OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 04, 1909, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1909-07-04/ed-1/seq-2/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 2

fCop/rifrbt, 1909. All rights reserved.)
DAVID, while in a philosophical and possibly a
i;sJmistic mood, said "All men are liars." If
it was true then, and no one denied it at the
time, although David made an apology for
saying it, it is doubly true now, for of all' the aecomV
plishments that have' come from the early days in no
other one has man advanced as he has in lying.
Ananias, after whom a famous club was* named,
was perhaps ftie best known liar of his time, but he
would have little chance to be regarded more than a
crude and clumsy dissembler among the masters of
the line today. If he came to town today some one
would sell him Union square for a building site before
he reached the St. Francis and would make him
believe he was getting a rare bargain. Lying, at
one time regarded as a vice, has become a fine art,
and not a few would include it among the virtues.
There are those who would cast opprobrium on it
and make sarcastic mention of "a. shorter and uglier
word," but there are others who have dared to say
that men holding high and honored places" have at
times been careless with the truth. "Si>j
In calling all- men liars David spoke in a generic
sense, for it is admitted that women are prone to
dissemble and deceive. They have shown an im
provement as great as the men. Cleopatra, who in
her time fooled some wise old Roman statesmen and
soldiers has been considered by historians as one of
the great deceivers of all time. There were 500
women sitting around the tearooms of the hotels in
this city yesterday who can without a real effort, and
likewise do, make Cleopatra look like the president of
the Anti-Falsehood society.
There are many kinds of liars as well as many
brands of lies. Some persons have a reputation* so
firmly established that the only way they can deceive
is by telling the truth, and that is a luxury in which
they seldom" indulge. Others have told certain
stories or experiences so many times that they-feel
hurt if any one gives the slightest intimation, that
there is a doubt about any of <he tales. - And then
there are press agents. . *
There may have been a time when consciences
.were so highly attuned that it hurt to lie, but that
must have been many years and probably many cen
turies ago. What many persons think is a hurt to
the conscience now'is in reality a hurt to the pride
when they are found out.
One of the first lessons taught to a child is that
falsehood is one of the unpardonable sins, and added '
emphasis is given to the lesson by washing out his
or her mouth with soap when he or she is caught^"
telling one. But children will lie as a' matter of in
stinct. Then the fond mother will tell about "a big
blackman who will get you if you cry after the light
is turned out," or if the child docs any one of half a
dozen forbidden things.
Children do have curiosity, and some of them are
without fear, so they decide to take a chance on
"the big blackman." It doesn't take them long to
find out he is a myth, and they begin to think lies
are not such terrible things if mother tells them.
Any quick witted child will find either its father or
mother exaggerating or telling a deliberate untruth
when one of the neighbors drops in* and from that
time the child is convinced that the only crime about
lying is being found out, or at any event that is the
only one that carries with it a penalty.
Really good liars are never found out. They go
on year after year, inventing new ones < and telling
old ones, either using them to obtain more liberty
from fond and trusting wives or in a commercial
\u25a0way to add to their income. A man may be a pillar
of the church and hypnotize himself into believing
that he almost always tells the trnth, and in any event
has an excuse when he does orevaricatc.
This man rarely makes a failure in life, while the
man - who makes a coarse job of his lying always
has a bad ending. One philosopher believes that in
the ability to lie well and not,be found out lies the
difference between success and failure. Even the
man who goes in for wireless wiretapping, if he is
smooth enough to convince his victims that he is
honest, can always keep in front of the bars, while
the bungler has to enlist the services of Judge Gay
nor to keep his picture out of the rogues gallery.
. When you want to see, something neat and tasty
in the way of lying you want to have two women
who hate each other meet. The conversation with
what they really mean goes about like this:
"My dear, how glad I am to see you," meaning,
"Just my. luck to run into you after trying to dodge
you for a month."
"I am glad to see "you, too, and how well you
• look," meaning, "You are certainly getting to be the
tacky looking thing."
"Where are you going on your vacation this
year?"' meaning, "I suppose I have got to make con
versation some way."
"We have not decided yet," meaning, "We are
going to Idora park now and then, and spend the
rest of the time in our flat/
"Tom and I have decided we will take that trip
to Europe we have planned for a long time," mean
ing, "We have a nice farmhouse in the country, where
we can get board for $6 a week."
"Well, I do hope you have a nice trip," meaning,
"If any transatlantic liner has to sink this year I hope
it is the one you are on."
> "Thank you, and I hope you have a good time
this summer," meaning, "I hope you choke."
." Two clever women can carry on a conversation
like that for 15 or 20 minutes, and each will actually
convince the other of her friendship, when, as a mat
ter of fact, if either fell and broke both legs the other
would not send a call for the ambulance.
A woman is not at her best, however, when she is
talking with another of her sex. She really shines
when she is handing a fond and loving husband some
thing. For instance, she is a big loser at bridge, and
really needs $50 or $75 more than her monthly allow
ance. The husband will come home some night and
find his wife in tears.' '
"What is the matter, dearie?" he will anxiously
"I have just received the, saddest letter from my
mother. Sister Nellie, the ope who. teaches school
in Lisbon Center, will have to be operated on for
appendicitis, and she will. have to stay in the hospi
tal for. a long time. She^Kas some money saved, but
they simply-have to get $100 more. You have always
been so good about giving me money I hate tb^ ask
you to let me have it, but I am so sorry for -Nellie,
and I never could forgive myself if the worst came."
"I am s ver3' hard up : just now," the husband will
wherein dA v i d;s d r eturne t urn s^r a nds h e t c s t g f
'\u25a0-\u25a0.\u25a0« «. SOCIETY I N THE WO \u25a0 . .\u25a0\u25a0 ; r- ',:^
Something, Neat and Tasty in the Way of
Lying When Two Women Who Hate Each.
Other Meet . W?i*?#?§£s
\u25a0 . \u25a0
the night before, and is doing better in business than
ever before. That will bring more tears from vttie
wife. \u25a0 ,|/
"You're right about it, and there is no reason why
you should let "me have the money for Nellie. \ 'She
was awfully good to me, though, one time when I was
ill, and if she had not nursed me night and day I
would have died."
As a matter of fact, she was never ill enough in
her life to be kept in bed for three successive/ days*,
but. the husband does not know^that. She continues
to weep until he can't stand it, and then he will
reach for his checkbook. She will get the money,
which will pay her bridge debts, and when she gets a
new gown or something else she likes with the re
mainder she will convince him she has saved it out
of her allowance, although it had taken her two years
to do it. v , v
It is a case like that which points the way to the
danger of being caught in a lie. If the husband had
not been convinced by the skilful prevarication, if his
suspicions had been aroused, it might have been the
end of a happy home. The tears are no small part'of
a He of this kind, and one of the first rules for wives
who find it necessary to deceive their husbands is to
have a few tears on tap at all times.
\u25a0-"Many, men who can lie and do it well during busi
ness hours, who can sell stock in gold mines that are
in the middle of a deep lake, are of teni miserable .fail-"
urcs at lying in their own homes. They seem 'to
expend their energy and originarlty during business
hours, and depend on a lot of timeworn bromides to
fool their loving wives. \u25a0 \u25a0••
Any man.who puts^on his coat and hat after din
ner and remarks in a casual way that he is going down
to the St. Francis to see a customer, when he is really
going to the club to play poker, deserves to have his
wife suspect him. * There are women so trusting that
they believe any story a husband tellsthem, but they,
usually die young, and the man has an : extra: allow
ance of trouble with 'his second. wife, particularly if
she is a widow and just a little wise to the ways of
men. . !
If a man has any intention of fooling his wife hq,
should come home, sigh, be just a trifle cross, and
then kiss his wife and beg her pardon _
. "I am so tired tonight I do not know what I am.
saying," he will tell her, and he has her-sympathy^ at
once. "I would not go out of the house again to
night for a thousand dollars. Me for a book and
then I will! hit the hay early.". , C; / •
After dinner he will flight his cigar, take the
paper and stretch himseif in the easy chair. Thc'tele-"
phone, will ring. '
"Darn. that old telephone!" he 1 will say,- and as he
starts to get up his wife will tell him she will an
swer it. "> ~ . \u25a0\u25a0
"They want you, .Jack,". she will say, and as he'
rises slowly he will repeat, "Darn that telephone!" , .
"Hello! — yes.it's me. -Not much.;;l .wouldn't^go
down town tonight if If knew .'I could 1 "make five thou-;
sand..-. I tell you I won't gol "I" have been. working
hard all day and I am' tired. 1 know he is a good
customer, but I have to rest sometimes."
"What is it, Jack?" inquires the ; wife. :
"A big customer from Sacramento is here and has
to take the early "morning train,'' the husband will say
as he puts his hand" over the telephone. '"He wants
a v big bill "of goods, .but I am too tired to goaftcr, the
order, tonight." -.'/.'. , -\ . „ . •".'-\u25a0.
"You'd better 'go, ; dear."
The husband will argue, with, his. .wife/, taking his
hand off the^telephone occasionally : to';, say, "Hold-the
wire." Finally hie will say that he '.wULb'e /down, but
he has explained'^ that ! if the ? man^\vants ; a; big bill "of
goods iUmay be late before he gets. homeland not to'
wait on him. fe^fe^ '"
' He : has actually? made his - wife ? believe • she has
I^BHBHBHSBSS&fIEir \u25a0\u25a0-\u25a0 •\u25a0'\u25a0"'' "• •''\u25a0 : " '"\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0•" \u25a0 ' '
; FOR A suildwg SITE
Jut t. L , T r
driven him from his happy home. He can stay out
until 2 or 3 o'clock, or return home earlier if he'is a
big winner and should getpneumonia in his heels, and
the wife never has the slightest suspicion. It is work
of that kind that makes happy homes and keeps lov
ing couples away from this divorce courts. '•
If some one would start a correspondence school
in "lying for prospective brides and bridegrooms it
would save a lot of : work for the^ivorce courts. A
young mqn who has read how easy it is to fool a
woman will- make the most extravagant promises
"wh'wr'he "is engaged, spend every evening with . her
and be^s devoted as he can. The young!Voman has
been warned— that is, if her mother is wise^so after
the marriage when he tries to stay, out with the. boys
and- offers some excuse that- was old when Rome
burned he thinks his wife is ; ; unduly worldly; if she
•doubts him. '." A man has'to .be' married the .second
;time he learns how to; really fool^a, woman,
-and.it is usually. his luckto marry a widow whofcan
not be fooled/ \
- . A lie does not have ;to consist of spoken words,
but the essence of every lie is the deceptionof others.
Therefore a manwho dyes hismustache is not a liar;
he. fools no one but. himself. By the same, token, a
woman who wears* some of^the- strange and ,w6nder
ful; contrivances "-on sale at beauty parlors and'- hair;
dressers', does not- fool any one, .and therefore. she is
not lying. .;\u25a0, '.- ;:
Itihas alwaysbeeh one of thc-things a man;can
not understand why a woman"- will -wear 'several
\u25a0; pqunds^of dead hair taken from '.the head: of iSotjic
devoted; pupil; of Confucius,: fashioned, in puffs that
couldnot be natural on the head;bfanyc human being,^
: attach a -few little curls andVthcnsallyJ forth with. the";
idea she-hasimproved her personal appearance. Of :
. course ; her purpose is" to fool some one, but it would : =
Uiave to.be a-.biindman. ''\u25a0*"''!* '\u25a0 ' \u25a0
Mere mejvfcan not. throw, too;- many stones'at^
these' foibles of -women,; for a .weak," attenuated speci-;
men will have a : coat built .with \u25a0 shoulders^ padded so
that lie lo6ksrlarge'enou^h;tbwin*the middle
' Championship. His object in doing -that is to act a
1:? and impress his manly strength 'on^thc fair sex.
\u25a0 David did not have him in mind when he spoke of all
/niertjas liars, for in his day the tailors had not dc
jyl»fcil this garment to tickle the vanity of man. But
;tbcs>s. broad shouldered youths are not liars. Their
}.jna«ceup lacks the element of. deception, for they do
' not have to don bathing suits to show how narrow
chested they really are. . "—" —
Now and then you will hear of some politician.
• "He has to^tell the truth, for that is his stock in
trade." A truthful politician has no more chance
than a conscientious burglar. One of the most suc
cessful local politicians the country ever pYoduced,
She Continues to Wceo Until He Can't Stand It
a man who died as a representative and who held his
seat: four',; years after he was i a victim-:of • mental
breakdown, used toTsay' :"It'sa~ mighty mean man
who Won't make a promise." .He would. promise,
and then' because he wa3 a splendid liar, and like
»wise a good politician, he would get out of, it, and the
man to whom the; promise had been made would be
had promised.
- You don't" expect ministers to lie,- but every now
anditben rone; will make a positive statement to the
effect; that unless ; something is done, a new church \
erected or, an old one repaired, he will resign, . give ,~
up a salary.^ of $10,000. ; In other than religious circles
this- would" be 'called a bluff, but it. ordinarily . works,
and \u25a0 if i the minister does not get - all he asked for h"e>t
-gets enough:" "Anyway, has any one Heard of a min
ister, giving.vp ' a good jobiuritil he got another? Jf .
his":congregation calls UhV;bluff hie • makes, and neither
>builds' r .the)new^cHurch nor./accedes to his other de-/
=" mantis}- he will "*gi ye ) a ,s"plendid reason / why/ he ', does \
.hotifesign'.'alidit isiiisuailyHhat duty calls.*; . - x 0
The San Francisco Sunday Call
\ If you go through the list of professions and
occupations it :will be found that David knew what
he was talking about when he said all men are liars.
If any. person has an jdea that he or she is the excep
tion that proves the 7ule let an experiment b.e made
and nothing but the truth be told for a single 24 hours.
The least it would do would be to break all the
, friendships of a lifetime, and it might mean sending
\u25a0in the riot calif or the police.
Imagine ,what would happen if a woman imbued
with the idea that .-she- would tell nothing but the
truth should meet a lifelong friend.
"How do you. like /my dress and how docs it fit?^
"It looks as if it was bought at a bargain sale,"
replies the truthful one, "and it f fits all right except
where your pads throw it out too much."
-< Then imagine her telling the next4,Yoman that her
hat, which is supposed to be a copy of a Parisian
. model, looks as if it had come from Pacific street and
that it wa§ too flashy for a woman of her age. It is
very evident that at the end of the second day tKIS
/truth teller would have none of her old friends left.
Would this be a pleasant world if every one told
the'truth at all times? < Think it out for a time and
you will see that it would be as terrible a calamity
as could befall. If the diplomats stopped lying the
world would be plunged into a dozen wars, the divorce
"courts would be so crowded that there would be no
other litigation and Wall street would look m yam
for lambs.
M The truth of the matter is that we all want to
ikeep on lying just as we have done all our lives. We
want to flatterMhc women and the women want to
want to flatter the women and the women want us to
flatter them. We want to lie to our wives when we
want to play poker or renew the frierfdship of our
youth, particularly if the said friend retains her pris
tine loveliness. ~ And our wives want -to lie to us
when they go in for the friendship renewal, pr spend
the allowance for the house at bridge or for a new
frock or hat
"Ye shall. know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free/* says the bible. As a matter of fact,
if we knew the truth the truth would make us fight.
If we knew the truth of all the things that go on in
our daily life, if no one lied tojw, we should all be so
miserable that death would be welcome.
It is the optimistic lie that cheers us up when
we are feeling discouraged, and it is the humorous lie
of the good story teller that drives away the blues
when we are ready to give up the fight. The tru^h"
would many times interfere with the convalescence
of an ill person, and a lie hastens his recovery to
health. .If a mother knew the truth about her boy or
girl who is in the city making a fight for wealth and
fame it would give her many miserable moments, and
she would cry herself to sleep many nights. It is the
lie in the letter hwne that cheers her up, just as it is
the lie that brings half the sunshine into the lives ot
There are many lies that the world would be bet
ter off without, and jhe same can be said of many
truths, A lie that has for its purpose the deception
of a trusting wife may not be defensible, but it will
cause less sorrow than the truth. The great thing
the world needs, inasmuch as we are to have liars, is
good liars. , :; *:
Some day a man with a conscience that hurts
because he has been able to make so much money
and keep out of prison will endow a chair in one of
our universities which will have for its purpose the
instruction of young men and women in the art ol
lying. It will mean the passing away of the old lies
that have done service so many years that they fool
no one and the bringing into existence of new ones
devised and invented by trained minds.
This will mean that by the next generation the *
office boy will not spring the old one about his
grandmother being dead when there U a double
header at Recreation park, but he will have an excuse
so original and so convincing that the hardest hearted
boss will fall for it. No man in the glorious period
of the college trained liar will telephone home the
old one about having to work late; he will have a .
new one each time, and each one will be more con
vincing than the truth.
Naturally the higher education along the line of
prevarication is going. to have its disadvantages. If
the. men are taught to lie more skilfully it stands to
reason that their minds will be developed so they can
detect a % lie more easily. Care will have to be taken
also.to prevent one of those higher educated men and
women from getting into public office, for a person,
with a degree in falsehood would probably be able to
get away with a lot of money before the ordinary
tax payer would discover it. ,
Notwithstanding these disadvantages it looks as
if the college bred liar -would come. It i 3 only a
question of development. . All men were liars in Da-
Ivid's time; and they have been liars ever since. -They
,hav"ebeen progressing steadily during the centuries
and 'there never was as good a liar as a twentieth
century liar. The university educated liar would be
-but , another step, .and by the next * ; generation the
demand will there, and when the demand comes
some college will have a chair in false
; Whether/ it comes in our day or not we- all have
.to 'take Toff •out, hats to ' David; for he'knew what he
_was talking about when he said: HRM
\u25a0 I; '' All men are; liars."

xml | txt