Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, November 03, 1887, Page 4, Image 4

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honor or any other good. Yel aside from an hereafter, virtue
is essentially connected with happiness, and vice with misery."
In spite of the degeneracy of the times he lived up to his
creed, and after thirty ycais of devotion to it he sacrificed his
life for its sake. In his last hours he held conveisation with
his philosophic friends in which he urges his arguments at
length. These conversations constitute the dialogue of "The
He urges that everything in natuie is generated from its
opposite, as, for instance, from wakefulness we pass into
sleep and thence to wakefulness again, or from life to death,
etc. . He also believed in existence after death because of the
soul's pre-cxistence, and because it is a simple, unchanging
substance. He also believed in the divinity of- the soul, and
that it is a source of life. His death shows that his philos
ophy was real to him, for during bis dying hour he repeatedly
said: "Unless I thought I should depart to other gods that
are wise and good, and to the society of men who are gone
from this life, I might will be troubled at death; but I cannot
be afflicted st the thought of (lying, believing that death is
not the end of us, and that it will be much better in the here
after for the good than for the evil."
A great deal has been said about the use of extravagant
language, and innumerable lectures have been written on the
subject of slang. There is one little word that is abused as
much perhaps as any other, especially by students. Hut few
words in our language arc more variously used than the simple
word "nice." It has a well defined meaning, but it is used
to denote any state of mind or quality of feeling, and the ex
pression: "How nice!" often fills the lack of thought. We
say, "nice weather," "nice dress," "nice cake," "nice
boy," and innumerable other "nices" equally odious. Since
"finical" is the synonym of "nice," it is proper to substitute
the one for the other. Then we see how ridiculous its pres
ent use is in the case of "finical weather," etc. In fact, it
has become a vulgarism, and has no meaning at all; indeed
the proper use of the word is scarcely understood at all.
Slang is not so harmful. A certain number of slang words is
necessary, we arc forced toconcludc, for the young American,
and if the slang is scpai ate from dictionary English, there i'
no harm done to the language, but to spoil a word of so good
an derivation is robbery.
We have all met the graciously polite person whom every
one thinks is so nice, so accommodating; who agrees with
everyone and is everybody's friend. Sometimes when by our
obstinacy and tenacious adherence to our own ideas we ob
tain the ill will of a friend, we wish we might glide through
the world with as few collisions as that much beloved person.
We are almost sorry that we have opinions, they arc such
troublesome things. Hut consider how the world would move
forward if all men moulded their belief according to the com
pany they were in. The man without opinions is an Eolian
harp, fit only to be the toy of every passing wind, adapting
itself to gentle zephyr and rude blast alike, and giving forth
harmony in response to each. If the development of the
divine art had ceased with music of this character, upon what
would our Beethovcns snd Mozaits have exercised their tal
ent? Better to be the grand pipe organ from which the un
skilled touch can bring nothing but wildest discord, though
it needs but the master's hand to yield up sublimest music.
-Envy them as we will, the progress of all reform is hindered
by these changelings. What little influence they have on the
thought of the world is a retarding one. They arc the rub
bish and must needs lie swept to one side or the other ere their
weight is felt. Are you troubled with strong biases, unruly
opinions which jar the nerves of others? If so, be not cast
down, and seek not to alter them for the sake of your friend.
All that we enjoy of civilization came tluough men who gave
up money, friends and even life rather than their opinions.
Blessed is he who believes and holds fast his belief, for in the
end shall he triumph and do exceeding great work.
We have heard and read a great deal in recent years about
the wonderful growth of the English language, its adaptation
to the wants of the different races, and the likelihood of its
universal adoption by mankind. Mr. Nicholson, of London,
seems to doubt that probability or even possibility until certain
steps have been taken. He says, that English having many
phases of colonial, must be expected sometime to break up
into European, American, Australian, New Zealand, Indian
and African varieties, which would become distinct languages.
There is but one way to prevent this by setting a stand
ard pronounciation and having it taught in every English
school. Such a standard could only be settled by an 'author
ity commandini; higher and more general respect than any
that now exists, and the writer urged the formation of an
English academy like the French academy, composed of the
leading philoligists, speakers and writers. Such an academy
would have to deal with the subject of spelling as well. It
seems as if phonetic spelling ought to be proceeded by uni
formity of pronunciation, or English might be broken up
into written as well as spoken dialects. But if these reforms
went hand in hand both their aims might be accomplished
better; then the only rule for spelling would be pronunciation,
and for pronunciation, spelling. The result of this universal
uniformity would be that the English race, living on four
continents would be united and would give to the world a
universal speech, and this seems to be the surest pledge of
The growth and developments of English literature has
many interesting features. Like all other institutions it has
left many of its early characteristics in the past. One of
these is the English Laureate. Formerly this was the
distinguishing mark of the most renowned literary man of
the age. It is difficult to fix an exact date for its beginning,
or even trace clearly all its stages of development. History
makes it as clear as far back as James I of England, but pre
vious to this it is rather mystical. It can be divided into four
periods. The first, or mystical, period is assumed to cover
the time intervening between supposed coronation of Chaucer
and the Laureate Johnson. It is cstabjished, on quite strong
evidence, that Laurcatcship was not an institution of
royal favor before James I. King Charles put the office in
the gifl of the Lord Chamberlin in 1630, who bestowed it
upon the renowned Ben Johnson, at the same time increasing
salary from 100 marks to 100. The second period reaches
from 1630 to 1692, and is called the Dramatic. It is during
this time that the drama rose to such an important place in
the minds of the people. Through the effort of the laureate
much of the stage machinery was introduced which before
was restricted to the licentious court masques. Female actors
were for the first time introduced. It goes without saying
that Drydcn was the most illustrious laureate of this time.
He was a great conversationalist, and his fearlessness soon
won for him the court's disfavor, and the laurel crown was
placed upon his great rival, Thomas Shadwell, in 1689, who
held it till close of period, The third or lyric period, ends in