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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1876)
Unlvcrtiity of Nebraska.
Qui noil IH'otlolt.Doflolt.
riiSlilciiniK kIiiiiI oil Mi'xUmi.
Her tlnx" ortslmy I'll"! uiiMiiij,'.
sin- hU'i-h In iivi-iiIiik'h lulling Blow,
Willi baiHlr nliatlow o'rehcr Hung. -
TlieHiiiibeiiirn Muni on Mexico.
Aionuil her tower the, column hlllc
Hit Inkc icnoslnn I'm- licilow .
lleen -llcnee nil her hordem fllla.
Tin Minlii'iiiiiH nlniil on Mexico
The Iih.v tide- or Aztec life
Ihivc ebbed, no morn to How:
Tis.o'rit. tho fever of the Mrlle,
Thc Hunbciini" uliinl on Mexico.
Hit tlnrk inntcrlon worship iiut.
Her teocnlll lyliiK low;
ObliUonV nljjlil up-rlflnji fiist,
Tho miiiIimiihi hlnnt on Mexico.
Ni limner through her nooinlny MreetH.
In irullv jioinji nml ro.jul show.
Hut slimlow lengthening Mniclmv incoV.
The miiiIhimiih uliuit on Mexico.
No ilect rtiiioo mlorii her hike.".
Nor jjnrden ltdund flnnthii: slow :
Nor otir nor mhik their Mlonee brc:ike,
The sunbeams lnnt on Mexico.
Hit nlumy lohu nml crown of j;o1l
Are tione to tilien mill to Toe.
sate those of evening eky imroU'il.
Tlie iiii1kiiiiii lnnt on Mexico.
Her nervier iirni Imtli h'ht Mm cklll.
The iixo to wield, the liince to throw:
The wnrrlor inle forever Mill,
The hiiiihennii. -hint on Mexico.
She -II- beside hor Inliuul miji,
A iiiuonly widow In her woe.
l'oronly memories liatli eho,
Tins Minimum f-lntit on Mexico.
lliomos, and in groat crises; while in our
own country the oratory oi'tlic revolution
wus born ol the aspiration to create on
litis continent a new nation consecrated to
From the most trustworthy accounts
handed down to us, we are compelled to
conclude that the style and language of
notable orations were but feeble factors to
nroduco their results. "Had you heard De
mosthenes," said his rival, "your wonder
would be increased."
The most finished oration of Pericles
is only known to us through that senlon
lions reporter, Thucydides. He claims
only to give the substance of the thought,
not its rhctoilcal finish or manner of de
livery, whose subtle essence no language
If we come down to the orators of mod.
era times we meet with the same dlsap.
polatment. The powerful statement, the
splendid invective of the elder Pitt is
known to us chiefly through the reports
of Dr. Johnson, who in some cases wrote
out speeches for him which ho never heard ;
and to some, when Pitt was praised, the
Doctor replied, "That speech I wrote in a
The wonderful eloquence of Sheridan
in the trial of Warren Hastings has not
been handed down to Us by any record of
his woi iK because "he chose to leave to llie
imagination which in most eases trans-
The opinion very genurally prevails that
oratory in this age is so circumscribed in
its scope, as to leave little incentive or
profit In its cultivation. The Athenian
youth were taught to regard this as the
highe.it effort of the human mind; ours in
seminary and college are so slightly indoc
trinated in its value as to esteem it lightly,
or totally to neglect it.
In our foremost iiistilulioiis no special
prominence is given lo this branch of cdl
tare, and by this neglect it is held in small
esteem by students In former ages orato
ry was the culmination of all culture. It
was the royal road to political influence,
and fame. In our times it is regarded as
the feoblesl weapon in the armory of polit
ical strife. Tho intrigues or the caucus
are omnipotent, and dwarf all other appli
ances; while venality steps in to supple
ineiit what party discipllncfnils to effect.
It is an interesting inquiry, to trace the
nature of that oratory which lias cast its
iridoscc t Mdondoron the am? which it lias
distinguished ; and to mark some of tho
causes which have reduced it to its pres
ent low estate.
And first it may be observed, that great
orators have arisen only in free stales, and
in times of groat national emergencies.
The fame of Pericles, as an orator, is asso
dated with tho Peloponnesiaa war, De
mosthenes drew his inspiration from the
perils impending over his country, and
Cicero front the plots that threatened to
subvert the republic. Pitt, Burke, Slier!
dan at.d Fox spoke on great national
cends reality the task of justifying his
eulogists and perpetuating the tradition
of their praise." The stirring speech of
Patrick Henry, which so captivates school
boys in the declamatory period, owes its
form and finish to the graceful rhetoric
,.f iiic iimnrnniH'r. William Wirt; and
John Adams comes down to us from a
former generation in the sonorous periods
of Daniel Webster.
The traditions respecting these famou--orators
must be taken with much abate
ment, if the style of the speeches alone
be considered, but maybe taken at the high
est estimate if measured by their elloct.
With regard to the masterpieces of ora
lory, the fact seems to be, that those
which has comedown to us loaded wlt-i
verbal and rhetorical felicities fell upon
lniiiiiiiiiivu ears; while those of more dra-
matie rendering, and adapted by the
speaker's instinct to the various moods of
tho hearers won tho highest encomiums
The speeches of Burke abound in the
most graceful and vigorous statement over
conceived by genius, and which to day.
captivates the reader, were listened to with
impatience at Hirst, and finally not ai an
. i :....,! In. n,ili1onilli
AS uiianiuii'i iiuii "j v."..
Mlo to ikey for his Imnrow went on running.
And ihonjjhl of convincing, while tlioy ihoinjht
"Does it read well?" said Fox,"then it
was a bad speech."
What thou are some of the causes that
have contributed to make oratory less ef
fective than formerly?
First, nearly ovory question that en
gages tho orator is amply, if not exhaust
ivcly discussed by the newspaper. In
this way public opinion is formed, and the
work of the orator forestalled. BesidcB,
this method of nonular instruction has
brought in the fashion of treating its top
ics in a cold blooded cynical way Hie
very antithesis of the method of the orator.
He must burn with emotion and flame
out with enthsiasim. Glowing thought
must tlnd eloquent utterance In burning
Now it cannot be denied that modem
newspaper discussion of public themes
seeks a terse, uuemotionalaud critical style
to give ils thought to the worKl. It is un
der restraint, curbed and bitted in, with tlte
most exacting precision and coldness of
Again, tho field of oratory, especially
political oratory, has been greatly oircum
sbld because no great assemblies are to be
convinced, and but little eclat can be reap-
edas a reward. Formerly, public opinion
was fashioned by the orator; today his
work is only for the few assembled not so
much or instruction as to be incited to
De-ides, the prevailing taste in respect to
literary style, and emotional exhibitions
of soul-forces has greatly chilled the ardor
of the ora'or. The most impassioned pe
riods of Chas. Sumner, weie utterd in a
comparatively frigid way, as if protesting
For nurnoses of deliberation on all sub
jects of public interest, tho newspaper has
supplantcd the orator, and in abdicating
this function, oratory has come near losing
sight of the other function peculiarly Its
own, to impress and inspire men with en
thusiasms and emotions that will lead to
the most noble and heroic deeds.
A. li. B.
fliicciitivcs to Human Labor.
But there is another influence which
contributes largely toward bringingout the
best powers of a man in labor, the genius
within him. or the beautiful ideas which
originated and built up in his own' mind, i
and which finds expression in tho works j
of his own hands, it guides the pencil,
of a Michael Angolo, and Haphael in un
erring precision as they place upon can,
v.mibe beautiful thoughts of their souls-
thoughts so beautiful and so life like in
representation, that the beholder is charm
ed at the sight.
Its seats aPhiJiasday after day with
chisel in hand before the marble col
umn, from which at longtli shall come
forth a Jupiter Olympus, tho image of
man, perfect in symmetry, noble in beau
ty, the grandest conception of the human
mind. It leads a Milton with a mind
soaring "above the flight of Pegascan wing
to give expression to his thought in epic
lays. And although old and blind to per
form the toilsome task of writing Paradise
lost and regained, two works which stand
unrivaled monuments in the literary world.
The muse, Urania which he invoked to
aid him in his "arduous song" was not
the angelic being holding court "abrtve
the top of old Olympus," but was the lica.
ven born spirit of genius dwolling within
secret chambers of his own mind. IColpor
and Newton performed mathemafical
work which was not onlv astonishing in
th sir own day, but stands unrivaled in
our own. Their works, bespeaking great
thought and labor, were prompted by the
wonderful genius with which they were
Other incentives to industry arc
artificial. Wealth is but a gewgaw
and fame a hollow sounding word, without
a lauding and appreciating populace to
give each a value. Bulgenius is not artifi
cial. It is born with the man, mm is a part
of him; and its promptings are natural in
structive. True the possesion of wealh
and lame is often a strong incentive to
bring out the best productions of genius,
as in the case of Sir Wallar Scott, who
wrote more for money than anything else.
But unless a man has a mind that can ap- '
preciatea certain occupation, or has sonic
considerable talent for it, he will not be
likely to persue it with any great degree
of earnestness. Kljjht hero many make a
j great mistake in choc s'ng an occupation.
They have somehow received the idea that
j a man is capacitated to perlorm almost
' auy labor h it any' o ly olse is able to do,
like the Englishman who casta die to de
'cide between the professions of law and
j medicine, they are willing to take up with
i any profession thai oilers a respectable be
Igining with out regard to what their nat
i ural predispositions for it may be.
j Industry goes along way toward success
I in any occupation, but it cannot, as many
seem lo suppose, take the place of a nat
ural qualification for it, Genius must be
cultivated by exercise, but it cannot be
made by it. He who is naturally lilted
for a lawyer, would figure rather poorly
as a doctor and vice versa. Tho lawyer
might perhaps make a respectable physi
cian, but tho occupation would be a con
tinual task instead of a pleasure, and he
would have few of those natural prompt
ings to success that ho would have if ho
were to follow the profession for which
nature, .seemed to intend him. Tho man
I fitted naturally to be a physician might
'stuck law with some degree of success,
but he runs a great risk ol being a poor,
pitiful, pettifoggu all tho days of his life.
But a great many instead of thinking
themselves lilted for any occupation, go as
much to the other extreme, and think
themselves titled for none. Now this o
pinion is hardly less fallacious than the
proceeding, and when entertained is no less
dangerous to success. "No one" says Be
theme, " Is to suppose himself destitute of
genius because Its effects do not immediate
ly appear." Genius in its higher forms,
we admit, only belongs to a tow, yet all
have genius lo some extent which fits us
boiler for one sphere of action than anoth
er. 1 his leeiing mat nauiro wis jiui uu
stowed upon us any special gifts to often
arises from our attempts to cope with oth.
ers in certain directions contrary to the
natural truth of our own mind.
With the student this is os-,
pecially the case. Some of his
fellow students outstrip him in the
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