red a stoppages conscription, and and usual number ved by the State having

ain of stwand all where come is movi

he defend the individual who is ready of imposing a sincerely held opinion. to labor when a Trades-Union has or. Gradually he is moving to the point dered a stoppage. Socialism, of course, where compulsory birth-control can implies industrial conscription, and all be made a rule with no more than the Socialists must, on pain of stultifica- usual number of exceptions. A people tion, approve Trotzky's dictum that kept or employed by the State could those who will not work shall not eat. quite easily be prohibited from having Choice of employment must evidently more than a certain number of children, be restricted, if not abolished, under and, in some cases, from having any any system of bona fide Socialism. children at all. A people increasingly

But here, perhaps, we are looking dependent on the State could be regurather far ahead. For the present Lib- lated in the same way with only a little erals can confine themselves to resisting more difficulty. And here again Libernationalization, and can do so on two alism dictates unflinching opposition. grounds. First, because it is the denial Whatever else has been taken from inof a man's right to own property, and dividuals, this at least, Liberals would secondly, because it is the end of say, must be left to them. To have a man's right to own even himself. children or not — that is emphatically

It may be, however, that the greatest their affair. A thorough Liberal would of all the struggles between the Social- of course add, ‘But they must not exist ideal of good government and the pect others thereafter to maintain Liberal ideal of self-government will them. be waged over the question of marriage How England will decide between and the family. Nothing is more certain these two ideals, between Socialist and than that permanence can be given to Liberal, cannot be foreseen; yet enough the paradises of Labor only in a coun- has been said to suggest that the Libtry where a perfect balance is struck eral still has good cards to play. One between national wealth and national more thing is to be added. Liberalism, population. This is fully realized al- the defense of liberty, has the advanready by all save the most shallow tage of being unfamiliar in contemthinkers in the Socialist Party. The porary politics. Whenever its standard Socialist who is not utterly befuddled is raised, it will be mistaken for a brandby his visions is, of necessity, a Mal- new standard. The English people will thusian. So far he is only a propagan- see over it the halo which till yesterday dist, but, if he is sincere, he will be no hung above the red flag of Labor. It more content to stop at propaganda will appeal as a novelty even if it does than anybody else who sees a chance not at once convince as a philosophy.


ceilingward if fragrant smoke asprawi, another he mixture for dril should


everything was back in place - and THERE MAY BE SMOKE

without the aid of a blueprint.

Tobacco presented the next diffi‘Why don't you smoke a pipe? It's culty. Something mild and fragrant, so masculine, so homey. If you are I decided. Something with the scent married, you have almost certainly of new-mown hay, and the strength heard this. And I, for one, will admit of a cubeb cigarette. There were some that the idea is not without appeal. forty mixtures to choose from; it There is something undeniably homey, should have been easy. But unexand settled, and carpet-slippery, about pected difficulties arose — I should the picture of one's self comfortably have one mixture for dry weather, bogged in a deep' chair, legs asprawl, another for damp, yet another for and clouds of fragrant smoke drifting winter. When I finally shut the door ceilingward through the mellow glow behind me, I bulged with no less than of the reading-lamp. And the Little five small tins, and had rushed forth Woman at hand, playing with the Mah in desperation lest he produce a speJongg tiles, or smiling at one over the cial tobacco designed for use only on Home Companion, ever and anon ec- election days and school holidays. statically sniffing the domestic incense The first filling and lighting was — from a safe distance. So, straining a momentous event, despite my effort for masculinity, I bought a pipe. to make it a casual one. After the last

It cost more than I had expected to plate had been wiped and the checkered pay, but then, it was 'genuine briar- tea-towel pitched up over the stoveroot from the sun-baked plains of pipe to dry, we sauntered into the livingAlgeria, seasoned for fifteen years, room, arm in arm. Assuming as nonbeautifully grained,' as the crafty chalant an air as possible, I sank into tobacconeer pointed out. It was a the large chair, and after the proper fine, rich, winey shade, one had to interval drew forth the new pipe and admit. And more wonders! With a one of the mixtures. My wife's eyes deft twist he snitched out the stem widened, her mouth flew open, hands and exposed a veritable maze of clasped in ecstasy. “A pipe, a real sanitary plumbing. Aluminum traps, pipe!' she crowed, quite as if she were odd cup-shaped catchalls, U joints to agreeably surprised not to discover ensnare the insidious nicotine. My it made of celluloid or rosin. “Where mechanical talents running solely to did you get it?' the withdrawal of balky nails or the 'Thought I 'd try it,' said I, in an pounding in of same, fingers and all, offhand manner, quite as though the I contemplated the intricate piping idea had been my own from the start. with misgiving. 'How about a man to 'It 's a man's smoke — ought to help run the thing?' I inquired with a sickly cutting down on the cigarettes too. attempt at humor. ‘Ridiculous,' said Let 's have it, before you drop it.' the piper, ‘it runs itself. Look!' A few She finally relinquished the prize, twists, and inside of five minutes perching on the arm of the chair like


acrossed its capast and balmy in fact,

an inquisitive wren, bursting with more surprising results returned. The suggestions and admiring comment. steady yellow flame moved slowly Clutching the bowl in my left hand, I across the tiny altar, the incense sought to pour the tobacco into it from awaited its caress, and I leaned back the round tin. I had seen this done in and drew in a vast and tremendous pull a most workmanlike fashion by a on the stem. But no balmy cloud of friend named Farrier — his long, bony soothing smoke rewarded; in fact, forefinger went tap, tap, tap, like nothing came out. I pulled until my a methodical woodpecker on a dead eyes crossed briskly, the veins in my limb, and just the proper amount of forehead swelled ominously. I recalled the fragrant granules popped out and the doctor's words, 'Your blood presinto the bowl as though measured to sure is higher than I like to see it.' fit. It looked simple. But with my I stopped suddenly, slowly deflating first tap, nothing came out at all, and to normal dimensions. with the second tap half the contents 'Try once more; one more 'll do it,' of the tin cascaded forth. It filled the urged the wren, too absorbed in the bowl, however, to say nothing of my mechanics of the business to note my. lap and the cuffs of my trousers, and apoplectic hue. Again the flame swept drew a peal of laughter from my wife. the bowl; again I inflated and sucked

"These new tins are slippery as the in mightily. This time, things hapdevil,' said I, assuming what I imagined pened. From the depths of the pipe to be an experienced air. She laughed came first a subdued squeaking, a noise again. Louder, I thought, than such such as you hear on unearthing a newa trivial incident warranted.

born family of field mice. Then a low Next the packing down. My friend moan, and finally, a shrill, reedy peep, Farrier always used the index finger culminating in a veritable blast of of the right hand, I recalled. This tobacco into my mouth and throat. operation, while attended with a cer- But no smoke. Subsequent examinatain delicacy and precision, had never tion revealed that I had not, as I feared, appeared difficult. The question was, inhaled the sanitary plumbing system just how much pressure to apply. along with half of the bowl's contents. Enough to hold the tobacco firmly But it felt like it. in place, surely – I tamped it down Nothing less than a woman's scorn with lusty pokes. A typhoon could could have brought me up to the startscarcely have rippled the topmost ing-line again. Under alternate waves layer when I finished. I drew forth the of pity and poorly concealed merripacket of matches.

ment, I packed the bowl for the second 'No, no! Me— let me light it! Me,' attempt — packed it loosely, and with pleaded the wren, snatching the misgiving. Corkscrewing my feet tightmatches from my hands. ‘All right, ly around the chair legs, I shut my eyes I granted, “but light the blame thing and pulled gingerly, ready to hurl the evenly, back and forth, and don't entire works through the open window burn the er - er briar. It is from at the first sign of treachery. But lo, Bulgaria.

a mellow warmth filled my mouth; Never was temple fire attended with a cautious sniff revealed smoke in the more rapt or devout ceremony. Never air. Taking heart from the encouraging did two human beings approach a signs, I'sucked strongly, and was rereligious rite with more veneration. warded by a rich billow which edAnd never, I venture to state, were died into my throat. A live, breathing

coal pulsated in that pipe, attuned to unsteadiness upon arising suddenly – my very spirit.

You know,' my wife's voice broke ‘Wonderful, cried my wife. 'Now, in on me as I was making a conscious you look like a man! Overlooking effort to focus on a landscape which the obvious inference of the remark, waggled oddly on the farther wall, I swelled with pride at the tone in every real home-man I know of which it was uttered, and blew forth smokes a pipe. You have no idea how a great gust which curled and writhed kind of contented you look now — in a quiet atmosphere.

almost a part of the chair. A pipe 's This was more like it, I thought. so much more manly-looking than One bold puff succeeded another, the a cigarette, somehow. Why, what is wren marveling at the blue clouds the matter — 'as I rose, wild-eyed, which issued from my mouth like the and floundered from the room. exhaust from a motor boat. The plumbing worked well, only an oc- That was eight months ago. Since casional cinder or a drop of some that fateful day, my pipe and I have peculiarly pungent and biting liquid become nodding acquaintances, if not sifting through to dampen my enthu- warm friends. He sits enshrined on siasm momentarily.

a holder of hammered brass, on top of Sitting far down in the deep up- a fumed-oak cabinet, such as all holstery, I endeavored to assume the regular homey smokers are presented beneficent, far-away expression which with, if they live long enough. And every right-thinking pipe-smoker seems I sit in my armchair across the room; to acquire. A new difficulty arose, I nod brightly at him, and sometimes, however. After ten minutes of steady if the light catches him just right and puffing, I became aware that my ex- he's in the proper humor, he winks pectoratory powers had suddenly de- back - a brief, understanding wink veloped to an amazing degree. The from his silver band. Which leads me hundred tiny unseen glands — which to conclude that there are pipes and the tooth paste advertisements tell pipes, and that he, apparently, is not a us must function twenty-four hours homey sort of pipe at all! a day if we would avoid dental damnation — all began to work at once.

ince. FIFTY-SEVEN OLD WOMEN WHO Swallowing fiercely, I did my best to

NEVER USED SOAP retain my dignity. Somehow, this exercise did not go with the calm, WHEN Thoreau immortalized the benign composure which a true lover anonymous old woman who lived unof the pipe should exhibit. I recalled der a hill (and if she's not dead, she's that my friend Farrier seldom ex- living there still) he opened a vista pectorated, and that when he did, it into universal history that has many was not from pressure within, but whimsical aspects. The comparative rather to confirm his skillful and deadly hygienic habits of this old woman and aim on a knot in the flooring, or on the her predecessors are an aspect that can person of some luckless beetle which be treated with delicacy perhaps and happened to cross his path. Yet there still make the inquiry piquant. it was. And with it came a faint but If this old woman were a hundred disturbing hint of light-headedness – years old and touched hands with ana vague feeling that all within was not other who lived a century before her, exactly as it should be — a slight and so on back to Mother Eve, there

in the floor beetle which beill make the inoman we

would be only sixty, all in a row. Soap was made crudely centuries Your great-grandmother, were she a ago by the Gauls, but used as a coshundred, back to Eve is a respectable metic and not as a cleanser. This is party of only sixty old women. Not recorded by the elder Pliny and we an unusual tea party, Thoreau says, have no reason to doubt it. This cosbut their gossip would be universal metic was made from tallow and ashes history, their customs a most enlight and it turned the hair a bright red. ening insight into evolution, and their Goat suet and beechwood ashes procostumes a study in vogue such as no duced the most popular and fashionable museum has ever attempted.

results. It is perplexing to evaluate It is shocking to think that of these the discovery of soap properly, for its sixty old ladies only three of them origin is so confused in vanity. Ancould ever have used soap. The old other historian credits the invention woman who nursed Columbus was the of soap, or a mixture that perhaps was fourth. She took a bath in the summer the genesis of soap, to a colony of without a detergent and rubbed her Phænician settlers in Gaul, who used skin with a coarse flaxen towel. The it as a salve for eruptions on the body. twentieth was Cleopatra, whose bath The lye was made from water and ashes is no mystery in technique or detail. and olive oil was used for the fat. There is a popular impression that the This source is of greater spiritual comessence of her bath was soap. Essential fort, because the healing of diseases, oils were used in the rite, but the cleans- while never a proper function of soap, ing agent was fine white sand applied is a more ennobling impulse than the by her maids. She came clean by false adornment of the person by diserasure. The makers of abrasives have colored hair. Credit the forbears of the more right to Cleopatra than the makers French parfumeurs, ironical as it may of soap. Helen of Troy was the thir- seem, with the discovery of soda ash tieth, but neither history, legend, nor made from common salt, and the exact art has revealed the secret of her constitution of the fatty acids and of perfection, beauty, or hygienic cere processes for their separation. These mony. Susanna's bath was composed two discoveries made possible the of the elements of surprise and delight. manufacture of soap as it is known to

But to return to your great-grand- us in modern days. And this was at mother. Allow that she could procure the end of the eighteenth century. and did use soap, and maybe so her W e of the twentieth century are apt great-grandmother. Further back than to think of soap as a necessity. We that, though they indexed themselves feel that the Great Unwashed is a in the Modern Age, they were hygienic reducible minimum which is gradually barbarians. Gradually the use of soap being soaped and sudsed and made has become general, or nearly so, and whiter than snow. Think back eighteen Liebig says that a nation's degree of centuries, and then on back to the civilization may be judged by the founding of Rome, to Romulus and amount of soap it consumes. Our Remus, whose mother did not use soap present generation in America con- for her babies' skins but licked them sumes more soap than any people in with her tongue. Imagine the millions the world. Our use of cosmetics is and millions of people in these ages increasing at almost the same rate, without soap and then fancy with and it is interesting to relate soap to what pride Thoreau's old woman uncosmetics in their historical origins. der the hill must have exhibited her

« ElőzőTovább »