Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, December 01, 1876, Page 18, Image 18

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Editor's Chair.
Dean Swift, in giving some mlvicc to a
young poet, remarked that " people gencr
ally treat authors like they do lobsters:
they take out the savor part near the tail,
ami lay the rest back in tl'ie dish." Swift
hardly ever said a word but what went
straight to the intended place. In this
sentence he has made the whole matter
plain, he has made a complete confession
in open court. In all literature we will
scarcely find a better rule of rhetoric than
the one pointed out, We treat books and
especially essays like lobstcas. How our
gluttonous appetite often wishes that we
had a thousand lobster tails already cut
off niul nicely heaped up that we might
gorge without going to the trouble of
handling or even eating a thousand lob
sters. Or we would rather wish that lob
sters were all tail so that we could gor
mandize indiscriminately.
But how we would curse the knave
flunkey who would give us a lobster with
the tail cut oil. Think of a man eating
down bones and shells, saying nothing of
the disagreeable effect in the palate.
But in this latter day of cause and
cilect we arc not inclined to adopt
any statement , without sulllcienl rea
son. And now, Mr. Swift, why so rash
in your advice? You either believe thai
all readers arc gluttons, or that all compo
sitions arc real lobsters with really soft
palatable tails. Not so. Men arc not
mental gluttons would to heaven they
were, for we would then have at least
a full age instead of one that is always
complaining of sickness at the stomach.
The trouble is, men, in this country at
least, arc auaccustomed to real lobsters,
and when one is pointed out, they are al-1
ready disgusted with the smell and cannot
think of tasting it. Our sense of smell
thus becomes wonderfully cultivated.
Mrs. L. R. Svfcc, a nervous old lady, says
she can smell them clear across the street
and in going to church, invariably goes
clear around the square to avoid passing
u one-horse restaurant. " It is passing
strange." "Shame on the age and its
principles" Think of a strong bodied
church member running away from a
lobster I Stand your ground, sister. Bring
to bear your infinite faith, maybe he will
"So we will take ham and eggs, if you
please, in these spring days of Evolution.
We need something strong to brace us
against the warm days coining in summer
time." This is the voice of the many. And
how they "then take down the salt ba-jon
and ham and mackerel and codfish and
dried beans, that in little barrels and box
es and bags have been handed down to
his posterity by the three-fold generous
father Locke, while they might, just as
well as not, be dissolving a sweet lobster
tail beneath their anxious molars.
But the Dean is wrong, in the second
place, when he supposes all productions
to be like lobsters. If he could have
lived in a later day, he would, most likely,
have had a different opinion. For, if his
statement be always true, wc must pity
the lobsters, for, how ninny must be with
out any tails at all! How can we answer
people for not liking lobsters, when, gen
erally, they have no soil palatable part
near the tail We sit down to our "literary
feast" and we will take the tails already
cu off, if you please.
But here somes a fellow thrusting be
neath our nose an animal, which, he says,
is of the genus Astacus. He declares it
is a genuine lobster. "See his head," he
says. " Look at his tentacula." We reply
that we would rather see his latter ap
pendage. We look but make no discov
ery. We then rail upon all cursed decep
tions, swear that we will never again
take any thing but round steak. 'But
another loon comes. He alllrms that his
article is genuine. Points to the tail. We
observe, while he pours in upon our soul
a few lines of poetry well chosen from
"Mother Goose." We are convinced, most
thoroughly convinced, finish our rrpust,
and leave. " But, belore we go,'' ha, we,
" we will embrace the present favorable