is, to
be sure, easy to picture them as huge,
benevolent affairs. It is easy to im­
agine one of those Inch and a half
slices nicely spread with sugar or sirup
or Jelly or any of the good tilings that
belonged to those days.
It would, no doubt, take n more
forceful word than “ plebeian" to In­
duce the powers thnt be to make such
loaves of bread these «lays. And that,
of course, is the difference between the
good old ttmes nnd these.
All that
people hnd to do then was to look in
n useful bit of n book and cut their
brend accordingly, without counting
food values, or nppetltes or prices. We
may pretenfl thnt we think It plebeian
to cut brend nn Inch and a half thick,
but It is nothing more thnn pretense.
We know thnt wo hnve to cut brend
according to the size of the loaf and
the size of the family nnd the size of
our purse, nnd we are lucky nn«l tlinnk-
ful to have any bread to cut in any
manner, plebeian or proper.
knows, ns a physical fact, that he can
do nothing next year which he cannot
in some degree, do today. He will not
grow wings or overcome the law of
gravitation or subsist without food.
But he is always prefiguring n future
in which his mind will operate differ­
ently. The time will certainly come
when he realise« thnt there la no fu­
ture, but only nn indefinite extension
of today. The Important question is
whether that time will come early
enough in life to do him any particu­
lar good.
A lazy man cannot possibly make
himself Industrious in the future; or
a tippling man, sober; or nn extrava­
gant man, economical. I f it Is done
at nil he must do it nt nn Immediate
present moment— nt some “ right now !”
No man ever saved a penny in the fu­
ture, or ever will. He has got to save
the penny in Ills hand nt the moment
or he will be broke to the day of his
«lentil, the Saturday Evening Post In­
sists. Thnt is clear enough to any­
body who will think about it. T o save
the penny in hand he must resist the
temptation to spend it. Imagining
himself next year ns resisting the
temptation to spend n handful of pen­
nies will do him the same good thnt
the drunkard gets out of imagining
himself reformed next yenr. Every
year that he does not resist weakens
ids ability to resist.
This spending business Is as much
a matter of habit ns tippling. It is
within tlie knowledge of everybody
who hns the ordinary circle o f per­
sonal acquaintances thnt, nfter a cer­
tain time, the mnn who lives up to
the limit of his income— which, about
nine times out of ten, m«>nns a little
beyond— accepts that ns a normal con­
dition nnd Just automatically spends
whatever he gets.
At twenty a man lives largely In nn
imaginary future. At thirty he seems
still to hnve fairly Incalculable pow­
ers and opportunities to draw upon.
At forty he b«>gins to realize whnt lie
fully knows, probably, at forty-five—
namely, that he 1ms already spent Ids
future, In the sense flint he hns large­
ly shaped nnd fixed it; so thnt it will
contain nothing essentially different
from what he himself has alreudy put
into it.
I f he can reullze by thirty that In«
is spemiing his future every dny It will
tie n good thing for him.
Missed Their “ Home.”
“ Wot’s up with yer, Peter inquired
Weary Willie. “ Yer look as If yer
were goln’ ter cry.”
“ I dunno.” was Plodding Pete's re­
ply. “ I don't feel the Joy o’ livin’ like
I used ter. I've been thlnkln’ o' ray
wasted life, an’ I ’ve got a sorter un­
easy, homesick feelln’.”
“ Homesick!” broke In Willie. “ Why,
bless me, I believe that’s wot both of
us are sufferin’ from. We ain't neither
of ns bln Inside a Jail for close on
three months now, 'ave we?”
Reckless Influence.
“ Are you a law-abiding c itize n r
‘Yes,” replied Mr. Chugglns.
“ But
I’m the victim of reckless company.
Every now and then that motor car
of mine breaks loose and drags me
into a mix-up with the traffic regula­
An Optimist.
It was 5 a. m.
He was starting
tlie furnace fire at this unseemly
Without warning a large lump of
cool leaped from Its berth on top of
the coal pile nnd landed squurely on
the enptaln of his toe brigade on the
left foot.
In other words, the coul
landed squarely mi his big toe.
warmed up much more quickly than
the tire ns he hopped ubout on one
foot in Imitation of a Russian toe
He swore, cursed his luck, Increased
the white space on his fHce, nnd then
— then— then he began to smile. And
Ids toe thumped like a stranded auto
engine I
“ Why, I renlly am lucky,” he
“ I'm lucky to have a coal
pile big enough for a lump of coal to
get a start on. Come on, do It again,”
ho dared and smilingly rust his grouch
In the furnace, gave his nchlng toe
a rub or two and cheerily went to
Had Reason for Belief.
“ I was reading the other day,” said
skimpy little Mr. Meek, “ that firm­
ness of purpose is one of the most
necessary sinews of character und one
of the best Instruments of success. I
believe It, too, for I am sure that
without firmness my wife would never
have been able to make me the model
husband that everybody says I am.”
Examinations Made by Experts Are
of Supreme Importance In Guiding
Footsteps of Youth Into
Their Proper Sphere.
In view of the practical qunlity of
the results of psychological examina­
tions, it Is not unreasonable to sup­
pose that much practical knowledge
can thereby he gained concerning an
individual, which muy give a clearer
conception ns to his place In the world,
and may even Indicate the condition«
which lead to his fullest .development,
l ’earce Bailey, M. D., writes iu Scrib­
Tlie boy who seems to have no .spe­
cial qualifications or special Interests
when he reaches tlie period when lie
should begin to prepare for his life
work is convicted by his own indif­
ference of not being first class. In
the event of his purents having no
employment or occupation ready at
hand, he fails Into something hap­
hazard. Such a hoy under present
arrangements may have aptitudes
which nngbt permit him to excel ut
some particular calling, or he may
have defects which definitely prohibit
certain callings.
There is another clnss of hoys be­
tween whom and their parents there is
disagreement ns to whnt they should
do. Each is, perhaps, controlled by
an Idealistic preference for some occu­
pation, but tlie ideals do not coincide.
Psychological examinations might
determine whether the boy really had
some leaning to nr «luallficatlons for
what he wanted to do, or whether Ids
Ideals on the subject were purely imi­
tative without solid foundation, and
whether he would do better at the call­
ing his father wished him to follow.
In deciding this question, tlie antipa­
thy which not Infrequently exists, al­
though hotly denied, between parent
and child would have to he considered.
It has often h««eii found, when a parent
is determined on some one thing nnd
tlie son Just as obstinately t i another,
thnt the divergence Is not on the reul
issue, hut on a personal antagonism
which neither of the two admits.
There is another large eluss of boys
and young men who nro almost cer­
tainly predestined to get In wrong un­
less thoy are wisely directed ill youth.
There is some twist in llielr mental
make-up, either congenital <>r acquired,
which unfits them for certain lines of
work, and if they follow these lines
the result Is not only economic failure,
but physical and mental collapse. Such
young persons are recognizable by a
variety of signs. . . . There Is no
absolute standard by which such Indi­
viduals may be Judged as a class. On
Urn contrary, each one Is different, de­
pending upon heredity, environment,
early education, passionate prejudices
acquired through imllvidunl experi­
ence. a luck of Inilnnce In learning and
a discrepancy In moral development,
capacity and Ideals. Each re«julres a
different social remedy. They are
boys that present tlie most serious
problems that parents have to face,
such ns drinking, failure in studies,
tendency to evil associations, criminal
nnd Immoral tendencies.
The vast
majority o f these are the product of
conditions nnd nre not Incurable de-
ilnqi]«-nts. Coul'l the fumlnincntnl dis­
harmony be recognized early enough,
and could conditions he changed,
many of these boys might be suved
from ultimate collapse und might be­
come useful citizens.
Function of Art.
Truer words were never spoken by
Schiller than when he said: "Where
and whenever art deteriorates, It Is al­
ways the fnult of the nrtlsts." The
function of art Is to educate, and ele­
vate, and when it fulls to do this, It
fulls in its mission.