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The Value of Hobbies
□/ BEATRIX BUCHANAN, Noted English Writer for Girls. yWAD AYS hobbies may be considered the fash ion. and nearly all young folk, both boys and girls, indulge in some special work during their hours of recreation. Now, I am a believer fit hobbies, and am of the opinion that the rising generation of our day arc much happier than their grandparents were when young, because they so seldom suffer from that enemy to happiness, ennui, and the explana tion is to be found in hobbies. A cultivated taste for some special work may perhaps, too, prove of real monetary as well as mental benefit to a girl in the years to come, and I know now of one of our best authorities on lace and china who would never have achieved anything in her very interesting profession had she not studied the history of lace and china making as a hobby in early girlhood. s A girl with a hobby is never dull, her hours of holiday can be always employed, and she has ever the knowledge that she is exerting her best faculties in a good direction. A hobby has many advantages, and differs from a talent insomuch that it can be acquired. For instance, it is impossible to teach a girl lack ing any natural gift to draw, paint, or play well any instrument, but an ordinary person of average intelligence can acquire the art of photographing, of sewing, of cookery, of athletic exercises such as swim ming, rowing, bicycling, etc. With regard to the non-athletic hobbies, these open up such a wide field for choice that every and any girl can find something she would like to do. One young friend of mine has become wonderfully clever in the making of artificial flowers, which she fashions so beautifully that it is hard to tell them from the real blossoms. Her work could be turned into money if necessary, so hard has she endeavored to make it a success. Yes, I am an advocate of hobbies, but there is another side to the question which I should like to touch upon. It is one thing to adept a hobby and another thing to stick to it. Many young folk have a habit of taking up some pursuit for a time and then tiring of it and letting it drop. Thfs in itself is a bad practice, and although I am not adverse to being, to a certain extent, a “Jack of all trades,” I do not at all approve of being “good at none.” A smattering of knowledge of many pursuits is extremely trying to those who dwell in the same house as the “smat terer.” Young people who are smitten with these “crazes,” as they must be called, require the best part of the house to themselves, and the tem pers of the elders, not to mention the domestic staff, are apt to by; tried to snapping point. One month the rooms are scattered with all the imple ments of the photographer, the next botany holds the affections and much vegetable matter is imported from garden and woods indoors, and so on. No, my humble advice is, attain a fair knowledge of one particu lar pursuit, study it from all points of view, and in all its branches, and then when you feel you have a mastery over it, by all means take up another, and by the time youth’s golden days are past you will have a store of knowledge, practical and mental, which will prove a real joy to you. Mi THE ARAB HORSE IS SLOW. But in the Gallop, His Natural Gait, Is Free, Smooth, Delight ful and Easy. The Arab is virtually a pony, standing 14.2 hands, ofter under than over. He is not fast, even at the gallop; indeed, says the Illustrated Sporting News, he is slowr. He is a A ery poor trotter, both as regards speed and action; a bad hack, and cannot walk with out continually sticking his toe in the ground. He is totally un fitted for harness and is uncom fortable to ride except at a gal lop; this is his natural gait, and in it his movement is free, smooth, delightful and easy. As regards his general make up and anatomical formation, he is perfect, and his constitutional and physical soundness is wonder ful. He has great bone substance, vigor, resolution, strength, stay ing powers, courage, boldness, so briety, the soundest legs and feet and extraordinary lung powrer, which is due to the atmospheric conditions and free life to w’hich he has been used from time im memorial; extraordinary eye tight, good temper, mild manners, tractability, instinct and sagacity, and for his size i3 a wonderful Aveight carrier. It is this extraordinary consti tutation and anatomical perfec tion,and this magnificent courage, nerAe and mettle of the Arab w’hich have made the thorough bred of to-day. what he is, and not his speed, which has only existed in song. i, The Arab attaches far greater \ importance to bottom, speed and sobriety than he does to what might be called “artistic beauty.” Of such a horse he will say: “Let us not be in a hurry.” “Let ns see him work.” “He might be only a ‘coyi: with a lion’s hide on his back.” \Vhen voip consider'r what their idea of bottom is, it may be suffi % eient to know that it means a horse should be able to travel with a man on his back, a change of clothing, food for rider and horse, his gun, flag, etc., from GO to 90 miles a day for five or six days in succession, and after a couple of days’ rest be able to repeat the task, and this under a swel tering sun. Further, it is not uncommon for pure Arab horses to cover from 125 to 150 miles in the 24 hours, and this without food or water until the journey is finished; and then the Arab, when he dismounts, wants to see his horse shake himself and neigh loud and shrill and paw the ground for his food. PRAYER BOOKS FOR BRIDES Several Fashionable Young Women Have Discarded Bouquets Entirely When Walking to the Altar. — Ornamental prayer books of various kinds are the fashion, saya the London Daily Mail. Those chiefly favored are silver mount ed, and a popular design for the backs is a replica of Reynolds’ an gels’ heads. The inside of this di minutive volume shows a return to the fashion of including, some, illustrations. In this case they are x'eproductions of well-known pic tures. " Several fashionable brides have lately discarded the bouquet en tirely, and walked up the aisle holding only a beautifully-bound prayer-book in their hands. These books have appropriate white ivory backs, and the pages ai*e frequently of vellum, illuminated by hand, like the old missals. Bridesxnaids, also, who have not generally attempted to grapple with prayer-books in addition to their bouquets, now sometimes carry them. One recent bride gave each of her fair followers a book of which the cover had Ikcii ex quisitelv embroidered by her own clever fingers. NESTLE AMID LIVE WIRES. Hiding Place of Family of Mice Is Bevcaled in Supposed Impene trable Switch Box. While astonished post office of ficials stood around ejaculating: “Well, well, well!” in the switch box of the busy telephone ex change in the Brooklyn post office, a litter of mice was discovered one evening lately, says the New York Herald. All around the little fellows were busy wires, there being alto gether 23 connections in their quaint birthplace, but, barring a burned mark on tin* tail of one of the triplets, they did not seem to have suffered any inconvenience, and they objected in a ting-a-ling, 'phone-like squeak, when persuad d to vacate. Meantime, the fair operator had retreated to a stair, and women customers at the stamp windows gathered up their skirts and fled to the street. Watchmen and shoeblacks became heroes, and, by deadly blows saved the women from further fright. How the mother mouse ever got into the switch box is a mys terv, for there is neither hole nor crack in it. It is always kept locked. The nest had been arranged with unusual care, the outside be ing composed of many pieces of coarse paper, while the inside con sisted of bits of the softest and flimsiest papers in the post office building. Had not the mother mouse be come too bold the triplets might have thrived until big enough to earn their ow n living. With consternation the “hello girl” saw' a large mouse near the telephone booth, apparently try ing to get in unobserved. Undaunted, three times the mouse tried to get into the booth. The busy operator’s eye each time deterred it. But finally, Mrs. Mouse put the operator to flight. A score of men coming to the res cue, Mrs. Mouse skipped upstairs. “That old mouse has been around here for a month,” said an employe. “I know her by her chopped off tail.” Then a search was begun. The last place tried was the switch box, and it was opened more as a joke. Operators began to collect, hav ing had trouble recently with their instruments, and one fair maid saw light in the holes in her lunch. It was left, however, to a night watchman to disperse the victorious army. “I alwmys had my suspicions of that box. I was telling ‘Bill’ the other night that the darned thing was haunted. It must have been the old mouse communicating with the kids.” Mining Coal Under the Sea. It is reported at Halifax that a syndicate of moneyed men in Nova Scotia and the United States has been formed for the purpose of working the extensive coal areas extending beneath the ocean on the eastern side of Cape Breton. These areas, it is claimed, com prise 27 square miles, and, it is es timated contain 240,000,000 tons of coal. The seams have a total thickness of 31 feet 9 inches. In 1800 a colliery was established at South Head with small capital, vet 7,000 tons were mined. Though the workings extended below the sea level, the mine was dry and the coal excellent. Sub marine mining is carried on exten sively and profitably in Great Britain. Success. “It’pears,” said Uncle Eben, “dat success is Bumpin’ what you alius has to work hahd foh an’ w’hat some other feller gets by jest bein’ lucky.”—Washington Star. Dislikes a Quitter. A girl hasn’t much use for a young man who attempts to kiss her and then quits.—Chicago Daily. News. - - Motherhood By REV. AUSTEN K. DE BLOIS, Prominent Cnicago Pastor. S Napoleon said of France ioo years ago, we may say of America to-day: “The greatest need of our country is—mothers.” Many of the problems which vex us, such as those of municipal misrule, disobedience to law, the growth of crime, and the prevalence of vice, would be triumphantly solved in the course of a generation if the problem of the American mother could be settled. If every mother were fully con scious of her mission and sought nobly to fullfil it the entire fabric of our social life would be rejuvenated. But the evil genius of the monstrous apartment house, with its herding together of whole villages of people, the insane spirit of move ment and change and chase after novelty, the ever increasing demands of social and club duties, the horrors of the servant girl question in ‘mid dle class homes, the insistent. claims of our ridiculously overcrowded school curricula upon the children, leave our women little time or chance for the supreme obligations of motherhood. Nevertheless, the American mother is a privileged character. No woman in the history of the world has had such an opportunity. No where on earth to-day is woman treated with deference or worshiped with such homage. Democratic principles have reached their highest and most remarkable achievement in the position they have accorded to woman. Not anly the emancipation oi the colonies and the emancipation of the slaves but also the emancipation of womanhood has been accom plished in our free country. The woman is free to win the highest cul ture, to enter'any avenue of usefulness, to follow any profession or trade, to make her voice and influence felt when and where she will. But is freedom all that is needed? If the woman is not queen in the home her other brilliant conquests are of little worth. We used often to speak of “the kingdom of home.” But we have done away with king doms in this western land. The American home- is a republic, and chil dren and parents are free and equal citizens. A recent writer has spoken of irreverence as “the characteristic American quality.” Another has seriously asked the question: “Are we a homeless people?” In the presence of an august and emancipated womanhood shall the sweet wife and the dear mother of the olden days, the old home days, go with all old-fashioned and unfashionable things, into the shadow land? Our divorce courts would suggest a tremendous affirmation, saying: “They have already gone.” We cannot look with hope or confidence to culture or wealth or the unethical standards of ordinary respectable society for an encouraging reply. Christianity has taught the true meaning of motherhood. The church as Christ’s ambassador has here a glorious though herculean task. By its influence, which is now beginning to assert itself mightily through the media of new ethical and social movements, the church will accom plish the results so greatly needed. The American woman of to-day is the admiration of the world. The American mother of to-morrow will train a new world for a nobler destiny. USES OF INDIA - RUBBER. Rip Van Winkle, If He Should Come Back to Earth, Would Be Surprised. Few things would surprise a Rip Van Winkle of to-day more than the number of uses to which the modern world is putting rubber. Overworked mothers of past gen erations w ho tried each night dur ing the season of deep snow to keep out the next day’s moisture by patiently rubbing the chil dren’s boots with tallow, and were only partially successful, would have predicted a large sale for any foot-wear really impervious to wa ter. In point of fact, says Youth’s Companion, half of America’s im mense volume of rubber manufac tures consists of boots and shoes. The rest is distributed among ar ticles too diverse to be readily classified. The rubber tire for bi cycles, automobiles and light car riages is drawing heavily on the rubber resources of the world. So great is the demand for the raw material, of which the United States imports 25 times as much as it did in 1862, that Europe, as well as our own back yards, is now ransacked for cast-off goods from which the rubber may be “re claimed” and used in combination with fresh supplies. Gutta-joolatong, a product of the East India * Islands, is now widely used in conjunction with caoutchouc. Of this comparative ly unknown substitute material, the United States imports more pounds annually than it did of india-rubber itself at the time of the centennial exhibition in Phil adelphia. Few articles seem more strangely named than india-rub ber. It gets the “rubber” from the first use to which it was put—that of erasing pencil marks by rub bing. Nor should it be associated with India. The tree was first mentioned by an explorer among the Mexican Indians, three cen turies ago, and the first account of the substance occurs in connec tion with Columbus’ visit to Hayti pn his second voyage. Most of our present importation combs from Brazil. But Columbus and those explorers who followed him were searching for a short passage to India, and they supposed that the land they discovered was India. The name india-rubber is, there fore, a permanent sign of their mistake. What distances words travel is further shown by the slang phrase “rubberneck,” and from it the verb to “rubber,” which has at tained sufficient dignity to be mentioned in a newr book on Eng lish by two Harvard professors. When Speaker Cannon talks of “rubber currency,” he refers to a currency that shall be elastic. All from Sunflowers. It is a common joke to call in ferior cigars “cabbage leaves,” but as a matter of fact some very good cigars are made from the leaves of the sunflower. These leaves can also be used in the place of pipe tobacco, forming quite a passable substitute- The stalks and leaves make excellent food for various animals, while the former can be employed as fuel. Sunflower cake is made from the seeds of this useful plant after the oil has been extracted, this latter being nearly equal to olive oil for use in cooking. Potash is ob tained from the ash of the stalks, and a yellow dye is made from the flowers of the plant. The fiber can be w orked into a silk material. Wasted Time. “When 1 sees a man,” said Uncle Ebon, “dat kin play de banjo an* seven-up, an’ tell you which hoss ought to win every race, an’ hyuhs ’im complainin’ ’bout: his hahd luck, I can’t he’p thinkin’ dar'a been a waste o’ time somewhere.” —Washington Star.