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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 15, 1887)
THE HESPERIA N.
some examiner, did not appear at the viva voce and so lost
Having an almost reverential admiration for Coleridge and
Wordsworth, it is natural that DcQuinccy shoul dgo to Gras
mere, where his great friends were assembled, and settle
down then. Here were Wordsworth, Southcy, Coleridge and
Kit North. One great charm of De Quinccy is that he sheds
so much light upon these great men. He knew them early,
long, and intimatcly,so that few could furnish such faithful por
traits of them. He tells of Coleridge in his helplessness re
sulting from the slavery to the opium habit,, of Southcy, the
fastidious man of the world, of Kit North's skill in hunting
and of the poet of whom Sonthey often impatiently remarked
'To introduce Wordsworth into a library is like letting a bear
looac in a tulip garden." It is probable that the neighbors
generally had the same opinion of the great poet's strange
traits of character, for it is said that two of these meeting
one morning and asking each other if there was anything
new, the only news reported was, "Old Wordsworth is broke
loose again." De Quinccy says that the natives had an al
most perfect ignorance of and contempt for literature and lit
erary men, and there may have been a touch of both senti
ments in the oftentold story of a son of the soil, who pointed
out Wordsworth's dwelling to a visitor, with the remark that
"the old 'oomau keeps up the same line of business."
When De Quinccy had been settled in Grasmere about a
dozen years, his property had been largely dissipated by
losses and in calculating generosity, so that he was forced to
take to literature to provide for his family. In the spring of
1821 he went to London to seek literary employment. He
, was now nearly thirty-six years old, and had spent most of
his life in study and reading. His knowledge was extensive,
and in some departments quite cxact; he had a remarkable
vigor of imagination combined with 'great logical power
His first work to be brought out was his "Opium Confes
sions." This immediately secured for him the reputation of
a writer of genius. Its picturesque and musical prose gives
it a fascination on a first reading, that few books contain.
Quite an interest attaches to it, besides, as a manifestation of
genius under abnominal conditions. The critic, howevei
soon discovers Richter's influence upon the style. One
says of him, "If what he offers as wit, is not wit, and what
he sometimes takes for inspiration too often turns out mere
inflation; if he sometimes falls into the mistakes he professes
. to abhor; anH if you often forget what he started to say while
he chases down a scorn of diverging and far fetched sugges
tions, be patient with him, and, in some divine moment of
self-forgetfulncss, his genius will get possession of him and
show effects of such strange brilliancy and power, as to secure
him forever a fixed position of high rank in English letters."
He had naturally an ear sensitive to the fine harmonies in
nature and in art. His soul was filled with music. When a
mere child, the choral services of the English church had
contributed much to arouse in him religious feeling, and at
Oxford, his deqpest regret was that he belonged to a college
thaUhad no organ in its chapel. His "Dream Fugue" shows
his unusual musical endowment. Another point in which
De Quinccy is thought worthy of 'careful study is his way of
making transitions between the most remote objects. If he
wishes to turn the subject in hand to anything in heaven or
earth he brings in some observation, then another and finally
marks out the path connecting the two points. He runs into
incessant digressions. For instance, in his account of Oxford,
he assembles his friends at the . university, in order to get
their advice, and without stopping to give them seats, wand
ers off over a great variety of themes -through eleven pages
and finally comes back to the impatient collegians again.
But often from his digression, De Quincey finds himself so far
from his starting point that it is very difficult to get back.
He has a spider-like skill of making connections. In extraord
inary occasions, he acts more cunningly, as he goes along, he
drops hints and suggestions of the intimate connection of each
episode, with the principal theme, which while it bewilders
the brain of the reader, does not fail to engrave the funda
mental truth upon his mind.
Put away the little dresses
That the prepics used to wear;
They've been thrown from off their ponies;
They have climbed the golden stair.
We have Hurd that Fletcher is mashed.
Frank C. Clark visited us on the 7th inst.
W. H. Wagner will Christmas at Red Cloud.
The regents held a meeting week before last.
Miss Lottie Pollard visited these halls last week.
Many of the boys are Hot going home this vacation.
'.I'll go, Professor; I'll. sec it soon enough, anyhow."
"Manlcy, what is love?" "Love, Con, love is fleeting."
Miss Jeannette Shcdd will probably not be with us next
Miss Edith Russell visited friends of the university last
Most of the Seniors passed in Pol. Econ. by free use of
Chancellor Manatt lost some days of last week on aqcount
W. W. Robertson will write his French Revolution theme
Con Scharmann visited his friends and best girl for a couple
of days last week.
T. L. Hall went home before the beginning of the exami
nations. Poor health the cause.
C. W. Hemory, ex-president of Fairfield college, visited
the university one day last, week.
We hear that a certain co-ed gives it as her opinion that she
can outstare the best masher that ever walked.
J. E. Larkin, once of '87, was showing his bright and
smiling phiz around these halls some days ago.
Three of the university boys declare they will wear
masques' if ever they go it alone to a show again.
A brother of Tutor Hodgman has recently moved to Lin-
coin and will shortly engage in the practice of dentistry.
Sevcrul parties of students will hold watch meetings New
Year's eve. We think the custom appropriate and certainly
Don't come down in this office the first day of next term
and ask us if the Hesperian is out, for we tell you 'now it
will not be.
A well known gentleman who is occasionally seen in this
office has a very unique designation for the room in which the
Shedd's club, which has led a somewhat eventful existence
at the city poor house for-the last Ohree years, will move its
celebrated aggregation of paupers up to Fourteeuth and R
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