Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, June 01, 1888, Page 2, Image 2

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ily proven by trial. Now, if we have found a good
thing there is no reason why we should not make the
most of it. There is surely room here for a club of
pleasure seekers in literature; and there is nothing
which so fixes a subject in mind as making it a pleas
ure. There are many ways of carrying this scheme
into execution. Suppose we were to begin with the
drama. We might enact, in our own peculiar way,
scenes from translations of the Sanskrit and Greek
plays; then try a scene from Ben Jonson or Lyly,
and so on down to Browning's dramas and Longfel
low's "Spanish Student." Austin Dobson would
supply us with an occasional farce. Of course this
is but one out of dozens of plans of work. It is not
material which line is taken up. Any would be
pleasant and profitable.
The University is well endowed and is ambitious,
and the people of the state have shown, by practical
proof, that they are willing to aid us when our own
funds prove insufficient. It is probable that a year
from now the new library building will be in process
of construction, and the five buildings that we shall
have after its completion ought to be sufficient to
supply our needs in the line of room and equipment.
But it must not be forgotten that the purpose of these
buildings is instruction, and that without competent
professors the money spent will be thrown away. Any
student would prefer able teachers and poor equip
ments to the best of surroundings and an incomp
etent faculty; that is, if there must be a poor provi
sion in one of the two ways. But, we think, there
is no necessity for either of the evils. Money will
secure talent; the University has the money and ought
make as attractive offers to the men that are needed to
here as any college or university in the nation can.
Yet we lost, in Mr. Geisthardt, a man last year that
we find it difficult to spare; and this year we have
lost Prof. Wing, and have come very near losing
Bessey and Mr. Brace. There is no telline
who is the next one to be taken away from us to a
place wl-ere he is evidently better appreciated.
Sometimes we do not stop to think that our faculty
numbers among its members some of the ablest men
of the country. We must always be on our guard to
keep the talent that we have been so fortunate as
to obtain, and always on the watch to secure other
men of the right kind when they are needed.
This is the only sure way for the University to hold
its present high position and to advance to one yet
Occasionally something happens which is a sincere matter
of congratulation. The most pleasurable event of this kind
recently is that "A Strange Manuscript Found in a Cylinder"
is ended. We arc utterly at a loss to comprehend why an
ostensibly reputable publication will devote its pages to such
rot. The public has long been accustomed to having tales
thrust upon the market whose only attraction was a rank sen
sational use of language, but never there has been such a
bare faced attempt to make a story stand upon the sensation
alism oi the illustrations.
The fight waged against the ultra-romance school has been
long and severe, but it is totally unnecessary to refer to this,
in any way, to condemn "Found in a Copper Cylinder," for
even if we admit the legitimacy of this movement, we are
still a long way Irom justifying such a work. 'She" with all
the faults which have been proved against it, is a classic be
side this effusion. There is an occasional idea in "She," and
it shows some little originality in handling, even if the larger
part of it is plagiarized. "Found in a Copper Cylinder" is
utterly innocent of ideas, of skill in treatment, or of origi
nality. In the first place there is a labored but perfectly
fruitless attempt to give probability to the yarn by a compli
cated system of criticisms upon it, made by the various mem
bers of the yachting party which formed the cylinder. Arch
rcology.entomology, philology and numerous other sciences
are introduced in a frantic attempt to convince the reader
that the taie is true, but so blunderingly, and with such com
plete absence of art, that each example convinces the
reader that the story is not true, and shatters the small feel,
ing of probability which was begining to germinate. If the
writer had left out all attempts to strengthen his story it
would have been much stronger.
The two awe-inspiring themes of the novel are gigantic birds,
which everyone will rememl)cr from the illustrations, but the
description of which would be utterly void of force without
them, and a community of people who are directly opposite
to us in all their beliefs, who love darkness and hate light,
exalt poverty and court death as the greatest of blessings.
To add horror to the situation the author introduces canni
balism with an air as if the very mention of the name would
strike terror to the hearts of humanity. Now I don't know,
but it seems to me the idea of cannibalism has become so
familiar that but few of us would seriously object to being
The author adds to our already exalted opinion of his orig
inality by introducing the unheard-of region of the South
pole. Of course nobody ever thought, before, of travelers
going to the South pole. The idea is fairly dumbfounding in
its uniqueness.
The standard which the novel attempts to follow has been
condemned and torn down for a hundred years. The novel
is a miserable failure, even according to this standard. It is
written to be strong, to be hair-raising. It is neither.
Take away the illustrations and it would attract not even
passing notice. And yet it is given to the public by what
professes to be one of the great educational papers of this
On Sunday morning, after a night of guard duty, Church
ate fourteen eggs and then growled because Fletcher shut
down on him. Asa contrast to this Ejer didn't cat a soli
tary thing except a ham and three loaves.
This University is so completely non-sentimental, and so
totally beyond the reach of the average love story that I
almost hesitate to mention one; but "A Love Story Reversed,"
in the May Century, is so in keeping with the spirit of leap
year, and on the whole so amusing that I shall attempt to
overcome my natural timidity on such .subjects and speak of