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About The Nebraskan. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1892-1899 | View Entire Issue (June 5, 1899)
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Vol. VII. No. 3G.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN, JUNE 6, 1809.
Price 5 Cents.
"The Education Which Our
Country Needs." President
Northrop of Minnesota.
!M)ore Mum sixty years ago lOdwnrd
('ontaraitlvely a hiiiiiU area, of the
country is inhabited by people among
whom can 1r found three generations
of the saini' blood In the same. place.
Itecklcssness and change arc our pres
ent characteristics. What we shall dio
next Is uncertain. When a family's
destiny Is practically settled at, birth
you can educate them for their work
according to established rules of train
M lit 1 1 1 1 HWllM
ivvorei in an n u. ess : i mo I'oiiego ntfm ,t ,8 llIlHy to ,(1o ,i1iIh ... .........
ciesmoco most teltcltiously the sp Irlt thk'K-ly settled pants of Ihiropc where
imii purposes 01 an occasion nice tuns, jjeneration after generation from filth-
system of education did not really ed-('little power, are neveithclcss forever
1 er lo son the occupations tire tlie same,
i.'nl... . ...i. a ... '" ""'"
liic irrciii liuiiiv n neens uiiim iii.-i i .. ...i ,.. ...j .. . ..
,, . -y . ... i, :, urn wiu-u i in mis couiinry me cnn-
this, and of tllie addresses they draw ,mv of flinvUv nri, destined to be
for h, is imtto impart stores or Infor- K-utti-ed, and each child may in the
ination, laboriously collected; not to 'tMHirse of his llfo livo tn a l(zeni (Fttror
broaeli new systems, requiring cure- I ,. tf,.n,i,.H cf eivlll.atlon. and' unite
fully weighted arguments for their I probaiblv pursue a dozen different em-
iiun-iivv, m- iii urn- in wnnir-1 pioynieivts, from school keopin
mngexl faots for their illustration. We New ICngkind to running u i
meet at these mcrarj rcstiwiis to pro- viuwh
mote kind feetling; to impart new
strength to good purposes; to enkin
dle and animate the spirit of i'mprove
monit in ourselves and others. We
leave our closets, our olYlces, and our
studies, to meet and salute each other
in these pleasant paths; to prevent (the
diverging walks of life from wholly
estranging those from each other who
were kind friends at the outset; to pay
our homage to the venerated fathers,
who honor witlli their presence the re
turn of these academic festivals and
tlliose of us who are no longer young,
to make acquaintance with the ardent
and ingenuous who are following after
us. The preparation for an occasion
like this is in the heart, not in the
head; it is in the attachments formed,
and the feelings inspired, in the bright
morning of life. Our preparation lis
in the classic atmosphere of the place,
in the tranquility of the academic
grove in the unoffending peace of the
occasion, in 'the open eoun'tennnoe of
long-parted associates, joyous at meet
ing, and in the kind' and indulgent
smile of the favoring throng, which
bestows its animating1 attendance on
our humble exorcises."
Mr. ISvcrott chose as 'his topic on the
occasion refeiTed to, "The Nature and
Efficacy of l&lucatioo, as the Great
p, Kvmmm Instrument of Improving tllic
UoftdMtea ot jmb... uy ectueauon na
ston in okE35-"'i,j "" iiro
cvgnrnviKfrfc-OTia ior m. ii is a bwik-
Vng'-ooiaminiavy on the ennnges which
'have conic in Mie last half century
that totk.v while I culm It till that Mr.
Everett olaimed for education in Uie
olden time, 1 ask your attention to a
subject which distinctly implies that
education no longer is and no longer
should be the same for alleven for
all who are found in the same college.
ng a cattle
conditions are seriously changed and
the problem how to harmonize this
ever-moving population with its con
stantly changing eiivironliucnts, and to
assimilate it with the steady influx
of a purely foreign element from
every union under heaven, becomes
more difficult and more discouraging.
It is nt once seen that it is going to
take time, to inuuc this mixed mass,
tilio splendid people that shall ulti
mately occupy tills eon nit ry and live
rest fully and peacefully willi their
kinsfolk and acquaintances in that
part of the country in which they have
been born, keeping up the interests
and promoting the works In which
tlieir fathers before tiieni have been
The situation, as may be seen, is not
an id'eal one. There is a tremendous
waste of force in all directions; and
not u little of the educational work
done under 'these conditions is like the
training of a sportsman, wQio, having
ilred at a calf, supposing it to be a
deer, and having failed to hit it, ex
plained his lack of skill by saying Mint
lie Ilred so as to lii't it it it were a tiecr
and miss it if it were n calf. Quite fre
quently it is a calf, and1 perhaps it is
fortuneite tli'nt we miss it as often as
This verv hasty sketch of tlh'c shi'fit-
itwr elements of our country suggests
kfccfi-iucfr''tnat- ifc-. --traJnmrtff-2'aTgc-
mnnlbors of our people must be mm
in exceedingly superficial. Vo are an
im.mMi'intiR -neonle. an inventive nconle.
i people wiitih -wonderful udhptnibillty.
Hut there are altogether too -inn ivy
jacks of all trades and good at none.
Our meivhnnie nuts, our agriculture,
our business interests of every kind
have suffered from being undertaken
bv men with no adequate training for
their work. The thorough knowledge
of his business possessed by the nrtl-
icatic; and I think that the Indigna
tion of the country nt such a state
ment would be just.
Yet 1 do not by any means 'believe
that we have reuelred aiv cdueaitlontil
millennium. If any college otl'leer or
any teacher of a public school contem
plates with perfect satisfaction the re
sults of ithe training given to the aver
age student, nil 1 have to sajr is thiat
he is easily satisfied.
For inyseM, i frankly ndimlt that,
while guidliiL'' an educaitlonal InsMti-
tion in the 'betet way 1 cam, so as to
make it most serviceable to 'the sttite
from which it draws its ll'fe, and so as
to keep It at least, from being left
high and drj, on tlti slhorc, while the
rest of tlie educational -world saXs
proudly on, 1 am fat' from 'being cer
tain that we are headed for the tight
port, that we are using the betit forces
in the best way, or that we are lilcely
to be entirely satisfied witli 'the re
sults when our voyage is ended.
lint while admiit'iing that our edu
cation is not perfect, 1 am far from
thinking that most of the evils in our
country tire to bo, charged to defects
in our educational, sjdtem. They fire
evils which would exist under our
pre ',wt conditions no mutter what
niig'ht be our theory or p'.aa of edu
cation' but they are also eviis which
I am sure our educational work, faith
fully continued, will remove.
It has been customary to divide lit
erature into two kinds the literature
of knowledge ' and the literature of
power. 1 would divide education) in
tlie same way. Every one who knows
anything about the inn titer, will admit
that in respect ,'to the amount of
knowledge imparted, our amstiittvtiions
of learning are iieom'pma'lly superior
to those of former iti m es. Tlie sciences
are practicably Ithc product of tUie
present century ,and the ithorough and
systematic teaching of the scienees hat
been, possible but little more tilinn a
generation, lllstory and Htenaiture
were never taught as 'they are today
until comparatively a few yearsi ago.
Otlter branches of learning nui'ght be
named of whlcb the sarnie could le
said. Tlie titden't 'when lie complates
his college $ou;rso now, knows a great
iicnr Jiiore twriuiniy 'biiuir wienmiiiKnc
knew fifty jears ugo. But how is it
in respect to power' in respect' to rcnl
and unceasingly irrigating and fruc
tifying broad territories that would
otherwise be barren and unfruitful.
Tlie irrigating ditches that cnn make
a sage brush desert 'bear abii'ivd'anti'.y
orange and kiinon, prune and apricot,
grape and olive, lire not as suggestive
of power as ne noisy stream, whose
falling waters turn tlie wheels of a
great mill, bin they are not luss benitl
cent in their work, and their power,
judged b, results, is not lews. That
lncplicaille power wiuciii lilts tne sap
from the roots wnd force's every branch
and twig 'to bud and blossom unitill all
nature is clothed In the garments of
spring, is a silent force whose anove
inenits inuc u n'li en rd, but wihose eilVwt
in trausroriuiug tlie world of naiture,
all the hurricanes in the universe can
not equai. Power and noise are not
You reniennber that the seven lilberal
studies wlhleh the seholiatiics of the
middle ages called the trivium and 't.he
quadriviuin, wdre granvma'r, logic aiwi
rhetoric, the triple way to eloquence;
and ani'thnietic, astronomy, geomiitry
and music, tlie qundiiviul way to wilnyt
ever eW In culture wiis deemed desir
able. 'We have not almndoned a single
one of these studies, but we hue add
ed ti great variety of other studies
which the presen't age requires. Kveiy
.student must choose as witsei.v as ne
can what will contri'bute most to his
own success in life.
When an intitiition provides insittnic
tion in every department Mint dan rc
snnmbly be desired, there is no antag
onism etx'a ted1 between ithe old educa
tion tmd tUie new. llot'h are provided;
you take your choice, the refrasii
uients are served on the Ruropcnn
plan. If vou want to atituin to elo
quence, the old path is open to you
with the foot-murks of many genera
tions still visible. On the other Ihand,
in every well endowed, unwersiiy, uie
single subject of biology, animal and
plant life, is so broaduy nl minutely
studied, that it might easily occupy
the undivided nttentioni of t'lie student
for itlie whole four years of college life,
and Mie student might graduate an ac
curate observer of nature, n muster Vf
1 uliii.11 nflVr nln lllMilotrV for S
to vou upon a plain and practical sul- isan of (ierinany, would put our Anien
jecV the lluca'tioii' which our Coim- nan aiitlsans to th blush, if tliey liad
.. ..iu I iMimiiiiKtyn iii this su'b- not lonir iiiro cot oast blushing. Tlie
icct. the evnrcssion wiiich our Country i Hermans are trained for years to do
,ie4i what men in this country will tinder
I believe that diiToreut peoples re
quire different education and that
the Mine people may riuin' different
exl'iicatlon at different stages of tUieir
development. There are peculiar con
dition? both of population mid of de
velopment in this country, which jus
tify departures in education from the
lines of work which may be the most
desirable in some other countries. I
need mention only two or tlhree.
First: Our population' is not homo
geneous. Tit is not changed ineroij
from time to time by the death of the
fatlliers and the succession of tlie chil
dren, but on the contrary it is con
stantly receiving accessions in 'large
numbers from other countries and
races, and other civilizations.
Second: Our people are all equal In
political rights and political ipwr.
It is as necessary for the day W1orer
to know wiiat is best for the country
as it is for the man of any other iosi
tioii'. Tn many countries political xw
cr is vested in' n few, and only these
few have anything to say as to nation
al policy. Practically it makes no dif
ference whatever to them whether the
millions know anything nlout politi
cal Bcicncc, 'history, sociology or not.
Tuey are simply to tread in the steps
of their fathers, and the king and nk
bilibv take wipe of the state. Rut wiih
us this is all changed. The power is
wl'th the people, legislation wim w
determined ultimately by 1ie people.
If 'Mie people nrc intelligent and wise,
it here will Hx oonslstenfy and contin
uity In legislation, Init if the people
arc not iimtelligont nnd wise, Miey will
o like an lavalnnehc one year against
' MoKinley 1UU mid Ulie next year
grow frantic to reverse iMieir former
verdict, and shout "Orcat Is protection
..iirr.rir.i.v t Uss nranhet.'
41.1111 ,l-,.iiJ 1 l . -.,,.
the scientific method of investigation,
ciples of eloquence, anl no power in
Ms nnirtt ic. Here, doubtless. IMOllW
rntollectual vigor and the ability to im- Ijc a loss, not indeed' without great
vhlli lmvid nnd bultter do not con
-- ----"".". " V , -... iiJ-"
wi'ou'ie. e wauii to iiuuku iiuiikiiu mu,
comfortalilc. Yc want to sa-c men, if
possible, from, hunger and cold, ami,
misery. Unit we do not want to reaucc
universal humiiui existence to a dead,
level of mere comfortable animal life.
As ljenr well suvs: "iAMow not nature
more Minn nntuix" needs; mam's lltfo
is cheap na beast's."
rIMik.k lu um,i.,I1i tiifi Ij-t ititfin liutrltfxu
uodlv. The mind, the soul, Is itseil'f to"';
be cultiiited. TasJtc is to be rellned
and givitlfled. Music, art, literature,
none of these do for man wnut fooi
does, but tliey create n.ndi diirect far-
reaclilng longings, aspirations, aptl
iludes; they contribute to hi? growth
and' perfection and1 happiness, and
they must never 'be excluded from cftir
system of education as things, not
needed. Old Homer with lulisi divine
epic, and his words t.hait echo the
voices of nature in the most entranc
ing way, is as refining in u.ls influence
as ever; the Greek tragedies are ns
trrnnd .ns over. Virnil is.as deHchtfill.
ShakcsiKSire is as thousandsouled'. 'jCm
of these if permitted to do itheilr legtfS
Imnte work for. tlie student, will dO for
him something that the mere wTucn-'.'
tion of knowledge cannot -do.
The glory of our modern education
Is its adaptation1 to the wants nt once
of the race and of tlve individual. It
provides for both the material and
spiritual wants of the student.. It does
not reject poetry and literature be
cause eiremistry and plrysics are more
tonportant; nor does it reject science
because literature gives a. different
kind of culture or a better culture. I)t
furnishes whatever will help man to
do the best, work, and also whatever
will help hSm to 'be the best man. Audi
t'luilt is just what its needed. This pro
vision for both culture and knowledge
is today the most marked feature of-
university life in this country.. Hair- $
vard has in some respects taken Mio
lead; John Hopkins was the pioneer
and the other universities willingly or
unmillingly, htive fothmved. 12vcn ven
erable old Oxford, where tradition nns
so long been tine law, has now, accord
ing to a recent writer, fallen ilnto the
.'irac.' ...,Ai--i:: ?.&siZ$iZ7-3
Fumroung writer wjwts uoiaxiUTeiuiio'
take to do after acting as a 'helper for
a few weeks. This results from our
freedom whV'h lets men do whatever
thev think tliey can do whether they
are' qualified for it or not. As for
spending years to learn a trade or
business when one can get just as
good wages if he has merely learned
n smattering of the business, the
'American is not such a fool as to do
f.limt. In brief, our whole system of in
dustry is wasteful. Work that should
be done once ior uu, is none mn u
dozen tiuuvs because never done ns it
ought to lie, and as it would be if everj
man in every occupation were not so
free, hut. we're required to know thor
oughly the trade or profession which
he undertakes to follow.
I snpiose there has been enough
nionev wasted on trying 'to get nviHk
from 'beef cattle and to make beef of
milk cattle, to pay off our national
debt all from Ignorance an ignor
ance oivlv equaled 1y Mint of the lndy
who kept poultry nnkl, wondered liOw
! ivai that with ten hens she only got
one vKd a day. Nine of licr hens were
roosters, wiio cannot lo relied on Ho
lav with regularity.
There Is today a detmnnd for edu
cated men in a multitude of occupa
tions that formerly had no existence
or were conducted by uneducated men.
The whole world of IaDor is to ne en
gaged in Mie application of setontiflc
principles to mechanics or to agricul
ture, to transportation, to socinl life
or municipal life. The. hlwphazzard
.noM.od of dolne things by gtfess ihns
got to stop and the laws of nature tire
to 1)0 applied' to nearly every thing
Mint .imvites hiMiian lallior our educa
tion must fit men for all Miesa varied
occupations for which in the: olden
time there was no call to fit nny one.
Plie situntlon of itself would' require n
?ff anJ'ourSi Mo'n h-UflKta Mic scop, of our cduca;
nettled and our IP'u'tJO'' ,1S ft nl1loiwi Work. Our whole ooiinitiry womM
.v lo the new ones, Imt there is an irreg-
uiiar nvovcmeiiii oi wiii.W"" -t -- -raotlono-from
the vest baclc to tlie
' dHl, Ui'e on1h, lo Mic souMiwcsj, in
t&P Creation it thftre seemo a ohtaoo
r.'VZ-ni;.. n onndition. TBlO
timf m had not made great progress
in education In. Mie last half century;
that our colleges nnd universities wore
no lwtter than thoo of fifty years
ago; Miat our schools were nob doing
hfrgcr and hatter.' work thnm 1lhe
schools of former times; nndi that our
press otliem with his ideas and to
guide Mie thought ol the age. .lames
'i Field, the great publisher, the
friend of authors and scholars nnkl no
menu author audi scholar himself, said
some years ago, that no man of very
marked power had' graduated from
any colleges of nlie country since lS.r).".
All the eminent American authors 'like
linierson, llawHliorne, lyongfelJow,
liowell and Holmes, preceded this dead
line of 1S55. Yuule college has the hon
or to 'have three of its graduates at the
present time on the bench of the su
preme court of tlie United States.
Tliey have all 'been appointed in recent
years, and t'hey were all worthy of ap
pointment; but they were all in col
lege before 1855, and the latest to
graduate was in 1S50.
The Venezuela commission apjoint
cd by President Cleveland, was com
posed of ivc distinguished citizens,
three of wtyiQin nre graduates of Yale
college Ciidiinan, White and' Ilrewer;
nil three were in college before 1S55.
Was .Mr. Weld's dictum correct, that
the age of developed power in colRiegcs
ended, so far as appears, in 1S55?
Kven if the dictum were true, it need
not fill us with alarm. What Mr.
Field esjieeial'ly lamented, 1 suppose,
was the disappearance of t'lie creative
power as represented in oratory, po
etry, and prose literature. Hut men
wnite and think as clearly now as they
ever did. The country needs today a
good1 many things more Minn it needs
a great poet. I say it even at Mie risk
of 'being called a IMii list inc. -Whoit this
age needs is knowledge. What this
age wants to use for its own advance
ment to the highest civilization is
knowledge. What this age, therefore,
is try in it to tret is knowledge knowl
edge not for a favored' class, but for
the world every Iinporton't fact and
priniciple discovered' to he used' for
the good of the race.
It is not, therefore, necessarily dis
couraging if we nre compelled' to ad
mit, that in our efforts to hjrondem Mie
field of study and to satisfy the very
general demand of the age for n more
practical education, 'there seems to
have 'been a certain loss or power to
the indivldnal student. Tt is more in
tlie seeming than in reality; more in
the method of its application Mian in
the power itself, and1 it does not by
any menns follow thnt there is in the
aggregate n loss to the community.
Modern scholarship, despite its ten
dency to specializing, is no longer a
deep and narrow stream sweeping
everything before It in its welil-worn
channel; it is rather a countless num
ber yf strenms ever dmdtnjg Unto new
and smaller ones, and ever seeking
for themselves new olinniny-ls, and
Hliese streams though thyy-'mny show
gain, but n loss if eloquence is to be
regarded ns the enter end' or education.
Hut the world for half a. century has
censed to regard eloquence as the chief
thing to lie desired even in a states
man, and much less in a scholar. Chat
ham and Tlurke no longer thunder Im
tlie llritish parliament, hut mem in
parliament today discuss the budget
nnd home rule ns practical questions
er, much as Mu would discuss the
value of different breeds of caltltile, or
of rotation of crops. Facts have 'taken
the place of tropes, andeomuion sense
tills up the void created ty tlie depar
ture of ( ! reck and1 Latin 'quotations.
Tlie rhetoric-inn is nt n discount even
In congress. The man who cam tell all'
about the effect of taking the tariff
off wool and' putting a tariff on hides,
of making lumber free and of putting
a duty on coal', who can lay down any
one principle of finance which will 'be
accepted as true by both the gold, and
the silver men of the country, lie is
the man for Mie times, while tlie elo
quent dedal mer on the abstract rights
and wrongs of capital and la'bor, is of
little account. legislation! is no longer
a matter of feeling and' emotion. It is
a practical matter coming home to
meii'V business and bosoms, and to ho
decided largely by evidence gathered
by the patient student of statistics in
tlie field of poiitlcii.l science.
Kdward livcrett spoke two hours at
Gettysburg a pellucid stream of
classical eloquence and not fifty men
in the country today either know or
cure what he said. A'braluniv Lincoln
followed Everett with n speech of
three ini'nutes, a plain statement of
fndts appealing to tlie highest patriot
ism, and today thousands of Aimeri
cans, from the child in school to the
old man in Mie ohiminey corner, can
tell what he said. Tlie world! .has cens
ed to care much for mere words, liow
ever choice an!d elegant.
Macnulny's Catalogue of the achieve
ments of modern lenring is inspiring.
tlie old! idea of a literal' fsnch!tion', d.
multitude of' narrow and technical
schools, for orohiuilngi the .tmemoriy1
and starving Mc intellect. " The old.
education may have heen' defective,
acid's this writ"Clf,bnt at least it was1 an
education and' not an nippremticesliip."
II n all of ottr universities of today,
ti stlndent if lie Avishes nrt CfllminWvn
can still get it;!or if !ho wishes what
this writer calls "tin apprenticeship, ho "
Can get that. That is the best eciuea
tion' which fits tt man "for lu.e groatest
usefulness. No man is likely to pe' 'V
very useful who dloewn'ot. observe oc- . ', '
curately ami reSuvon eorrwtly, however 'V
much, 'he may Tcnow. Tlie mam who vt.
cannot "djra.w just, conclusions for h'is , ."
own gnHdnuce lis nc)iti likely! to be a"
safe guide for otlHers m any field of '-
c'omipiex human' activity. WQiatever J .
discipline' to the intellect caiv possibly ' '
1k given shotilifRbo given1, whether the '" !,'
"in'teliect is to i)e applied; Ito oi-eortlng', i
inventing, adapting, using motter;.'or '
inspiring, invigorating, or leiadlirig
inind. In either case utility ifl' the
controlling consideraltion, Verj- few
men am afford to use their brains
merely as an object lesson of what dis
cipline can accomplish, or as an latbic
for the storage 1 a?itiqua!tcli,,rtwb;li't'
nre. IMost meii . '-rrtttfelti therefore get 'A. Ji
whht they can use.' No. floaibt a plr'nTn'- f
br wilio cannot rend! Latin 4ind' 'Preelc -V
mil answer our purpose Tery wuil, air
be wall keep our water pipes tr&ttii
our sewerage from Retting haok'Sto
our lnpndirj- tubs, and' the farn3lyWK
dyiin'g in consequence Cf urisanlftairt''
conditions produced by hitnolff ) Tt'ytei
cannot, hnvc botlj culture and' .meolfarii
cal skill in our .plumber,. et us by all
means (have thtit which is tfsscritiail to
his doing well the one thin whsiidh. hw
proposes to do. Tlie same IthoJnghA
applies to the whole bodyox enginieef4,
and students in technical! schools. If
they are to lie masters of thieir todhini
cnl work they must, 'forego to some ex
tern, general cultui'e, as liliei eiasslcal
student, ifor culture foregoes the World!
Tt shows what man has dono. But it of jntical seien"o. Tlie mos J'tm.- .. '
dots not touch the question ns to what i Ppi)it. and tundamental' rule of 'ttin?" ;
Is he to lo sweet or bit- on-won "o-ti to leave outs whiefcteef 1
man is o be.
ter in ills temper? Is lie to be reiflned
or conrse, n gentleman or n boar, a
Glndstone of a Gradgrlnd, in syimpathy
or out of FP.inpathy witli manldnds a
glad' listener to the voices of love, nnfjj
oenuiy, aim nnrmony, nni art, ano na
ture which is the art of God, or insen
sible to everything which his -eye can
not see nor his nnim handle.
Wo must not neglect the. culture
which will determipe. which of these
the student is to be, svhJle wt; grow
wild over studies -which ml- deteumi
ine what the student' shall le able to,
do. There is still feft in the worklia
dhine sense o-f henuty and noetirviias
contributing to soniethihig Xn mnu "to'-prl
fouindntion or ihk strutftmre. tftto -oh
thin'g- necessary 'to fit us for whalt -wib
pn'optMte "to -do. ymd' the anost iTOipor-t-
am. nue ror eduontional institutlonscti
the COTOllhrv of this, "rnlrjv it jvn.jaoi'VJ
for every student to get what is neces
sary for the best foundation) at least?
in his future worh, Bub Ithe jsubieet
which the student in college nneeAj
especially to pursue is not netfesswrjiy
that which ainneatis to bo imotet. cioaeTv
related to his fuituire work. 1 Wafce :. :..
no -doubt dint chemistry and btony v Ti
anu mecnanics nre mticiti more rrtipotift'
nmt.io-a farmer than IMlnjantQGreeJc
".( s country lias not yet- heen subdued.
V. . V ' r 'f ' . iKi.' ".''St.'
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