Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, December 01, 1885, Page 3, Image 3

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The question of employment after graduation
-would worry the life out of the average Senior if his
work did not keep his mind fully occupied. The in
crease of the number of houis that has greeted '86 is
perhaps, a wise precaution on the part of the faculty
to keep the class out of the Insane Asylum.
A Portion of the new chemical apparatus has al"
ready arrived. It should not be forgotten that thsi
department will in a few months be supplied with
appliances for work second to that found in but one
other college in the United States. This truth
should not be hidden. Spread the good news.
The per cent of self-supporting students is greater
in this University than in any institution of equal
reputation in the country. The causes of this not
unworthy characteristic of our community can easily
be ascertained. With the increase of Nebraska's
wealth will come an increase in the number of stu
dents whose only method of attracting attention is the
profuse expenditure of money. When this contempt
ible class, or the rules laid down by its members, is
allowed to rule in the social life of the college, the im
pecunious student is at once forced to the wall. Our
plain duty is to foster a spirit of frugality and to
worship the brain instead of the pecket ; to give the
poorest all the opportunity for social improvement
that the college affords. Any college "aristocracy"
not founded on intillcctual worth is most decidedly
a "snobocracy" with no excuse for living in the
young democratic University of Nebraska.
This paper is not closely enough connected with
the Medical Department to be its champion, but
will take occasion to express the conviction that the
Professors of that school are receiving very shabby
treatment in return for the time and energy gratuit
ously given for the upbuilding of their department.
In the matter of securing subjects for the study of
practical anatomy, in particular, every hinderance
that superstitious fear can suggest is thrown in their
way. Legitimate subjects are numerous enough to
supply the college, but in a majority of cases the
University cannot secure them on occount of a
squeamish public sentiment. In the recent unfor
tunate case the Medical men were clearly sacrificed
to enhance the "reputation" of a couple of police
officers. The interference of Lincoln policemen in
these matters lias always been of an unsavory nature,
and is generally more dangerous to the community
than are the raids of the "resurrectionists." One
thing is clear: if the cases allowed by law are turned
over to the University there will be no necessity of
engaging unknown and irresponsible men to furnish
the necessary subjects.
Numerous attempts have been made to comprehensively
define literature, none of which seem to give entire satisfac-
tion. However this is no serious drawback, that a proper la
bel should not be secured; for wc continue to utilize it wheth
er we have a theory of its scope and structure or not; and all
the benefit that results from a study of literature is not at all
dependent upon a definition. Evidently the masses read the
novel or poem without pausing to look into their organic parts.
They care only for the result. They do not trouble them
selves whether a drama ought to produce a certain effect but
whether it does. Their test for literature is the interest it
calls out; whether it embodies something which has been felt
and thought by them, and presents it powerfully. If so they
read it, are irresistably drawn toward it. If it docs not touch
some point in the circumference of their experience, it appeals
to them in vain. For men can not acquire what they have
not in their own life and thought the key to unlock. Like only
understand like. Aristotle once said of his works after their
completion "they are published and not published," meaning
that only to kindred spirits would they be revealed.
The reason then why literature is read is because it contains
something that we by sympathy are drawn to study; that we
gravitate toward as the magnetic needle, the pole. To answer
this purpose it must be infused with life; must incorporate
what enters into the existence of men. The difference in con
ception as to what this is, may influence one's theory of the
province of literature. Some critics proceed on the basis
that man is only a highly organized animal whose purpose is
to eke out a comfortable existence, to enjoy thoroughly the
physical world. Thus he is pleasantly affected by nature, the
sunshine, forests, beautiful scenery, all that makes up sensuous
life. This the critic calls the normal man and hence asserts
that literature should conform to this type; that it should be
imbued with the colors of the landscape and communicate its
happy, pleasing effect.
But there is another class of men whose life flows in a dif
ferent channel. Not the objective but the subjective world
compels their attention. Their thoughts and feelings centre
about the problem of their own life, its meaning; whence it
comes and whither it gees; its relation to Present, Past and
Future; its struggle with Experience and the outcome.
Their gaze is fixed on the landscape within, that of the mind
and heart. They are absorbed in watching its hues and col
ors, lights and shadows.
Now the question arises whether the life of these men U
not natural; whether the world of the intellect and heart is
no less real than the external; and he who is engaged in
deep earnest thought leads not an abnormal but a normal ex
istence. It seems to us that such a class is as much hu
man as the cultured Fauns. The mass of men are more
absorbed in fighting the hard battles of life, in the struggle
for power, than gazing at scenery. They do not have time
nor inclination to loiter about, dreaming in forests, enjoying
their alluring influences. They are constantly in the current of
activity and intense effort. Their life is realistic and vivid,
but its experience belongs to the world within, not the exter
nal. If this is unnatural, then is the literature of Dante,
Goethe and Schiller unnatural.
It is in these two directions that critics have diverged; the
one school insisting on the aesthetic, the other on the moral
in its general sense. . h
1'erliaps personal experience makes the difference. The
man whose life has been a perpetual struggle; whose, energies
have been taxed to the uttermost in the fight against his weak