Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, March 01, 1879, Page 58, Image 10

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n most vnlunblo exercise; valuable not
only in a practical point of view, but emi
nently valuable as a means of discipline
One cannot write an original essay with
out close application of the reasoning
powers. To so prepare an article that all
its parts may be interdependent; that noth
ing may be retained which is superHuous,
irrelevant or illogical, and that each word
may be used accurately and to the best
advantage, is a task, which, as it ap
proaches perfection, demands a certain
degree of concentration of thought and
feeling which few employ in the prcpara
lion of their daily lessons.
A finished essay cannot bo u hastily
written one. We will not except any stu
dent from the application of this criticism
An article that is rather long may be
written in a single hour, and, when com
pared with the like cflorls of some other
persons, it may be excellent; yet it still
admits of improvement. We therefore
deem it unfortunate for a student to fall
into the habit of careless willing after he
has once acquire:! skill and accuracy in
The objection is often made that after
one ends his college career he has little
pi no occasion to write, or that if lie is to
enter upon a journalistic career, lie must
write much and do the work rapidly.
Very true; yet if ono does not write a
single article after leaving school, the
disciplinary benefit gained is of great
value. In the other case, tho severe drill
which the student has undergone is a
most important preparation for the prac
tical .work of journalism.
The limited amount of attention which
the teaching of history receives in our
University compels us to call attention
to the value of this branch of instruction,
and its claims as an important factor in a
A person can hardly bo called well cdir
cated, unless he lias gained aconsidcrabl
knowledge of both ancient and modern
history. A mere acquaintance witli a few
scattered facts is not enough. Neither
can one who knows by heart tho rulers of
any given country be considered well
versed in its history. The brief compen.
diums, which are now in so frequent use,
are of some service as introductory trea
tises, but they usually impart an incom
plete idea of iho real importance of the
subject matter.
They merely present a skeleton of dry
dates and facts ; that which would cause
the past to stand before us as a reality, full
of interest and significance, is. to a great ex
tent, ignored. Dates arc important enough
in their way; so arc tho accounts of how
kings and nations have warred against
and slaughtered each other. But this
treatment of history is superficial. The
truer province of tlic study is to tell us
how men have lived, thought and acted in
former times. To tliis end, something
more than a mere compendium is neces
sary. In view of tills fact, we were surprised
at. the meagre provision for instruction in
history as indicated in our last catalogue.
It comprehends only two terms in each
course of study, and this amount does not
come until the Junior year is readied.
Tho scope of the instruction is properly
European history of the sixteenth, seven
teenth and eighteenth centuries; but thus
far, these limits have not been closely fol
lowed. In addition to tho above, Greek
history is a part of the instruction in tho
Greek language, and there is also one
term of ancient law in the Senior year.
AVe believe that the requirements for
admision to our University, which in
clude a knowledge of United Status his
tory, are sufficiently high: but the afore
said amout of history does not meet the
claims of the study as a brunch of college
instruction. Two terms of ancient and
tiiree of modern history seem to us little
enough. One may, it is true, do some
collateral reading in connection witli liib
study of history, and in language and lit-