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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 1, 1879)
Lilo" is asked, very few can give tho
time to road extensive and complete works
upon the subject; yet almost any one can
ilnd mi opportunity to road such a sum
niary as Prof. St. George Mivnrthas made
upon thisTstibjcct. In this article, one
may glean the best thought upon the
question, and gather the ideas of the most
advanced thinkers of tho day. Again, il
one is interested in science, he needs only
make himself familiar with Natitro and
the Popular Science Monthly in order to he
well posted in logard to its present state.
This is all the student can hope to do, on
account of the many and various f indies
that are constantly demanding his time.
To read tho complete works upon any of
these subjects must he left to the special
ist; but by means of the Reviews and
Magazines that are furnished us, no out:
except ourselves can be blamed, if wo do
not keep posted to some degree in tho vu.
rlous studies of our course.
One of the greatest faults with our sys
tem of education seems to be that we are
compelled to pass from one study to an
other with such rapidity, and to employ
our lime so fully, that wo have no oppor
tunity to complete, or even retain tho
knowledge of some study wo have begun.
The result is that 'iy tho time wo have
completed our course, our knowledge of
Hotany, Physiology etc. has gone, or at
least only a vague remembrance of it to.
mains. One. hour a day spoilt, in the li.
brary with the Iloviuws and Monthlies
will have all this loss, or even more, it
will Hx lirmly in memory, and bring out
clearly tho but half perceived idea of the
It will pel haps bu said that theory, here
as elsewhere, is much o.isier than prac
tice. The writer admits it, yet ought one
to withhold good advice simply because
he tloes not carry his own theory into
practice? Head one hour, at least every
day, and you will not regret it, when
you Miall have tiuinhed vour course.
A common opinion seems to prevail
that the only requisite essential to charac
terize an able speaker, is the artful pre
sentation of subject mattor. But experi
once has taught men that artifice in dis
course is as easily dotcctcd as the lack of
suitable material. So that regardless of
the studied manner in which some ideas
are extemporarily expressed, they frequent
ly merit but limited attention. Once em
bodied in written discourse, a critical ex
amination discloses the chief cause of a
partial failure to ho the lack of proper in
formation. An unbounded knowledge of the sub
ject under discussion, then, assumes a po
sitiou equally important to its manner of
presentation. The truth that ideas must
exist before they can be clothed in ora
torical attire, can not be profitably ig
nored. And unless those ideas be elabor
ated and expanded by well known exam
ples, they are of little value in entertain
ing a public audience.
Thus we 11 ml by experience in our so
cieties, that ho who dwells upon a few
arguments but who never relinquishes a
point until his whole knowledge of the
instance is related controls, to a greater
extent, the direct attention of his hearers.
On the other hand let mere epochs be
named, and only assertions intro
duced, and acute criticism brands the
speaker with narrow conception of
Able speakers, then, must find that
knowledge is as essential as urtiflco for
the gratilicntion of human nature. There
may occur instances when the knowledge
to be related becomes intricate, and hence
tedious. But by one aware of his posi.
lion, a studied system of presentation can
be made to overcome opposing tenden
cies. Knowledge combined with tact in
the arrangement of discourse, bears sue
cess to a speaker. But tact without ma.
terial to mould, finds little reward for co
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