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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1875)
THE HESPERIAN STUDENT.
1'UULIsllhD MON'UIL JIYT1IK
HESPERIAN STUDENT PUBLISH
EuiTOH-IN-CHIKK, 0. E. IIOWAHI).
AsSOOIATK ElHTOU AM) RKVIKWBK,
Emma L. Williams.
Local, .... Amos. E. Gantt.
Ed. P. Hoi.mkh, lousiness Manager.
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OUR LEGISI.TlE ECONOMY.
Hear me. j u venerable core,
An couuse! for poor mortals,
That frequent pas s douce Wisdom's door
Forglalkit Folly's portals 1
I, for their thoughtless careless sakci
Would here propone defences,
Thrir don-le tricks, their black mistakes.
Their fulling-; and mischances.
If you would understand the pretext for
ionic of the strange freaks of our present
Legislature, whose session has just closed,
" go to the grasshopper, thou sluggard, con.
sider her ways and he wise." The bonajxde
'reason therefor could not, in all cases, be
to easily discovered.
It is frequently the case, that.in the great
misfortunes and calamities of states and
nations, which over-ruling Providence sees
fit to inflict upon them, the attempted rem
euy only hastens the catastrophe.
Nebraska has been sorely afflicted, doubt
less on account of her sins, and a proud
spirit that goes before a fall. Her woes
have excited the sympathy of the whole
sisterhood of suitys; und.that her sufferings
are real, is too apparent for contradiction.
The people looked forward, with earnest
and childlike confidence, to her legislature
to lighten their burdens, and till their de
pletcd larders and granaries. "We United
States folks always look to our legislators
for the remedy of every evil which public
flesh is heir to. Our legislative chamber
are our great apothecary shop, and our
statutes our standand prescription books.
Far be it from our purpose to insinuate
that the poor people, in the present, or in
most eases, have been the victims of mis
placed confidence. But we fear the hum
ble, but excessively industrious grasshop.
pur would be wonderfully amazed could he
gain a clear conception of the remarkable
spasms of economy which, on account of
his playful meanderings, have convulsed
our legislative body corporeal. Whether
the remedies, which have been prescribed
for our troubles, will eventually prove to
be greater evils than the afflictions them
selves, facts will indicate, and time reveal,
possibly, to the cost of some of our would.
e economists. Many of our new-lledged
Solons and tyro statesmen came to the Capi
tol chock full of virtue, with "economy.,
written in unmistakable characters upon
their stern features. They fully expected
to llnd every State olllcial, from the highest
to the lowest, and every poor olllcial tip.
pointee with his hands up to the elbows
In the public treasury. They had stulled
their mental nostrils with metaphorical
cotton, lest the festers and public corrup
tion, which they fully believed to exist, and
I which they irould diteorer whether or no,
'should sicken their sensitive stomachs.
How our ears yet revcrlien'te with the elo-
quenl ami virtuous appeals, "to guard the
treasury at all hazards," when a few dollars
were asked to aid an institution of learning,
or to extend the cause of popular educa
tion! What fiery denunciations, what
scathing vituperations were heaped upon
the heads of good men, unjustly and with
out proof charged with corruption by
men whose prurient hands were eager to
clutch the public bounty!
Every citizen of our State has just rea
son to be proud of our advancement and
standing in popular education. These
'advantages for securing an education to
i their children, even in the far western por-
tions of the State, have been the greatest in
j ducement to immigration Thu inhabitants
of our western counties are poor, mostly
homesteaders. Our State school fund has
been a rich blessing to them. From actual
statistics, it is shown that nearly two thirds
of the school districts of the State, and
nearly all of the western districts, are whol
ly dependent upon the State aid for the
support of schools. Were this fund sud
denly cut off, many of these districts must
close school for one or two years at least ;
and in the west, where there is little prop
erty subject to taxation, for an indefinite
period. Is this, then, the place for retrench
ment? Does not our intelligence and in
tellectual development imperatively de
mand, that our school fund should remain
inviolate, as the constitution requires, that
the advantages of education may not be de
nied the youth of the State? It would
seem to an ordinary common-sense thinker,
that now, more than ever before, does the
West need the aid of the State school fund.
She can no more do without schools, than
she can do without grain and clothing.
And it d-cs seem that some plan might be
devised, in this civilized age, by which
neither would be necessary. But we are
not a political economist, as are our honor
able legislators. They have seen proper to
appropriate about $80,000 from our annual
school revenue to defray the general ex
pensesof the State! .Must the West ex
change her school privileges for bread?
Surely such u necessity should not exist
i in our great Nation. And it does tut exist.
Such an economy is only worthy of the
dark ages. But our legislators were con
sistent. On the very day the above retrench
ment ( ?) was cllectcd, they appropriated an
immense and extravagant sum one mill
on the assessable property of the State
for the completion of the State Penitentiary.
What remarkable prescience! That astute
body, in its wisdom, pluinly foresaw that
the more they crippled the cause of educa
tion, the more need would they have of a
commodious penitentiary. The Logiila
ture could relievo, with heroic fortitude,
the burdened people, groaning under
heavy taxes, by rel..:,j to allow the
State Supt. of Schools a single dollar for
postage, stationery, travelling expenses,
oflice expenses, &c, requiring the appal
ling sura of, perhaps, six or eight hun.
dred dollars, thus destroying the whole
clllclcney of the State department of edu
cation. They could also appropriate
twenty-five thousand dollars for their own
epcnes, (10.000 more than was appro
priated by the last legislature,) salaries.
&c, while In session, with equal compla
cency. They could wrangle and quart ol,
and well nigh close their Normal School,
which ought to be the pride of the State,
as it Is of the whole West, for fear twenty
or thirty thousand dollars would be squan
dered in sustaining it. But no extrava
gance could be discerned in the bill great
ly increasing the fees of sherill's, which
were already large, thus implying an ad
ditional outlay throughout the State of
many thousands of dollars.
The State University barely escaped
the effects of their withering economy,
and the operation of the Agricul'ural
College was narrowed down and circum
scribed for the want of sufllcient funds to
manage it satisfactorily, and build dor
mitories for the accommodation of stu
dents on the farm. Thus fared our State
institutions; but on the other hand the
Legislature experienced no compunctious
of conscience in bestowing with prodigal
hand nearly all the public lands still pos
sessed by the State upon a railroad corpo
our way among the hills, for which tlio
burg is celebrated, many and pleasing
memories were awakened by scenes so
familiar when we ourselves were u student
of " old Normal." Involuntarily our step
became more elastic, and our heart heat
quicker as we approached the ground" of
the Institution. It was too late in the even,
ing when we arrived to llnd the school in
operation; so we searched out an old
chum, the initials of whose name, in coin
mou parlance, are "Joiinnik Swan," at
present the Principal of the city schools of
Peru. After partaking of a few creature
comforts, and discussing the dear old times
that are past, but not faded, and boring liim,
wo fear, with a torrent of interrogations,
we sallied forth in the evening to visit the
"boys." O, those terrible hills! We found
that we had lost the " hang" of peregrina
ting the streets of Peru. It take a a
two years' residence or so to teach one how
to preserve his equilibrium for more than
three consecutive minutes while traversing
them. Peru is not a good place for fluid
refreshments either. But through ninny
dire perils to our store clothes our uncer
tain steps being supported by the strong
arm of our experienced guide, a native, wo
accomplished our mission. It would not
, be generous to delay the reader with an ac-
If we may be permitted to indulge in a ' curate account of all our visits. We will
bit of prophecy, we will predict that the j simply mention that, among others, we
effect of this winter's legislation will ! ,'0Ulul mir oUl Mvm iuul class-mate, I. L.
be, to make the Legislature of 1875 fa-! Huiu'ii, present correspondent of the Hks-
mous as the enemy of education, and for I'KIiia.v, deeply engrossed in a thrilling
grossly misdirected economy. By the
way, it is our private opinion, that this is
a sample of Granger legislation, and we
might further add, if we thought it policy,
that we think the nation should celebrate,
with due splendor and rejoicing, the
death of that institution, whenever it may
occur. "God speed the day!"
Should you enquire why a body ol law
makers would thus mercilessly nltack the
educational interests of their State, we
would assign this as the reason : Thu age
is essentially utilitarian. The practical
is sought after by all classes. Here is
the diillculty. What is of the most prac
tical value? Men of inferior culture im
mediately respond ; "That which returns
an immediate pecuniary reward." That
profit which increase of educational facil
ities will bring, is not comprehended by
thu mass. It is in the distance. It looks
unreal. Henco the legislator says, for we
do not always have edur.utcd men in our
chambers of State "We can curtail this
I or that expenditure, or stop this or that
poi tion of the machinery of our school
sysleiit, for a certain length of tir..Nu with
out much loss." Such argument is dan-
Kuiuus us tuii as uuiacious. wno can
narative of the strange adventures of one,
J'jSKAh, and his associates; while for an
invigorating exercise, lie unearths a few
Perhaps we might as well mention here,
as elsewhere, a fact that speaks volumes
for the efllcicncy, and the correct manage
ment of the Normal school the students
are hard workers; though there arc nearly
three hundred In attendance, during study
hours, it is a rare thing to find a student on
the streets. The rigid application of the
Normal students to their text books
amounts almost to a fault a very good one
it must be confessed. Time should be al
lowed for thought and general reading.
There is danger of narrowing ones views,
and prescribing one's ideas by a too rigid
application to the text book, or h too im.
plieit reliance thereon. We do not say this
is the case in the Normal, however, ls. we
were informed that much attention is paid
to rhctoricals and the study of general lit
erature. On the following morning we were pres
ent al tlte opening of the school. Dr. Azkl
Fkkicman, than whom a more agreeable
and polished gentleman we have never nut,
and the various members of the faculty.
istimate the peril, and the loss to the State gaV0USIi ,u'arty Wl'lw)mj 1 sparwl no
ncurred by restricting, oven in a slight de- Iml"s to pWo us "" "" lnbS,,il into ,ho I-jri-i.,
the advantages we possess for secur-! l'ra,1(",s of ,he "wl T'' fhiik-iiiH meet
I.. ...... r.... .i . . .
We aro still i luul"!l u - nioniiug exercises
i no normal students in the "Normal
ing intellectual culture?
more firm'. v convinced. Unit imL.r.tc
should prepare themselves for nolltleul ,IuU" ,,ml tlwM Ul tho I'paratory Uo
life while in college. ! lMJr1'"1 " chapel below. Thu majority
-j. of tho htudents aro young men and women
A VISIT TO TUB NORMAL.
We enjoyed the privilege, a short time
since, of paying a visit to our State
Normal School, situated in the village of
Peru, on the Missouri River. The Peruvi
ans at this time are especially happy. They
are rejoicing in the possession of a railroad,
which they have long and patiently expect
ed. To possess railroad communication
constitutes the wildest ambition of a west
ern town. As we alighted from the com
fortable coach, and commenced clambering
among whom are many experienced teach
ers. The young men aro homtly enough,
goodness knows, but tho girls! We verily
lelieve that the fair ladies of thu Nonnul
for beauty and Intelligence can safely chal
lenge tho world the University, of course,
It is a real treat to listen to tho class ex
erciscs in the Normal. Wo heard several
recitations which were as pleasing and in
structive as many a high toned entertain
meut at tho Academy of 3Iuslc, The sys
tem and discipline of the Normal echoo!
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