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FROM THE MAGAZINES., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 80, 3 April 1909
FROM THE MAGAZINES.
THE VALUE OF POLITENESS. Hollow trees are always the stillest, but the mightiest oak, it is found, can bend. The more exalted a man is by station, the more powerful should he be by kindness. There is no policy like politeness, since a good manner often succeeds where the best tongue has failed. Politeness is most useful to inspire confidence in the timid and encourage the deserving.—"The Sunday Strand." HOW THE HORSE IS BEING DISPLACED. Some startling figures are given in last week's "Motor Traction," with a view to showing the enormous growth of the use of the motor in London for passenger transport. The figures, which are official, are as follows: —
Commenting on the figures, the same journal says:—At the beginning of 1907, however, signs were not wanting to show that the rapid diminution of horse cabs was beginning to lessen, for theyl only showed a decrease of 674, while the 1 increase in motor cabs amounted to 027 —in fact, the two very nearly balanced each other. Now at the end of 1908 we find an increase of 2,082 motor cabs, but only a decrease of 1343 horse cabs, leaving "39 more vehicles to crowd the streets than there were last j'ear. WHY THE CHINESE ARE SUCCESSFUL GAMBLERS. They have latent power . . . that is why I believe in them. They play poker well, for instance—piny it" like* fiends. That's because it fits them. Strange to fay, of all the trash we've put up to them, the game of draw poker is the only thing that fits the Chinese character at every turn. It's as if they had spent all these years just to perfect themselves for that game. It appeals to them .. . it's philosophical, it's got sense. And so they play it, inscrutable, smiling with pleasure in their hearts. I've spoken this way because I feel that even with you there remains an inborn prejudice against his race. He's yellow, his skin is yellow. Well, I admit it. But living as I have along the coast, I've grown into boundless respect for these yellow people that you talk about. They have the strongest racial tendencies in the world; they are the most absolutely well knit nation that I know. Say what you will, their individual charncteristics are tremendous. I mean along the line of racial power. Nothing cnn touch them. They throw off the weakness of our religion and civilisation as instinctively as you'd throw off a man that was trying to suffocate you. They don't want Vm! They have a code of their own. liy heavens! I give them credit for seeing the grave faults in our civilisation .. . and, anyway, it's utterly unfitted for their needs. The resuits are too plainly written, and they must know beyond a question that we white men haven't got anything that will last very long. Progress, progress .. . where has it ever led to but the grave? We teach our children how depr»i'able it is that China has lain dormant for thousands of years; to mc it's one of the wonders of the world that she's been able to, with every little religion and philosophy and vice in our category knocking at her doors. Isn't that the Caucasian all over, though .. . think of the Insufferable conceit of it! The minute he thinks anything, or learns anything, or even dreams anything, hurry up and tell it to the nest man—babble about it, disseminate it, spoil it, run it into the ground, cram it down somebody's throat who doesn't want it. but for goodness siikc never keep it to himself to live and thrive by! No wonder the Chinese laugh to see us running about on such wild missions. They know so well that even in our country the charm doesn't always work. They've seen how inconsistent "and irresponsible our own government and religion and ethics are. And they laujh ... as an old man laughs nt a boy!— Lincoln Colcord, in "The American Magazine."
WHERE NINETY THOUSAND LIVE UNDERGROUND.
The law in Berlin requires that, with some variations according to the height of his building, the width of the street and tlie quniter a man shall buiid upon only two-thirds of his land, and leave the rest for a court. In the houses of the middle class trees, flowers, and statuary fill these courts. Sometimes little fountains spring up in them. And if in the average tenement the court is bare and drenry, it is, in the greater number of buildings, paved and orderly, and as clean as asphalt can be swept. Far more of light nnd uir, far more, of cleanliness, the owner of a tenement house building must give his tenants in Berlin than in New York. One need never light a match to find the light shaft, as a tenement house commissioner with a sense of humour sometimes does in New York. There are no rows of buildings like our dumb-bell tenements, with ten rooms out of fourteen on every floor dark and the gas bunting in them night and day. Even in places where people were dying of starvation, the sunlight lnj- in a block upon the floor. The halls were scoured "whitej the rooms were-clean, and the people themselves.
Never, indeed, did any place wear a better outside than Berlin. It is said that Frederick the Great, when he presented his people with building sites, stipulated that, however modest the buildings erected, they must present a splendid aspect to the street. Even the old Scheunenviertel —"the place of bnrns"' —which has been the stronghold of thieves and cuthroats, lies there full ol sun, with its house fronts gay and trim. and at almost: any hour of the day one may find it glistening from its bath. It is the subterranean and internal life of this imperial city of Prusr-ia, behind the walls and under the earthpwhich is yet umeached by regulation, tb'
For over ninety thousand people live underground in Berlin, burrowing under the earth in the cellar tenements, l'ale girls and boy 3 -issue out of these clean, chill holes; and paler men and women, and old people yet more pale, who have spent in this darkness all their lives, on-e may see borne out from them at last into other cellar tenements, eternal and more still. The children from the cellar tenements have a strange look of tSe blood not flowing in them, but a still life, like that in the ground. Wv. have cellar temments in American cities, but in no such numbers as this. The new tenement house law in Berlin forbids them, but it cannot touch the old buildings. This i» something any one may see.—Madge C. Jenison, in "Harper's."
Animal. Motor. Cabs. Animal, Motor. Omnibuses. 1903 1904 1905 190G 10O7 1008 11,404 1 11,057 -2 10,931 19 10.492 96 9,818 723 8,475 2,805 3.023 i3 3.551 31 3,484 241 2.904 783 2,557 1.205 2,155 1,133
FROM THE MAGAZINES., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 80, 3 April 1909
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