So the nurse should know about the anti-tuberculosis work, the night schools, the playgrounds on the roofs of the school-houses, all the philanthropic work of her town, and she cannot know about it unless she takes some of her vacant days, her days of waiting, and turns them into days of learning, and the expansion of both her mind and her heart.
The fine drift had silted in through each most minute cranny and crevice even though we have double windows all over the building; and on the night in question we had decided that sufficient fresh air was entering in spite of us to permit our disobeying our self-imposed anti-tuberculosis regulations.
It had already secured a partial franchise for taxpaying women and its achievements in the following years made it an acknowledged power. In 1910 a great charity and educational benefit was launched for the Anti-Tuberculosis League and the Woman's Dispensary. A complete plan of organizing with Era Club members as ward and precinct leaders taught them political organization.
"Apostate man!" she would reply, "did I not hear you on the platform of the Anti-Tuberculosis Association plead for free and unlimited ventilation without waiting for the consent of other nations? Did you not appear as one who stood four-square 'gainst every wind that blows, and asked for more? And now, just because you are personally inconvenienced, you prove recreant to the Cause.
All we have to do is to keep on fighting and use our brains, and victory is certain. Our Teutonic fellow soldiers have already nailed their flag to the mast with the inscription: "No more tuberculosis after 1930!" So much for the serried masses of the centre of our anti-tuberculosis army, upon which we depend for the heavy, mass fighting and the great frontal attacks.
"Just now we are trying to establish an anti-tuberculosis organization to save those of our soldiers who have been infected or are menaced. Many hospitals are already opened for them. At Mentom, on the Mediterranean, for the blind tubercular; at Hauteville, in the Department of the Aisne, for the officers and soldiers; at La Rochelle, for bone-tuberculosis; but the task is enormous.
One interesting special library is circulated in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in behalf of the anti-tuberculosis movement. Something like forty of the best books on health, and on the prevention and cure of tuberculosis, are included. This library, with a pretty complete tuberculosis exhibit, is sent around, and is shown by the local clubs of each town.
At any rate the women who stood at the exits of the theater selling the Christmas stamps of the anti-tuberculosis society will tell you that the purse strings as well as the heart strings of the crowd relaxed to the crude but deep melody of mercy. The social hunger also, turning its back upon the meager home and heightened by the monotony and semi-independence of early toil, takes to the street.
In major poetry it appears for the last time in Tennyson's The Brook, where the young poet hastens to Italy, "too late," but in American verse it continued to rack the frame of geniuses till the germ theory robbed it of romance and the anti-tuberculosis campaign drove it out of existence.