Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, May 01, 1878, Page 380, Image 8

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frZi. 'ij?jit
Maiidi quas.
Vol. vii,
support. Government is strictly an cm.
plricnl science. Hero theory is nothing,
experience, everything. Then culture,
which contemplates a knowledge of all
that is good in the past, is certainly of the
utmost importance to those whose task tt
is to govern.
Perhaps no country is flattered more to
day than ours. Mr. Hright, the great Eng
lish liheral leader, s'lys: "I believe that
the people of the United States have offer
ed to the world more valuable infor
mation during the last forty years, than
all Europe put together." Although
without doubt we have made lapid prog
ress I think that this statement also must
be taken rui grimo salis. "When our
English friends flatter us thus they are
thinking of onr material prosperity rather
than our advancement in that higher
realm of thought which alone constitutes
the true grandeur of nations. If a glacier
should again sweep over Ameiica and
carry every vestige of civilization with
it to the sea, would we be remembered as
the nation thai built the longest railroad
in the world, as the nation that built a
Chicago in a few years, or would our fair
land rather be remembered as the hit Hi
place of Hamilton, Webster and Sumner?
Again we arc apt to make an idol of our
freedom. We worship our liberty of op
iniou The average American stands sev
eral inches higher when he reflects that
liis opinion, although based on no logic
or experience, weighs as much in the bal
lot as the opinion of the greatest ol his
countrymen. I would not restrict this
liberty, for although it is a ninl danger
ous liberty yet its restriction would be
still more dangerous. Never, 1 think,
in thy history of our own country has the
cloud of bewildered opinion been as dark
and threatening as it is to-day. And I
know of no mote potent cause than a
want of culture, a lack of that knowledge
of the best that has been thought and said
by mankind a failure to see the future
by the light of the past. If education is
to be ii security for our free institutions it
must deal with the principles of those in.
stitutions. It must unfold the principles
of government by dispelling this cloud of
bewildered opinion and letting in the vit
alizing influence of culture. Then true
culture, so far from being u hinderancc,
is a most necessary preparation for polit.
ical life. II. II. W.
During the great festival of "Mardi
Gras" in a southern city, I stood upon a
balcony, and, for hours, watched the pro
cession of maskers, making slow head,
way through the crowded street. There
were ten thousand men taking part in the
carnival, and, noting their grotesque cos
tuines, it seemed to me that each had ex
celled the last in his hidcousness. Fright
ful mythological characters, imps, elves,
gnomes, sprites of the air, and demons
from under the sea, were represented in
the pageant. And as I watched the slow
shifting scenes of that gorgeous pan
orama, I thought how little do men need
to distort themselves out of human sem
blance to be disguised Men conceal what
the' wish without the aid of mask and
domino. The human face is but the
mask which conceals the character No
soul stands out without some disguise be
tween it and the rest of the world. We
are all maskers taking a part in the grand
carnival. We select our costumes and
join the throng, each wears different
devices, lor different purposes, and
hides his thoughts and motives under
them. Some, perhaps, claim the " face"
to be " the mirror of the mind," and pride
themselves upon their ability to deter
mine the character of a man by the ap
pearance he presents in their intercourse
with him, but as a general thing faces are
umcadaolc and tell nothing of the owner's
character. The merriest men, now aud
then, have the most solemn fuces, and the
most serious, cheerful ones. We cannot
tell what a man has suffered during a
long and troubled career, by the impress