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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 1887)
as a poet than in matters of mere form. He is more fortu
nate again to this extent: he sometimes forgets his dignity,
and his professional air, and then it is that the true poetry of
his soul finds its own expression. But such occasions are of
infrequent occurrence and of short duration. He addresses
himself principally to the intelligence; and though he, with
others, marks a movement of reform, yet personifications and
matters purely intellectual form the major subject of his
The sentiments which Gray makes do service in his poe-s
are not common to the English people, but are rather those
of a very limited class. If one's religion required him to
withdraw from the world at certain intervals, and there brood
over things past and things to come, to moralize on the harsh
judgments, the cruel fates, which befall his fellows; if,in fine,
he must bring self low, by unfavorable comparisons and un
natural inferences, then Gray's Elegy might fill a felt want
might induce such a mood. But he must be a true puritan
indeed, who could realize any enjoyment from his task, ex
cept perhaps the consciousness of duty done. His poems
then contain nothing for the modern reader.
We must, of course, believe Gray sincere. He is frank;
and we can scarcely question his honesty. He was very nar
row, however, and his views of life will need revising. In
this particular he was the poet of a certain class, and of a
certain age. Gray cannot keep himself out of his poems.
He is a poet by profession, and whether he withdraws alone
to meditate, or whether he seeks the company of the muse,
he not the less surely fails to invite the reader to keep him
company, or to share his moments of reflection with him.
Finally, I am led to believe that Gray was haughty, by na
ture proud, and certain it is that he lacks that intense sym
pathy which would lead him to sympathize with all his fel
lows. He could stand ofi at what he deemed a proper distance !
and busy himself with grave reflections and words of seeming
symyalby at the sight of "a youth to lorlune and to fame un
known," but his sympathy and his good intentions appear to
loose all their reality in traversing the intervening space; and
a sense of ingratitude toward his distant friend, one feels,
must inevitably come over the unfortunate youth. One must
feel, 1 think, in reading Gray, that he presumes upon the
reader's good nature to bear -with him while he shall tell
what Gray thinks and feels, rather than grant the reader ei
ther the choice of topics or the privilege of reading some
thing more to his taste.
Summing up then, I should say that Taos. Gray has small
claim to the rank of a great or universal poet.
A CIRCULAR BY THE CHANCELLOR.
The Science club met in the Chemical lecture room last Sat.
urday afte.noon as announced. The inclemency of the
weather prevented the attendance of many. However, there
was quite a number in attendance. A resolution was passed
recommending the purchase of such scientific magazines as,
.when taken with those in our library, will furnish news in all
sciences. The reporting committee presented a budget of
news which was then discussed, D. T. Smith read a paper
upon the history of Chemistry, and the cfrib adjourned to
meet at 3 p. m., Saturday, Jan. 22.
1 have purchased all that are left of the ALMA MATER
notebooks about 50 of them. For students they are by far
the best book of lite kind ever placed on the market, and
when gone no more can be obtained. Will sell them at 25 j
cen, If you want 2. few of these books come down at once.
W. W. Robertson,
Under the lead of the Chancellor and Professor
of Political Science the Seniors have begnn, as regular class
work for the remainder of the year, the investigation of spe
cial and important subjects of the day. The Labor Question
will receive the major part of their time and study. The na
ture of the work intended can best be understood by the fol
lowing appeal which has lately been issued by Chancellor
The department of political science in the University of
Nebraska is undertaking a special study of the labor ques
tion. The course projected is, primarily, an inquiry into in
dustrial wrongs and remedies, seeking to determine the pres
ent actual status of labor, with its historical causes, and to
consider fairly all suggested remedies.
This inquiry can proceed intelligently only on the basis of
a wide induction of facts. For other countries and many of
our states tolerably full data are afforded by economical and
statistical authorities and particularly by reports of labor bu
reaus, for our own state, unfortunately, almost no data ol
the kind have been gathered or published.
This department, therefore, appeals to the public, fparticu
larlj to employers and employes, and to other citizens inter
ested in economic and social questions, for assistance in sup
plying this want. Such assistance is asked and should be
freely given in the public interest:
I. Because it will promote the practical training of our
youth for the duties of citizenship and for all civic and social
service. This is a distinct and fundamental aim of public ed
ucation, and to effect this, our training must not stop with
generalities, but should note every essential fact of the en
rironment. Experience and immediate observation impress
and abide; the problems that come home 'to us are just as
good for educational discipline as foreign or historical ones
and a successful grapple with them yields the student a di
rect preparation for his work as a citizen and social leader.
2. Because facts contributed, will, so far as means permit,
be made available for the enlightenment of the general pub
lic. It is believed that the University's independence of
classes, parties, and sects should secure the confidence of the
people in the facts it ma' send out, and guarantee substantia
freedom from partisan bias or class prejudice in any conclu
sions reached. This being admitted, the department of po
litical science will appear to be fa-orably situated for render
ing the state part, at least, of the service elsewhere underta- .
ken by legally constituted labor bureaus. It will aim to class
ify and tabulate all authentic and important statistics that may
be forth coming; to collate and summarise properly certified
data as to industrial interests and movements iu the state
fiom the earliest history to the present moment; and, with the
co-operation of the public press and such other means of pub
lication as may be at its own command, to communicate to
the people all practically valuable results of its work.
The following lines of inquiry' may be now suggested:
L Earnings and cost of living.
IL Are the poor growing poorer?
Inquiries I and II intended to draw ont data for determin
ing the comparative condition and tendency of the profession
al and industrial classes As representatives of thesp.are se
lected clergymen, physicians, lawyers, teachers, clerks.prinf
ers, masons, carpenters, painters, tailors, teamsters, unskilled
laboieix, saleswomen, seamstresses and domestics. A table
has been prepared covering the following points under in
quiry I: 1. Annual earnings (number of days employed, a v-
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