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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1884)
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA.
LINCOLN, NEB., NOVEMBER i, 1SS4.
Professor Philip SchatTD, D., in a recent article in the
New York Independent, gives many interesting fads
concerning Sweden. These were gathered during a day
spent in Upsaln, the historical and intellectual center of
that country. It is the scat of the first University in
Sweden and is, next to Stockholm, ihe most interesting
city in that northern" kingdom. The University was
founded in 1-177 and wa richly endowed by Gnslavaa
Adolphus. It numbers about fifiy professors as many
lecturers and tutors and over 1,500 students. The teachers
are divided as in Germany into nrdinarv and extraordin
ary professors and private lecturers. The students arc
grouped into "thirteen nations" corresponding to the dif
ferent provinces of Sweden. The student must join one
ot these division but is at liberty .to choose. In connec
tion with this venerable institution arc rich collections, a
botar-ical garden and a chemical laboratory. In the bo
tanical lecture room is a marble ttaluc of the famous
Linnaeus 3s only one of a number of great men Sweden
has given to the world. In chemistry we arc indebted to
her for Beizilius, in history for Gyer, in poetry forTegncr
and Bellman, in music for Jenny Lind and Nilon.
Tiie library of the University contains over 200,000 vol
umes and 2,000 M S S. Its greatest treasure however is
the "Codex Argentius" -so-called lrom its rich s.lvcr bind
ing. It conmins the Moeso Gothic version of the four
gospels. It Is written on 188 leaves of reddish parchment
in gold and silver letters. It was captured by the Swedes
with many other treasures at Prague in the "thirty years
war." Among other places of interest to the visitor is
the cathedral which was begun in 12t9 and finished in
1435. It contains the tomb of Gustavas Vasa who libera
ted Sweden from the political yoke of Denmark aud from
the eccV-siaslical yoke of popery. "Old Upsala" which
is about three miles from Upsala proper, is noted from
the fact that here ate the three Kungshogar or hills of the
Kings. These are named after the Scaudinviau gods.
'1 hor, Odin and Freyar which have left their impress on
the names of three days of the week, Thursday, Wedues.
day and Friday.
The three northern countries, Norway, Sweden
and Finland says Dr. Schaff are thoroughly protestant
and reilecl great credit on the influence of the Reforma
tion. Among the many distinguished names which ap
pear on the pages of Swedieh history none shine forth
with a brighter luster than those of Gustavas Vaas who
introduced the Reformation and Gustavas Adolphus the
hero of the Thirty Years War aud protector of Protestantism.
From a lecture receutly delivered in this city by Mi6s
Agnes Carey, a returned missionary, we gather souie
glimpses of life in Persia as she saw it.
The government of Persia is an absolute monarclry.
The king has the complete control of the life and proper
ty of his subjects. Different offices arc aot bestowed by
the king on those best fitted for them, but are given to
the highest bidder. Thus the king accumalaics wealth
and likewise the inferior officers. The city governor is
the man win pays him the largest sum of money. He in
turn takes large sums from those who seek inferior offices.
Taxes arc levied aciording to the whims of those in
power. These arc not used for improvements, or for es
tablishing schools. The only roads arc the camel and
donkey paths, except one for the king and his retinue
wnich extends some twenty miles fnim the capitol.
When Missionary work was started in that country there
weie no 3chools, asylum prisons or pour houses. "With
a population of 10,000,000, the poor were all in the streets.
Criminals are put 111 deep pits and punished by flogging
and pouring water cm the head. The only food they
have is furnished by their friends aud if there is not
enr ugh for the keeper and prisoner, the latter must go
without. There arc three sects in Persia, Mohammedan,
NestarHns and Armenians. The last two are nominal
christians. The recognized religion as Mohammedan.
It is the religion of the Court. Tnereare Moimons in Per
sia as u have them here. The father is absolute lord of
the household as long as ho lives. The sons as they
many take their wives home. When the father dies the
oldest son assumes the lordship. The house consists of
one room built of mud with a hole in the center ot the
floor for a fire and a hole in tlie roof for the escape of
smoke. Their food is placed in one large bowl and all
take from it with thier hands first the father and sons
and then the mother aud daughters. No tables or chairs
are to be seen there; of these they arc wholly ignorant. The
lecturer said they had made no advance on the style in
which Abraham lived and knew much more of the cus
toms than we do. They live as they did in Old Testa
ment times The first schools were established by the
Missionaries. Mohamedan children are not allowed to en
ter them. Only Neslarian and Arnier.an can be brought
in. They seem destitute of all practical as well as all
book knowledge. Their incredable ignorance of disease
was shown by an incident in Miss Carey's experience. As
she entered the schoolroom, she noticed a woman with
a sick child in her arm and on laying down her shawl
it was taken by the mother to wiap around the child,
When questioned as to the nature of the disease her re.
ply was, 'Oh! It is nothing but the small pox." The peo.
pie tiiere are greatly afflicted with sore eyes and a com
mou remedy used for this trouble is a combination of
the heads of mate, es with brick dust acd tallow. The
poverty of the people in the lower classes wai vividly
portrayed and one cause assigned was the burdens im
posed on the officers. In going from place to place
they are often attended by a large retinue of servants
numbering sometimes one hundred or more and thej- are
supported by the people for weeks together the best they
have being claimed by these officers. These with many
other descriptions of heathen life show the degradation
of a people without christian civilization.