Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, November 01, 1885, Page 4, Image 4
IT THE HESPERIAN. 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 fective classification. "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 occasional vacation. 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" Ex. The average age of admission to Harvard has increased j from sixteen lo nineteen years Jn the fifty years from 1834 io 1K84. Ex. 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.