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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/402

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

men, and women also, who are of the age of grandparents, and yet are altogether attractive and beautiful.

The time was, and recent too, when most men on reaching the age of thirty-five or forty adopted a quiet costume and demeanor of stability and left off regarding themselves as sharing in any part of their resigned youth. The same voluntary transition was even more noticeable among women, especially the married ones. When the duties of life lay most largely about the domestic hearth the duties and privileges of parenthood were accepted and enjoyed with no, or little, thought of acquiring the pose of perpetual adolescence. A change has been wrought, for good or otherwise, and it becomes a matter of common remark that we have no middle-aged folk any more. People are either young or they are old. As for inevitable conditions, little need be said; they must be accepted and made the most of. It has been decided, however, that now-a-days we shall stay young as long is possible, hence it behooves those of us who are the conservators of health to teach our clients the best measures by which youthfulness may be conserved and cellular structures held in equipoise.

There is much to be said in favor of such a decision. Assuredly, a man is to be commended for* desiring to see the wife of his bosom long retain those qualities which first swayed his judgment and determined his choice. The Almighty put into the heart of his people certain instinctive impulses, the following of which brings about mating. Beauty of face and form, varying as it inevitably must, in accordance with racial or local standards, is the deciding factor in espousals. No doubt we can be made to believe that soul appeals to soul in these momentous yet sudden decisions, which we all made, and our children will make yet after us. But comeliness is and should be the final arbitrament. Happily there are many types and adequate varieties.

" There is a beauty of the flesh, and there is likewise a glory of the spirit which illumines the flesh. In the most pleasing of human countenances these good gifts are blended in just, though varying, degrees." It is possible for one or the other extreme to prevail and each be satisfactory to the beholder. This again depends upon the caliber of the spectator; his or her mood and training. If the spirit works so powerfully here as some would have us believe, it follows that the wisest men and women should make their choice less by reason of propinquity than is demonstrated by history and experience. The instinctive impulses are primarily wholesome, and make for good, but, unless modified by judgment, tend inevitably toward selfish indulgences which mar the most beautiful human complex.

It would seem pertinent, however, to make some effort at understanding what the elements of that beauty are, which is so well worth the preserving. While this concept might be attained, it is by no