Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, December 01, 1879, Image 1

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Vol. VIII.
No. 10.
JMilE hiiiniui mind has ever sought to
express the significance of mini's life,
to know and understand the hiddun
springs of notion, to interpret Hie play of
passion mid to unravel the strange web
of good and evil that envelops his exis
tence. ICaoh generation seeks for u voice to ex
press the workings and mysteries of its hi
lar life, and this voice finds utterance
through the nover-ohaiiging humanity be
. ond which no human wisdom can reach.
One age speaks to us in the divine lan
guage of the poet, while another comes in
the silent voice of a Raphael, or an Ange
lo. The eighteenth century, with its pos
ilivo tendencies, with the gradual and
steady emergence into freedom and
strength, must needs find expression in
something that recognized the individual
ity of mankind, that treated of man in the
concrete; so wo find idealism giving way
to realism, and the novel becomes the in.
terpreter of this new phase of humanity.
Its way had been kindly paved by gentle,
genial Addison in his philanthropic de
sire to bring philosophy from heaven to
man; but notwithstanding the many for
tuitous circuniMlauccs that marked its
birth, it was doomed to be misrepresent
ed and misunderstood, and, after the
lapse of almost two centuries, there is
still a reproach upon this exponent of
man's life.
Though the first novel was welcomed
by moralists as a friend and ally to vir
tue and religion, and so reccomeuded
from the pulpit, yet time found the mor
alists and the church bitterly opposing
and denouncing what they considered as
a corrupter of morals ami good taste. In
some cases they were justified, for we
know, with Tacitus, that the worst is the
corruption of the best, and the novel suf
fered shameful prostitution at one time,
oven as the Elizabethan drama was do.
graded in the time of Congrevo and
Wichorly. But the good in the novel has
been preset ved intact, and the vast proge
ny of n Pamela, a Vicar of Wakefield, an
Ivanhoe, has multiplied and filled the
earth, until to-day in England alone
there is a now novel for every day in the
Among so many, the law of the survi
val of the fittest must determine the most
worthy, and it is at such a time, when
thero is a peculiar bout of the national
mind and an immense fruitfullncss in
this direction, that a Hamlet is created,
and. to-day the novel lias its Hamlet in a
Daniel Deronda,