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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (June 9, 1894)
grow tired of a thing one has once liked;'
every recitation is like meeting an old sweet
heart concerning whom one has been disil
lusioned. Greek is a very unsatisfactory
sweetheart, she is too old and wrinkled and
exacts too much and gives too little in re
turn. Besides, she can't expect to hold her
own forever against the poetry of younger,
fairer and warmer-hearted nations. Then
she hasn't the trick of exciting one enough
to be stimulating. Still, for all that one
can't pass his examinations by filling up the
aching void of blank pages with invectives
or Greek, and I privately suspected that the
serener side of me which had made it possible
for me to like Greek once was going to the
dogs very rapidly, and-1 did not altogether
fancy the idea.
As I was meditating on the possibilities
of ever catching up, a tall, imposing person
age, resembling a statute I had seen, and
also the professor of zoology entered the
box and took a familiar pose. Ho was in
evening dress and wore it with the air of one
accustomed to it. He fixed his electric blue
eyes upon me and I whinced a little, remem
bering the amount of laboratory work I had
"Professor " I gasped.
"No," he responded pleasantly, "1 am
.only the Apollo, the Belvidere, number 427,
I sat in my chair and bit my lip to bo sure
that I was awake.
"Awfully glad to meet you, Apollo. I
had the pleasure in Rome last summer, but
our acquaintance was necessarily brief."
"Yes; I am busy there in the day, but I
have my nights off."
"I must ask your pardon, but indeed I
scarcely know you. Dress makes a groat
difference," I murmured apologetically.
He gave a Bhrug of impatience and sank
into a chair beside me.
"That's the trouble with you college men,
you are always looking for us in the shells
we cast off ages ago. In fact, you don't care
t for us at all, its the shells you are after.
You don't care for Aristotle's philosophy,
its the dato of his birth you want. You
never think of the poetry of Sophocles, it's
his poetic constructions you gloat over; you
read the Choruses just to pick out the Doric
forms. You don't care for me except as
you can make mo fit into your little solar
Now it was a new thing for me to be taken
to task for my devotion to Greek grammar,
and novel situations always amuse mo.
"But, my dear deity, grammar is the
prop and stay of modern education, it is the
source of all culture."
"Grammar," said Apollo, reflectively, as .
ho lit a cigarette, "is an invention of the
devil, his best and most effective. In the
middle ages when ho set out to corrupt the
spirituality of the christian world, he tried
demons, and torture, and divisions of creed,
but they all failed. A.t last he tried Greek
grammar, and triumphed."
"Well, if this is true it ill becomes you to
say it. You ought to be loyal. Is this all
the poor Athenians get for their goldon
tripods and smoking hecatombs?"
"The Athenians were a good people in
their day, but their day was very many cen
turies ago and the world has grown since
then. Your babies in their nurseries know
more than Socrates ever dreamed of. If
you had a son who was such a blooming
idiot in natural sciences or Pythogoras, you
would boot him, you know you would.
Yes, the Athenians were a good people, but
they have loft nothing behind them but
"And some of the greatest literature in
the world," I said solemnly.
"Yes, their literature is worthy of consid
Homer, for in
stance, who can't
bo duplicated. He
is rewriting the
Iliad on a type
writer now, and is
making groat im
homer. has written anoth-
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