Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, November 12, 1886, Page 4, Image 4

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The high place awarded to Tolstoi's works by critics of au
thority everywhere, and the growing belief that their author
is to rank as one of the master minds of the century, makes a
knowledge of them incumbent upon all who would be familiar
with the best in current literature.
Dr. Herbert B. Adams, the head of the historical depart
ment of the Johns Hopkins University, has
been contributing ' a series of papers to the maga
zine, Education, on "History in American Colleges." In the
first part of the series the progress of historical study at
Harvard is traced from the period when it was taught there
only as an auxiliary to and in connection with the classics.
The work of Jarcd Sparks at Harvard in securing a recognition
of the value of history as an independent branch is also treated
of at length. The article in the current number of Education
deals with history in Columbia College. The magazine, we be
lievers not on the list of university periodicals but may be found
at the city library, and these articles will be valuable to
those who are interested in the "history of history."
The lecture by Michael Davitt in this city on Thursday
night gave to our students the opportunity of hearing and
seeing a prominent figure in one of the most famous political
movements of the times. It matters not whether wc may
agree with him in all his views, the fact remains that he is,or
rather is to be, an historical personage, and that he with oth
ers is engaged in making history. The opportunity thus of
fered for studying current history in the concrete is most val
uable, and owing to the modern policy of placing institutions
of learning in large towns the best class of lectures, concerts
and similar entertainments have been brought within the
reach of the students. The old-fashioned plan was to locate
a college in some retired hamlet, the theory being that here
were fewer temptations and allurements to draw students
away from theli work. Hut the institutions which have been
fo unded of late years have, as a rule, been placed in larger
communities, a notable example being that of the Johns
Hopkins University, located in the sixth city in the Union.
There arc, of course, objections to this plan. Rut the reply
to them all is that the modern institution in this,- as in many
other features, requires greater maturity and better judgment
on the part of its students. When young men and women are
old enough to attend a university, they are supposed to know
what is for their own good and act accordingly.
Mr. Charles Welsh, an English publisher, has recently
made some investigations, the results of which will be valua
ble to all who are anxious to know what authors arc most
widely read. From a thousand school girls representing va
rious institutions of learning in England, answers were re
ceived to the question "Who is your favorite author?" Dick
ens and Scott headed the list, the former being the choice of
330, the latter of 226. Of the remaining "favorites," those
most widely known arc given below, none being named who
is not the preference of at least five,
Bunyan u
Miss JJraddon. j 1
Mrs. II. B. Stowc 11
Kingsley Q
Shaksperc 73
Mrs. Wood 51
George Eliot 41
Lord Lytton (O.Meredith).. 41
Longfellow 18
Cnnnon Farrar 22
Thackeray 18
iules Verne..., 16
Irs. Craik (Miss Mulock).i4
Mocaulay ,..,..
MJjfs Acqtt ;.
William Black 8
Defoe 8
Mark Twain 8
Carlyle 6
Ruskin 6
Charlotte Bronte e
. 13 Captain Marryatt 5
12 mrs. jtiemans 5
The surprising feature of it all is that the so-called '"writ
ers for girls" make very little showing in the list; and yet
their books meet with a largo sale. Mr. Welsh explains this
apparent enigma by saying that of this class of works a great
many arc bought by parents and friends as presents and hence
no test is afforded of their popularity with their readers.
Theodore Roosevelt's article in the November Century on
"Machine politics in New York City" will be widely read not
only because it is on an important subject, but because of the
prominence of its author. His recent candidacy for the may
oralty of the city of New York and his gallant fight in spite
of the heavy odds against him, has brought him most con
spicuously before the cjts of the American people. Morcov
c, his career teaches a lesson of encouragement to students
and to ambitious young men everywhere. Although only six
years out of college he has been three times a member of the
New York Assembly, has been a delegate to a national con
vention, and has received the nomination of his party for a
position far exceeding in importance the governorship of some
states. And the best feature of it is that his record has been
that of a statesman rather than of n mere ward politician.
The subject treated of in Mr. Roosevelt's article is of more
than passing interest because of the growing importance of
the question ot municipal government. It is not yet n politi
cal issue. The masses arc at present too much interested in
the all-absorbing topic of who shall have this or that office.
But it is a question which the American people win probably
some day be called upon to solve. The prophecy ol Dc
Tocquevillc forty years ago, that the tendency of our popula
tion would be to gather into great cities, has been verified.
And these great cities have become the centers of crime, an
archy and social disorders of every sort. The ''Problem of
our great cities" demands the attention of the student of cur
rent politics, and the article in question is a valuable contri
bution to the subject most especially that it discusses the
politics of one of the worst governed cities in the union, and
because its author speaks from personal experience.
The subject of public and private schools was being dis
cussed by a company of gentlemen on a recent evening, nnd
the remarks of at least one in the party were made note of.
A good many people, said he in substance, betray a parvenu
breeding by paying ten or twelve dollars a quarter to send
their children to private schools, which, for all practical pur
poses, arc infinitely inferior to the public schools. We have
in Lincoln in the public school system a thorough, and on the
whole, a very good course of elementary and collegiate in
struction. If the pupil is to stop at any grade of the public
schools, he or she is much better equipped in discipline and
knowledge than if he or she had spent a corresponding term in
any private school that exists or that is likely to exist for
many years in Lincoln. Local private schools are very likely
to be excellent asylums for children who are too tcndcr,or too
lazy, or too worthless in some other respect to stand up in op
en competition, regardless'of sex or previous condition, with
the average little men and women in the public schools. Some
time the most favored and pampered child, if he is to be of
any account among his fellows, must engage in the free-for-all
knock down which makes up real life, and the common
school is the place for him to begin the work. In no other
place can the spoiled or weak child get the nerve and the
catholic spirit he lacks but must have in order to become a