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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 10, 1886)
7 li h HESPERIAN.
which last is intended to characterize the gliding movements
of swans in flight.
Having sufficiently assailed Mr. Arnold's versification, our
author turns on his diction and syntax. " 'Aho' is a specimen
of interjection from Mr. Arnold's mint. It comes in very
finely at the end of a line. The passage is a pathetic one,
and 'aho!' takes the burden and ictus of the pathos:
Whose happy music killed me, but, aho!'
Isn't it touching? It recalls the famous
Oh, Sophonisba, Sophonisba, Oh,'
of James Thompson, with its fatal echo from the gallery,
Oh, Jemmy Thompson, Jemmy Thompson, oh.' "
As an instance of Mr. "Wilkinson's witty sarcasm: "It is, as
the reader will have seen, hard to keep one's shillalah to its
true present mark, the show of head is everywhere so invit.
ing in tAx. Arnold. We were attending to the matter of dic
tion in our pocU Is the following a point of diction, or what
is it? Mr. Arnold makes his prince say:
Nay, if I had yon callow vulture's plumes.' "
and then the author maliciously remarks that such a wish is
very fitting, inasmuch as a ealitna vulture would not, in the
nature of the case, be possessed of wings, not to speak of
plumes, which, by the way, are scarcely proper instruments
Nor does our author forget to mix praise with his censure,
although he leaves us greatly in doubt whether his praise or
his blame is the more cutting: "Mr. Arnold could not, I
judge, have been a poet, even if he had not been a journalist,
butthat, being a journalist, he should have produced so succ
essful an imitation of poetry, entitles him to praise."
But this article has already exceeded the allotted space. To
express all the mirth and keen enjoyment to be derived from
this little book of Mr. Wilkinson's is imposible, and if any arc
hereby lead to read a critique whish not only nflbrds pleasure,
but has a deep and lasting value, on account of its language,
spirit and thought, the object of this article will have been at
Mr. Editor: The words of a writer in your last is
sue, deserve a hearty echo. But two things noticed by him
were not,to the mind of Sans Detour, sufficiently emphasized,
viz: the tendency to imitation of eastern customs and the at
tempt to substitute class feeling for that of the literary society.
They are vital points in the impending discussion concerning
June exhibitions, and this is only one of the many contests in
which these same points arc involved, and by which the spir
it, aim and standing of the U. of N. is to be fixed. The stu
dents are the University; their feeling and work determines
the character of the school. This fact, admitted by all con
cerned, should make our decision in this matter a conscien
Western spirit demands practical results from education.
Many, in no way croakers, are continually overflowing with
the question, "What do we study that is practical?" Results
rather than words are conclusive as answers to this query.
The extensive remodeling of the eastern curriculum is suffi
cient demonstration that the foregoing complaint, as lodged
against the colleges of twenty-five years ago, was largely just.
Of all the objectionable features of the eastern college, few
can be named more objectionable, tending more to exhaust
time and money, with no recompense, or more completely
embodying the aristocratic principle of the eastern college
system than class feeling and class distinction. On the other
hand we believe the spirit of western education to partake
largely of the practical nature of our western civilization. We
believe we arc not vainglorious when we say that the average
western student has quite distinct ideas as to his object in
study. The multiplication and diversity of courses evidences
this. Nor do we think the western college needs to borrow
largely from its eastern neighbors to complete its develop
ment. It possesses distinctive features of its own; and its per
fection must be sought rather in the development of those
features than in substituting for them the cast ofT vestments of
our eastern co-workers. The University has utilized the in
evitable antagonisms of student life in-the work of literary so
cieties from which a return may be had adequate to the out
lay. It is worth our while to maintain in every possible way
the society spirit. If the literary society did not exist among
us the spirit of friendly rivalry would be supplanted by some
thing utterly senseless and worthy of condemnation.
The argument for the changes proposed in the June exhibi
tions favor the substitution of class for society feeling and this
because we differ herein from eastern colleges. Such a posi
tion seems to Sans Detour entirely indispensiblc. Let our
customs stand or tall on their merits and let us be sure we are
uot nearest to the demands of a practical age before we dis
card what we have for something more antiquatef
As some one has opened the discussion of the June pro
gram question, I will try to present a few ideas on the subject.
There are several objections to the present system. First, is
the undisputed fact that Commencement week is too crowded.
For students who usually spend their evenings in study, to
be out six nights in succession, with all the attendant induce
ments to bum, tends to leave a demoralized feeling by the
time the week is over. And under the present arrangement
of things the first society exhibitions come before examina
tions arc over, thus preventing the members of the class
from doing justice either to their studies or to their literary
productions. On the contrary, if there was but one exhibi
tion the members of the class could have two or three days af.
tcr the examinations in which to prepare for the program.
A second objection to the three exhibitions is the fact that
the time and energy bestowed on these arc taken from the or
dinary society work and tend to weaken the regular classes
during the latter part of the year. It is doubtful if there is
sufficient benefit in the more elaborate preparation necessary
for the June exhibition, to make up for the lack of interest
thus produced in the ordinary society work. Finally, it is
something of a tax on the poor student's pockctbook to at
tend all these meetings, and more j( a tax on the societies to
settle the bills, as the receipts usually fail to cover the ex
penses. Suppose, then, that instead of three exhibitions, wc have
one given by a combination of the three societies, taking,say,
two members from each. This would preserve the society in
terest in the joint program, and not produce any diminution
of individuality on the part of the different societ es. It will
have the advantage of bringing the societies together in a
sort of friendly contest and, I think, tend to produce better
feelings between them. If, as your correspondent suggests,
there are too few occasions for bringing the University and
the people of Lincoln together, the remedy is not to be found
by crowding many exercises into one week, but by having
such exercises distributed through the year so that the public
may not forget the existence of the University in the intervals
which separate them. If, for example, one special society
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