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Polk County news-gazette. (Benton, Tenn.) 190?-191?, December 25, 1913, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88061288/1913-12-25/ed-1/seq-5/

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I NVll of the little people whose faces iltsJ?i kMf U e ,i I
i have become familiar to us on pa- Mhis ifJ" 't x 1
. IT per fans, indeed, from a national fV JA Sfel A-feV VJ.
.1 A point of view, this season Is the U . iBW x -C- fik v I
Tfft J greatest occasion of the year. iW5 - fc r?3S' HU' - 2
Sfeb'i?J4 K ,k-oo r0nartioiia are made WW i fc.&im2 -.L
K7f5AC?S. inn? In advance. Mouses are x v
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0 WHERE does New Year's cere
mony mean more than in the land
of the little people whose faces
have become familiar to us on pa
per fans. Indeed, from a national
point of view, this season is the
greatest occasion of the year.
Elaborate preparations are made
long In advance. Houses are
cleaned Inside and out. Doorways
are decorated with rice ropes and
)ern leaves and evergreen. Every
housewife buys a pot or two of
"prosperous age plant," a miniature pine tree,
some bamboo, and some plum twigs, to win for
her home by ornaments like these the favor of the
jealous deities that guard the future.
The city streets resound with the mallet blows
of the dough pounders making "mochi," the Jap
anese equivalent of plum pudding. All debts are
paid. New clothes are bought. There are toys
for the children, and picture cards that bring good
fortune and are good to dream on when tied se
curely to the wooden pillow.
O. happy New Year! Day will hardly dawn be
fore each town and village will be stirring. There
is so much to do in celebration. First there will
come the ceremonial breakfast, when the health
of all the family must be drunk in that rice wine
called "zoni." Then visits must be paid to all
acquaintance. Father will wear no more the tra
ditional costume, fantastic and peculiar. For him
the frock coat now, of European manufacture. But
mother, in her quaint kimono and elaborate head
dress, will look just as she has looked on New
Year's day since time immemorial.
The children will be decked out in gorgeous
colors; they will throng the streets, clattering
along on their wooden clogs in pigeon toed but
Joyful haste, and shouting "Banzai!" to friends
and foreigners. In the streets clowns will per
form strange antics, exclaiming loudly mean
while: '
"Hail, hall, ye gods of heaven and earth! Sig
nificant omens are In the air, and the universe is
full of lucky signs."
To accompaniment of flute and drum, two
, legged lions will give the "lions' dance" in
masque. Strange masqueraders will dart hithe
and thither through streets and temple gardens.
It will be a happy time for Japanese children.
For three glad days every little girl will. expect'
i to play her favorite game of shuttlecock and bat
i tledore. The boys will fly their brand new kites.
The children will play games with brightly col
ored balls, chanting countless rhymes. Grown
i people will play New Year's card games. The
1 firemen will t,lve acrobatic exhibitions on their
ladders. Every nook and corner of Japan will be
i In gala dress and gala mood. . .
Northern France is not far behind Japan in ap
preciation of the significance of the New Year.
There Christmas, so important on our calendar, is
scarcely celebrated, except by attendance at mid
night mass and by a festal supper. But the last
, night of the year, the "Vigil of St. Silvestre," calls
' for observance, and the first day of the new year,
ie jour"de l'an," or "le Jour d'etrene," is dedicated
to the renewal of friendship and to general gift
So universal. In fact, has the custom become of
giving presents and pretty little souvenirs that the
expression "bonne etrene" means good fortune
and "mal etrenne" misfortune. Candy and flow
ers are .acceptable gifts In France, but there Is
only one real mle In the matter a New Year's
gift must not be useful.
In most Scotch households, as in France, New
Year's day takes the place of Christmas, an evi
dence of ancient sympathy when both countries
regarded England as a mutual enemy. On the last
night of the year, In rural district, groups of men
and boys go disguished from house to house ting
ing curious fongs, such as this:
Rise up, good wife, and shak' yer feathers.
Dinna think that we are beggars;
We are bairnles come to play.
Hise up and give us hogmanay,
When they have received the cakes and coins
. they expect they go on to the next place, first,
however, having chalked the bouse, In token of
' good luck. Next morning all the children get tp
4rly and view with wide and Interested eyes the
ter h
sV by
9$ t
blue and white marks that decorate every dwell
ing in the village.
Scotland is, as well, the land of cakes, and at
this season the bakers shops are filled with
toothsome dainties, sugar covered and mottoed
in ice.
Germany observes various customs. Calls are
made on January 1, and gifts are exchanged;
delicious little cakes are eaten in honor of the
festal day. Different neighborhoods have char
acteristic rites and superstitions.
Thus, In the Black Forest a workman likes to
work a little bit at his trade the first day of the
year, to coax luck In business; most picturesque
is the vender of clocks, who sets out to sell one at
least of his wares. Munich drinks deep to the
health of the season in good Bavarian brew.
Jena, whose people recognize descent from those
ancient Germans who believed in a god that
brought light and warmth each year into the
world to overcome the cold and dark of winter,
builds in its public square at New Year's time a
great bonfire, which typifies . this ever .new gift
of the genial old deity that loved warmth and
gave light.
Thither at midnight the people carry the things
they wish to cast outof their lives with the old
Fire as a New Year's symbol is favored in
Wales, as well. There fires are burned on New
Year's day to purify the house for the entrance of
a new and gladsome era; and the ashes are kept
sacredly from year to year, esteemed for special
medicinal virtues.
The ringing of bells to announce the death of
the old year and the birth of the new one is
common In England and Scotland and In some
parts of the United States. , In many English
churches Impressive midnight services are held.
In the dales of Westmoreland It la usual to
open the west door to let the old year out and to
open the east door to let the new year in.'
In England It Is still an enjoyable practice to
offer a mince pie to every caller during the last
week of the old year, for every pie eaten under
different roof represents a happy month during
the year to come. .Often as January 1 draws Dear
one bears the expression:
"Thanks, I have eaten my twelve, so please ex
cuse me."
What probably Is the strangest New Year's rite
Is held in the Cevennes mountains, In southern
France. 'At the last evening mass of the old
year the herds and flocks of the peasantry ' are
gathered before the portico of the little stone
church high up on' the mountain aide and are
tha nHoaf and snrlnkled with holy wa-
follows him. in order that
that tjps, the sole wealth of the countryside, may
increAjie and prosper during t.h year to come. ;
Thf Bight of the holy hour Is wonderful. As the
church bell tolls above them the frightened ani
mals bleat and bellow and try madly to escape.
First the oxen are blessed, then the cows, next
the sheep and lambs, and finally the goats and
pigs. ' -
Throughout Europe many delightful customs
prevail. In Scandinavia a feast is always pre
pared for the little birds, which might otherwise
go hungry, on account of the deep snows.
In: Holland, as In Scotland, the wind is noted
with care, because the luck of the year will be
determined by the direction whence it blows. The
south wind brings heat and fertility, the west
wind milk and fish, the north wind cold and
storm, and east wind a fruitful season.
In Italy the New Year is a day of greeting and
good will and special feaBting. Sicilian peasants
take advantage of the fete to drive to town in
their gay carts, so that the country roads are
merry with the music of tinkling bells.
And Swiss folk, practical, industrious, stop their
work for the nonce and visit friends, even when
they have to carry their babies down the moun
tain slopes in cradles on their heads.
Bulgaria's heart history is of especial moment
Just now. On happy New Year's day In Bulgarian
villages the small boys run from house to house
waving branches of the cornel tree and shouting
greetings as they tap all they meet with the luck
bringing branches.
Bulgarian girls go through an interesting cere
mony in an effort to pry into the secrets of the
days to come. On New Year's eve a queen, chosen
by lot, guards a kettle full of water, In which both
men and maidens have dropped finger rings, or
some personal trinkets. Till dawn she watches.
Then to an open place in the center of the vil
lage she takes the precious kettle,- covered with a
cloth, a dancing, singing crowd following her. -An
oracle, who has been-selected for eloquence of
speech, proclaims Successive fortunes. He cries:
"The lucky girl whose ring shall appear shall
marry the best man In the village."
The queen of the festival dips her hand Into
the kettle and brings forth a ring, and its owner
receives it from her secure in the belief that good
luck betides her matrimonially before another
New Year.
"Why do you insist on trying to sell me beef
steak and beans and buckwheat cakes?" de
manded the barber. "I told you all I wanted
was two fried eggs."
"Well, I was In your shop yesterday," retorted
the restaurant man. "All I wanted was a shave,
but you bulldozed me Into a shampoo, a foam
fizz, and a tonlo rub."
"Warden, where are my flowers? Give me
those flowers."
"Those flowers are for an embezzler in the
next cell."
"Flowers for an embezzler, with a murderer
in the same Jail? A life of crime is not what I
wa led to expect."
"I wish I could do something startling," said
Gladys Gloom, sick unto death with ennui.
"Well, Gladys, that Is easily accomplished.'
said her cloae friend, Bella Blazes. "Go back
to that little old-fashioned town where you were
born, and smoke a cigarette on the publle
-My wife." said John Andrew to
hla stenographer. a good woman,
and It would break her heart to real
ize what I have long elnce realized
that we were never meant for each
Esther Sinclair made no reply, but
bent over her notes. Only the height
ened color la her face revealed her
She did not like to hear her employ
er speak slightingly of the pretty, sim
ple little woman who had once come
Into his office, spoken kindly to her,
and chattered in her irresponsible
way until It was time for her husband
to take her home. Yet, after all. Es
ther had long ago realized that there
could be little In common between her
and Andrews, whose forceful personal
ity demanded that sympathetic under
standing which it was not Mildred An
drew's to give.
They two had been associated to
gether In Andrew's work for nearly
six months. She had liked him in
stinctively the moment she set eyes
on him, and he had singled her out
from among a host of applicants, ap
parently without a moment's hesita
tion. He trusted In her completely In
her share of the difficult work which
he performed as secretary to the chem
ical company.
But her woman's instinct had surely
told her, during recent weeks, that
something more than esteem was
growing up between them. This was
the first occasion on which Andrews
had ever hinted at domestic unhappi
ness. She knew the depth and inten
sity of his nature.
She went home to pass an almost
sleepless night. She reviewed all her
past. She was already thirty years of
age; no love worthy of the name had
ever come into her life. And she could
not hide from herself the knowledge
that Andrews and she were made for
one another. She could give him such
She Tore Andrew's Letter Into Frag
devotion as was his need, if once she
let herself dwell upon the image of him
that was enshrined in her heart.
She fought against this awakening
love. Day after day found her on her
guard, lest by a chance word, even
a look, she should betray herself. And
so the days passed.
It happened at last, though. 'The
struggle was an intense one. She
had not realized how It had depleted
her of her strength. She had fought,
fought, in the hope of being able to
retain her position there, and the in
evitable reaction came. Rising to go
home one evening, she suddenly fell
to the floor in a dead faint created by
utter nervous exhaustion.'
And when consciousness came back
to her she found herself seated in a
chair and Andrews bending over her,
and his lips were pressed to hers, and
his hands , clasped hers tightly; and
she, too weak to resjst, lay there pass
ively in his arms.
At last she gathered strength to
rise. She stood up; she looked at
him and he at her. Both realized the
tragic nature of the passion that hafi
come into their lives. Neither spoke,
for there was nothing to say.
"Goodnight, Mr. Andrews," she
said at last, moving with an effort to
ward the door.
He bowed his head and she went
home. Not to rest, though. All night
she lay In a fever, and in the morn
ing she was flushed and delirious, and
for many days thereafter unconscious
of realities.
Andrews had left flowers for her ev
ery day, and once, after she began to
mend, little Mrs. Andrews called on
her and spoke of low much ber huB
band valued her and of the gap that
her illness had created In his work.
When the little woman had gone
Esther vowed that the past should
be forgotten.
But this was not to be. A letter
came from Andrews, full of passion
ate love. - He must see her, he said,
tife without her had become unbear
able. Their lives must lie together;
and If she tried to escape him he
would follow her to the ends of the
earth, if necessary, to find her and
claim her.-
Esther read the letter thoughtfully,
and once again the memory of her
love for him was strong within ber.
She knew that she loved him. spite of
dUhonor. It waa not the opinion of
the world for which she cared. But
there roee up before her eyte the pic
ture of innocent, pretty, pathetic lit
tle Mrs. Andrews. She coo Id not
orava a traitress to that little woman.
whose whole life was wrapped around
the man she loved.
She tore Andrew's letter Into frag
ments and sat down to compose her
answer. In it she said that they most
never meet again. She acknowledged!
her own love for him, but but
She could not finish that letter, sue
tore it In pieces also.
Then a wild idea came into ner
head, born, perhaps, of the delirium
throueh which she had passed. She
took her pen again and wrote him an
effusive, foolish letter such as must,
she knew, disgust a man of Andrews's
depth of feeling. It ran like this:
"Dear friend of mine,
"Your letter is no surprise to me.
I, too, love you. O, the bacredness
and mystery of such sublime uve as
ours! I have been waiting ever
since I saw you for you to tell me
that you were not Indifferent to me. ,
You are the most wonderful man la
the world to me. you are my god, with.
your tall, straight figure and magni
ficent eyes. And your hair curls la
Just the way that I have always liked
a man's hair to curl. Now that I
know you love me my heart beats so
fast it makes me dizzy. I am look
ing forward a thousand times a day
to our next meeting, when you can
kiss me again like you did that time
and tell me that I am wholly youra
for ever."
No one could imagine what it cost
Esther in self-respect to write that
letter. And when It was written she
sent the landlady's daughter out to
mail it, lest she should be compelled
to recall it.
It was the memory of little Mrs.
Andrews that enabled her to accom
plish her task. And when she had
finished a great peace came into her
heart. She knew now that it was ir
reparable, that never again need she
see Andrews, that he would seek, and
perhaps find in his wife's love those
qualities which he had discovered in
her. '
On the following evening a letter
was received by her in answer. In it
Andrews said briefly that he was sail
ing for Europe with his wife, upon a
three months' holiday. He enclosed
her a check for her salary during that
period and regretted that there would j
be no further need for her services, f
Esther tore up the check as she dev
stroyed Andrews's letter. Then she
sent out for a newspaper and studie v
tne aavernsp'seiiiN iui
wanted(JJHj lr
: (CopO"
Mrs. ,, fgiwwss-1
and "second inside raan."eiw"
tn run her household on the Engli
nlan. or she remembers Mrs. Edith
Wharton's earlier stories in which a
butler always figures, also a bishep
But we learn from England, writes
Philip Hale in the Boston Herald
that the reign of the butler is passing.
A rash Journalist ascribed his undo
ing to his arrogance, insolence and
ignorance. i
W. Holdaway, who describes him
self as a butler, answers In a gallant
manner. "Dealing with illogical wom
en does not conduce to a compatibility
of temper or efficiency. A lot of
money is wasted on finery, while a
request for the house, such as clean
ing utensils, is greeted with black
looks and 'Why do they wear out?' "
And Mr. Holdaway remarks that If
the old type of butler has deteriorat
ed so has the old type of gentry. Do
mestic service is not worth the can
dle; the navy.is to be preferred. "As:
for gambling and drinking below;
stairs, upstairs sets the example."
Is it possible that the old family,
crusted, gouty butler In England is
passing? In the old fashioned plays
he was delighted with his "I have
known master, forty years, man and
boy," etc.; and there are fine butlers
in fiction. One of the best is the
father of Ethelberta in Thomas Har
dy's romance, who is proud of his
daughter's literary fame and enjoys
the discussion about her while he
stands near the dining table. Then
there is the butler in "Our Mutual
Friend," who pours out the wine with
the air of a disapproving analytical
We do not see how any American
who in his boyhood saw all at table
helping themselves, spearing a potato
or a doughnut with a fork, or asking
a neighbor to hurry up and pass the
butter, can view his butler or his
valet without a quavering voice and a
trembling of the knees. Octave Mir
beau's "Journal d'une femme de Cham
bre" is widely known. We should
like to read the memoirs of a butler
In an ."exclusive" American house
Can Get Along Without Eggs.
If it were not for the widespread
belief that eggs cannot be dispensed
with as an article of diet, we snouia
never have heard of the 700,000 mem
bers of the Housewives' league engag
ing In "a 30-cent egg war." But tne
hnitof not altoKether well founded.
Eggs are highly useful, beneficial, nu
tritious, but not maispensauie.
But eggs are popular because tney
are easily prepared. It is less work
and it takes less time to boll an egg
than to broil a steak for breakfast. In
that Rtmnle fact may lie an explana
tion of the great demand for eggs and
of the ensuing excitement when prices)
7-- Vv.
' 'v -'J V

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