Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, October 20, 1887, Page 4, Image 5

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    7 h & HESPERIAN
r !.
v I
a year is often enough to cut the hair. Never use any hair
invigorator or other anti-mortem nostrum, and give your
head as much air as possible. I say if you will do this you
will carry as many gray hairs down to the grave as our pres
ent civilization will permit"
In the September number of the Forum, Andrew Lang
favors the public with some excellent ideas on critics. As
one ol the number, the appreciates thoroughly their temp
ations and their faults, but he docs not fail to observe their
good qualities as well. The occasion is given by Mr. Howells'
attack on critics in general, and especially on those he chooses
to designate as "The English School" and their followers in
America. Now, when the gods are at war it behooves smaller
fry to remain neutral, but we must say that Mr. Howells
seems to be as biased in his views of critics as are the critics
in their remarks on "the producers." In teaching fairness
it would be well for him to set a good example. It may be
well to say also that while Mr. Howells is not exactly a favor
ite with reviewers, yet his good qualities have been as often
manifested as underestimated.
Desultory reading is a pernicious habit with students. The
arrangements of the pla of study necessarily conduce to this,
"since it requires a great deal of reference reading and leaves
little time for outside reading, and this little, to students,
seems too small for anything but recreation. If all these
spare moments were connected, we should be simply appalled
at the time wasted in taking up and laying down books.
There remains some chance for general reading ii all our
opportunities were improved, and a change in the style of
reading matter might prove as great a rest to the mind as
idleness. Instead ol a scrap of poetry here, half a story there,
$? an incomplete line of argument in another place, all of
which are soon forgotten, we should have something to show
for our trouble. One good book read through consecutively
is of more benefit than a dozen hastily glanced over. Authors
who are worth reading at all, are worth being read through.
They write their books as a whole, and should be read as a
Some parts may be more beautiful than others, but unless
read in connection with the rest of the book they lose much
of their beauty. And there is a unity in every book which
cannot be appreciated if it is read by snatches. Take for
instance Shakespeare's plays, Milieu's "Paradise Lost," or
Browning's "Ring and the Book.? The masterly plan
is asessential an element of its excellence as its sentiments
or form. It should be read as a whole in order to un
derstand its beauiy. We should never pretend to know a
a book until every word is read. Not only do we enjoy more,
but it is a source of improvement. There is a tendency in
all students toward superficiality. This is the great enemy to
the thoroughness which should be the great characteristic of
a student By controlling, instead of yielding to the impulse
of flightiness, the mind is strengthened and that habit de
troyed. This reading gives to the student general knowledge.
It is proverbial that students are the most impractical of
human beings, and it has even been said that the
ordinary student is the most ignorant in regard to gen
eral knowledge. He may have spent years in the study
of Greek or Latin; he may know all the dates of Roman his
tory from the foundation of Rome till the present time; but
unless he knows what the world of today knows, he is counted
ignorant. There are many books and articles on the ques
tions 01 the day which the student has only heard of. Let
him spend his leisure hours in the reading of practical books,
and his education will be more complete.
In our last issue wc made mention of a champion liar's
mantle which lay in our sanctum awaiting a claimant. In
spired by a desire of obtaining this cloak, (probably because
of a lack of other clothes), a certain junior called on us
Saturday morning and proceeded to give us a sample of his
ability in the art of mendacity. We will give a short ex
tract from his address on "Life in the Sand-hills:"
"The mosquitoes out there are terrible ferocious. Running
short of amusement on Sunday morning, by way of chape
exercises, one of the boys caught a healthy medium-sized
mosquito and a large prairie-dog and put them together in
a cage. Had a horrible fight but the mosquito finally pinned
his opponent to the side of the box by running his bill
through his heart. We forged a chain onto the hind leg of
the bird and lariated him out for a burglar catcher. I had
a whole bolt of wire mosquito screen but old Wick wouldn't
let me use it. Thev wouldn't touch him but jumped into me
in great shape. Stuck my face so full of holes it looked
like a sieve. Some of 'em broke their bills off in my cheek
and went out and stole our tent pins to drill holes with. A
lot of 'em made a regular practice of sliding down our tent
sides and mrde such a racket I never got a wink of sleep
for three weeks. One night a gang came into the tent and
while some of them held us down the rest carried off our level
and used it for a telescope, studying astronomy- They pulled
up our grade stakes for a mile and built a bonfire and" had a
regular rip roaring time. O, myl how they used to steal
Wick's cigars; anyway that's what I always told Wick."
This sort of stuff was poured into our ears for hours while
we tried in vain to write a heavy editorial. We gave in and
without hearing from the rest of the University handed ove
the Mantle of Supreme Lying Ability. Were we not justified?
Little did those old printers, toiling over their clumsy
wooden presses, imagine the extent of improvement to which
the art would be brought. Little ' did they think that in
America, yet undreamed of, there would arise a nation, one
of whose greatest passions would be printing and seeing them
selves in print. But, really, after eating, drinking and sleep
ing, is there one single thing which enters more completely
into the life of every one the use of the printing press? Is
there any other invention of man which is utilized so univer
sally by each and every individual? We can think of nont.
There can be no accurate census taken of the newspapers of
the U. S., for every day brings' into being new aspirants for
the approval of the reading public Scarcely a language spo
ken in our country but has its representative in the journal
istic world. Every new and peculiar idea has its journal for
expounding itseH. Every trade and profession has its par
ticular paper devoted to its interests. The stamp collector
has his Philatelic Journal, and Stamp World. The coin col
lector reads the Numismatist. The dentist and the brake
men, the criminal and the lawyer, each is fed upon the
literary food which most strongly interests him. There are
bicycle and chess papers, and it is hard to find anything
which has not a representative journaL Go where you will,
you cannot getaway from the work of the printer. Afar out
on the boundless prairie, milts from any where, the eye is
attracted by a gleam in the sunlight; on investigation it is a
tin can with a gaily printeiLJlabel attached. Wandering
through some vast iorest, seemingly all unspoiled by the
hand of ruthless maxij we suddenly stumble upon a copy of
the New York Tribune used by the last picnic party to wrap
their lried chicken. In the city one is never out of sight of
) printed matter. It stares from every fence, lamp-post and