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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 15, 1887)
THE H ESP EH IAN.
ent colleges of the same state, which cannot result in
good to the cause of education. There is still an
other feature which is brought forcibly to mind by
the late contest, and that is the oft-condemned habit
of plagiarism. The latest and most flagrant instance
of this is the case of Mr. Bradshaw, who won first
place in the Ohio state contest. This practice is one
of the results of personal and college rivalry, and is
simply one of the many bad features of oratorical
contests. Everything seems to condemn these con
tests, and it can be but a matter of a very short time
before they will be thrown aside.
There has been some interest manifested in a field
day, now that it has been mentioned so often in our
.columns, but as yet not enough to inspire some
one to take hold of it and push it. Several
have spoken to us of their willingness to take part in
the exercises and we anticipate that there would be
no trouble tn providing interesting and lively sports
for one day of Commencement week. To have it
that week would remove the principal objection to
having it and it could fill an afternoon, say Tuesday
afternoon, very enjoyably. We ought to have some
thing of this kind and now, when we have the mater
ial and the inclination on the part of the partici
pants, we should have no excuse for not having it.
If our campus is not large enough the prospects are
good to secure the use of the base ball grounds. Some
one take hold of it and push it, and we cannot but
make it a success. The base bill nine, the cadets and
the band are willing, and an organizer only is need
ed. Walk up, you burly Soph, and take the initiative
and success will be yours.
It is reported there isa movement on foot to estab
lish the system of the delivering of the term essays,
forensics and orations in chapel. This is a move
ment which has many arguments in its favor, yet we
believe that in this institution, far from good results
would follow its establishment. With our present
heavy courses students can scarcely find time to pre
pare their productions for society, while if tl ey were
compelled to write a production and deliver it in cha
pel, '.hey would be deprived of the advantage of us
ing the same production as the tenn work in compo
sition end in regular society work. The problem
would then arise: which is the more important, the
regular class work, public rhetoricals, or society
work? Class work could not be slighted and there
fore either society or public rhetoi icals would be. Now
this is not mere theory; it has been shown to be a re
sult in other institutions. The question is a live one
in Washburn College, of our neighboring slate of
Kansas, and so live is it that the Argo declares that
"either the societies or public rhetoricals must go."
So will it confront us, and if we want our societies to
stand, il we want the drill and recreation society
gives us, we should not consent to public rhetoricals.
A SUMMER IDYL.
The firelight dances before mc,
Something moist from my eyelids I wipe;
Perhaps it is only the smoke though,
Curling up from my briarwood pipe.
My thoughts are scarce worth the telling;
You've oft heard the same thing before;
Still I'll tell them, they might interest you,
An Idyl of Summer no more .
We met up among the White Mountains,
That day I shall never forget;
I remember the place and the hour,
Yes, Jim, I remember it yet.
I can hear her voice even now, Jim,
As she said, while my heart throbs stood still,
"Say, Mister, Pa told me to ask you,
How soon you could settle your bill?"
There have been very few wi iters of fiction, or, indeed, of
any other kind of literature, who have so bound themselves
up in their works as has Count Lyof Tolstoi. Probably no
man ever lived who so thoroughly seized and assimilated what
he saw and experienced; which was to be afterwards utilized.
It may, therefore, be interesting to study somewhat closely
the character of the man, and to discover, if possible, the
causes which led him to accomplish his great life work, and
to trace their conncction-with each other.
As W. D. IIovvclls says in his interesting article on Tolstoi,
written for Harper's Weekly, the mere mention of the
Count's birth place copveys to us a vague impression of re
moteness, which, however, docs not tend to increase our in
terest in the man. It was in one oi those obscure and un
important villages in eastern Russia, that Tolstoi was born.
It was there that he gathered some of those lasting impres
sions of nature which a child is so quick to perceive and re
tain, and which he afterwards reproduced so vividly in books.
The irksomeness of school life was exceedingly distasteful
to him, and, like his predecessor Gogol, he soon abandoned
his technical studies, and went out into the world to gain the
knowledge he desired by intercourse with his fellow men. And
how well he made use of his observations wc have only to op
en his books to discover.
When Tolstoi was alout twenty-four, he went on an expe
dition to the Caucasus, whcre.in the glorious, free and healthy
life of the camp, so different from the narrow, conservative
and hot-house existence at St. Petersburg, he learned to look
upon human affairs in a light which he had not before thought
possible. It can be readily understood what an effect such a
mode of existence would have had upon a man of Tol
stoi's temperament, and how, granting that he had the requi
site ability, he would be led to construct a romance out of
the materials so profusely scattered around him. This work
he accomplished in "The Cossacks," to mc, one of the most
fascinating books I have ever read, and that for a reason
which I shall presently mention.
In reading any of Tolstoi's novels it should be constantly
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