Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, March 22, 1884, Page 5, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

"Rustic llfo and povorty
Grow beautiful beneath his touch.
There aro two characteristics of his gonlu3 that add
much to tho charm of his novols, his hum r an d
pathos. Tho formal abounds every whore hi his w rks .
Dickens is inclined to look at tho weaknesses of hu
man naturo in a good naturod, tolerant and lanjhiu way,
and, as ho docs not attempt to describe perfect charac
ters, he finds plenty to laug'i at; and, in lead, ho often
usos his humorous stylo with good effect in nnkiug his
characters describe themselves. Some critics insist that
Dickens turns his.huraorous characters into caricatures.
But while it is true that he often exaggerates any strik
ing peculiarties iu ills characters, tho exiggarations can
not be called caricaturcibocause there is so much so
"y - lldlty beneath his hunn though grotesque iu form,
tltoy aro true and natural at heart. A caricaturist, too,
would show us not'iiug but a man's peculiarities, while
Dickens always presents tho man. Most of his best and
most exuberant humor is displayed iu representing char
acters composed of vanity, conceit aud Ignoru'ico. His
'Artful Dodger" and "Mr. Bailey" aro instances in point,
Tho genius of Dickens can draw tears as well as pro
voke laughter. Sorrow, poverty, pain and death he de
picts with power and oftou groat skill. Pew can read
his works without strongly sympathizing with those in
sorrow and distress, and the description! of m iuy vnic a,
specially the deaths of little children, are very affect
ing. In the representation of tho deeper passions, Dickons
is masterly. Tuo gonorous and malignant passions arc
well and fiiitlifully described, and an instance can be
. given of his tragic power and tho masterly way iu which he
describes the basor p.issions and criminal spirits, in
the chapter in Oliver Twist entitled, "Tho Jews Last
Night Alive." So well dcs he tell the story of that h or.
riblc night, that .the reader is disgusted, yet fascinated
by tho scene.
Many Americans are inclined to judgo Dickens hastily
because of his book criticising our character; but they
must remember that Dickens did not possess the quali
ties of VotMesninn. Willi all his abilities as a novelist, ho
lacked tho ability to generalize, ami as any peculiarities in
individuals would make the strongest impression on
such a nature, ho would naturally draw Incorrect con
clusions as to our national character.
Dickons' success as a novelist ,is attested by tho un
failing interest with which his works continue to bo
read. Tho man who began Ills literary life with a con-
'" dcnincd farce, a poor opera and sotm slight sketch es of
character, lived to achieve a fame recognized not only
where tho English tongue is spoken, but in all civilized
countries, and lo see his own works translated into lan
guages of which he understood scarcely a word.
Dickons had no mission to accomplish, no high phi
losophy of society, nor" sciontillc theories ol human na
ture in general, nor any particular standard of morality
to sustain. Ho was a roformor, indeed, but one who
reformed, not by attempting to put into practice some
, impracticable theory, but by daring assaults upon what
oyer ho considered wrong, unjust and inhuman.
He lias been a powerful agent in reforming society,
and, by calling attention to tho ronl condition of the lower
classes, ho did much lo elevate them. He was truly,
what critics hnvn often called him, "a bcnofacWr of
mankind." '84.
The Palladian boys have concluded to give up tho
scheme of amassing princely fortunes by locture
courses, concerts, etc. Hereafter they will nu'co imnoy
in the strictly legitimate way, by selling books at" the
original cost of binding" to unsusp acting natives, by bail
ing their washerwomen out of 120 pji cent of tlnir just
earnings and by other wiles which every student in tho
University understands too well to need any reminders
from the gifted pon of the Drifter.
But why everybody in Lincoln did aol turn out to hear
the world-renowned divine, Talmae, is one of the things
that "no fellow can find out." Tllcro was a fair hous j
but not a wild and uncontrollable jam such a3 B )b Ingor
soil harrangued. The Palladlaus confidently expected a
full house aud consequently woro disappointed wlnn they
f.iuud their receipts so small. Talmngo has no business
to charge such ridiculous prices for his lectures anyway.
Ho really amounts to very much less as a public spiakor
than people are led to think by his reputation. His re
mark in chapel were exceedingly trite and commonplace
such 9 any average student cottid have said as well aud
as afftsctivoly and his whole speech fell very Hat. What
fillcc.' ,'the soul of tho Drifter with indignation was his ex
cessive lack of tact. When ho used n copy of the Stu
dent that was lying on tho desk as au illustration in ono
of his nuccdot03, and held it at arm's length with tho res
mark "that's as dry as chips," when ho did this I say, a
groan of anguish dud a wail of desolation and despair
aroso from tho lips; pi" tho three hundred students assem
bled there. A wall of agony so dreadful, that when It had
escaped from tho chnpol by means of tho holes in tho
coiling, it settled over Lincoln like a black pall aud
caused tho head of "Nebraska Weather Service" to h ug
oifc a bulletin warning overyono ol the approach of a cy-
clono Such was the grlof caused among us a tho too
great mildness aud charitableness of tho great T IjwiU's
alltislon to tho Studknt.
Tho blooming mods havo loft us. Tlioy havo ruoievod
Ihoiri'iplomas aud have, vanished Irom our halls. Out
Into tho high-ways and by-ways of great and populous
Nebraska a throng of. voting men aud woniou, educated,
polished and intelligent, witli the powei to boneiit their
fellow men, have gone. Wo miss thorn . We miss tho
sightof them, carrying into their lecture room hugi buns
dies carofully dono up, "my washing you know." Wo
mls3 the cold shudders that usod to run down our b.ick
when one of them grasped us by the hand aud inqttlrod
"how's your health?" It used to suggest such fearful
thoughts to us. Wo found ourselves wondering whether
they observed our condition of health with an cyo towards
making us a possible patient or an Interesting "subject."
Either idea was so frightful that beads of sweat broke out
all along the bridge of our, Uoiu an noso ovcry time it was
suggested to us. But that U nil over no. v." They havo
dopar'ed. Peace be with them. r
It pulns us that thore is so little society feeling In N. S,
U. at present. Thore was an epoch In tho good old times
of yore that was marked by the keenest possible rivalry
between Pnlludlan and Union. This seems to be so far