The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, April 01, 1891, Page 2, Image 2

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From a very excellent source comes the sugges
tion, that the literary societies of the university start a
library of literature. The university library, while it
contains many volumes of books of reference, and of
scientific works, has very few books of a literar)
nature. There is not a single one of Dicken's works
in the library. What is true of Dicken's works is
true, in whole or in part, of, the works of Thackeray,
of Victor Hugo, of Longfellow, of Scott, and of
nearly every writer, whose works are the life of liter
ature. No one is to blame that such literary works
are not in our library. The nature of the works
done in a state university calls for scientific work
and books of reference. These are all that the state
may be expected to purchase. Consequently all lit
erature, except such as through the merit which age
gives, are classics, and these few books of reference
is and always will be almost excluded from our
No one need be told that the works of literary
men are valuable. Literature develops with a nation
and helps more all else, to develop a national
spirit. Then, students who Lecome the men upon
whom the nation depends for growth and for sta
bility, should be familiar with the writings of the
men of their own day, period, and spirit. The need
of a literary library is evident. Are the societies
prepared to collect such a library? The literary soci
eties of William's college have done this. They
planned in such a way that each society has its own
books, and yet no two societies have the same books.
The beginning made was small. Alumni of each soci
ety gladly gave books. Friends of the societies gave
a few. The societies themselves purchased a few
each year. By these means has the size of the library
been continually increasing until at the present time,
the literary societies of Williams college have a joint
library of 10,000 volumes.
The alumni and friends of our societies are as lib
eral, and as zealous, as the alumni and friends of the
literary societies of Williams college. Students fre
quently buy books that when read, they would be
glad to place in the library of their society. The
societies are able to purchase a few books each year.
A membership of sixty yields each year in dues,
ninety dollars. Ten per cent, of this might easily be
spent for books, and never be missed. Why nuy
not the literary societies of the University of Nebraska
have a library?
The past term has been one of unparalleled pros
perity for the literary societies of this university.
The amount and the quality of the work done by
them has surprised even the most sanguine, while the
interest manifested in so many ways during the fall
term, has continued unabated. The new members
have shown the ability and better still, the inclination
to take a leading part in the management, and to
assume a share of the burdens, of their societies.
Never before has it been so clearly recognized and so
universally admitted that one of the most valuable
and practical parts of an education, is the drill and
discipline given by the work of the societies. Com
pared with this training, is the shallow "social
polish" given by the fraternities, a comparison that
no barb need be ashamed of.
Owing to the uncertainty as to whether or not,
the plate for the new cover would be completed in
time to use in last issue, we failed to make proper
mention of such an important improvement as the
new cover. It is too late now for us to mention the
many excellent things that could be said of the
design, without repeating some of the deserved com
pliments paid to it by every one, so we will content
ourselves by saying that aside from its real artistic
value, the cover posesses the additional merit of being
designed by a student of the university, and a mem
ber of The Hespepian association. To Miss Edna L.
Hyatt, '92, belongs the honor of designing the cover
and to her is due the thanks of not only the board of
editors, but of the entire association.
This vacation passed so quickly that it was over
before one had begun to enjoy it and work has
already commenced again, supposedly with a new
tan and a fresh supply of cash, and of good res
olutions. With the majority of us, the latter will go
about as fast as the former; we live on the one, but
fail to live up to the other. However, if you have
resolved to study harder, then do it, so as not to
break your resolution. If you have made no such
resolve, then study harder, so as to make others
believe that you have.
An id lias lately originated that a coffee house, estab
lished on a firm basis, as one of the places of social resort for
the masses, would be a valuable offset to the saloon.
While coffee houses might not drive out the saloon, they
would undoubtedly have a salutary effect. The idea is well
worth developing. To make the command "Thou shalt not"
fully effective there aiust also be the supplementary command
'Thou shalt."
Whether or not the world would be vastly benefited by a
total and final banishment from it of all intoxicating drinks,
seems to me not now an open question. Three-fourths of
mankind confess the affirmative with their tongues; and I
believe all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts. Ought
an j then, to refuse their aid in doing what the good of the
wiole demands?.... Of our political revolution of 1776 we
are all justly proud. It has given us a degree of political
freedom far exceeding that of any other nations ot the earth.
In it the world has found a solution of the long-mooted prob-