Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, February 15, 1887, Page 2, Image 2

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men who have already faced the world and suceeded
enough to put them through college; yet even here
we must confess the truth of the argument. We are
asked, what is there of the practical in our college
curriculum and we fail not in answers, hut the fact re
mains that our college course gives us but little of
what should be known by all, of the laws of trade
and their underlying principles' It is true that our
college is not supposed to be a business college but
surely, we should not enter the world without some of
this practical knowledge, for we are not prepared
without it. It seems possible that some instruction
in this line could be engrafted m our curriculum
without crowding out anything more important. A
short course of lectures upon commercial law would
certainly not be unprofitable and would enter us into
the world with a far better knowledge of what we are
The commencement question is what the Seniors
are now most deeply interested in and what their pon
derous minds are trying to solve. Their first move,
to be excused from commencement orations, is cer
tainly a most commendable one and it is our earnest
hope that such a course will be adopted. Our insti
tution is now of such standing that the simple gradu
ation of a student ought to be a sufficient guarantee
of scholarship, without annual exhibitions of the grad
uates through orations. The oratorical line is one in
which the University does not give instruction and
therefor, graduating orations do not show tl.e work of
the University. It is true that the thought and com
position represent University work but how much
thought is concentiated in a ten or fifteen minute o
ration? If the University is desirous of displayin
the ability to write and think, of the Senior class
why not publish the varions theses, which form the
essence of the special work of a whole year? It seems
to us that this old, worn-out custom cannot benefit
the University in the least, while it is certainly a det
riment to the student, for it takes so much of his
time which should be given to his more impportant
studies. Wethink that it is a mistake to say that the
public demand commencement orations, for although
they would wonder at the cL.ige yet after the first
omission they would no longer expect them. We
repeat, that we most earnestly wish the Seniors success
in this movement.
With a high consciousness of his mission Bethoven said
"The woild has no conception that music is a higher revela
tion than all their wisdom and philosophy. It is the wine
that inspires new creations, and I am the Bacchus that crush
es out this noble juice for mankind, and makes their spirits
drunk. I hae no friends; I must needs live alone with my
self; but I well know that God is nearer me in my art than
others; 1 commune with him without fear; ever more have I
acknowledged him and understood him; and I am not fearful
concerning my music, no evil fate can befall it; and he to
whom it is become intelligible must be free from all the pal
triness which others drag about with them." Here was no
bly expressed the office and power of music, and her high
priest felt himself consecrated to the work. If music were
only an ingenious arrangement of notes.or a mere mechanical
trick, it would be a pretty toy for an idle hour, and but little
deserving of serious study. But it is the expression of deep
est sentiment and divincsl emotion; it is the production of
genius in its high converse with inspiring ideas; it is poetry
written in sound, eloquence uncmbodicd in words, prayer
without liturgy, reason without verbal forms. Rightly has it
been called "mathematics in action" for it is the cxactest of
sciences, as well as the most emotional of the arts. More
than any other pursuit must it be a counterpoise to the hard,
speculative, matter of-fact, material tendencies of the rising
However blunted may be, even now, our highest instinct,
life would be far different from what it is if there were not
the accompaniment, faintly though it, sounds of the solemn
music of a life beyond the present, breaking !ike a sea upon
life's barren shores. Let that cease, and though we conld
not tell what had gone, we should wonder, indeed, that the
world seemed so drear and void, so soulless and forlorn; why
we could not take joy in joy, why we could not extract from
grief its bitter sting. How true to the deepest instincts of our
nature was thai custom of the ancienfs when they sat down
to the feast, to hold the goblet in their hands, cover their fac
es with the fresh chaplets with which thty were crowned, and
utter the mournful words, "This enjoyment is but short to us
little men; soon it will have passed and we can never recall
it again." Little does the epicurean moralist enter into the
spirit of this pathetic utterance who says, "Why should we
think of this, for less in death than in sleep, will anyone feel
concern for himself or his life?"
Why should we think of it? Why, how can we so far belie
our nature as not to veil our faces, if a oneness of continued
being and the immortal life be not impressed upon lifes choic
est moments and most gladdening festivals? What is each
point, however placed, or each line, however outstretched, if
it be not a segment . f that iufinite cause of Life and Being
which knows no limit, and can be bounded by no time?
At first sight it seems an incongruous affair that Shaksperes
heroes should speak in Italian through Salvini and Rossi,
while the rest of the play should be given in English; and
that in Berlin Booth should play an English part, while the
other personages of the drama speak German. It offends the
dainty, critical sense of Henry James, but it is not entirely
novel or peculiar to this present year of the Christian Era.
In Bayard Taylor's "By ways of Europe" there is an interest
ing account of his visit toNijina-Novgorod, in the interior of
Russia, where he saw Macbeth performed in this internation
al style. He writes, "The first act was drawing to a close as
we entered. King Duncan, with two or three shabby attend
ants, stood in the courtyard of the castle and made his obser
vations on the 'pleasant scat' of the Macbeth mansion. He
spoke Russian of coursei Lady Macbeth now appeared in a
silk dress of the latest fashion, expanded by the amplest' of
crinolines. She received the royal party like a well bred la
dy, and they all entered together. There was no change of