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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (April 21, 1899)
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, APRIL 21, 1899.
Do I Yearn Sometimes.
I hung thorn up to be out of the way,
My old blue soldier clothes;
But the door of their crypt standB wide today,
And a dash of gray dust shows
On the sleeves, as I look and wistfully
For the memory that goes
With ray heart far back to the shade of the tent
On a tropic afternoon,
Hearing the while with mild content .
The tales that soldiers croon
Or feeling the love that is fondly blent
"With the words of an old home tune.
And I feel again the languid breeze
From the heart of the limpid bay,
And like cowled monks on bonded knees,
See mountains far away,
Where the sky stoops down to the darker seas,
When warm tides lift and stray.
But most I think of a soldier there,
I loved from a friend's full heart,
Who bore with me a share and share
Of pain the most to part
As 1 clasped his hands at the parting prayer
And saw his deep tears start.
Do 1 yearn sometimes, as I fondly gaze
On that war-worn coat of blue,
Dear comrade of those stirring days,
For the sight and sounds wo knew;
To livo once more by the ruddy blaze
Of the wild, free camp with you?
A Mission of Democracy.
Oration delivered by .Miss ltena Alderman in the local contest.
Democracy, viewed from the standpoint of stability in
government, presents many weaknesses. It is based on the
popular mind, and the popular mind is as yet untrained; givou
to rash impulses; to frequent changes; and to instability of
Under an organization where the few are reared to govern,
society might bo conformed to the advanced doctrines of
political economy long before the masses of the people under
stood its first principles. But even were a class to arise,
intelligent and conscientious enough to make possible the best
ideals of aristocracy, the system in its lack of opportunity for
political endeavor among the masses would still stand opposed
to the all-embracing law of ; evolution. '
A government, grounded in right principles, is but the ser
vant, not the master of man, strong because the servant needs
to be efficient, bat always the instrument of his, not its own
greatest good. It does not exist for its own sake, but to pro
mote human interests, peace and justice, perhaps. But peace
and justice do not more exist for their own sake. If through
peace men must become enervated, let us have war. If only
through much injustice men can learn to deal justly, better the
injustice for a time than that they should forever be the passive
recipient of a blessing whose quality never became an attribute
of their nature.
Democracy has an ideal beyond itself. Its best product is
manhood; a social and an individual manhood, capable of
yielding an intelligent obeidience, while it acts with and for
others toward the best good of all There is no defence for
monarchy in the superiority of kings that does not plead in a
greater degree for the need of democracy. Pray, who are the
kings, if not the people? By what can royalty claim the right to
govern, if not that through generations of ruling it has learned
somewhat the art? It is the ability to govern, gainod by long
experience, not the governing that in democracy is the triumph
of the people. If a system whose safeguard is ignorance, and
under which political self-reliance is treason has a place in the
world, it is only as the fostering maternalism of an infant race.
Even conceeding that a little learning may be a dangerous
thing, all learning must first be little before it can be great.
A few political ideas among the people may mislead them, but
it foresplendors mighty things. All the kingless turmoil 'and
misrule would be amply compensated for, if after many gen
erations there would evolve a race that did not need a king.
All through her dominion democracy is entering and ex
panding the cramped life of the people. The emigrant who
comes from despotic Russia bounds his interest, perchance, by
the fire-break of his homestead. In a short time, however, he
talks tariff or coinage and has a party. It may be many years
before he will be a strength to the state. But have not the
vistas opened before his eyes, the new sense of his relation to
society been of inestimable value to him? Travelers tell us,
that in crossing the Alps from Italy intoSwitzerland, the dif
ference in the peasantry becomes noticeable. The Swiss is a
reasoning and responsible man. It is but the retold story of
the ancient peoples. The meridian hours of Grecian manhood
were when every Greek was a statesman. Never was Roman
patriotism and integrity so undefiled as when in the days of tho
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