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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, February 01, 1920, Image 83

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D
R. GEORGE L. MEYLAty, of Columbia, who says the
probiem of long life is easily solved
ffT"^ IIF rules for achieving lon
I gevity are comparatively
JL
fimple, accordlng to Dr.
George L. Meylan, director
of the Columbia Ui iversity gym
i.-. im. The difficulty lies in fol?
lowing tho rules. And then there is
* .the question whether longevity is
the best thing for the progress of
the world, or, to get the probiem
more into focus, Is it the best I
foi tl e progress of the nation? Do -
longevity mean slowing up? In fi t.
a '? le held of speculation i; op< ne I
whei one approaches tho compara
tiv simple pr 1 li u of longevity.
Perhaps the best way to do is to
state the rules first and give one or
two examples.
Don't worry.
Be moderate in everything.
These are the only rules to achieve
Iongevity. Jt should be noted that
rule No. 2 refers especially to work.
Fiftcen years, ago Dr. Meylan, at
his summer camp in Maine, was
swimming in the lake with his two
boys, when Hezi kiah Lombard came
"? in a rowboat. Hez< kiah was
eighty-ninc years old.
"Come along and have a swim,"
Dr. Meylan invited the old gentle
man.
"Don'l keer ef I do," r< plied Hez
ekiah.
? He pulled his b iat up to the shore,
Do You Want to Live Long?
The Thing Is Easy, Says Dr. George L. Meylan, of Columbia. All
to Do Is Refrain From Worrying and
Be Moderate in All Things
stripped and walked out onto the
springboard. But he did not dive.
"Jest thought I'd teeter a hit," he
I explained, as he went back to the
' shore and waded in from the rocks.
Hezekiah swam around for a quar
| ter of an hour and then dressed and
went back to his boat.
"Jest Lazy*'
Seven years ago next Easter Dr.
1 Meylan dropped in to see Hezekiah
about 11 o'clock in the morning.
For the first time in the. ninety
seven years of his life the? old gen?
tleman was not up and about. Dr.
Meylan asked him if he was sick.
"No," said Hezekiah, "jest kiml o'
lazy."
Dr. Meylan cxamined him and
found (hat the circulation had
ceased in his extremities. He suf
fered no pain, however. Hezekiah
himself was not aware that he was
not functioning normally in every
way. That aftemoon he died. It.
was merely that the machinery
stopped.
"lt was the only pcrfect example
I have ever seen," said Dr. Meylan,
"of death from old age."
Hezekiah Lombard worked all his
life as a young man, sometimes in
the lumber forests, sometimes on
the lumber tows going down to
Portland ? which was very hard
work, indeed ? sometimes on the
farm. As he began to get old r he
dropped off tho harder kinds of
work, and by the time ho was sev
enty was not doing mlich except
farming. At ninety he did a little
hoeing in the gardi n, chopped some
firewood occasionally nnd picked up
chips and carried in wood for tho
fire. By the time he. was ninety-five
picking up chips and watching the
fire from a comfortable seat were his
share of the household duties. Dur?
ing his last winter he merely
watched the fire.
His life was the essence of mod
' eration, savo in one particular. He
neither smoked nor uaed alcohol in
any form.
Don't be too hasty. Hezekiah's
brother, who lived to be ninety
; three, smoked moderately and drank
moderately ail his life. Hezekiah'a
son, seventy years old, who built two
log houses last summer with hia own I
' hands and unassistod, both drinka
' and Emokes in moderation and al- j
ways has done so.
Dr. Meylan says the tostimony as
' to drinking and smoking is evenly
balanced. The recorda do not. show,
and twenty-five yeara of attentive
study of tho problem of longevity
: haa not developed that non-drinkers
'. and non-smokers live longer than
modorate drinkera and smokera. It
. . the men who uso tobacco or al?
cohol to excess who shorten their
lives. And the cause is not alcohol
or tobacco, but lack of moderation.
Second eXample.
Charles W. Eliot, president emeri
lus of Harvard University, was born
on March 20, 1834, within a couple
of montha of eighty-five years ago.
A few weeks ago Dr. Meylan sat
beside Dr. Eliot at a dinner in Bos?
ton. Dr. Eliot was in perfect health
and full vigor. Dr. Meylan asked
him to what he attributed his long
and vigorous life. in its briefest
form Dr. Eliot's answer was "'mod?
eration in everything."
Aml Dr. Meylan adda that any
professor at Harvard who tried to
duplicate President Eliot's working
average would have killed himself in
three years.
Third example.
There were two professors of
mathematics working side by side in
the same university. They were ap
proximately the same age. One of
them taught his subject, gave his
class the. marks they deserved, and
if they failed to pass it was their
fault. The other worried over every
student who failed tu come up to the
standard. Neither of the professors
1 had any organic trouble. Both were
apparently healthy men. The I
should-worry professor is alive,
healthy and happy. His eonfrere,
who worried, died at fifty-tive.
Caesar, for Example
"It was a perfect example of wor- ;
rying himself to death," said Dr.
Meylan.
Worry is evidently a matter of j
temperament, but worry has so many
different form3 that it probably has ;
more to do with shortening life than
lack of moderation in other respects.
The conscientious man worries about
his work. The ambitious man wor-1
ries about, his prospects. The am
bitious man both worries and over
worka. Ambition is a terrible handi?
cap to the man who wants to live
long.
Worry shows itself in innumerable
ways. It makes the naturally fat,
man thin. It ruins the temper. It
makes one nervous. It causes indiges-!
tion. There is nothing worry cannot '
do. And the only thing the doctor can
do ia to adviae hia patient not to
worry. The doctor cannot exercise
control. Ail he can do is to give ad-l
vice, and it is up to the patient to j
do the rest. It ia a matter of tem?
perament and sclf-control. Also, it
is somewhat a matter of faith. God
tempers the wind to the ahorn lamb.
Does He?
With work it is another affair.
For every man there is a positive
limit to the amount. of work he can
do, says Dr. Meylan. and that amount.
can be determined with exactness.
He says that with the wholehearted
cooperation of the patient he can de
terminc by observationa over a
period of from six weeks to three
months just how much work any
man can do without danger to his
health.
Tiie worst of it is that a man can?
not develop the ability to work
longer. Nature has set the limits
with each of us, and if we want to
preserve life and health we must
keep within those limits and not
complain. If nature has said we
can work only four hours a day, we
must not be envious of the man to
whom nature has given the strength
to work seven hours. The thing for
the four-hour-a-day man to do is to I
learn to concentrate. so as to squeeze :
as much accomplishment into his
four hours as the other fellow can
get in seven hours.
It can be done. Edward Everett
Hale was a fine example. He was j
never a strong man. From boy- i
hood ho was what wouid be called '
sickiy. Experiment convinced him
that ho was a four-hour man and he '
made the rule never to work after
midday. But he conccntrated during
his four hours, and the result was
that he nccomplished far more than ;
the average man and lived longer'
than the average man.
One asks, Does it make any dif
fercr.ee whether the work is of the
outdoor variety?farming or fores
try?-or mental effort? Dr Meylan
saj*3 no. A farmer is limited in
the amount of work he can safely do
just the same as the writer or ana-i
lyticj-,1 chemist
Of course, there are things one can
do better or with less effort than
others, and by choosing the things !
one can do best and with the least
effort one can accomplish moro in the
specified working hours. But these
things are immutable, just as the
number of the working hours is im-'
mutable. That is, if one is best suited I
to one line of effort ono cannot by
toil and study develop another qual- I
ity or direction of effort into the
dominant.
A Dark Outlook
In fact, it is extremely difficult,
almost. impossible, to be optimistic
ovew the probiem of longevity. There
is something depressing about an in
vestigation of it. It seems as though |
the first rule should be "don't be
ambitious."
Dr. .Meylan admits it, The nation '
D
R. ELIOT, president emeritus of Harvard, who attributes
his long life to moderate livina
that sets up longevity as its ideal,'
he says, ls pretty sure to slow up
in other directions. Progress means
burning out. It means doing in five !
years what ordinary effort would ac
complish in twenty years. If a na?
tion is to adopt longevity as its
greatest end, it must be content with
the twenty year instead of the five
year speed mark, or it must be con?
tent to adopt the ideas of others in?
stead of forming its own. lt must
drop back into the position of the
second or third rate plodder and
be satisfied.
The ether alternative is to select
a few specially equipped leaders to
bum themselves out and sacrifice
themsclves for the progress of the
nation. But who is to make the se
lection and who is to repress the
ambitions of those who are not'
chosen? The problem ia too difflcult.
It is paternalism gone mad.
And there remains the other diffl
culty that no one can develop facul
ties with which nature has not
endowed him. The best one can do Ls
to cultivate to their highest point the
facuities one has. If thia can be
made the uniform practice cf the
nation, in time a race of high-pow
ered specialists wiil be developed
that over the whole population of a
country will cover the entire field
of human endeavor, and then there.
can be both longevity and progress.
H. G. Wells prognosticatea a de
cent winter climate for Xew York
(in common with the rest of the
earth) half a million yeara hence.
In the same lenth of time. that for
midable race of high-powered spe?
cialists may be cultivated. Let's go 1
N
I
!. REAT many hui ln 1 ? oi
have been written
'.'. T"o v. ho have
:i to succe is e>r fame,
' I ? hard cap of early pov
thi is a sl ry of a womai
attained international dis
th ' pite rieI e :, and it ha
feal ire lite as rema rkable as anv
to
I .
L
I in the na i rat ives
? ? ' elebi ities.
.f
than two years ago Mrs.
'-'?' a Rae Drake had no individual
?''?'? nction beyond that of
*<?' !e v known in New York
?? tl * ife of John \. Drake,
i r and business partner of
ie late John W. Gates; to
? i one of the * I rongest non
in the friendship thal
'? ' ' ? United States and Ital .
i ? i the Fiunie controversy
?;'? o ' i ght and certain of our
leaelers w re b< ing hotl
'??''???- mned by the modern descend
?'?'* of the Roman Empire, thosi
iame j eople were crow ding th
*treei Lo pay homage to Mrs. Draki
'??'? they vvelcomed as a personifi
*'a' ':- ' !1 <? true spirit of Ami rica
?"rv! ' ? ? as a savior. Thus Mrs.
'?'?? ? ' ough her activities, which
? ? ? ivar work, has served
-nd conl ? ucs to serve the best in
toresl i oi :? th nations.
bought It a Time Killer
When Mrs. Drake, by telephoning
?*> a fi w of her friends from her
--partments in tho Vanderbilt Hotel,
first undertook the formation of an
?rganizati "i that was to he known
as the Ameriean Free Milk and Re
'-ef for Italy, the general opinion
was that, like a good many others,
*?*-?- I a I lecided to dabbTe in war re?
lief work, partly because lt was fash
-onable and partly because the re
-M-icted social activities due to the
war left her with a lot of snare time
t0 kill. But those who figured that
way did so without knowing the real
*?ula Drake or the tireless energy of
Which she is possessed.
*et if these people had stopped
to think they might have seen right
frorn tho start that Mrs. Drake In
knded doing things. ln the first
------'e. it was fashionahle at the time
*** aid France and Beigium. Mrs.
?Drake turned to Italy. Why? Be
c--Uao she had been doing some
JhfRS. JOHN ADAMS DRAKE, a New York woman, who
became the idol of Italy
thinking for herself and because she
took the trouble to get herself per
sonally well informed as to tho con?
ditions there.
Sho knew, and she had tho facta
and figures aa proof, that the con?
ditions in the war devaatated areas
of Italy were quite aa bad aa those
in France and Belgium. She had
the figures about the coal shortage,
the appalling milk shortage that was
causing a horrible infant mortality,
the influenza epidemic and the vast
army of homeless orphana it pro?
duced. AU tlmse things she atudied
out and she got d< wiuto the funda?
mental causes of ail this sufi'ering
and consulted apecialiata as to the
best methoda of relief.
And ail thia while lier surround
ings, even some of her friends, were
tempting her back to the life of ease
ar.d luxury. It was ail very well
for her heart to go out to Italy.
Doubtlesa that poor, dear country
needed help, too, but why not send
a check for a few thouaand to the
Red Croaa or somebody and let them
do the worrying? That was aome
of the, advice she got, but that was
just the kind she refused to listen
With her social standing ?]1P na(j
no trouble in getting the best names
in the country on her list of mem?
bers, but when it came to doing the
work she soon found that she had to
attend to that pretty much ail her?
self. But that was no discourage
ment.
Did the Work Herself
Having laid her groundwork, as,
were, she turned one of her rooms:
at the Vanderbilt into an office, in
stalled a private telephone wire and
went to work. lt wasn'l long before
the money began to roll in. But
thia money wasn't allowed to remain
in the bank long. Just as soon as
sufficient to make a shipment had
been gathered it wa3 invested in dry
milk and other supplies, which were
rushed to Italy. From the Italian
government Mrs. Drake obtained a
grant of free transportation by land
ar.d water for the goods, so Ll al
practically every cent that was i ..
lected was spent for supplies, wh ch
was a strong point ir. favor of the
i
i rganization.
Not content with her activities
among the adults, Mrs. Drake or
ganized the Bnmbino League, a
;'unior auxi! ry, and so started hun
dreds of children to workii g in Italy,
until the Bambino League grev, :
have 5,000 members.
Meanwhile, tho Italian branch of
the main organization had been or
gani/.ed. under the patronage of the
Queen herself, and trained physi
ciana and specialists carried on the
work there un ier the supervision of
Henry M. Rae, of Xew York, and
Captain Piero V. Tozzi. While the
war raged, and for a short time af
terward, Mrs. Drake's organization
supplementod the work of the Amer?
ican Red Cro; i in Italy; but when
the American Red Cross withdrew
the vast relief work still to be dor.v
fell upon tiie smallef organization;
but Mrs. Drake kept right on, work?
ing twelve and sixteen hours a day,
and finally, wl cn thin - w< re going
smoothly here. decided upon a per
onal tour of inspection, to see if
more could not be done.
She went there, expecting to make
quiet visits t i tho 230 institutions
which are being supplied by her or?
ganization, but instead the ship that
took her over was greeted by the
highest governmesto officials, and her
tour became a series of ovations,
?>1
(P f* f*
w "w %*
i vec
' such as Italy probably has never ex
tended to any other Ameriean wom?
an. In Rome, in Naples, everywhere
she went, tiie people in the streets
cheered as she passed in her motor
,car, with military escort provided by
the government, and the highest dig
nitaries gave dinners and receptions
in her honor ad decorated her with
medals. Yet never for a moment did
these demonstrations turn her head
or clistract her from her work.
There was Fiume. What differ
>nrv did it make, from the human
itarian point of view, who was
inally to get that much eontested
city? It was filled with children
who were starving and must be
saved. It wasn't an easy matter to
"''!- ? upplii s into Fiume, but Mrs.
Drake found a way, and they were
??'. enough to last three months.
And, later, although sho had to
vel in an automobile by night,
he went to Fiume herself to see
that the needy children actually got
the supplies that had been sent.
Here again her entry was turned
into a sort of triumphal march, for
Gabriele d'Annunzio and his entire
staff came out to greet her and that
other Xew York woman, Mrs. W. B.
Thompson, who had accompanied
her on the journey. Then through
lanes of cheering people d'Annunzio
took the two women to the Gov
ernor's palace, where he had hi3
headquarters, and there gave a ban
quet in their honor.
Twice during the dinner d'Annun?
zio was forced to go out upon a
balcony and address the great
crowds that had gathered. He spoke
cf Ameriea in terms of highest
praise, and then he took Mrs. Drake
ami .Mrs. Thompson out with him
a l the two were cheered as heart
:'.;* as the poet himself. Then be?
fore they left the soldier-poet gave
Mrs. Drake a manifesto to the
Ameriean people written in English
hi his own hand and decorated her
with the gold medal of Fiume.
Received by the Pope
And there were two other gold
medals which Mrs. Drake brought
home with her when sho returned
he other day, one bestowed by the
Mayor of Rome and the other by
?1 ? t resi lent of the Italian Red
Cross, and so many othi r honor
were heape d upon her thal it would
i become tedious to list them all.
QABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO'S message to New York sent
through Mrs. Drake
Even the Pope recognized her valu
able service to Italy and i: vit d
Mrs. Drake to the Vatican where
during a half hour's conference he
not only expressi d his grat Lude
and gave Mrs. Drake an iiu'o
graphed photograph of himself, but
offered the codperation of the Cath
olic Church in carrying on the relief
But any one who goes to inter
view Mrs. Drake will find it mighty
hard to get anything out of her
about the honors 'ha*. Italy bestowed
upon her, for ?'n^ will talk only
about the needa of that country,
which she says is greatly misunder
Btood.
"1*, is not that Italy has not the
ability to help herself," she saidj
when seen in her office where, ever
--in.ee the day after her return, she
has been working away as busily as
ever. ''The trouble i3 that she has
nothing to work with. Every man
and woman from the lowest to the
highest ia workii g with every ounce
of strength to save Italy. They
have a wonderful organization that
cove'i. the entire country and every?
body works.
"I met a young Italian naval offi
cer, who, judging from appearances,
might have b< en intereated only in
a round of entertainmenta and
flirtationa. The next day I saw him
again at one of our institutions for
orphans. He was helping to pre?
pare food for ?jhe older children,
He told me he was devoting fourj
| days a week to this sort of thing
which he called the after-the-war
fight to save the country. His case
was typical of the feeling with which
every one there is imbued.
"Italy is like a wounded soldier
weak from loss of blood," continued
Mrs. Drake. "But don't make a mis
take," she added quickly. "Italy ia
not begging for help. Her people
are patient and long suffen'ng and
highly appreciative of anything that
is done with love; but they ask for
nothing. They are fighting on in the
same spirit with which they foughl
tho war. In her reconstruction work
Italy is making a record second to
none among the countries of Europe.
and she is doing it practically un
aided aml against tremendous odds.
"Xo one is helping to rebuild
Northern Italy, devastated by th?
Austrians; nobcdy is sending any
money or raw materials over there
for that: purpose, yet the rebuild ing
is going on and has been almost
since the day the armistice was
signed. And how are they doing it?
The poor peasants are g< >.g back
to " ie wreckage that was once their
home and are rebuilding houses out
of the ruins, and they are doing the
work splendidly and without com
plaint.
Asks Square Deal
"It is this unconquerable spirit
which has caused me to become such
a warm admirer of the entire na?
tion, ar.d I am sure that every
Ameriean who would stop to learn
the truth about Italy would feel the
same way about it. Oh, if I could
only make my own Ameriea see
things as they really are I arn sure
Italy would get a square deal.
"Politics do not interest me. I
only know what I saw, and I believe
I know the heart of the Italian peo?
ple, and it holds only love for
Ameriea. Everywhere I went 1
found this to be true. In Fiume,
when d'Annunzio made his speeeh in
praise of Ameriea, the people
cheered wildly for fully five min?
utes, and a great crowd, as you
know. always expresses its true sen
timents.
"There are strong blood ties be?
tween the two nations, and politics
should not be allowed to east a cloud
over this natural friendship. Deati
tute as the nation is, without coal
or food or medieines, Itaiy wants
the love and respect of Ameriea
more than any of these material
things. She wants our sympathy
and our appreciation of the v.t.il
part she played in the war. Poor
Italy wrecked herself in helping to
bring about the victory, and yet
there are so few who will gi\
heroic nation her just dues o -w.-'.i
even recognize her sacritices."

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