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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1885)
although the road through it is a little rockier. For surely if
comfortable positions commanding upholstered chairs by
cheerful gratc-fircs and delightful love romances were the
only conditions of success, then ninety-nine hhndredths of
humanity arc utter failures.
The mass of men live not as they vtuld but as they can.
To accept such a fate cheerfully is perhaps the highest wisdom.
If we could only invent a perfectly accurate mental testing
machine which would settle the exact capacity, fitness and use
of a man, how much trouble it w ould save. The lack of such
an instrument causes many fatal mistakes. For instance John
Gowcr and the author of "Ormulum" probably regarded them
selves as literary prodigies. A mistake w hich might result
seriouslytoa man if hcshould attempt to peruse them through
. that delusion. Such mishaps are constantly occuring from this
cause of mistaken identity. .Men pass their whole lives in
professions whom such a machine would tell that they had
not the slightest capacity for. A lamentable fact and yet
one that cannot be obviated until some system of proper la
beling is discovered.
Failure, dissapoinlment, suffering, misery, wretchedness,
sorrow, bitlcmess,cynicism arc some of the results of this de
"Whoever can remedy this lamentable stale of affairs will
supply a truly "long felt want."
Still another attempt to classify Emerson in the Fortnight
ly Review by V. L. Courtney. If any one can find in this
article an idea which lias not lwen used at least a dozen
times by critics, he must Ijc gifted with extraordinary percep
tion. Mr. Courtney seems to have copied closely Mathew Arnold's
estimate, use's the same argument, only less pointedly
and deftly puts ii. He has the same imperative desireof Arnold
to label Emerson, to put him in a certain shelf of the alcove of
literature and a definite number affixed so that we may
find him from an index properly paged and recorded. It is
a pity there were notscicnlifiic terms in literature, as definite
as those in Botany so that Mr- Arnold could discriminate a
little more closely in classifying. No doublet would gratify
his taste When lie puis on the black cap and proceeds to
deliver his sentence ii mast annoy him lo lack technical terms
with which to makr dear lhe number of years, months,
-weeks, days, minutes and seronds literary criminals should
serve at hard labor in expiation for lheir offense.
Mr. Arnold is very fond of saying the last word, of making the
last analysis. He has studied so long, lhe various, innumer
able types of literature that being bewildered with seeing
such a variety, he has resolved io stick lag on each individ
ual so that he will reoogiriee him when he sees him again.
This may be gratifying lo him, but his victims might be sat
isfied with a manner which smacks let of lhe auctioneer
As for Emerson, we might make the same reply lolm critic
as Goethe, lo those wlio insisted oh discussing the respective
merits of him and Schiller, "you have us bolh, why decide
who is greater?" So with Emerson, we ougbt lo be content
that we have him, and not strain our minds in ineffectual ef
forts lo determine his precise position.
Many people seem lo imagine that independence consists in
making an orientations diaplay of egotism. Whenever they
are brought in contact with others who think differently, they
lake great pride in making it conspicuous that they are not to
be repressed. So on the street, in the drawing-room, in ev
ery place where people gather together, they advertise their
personality in flaming hand bills. In every look and action
they seem to say "I am Mr. S . Turn out, every one
when you cc me coming." If his command is obeyed, he
will say with an- expression of consumatc complacency on his
face "I never allow anyone to trample on my rights."
This lypc of humanity is occasionally met with in colleges.
For even in trivial matters you can find the index of a man's
character. The magnetic needle always points north, so the
direction of our thoughts is indicated in small as well as great
affairs. We have the near relatives of Barnes Ncwcomc in
our little world. Persons who have made a slight mistake as
to their location, placing it at the centre of the universe, int
stead of in the circumference.
Of courc these traits of mind may have their value. One
can choose between individuality and good sense. An ox may
stand on a railroad track and dispute the passage of a locomo
tive. He would be manifesting a certain kind of spirit and
determination, but he would show more judgement by
ycilding for the time-being his right-of-way, and the rcsul
would be less melancholy.
To the unfortunate people who shrink from flaunting their
colors on all occasions, wc would say that cases have lccn
known where men talked little and yet preserved their individ
uality and rccomplshcd their ends without knocking any one
down. There is a lime for all things. There arc occasions
when it is not necessary lo mention one's religion, politics,
learning, literary tastes, personal feelings, opinion of others,
in fact ail that touches his egotism. Sometimes it is profit
able lo keep still. It is well ip guard your personality, but
also at the same time to rcmeniler that there arc millions of
such beside your own
"Beware of making your moral staple consist of the nega
tive virtues. It is good fo abstain, and tcachtithers id abstain,
from all lhat is sinful or hurtful. But making a business' of it
leads lo emaciation of character, unless one feedslargely also
on lhe more nutritious diet of active, sympathetic benevo
lence." O. W. Holmes.
The slate of lhe mind when it seems to be walled about
with impenetrable stone, admitting neither ideas nor percep
tions, is peculiarly trying. There are occasions when it is im
possible lo think of lhe simplest things. Probably this is a
wise provision of providence lo prevent ideas being worn out.
The wear and tear they undergo, justify them in taking an
Al Harvard each professor is now given one year in seven
for study. Ex.
Michigan University received as a gift the Chinese exhib
its at New Orleans. Ex.
Yale opens with a Freshman class of 190, Cornell, with one
of 300, Princeton, with 216 and Dartmouth, with 108. Ex.
Prof, (to silent class in Analyt. Ceom.): "It often seems as
if we had not language to express our feelings on this subject"
The average age of admission to Harvard has increased
j from sixteen lo nineteen years Jn the fifty years from 1834 io
Canon Farm in his first lecture in this country proved him
self a rival of Senator Evarts, using sentences three hundred
J words long, but so clearly enunciated as lo beget no confusion
among Ins hearers. Vtdette Reporter.
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