Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, January 01, 1880, Page 4, Image 4

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man's life should bo to leave tho work! a
little better from his haying lived. How
shnll this desired end be gained? It
seems to me by tho development of the in.
dividual, by allowing all his powers to ex
pand, unchecked by the customs and su
perstitions that ages of darkness have wov
en into society. Wonderfully diverse will
be the characters thus produced ; but they
will correspond to the law Amos has so
finely expressed, when he says : "Diversity
is the law of life, absolute equality that of
stagnation and death " '80.
ROSE fiction was one of the latest
JiW classes of literature to be cultivated.
Bacon's and More's wotks, written in Lat
In, were philosophical romances; but
prose descriptions of character and inci.
dents were first presented to the world by
Sterne, Defoe, and others. The two great
brandies of this department are the ro.
manco and the novel. The former treats
of incidents and character in an unnatur
al manner, being greatly a work of imag
ination, while the latter is supposed to
give every tiling in a natural and proba
ble way.
Jeffrey, in his criticism of novels,
seemed to feel it necessary to make ex
cuses lor noticing any thing ho unimpor
tant as a novel. We arc not surprised at
this, when we consider the fact that in the
early part of their existence, novels were
rated very low. Even after the "Vicar of
Wakefield" and the works of Richardson
and Fielding were given to the world,
they did not rise in the estimation of the
people; for, certainly, a greater amount
of trash never disgraced any country than
was found in England at their time. Af
ter Scott's works were published, this pre
judice gradually subsided.
The English novelists have had few ri
vals and no superiors. Of this class two
of the most noted are Thackery and
Dickens. Very different in individual
character and also in their styles of writ
ing, but each wielding a powerful influ
encc. Such works can do a great amount
of good by calling the attention to cer.
tain evils of society. To be sure a moral
essay might do so more briefly, but many
who will pass tho essay by will read the
All things seem to have combined to
make these two men difl'erent. Thackery,
reared in wealth and with every advan
tage; Dickons, compelled to struggle with
poverty all through his childhood; c
one surrounded by pleasant homo influ
ences, the other having a home where har
mony was unknown; Thackery kind, but
severely just, and Dickens sympathetic
and quick to defend the oppressed.
The father of Charles Dickens intended
him for the law; but the boy showed such
a decided aversion to this that he was fi
nally permitted to turn his attention to lit
erary work. He began his career as a
contributor to a daily paper. In this ap
peared "Sketches by Bo," followed by
"Picwick Papers," which was Dickens'
first decided success.
Thackery, on the other hand, had every
advantage from the first. After careful
training, he was sent to Cambridge; but
the death of his father soon after, left him
a large fortune and perfect freedom; so he
left school at once. His great desire was
to become an artist, and lie tiiercforc spent
several years in travel and in the study of
art. Whch compelled, by the loss of his
fortune, to give this up, he possessed stores
of just such knowledge as is valuable in
literary work. Another advantage he had
over most other authors was that he could
illustrate his own writings.
These two men travel on vry different
roads to arrive at the same place. Their
ideas seem entirely different on many
points, but it is evident that botli have
kindly feelings towards humanity and a
true desire to promote its wellfare.
It is not of the tjreat wrongs of man
kind that they treat, but of the lesser
evils of society. Thackery is one of the