« PreviousContinue »
THE STANDARD OF LIVING OF AMERICAN ingmen who cannot reach this standard of living, WORKINGMEN,
because, being without technical education, they HE eminent French economist, Emile Levas
have nothing but their arms to offer, and who live THE seur, has recently made a careful study of the
in discomfort because they cannot live like their wages received by workingmen in the United States
comrades. and of the cost of living. The summarized results
" 6. Below this mass there is also in America, as in of this investigation are published by M. Levasseur
Europe, a class of people who are unable to live on in the Yale Review. These are his principal con
their earnings, and one may see in the large cities clusions :
of America heartrending misery. “1. Real wages are equal to nominal wages mul.
“7. Since 1830 the nominal wages of the American tiplied by the coefficient of the commercial power
workingman have almost always been rising, this of money.
increase having been interrupted only apparently “2. Food, light and heat being cheaper in the
when the depreciated paper money took the place United States than in France, ordinary stuffs and
of the good money. ready made clothes being probably not more dear,
“8. From 1830 to 1860 the price of commodities the rent being in many cases more expensive only
increased, but in a proportion which seemed only because the lodging is larger, it follows that the
one-fourth as great as the increase of wages. From articles of ordinary consumption—the quantity and
1860 to 1891, disregarding the exaggeration proquality being assumed to be equal-cost rather less duced by paper money, it has diminished 9 per than more, and certainly do not cost more for the cent. ; the result is that from 1830 to 1860 real wages workingman's family in the cities of the United
had increased a little less than nominal wages, but States than in those of France, and that conse
from 1860 to 1891 they increased more.” quently the real wages are, like the nominal wages, much higher in the United States than in France.
HOW TO SPEND MILLIONS. “ 3. This high rate of nominal wages and real wages has created for the American workingman a standard of living and type of existence above that
plain-spoken and sensible essay on “The of the French, and even that of the English working. Expenditure of Rich Men.” He describes the splen
The life of the workingman is broader in dor which was considered the appropriate result of America than in Europe. His well-being shows riches in the middle ages, and tells how all this is itself in the expenditure of a larger sum under now changed in Europe. With the subtraction of almost all the heads of his budget, -by a dietary, real power from the upper classes display has ceased. which if not more varied, is at least more abundant “ To be quiet and unobserved is the mark of dis: and substantial ; by the luxury of his dress, by the
tinction. Women of Madame de Sevigné's rank comforts of his dwelling, by the amount expended travel in dark-colored little broughams. Peers in on trade associations and savings, on travel, on England are indistinguishable, when they move moral needs and amusements ; on the other hand, about in public, from any one else. Distinction is by the proportional amount charged to each of these sought in manners, in speech, in general simplicity heads, food absorbing hardly one-half of his in of demeanor, rather than in show of any kind. An come, while it absorbs three-fifths in other coun attempt to produce on anybody, high or low, any tries. If he occasionally wastes, this is a fault impression but one of envy, by sumptuousness of which comes from a lack of education ; but to carry living or equipage, would prove a total failure. It the amount of his consumption to the level of his may be said, without exaggeration, that the quietearnings, is his right, and if in one way or another ness of every description is now the ‘note' of the he saves, he cannnot be charged with prodigality. higher class in all countries in Europe-quietness of
“ 4. It is true that the cost of living of the Amer manner, of voice, of dress, of equipages, of, in short, ican workingman is dear. Indeed, the social power nearly everything which brings them in contact of money is less for him than for the European ; with their fellow-men. Comfort is the quest of the that means that he has more needs to satisfy in ‘old nobility' generally. Ostentation is left to the order to live like his peers and to maintain the newly enriched, but there can hardly be a doubt that social position in which he is placed. His wants this is largely due to loss of power. Wealth now being more numerous, he requires more money. means nothing but wealth. The European noble If an accident, such as a reduction of wages or lack was, in fact, everywhere but in Venice, a great ter of work, temporarily obliges him to retrench, he ritorial lord. It was incumbent on him as a mark suffers from the privation, as people suffer in all of his position, as soon as he came out of his mediæval classes of society from a diminution of their com ‘ keep,' to live in a great house, if only for pur. fort, and he thinks himself miserable.
With 5 poses of entertainment. His retinue required large francs a day a French workingman is in ease; with accommodation; his guests required more, and $1 the American is pinched.
more still was added for the needs of the popular “ 5. Below the average rate of wages there are in imagination.” America, as in Europe, a considerable mass of work Mr. Godkin calls our attention to the fact that in
America there is no“ world or “ monde,” in which there is a stock of common traditional manners and topics and interest which men and women have derived from their parents, and a common mode of behavior which has assumed an air of sanctity. The existence of such a world in Europe has made the path of every rich man perfectly plain. If he was of good family he would do what his fathers had done before him without thinking of an alternative; if a nouveau riche, he would simply imitate the manners of those who are well born. But in America the suddenly rich-and there are a great many more of them and very much richer than in Europe-have not so easy a path toward the goal of learning how to spend their riches. They must find out for themselves by devious studies and travel, or by acquiescence in the general belief tbat whatever they do must be right.
One of the things which an American multimillionaire is most apt to do in his imitation of European models is “still the most conspicuous European mode of asserting social supremacy--the building of great houses.” But in this, Mr. Godkin points out, they make two radical mistakes. In the first place, they have not the great territorial possessions which great houses in Europe generally are signs for, nor the practice of hospitality on a vast scale. These are the excuses for great houses in England, France and Austria. “ The owner is a great landlord, and has in this way from time immemorial given notice of the fact; or he is the centre of a large circle of men and women who have practiced the social art, who know how to idle and have the means to do it; can talk to each other so as to entertain each other, about sport, or art, or literature, or politics; are, in short, glad to meet each other in luxurious surroundings.
“No such conditions exist in America. In the first place, we have no great landholders, and there is no popular recognition of the fact that a great landowner, or great man of any sort, needs a great house. In the second place, we have no capital to draw on for a large company of men and women who will amuse each other in a social way, even from Friday to Monday. The absence of anything we can call society—that is, the union of wealth and culture in the same persons—in all the large Ameri. can cities, except possibly Boston, is one of the marked and remarkable features of our time. It is, therefore, naturally what one might expect, that we rarely hear of Americans figuring in cultivated circles in England. Those who go there with social aspirations desire most to get into what is called 'the Prince of Wales's set,' in which their national peculiarities furnish great amusement among a class of people to whom amusement is the main thing. It would be easy enough to fill forty or fifty rooms from ‘Friday to Monday'in a house near New York or Boston. But what kind of company would it be? How many of the guests would have anything to say to each other ? Suppose“ stocks" to
be ruled out, where would the topics of conversation be found ? Would there be much to talk about except the size of the host's fortune, and that of some other persons present ? How many of the men would wish to sit with the ladies in the evening and participate with them in conversation ? Would the host attempt two such gatherings without abandoning his efforts in digust, selling out the whole concern and going to Europe ?
A SUGGESTION FROM MR. GODKIN. Mr. Godkin, after showing that the ordinary modes of attempting display in America are not even considered as vanity, suggests that there is a means of getting rid of cumbersome money which is untried and is full of honest faine and endless memory. We mean the beautifying of our cities with monuments and buildings. " This should really be, and I believe will eventually become, the American way of displaying wealth.”
Considering what our wealth is, and what the burden of our taxation is, and, as shown by the Chicago Exhibition, what the capabilities of our native architecture are, the condition of our leading cities as regards monuments of sculpture or architecture is one of the sorrowful wonders of our condition. We are enormously rich, but except one or two things, like the Boston Library and the Washington public buildings, what have we to show ? Almost nothing. Ugliness from the artistic point of view is the mark of all our cities. The stranger looks through them in vain for anything but population and hotels. No arches, no great churches, no court houses, no city halls, no statues, no tombs, no municipal splendors of any description, nothing but huge inns.”
A THOUSAND YEARS OF THE MAGYARS. N the Canadian Magazine Mr. Thomas Lindsay
recalls several interesting phases of Hungarian history which seem to have been very generally overlooked in most of the literature suggested by this year's millennial celebration.
While it is true that the Magyars suffered occa sional defeat, Mr. Lindsay declares that neither the Turks on the one side nor the Germans on the other were ever able to gain and hold one foot of Magyar territory.
“If Arpad rose from his grave to-day he would find that his descendants had remembered the oath of the seven, had been true to his memory, true to themselves, and were steadily Magyarizing the whole of southeastern Europe. Strong in their unity, there is no people in Christendom who can, so to speak. see so clearly through their past history, and for none is the future so bright. The union with Austria was a union of dynasties, not of peoples. The Magyar celebrates the millennial of Hungary, not of Austro-Hungary. If we would study the Hungarian we must forget his political name, which only misleads us. We may study him as the result of an evolutionary process, which can be traced in mnost minute detail, leading from the barbarian of the Caucasus to a race not less cultured than the highest in Europe.
“ In these days of celebrations, anniversaries and centennials among our own people, we are apt to forget that there are other people in the world who have histories to look back upon. Hungary's millennial may possibly awaken us. We may send greetings to the courtly Magyar in English but a few centuries old, and he will answer in the language spoken on the plains of Asia when the world was young.
“ It is to be hoped that the western world may become better acquainted than it has hitherto been with the literature of Hungary. A people with such a glorious record must give expression to their feelings and their aspirations—we would like to know just what they think 'of their past and of their possible future."
In the comprehension of the physically disabled and disordered, it is my conviction that we are behind the age. I do not mean by this to cast any petty or ungrateful fling upon the usefulness of physicians. As a class, I think them men and women of courage and of unselfishness far beyond the line at which most of us exhibit these qualities. But the scalpel will never perform the finer surgery, nor the prescription formulate the hidden therapeutics that I have in mind. The psychology of sickness and of health are at odds; and both the sick and the well suffer from the fact. I believe that great pathological reformations are before us, and that a mass of human misery, now beyond the reach of the kindest patience which handles it, will be alleviated. In truth, I believe that sympathy as a fine art is backward in the growth of progress, and that the subtlest and most delicate minds of the earth will yet give themselves to its study with a high passion hitherto unknown to us.”
AN AUTHOR'S VIEWS OF HEALTH. N the October McClure's Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
continues her "Recollections of a Literary Life," and with some apologies on the score of taste, gives several pages to a discussion of the relations of health to authorship. One can easily read between the lines tragical things of her own sleepless experiences. She has a deep sympathy for the creative artist struggling with the incubus of a weak body, and she agrees with the phrase "the insolence of health” and the saying of Longfellow, “No truly sensitive man can be perfectly well.”
“Far be it from me," says the authoress, far be it from me.-to the farthest limit of good sense—to seem to undervalue by a semitone the supremacy of physical sanity. Next to holiness, nothing is so enviable as health. I am not ashamed to say it, I would rather be well than be Shakespeare. I would rather be a hearty, happy, strapping motorman, or woodchopper, or stoker, than-but would [? How can one tell ? 'To understand the psychology of sheep,' said George Eliot, ‘one must have been a sheep. To understand the mental attitude of health, one must have been descended of health and chosen of it. Ideally speaking, the robust mind in the robust body ought to be the keenest as well as the finest in this world. In point of fact, it often partakes too much of its own muscle; the nerve of perception is bedded a little too deep in the fiber."
Mrs. Phelps-Ward goes on to say that she has always had before her the wish to write, before her pen was stopped, what she had learned about “ the relation of illness to energy, to sympathy and to fortitude."
“ The world has learned fast how to treat the other defective classes-the criminal, the insane, the shiftless, the pauper-in all these branches of investigation we are developing a race of experts.
AN AUTHOR'S ADVICE TO INVALIDS. “Avoid dependence upon narcotics as you would that circle in the ' Inferno' where the winds blow the lost spirit about forever, and toss him to and fro-returning on his course, and driven back-forever. Take the amount of sleep that God allows you, and go without what He denies; but fly from drugs as you would from that poison of the Borgias which cunningly selected the integrity of the brain on which to feed. Starve for sleep if you must-die for lack of it if you must-I am almost prepared to say, accept the delirium which marks the extremity of fate in this land of despair—but scorn the habit of using anodynes as you hope for healing and value
This revelation is sealed with seven seals. * Expect to recover. Sleep is a habit. The habit of not sleeping, once diverged from, may at any time swerve back to the habit of rest. The nervous nature is peculiarly hung upon the Law of Rhythm; and the oscillation, having vibrated just about so far, is liable, or likely, to swing back. But, if you are to recover, the chances are that you must do it in your own way, not in other people's ways. To a certain extent, respect your own judgment, if you have any, as to the necessities of your condition.
“ Cease to trouble yourself whether you are understood, or sympathized with, by your friends or by your physicians. Probably you never will be, because you never can be. At all events, it is of the smallest importance whether you are or not. The expression of sympathy is the first luxury which the sick should learn to go without. This is peculiarly and always true of nervous disorder. A toothache or an influenza, a cough or a colic, calls forth more commiseration than these trifles deserve. Disease of the nervous system is, as a rule, and among enlightened and kindly people, regarded with the instinctive suspicion and coldness natural to a profound ignorance of the subject. Do not be afraid to act for yourself. Define your own conditions of
Follow them faithfully. Do not be impatient such violence that the blood flowed from the to be as you were before the liberty of healthy wounds. The flagellant epidemic spread into Gernerves departed from you. It may become needful many, and penetrated even into Poland. As it was for you to readjust your life and all that is therein. slowly dying out, there arose another terrible epi.
“Obey the laws which you have discovered for demic, the black death,' with its horrible persecuyourself to be good government for you; and prob- tions of the Jews. No sooner was the black death ably, by respecting them, you will regain yourself, over than another epidemic, the dancing mania, and receive once more the natural renovation of began to spread. In the year 1374, at Aix-layour soul and body. Common human sleep, once Chapelle, men and women began suddenly to dance indifferently accepted, like light, or air, or food, will in public, on the streets and in the churches. In then become the ecstasy of living. With it, all wild delirium, and for hours together, they conhardships can be borne; without it, none."
tinued dancing, until at length they fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. While dancing they neither saw nor heard, being insensible to ex
ternal impressions. From Aix-la-Chapelle the epi. OUR HYPNOTIZED ANCESTORS.
demic spread to the Netherlands." N the October Century Boris Sidis has a suggest- We are confronted with a table of our mediæval
ive paper on Mental Epidemics," written from ancestors' successive manias, showing an unbroken the point of view of the expert psychologist, in record of epidemics covering a period of nearly five which he presents most of the great emotional re- centuries, as follows: ligious movements of mediæval and modern times
1000-1095 as so many cases of hypnosis. Our mediæval parents Crusade mania..
1095-1272 were strikingly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion.
(1348-1350 “Man carries with him the germ of the possible
(St. John's dance. 1374 To the end mob, of the epidemic. As a social being he is nat- Dancing mania...... St. Vitus' dance.. 1418 of the fifteenth urally suggestible; but when this susceptibility to
century. suggestion becomes, under certain conditions, ab. This is an impressive array, but we need not flatnormally intense, we may say that he is thrown into ter ourselves that hypnosis on these gigantic dimen. a hypnotic state. We know that a limitation of vol- sions was a disease peculiar to our forefathers. We untary movements induces light hypnosis, which is are told that the American is very highly suggestcharacterized by inhibition of the will if the memory ible, and that even in his short history a large and is unaffected; self-consciousness remains intact, and varied array of manias have been prevalent-for the subject is perfectly aware of all that goes on; a instance, the “ Kentucky revivals." loss of voluntary movements is one of its chief phe- “ The first camp.meeting in Kentucky was held
Keeping this in mind, we can understand at Cabin Creek, and continued four days and to a certain extent mediæval life. The mediæval three nights. The scene was awful beyond descripman was in a state of light hypnosis. This was tion. The preaching, the praying, the singing, induced in him by the great limitation of his volun- the shouting, the sobbing, the fits of convulsions, tary movements, by the inhibition of his will, by made of the camp a pandemonium. Religious sug. the social pressure which was exerted on him, by gestion soon affected the idle crowd of spectators, the great weight of authority to which his life was and acted with such virulence that those who tried subjected."
to escape were either struck by convulsions on the It was nothing more nor less than this self-hyp. way, or impelled to return by some unknown, irre. notization, according to this writer, that caused the sistible power. The contagion spread with great crusades, which agitated European nations for rapidity, and spared neither age nor sex. The about two centuries and cost them seven million camp-meeting of Indian Creek, Harrison County, is men
especially interesting and instructive for its bring. “The mediæval ages present us with an uninter- ing clearly to light the terrible power of suggestion. rupted chain of epidemics. No sooner did the cru- The meeting was at first quiet and orderly. There sade mania abate than another epidemic took its was, of course, a good deal of praying, singing and place—that of the flagellants. The initiator, the shouting, but still nothing extraordinary occurred. hero of the solemn processions of the flagellants, is The suggestion, however, did not fail to come, and said to have been St. Anthony. In 1260 the flagel. this time it was given by a child. A boy of twelve lants appeared in Italy. 'An unexampled spirit of mounted a log, and, raising his voice, began to remorse,' writes a chronicler, ' suddenly seized on preach. In a few moments he became the centre of the minds of the Italians. The fear of Christ fell the religious mob. “Thus, O sinners,' he shouted, on people noble and ignoble, old and young; and • shall you drop into hell, unless you forsake your even children of five marched through the streets sins and turn to the Lord!' At that moment some with no covering but a scarf round the waist. All one fell to the ground in convulsions, and soon the carried a scourge of leathern thongs, which they whole mob was struggling, wriggling, writhing applied to their bodies, amid sighs and tears, with and ' jerking.' In some camp.meetings the religious
Treatment of diphtherin seems to have been
mob took to dancing, and at last to barking like
THE VIVISECTION QUESTION. dogs. Men, women and children assumed the pos HE vexed question of animal vivisection is ture of dogs, moving on all fours, growling, snap. reopened in Appleton's Popular Science ping the teeth and barking."
Monthly by Prof. C. F. Hodge of Clark University, who boldly advances to repel the attack on the practice led by the valiant promoters of the Anti-Vivisec
tion Society ANTITOXIN TREATMENT OF DIPHTHERIA A Professor Hodge protests that the real issue has SUCCESS.
been obscured throughout the controversy, and that
the purpose of biological science has not been comHE last word on the subject of the antitoxin prehended by opponents of vivisection. That pur.
pose he thus explains: said in the report of the American Pediatric Soci “ Man finds himself in company upon the earth ety's investigation, recently published. In the Sep with an infinite number of living things, and he has tember Forum, Dr. W. P. Northrup reviews the found it of inestimable value to learn something conclusions of this report, which he summarizes as about this maze of life The science which has follows:
come to embody this knowledge is now known as “ Of 4,120 cases injected during the first three biology. It falls naturally into two great divisions: days, excluding moribund cases, the mortality was the study of the form and structure of organs and 4.8 per cent.
organisms-anatomy or morphology-and the study The most convincing argument, and, to the of the functions, of the actions, which the organs minds of the committee, an absolutely unanswera perform. This is physiology. Dividing further, ble one in favor of serum therapy, is found in the
physiology falls into the sciences of healthy actions, results obtained in the 1,256 laryngeal cases (mem- physiology proper, and diseased action, pathology, branous croup). In one-half of these recovery took from natos, a suffering. It is evident that for the place without operation, in a large proportion of study of form alone the dead body is in general which the symptoms of stenosis were severe. Of sufficient But for the investigation of the activi. the 533 cases in which intubation was performed ties of health and disease it is as evident that the the mortality was 25.9 per cent., or less than half as physiologist and pathologist require vital action as great as has ever been reported by any other method much as the chemist requires chemical action or the of treatment.
physicist requires motion. It is continually being “ The committee, in editing its report, sought to urged that the dead body is sufficient for every exercise a judicial fairness while submitting anti scientific purpose. As well say that the dead body toxin to a most exacting trial. Tonsillar cases of is as good as a live man. It would be precisely as mild type unconfirmed by bacteriological culture, reasonable to agitate against driving live horses, recovering, were excluded as doubtful. Fatal contending that dead ones will go just as fast, as to diphtheria cases, whose diagnoses were
oppose the use of live animals for physiological or firmed by cultures, were included.
pathological research. And those who make this “ Animals are susceptible to the diphtheria of claim prove conclusively that they have no concepman. Antitoxin is a specific' to this diphtheria in tion of what the word physiology means.” animals. There is every reason for believing it is
NATURE SANCTIONS VIVISECTION. ‘specific'in man. If it could be conceived humanly possible for a healthy baby one year old to receive Professor Hodge finds his warrant for the practice by injection ten times a fatal dose of diphtheria of vivisection in the operations of Nature. Every toxin, produced by a virulent bacillus, and at the animal life, he says, is cast into the world as an exsame time a proportionate dose of Antitoxin, there periment, often of the severest and most painful is every reason to believe that the baby would suffer type, but in this life-long vivisection, Nature proonly the transient pain of injection; would in fact vides neither ether, chloroform, chloral, nor morbehave exactly like the guinea-pig.
phine. “ More than 600 physicians in their reports pro “By this very dispensation of Nature God clearly nounced themselves as strongly in favor of the anti gives to man every sanction to cause any amount of toxin treatment of diphtheria, a great majority of physical pain which he may find expedient to unthem being enthusiastic in its advocacy.
ravel his laws. Not only this, the situation places “ Finally, to him who still feels distrust, who upon man heavy duties, which he is bound to peravers that statistics bring no conviction, that strong form. These we will consider in a moment. As men are on either side, I would say: when he has far as biological science is concerned the whole seen one severe case of diphtheria clear up like dark. argument may be summed up as follows: Biology is ness into daylight, he will look for no more arg not an exact science like mathematics and physics. ment. Since the days when Lister proposed anti These sciences are exact simply because it is possiseptics in surgery, medicine has not taken so great a ble in them to obtain as many equations as there are step in advance."
unknown quantities to be determined. Hence, with