Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, April 01, 1875, Image 1

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Hesperian Student.
VnlveraMy or Nebraska.
NO 4.
Qui non Erollolt.1oftolt.
South nml North.
Tons of voluminious trash, have been
written to show that northern climates
rc best adapted to high moral and Intel
lectual results. But, while it must be con
ceded that, for the last thrco hundred
years, the northern nations of Europe and
America have outranked all tlio rest of
mankind in intellectual vitality and me
chanical progress, the fact may not be
disguised that wo owe our paramount
stimulation and relative excess of activity
to the Protestant Reformation. That great
and sudden burst of ideal ani spiritual
illumination Hooded the northern regions
of the world alone. The iron power of
the papacy was too strong in its native
scats to be materially weakened. More
tner, theie were other causes operating in
the south, such as the steady familiarity
of the Latin race with despotic institu
tions, and the supremacy of the Turks a
storms. Besides, the sjune solar fervor
that animates vegetation to n degree un
known in these climates, rouses the ner
vous capabilities, and fills with burning
passion, tho children of the south. We
should not forget, in the laud of our na.
live scats, that all of the religions which
have ever obtained a hold on tho reverence
ami affections of mankind, have proceed,
ed cither from tropical or semi-tropical re
gions; from Palestine, from Arabia, from
Egypt, from Greece, from Persia, or from
India. Our Lord and Ills' Apostles, Mo
hammed, Zoroastres, Buddha, the Egyp
tian priests, and tiic Brahmans, were all
inhabitants of hot climates. Every coir
qucror, too, that the world remembers
excepting, perhaps, Timour and Ghengis
every -first-class hunter of men in the
civilized parts of the earth Alexander,
Hannibal, Ceasar, Napoleon, was born
in tho region of lite olive, the flg, and the
palm. The mighty masters of subtle and
I sonorous thought who were divinely set
barbaric Asiatic horde in all the coun
tries occupied by the descendants of the , intil0 beginning of the world to educate
Greeks, to prevent a ready acceptance ot anlm. nficr generations of their kind,
liberal opinions by those who should nat
urally have been tho leaders in every great
movement. It was not the fault of the
(outhcrn climate, nor the native effemina
cy of the southern people, that made it
possible for the North to gain its present
intellectual and material preponderance.
The same climate had fostered, and the
same people had accomplished, through
long ages, nearly all that is worth reading
about in history not decidedly modern.
For thousands of years, the nations of
northern Europe were little else than sav
ngetribes, migrating southward like wild
beasts in search of more abundant spoil,
while all the time, the races inhabiting
the eastern shores of tho Mediterranean
or the moie delightful portions of Asia,
were enjoying a relatively high and stable
civilization. And, were it not for the
comfort and convenience which modern
inventions bring home to the dwellers of
the north; were it not for the warmth and
pood-chcer of our houbehold equipments
which the last three hundred years have
produced, life, in the now most powerful
countries of the world, would be utterly
The north is a step tno'hcr; but the
south is the natural mother and nurse of
men Local history originates in Baby
Ionia. Theu we trace it into Egypt; and
it is probable thut all migrations Into the
north have been compulsory and therefore
Involuntary. In tho absence of modern
contrivances for comfort, the lives of the
great maBS of the people in cold countries
could never havo been easily sustained.
As it Ib, the low temperature of the north
is prolific of disease. Sixty per cent of
the Now England people are said to have
a consumptive talat, while anxiety and
wasting toil are tho universal lot But
in the genorous and breeding south,
the fervor of the sun stimulates the fertil
ity of tho earth and enables tho inhabitant
to reserve his energies for something no
bler than an annual half.year's struggle
with the dostructivoness of cruel wintry
Moses, Isaiah, David, Homer, Euclidi
Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, and the Apos
tles and Primitive Fathers, had their be.
ing almost within sound of the roll of
Mediterranean waves. Painting and sculp
lure, and all the grand architectural
Italy when the Austrluns ceased to be hor
masters. It Is almost tlmo to hear again
from the emancipated and reviving spirit
of Greece. Could Spain shake off the
deadly serpent folds of the Papacy, and
be penetrated by the gently -brooding and
reforming spirit of a genuine, evangelical
Christianity, slie might yet do nobler
things than DeVega, Cervantes, and Mu-
ritto, nave done. Uould the mixed popu
lations of our own Sourthern States, of
Mexico, and of the "West Indies, cither
amalgamate on virtuous terms, or divide
the lands among the various hostile
shades of color, and separate each to its
own; peace, labor, wealth, and Christiani
ty would soon raise every faction to sur
passing heights of moral and intellectual
eminence. People who live in beautiful
lands and under heavenly skies, if given
equal chances, cannot fail to outstrip those
whose powers are half exhausted In a
mere struggle for existence in a life-long
battle with cold and the poverty of nature.
For It is by co means true, that men arc
made bolder, hardier, and more steadily
energetic, by having to resist and over
come the rigors of a northern climate.
Were this so, the Muscovite and the Swede
should surpass all other men. But with
out taking this fact into account, the
common sentiment among us, finely ex-
schools, save, perhaps, the Gothic, have pressed by Charles Klngsley's Ode to tl&
ever found their highest expression couth
of the Danube and tho Alps. The stu
dent of art and architecture inevitably
gravitates towards Italy and the Orient-
The chill of the north w'nd, tho gray of
the northern sky, and the demurer tints
of the northern landscape, seem unequal
to the adequate inspiration of the highest
constituents of the artistic nature. Liter
ary genius, too, finds that the south is the
source of the most highly colored pas
sional and dramatic subjects for romantic
treatment. How much Shakespeare and
his fellow-dramatists, how much Spencer
and Milton owed to the Italian poets and
novelists, everybody knows; that Teuny-
enn line hffn Jl fltudcilt of Pctnircll, 111
Memoriam forcibly suggests; that Haw
thorne's best novel, The Marble Faun ; and
George Eliot's best novel, Jtomohi, are
Italian studies: and that Byron, and Slid.
Icy, Leigh Hunt, and Landor, and the
Brownings, and Buchanan Bead, and
innumerable other writers imbibed
their best inspirations by long resi
denco in Italy, are facts too familiar
to require emphasis.
That the intellectual activity of tho
south is far less to-day than that of the
north, mnstof course be conceded. It is
now the misfortune of the most delightful
regions of the world to be cither in the
hands of unassimilated races, which, by
reason of their unasslmilating tendencies,
arc in tho condition of chronic revolution,
or.of anunilluminatcd Roman priesthood
who rejoice in an Index Hxpurgatorius,
and, through the misemployed confes
slonal, fetter all the higher aspirations and
efforts of tho intellect. But it does not
seem as if this condition of things can
be permamcat. It was a great step for
Xorlh Kaxt Wind, is probably this:
"Let tho liK-cioup South-wind
Ilreathc In lovers' g ighs.
While tho lazy gallants
IWk in ladiei' eyes.
What doe ht but toten
Heart alike and pen T
'Tit the hard grey weather
lirteds hard Kngllth men.
What' tho poft South-wct-ter?
Tid tho ladies' breeze,
Wringing homo their true-lou-n
Out of all the peas:
But the blaiJL Xotth-e aster.
Through the enow-ntorm hurled,
J)rires C"r Englteh hearts of oak
Seaward round the world"
But it must be conceded, that it was
not the "hard grey weather" that bred the
warriors of Sparta and of Alliens; or
that inspired the heroes ol Carthage, and
the world-couquering Roman legions; or
that gave a long European supremacy,
and a greater part of the New World, to
Spain; nor was it "the black North-easter,
through the snow-storm hurled," that
stimulated the looms of Tyre, the inven
live mind of Archimides, and drove the
Phoenician, Venetian, Genoese, Spanish,
and Portugese "heartB of oak seaward
round tho world." The children of the
South-wind are naturally the peers of
their northern brethren; and, as I have
remarked before, if the same influences
could bo be brought to play upon them
that have made us what we are; that is to
say, if evangelical Protestantism could
obtain a footing amongst them, their pres
enco would Boon be felt along tho high-u-v-c
c the world, as it has not been for
many pas cnttries.
It is a common fallacy, and one most
unthinkingly assertedthat mankind nec
essarily deteriorate in warm latitudes.
Some are even bold enough to maintaiu
that white skins will grow black, straight
hair become wooly, and shitiB aud heels
of the Caucasian pattern conform to the
precise Scnegambian model, in tho re
gions of equatorial Africa. We are told
of wonderful instances of black Jows in
Mozambique, and of black pure-blood
Spanish families in Cuba, etc, whose an
cestors were fairly white. But who knows
anything with certainty of the ancestry
of these people ? Who shall say that the
ancient Jew or Spaniard was incapabloof
proselytism or misccgnation, aud was
more indifferent to passion and affection
than to the preservation of Hebrew and
Castillian blood in absolute purity? As
well might it be assumed that the various
mongrel colors to be foui.d in our South
ern States and in Spanish America, are
the result of climatic influences, and from
such an assumption derive the conclusion
that the entire population of those re
gions is rapidly becoming dark skinned.
As well might it be claimed that the ol
ive hued Spaniard owes his complexion
to the sun. when everybody knows that
the Moojs erc masters of the Peninsula
for 800 years, and that intcr-marrlagcs
were of constant occurrence. But neith
er does the leopard change his spots, nor
the Ethiopian his skin. We know of a
certainty that copper-colored races have
occupied the northern half of this conti
nent for half a thousand years, and they
are not becoming whiter. Soil and cli
mate have no perceptible exoteric or eso
teric influence upon them. They are pre
cisely what the' seem to have been from
time immemorial; namely, a race of
dusky-hued savages, long-waiting amidst
the desolation of barbarism, and not to
become white-skinned by exposure to a
bleaching climate, butwhitc-soulcd by ac
ceptance of Jesus Christ White-soulcd
is as white as they inay ever expect to be;
for it seems to have pleased God to mark
the divided members of the one human
family by many colors and many languag
es, and to give them separate offices, and to
enjoin charity and mutual assistance up
qn all.
People reared in the North, arc prone
to exaggerate the depressing effects of
of southern climates. Many of them
may, and probably must, find them-
unequal to rigorous mentaj
where perpetual summer
Like northern plants they
alternations of frost and heat;
and sudden and violent thermomctri
cal changes are so inwoven with the habit
of their lives, that i1 ey are unable to en
dure a steady climate of any kind. But
family and individual habits do not fail,
after one or two generations, to adapt
themselves to the situation. The people
of the south experience as much difficul
ty from our northern cold, as we do from
their constant heat. It required hut
seven months for the climate of Scotland
to kill Madeleine, first queen of James V.
and she was from no farther south than
Many ol the reasons, assigned for the
superiority of the North over the Souffc
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