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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1878)
Oim National Tendknciks.
arc sowing the seeds of nnnrchy which at
"harvest time must produce a monarchy,
then wc shall add our testimony to the
theory that man is incapable of self-government.
If we succeed thrones must
tremble and sceptres must fall. If we
fail the cherished theme of popular sov.
creignty is abandoned, perhaps forever.
So, while we have just cause to rejoice,
let not llattery from abroad or egotism at
home blind us to our own defects. I
would not be of the number of those who
arc ever crying out fraud and corruption,
nor of those who imagine themselves upon
a fatal precipice with nothing but chaos
beneath. Hut it is equally dangerous to
relapse into the inactivity of self-sat is.
faction, and expect the ship of stale to
glide smoothly down the maelstrom of
Government can be effectual only so far
as it is based upon true principles of po.
litical and social economy. All true gov
eminent is the legitimate out-giowth of
society; and it is as impossible for it
to advance beyond the development of
society as it is for the stream to rise above
its source. It is our national weakness to
look to the government for everything.
We are apt to look upon it as the panacea
of all our ills.( As a result of this tenden
cy wc have a respectable national party
whose professed object it is to enrich
cverj'body by legislating bank-notes into
his pockets. ' That idea ol government is
false which would make it the arbiter of
commerce, of manufacture or of finance.
It should not be a master but a servant.
Perhaps no tendency of our time is
more apparent or more dangerous to na
tional life, than that to forsake our indus
tries. Even the casual observer must have
noticed this tendency. Thousands of youth
arc quitting the plow, the factory, the work
shop, and are gathering to the metropolis.
And here without aim and without pur
pose they are waiting in foolish expec
tation that by some miracle, or if that
be too orthodox, by some chance they
may be thrown into public favor. When
fortune frowns and hopes arc blasted,
these are they who lill our prisons and
supply every village and hamlet with vag.
abonds and tramps.
This is the effect. What is the cause
Has labor become dishonorable? Is the
forbidden fruit of our time the fruit of hon
est industry? Has the cottage of the me
chauic or the home of the planter become a
dishonorable dwclliug for the true lady?
Has gentleman become but another name
for popular idleness? If so then woe to
American industries! This arbitrary dis
tiuction between the different vocations of
life is calculated to work untold injury to
the nation. Public opinion seems to have
vouchsafed to call some vocations honor
able. Some callings are cherished and
some arc despised. The result is that the
so-called honorable professions arc crowd
ed. Men rush into them without cither
the natural qualities or the preparation
that success demands. Nay, even many
enter these professions with a positive dis
like for them, simply because it is the
only way they see to honor and repu
tation. The tendency of all this is to
subvert the laws of nature. Nature has
indelibly stamped upon most men certain
peculiarities, certain special faculties fit
ting them for some particular sphere of
action. And that is a daugeious senti
ment wliich tends to subvert this universal
law of our being. Throughout the un
iverse man is the only creature that ever
makes a failure of life. Nature always
succeeds. No man ever made a failuie by
currying out the laws of his own being,
and no man ever succeeded by disregard
But under the high pressure of public
opinion many never find their true sphere
of action. Many whom nature intended
to hold the plow and sow the seed have
essayed to enter the learned professions
Many a good fanner has been spoiled to
make a quack in medicine. Many a good
artificer has loft the shop to eke out an ex
istence as a third rate lawyer. Nay, in
the language of another, even the tiioiui-
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