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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, January 17, 1897, Image 20

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London Yuletide Carols, Its Tribes of Street Beggars and Its Wonderful Doll Show
{foN all delightful looks on English life
{*■! in town and country the romantic
Jjt authors linger over descriptions of
Christmas festivities, and the jovial good
feeling, the general airoi benevolence and
good will exhaled by every one, rich or
poor. They grow particularly tender in
describing the Christmas carols. The
first time, a weeks^ago, when I heard a
bellowing as of young calves in the twi
light immediately under my window, I
hastened to look out to see whether any
thing particularly harrowing bad oc
curred. Three dim figures stood in the
street; each one held a large square of
white pasted to his breast, and their emo
tions seemed to find vent in these howls
of anguish.
"What do these boys mean by yelling
under my window in such a manner?" I
demanded severely of tbe maid who an
swered my irate bell. She regarded me
with most evident scorn.
"Hit's the Christmas carols!" she re
plied. " 'Aye you anything for them?"
• A penny for each procured another song,
given with redoubled ardor.
I listened with great respect and tried
to awaken in my disillusioned soul some
echo of all those Christmas stories that
had created an ideal Christmas carol in
my mind.
"Peace on hearth!" came from the
street like the din of tin pans, "good
Here an omnibus came clattering for
ward end the carolers moved on.
Since then the carols continue from
early morn till long past dewy eve. At
midnight strident tores pierce the frosty
atmosphere and the indefatigable carolers
proceed on their harmonious paths in
search of the lively penny.
By daylight these figures reveal them- j
selves in a more or less grotesque or pa- I
thetic form. German bands with their
instruments wet with frost, with disrepu- i
table bats ahd noses tbat glow a warm
purple as of wine; tottering old men and
women with their illuminated scrolls, or
highly colored prints; and yesterday I
came across two children, a boy of nine j
and a little girl of seven, standing in the !
middle of the wet street as bold as young
How Japanese Warriors Are Made
TiX a queer room at the back of a row of
IS houses on Post street there meets
■j bouses on Post street there meets
__>*-> every Sunday afternoon a society
Known as the Shimbukan, or Japanese
fencing club.
The president, Dr. Kuro zawa, kindly
granted permission to visit the place and
judge of the progress of the members in
the use of the foil. Then, with the desire
to please, which is a strong part of the
Japanese nature, be laid aside his medi
cine Lotties and escorted me thither. As
he hurried down the street by my side his
round face glowed with enthusiasm, and
his eyes looked like black coals with hid
den lire, which struggled to the surface
now and then.
"We have another one, the Giyudan,"
he said. The doctor's Englisn vocabulary
is limited, and be uses now and then his
native words, which renders his speech
somewhat puzzling. "At the Giyudan
they learn to use the gun and to do as
they would in battle. In the Shimbukan
tbey only use the sword or bamboo."
Through a dirty alley and up two well
worn broad steps, and underneath a
clothesline full of strange garments drip
ping wet, I followed the genial president.
The room into which we went wa3 large,
but nearly filled with Japanese boys in all
stages of dress.
"Not all here to-day,'' said Dr. Kuro
zawa. "We have two hundred members;
only about one hundred fifty here. Four
years ago we have only ten." And the
doctor laughed heartily as though it were
a good joke.
After the stranger had received a chair —
the only ono to be had — the president
signaled to a pleasant-faced man, who ran
to the further end of the room, caught up
a bugle and began play iDg upon it with
ear-splitting earnestness. Still it bad the
desired effect. The men formed into, line,
an old man with as much of a military
» bearing as his small stature would allow
stepped forward and addres.ed them in
their native tongue. The bugler stood
back and waited:
"Him?" He bowed politely. The Japan
ese are painfully polite always. "He's the
teacher. Mutol Have you never heard
of him? He's a great man ; fought in the
war against China and killed seven or
eight Chinamen himself."
Muto was an elderly man, with a full
beard and a strong lace. Short in stature
was he; yet you were compelled to respect
what there was of him. He was unmistak
ably a student.
He had caught up a foil not slender
and long like our foils, but short and
broad. As he brandished this weapon,
with his head well thrown back, and
pranced to and fro, he reminded one
strongly of a drum-major worried into a
frenzy by the carelessness of his musi
cians. No doubt be had killed a number
of Chinese if he had the opportunity, but
that he paused to make a chaik mark as
each had expired one must question. He
was becoming excited with his exercise
and the men about him were catching the
enthusiasm. They became restless. First
they applauded, then two rushed to where
I eagles. They had high, shrill voices too,
and a most determined little way of ac
costing the passerby to say, "Merry
I Christmas, please, sir; merry Christmas,
! please, ma'am 1"
The two of them must have reaped a
' fortune of pennies. It is a time when
charity is really spontaneous, but beggary
assumes' so many new and unaccustomed
snapes in London it is necessary to keep a
particularly firm hold of one's purse.
! That tribe cf vagabonds who spring out of
i the ground, as you step into a cab or han
som, obsequiously and unnecessarily open
the door, and cling to it until they have
received a penny or have given you a
piece of frankest advice; the venders of
microscopic and starved-looking plants
who follow you for any distance murmur
ing: "My moder has no bread in the
'ouse, me little brothers and sisters, seven
of 'em, hall under five years," etc., etc. ;
the woman with a paper of rusty pins and
four worn bootlaces and a general fra
grance of the public-house about her per
sonall these unfortunates and many
others, better and worse, make the streets
pleasant for the Christmas shopper, al
ready frantic with the calls upon his or
her time and generosity. The papers
j print columns of appeals; every institu
tion, public and private, clamors for sub
scriptions, toys, turkeys or old clothes.
Mr. Labouchere of Truth was the origi
nator of the Truth doll show for the
benefit of poor children whose holidays
must be passed in workhouse or hospital
wards. Seventeen years ago the first
doll show was held in the offices of
Truth; it has developed from these small
quarters through stages of the Marlbor
i ough and Grosvenor galleries to the great
: A3 crt Hall itself. There are 28,000 poor
| children in the various charitable institu
; tions of the metropolis, and 29,000 toys I
■ were sent from all parts of the town and j
! country."
It has become quite an honor to send
the best-dressed and most ingenious doll
in the exhibition. So we find Li Hung
Chang and Lohengrin and Charley's
Aunt and little flower curls and duchesses
all associating "together, rather stiffly
and unbendingly, it must be confessed,
the foils were lying and grasped them;
then they began to parry blows, tbeir
white teeth clenched, their bright eyes
glistening, as excited and nervous as
though it were life and death.
The instructor watched them, now and
then calling something unintelligible.
Suddenly he stopped them peremptorily
and began explaining.
"They get so excited," said the bugler,
"that they forget sometimes the rules."
He was excited, too.
In all the number no two were graceful.
Some of them understood thoroughly and
made no mistakes, still their thrusts were
awkward; tbeir feints were too apparent,
though in the excitement the adversary
could not do more than to wave his foil
wildly and receive the ensuing thrust or j
ward it off by luck.
After a number of the most expert men
had finished their practice for the after-
The Japanese Fencing Club.
noon and were busy assisting some of
those who were not so proficient, the pres
ident brought Muto to explain all about
the club and its doings. The doctor had
relieved himself of his black broadcloth
coat and vest and his stiff collar and tie.
Around the middle of his body was
strapped a leathern apparatus, reaching
well up under his arms and down to his
h\p .
"They have to wear those," said Muto,
"or tbey would get hurt. We all become
so interested that we forget we are not
trying to kill. It might be a brother, and
it would be all the same; we are so much
ln earnest 1 We use the bamboo because
it is light, and make it very blunt so tbat
it cannot hurt. Sometimes the thrusts
are severe as it is. We could not use your
kind ofa foil. Our swords are not like
that, and besides some one would get an
eye put out. We once tried boxing iD this
club, but in their earnestness the Japan
ese boys forget to be careful and overstep
the rules, and too many got hurt, so we
gave it up. We are not cool-headed; we
are too quick, too nervous and excitable.
We put all our thought in what we are
"Everywhere in Japan since the late
war they are teaching this fencing. The
clubs are formed all through Japan and
they teach it in all boys' schools. It is
not merely for sport. During the late war
, with China the Government found that it
would be necessary for the people to un
derstand how to use a sword. Japan can
not keep a standing army of any size, so
her subjects have to be trained. That is
the reason why I came back from Japan
to teach here.
"The Giyudan? Yes, that is more ad
vanced than this. They learn to handle
guns after they are good fencers. They
are trained to be cool and deliberate; but
the boys do not like it so well as this. It
is harder work— more like your militia —
so they bave not such a large club.
"The teachers of the Giyudan are the
ex-officers in the late war. The Japanese
Government sends them out— always has
men who have had experience, and they
are all over wherever there are any of our
people. In case of war in Japan these
but on terms of absolute equality. There
are the most quaint little people, attired
after pictures by the late Sir John Millais,
and one of tho most striking is a saucy
"Mistress of the Hounds" in the correct
"pink" with whip and hunting-horn. In
addition to the toys, one anonymous
child lover sends 11,000 sixpences, fresh
fr m the mint. Christmas day in Eng
land is followed by Boxing day, and as in
this year of grace the day is Friday
it means that from Thursday evening till
Monday morning London is practically
reduced to the status of a village. Every
teachers would take their men back to
their country to fight"
Muto went back to his pupils. The bug
ler, who had been having his turn at
fencing during this conversation, now took
up his stand again with his bugle. As be
wiped tbe perspiration from his forehead
his hand trembled visibly, and he was
breathing hard.
"Is it hard work?"
He smiled broadly. "Yes; I get all out
iof breath ; but I like it pretty weli. Some
i of the boys don't like it."
"Then why do they come?"
He looked wonderingly. 'The Japanese
; Government wishes it," he answered.
! "But if they do not enjoy it they are not
: compelled to do so." He forgot his ner
i vousness over his recent combat.
"Yes, we are compelled to do so. Not
i by force, of course — they could not do that
over hero; but by love. If our country
sends this brave man to teach us, should
we not learn?" '
"There are a great many Japanese over
here who do not belong. Some of them
think only of themselves; they do not
care. Have you not Americans like that?
Then some who work in families are busy
on Sundays: and the Japanese in the mis
sions they will not come. They are too
busy with their religion. They think it is
not right to do this on Sunday. Most of
us work at all other times, and we do not
think this is wrong." ,7.
Then the bugler hurried away in answer
to the president's call. The exercises for
the afternoon were over. The 150 men,
Professor Muto.
thing is closed; provision must be made
for the entire period. It is true that on
Boxing day tradesmen will call, but it is
for their Christmas "boxes." In Califor
nia the tradesmen who have rejoiced in
the steady custom of their patrons present
at this time, or for the new year, a slight
token of grateful acknowledgment a box
of fruit, a highly ornamental frosted cake,
a calendar or a flowering plant. Hero it
is the pernicious habit forthe tradesmen
to present themselves, firmly and haught
ily, for their Christmas "box," which may
take any form, from sixpence to ten shil
; laughing and talking, hurriedly began
dressing, apparently forgetting the exist
ence of anj' one but themselves. One by
one they hurried from the hall and disap
peared on the other side of the clothes
line, into the dingy alley. The instructor
came to me.
"We have an entertainment in Febru
aryour New Year's," he said. "They
will fence for medals. Will you come?"
The bugler seated himself in the farther
corner by a window and began to bugle to
himself, with better intent than result.
Muto and Dr. Kurozawa passed out and
went their separate ways.
It was very cold and late and almost
dart, in the empty room, which was but
just freed from the noise of hurrying feet.
The young man looked up from where be
was sitting and laid the instrument on
his knee.
"Come again," he said. "It is nice to
watch. .I go home pretty soon, too. It is
very cold."
Then he resumed his practice. In what
strange ways heroism shows itself and in
what queer places it abides.
Jean Morris.
Jk. Difference.
I guess my pa was oriul bad afore he grew so
A regler holy terror with lots an' lots er gall,
For he tells me the funniest stories of how he
aif Uncle Bon
Stole a. pies an' went in swimmin' an' played
hooky, too. But when
He caught me stealin' aDples an' ployin' hooky,
too, ; '.•';. \'.
He didn't seem to see things as
There are some things about father that I can
not understand.
You should hear him telling of the time he
thought he owned the land
And went a-courtin' mother. But the other
evening when
Poor Tom forgot 'twas time to go and stayed
till half-past ten,
Pa cannot have remembered when he was
For he didn't seem to see things as
to |
■ i
I'll bet the governor must have been a pretty
sly old bird,
Or he tells the biggest whoppers that I have
ever heard, '._.!*. " !
Of what the fellows used to do when he was
young and gay
He says it was before the time he settled down
to stay-
But when 1 told him how we boys had worked
a thing or two,
He didn't seem to see things as
Emm A. Brapley.
Sacramento, January 14, 1897. .
Sleep as a Preservation.
In reply to the question," Is it wise
for a man to deny himself and get along
with a few hours' sleep a day to do
more work?" Tesla, tbe great electrician,
replied: "That is a great mistake, lam
convinced. A man has just so many hours
to be awake, and tne fewer of these he
uses up each day the longer they will last;
that is, the longer he will live. I believe
that a man might live 200 years if he
would sleep most of the time. That is
why negroes often live to advanced old
age, because they sleep so much. It is
said that Gladstone sleeps seventeen hours
everyday; that is why bis faculties are
still unimpaired in spite of his great age.
The proper way to economize life is to
sleep every moment that is not necessary
or desirabb- that you should be awake."
Philadelphia Record.
President . Kurozawa.
lings. It is only then that you realize
how many people have contributed to
your comfort during the year, and it is
with tears of rage that you surrender
more and more of the reluctant shillings,
long after you have imagined to have sat
isfactorily closed your accounts and dis
charged your indebtedness. The shops, of
course, have been particularly tempting,
with an almost bewildering display of
cheap toys and trinkets. Everything
costs lid 31 ; nothing has ever been known
to cost ls. It's a little trick not unknown
to, wily New York shopkeepers, to be
The Secret of Aerial Flight Revealed
*|^¥f|OT a thousand miles from the
Golden Gate may miles from the
.?' Golden Gate may be found resid
jy3_L_» ing a man of quiet, unobtrusive
presence, living in a snug cottage over
looking the ocean, surrounded by, per
haps, three or four acres of vineyard.
The product of the vines is not, however,
his chief means of support. The gentle
man is well fixed, as tbe term is, in mat
ters of finance, and the vineyard is simply
a means whereby he is enabled to pursue
his peculiar studies uninterrupted by the
curious, who might otherwise intrude
upon his labors were it supposed that he
was not what he appears to be in that lo
cality — a grape-grower. Tbe cottage is a
small dwelling of perhaps half a dozen
rooms, and beside it is a long, one-story
structure, at the end of which is a tall
lattice fence thickly covered with vines
which effectually hide the interior of the
inclosure. The gentleman is about fifty
years old; that is, he looks to be about
that age, and is evidently of foreign ex
traction, having dark skin, thoughtful
dark eyes and the general characteristics
of the Hindoo race. I am not at liberty
to state just how I came to learn of his
peculiar work, but will describe as clearly
as I can what it is, and leave to the think
ing portion of The Call's readers what
ever inference they may draw.
Necessarily much of what I here write
must be in the words of the gentleman
himself. As I entered the garden-like
inclosure, beside the cottage, my attention
was arrested by what I took to be a pleas
ure boat. It was about twelve feet long
and five wide, forming a very convenient
carriage for half a dozen persons. On
each side of tbe body of the boat was a
wing-like blade hinged, and over the boat,
supported by six slender rods, was a broad
sheet of metal larger than the breadth
and length of the boat, and probably a
quarter of an inch in thickness, which
glittered and glistened with all the hues
and tints of the rainbow. But the strangest
part of the affair was that the boat was
not resting upon the ground, but was at
tached to it by a couple of stout cords. As
I stood looking at the thing with astonish
ment depicted on my face, the gentleman
approached the boat, which swayed to
and fro about three feet from the ground,
and placing his hand upon a metal knob,
just inside the boat's edge, I saw it sink
to the earth and again rise to the limit of
the ropes. Not a word of explanation was
offered me concerning the queer affair;
but I was requested to step inside, and I
followed into the shed beside the cottage.
The shed proved to be a workshop. •-:■ In
one corner was a small gasoline engine
and a dynamo. Along one side of
the long room extended a workbench, and
shelves. An abundance of tools were
present. At the further end of the room
was a large furnace, now cold, and on the
shelves were a number of elaborate elec
trical instruments. . I saw on the work
bench a piece of the same material as that
of which the boat cover was made, and I
took it in my band. It was very light,
and was evidently some kind of metal.
My host smiled as I examined the ma
terial, and asked me what I thought of it.
1 asked, "'What in it?" "Radium," he
replied. "It is a metal. am not aware
that it is obtainable except in Thibet, on
the southern slope of the Himalayas, near
Tirthapuri, and here on the western
slope of the Coast Range. It occurs in the
soil as a telluride, and the metal is pro
highly recommended for its efficacy.
The 24th the crowd is at its worst.
The weather is unusually mild -for the
season and the people singe up and down
the streets, not only In the great thorough
fares but in the small shopping districts.
Every neighborhood has its own distinct
Whitechapel road. I happened to pass
down fiat tortuous and black street
called Portobello. To pass at all between
the booths and co3ter carts was to join
the procession till a turning opened an
avenue into a new and quieter place. It
was gay as a fair and crowded to such a
degree that you came into unavoidable
contact with the bundles under the arras
and in the pockets of your neighbors.
Great smoky flames flared from the oil
torches and the petroleum lamps sus
pended by brackets or chains, and swing
ing perilously in every breath of wind;
the irregular light was singularly vivid
and still mysterious as it flickered and
rose and fell again into impenetrable
shadow. The noise of a hundred men
and women calling, laughing, shouting,
scolding over their wares, declaiming in
sing-song that rose as they fondly imag
ined above the shrieks of the neighbor
on either hand, it ail contributed to make
a singularly striking and amusing scene.
Not less striking was the odor, an inde
scribable mixture of old clothes and lamp
oil and salt fish and oranges; now and
then a whiff of roast chestnuts or an aro-
matic breath from the young fir trees,
stacked up like firewood, waitine to be
carted off by extravagant householders
with families of small children. Potatoes
and vegetables and smoked meats, pyra
mids of bacon, piles of deadly pink-coated
cakes, as hard as bullets, seemed the staple
articles. As we force our way down the
street booths of cheap toys intervene,
whistles that threaten you with deafness
go off next to your ear, and the crowd
pu hes and clamors and yells, men and
women and children of all size- and de
scriptions, down to the infant pinned 'ato
a shawl and suspended around the neck
of the panting mother on the watch for
bargains of food and wearing apparel.
And over all this swarming life stretches
a vast wintry sky.
cured by thoroughly washing the soil, re
jecting all portions that are not dissolved
water, then evaporating the solution. The
solid portion remaining, in the form of an
impalpable powder, is then subjected to
a peculiar process of electrification, re
sulting in the production of what you
now have in your hand. It is exceedingly
strong, its tensile strength surpassing
that of steel. Its iridescence is due to
the microscopic wrinkles upon its sur
face. But that is not all of its character
istics. It possesses the remarkable quali
ties of being easily rendered apergent."
"What?" I exclaimed.
"Apergent," be replied. "Apergy is a
force obtained by blending positive and
negative electricity with ultheic, the third
element or state of electric energy, and a
body charged with this fluid, 'apergy,' is
not only unaffected by gravitation, it is
repelled from the earth with the same or
Law of Gravity Overcome.
greater force than tbat with which it for
merly was attracted, so that if the body is
liberated it will move away into space.
Radium is as yet the only material I
know of that will retain the apergic force.
You surely must, as a chemist, know,"
said my host, "that neither synthetical
nor analytical chemistry will satisfactorily
account for certain phenomena constantly
occurring. The world will never learn
true science until it is ready to learn from
nature's open books. Everything in the
material universe is constructed upon a
system of triads. In other words, there
are always three phases or conditions of
the same thing. Water may be a solid, a
liquid or a gas, and in each manifestation
be only water. Just so in everything.
Electricity is known to the many as only
positive and negative, while in fact its
third condition is never absent, although
unrecognized. An apple falls to the
eround from the treej and science an
nounces that a subtle force called gravity
brought the apple down. But as to the
second or its * third phase science knows
nothing, and, in fact, is apparently too
conceited to desire to learn. I have
learned something about the opposite
force— the second phase of gravity. I call
it 'apergy.' The boat that you saw sway
ing in the . yard has its roof stored with
apergy sufficient to cause it to lift the boat
with me in it and soar to any height that
I may wish to reach."
"But," I asked, "how can you control
your ascent or descent?"
<? "Simply enough," he answered. "The
inner sides of the boat are lined with a
Christmas morning brings a blessing
with it in the shape of sunlight, rare, •
bright, beautiful sunlight. It shines
apparently upon a lifeless and deserted
city, in which only the blue-coated bob
bies and infrequent omnibus seem to have
preserved the power of movement. Every
body has fled from the questionable joys
of Chri3tmas and boxing days. . This lat
ter has a pugilistic sound, possibly de
rived from the manners of the recipients
of "boxes." In the smaller streets, but
yesterday impassable, there are closed
shops; and closed bouse fronts; if there are
people behind the doors and windows they
give no sign. The few who are abroad
seem very anxious to get to their destina
tions, and have a hurried harassed look.
Now and then a child, hugging a new toy,
looks out with inexpressible gayety, but
is speedily hustled back into the house or
omnibus. The conductors have an air ot
joviality and high spirits that grows with
every "pub" that is passed; a glass is
banded up to the driver, too, so as to give
him a corresponding air. The people in
the 'bus, on the contrary, have a concilia
tory and apologetic attitude; they ask for
directions with great gentleness and never
contradict the jovial gentleman with thj
* The pantomime attracts great crowds to
Drury Lane, an ideal place for Christmas
spectacles from time immemorial, even
though Cromwell attempted to check the
evils of the playhouses and sternly for
bade all Christmas performances there as
perilous to the soul and mind. The pan
tomimes are the attraction for the chil
dren of the middle classes not out of
town— but all their elders who have the
means or the friends to take them out of
Loudon have departed for the country.
At the present hour it is vesper time,
and there is a sweet jangle of chimes from
soinejdistant churcn-steeple; the stillness
is something to be felt. The street is wet
with mist and reflects the lamplights in
little quivering ribbons of gold. It is ab
solutely deserted save for a drunkard who
lurches from side to side and clings to the
garden railing as to his hopes of salva
tion. Van Dyck Brown.
London, Dec. 25, 1896.
number of thin bands of specially pre
pared metals, forming, in fact, a very
powerful storage battery of the 'dry'
type, as no liquid is required. Perhaps
you might better understand it by com
paring it to a leyden jar, only its dis
charge is slow— all at once. There
are two complete systems of these bands,
each insulated from the other. When I
use the boat I first charge one set of bands
with positive electricity from yonder
dynamo and then charge the other set
witb negative electricity from the same
source. Then I join the like poles of the
two systems and, of course, thus connect
ed, get no current that would be meas
urable by an ordinary galvanometer; one
system is neutralizing the other; but
now using the two systems of bands con
nected as a single circuit, I charge them
with a further current of what you may
all 'static' electricity and create a fore*
which, applied to certain materia! capable
of storing it, as does radium, produces
apergy in tbat material. I can weaken or
destroy the apergy in t c radium by a re
versal of the direction of the applied cur
rent. Thus, I am able to increase or
diminish the buoyancy of tbe boat. Did
you ever think what was that marvelous
power that maintains the planets in their
positions as regards the sun? Gravity
alone will not fill the requirements. That
force alone would simply precipitate them
upon the sun. But apergy acting with
gravity holds them as they are. The
apergic force of the sun repels and his
gravity attracts. In the meantime, as the
sun is swiftly moving himself through
space his family of satellites is moving
with him and the apergic force harmon
iously blended with the gravic force ci __ 1
cles them around the central power, for-'
the reason that the two forces are never
always exactly of the sam. intensity.
They regularly alternate; one is always
a little more powerful than the other.
Nothing in nature is absolutely uniform.
She abhors many things besides a vacuum!
There is no such thing as a perfect circle
1 n nature." ''„','.. .F. M. Close, D. Sc.

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