The rage for automobiling has swept over our land, like a wave of temporary insanity. Sober householders have behaved with even greater folly than the historic Margery Daw. She only sold her bed and lay in the straw, retaining some sort of roof over her head, it is to be supposed. But the motor enthusiasts part with houses and lands, in exchange for their favorite toy. It is said that so much real estate has thus fallen into the hands of the insurance companies, that they have been obliged to call a halt.
Automobile madness is certainly contagious, for even the oldest inhabitant feels the joy of the rapid motion. We should recognize the fact that a new form of intemperance is in our midst. The terrible record of injuries and deaths caused by this modern car of Juggernaut, should make thoughtful people consider very seriously what ought to be 'done to stop or at least to lessen the wholesale destruction of human life. We would suggest that every conscientious owner or lessee of a motor-car should sign a speed limit pledge, in the presence of competent witnesses, binding him-self to pay heavy damages if he exceeds the prescribed rate. The application of the alarm-clock principle might also be helpful; if some ingenious inventor should arrange a contrivance whereby a loud gong should ring instantly, or a' scarecrow spring up on the dasher, whenever a certain limit of speed was exceeded, he would win the eternal gratitude of all pedestrians.
A learned professor of my acquaintance has demonstrated the fact that a motor-car of twenty horsepower can be run at a moderate rate. He finds, however, that his neighbors incline to the view that their machines are unable to go slowly!
A motorcar obeys the same laws as other vehicles, and has no right of way over them. It keeps to the right side of the road, passing on the right a vehicle going in the opposite direction, and on the left, one going the same way. The horn must always be blown, on coming up behind a carriage or conveyance of any sort, since this may be on the point of turning out or stopping. The chauffeur must also sound the horn on approaching a corner or crossing, before he passes a vehicle, when a pedestrian is crossing the road in front of him, or is starting to do so, and at any other time when the warning may prevent an accident to other persons or to his own automobile. He must be careful to keep his lamps in good order, and light both the rear and the front ones, at the prescribed hour. He must always stop his car at the side of the road and never in the middle. In some cities, the way of drawing up to the sidewalk is prescribed by law. He must be on the watch for other cars coming rapidly up from the rear, to avoid accident. If he himself is about to turn to the left or right, before doing so, he holds out his hand to warn any one who may be behind, and to show to which side he means to turn.
It is inconceivable that any one should be so brutal as to run into another person, and then go on without stopping to make inquiries and to give every possible assistance, in case of injury. To do so would be to forfeit all claim to the name of gentleman. It is said that much reckless driving is due to a greater or less degree of intoxication, and it has been seriously urged that strict temperance should be insisted upon, for all chauffeurs and motorists.
A few years ago, it was quite common to see an automobile in distress, drawn up by the side of the road. With the great improvement in machines, this sight has become much less common. It is always kind and courteous, however, for a motorist to stop and see if he can do anything to help any one whose machine has broken down.
It is much more amusing to run the machine yourself, than to go as a passenger. No one, however, should attempt to drive a car until he has learned how to do so properly and until he understands the machinery. In some places the person who runs a motorcar without a license is liable to a heavy fine. The man who is a beginner, should take an experienced chauffeur on the at beside him. He must remember also to keep his eye constantly on the road in front of him and on the machine. He should talk little to any one, and should never turn his head, to talk to those in the back seats. The professional chauffeur understands this, but the amateur sometimes takes terrible risks in his desire to entertain the ladies sitting behind him.
He tries, too, to run the car more rapidly than his knowledge warrants, producing many uncomfortable bumps and jolts and frightening the timid among his passengers.
One needs to be warmly wrapped when riding in a motor-car, since it makes its own climate. For an open car, furs are a necessity in winter and a long dust coat will be found very convenient in summer. Women wear automobile bonnets or small, tightly fitting hats, with ample veils covering the head-gear completely, tied around the neck. Since the rapid motion and the strong breezes created by it, have an extraordinary power of loosening strings and pins, everything should be securely fastened before one embarks, the veil especially being tightly pinned on. A severely plain, tight-fitting outer garment is the best, since it is uncomfortable to have ribbons or drapery blowing about like so many streamers. Men wear automobile caps or fur caps in winter. Goggles should be worn when it is dusty.
The chauffeur should have fur boots, fur cap and a long fur coat for long distance trips in winter. In summer, he wears leather puttees or leggings, a black or tan leather cap and a suit of quiet color with a short jacket. Some ladies have a footman in addition to the chauffeur, both men being in a livery of dark cloth.
The owner of a motorcar is able to offer a very pleasant form of hospitality to his friends. He can take them off for a trip of any length from an hour to a week or even longer. Since the machine travels so rapidly, one can show one's guests quite a large tract of country, between breakfast and late dinner, stopping for luncheon at some casino or pleasant wayside inn, perhaps. The possessor of a car also brings his friends to visit him, thus doing away with the isolation of the country life of old times. If one entertains overnight visitors coming in an automobile, etiquette prescribes that the chauffeur also shall be entertained.
Women who play golf during the hot summer months, must make a special study of their costumes. The clothing should be light, especially for those who be-come very warm, but the skirt must be of some stout material, with sufficient stiffness to prevent its clinging to the figure. The bodice and the upper part of the skirt should have a protective lining. To see a fair player looking as if her clothes needed to be wrung out, is decidedly unpleasant.
Women need to guard against the ,very ungraceful attitudes which players often assume, especially when addressing the ball. They must remember also The golfer's unwritten rule of silence." In adopting this game, we have retained the code of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. Its rules of etiquette are the following:
" A single player has no standing, and must always give way to a properly constituted match.
" No player, caddie, or onlooker should move or talk during a stroke.
" No player should play from the tee until the party in front have played their second strokes and are out of range, nor play up to the putting-green till the party in front have holed out and moved away.
" The player who has the honor from the tee should be allowed to play before his opponent tees his ball.
" Players who have holed out should not try their putts over again when other players are following them.
" Players looking for a lost ball must allow other matches, coming up, to pass them. On request being made, a three-ball match must allow a single, three-some, or foursome to pass. Any match playing a whole round may claim the right to pass a match playing a shorter round.
If a match fail to keep its place on the green, and lose in distance more than one clear hole on those in front, it may be passed, on request being made.
" Turf cut or displaced by a stroke should at once be replaced.
" A player should carefully fill up all holes made by himself in a bunker.
" It is the duty of an umpire or referee to take cognizance of any breach of rule that he may observe, whether he be appealed to on this point or not.
" When a man and a woman play together, he carries her bag of clubs if there is no caddie to perform this service. He makes her tees and helps her to find her balls."
( Originally Published 1911 )
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