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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (June 1, 1875)
THE HESPERIAN STUDENT.
as it is in a monarchy, to know who is the
prince and after what manner lie ought to
govern. Generally the people arc well
qualified for choosing those whom they
arc to entrust with part of their authority;
this we discover hy referring to the Koinnns
and Athenians; yet, as well as monarchs,
they need to he directed hy a council'
The suffrage by lot is as natural to dem
ocracy, as that by choice is to aristocracy.
Suffrage hy lot is a method of electing
that olfends no one, but animates each
citizen with the pleasing hope of serving
In an aristocracy the power is lodged
in the hands of a certain number of per
sons, being invested with legislative and
executive power; the rest of the people
hold tin-same relation to those, as that of
tins subjects of a monarchy to their sover
eign. Hut in this form of government the
senators ought by no means to have the
right of naming their own successors be
Cause iii this manner they can perpetuate
abuses. Montesquieu seems to think that
"llit: more an aristocracy borders on a
democracy, the nearer it approaches per.
fection, and, in proportion as it draws j
towards monarchy, the more it is imper
fect," and the most impel feet of all is, that
in which this part of the people that obeys
is in a state of civil servitude to those who
command, as was the case in Poland
where the peasants wore slaves to tin;
A Monarchical form of government "is
that form of government in which a single
person governs by fixed and established
laws," and " the prince is the source of all
powers, civil and political." The maxim
of all monarchical governments is, "no
monarch, no nobility; no nobility,no moil
arch. And in studying the relation of
church and state, wo find that "though the
ecclesiastical power lie so dangerous in a
republic, yet it is extremely proper in a ,
monarch', especially of the absolute kind1" j
Political virtue is almost unknown in a
moanrcliy, and policy effects great things ,
with a little virtue as possible.
liwlcncribiug the character of courtiers ,
of the courlsof monarch", Montesquieu uses '
tho'followiiig language, they have "nnibi-l
(ton in idleness; meanness mixed with,
pride: a desire for riches without industry; j
aversion to the truth; flattery; perfidy:
violation of engagements; contempt of
civil duties; fear of the virtue of t lit' J
prince; hope from his weakness, and above j
all a perpetual rldh ulc is cast on virtue." ,
It is exceeding dillluull for the leading j
nit r. of the nation to be knaves ami the
inferior to lie honest. It is not virtue but ,
honor Unit is the main spring of the form j
oi government anu coupicu won iiiiioiiion
The despotic form of government "is
Unit form of government in which a single
person directb every thing by Ills own will
and caprice." And as a natural consequence
"a man whom his m-iiscs coiiiiiiii'illy
inform that he himself Is everything, and
hU subJurtM nothing, U naturally lazy, vol
upluous and Ignorant." The manage,
incut of public u I lairs he nctjhvls and
resigns to the care of a vicar. The larger
the omplro, the larger the seraglio. The
more naiions lie lias to rule, the less he
attends to the euro of government; the
more. imparijmt hl nlhilrs, the loss ),
makes Ilium the subject of his delibera
tions. The people are Judged by the laws,
and the groat men by the crprico of the
prlnoe. The church and state are goner
ally combined and tho church is usually
higher than the prince.
This kind of government requires pas
sive obedience, and fear is "the princylo
that controls the subjects in their actions
Virtue is much more essential to a de
mocracy than it is to cither a monarchy
or despotism; and when virtue is banished
ambition invades the minds of those who
are disposed to receive it and avarice pos-
importance, no one denies, .lust as impor
tant their Are the means by which it is to be
What is mental discipline? Xo words of
mine can tell you better than these " Hy
mental discipline is meant that systematic
and protracted exercise of the mental pow
ers which is suited to raise them to their
sesses the whole community. Moderation highest degree of healthful capability, and
that proceeds from virtue is most necessa-1 impart a permanent direction to their ae
ry to an aristocracy. As the most of the
quotations in tills article are from memory,
if any should desire to test them, I hey
will find the most of them in that admir
able work untitl d." Spirit of Law."
A- E. 0.
lro 1 V'.ssioim I 1C1 ucul ion .
A long time ago, " Many an hundred
year," a stern old Spartan ruler condensed
the whole science of education into one
of tho.se aphorisms in which the Greek de
lighted. Said he "Teach the boys that
which they will practice when they are
men." Philosophy, as well as History, re
peats itself, and to-day the wisdom of the
old King is recognized anew.
There is a large class of people who
consider an education as an end in Itself.
There is another class, constantly increas
ing, who look upon it as only a means to
an end. But this latter division is a house
divided against itself. Since many are
content with regarding it as a preparation
for some general end to be hereafter do.
termined upon, while, on the other hand,
there are some who strenuously urge that
an education, to be a true one, should be a
means for the attainment of a specific end,
which the student should have in view, at
least, from the beginning of his college
course. Hy the term "education" is meant !
at present simply the acquisition of knowl
edge during what is known as collegiate
The first class it is not worth the while
llvity." Notice particularly, f pray you,
the last clause "(fu Impart a permanent
direction to their activity"
There are then two objects to lie gained
by tliis discipline. FirxtU) raise the fac
ulties to their highest power and mcoml
to give them a permanent direction. This
is the ideal of the higher education which
the present age is demanding at our hands.
Since but a few years can be devoted to
acquiring an education, in a technical sense,
the strictest economy is absolutely neces
sary. Both an economy of time and what
is far more important an economy of men
tal force. A thing which is priceless, and
which it is one of the highest offices of ed
ucatlon to teach us, is how to economize
and when to wisely spend. That we do not
know how always to do this is self-evident.
It is a fact which every one of us has
made his own by experience, that there
must be a concentration of the mind upon
one point, or all study is in vain. The mind
must have a central idea around which to
group the knowledge obtained, to which to
fit each truth observed, adopting every tiling
which lias connection, near or remote, w ith
the end in view, and rejecting that which
The student must be, for the lime, a sort
of cuttle llsli, with long arms radiating in
all directions, lying in wait for un&uspool.
ing prey, ready to convey it to its voracious
mouth, yet nicely discriminating between
what is, and what is not to the purpose.
This central idea, this pivot upon which
every tiling should turn, is possessed when
to dwell upon They are rapidly decrcas-. , miaS vntvrit V()U wi(l hjH ft,H.
ngasi is being recognized that the qua.,- , ,,,, H),n,t.u ,
tity ol know edge s no so important as , .. . . , .. , .
. .,, ., T , i ,', .which attracts the c()rrelalie and repels
its quality that indeed real knowledge .. . ... ,, ......
. . . , . ' B the antagonistic. Henceforth lie has an
consists not in an acquaintance wth nianv i n . i ,, . , ,
,. ..... ., . , , ," aim. He takes up this branch and guns
laels, but in the right Use o a few. Those .. ,, . , ,. , . ., .. . ? .
. . , to , .lroin it what there is in it ol use to him ;
who look upon an eduea on as a means .i . . .i
, ' . ,, ,"l"";i then turns to another to repeat the process,
toward a general end, lay great stress up-; ,. w,m , , ,, , ,(, ,
... hepo in., tha, should nun a a com. '; , h-dros,, which in its. urn, may
Pletetra n ngo al the a.ul.ie.s1andf,,,,1Lsh '1)0fe lt, , ,, j '
the gro , nd-work for a lu.tirc development I F(. .,,. , ,,, , ,,. ., ,
M sh-i -im- win's, uy .siiDscqiicni course ol
professional sludv. This ircncrnl end thev
ilium which will not contribute to his store.
f .11 Mil. 1-OtilHll if tllf.l-.. 1.2 ..... .. oti..1. .1..
express by the p.,,,. ...,, (lis,ipIill(,, , , , , ;- , J"V. whlJ ' wll H
claiming that such and such studies give I ,.,,. ,,. '... ' ".
oii.l. .mil ot..l. .lt...t..ll. I I.e. ".... i"'" " M'"i " ' "HI" nil
" ,,,v " ' 'i'""1' iw wiui-ii'iii litem-
ties of the mind, so (hat the final result is
ii iuii ami Harmonious development of the
parts, into a symmetrical whole. By this
means, they further claim, the mind lias
profession or industry for which lie Is pre
paring. Not, as was intimated by a late writer
would be tho case, that our embryo chief
justice should only sludj enough Latin to
.mm . ..1.IH....1...I l ,.. .i t ..
ui.iill sw imilivilll'll 1111(1 Hiri'llUIIICIICU I III M ,., ,. .
u Li'j.t:.. ...in ....' ....'.... . ...r . i. .. .. ... .ur ...... ...
I a " ' ' "". j". i", lit
is ready to take up any vocation; that in
fact, the foundation lias been deeply laid
upon which to rear an imposing structure
of whatever design the future may deter
mine Hut what would you say of that
builder who spent the best days of his life
1 laying n foundation, firm and solid
though it might lie, before he had decided
what sort of a structure he should build
bcus corpus iu t no mi mi iito; or that the
aspiring itinerant should be content with a
correct rendition of Impdzo or Uchcnua;
aij.v more than that a knowledge of ttwtho.
rax, the hmnal and naural arches, should
warrant young sawbones in Hinging out
ids sign to every western breeze. Such
superficiality can not be too harshly con-
,i,:i;,: ;;;; ,;;;., ;,::;;'::;: i ..s ;--' -w-
dimensions? And who might find when it
was too late to remedy his mistake, that lie
had wasted his strength in making it need
lessly wide in some directions, while, in
others it was irremediably narrow and in.
That mmifiil disc'pline is tho real object
of a higher education and of the utmost
apt to strip off at an Inopportune moment.
It is not asserted that there should be any
shortening of the college course, or any
hastening into tho professional. On the
contrary both should rnthc'' be lengthened.
No man can really succeed in a profession
or industry who has not a broad and lib
era! culture, whose basis is u ilmmn.rHi..
completed classical and scientific course of
study. It is not that the student should
neglect certain studies but. having his I'm.
ure woik in view, pass by certain tilings
in them as foreign to his purport'. Tlun
his mind Is not burdened and weakeiit'il
by a mass of accumulated facts, siowttl
away without reference to 11113 centre of
radiation, from whose conglomeration IP
is some day to bring forth those which nmy
lie of use to him in his profession. "Ihir.
denetl" and "weakened" for it is a fallacy
to suppose that hy any series of aimles (.x.
ercises of the mind in various directions;
it may be strengthened, or mental I'mcc
gained for universal application.
Against all this there may be urged two
seemingly valid objections. First that
when the average boy enters college h(. js
too young to intelligently choose his pro.
fession. But this "average boy" is the
cause of a great deal more perplexity of
soul than he is worth, or than is at allnec
essary. He is full of possibilities, ills
malleability is only equalled by that of the
average girl. He is as clay in the hands
of the potter, or, more poetically, as mar
ble under the sculptor's chisel. Put jijm
down to real, solid work and he will event
ually turn out as good a lawyer, or doctor
as lie would a preacher, or professor, hud
he directed the same amount of effort in
either of those channels. " Genius is well
enough but it is work that pays." If Gen
ins, the heaven-born, lias come down to
dwell with him, she will make her presence
known and there will be no need of " choos
ing a profession." God luus done it tor
But, in truth, it is one of tho evils of our
hot-bod systtms of education tnnt our aver
age boy Is, by the forcing process, carried
into college too early. But once there a
mong the most Important tilings he has to
learn, is the relative value of his studies.
The human fVuMillies are best developed
and disciplined by the act of choosing.
But how is lie to judge of their compam
live worth if he has no standard hy which
to gauge their use to him ? He is then de
barred from one of the most elllcicnt means
of discipline, if through his fourycarsof
college life, he Is prevented from exercis
ing his power of choice. Again, woiiid
not llio increased importance which lids
would give to both courses, tend to nine,
dy a growing evil- the rush ol oung niea
into professional prnutic.e before they havo
sulllcient general and professional knowl
Tho second objection is Hint this method
will do much to make what are called
"men of one idea." And this, I answer,
is what we want ami what we hope to gain.
The American jack-at-all-trades is tho
worst impediment in the way of our edit
cational and scientific progress. He is a
parasite whoso all-embracing tendrils
smother our growth.
We want men who devote their lives to
one tiling. Men who develop their talent
exclusively In one direction, to its highest
"healthful capability." Not a preacher
who is now a politician and now a teach
er not a mechanic who can turn his hand
to doctoring not a lawyer who can cut
and slash with the editorial sclsf.ors-.iot
a statesman whose cliier recommendation
is Unit he has been a soldier not a teach,
or who occasionally preaches -nor one
who flourishes tho rod until she can get
married but men, (and women too when
the time comes) who choose their profes
sion in early life and adhere to it umlevi
atingly until they reach deserved promi
nence in its ranks men who are emphat
ically of one idea. And in passing let me
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