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Health of that city, he directed the officer in charge of the collection of garbage to note the character of the waste material gathered. It was ascertained that from the streets inhabited by the well-to-do classes, where the culinary affairs were largely left to the servants, the amount of waste thus collected was enormous, and that a considerable proportion of the food purchased was literally thrown away by careless servants. A surprisingly large amount of this waste consisted of good bread. Among the people in moderate circumstances this waste of food was less.
Still, people of moderate means do not save as they might. A gentleman from Pennsylvania, who has for years been in the way of employing hundreds of mechanics and other laborers, tells me that in passing the houses where his employees live he is constantly pained to notice the evidences of waste of food which would not occur in his own household.
Is not the American, of all civilized men, the most wasteful, and is not his worst wastefulness in his food- and drink?
SHALL WE ECONOMIZE?
THIS brings us back to the theme with which we began,- the American indifference or aversion to food-economizing. I have never observed any special development of this notion on the Continent of Europe, but have heard a good deal about it in England, where it is said, for instance, that the "workingmen with small wages buy the most expensive beef." I judge the disorder to be essentially AngloSaxon, quite prevalent in England, and epidemic in the United States. Perhaps it is only part of the more general tendency, inherent in human nature, but dependent upon the opportunity which material prosperity brings for its development. It certainly could not prevail under the straitened conditions of living which exist in most countries of Europe; and the comparative opulence which prevails with us, unrestrained by either habits of saving or understanding of the facts, would naturally tend to its wide development. Possibly part of its explanation lies deeper, and is to be sought in the impression which the older philosophy and theology inculcated in men's thinking, and which is not yet entirely gone. The philosophy which dealt chiefly with abstractions, and the theology which regarded the body as only a burden of earthly clay and concerned itself merely for the soul, both considered the material details of life beneath their notice. I believe it was Hegel who, expressing his dissent from the practical ideas current in England in his time, said, "Socrates brought
philosophy from the clouds, but the Englishmen have dragged her into the kitchen." And it is not long since a man in one of our highest educational positions assured me that such studies as those of food and nutrition which have been described in these articles were not in consonance with the intellectual dignity of a university. Is not our impression that attention to the little economies of life is beneath us the natural outgrowth of this same idea,— a weed which the conditions elsewhere have kept down but which here has grown rank?
But whatever may be the genesis of this notion, I am persuaded that, in the form in which we have to deal with it, it represents only a phase of a far more complex problem, the importance of which is coming to be felt in our time as never before, and which the many-sided effort to improve the material condition of the masses is really an effort to work out. We are learning that the best way to help men is to help them to help themselves, and that to help themselves they must be freed from ignorance and prejudice and must understand the principles that underlie the right practice of the arts of life. We are learning that for intellectual and moral elevation improvement of physical condition is necessary; that to improve mind and heart we must look out for the body also; that before people can attain to highest intelligence and righteousness they must be properly clothed and housed and fed. We are learning too that not merely increase of income but husbanding of resources are conditions of better welfare; that people need to save as well as to earn; that wastefulness is the cause of poverty and economy the way to comfort.
While the thoughtful man sees these things and feels their force, the average man does not. In the older countries, with exhausted fertility of soil and overcrowded population, the alternative of partial starvation has made close economizing a necessity. But with us, whom the abundant product of the virgin soil, far in excess of the demand of a still sparse population, and the superadded advantages of wonderful material progress, have placed in comparative affluence, the circumstances of our coal-heaver's family were positively luxurious in comparison with those of the bulk of the population of Europe. With us false pride and wastefulness have far too largely usurped the place of care and saving.
As a people we have not learned the art of getting the most out of what we have. With our larger incomes and better opportunities we often enjoy far less of comfort and contentment than our foreign brethren, who with their limited resources have learned how to husband and to make the best of the little that
falls to their lot. Those who have seen the inside of life in France and Germany know how true this is. I well remember how it impressed me in my first experience in Germany. Living in a private family, my breakfasts, which, though consisting only of the usual rolls and coffee, were nevertheless ample, were always brought to my room. With the coffee there came invariably a little jar of milk and some lumps of sugar. During the whole six months of my stay in that house, the number of lumps was never more nor less than five. An American lady living in another family in the same city was wont to aver her conviction that her landlady counted the grains of coffee for every potful she made. Every scrap of food was utilized. Like economies were manifested everywhere; indeed, they were a part of common education, not only at home but in school, where, for instance, the girls were taught to sew and mend as they were to read and write. And when I went about with the people and saw how they lived; how contentedly and pleasantly they took the affairs of life; how much they made of simple and inexpensive pleasures; how little they were beset with false pride of show and the petty ambition to go ahead of their neighbors, which are such corrosive influences in American and English society; how much of human kindness and home joy and social satisfaction they had with incomes and prices which would make life for average Americans of similar station a torturing struggle with want- I could not avoid the conviction that in their ways was a lesson which it would be a blessing for us to learn.
We waste at the store, at the market, and in the house enough to make us wealthy if we would only save. The fathers and the mothers do not understand the little arts of economizing, and the sons and the daughters do not learn them. We think it incompatible with our dignity as free-born and well-to-do Americans to devote our attention to them.
This is especially true as regards our food. The common saying that "the average American family wastes as much food as a French family would live upon" is a great exaggeration, but I hope to cite statistics in a succeeding article to show that there is a deal of truth in it. We endeavor to make our diet suit our palates by paying high prices in the market rather than by skillful cooking and tasteful serving at home. We buy much more than we need, use part of the excess to the detriment of our health, and throw the rest away. And, what makes the matter worse, it is generally those who most need to save that are the most wasteful.
population denser, and the virgin fertility of our soil gradually exhausted. We must reform or retrograde. Unless we mend our ways the future will bring loss instead of gain in material prosperity, and fearful falling away rather than improvement in our morals.
The remedy for the evil, so far as it applies to the chief item of our living expenses, our food, must be sought in two things,- popular understanding of the elementary facts regarding food and nutrition, and the acceptance of the doctrine that economy is respectable. Here, I believe, is an opportunity for a twofold propagandism of incalculable usefulness.
A very large body of people in this country say practically, though not in words, for such principles are not formulated by those who follow them: "To economize closely is beneath us. We do not want to live cheaply; we want to live well."
The true Anti-poverty Society is the Society of "Toil, Thrift, and Temperance." One of the articles of its constitution demands that the principles of intelligent economy shall be learned by patient study and followed in daily life.
Of the many worthy ways in which the charity that we call Christian is being exercised none seems to me more worthy of that appellation than the movement in industrial education, of which teaching the daughters of working-people how to do housework and how to select food and cook it forms a part.
If Christianity is to defend society against socialism must it not make such homely, nontheological teachings as these part of its gospel? If the old dispensation with its somber doctrine makes the earning of man's bread in the sweat of his face part of the primeval curse, does not the newer dispensation of religion and science make the gaining of support by earnest toil, and the economizing of resources by careful study, a substantial joy of life?
It is a happy phase of modern intellectual progress that much of its best work is being done along these lines of material usefulness. The place of the scholar, as of the saint, was once that of the recluse; now they are both busy among their fellow-men and doing their best to help them. The reason why so many of the Hegels of to-day are devoting themselves to the study of the practical problems of ordinary life is not simply nor chiefly for the material recompense it brings, but because they find in it the keenest intellectual stimulus, the opportunity for the profoundest thought, and the deep satisfaction that comes from rendering to their day and generation the best service of which their endowments make them Things cannot always go on thus. Interna- capable. At the fountain-heads of knowledge, tional competition is becoming sharper, our the great universities, speculative philosophy
and technology, Sanscrit and sanitation, are studied side by side with equal intellect and ardor. At the University of Cambridge, England, where not only the laboratories but the machine-shop have become parts of the paraphernalia of instruction, Professor Stuart, who works with his students at the forge, told me that his associates in the management of the university affairs showed most cordial sympathy in his department. The French Academy is felt to honor itself in electing Pasteur to its membership. Such a philosopher as Lotze makes the study of the practical details of life a part of his Microcosmus.
Nor is this materialism at all. It is the corollary, or rather the concomitant, of the metaphysics and theology which make matter and energy one, and that a manifestation of Deity. It is the nineteenth-century application of the ancient motto, " Humani nihil alienum." It is the following of the precept and the example of the great Teacher, who made his doctrine
dear to men by his deeds of love, and a part of whose work on earth was to feed the hungry and to heal the sick.
It is important that people be taught about their food, but the first requisite is the information to give them. The subject is, however, new. In its investigation we stand upon the borders of a continent of which but a small part has yet been explored. In the great European universities investigation is active. In our own country extremely little is being done, and that little is dependent almost entirely upon private munificence for its support. The opportunity for useful research is a rare one, and the demand for it great and increasing. If the cost of a yacht were invested in appliances for research in this direction, and the annual expense of maintaining it were devoted to carrying on such researches, they would bring fruit of untold value to the world, and, to the donor, the richest reward that a lover of his fellow-men could have.
AN ELK-HUNT ON THE PLAINS.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE INNESS, JR., AFTER SKETCHES BY THE AUTHOR.
HOUGH untold numbers of elk, as the American red deer, or wapiti, is generally called, still roam the wild hill-lands of the West or seek refuge in the timber districts of its less mountainous regions, the swift advance of civilization has swept the elk from the plains and has made elk-hunting on those wide and timberless tracts a thing of the past. But fifteen or sixteen years ago, when the author was stationed as an American cavalryofficer at North Platte barracks, at the junction of the North and the South Platte rivers, it was a different tale. The elk country lay to the north of us, with a slight preponderance of the larger herds towards the east. The herds were generally found along that net-work of streams known as the various forks of the Loup, and the nearer to the head of the Loup one hunted, the more numerous they became, though among the lakes and marshes and high rolling sandhills of Nebraska, just west of the Loup's head-waters, they again disappeared. As a hunting-district this region was almost entirely monopolized by military parties and by such people as were escorted by them; for nearly all of it was on the great Sioux reservation, and, in consequence of the small war parties of Sioux that constantly infested it, was extremely unsafe.
In the fall of 1873 I was told that a number of distinguished and titled people would be at the post in a few days, with the usual papers from high officials that would entitle them to every consideration they could ask for and we could grant. Above all things, they wished to go on an elk-hunt to the northward, and I was asked to take command of the little escort. Hunting and scouting was the principal field duty of the frontier stations, and the former only differed from the latter in that it was volunteer work so long as enough volunteers could be found; but since a hunt for buffalo or elk counted as "a tour of field duty," we never wanted for volunteers.
Our visitors arrived in good time, and we soon made ready for the hunt. With two sixmule teams to haul our ten days' rations and forage, and with other necessary outfits, we got away one fine forenoon in early October, with the air so crisp and clear that half the
horses of our troop of thirty or forty danced along as if going to a tournament, and not on a trip that would bring them back with hanging heads. Where we crossed the line of the railroad for the last time for we had been winding along it for four or five miles -we partly loaded our wagons with discarded railroad ties, to serve us as fuel. On the banks of many of the streams of this part of the country no firewood, not even a twig, can be found; and nothing can be more cheerless and disconsolate to a little troop of cavalry that has marched all day in the cold than to reach, in the bleak evening, a stream where it is evident that camp must be made and find no sign of wood as far as the eye can reach. But add to a soldier's hard-tack and bacon his regulation quart of hot coffee, and he will be satisfied with his repast.
Our course, after leaving the railroad, was over what might be called the semi-sandhills of Nebraska, or the sandhills covered with grass, the only turf or soil being that formed by the grass roots. The longer a road is used through such a country, the worse it gets. Wagon wheels soon cut through the thin turf, and it becomes a road of sand. Another is then started alongside, and so on indefinitely, until the first is once more grown up with grass and fit to be used again. Along these roads sunflower stalks are particularly prone to grow (they really do wherever the ground is stirred up), and from a slight elevation it is often possible to trace by them an old, abandoned road for many miles.
Our first camp was made on the South Loup, so near its head that one could jump across the stream, and in a barren tract of low, flat country, where the grass grew a little higher in the valley than on the hills, and a few willow brakes marked the course of the stream. Three wall tents in a line indicated where the officers and the visitors slept, and twice as many " A," or "wedge," or common tents, twenty or thirty yards away, showed where the men were sheltered. Between the two camps, tied to the picket-line, a long rope stretched from wagon wheel to wagon wheel,- the horses munched their oats and corn in their nose-bags, with a sentinel walking at each end of the line. One of the greatest pleasures of a frontier camp is a roaring fire, with its flames climbing into the sky;
but with us wood was too scarce for that. Two half-smothered fires for "kitchens" were all we had. If the chances for Indians were good, military hunting parties always placed a picket of a trusty corporal and from three to six men on the hill a half-mile from and overlooking camp; but a party of our size (about thirty-five in number) is avoided by the few war parties prowling around on the confines of civilization trying to get the scalp of a herder or a stray pony or two. Tracks seen early in the evening, just before camping, had shown that wild horses were in the vicinity, and this made us keep our own horses close to the picket-line; otherwise they would be "lariated out." For wild horses snorting near camp in the dead of night are likely to cause a stampede, and few things are more disastrous to a cavalry command. Any trifling thing may cause a stampede when the herd is scattered out to graze,- the howling of a coyote, a keen flash of lightning, the noise of a big weed carried by by the wind, or, as happened in one case, the violent coughing of the sentinel stationed near the horses to keep them quiet.
In a small party like ours, all the stated military calls are laid aside. Even "taps" is omitted; and one by one we dropped asleep, till nothing was left to the ear but the dull pacing of the sentinels or an occasional deep-drawn sigh from some horse at the picket-line. Before dawn the next morning the party was routed out of bed so as to be able to start by sunrise, and the usual preparations for breaking camp were begun,fortunately by the light of a full moon just sinking in the west. An unfledged recruit, sleepy from having talked too late the night before, dug his fists into his rebellious eyes, and, glinting around, asked for the tenth time if the party were not to start at sunrise. Being gruffly answered in the affirmative by his uncommunicative tent-mate, he gazed listlessly through the tent-flaps to the west, and said, shiveringly, "I'll be denged if they hain't made a mistake! that's the moon, and not the sun." The early sun saw the little caravan moving northward in the chill morning air. The officers and visitors were ahead, with ten or twelve troopers, while from half a mile to a mile behind, with an equal number of soldiers, came the two wagons, the two little parties being within ample supporting distance should anything of a serious nature happen. Small companies of flankers of from one to three men were thrown out on both sides of the road from a quarter of a mile to a mile from it and slightly in advance of the main party. These flankers are always composed of the best hunters and trailers among the soldiers, and the
flanking was done because that day's march was supposed to bring us to a possible elk district, and elk are apt to turn back if from an elevation they catch sight of a road ahead of them. Such trails as these retreating herds might make only flankers would be likely to find. Coming near a road in a valley or on a flat plain they are much more likely to cross. it; but if a person will take the trouble to study the trail on both sides of the road, he will notice how the elk will fight shy of civilization. The incoming trail may show that they have scattered out over the grassy districts for grazing, and here and there a place will be seen where they have been lying down resting; but as soon as the road is crossed, if it is not an old, abandoned one, the scattered trails converge into one of Indian file, which may be traced at times for three or four miles before the herd shows signs of grazing or being in an easy frame of mind.
That day's march, of from twenty to twentyfive miles, brought us to a picturesque little stream erroneously called the Dismal, which had received this inappropriate title from having been first seen at its mouth, where it empties into the Middle Fork of the Loup in a truly melancholy way. The Indian name of Cedar is much more applicable, however, for its steep banks are here and there covered with patches of cedar, that make it a pleasantlooking stream. It cuts so abruptly through its almost cañon-like bed, that one hardly sees it until it is right under his nose. I remember belonging to the expedition that made the "government road" that cuts across it. It was a hot day in July, and about the hottest part of the day,- 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon,— and we had been marching in the sandhills since morning. Our teams were tired out, and stopping the entire command in a hot little hollow between the hills, we sent one of the best guides ahead to find, if it were possible, the best and shortest road to the first stream to the south. He had not disappeared over the crest in that direction twenty seconds, when he was seen coming back, most persons who had heard his orders supposing that he was returning for something he had lost or left behind. But he reported that the Dismal had been found about two hundred yards ahead, and within half an hour we were all engaged in the pleasant occupation of making camp.
Our hunting party also camped on this stream, and a large amount of wood was secured for the night's camp-fire. On mild nights it was always burned in a huge fire in front of the tents, but when it was uncomfortably chilly, the wood was put into the little Sibley stoves inside the tents, which on the very coldest day can be made warm and cozy